Staff Picks Bonanza: Fiction

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Welcome to the end of year staff picks roundup! Each fall we have a staff meeting where we have the opportunity to tell each other about the titles we’re excited to share with customers this holiday season. Some of our picks are brand new bestsellers, some are underappreciated gems, some are established perennial favorites. Here are some of the fiction titles the M&Q crew is crushing on right now:

Sorry for the damage we just did to your TBR pile. But not really. Happy reading! – M&Q crew


Foolproof and Fanciful Father’s Day Ideas

Let’s hear it for the dads! Seeing your dad this weekend? Don’t want to show up empty-handed? Here are our ideas–some traditional, others less so–to show dad your appreciation. Because while there’s a million kinds of fathers out there, it’s a known fact that they all love books. (The experience of a bunch of booksellers may have led to skewed data on this subject.)

outdoorsy dad books

Outdoorsy dad: Let’s Go Fishing by Eric Dregni or The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry.
Minnesota history expert Eric Dregni’s latest takes on the cultural importance of fishing in the North Woods. Illustrated throughout, and chock-full of lore to surprise even the most seasoned angler. Berry’s Unsettling of America, recently republished, is a classic of environmental writing and American literature in general. A must for any eco-conscious dad!

foodie dad books

Foodie dad: The Wurst of Lucky Peach: A Treasury of Encased Meat by Chris Ying & the Editors of Lucky Peach. Or, for veggie dads, try the hilarious and ever-popular Thug Kitchen!
A celebration of sausages, hot dogs, charcuterie, and more encased meats from all over the world, The Wurst of Lucky Peach is definitely the way to a meat-loving dad’s heart. Meanwhile, Thug Kitchen has all the hip factor without the animal proteins. Let dad explore the mostly vegan recipes in this hilarious internet sensation-turned-cookbook.

dramatic dad books

Dramatic dad: Silver Screen Fiend by Patton Oswalt or Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Is dad a total film buff, or does Broadway have his heart? Movie-loving dads will find a kindred spirit in Patton Oswalt’s memoir about his silver screen obsession. And if (like the rest of America) Dad’s aboard the Hamilton train, treat him to the behind-the-scenes info and full libretto featured in the companion book by the show’s creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

other dad books

New dad: This is Ridiculous, This is Amazing by Jason Good
Great for soon-to-be or brand new dads, this book uses lists (“Things Parents can Never Do Again,” “Reasons a Toddler is Crying”) to describe the indescribable joy and weirdness of being a parent.

Culture critic dad: The Geography of Madness by Frank Bures
Jon Ronson meets David Grann in this fascinating, wildly entertaining adventure and travel story about how culture can make us go totally insane. Great for travelers, sociologists, and the naturally curious.

Gamer dad: Extra Lives by Tom Bissell
If your dad fits the bill of tech guru, game enthusiast, or kid at heart, these essays on the art and relevance of video games from Renaissance man Bissell are sure to entertain.

prints corner hand

Still stumped? Check out our huge selection of unique prints. We’ve got nature scenes, vintage car and food ads, old maps, and more starting at just $1.99. Perfect for decorating dad’s favorite space!

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 19.

Gift Guide: Creativity and Memoir

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert 1594634718_item

For those on your list who are the creative type, or aspire to nurture their creative side, Big Magic is a gift to consider, especially for fans of Eat, Pray, Love. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us.

If You Want to Write – Brenda Ueland  1555974716_item

In her ninety-three remarkable years, Brenda Ueland published six million words. The Minneapolis native said she had two rules she followed absolutely: to tell the truth, and not to do anything she didn’t want to do. Her integrity shines throughout If You Want to Write, her bestselling classic on the process of writing that has already inspired thousands to find their own creative center. Carl Sandburg called this book “the best book ever written about how to write.” Yet Ueland reminds us that “whenever I say ‘writing’ in this book, I also mean anything that you love and want to do or make.” It is a gift of getting to know Brenda Ueland as much as learning about writing.

Bluets – Maggie Nelson  1933517409_item

A lyrical, philosophical, and often explicit exploration of personal suffering and the limitations of vision and love, as refracted through the color blue. With Bluets, Maggie Nelson has entered the pantheon of brilliant lyric essayists.

The Snow Leopard – Peter Matthiessen

0143105515_fullAn unforgettable spiritual journey through the Himalayas— now celebrating its thirtieth anniversary.

IN 1973, Peter Matthiessen and field biologist George Schaller traveled high into the remote mountains of Nepal to study the Himalayan blue sheep and possibly glimpse the rare and beautiful snow leopard. Matthiessen, a student of Z en Buddhism, was also on a spiritual quest—to find the Lama of Shey at the ancient shrine on Crystal Mountain. As the climb proceeds, Matthiessen charts his inner path as well as his outer one, with a deepening Buddhist understanding of reality, suffering, impermanence, and beauty.

022627845x_itemThe Dead Ladies Project – Jessa Crispin

Fascinated by exile, Crispin travels to places that have drawn writers who needed to break free from their origins and start afresh. As she reflects on William James struggling through despair in Berlin, Nora Barnacle dependent on James Joyce in Trieste, Maud Gonne fomenting revolution in Dublin, or Igor Stravinsky starting over from nothing in Switzerland, Crispin interweaves biography, incisive literary analysis, and personal experience into a rich meditation on the complicated interactions of place, personality, and society that can make escape and reinvention such an attractive proposition.

For the curious traveler, or simply the curious reader, who is always in search of new adventures both on the page and off.