Abby's Picks

We help you find the books you'll love!!

Abby's likes are sprawling - from political essays and comic biographies to science fiction and fantasy. She'll rarely turn a book down (except if it's romance. Sorry romance fans)!

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Cover Image
By Mark Twain, R. Kent Rasmussen (Introduction by), R. Kent Rasmussen (Notes by)
$9.00
ISBN: 9780143107330
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - October 28th, 2014

A consummate prankster with a quick wit, Tom Sawyer dreams of a bigger fate than simply being a rich boy. Yet through the novel's humorous escapades from the famous episode of the whitewashed fence to the trial of Injun Joe Mark Twain explores the deeper themes of the adult world, one of dishonesty and superstition, murder and revenge, starvation and slavery.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world.


Known and Strange Things: Essays Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812989786
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - August 9th, 2016

With this collection of more than fifty pieces on politics, photography, travel, history, and literature, Teju Cole solidifies his place as one of today's most powerful and original voices. On page after page, deploying prose dense with beauty and ideas, he finds fresh and potent ways to interpret art, people, and historical moments, taking in subjects from Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare, and W. G. Sebald to Instagram, Barack Obama, and Boko Haram. Cole brings us new considerations of James Baldwin in the age of Black Lives Matter; the African American photographer Roy DeCarava, who, forced to shoot with film calibrated exclusively for white skin tones, found his way to a startling and true depiction of black subjects; and (in an essay that inspired both praise and pushback when it first appeared) the White Savior Industrial Complex, the system by which African nations are sentimentally aided by an America -developed on pillage.-
Persuasive and provocative, erudite yet accessible, Known and Strange Things is an opportunity to live within Teju Cole's wide-ranging enthusiasms, curiosities, and passions, and a chance to see the world in surprising and affecting new frames.


Based on a True Story: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812993622
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - September 20th, 2016

When Norm Macdonald, one of the greatest stand-up comics of all time, was approached to write a celebrity memoir, he flatly refused, calling the genre -one step below instruction manuals.- Norm then promptly took a two-year hiatus from stand-up comedy to live on a farm in northern Canada. When he emerged he had under his arm a manuscript, a genre-smashing book about comedy, tragedy, love, loss, war, and redemption. When asked if this was the celebrity memoir, Norm replied, -Call it anything you damn like.-
Praise for Based on a True Story

-Dostoyevsky by way of 30 Rockefeller Center . . . the best new book I've read this year or last.---The Wall Street Journal
-This book is absurd fiction. . . . Scathing and funny.---The New York Times


Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250135995
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 17th, 2017

Fifty years ago Malcolm X told a white woman who asked what she could do for the cause, "Nothing." Dyson believes he was wrong. In Tears We Cannot Stop, he responds to that question. If we are to make real racial progress, we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed or discounted. As Dyson writes "At birth you are given a pair of binoculars that see black life from a distance, never with the texture of intimacy. Those binoculars are privilege; they are status, regardless of your class. In fact the greatest privilege that exists is for white folk to get stopped by a cop and not end up dead...The problem is you do not want to know anything different from what you think you know...You think we have been handed everything because we fought your selfish insistence that the world, all of it all its resources, all its riches, all its bounty, all its grace should be yours first and foremost, and if there's anything left, why then we can have some, but only if we ask politely and behave gratefully."

In the tradition of THE FIRE NEXT TIME (Baldwin), short, emotional, literary, powerful, this is the book that ALL Americans who care about the current and long burning crisis in race relations need to read.


The Handmaid's Tale Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780385490818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - March 13th, 1998

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.
Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....
Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and literary tour de force.


The Road Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307387899
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books USA - March 28th, 2007

The searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food--and each other.
The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.


Paper Girls, Volume 1 Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781632156747
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - April 5th, 2016

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.


The Daily Show (the Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests Cover Image
By Jon Stewart (Foreword by), Chris Smith
$30.00
ISBN: 9781455565382
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 22nd, 2016

This oral history takes the reader behind the curtain for all the show's highlights, from its origins as Comedy Central's underdog late-night program hosted by Craig Kilborn to Jon Stewart's long reign to Trevor Noah's succession, rising from a scrappy jester in the 24-hour political news cycle to become part of the beating heart of politics-a trusted source for not only comedy but also commentary, with a reputation for calling bullshit and an ability to effect real change in the world.
Through years of incisive election coverage, Jon Stewart's emotional monologue in the wake of 9/11, his infamous confrontation on Crossfire, passionate debates with President Obama and Hillary Clinton, feuds with Bill O'Reilly and Fox, the Indecisions, Mess O'Potamia, and provocative takes on Wall Street and racism, The Daily Show has been a cultural touchstone. Now, for the first time, the people behind the show's seminal moments come together to share their memories of the last-minute rewrites, improvisations, pranks, romances, blow-ups, and moments of Zen both on and off the set of one of America's most groundbreaking shows.


