Gretchen's Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction Picks

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Small Game: A Novel By Blair Braverman Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063066175
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: Ecco - November 1st, 2022

A sapphic coming-to-selfhood survivalist thriller, this gripping novel about a young woman on a survival reality show weaves Braverman's deep observations of the natural world with her profound insights into character and the efforts we go to not just to survive, but to live. With spare prose that beautifully captures the immediacy of Mara's increasingly dire circumstances, as well as her evaluations on how to thrive in the deep Wisconsin wilderness, this novel delivers a tense and layered read.


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The Companion By Ee Ottoman Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9798721528699
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
All sales of this book are final--it is print on demand and may take up to 3 weeks to arrive.
Published: Independently Published - April 9th, 2021

A slim book that packs a lot of heat and heart into a gentle romance! This story beautifully balances lovely prose and tenderly built and sexy relationships between three trans people living in a remote woodland in 1948.


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Dogs on the Trail: A Year in the Life By Blair Braverman, Quince Mountain Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063066267
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: Ecco - November 16th, 2021

The insightful and delightful BraverMountain mushers, Q and Bler, and the larger than life personalities of their team are a real gift that will brighten the worlds of anyone who loves queer athletes, the outdoors, off-the-beaten-track sports, and of course dogs.


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A Lady for a Duke By Alexis Hall Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781538753750
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: Forever - May 24th, 2022

A memoiric collection of essays full of deep insight into the meanings and uses of language, of memory, of rage and joy and decolonial love by a young gay Cree author. His reservoir of feminist academic scholarship, Indigenous liberation thinkers, and study of the craft of poetry and the wider uses and deconstructive possibilities of the colonizer's tongue inform Belcourt's own introspection in complex, and often searing personal essays against white supremacy and colonialism and in search of the sparking possibilities of queer liberations and radical reimagination. - Gretchen, Room co-owner


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Solutions and Other Problems By Allie Brosh Cover Image
$30.00
This item is out of stock with our warehouse. Some recently published books may be in stock @ Room. Email to check.
ISBN: 9781982156947
Published: Gallery Books - September 22nd, 2020

It's been 7 years since Allie Brosh’s Internet-altering essays (all the things!) were published to an adoring audience in Hyperbole and a Half. Brosh’s life has been hard since then—divorce, illness, catastrophic grief over her sister’s death—which she describes with her characteristic hilarity and vulnerability in this wonderful new collection of cartoon essays. Insights into depression, young adulthood, and dog ownership will resonate just as meaningfully in this new volume as in the first book. - Gretchen, Room co-owner


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The Death of Vivek Oji: A Novel By Akwaeke Emezi Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525541622
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: Riverhead Books - May 25th, 2021

Emezi is one of the most kaleidoscopically interesting authors writing today--from bildungsroman (Freshwater) to socially just young adult detective story (Pet) to this, their take on a classic family literary novel, Emezi's command of their prose, sharply-drawn and heartbreakingly flawed characters, and the ever-present, matter-of-fact experience of the manifest spirit in everyday life make for a stunning reading experience. Vivek Oji's death, noted from the first page, draws the reader through a series of emotional, specific, and utterly complex moments in various family members' lives, both before and after the unsolved, sudden, tragic death of Vivek. Emezi's deep understanding of contemporary Nigerian family life and the complexities of gender, sex, sexuality, secrecy, and national identity make for a gripping and heartbreaking story of one person's life, before and after death.


A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader By Maria Popova (Editor), Claudia Bedrick (Editor) Cover Image
By Maria Popova (Editor), Claudia Bedrick (Editor)
$34.95
ISBN: 9781592702282
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: Enchanted Lion Books - December 31st, 2018

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Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators By Ronan Farrow Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316486644
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Published: Back Bay Books - June 30th, 2020

A timely, incredibly important account of the difficulties Farrow faced at NBC while working on the Weinstein expose, which he took to the New Yorker and subsequently won a Pulitzer for. The audiobook is grippingly read by Farrow (though the accents he attempts are... let's go with 'confusing'). It's upsetting, sure, but heartening to see the exhaustive research and the very clearly laid-out account of how Farrow had to work against the very powerful high-profile members of the media establishment--including his own bosses--not only because of Weinstein's well-oiled intimidation machine but also as part of those figures attempting to cover up their own histories of being harassers. Highly recommend this important piece of current events journalism, which reads like a thriller novel.


