Staff Picks - Aggie

  Aggie's Photo
Aggie was born in Sarajevo, in the former Yugoslavia, and she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. Her top 10 favorite books are (in no particular order):
1. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
2. The Lives of Girls and Women, by Alice Munro
3. They Came Like Swallows, by William Maxwell
4. Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
6. Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson
7. Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee
8.  Letters of E.B. White, by E.B. White
9. Independent People, by Halldor Laxness
10. As the Birds Bring Forth the Sun, by Alistair MacLeod.

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Trick Cover Image
By Domenico Starnone, Jhumpa Lahiri (Translator)
ISBN: 9781609454449
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - March 6th, 2018

Daniele Mallarico, an ailing famous illustrator​,​ is summoned by his daughter to take care of his precocious four-year-old grandson Mario, while she and her husband attend a conference and, at the same time, work on their troubled marriage. The whole book takes place in their apartment in Naples which is also ​Daniele's ​former childhood home​. The four rainy November days that the grandfather and his grandson spend together are not filled with ordinary play, storytelling or cuddling. Instead, the two engage in games of power and mortality between young and old, as the grandfather grapples with his fear of death and what stories to tell himself about his family life and time he dedicated for his art. There are so many layers in this less than 200 page, macabre and hilarious novel. Superb translation by Jhumpa Lahiri. --Aggie

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My Absolute Darling: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735211179
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - August 29th, 2017

To read My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent, is to enter the jungle-like lush world of California's Mendocino coast, overgrown with wild nasturtium, moss, and ferns, where the motherless 14-year-old girl Turtle Alveston lives with her separatist father in a house covered in gnarled rose canes. Nothing can prepare you for the horrors of abuse Turtle must endure, or for the realization that the darkest heart of darkness beats in her father's monstrous chest, or the heartbreaking fearlessness she shows on her hero's journey to the light and freedom.

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The Refugees Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802127365
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - January 2nd, 2018

A moving collection of 8 short stories about identity, belonging, complicated family love and ghosts from the past, by the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his novel "The Sympathizer". Read about parents whose childhood photos as little girls and boys were lost in wars, and whose children were no more "than regrets born into flesh." Nguyen's parents used to own Saigon Moi in San Jose, the first Asian grocery store in the region. --Aggie

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Findus Disappears! (The Adventures of Pettson and Findus) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735841840
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: NorthSouth Books - September 26th, 2014

Whimsical, funny tale about an old, lonely farmer and his adorable, talking cat Findus who insists on wearing a pair of big, striped trousers, and wakes him up by jumping up and down on his belly and waving a fly swatter in his face. But one morning the little red cottage is quiet and empty...Findus has disappeared!

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Exit West: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735212206
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - February 27th, 2018

In an unnamed country and city at the onset of civil war, a young couple Nadia and Saeed flee their ancestral home through a series of special portals taking them across the globe, and eventually to Marin County. This an intimate story about leaving the people you love, but also a story about displacement in a global migration apocalypse. "We are all migrants through time." --Aggie

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American War: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101973134
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 30th, 2018

"American War", by Omar El Akkad is the 21st century's "1984". A must read about a young heroine Sarat Chestnut amidst the frightening depiction of the Second American Civil War, raging from 2074-2093. No longer can we detach ourselves from war horrors taking place in other parts of the world! --Aggie

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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524733155
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - June 6th, 2017

If I were to send one book into outer space to send aliens a message about the human race, I would send The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy. It is a magic Persian carpet of a book, with hundreds of interwoven tales within tales and colorful patterns reflecting the history of our human condition. --Aggie

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As Close to Us as Breathing: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316384131
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Lee Boudreaux / Back Bay Books - November 1st, 2016

“The summer of 1948 my brother Davy was killed in an accident with a man who would have given his life rather than have it happen.”

Beautifully written historical novel. From the very first sentence, this multigenerational Jewish family story narrated by Molly, the daughter of one of the three Syrkin sisters, Ada, Vivie and Bec, had me spellbound. It’s about a single tragedy that changed the lives of everyone in the family, and obligation imposed by strong family traditions and expectations. Ultimately, it’s about how family ties can shatter and shelter us, at the same time! --Aggie

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The Widow Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101990476
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - January 17th, 2017

I shortened my Valentine’s Day date with my favorite husband to read this book!

After her husband gets run over by a bus, his widow finally gets to tell her story. You’ll be guessing till the very end how much did she or didn’t know about her husband involvement in the abduction of a little girl Bella from her suburban London home. A must read for the fans of GONE GIRL and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN! --Aggie

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Homegoing Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101971062
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 2nd, 2017

A magnificent family tree of a novel about two half-sisters (who don’t know about each other) born in mid-18th century Ghana and their descendants, tracing multiple generations,from an African village to 21st century America. One sister gets married to a white slave trader, the other sister gets sold as a slave. Probably the most important book you need to read this year! --Aggie

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The Girls: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812988024
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 9th, 2017

What happens when an unhappy, vulnerable adolescent girl meets evil? It’s the summer of 1969 in California, when 14-year-old Evie Boyd becomes a member of a nearby commune. The book is inspired by Charles Manson’s murders. Chilling and heartbreaking. --Aggie

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I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399573071
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - August 1st, 2017

Nadja S. writes with such grace and empathy about four generations of women in her family, beginning with her French mother, Françoise Mouly, the art editor of The New Yorker, who left Paris for New York when she turned eighteen, and her divorced grandmother Josee living on a houseboat moored on the Seine River on the outskirts of Paris. Nadja is traveling between the two cities, haunting the past in order to shape her own reality. She visits the landmarks of her grandmother's and mother’s lives, creating a narrative of how we become ourselves, and how we carve that sense of belonging. A luminous book, despite some painful, dark moments in it! --Aggie

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My Mrs. Brown Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501108617
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 18th, 2017

“She was sixty-six years old, a widow; if she was a scent, she was tea with honey, but if she was a color, she was a study in gray.”

What if Cinderella was an older, frugal woman cleaning at Bonnie’s Beauty Salon in Ashville, Rhode Island? Instead of a prince charming, Emilia Brown longs for an exquisitely tailored Oscar de la Renta (seven thousand dollars price tag!) black dress and jacket. Her quest takes her to New York, and only at the very end we understand the true nature of her journey and the poignant secret of her heart. --Aggie