October 2023 Staff Picks

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The MANIAC By Benjamin Labatut Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593654477
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - October 3rd, 2023

Chosen by: Michael

Benjamin Labatut is back with another wonderfully inventive blend of science, history, and fiction. This timely tale of AI (and other destructive technology with the potential to wipe out humanity) includes a great deal of fascinating scientific history, as well as Labatut's always compelling fictional narratives. The reader won't be able to tell which is which, but they'll be hooked from the first chapter. Labatut has not only equalled his fantastic When We Cease to Understand the World, but has surpassed it.


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White Noise By Don DeLillo Cover Image
ISBN: 9780140077025
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - January 7th, 1986

Chosen by: Ava

This book felt like a fever dream, but in a good way. As someone who has feared death since I was born, I found this book incredibly witty and relatable both personally and to our time. When the world seems strange and overwhelming it’s a good time to read satire, especially one that was written in the 1980s. There is comfort in knowing the world was just as bizarre, hilarious and disturbing to someone else even 40 years ago.


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Bite Risk By S.J. Wills Cover Image
ISBN: 9781665938006
Availability: Available to Order - shipping times vary
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - August 29th, 2023

Chosen by: Emily 

Werewolves meet dystopia in this juicy thriller! Sel and his friends live in the remote town of Tremorglade, in a world where adults turn into werewolves during the full moon and kids have to be trained to contain the monsters and protect themselves. Unfortunately, accidents keep happening and not everyone is safe. And why are there mysterious drones showing up at the most inconvenient times? Are the kids safe sharing information on their devices? This fast paced middle grade novel is the perfect Halloween read full of suspense, gore, conspiracy, and scary surprise twists!

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Under the Harrow: A Novel By Flynn Berry Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143108573
Availability: Backordered
Published: Penguin Books - June 14th, 2016

Chosen by: Jen

I always reach for mysteries and suspenseful novels when the weather starts to turn. Flynn Berry's Under The Harrow is a great one for this time of year. Nora arrives to visit her sister only to find Rachel has been murdered. Berry's prose elevates this whodunnit, winding the tension tighter and tighter as Nora searches for her sister's killer, and the reader begins to question the nature of their relationship. I read this one quickly—luckily it's the author's debut, and she's published two more since then.

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Death Valley: A Novel By Melissa Broder Cover Image
ISBN: 9781668024843
Availability: Available to Order - shipping times vary
Published: Scribner - October 3rd, 2023

Chosen by: Amanda

At the intersection of literary fiction and horror is a relatively new subgenre lovingly referred to as “unhinged women fiction.” Melissa Broder is a master of the genre, and Death Valley is her most poignant and fascinating book yet. Part desert survival story, part exploration of grief and human nature - Death Valley squeezes so much weird and beautiful and profound and absolutely unhinged storytelling into its 240 short pages.


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Normal Women: A Novel By Ainslie Hogarth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593467046
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - October 10th, 2023

Chosen by: Heidi

I read this in two fevered days and nights of attempting to ignore my family, shirk work responsibilities, and stay up way too late. A profound, strange, hilarious, dark, gross, compelling page turner that considers the ways in which women labor. You’ll find yourself wondering whether you should finally schedule that family portrait you’ve been vaguely considering or just burn society to the ground. Five stars.