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Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel By Casey McQuiston Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250316776
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - May 14th, 2019

I enjoyed this so much! A snarky, funny, big-hearted delight from start to finish, deepened by the pang of it being set in a world where a woman Democrat won the Presidency in 2016. Alex is the mediagenic, politically ambitious 20-something First Son of the United States, finishing college and on the fast track to becoming the youngest member of Congress in US history. He has a longtime grudge against Henry, the junior Prince of England, and at Henry's older brother's royal wedding, Alex and Henry get to snarking at each other and cause an international incident. Their PR teams force them to make nice... and I bet you can guess what happens next. Alex and Henry are callow in their own ways, but also very constrained by their very public lives and their problems feel real and their missteps and self-deceptions make lots of sense from where they're coming from. Multiple queer characters allow everyone to be imperfect and feel real. Thoughtful characters, especially the secondary ones whose sibling love keeps the boys' egos on the ground, round out the cast. I laughed, I gasped in public, and all in all enjoyed the heck out of this not terribly challenging but entirely affecting book. Highly recommended for a diverting read.


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Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel By Jesmyn Ward Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501126079
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Published: Scribner - May 8th, 2018

Jesmyn Ward's new novel hearkens back to the incredible intimacy, impact, and import of Morrison's Beloved. Ward's prose is sinewy, unsentimental, and perfectly balanced, her characters whole and presented with unflinching brutal honesty, her themes of the costs of historical slavery, the layered cruelties of modern-day racism, and the deleterious effects of racism, drugs, poverty, and incarceration on a family held together by secrets, guilt, love, and ghosts. This is a book that, by rights, should make incredible waves this year--I've rarely read its like.


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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel By Ocean Vuong Cover Image
$18.00
This item is out of stock with our warehouse. Some recently published books may be in stock @ Room. Email to check.
ISBN: 9780525562047
Published: Penguin Books - June 1st, 2021

one of the best books I have read in the last decade, if not the best. It's such an intense, unflinching, careful, loving, pitiless, above all beautifully written book, a spiraling letter from a son to his Vietnamese immigrant mother, meditating upon the abuse and joy they have each felt in their lives, the moments where their connections burned bright and flared out, the timid hopeful, secretive first love he found with a boy, the intergenerational trauma and PTSD of a family borne through the effects of war and colonization. Intimate, beautiful, absolutely gutting, rarely have I seen such a clear evocation of a life. All the warnings, including for child abuse, animal abuse, racial abuse, homophobia, sexual abuse, war trauma. An incredible feat of a novel if you think you can face the brutal truth of it. Also, one of the best (awkward, terrifying reality and incredible wonder of it at once) first time gay sex scenes I've ever read.


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The Baby on the Fire Escape: Creativity, Motherhood, and the Mind-Baby Problem By Julie Phillips Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780393088595
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 26th, 2022

It's been a long time since I have read a book that both affirmed and challenged me the way this book did. It's an incredible look at the choices, constraints, and creative ways that a variety of brilliant, genius women related to being mothers and juggling mothering and their vocation for creative life. Phillips writes with such honesty and sharp insight--her self-interjections give shape and depth to a project that reverberates in the lives of anyone juggling the seemingly vast chasm between professional vocation and the sundry and consuming demands of raising children. This is a book that goes beyond the standard presentation of a biography and connects to not just an associative range of women's lives and choices, but does so in a narrative style and structure that is beautifully thought out and adds to the experience. I'll be thinking about what I learned from this book for a long time, and using the perspective it gives often as I make decisions about my own vocation and parenting. A truly worthy book for the shelves of any mother or parent looking for a thoughtful examination of lives lived fully--mistakes, social constraints, and flawed genius all making an impact just as much as the more conventionally lauded traits of mothering. I particularly appreciated the book's willingness to frankly discuss miscarriage and the choices most of these women made in considering and choosing abortion as well as motherhood.


Staff Pick Badge
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel By Ocean Vuong Cover Image
$18.00
This item is out of stock with our warehouse. Some recently published books may be in stock @ Room. Email to check.
ISBN: 9780525562047
Published: Penguin Books - June 1st, 2021

one of the best books I have read in the last decade, if not the best. It's such an intense, unflinching, careful, loving, pitiless, above all beautifully written book, a spiraling letter from a son to his Vietnamese immigrant mother, meditating upon the abuse and joy they have each felt in their lives, the moments where their connections burned bright and flared out, the timid hopeful, secretive first love he found with a boy, the intergenerational trauma and PTSD of a family borne through the effects of war and colonization. Intimate, beautiful, absolutely gutting, rarely have I seen such a clear evocation of a life. All the warnings, including for child abuse, animal abuse, racial abuse, homophobia, sexual abuse, war trauma. An incredible feat of a novel if you think you can face the brutal truth of it. Also, one of the best (awkward, terrifying reality and incredible wonder of it at once) first time gay sex scenes I've ever read.


Fine: A Comic About Gender By Rhea Ewing Cover Image
$21.00
ISBN: 9781631496806
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: Liveright - April 5th, 2022

Death by Landscape By Elvia Wilk Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593767150
Availability: In stock with our warehouse--usually ships within 1-7 days. May or may not be in stock at Room.
Published: Soft Skull - July 19th, 2022