You are here

Karen's Picks

Staff Pick Badge
Daughter of Calamity By Rosalie M. Lin Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781250287380
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - June 18th, 2024

Victorian literature of the grotesque comes back to life in 1930s Shanghai, dropped on top of a world that mixes sordid nightlife, warring gangs, and shamanic magic. Add to it all a garnish–a dimension of gods not-so-lightly laid on top, vicious goddesses brimming with untold powers many are clambering to control for themselves. Gangsters, foreigners of both the sinister kind and the offensively obtuse kind, shamans skulking in alleyways steeped in shadow, and the women who keep Shanghai alivedancers at clubs and cabarets, paid in yen and other glittering gifts to travel around town on rich men's arms. When one such dancer, Jingwen, witnesses a horrifying attack on one of her colleagues—the girl's lips are stolen off her face in the middle of the dancehalland other dancers are similarly attacked, she vows to get to the bottom of it. But who can she trust? The (incredibly hot!) shaman speaking poison against the woman who raised her? Her dancer sisters? The rich New Yorker helping her sow jealousy onto her fellow dancers' faces (while they still have them)? Rosalie M. Lin weaves words that hold beauty and horror in equal measure, and she creates characters that practically leap off the page. This is a deliciously fun and at times genuinely unsettling tale you won't be able to put down. I'll stake my face on it.


Staff Pick Badge
Kill Her Twice By Stacey Lee Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780593532041
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - April 23rd, 2024

How easy was it to get justice in 1932 Chinatown, Los Angeles as a Chinese American woman? To the surprise of no one, it was extremely difficult. And when it’s clear justice won’t come from the police, how far will you go to find it yourself? The Chow sisters switch gears from selling flowers on the streets of Chinatown to uncovering the truth behind the untimely death of their childhood friend Lulu Wong–infamous Chinese American actress (think Anna May Wong). They dive into the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, dabble in their own little romances, but most of all, become original, deep versions of the unlikely-detective-without-a-badge trope. There are great character arcs, rich historical detail of LA and Hollywood in 1932, the Chinese American experience back then, the female experience back then, a fascinating murder mystery/investigation. But at its heart, Kill Her Twice is a beautiful family story about sisters who couldn’t be more different but whose bond is unbreakable. The writing is an absolute dream, descriptive, beautiful, and at times I felt like I was in those wild 1930s Hollywood parties along with the Chow sisters. I’ll be picking up more of Lee’s work.


Staff Pick Badge
The Last Murder at the End of the World: A Novel By Stuart Turton Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781728254654
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - May 21st, 2024

The inhabitants of a seemingly idyllic island, perhaps the last people alive on post-apocalyptic Earth, have had their memories stripped of the night before, a night in which their most revered scientist was murdered. Now they have to solve that murder, even if it means finding out they're the suspect, or the victim's failsafe that has protected them from the toxic fog that destroyed the rest of the world will falter and they will all die as well. The 92-hour timeline drops a bevy of fascinating characters into a higher stakes than usual whodunit, with an emotional undercurrent about human resilience that's surprisingly moving. I love a good unreliable narrator, and Turton goes above and beyond with a narrator that's shrouded in mystery as thick as the violent fog closing in on the island that's a character in itself–a perfect community surrounded on all sides by curtains of a menacing deadly fog. The truth is the only thing capable of keeping it at bay. Wholly original, a seamless blend of mystery, science fiction, and dystopia, The Last Murder at the End of the World will change your perception of what a good mystery should look like.


Staff Pick Badge
The Ghost Job By Greg van Eekhout Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063253339
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - September 26th, 2023

A lab accident during science class sends middle school pals into the afterlife before they’re ready! Turns out being dead isn’t all that fun, even with how much easier it is to get into mischief, so when they discover the existence of a machine that might be able to alive them again, they plan the ULTIMATE HEIST! There’s also a necromancer who wants to steal their ghost juices, it’s a whole thing, but gosh, these kids are funny. The hijinks are amazing. They each have their own individual ghost tricks and they work off of each other in the coolest ways. It’s just a FUN book. You’ll laugh at least 13 times in each chapter and if you don’t, come find me in the store and call me out on it. I can take it. Trigger warning: the book is about dead children, but at least the dog doesn’t die!


Staff Pick Badge
Home in a Lunchbox By Cherry Mo, Cherry Mo (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Cherry Mo, Cherry Mo (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593661345
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Workshop - June 11th, 2024

In Home in a Lunchbox, Jun moves from Hong Kong to America and struggles with the new culture and especially with the new language. But she soon discovers the universal language of kindness, and especially the universal language of FOOD. Cherry Mo makes Jun’s story heartbreaking and beautiful with her art. She uses squiggly lines in speech bubbles to demonstrate how alienating Jun’s difficulty understanding the language of the other students is. Jun is adorable! My coworkers can attest, I made squee-like sounds that were completely out of character because of how SWEET the art is. It will both break and heal your heart. And prepare for your stomach to growl with how delicious Cherry Mo made the bao and bok choy look. Yummm!