Never Let Me Go Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781400078776
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books USA - March 14th, 2006

As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were.
Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.


Six of Crows Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781627792127
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt & Company - September 29th, 2015

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price--and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction if they don't kill each other first.


The Call of the Wild and White Fang Cover Image
$4.99
ISBN: 9780553212334
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bantam Classics - February 1st, 1991

"The Call Of The Wild" is thestory of Buck, a dog stolen from his home and thrustinto the merciless life of the Arctic north toendure hardship, bitter cold, and the savagelawlessness of man and beast. "White Fang"is the adventure of an animal -- part dog, partwolf --turned vicious by cruel abuse, thentransformed by the patience and affection of one man.
Jack London's superb ability as a storyteller andhis uncanny understanding of animal and humannatures give these tales a striking vitality andpower, and have earned him a reputation as adistinguished American writer.
 


Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat Ppb Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780836217698
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - September 6th, 1994

Calvin and Hobbes are at it again, and this time, our irrepressible friends are taking a walk on the wild side.
Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat chronicles another segment of the multifarious adventures of this wild child and his faithful, but skeptical, friend. If the best cartoons compel readers to identify themselves within the funny frames, then all who enjoy Calvin and Hobbes are creative, imaginative, and ... bad, bad, bad Calvin, the irascible little boy with the stuffed tiger who comes to life are a pair bound for trouble. Boring school lessons become occasions for death-defying alien air battles, speeding snow sled descents elicit philosophical discussions on the meaning of life, and Hobbe's natural inclination to pounce on his little friend wreaks havoc on Calvin's sense of security. Calvin's the kid we all wish we'd been. Sassy, imaginative, far more verbal than his parents can manage, Calvin is the quintessential bad boy -- and the boy we love to see. He terrorizes little Susie, offers "Candid Opinions" from a neighborhood stand, and questions his parents' authority. "What assurance do I have that your parenting isn't screwing me up?" he demands. Calvin and Hobbes manages to say what needs to be said about childhood and life: "Eww, mud," says Calvin. "Look at this gooshy, dirty, slimy, thick, wet mud ... Bleecch ... Talk about a kid magnet.


Carry This Book Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780735221598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 25th, 2016

From the mind of Broad City's Abbi Jacobson a wonderfully weird and weirdly wonderful illustrated look at the world around us all through the framework of what we carry.
With bright, quirky, and colorful line drawings, Jacobson brings to life actual and imagined items found in the pockets and purses, bags and glove compartments of real and fantastical people whether it's the contents of Oprah's favorite purse, Amelia Earhart's pencil case, or Bernie Madoff's suitcase.
How many self-tanning lotions are in Donald Trump's weekender? What's inside Martha Stewart's hand-knit fanny pack? What kind of protein bars does Michelle Obama hide in her tiny clutch at the White House Correspondents Dinner? Carry This Book provides a humorous and insightful look into how the things we carry around every day can make up who we are.


Kanye West Owes Me $300: And Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780553448153
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Archetype - June 7th, 2016

"Kanye West Owes Me $300" might be the funniest rap memoir ever. LA Weekly
After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was "Hot Karl," the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend and then almost became a star.
When 12-year old Jensen Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend's bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19. Now, in "Kanye West Owes Me $300," Karp finally tells the true story of his wild ride as "Hot Karl,"the most famous white rapper you've never heard of.
On his way to (almost) celebrity, Jensen shares his childhood run-ins with rock-listening, southern California classmates, who tell him that "rap is for black people," and then recounts his record-breaking rap battling streak on popular radio contest The Roll Call a run that caught the eye of a music industry hungry for new rap voices in the early 00s. He also introduces his rap partner, Rickye, who constitutes the second half of their group XTra Large; his supportive mom, who performs with him onstage; and the soon-to-be-household-name artists he records with, including Kanye West, Redman, Fabolous, Mya, and will.i.am. Finally, he reveals why his album never saw the light of day (two words: Slim Shady), the downward spiral he suffered after, and what he found instead of rap glory.
Full of rollicking stories from his closebrush with fame, Karp's hilarious memoir is the ultimate fish-out-of-water story about a guy who follows an unlikely passion trying to crack the rap game despite what everyone else says. It's "30 Rock" for the rap set; "8 Mile" for the suburbs; and quite the journey for a white kid from the valley.


