Staff Picks

Picks reviewed by the staff at the Last Bookstore.

Staff Pick Logo
Hellraisers: A Complete Visual History of Heavy Metal Mayhem Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631064302
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Race Point Publishing - October 24th, 2017

"We are Professors Rosenberg and Krovatin, and this semester, we'll be taking you on a trip through the history and culture of the single greatest musical innovation since a caveman began beating two femurs together in a 4/4 rhythm."

Heavy metal music is not known for having a sense of humor about itself, but fortunately the two experts/superfans who wrote this book most definitely do. Thorough, thoughtful, and full of great illustrations, this book is perfect for full-blown metalheads and curious newcomers alike. -Justin Remer

Staff Pick Logo
After the Flare (Nigerians in Space) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781944700188
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Unnamed Press - September 12th, 2017

I used to think about what it would be like if massive EMP bombs went off around the world, instantaneously frying all the electronics. The so-called modern cities (and nations) would be transformed into dense hells, with few practical, natural resources but plenty of Apple brand paperweights. The less “advanced” and more rural peoples would suddenly be the only ones who knew how to get by. In some cases, their lives would not change at all. The power hierarchy of humanity would exactly invert.

A much more interesting version of this is what happens in Deji Bryce Olukotun’s After the Flare.

To read the rest of Eric Larkin's review, please go here to the Last Bookstore's blog Dwarf & Giant.

Staff Pick Logo
H Is for Hawk Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802124739
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - March 8th, 2016

“I wish that we would not fight for landscapes that remind us of who we think we are. I wish we would fight, instead, for landscapes buzzing and glowing with life in all its variousness.”

This is one of the most thoughtful, astonishing, and beautiful works of literature I have read recently. Macdonald's grief memoir defies attempts at a clear description. It is a history of hawking, a biography of T.H White- the author of The Once and Future King and the Goshawk, and includes Macdonald's views on humanity's relationship with nature and feminism. I was entirely absorbed in Macdonald's Gothic storytelling sensibilities. I would recommend this to any nature lover who has the wisdom to embrace the wilderness. -Kathryn Drury

Staff Pick Logo
Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

"I have heard all of the stories about girls like me, and I am unafraid to make more of them."

Machado fuses metafiction with surrealism, erotica and horror to create a wildly innovative commentary on the female body. These are soulful, scary, subversive stories that identify and reclaim a womanhood that's been missing or ignored in contemporary literature for way too long. -Caitlin

Staff Pick Logo
The End of Policing Cover Image
ISBN: 9781784782894
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Verso - October 10th, 2017

"The superpredator myth was extremely influential."

As police forces further militarize, they move exponentially past their initial schema as a purely civil resource. Without settling strongly in the abolition corner, this highly-organized book leans toward community solutions as a corrective to reactionary police work. -Anthony

Staff Pick Logo
Parable of the Sower Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446675505
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - January 1st, 2000

“There is no end
To what a living world
Will demand of you.”

In Butler's award-winning novel, a Presidential candidate is elected on a wave of anti-government and anti-climate sentiment in the year 2024—only eight years off! This powerful dystopian novel features an equally powerful black female protagonist, a rarity in science fiction—though after reading you'll wonder why on earth this is so. -William Hawkins

Staff Pick Logo
Catalina: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374119751
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - November 7th, 2017

Former Last Bookstore events planner turned full-time writer, Liska Jacobs, wrote this stunning debut. Elsa, the protagonist, spends a "lost" weekend doing everything she can (drugs, booze, sex, and more!) to forget a recent turn of events, dragging her companions into the vortex of her destruction.  -Katie Orphan

Staff Pick Logo
Dear Martin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101939499
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - October 17th, 2017

Dear Martin (AKA Dr. King),
Quick intro: Justyce McAllister, seventeen years old, senior and full-scholarship student at the 'prestigious' Braselton Preparatory Academy. I'm the debate team captain, ranked fourth in my class, and despite growing up in a 'bad' area, I have a bright future ahead of me.
Sadly, during the wee hours of this morning, literally none of that mattered. Long story short, I tried to do a good deed and wound up in handcuffs.
It shook me, Martin. I need to pay more attention. I wanna try to live like you. Do what you would do. See where it gets me.
--Justyce McAllister

A searing, brutally honest look at systemic racism, Dear Martin tells the story of a black teen who begins writing 'letters' to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., trying make sense of the hard-to-swallow truths about 'equality' in modern America. A strong, evocative, and extremely timely must-read. -Amy Sizer

Staff Pick Logo
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553588941
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey - June 26th, 2007

"The only person who gets away with Locke Lamora games ..."
"... is Locke ..."
"... because we think the gods are saving him up for a really big death. Something with knives and hot irons ..."
"... and fifty thousand cheering spectators.”

Both cunning and heartfelt by turns, The Lies of Locke Lamora is lean, rich fantasy with rough, rough edges. Locke runs a comic, cultlike den of con-men in a fantastical Venetian-style city rife with conflict and culture – trouble enough, even before getting dragged into a vast and deadly underground conspiracy. -Paul Yoder

Staff Pick Logo
The Sisters Brothers Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062041289
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - February 14th, 2012

“Our blood is the same, we just use it differently.”

Hilarious and often touching little tale of two gunslinging brothers in the gold rush of the 1800s. The story is highly unpredictable, twisting and turning from dark comedy to psychedelic Western to historical mini-epic. I've never leant this to anyone who didn't come back raving about it. -Devon Green

Staff Pick Logo
Battle Royale: Remastered (Battle Royale (Novel)) Cover Image
By Koushun Takami, Koushun Takami (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781421565989
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Haikasoru - April 1st, 2014

"I think you all know how this works. The rules are simple. All you have to do is kill each other. There are no violations. And." Sakamochi wore a wide grin, " the last remaining survivor can go home. You even get a nice card autographed by the Dictator. Isn't that wonderful?"

Battle Royale is the first page turner I've read in ages and it lives up to the hype. The premise is simple: 42 students on an island each given a weapon. Some have machine guns while others have forks. At the end of three days, one student is left standing. The novel flashes back and forth between characters and perspectives as the teens are murdered one by one. Some deaths are sudden, others are drawn out with the violence and brutality one would expect from a seasoned serial killer. Students are faced with the choice to take part in the game, try to fight back against the government running it, while others simply fight to survive.  -Kate Chambers

Staff Pick Logo
Everything Is Flammable Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941250181
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Uncivilized Books - May 30th, 2017

"Sometimes it feels like I’m carrying some invisible, unwieldy object, like, say, a bicycle, with both hands over my head, while continuing to try to function normally."

The highly anticipated new graphic memoir from Gabrielle Bell, showcases again, her innate ability to observe and record human life in a way that is uniquely honest. Dealing with anxiety and relationships, Bell shows the moments that are in between, connections that form in short breaks and escapes, and how complicated the foundations of our relationships can be. -Sydney