What's in the trunk of your car? A teddy bear, a mixing bowl, a medieval arrow.
Who would play you in a movie? I'd play myself...but what I really want to do is direct.
Using only one word, describe yourself. Quirky
Author you love to hate: Most authors I hate, I hate begrudgingly, but I have to admit I love hating Stephanie Meyer, only because Reasoning with Vampires makes it so much fun.
What's your favorite smell? While I hate the taste of coffee, I love the smell.
If you had a super power, what would it be? The ability to stop time for everyone but myself without aging faster than everyone else as a result. I have given this way too much thought.
What do you think your job is at Left Bank Books? Convincing myself not to spend every paycheck entirely on books.
This book should not exist. And yet it does. This is an addictive read, both hilarious and thought-provoking. Just when you think you've got a real handle on this whimsical and quirky narrative, it starts dropping truth-bombs about ethical consumerism and endangered species. Right now you are thinking this staff pick has been assigned to the wrong book. This is a sandwich cookbook. You're damn right it is. It's a sandwich cookbook I read cover-to-cover before ever entering the kitchen, and I would have been happy if I stopped there. But then I did enter the kitchen, and the magic started. This is not really a book for casual chefs. You're usually going to make three or four separate recipes before you start assembling the sandwich. And it is so. worth. it. The flavor combinations are unlikely, but delicious. These are both looks and tastes to impress without being fancy or fussy. This is a wonderful gift for people with an oddball sense of humor, foodies who don't take themselves too seriously, and collectors of the unconventional. -Sarah's Holiday Staff Pick, 2016
Viviane Schwarz's hugely expressive Tiny Cat is a charmer in this new format. Kids will get a kick out of how the spunky feline transforms into different animals with just a prop or two and everyone will appreciate that this isn't just a concept book, but a laugh-out-loud story arc.
When we meet Noah, he has all the reasons in the world to be upset. Several months ago, his father died in a car accident, the same accident that left him in a wheelchair. He's lost his position on the Little League team...but not the teasing of the star pitcher. Most of his friends don't know what to say to him. Sometimes his mom doesn't either. But a new kid who doesn't know what he was like before the accident might be just what he needs. So what if he's a little (a lot) weird? Even kids (and adults) who haven't gone through the severe trials Noah has will recognize the type of resentment that sometimes gets directed at the wrong target and appreciate the work Noah does to get through it. Along the way, they'll love getting to know a set of characters that may not always act lovable, but will always be relatable. And they might just find out what it's like living with a seventeen-year-old dachshund and who's inside Fredbird's costume (shh, don't tell!).
Artemisia Gentileschi is a criminally-underappreciated artist and fascinating historical figure. Joy McCullough uses her story--and those of the Biblical women she captured in her paintings--as a jumping-off point to explore the ways society treats women and the ways women chafe at some of those treatments. Barely a line of this beautiful prose went by without me wanting to read it at someone. Best to settle for as many as possible reading the whole book and all the timeless difficult truths within.
It's hard to describe exactly what's going on in Losing the Girl. There are some odd things, to be sure: The sudden and complete disappearance of a 14-year-old prodigy, the loss of everyone's cell phone reception. But the suburban teens at the heart of this story barely take note of these events as they deal with their much more traditional interpersonal relationships and difficult decisions. I'm sure the background attractions are building to something spectacular, but for now I'm content to soak in the vivid atmosphere as the characters connect to and detach from one another, adrift in manner akin to MariNaomi's constantly shifting art styles. It's been a long time since I've been this excited for a sequel.