Staff Pick

Roddy Doyle’s latest work of fiction Smile, might be called a modern Irish Bildungsroman. It begins with the seemingly mundane story of a recently divorced man wandering into a pub, but quickly evolves into an examination of how we revisit the unpleasant truths of our pasts. An unwelcome meeting with an old acquaintance forces the protagonist, Victor Forde, to dredge up memories of childhood and reckon with his own buried feelings about the church, politics, marriage, and family. While the novel is punctuated with Doyle’s irreverent and often irresistible humor (often through politically incorrect dialogue), the “smile” in the book’s title refers to something far more sinister.

Smile: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735224445
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - October 17th, 2017

Staff Pick

Mary Beard’s Women and Power is a slim volume comprising two of her most famous lectures about the roots of sexism and misogyny from ancient times until now. This little tome has been called “a modern feminist classic,” befitting Beard, a scholar of the Greeks and Romans who has also become something of a social media sensation in Britain. The book begins with the story of Telemachus trying to forcefully silence his mother, Penelope, and moves on to other historical precedents for attitudes and biases against women that persist today. Beard’s smart, lively, and persuasive case for women raising their voices (and fists) offers an intellectual and historical foundation for the women’s resistance, from marches, to #MeToo, to the droves of female candidates running for political office this year. Onward!

Women & Power: A Manifesto Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631494758
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - December 12th, 2017

Staff Pick

Mohsin Hamid has consistently shown his genius for using literature to capture the tensions between Islam and the West that play out globally and in individual lives. His latest novel, Exit West (Riverhead, $26), is another example of his spare, elegant writing, and his fearlessness in treading on uncomfortable political ground. A love story at its core, the novel exposes disquieting truths about secular and fundamentalist interpretations of religion, culture, family, and community. Moments of magical realism provide an imaginative backdrop to the story, much of which takes place in a country never named and with doors that serve as metaphorical entry and exit points. A stunning novel.

Exit West: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735212176
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 7th, 2017