I'm Just a Person Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062266637
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press - June 14th, 2016

One of America's most original comedic voices delivers a darkly funny, wryly observed, and emotionally raw account of her year of death, cancer, and epiphany.

In the span of four months in 2012, Tig Notaro was hospitalized for a debilitating intestinal disease called C. diff, her mother unexpectedly died, she went through a breakup, and then she was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. Hit with this devastating barrage, Tig took her grief onstage. Days after receiving her cancer diagnosis, she broke new comedic ground, opening an unvarnished set with the words: Good evening. Hello. I have cancer. How are you? Hi, how are you? Is everybody having a good time? I have cancer. The set went viral instantly and was ultimately released as Tig's sophomore album, Live, which sold one hundred thousand units in just six weeks and was later nominated for a Grammy.

Now, the wildly popular star takes stock of that no good, very bad year a difficult yet astonishing period in which tragedy turned into absurdity and despair transformed into joy. An inspired combination of the deadpan silliness of her comedy and the open-hearted vulnerability that has emerged in the wake of that dire time, I'm Just a Person is a moving and often hilarious look at this very brave, very funny woman's journey into the darkness and her thrilling return from it.


The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism Cover Image
By Naoki Higashida, KA Yoshida (Translator), David Mitchell (Translator)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780812985153
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - March 22nd, 2016

Naoki Higashida was born in 1992 and was diagnosed with autism at the age of five. He graduated from high school in 2011 and lives in Kimitsu, Japan. He is an advocate, motivational speaker, and the author of several books of fiction and nonfiction.

KA Yoshida was born in Yamaguchi, Japan, majored in English poetry at Notre Dame Seishin University.

David Mitchell is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, " "Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, " "Number9Dream, " and "Ghostwritten."

KA Yoshida and David Mitchell live in Ireland with their two children."


American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062472106
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - August 16th, 2016

First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, lauded for its brilliant synthesis of mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose (Washington Post) and as a modern phantasmagoria that distills the essence of America (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is the story of Shadow released from prison just days after his wife and best friend are killed in an accident who gets recruited to be bodyguard, driver, and errand boy for the enigmatic trickster, Mr. Wednesday. So begins Shadow's dark and strange road trip, one that introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. For, beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing an epic war for the very soul of America and Shadow is standing squarely in its path.


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316013697
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Young Readers - April 2009

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.


Sick in the Head: Conversations about Life and Comedy Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812987287
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - May 31st, 2016

From the writer and director of Knocked Up and the producer of Freaks and Geeks comes a collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past thirty years including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Roseanne Barr, Harold Ramis, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham.
Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. At fifteen, he took a job washing dishes in a local comedy club just so he could watch endless stand-up for free. At sixteen, he was hosting a show for his local high school radio station in Syosset, Long Island a show that consisted of Q&As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. They talked about their careers, the science of a good joke, and their dreams of future glory (turns out, Shandling was interested in having his own TV show one day and Steve Allen had already invented everything).
Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd and he's still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do.

Sick in the Head gathers Apatow's most memorable and revealing conversations into one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career but his entire adult life. Here are the comedy legends who inspired and shaped him, from Mel Brooks to Steve Martin. Here are the contemporaries he grew up with in Hollywood, from Spike Jonze to Sarah Silverman. And here, finally, are the brightest stars in comedy today, many of whom Apatow has been fortunate to work with, from Seth Rogen to Amy Schumer. And along the way, something kind of magical happens: What started as a lifetime's worth of conversations about comedy becomes something else entirely. It becomes an exploration of creativity, ambition, neediness, generosity, spirituality, and the joy that comes from making people laugh.
Loaded with the kind of back-of-the-club stories that comics tell one another when no one else is watching, this fascinating, personal (and borderline-obsessive) book is Judd Apatow's gift to comedy nerds everywhere.