Staff Picks of the Week

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Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) By Robin Hobb Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593722824
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - August 29th, 2023

Let me begin simply by saying that I fell into this book, swept away by the first-person account of a man named Fitz, the bastard son of a king-in-waiting and a social outcast who puts his life to paper in his old age, beginning from his earliest memories as he's scorned by almost everyone growing up except for King Shrewd, who recognizes his potential and demands he be schooled in the dark arts of the assassin. He then meets the extraordinarily mysterious Chade who takes him on as his apprentice amidst a rising terror spreading across the shoreline of the Six Duchies.

There are three elements that make this book extraordinary: the characters, the court politics, and the buttery-smooth, first-person prose. I found it impossible not to care about Fitz's struggles with alienation and the uniqueness of his position in society, and the cast surrounding him pulses with life. One character in particular, the court fool (simply named The Fool), steals the entire show with their elusiveness and the riddles hidden within their ramblings. The set-up reminds me of The Name of the Wind with its first-person account, but unlike with Kvothe we have no idea what things are like with Fitz and his older self, and as we move closer to the present the mysteries burn greater.

—Nicholas


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All Fours: A Novel By Miranda July Cover Image
$29.00
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ISBN: 9780593190265
Published: Riverhead Books - May 14th, 2024

I devoured Miranda July’s All Fours. A feast of sumptuous detail, of raw emotional honesty, of sheer possibility. Anything I say about the plot feels pallid in contrast to the vitality coursing through of this book, but I can’t not tell you “what the book is about,” right? A forty-something, multi-hyphenate artist leaves her husband and child in Los Angeles to take off on a road trip to New York. She makes it about twenty minutes from home before a rash decision to take up residence in a hotel, embarking on an entirely different journey of self-discovery. I don’t want to say more—even though there is SO MUCH MORE— because July’s sense of surprise exquisite. I’m talking true surprise, true curiosity. July brings her sensibilities as a filmmaker and performance artist to the page with embodied characters, lush sets, and a keen awareness of audience. All Fours is funny, sexy, graphic, self-aware. Everyone I’ve seen lately who has read it is in love with it. Like so in love we want to start an All Fours Club, so in love we have to tell anyone who hasn’t read it to read it NOW. See? I can't help myself.

—meg