Stephanie's Picks

Stephanie has spent many happy years with books, first as an avid reader, then as an English major, a Library Assistant, and finally here at Village Books. You can often find her haunting the used book carts, trying to cherry pick all the best ones before anyone else gets to them.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage Cover Image
By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translator)
ISBN: 9780385352109
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - August 12th, 2014

The Magicians (Magicians Trilogy #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780452296299
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 25th, 2010

I'm a sucker for really great magical realism, and The Magicians (along with its sequel, The Magician King) is my absolute favorite. The books strongly echo classics such as The Chronicles of Narnia, His Dark Materials, and Harry Potter, while still maintaining an utterly distinct voice. At once more sophisticated and more crass than its predecessors, The Magician isn't just for fantasy lovers.

The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060786502
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - July 5th, 2005

This was the first Kingsolver I ever read, and it ruined me for her. I've been let down by the rest of her books, because none of them can compare. This isn't just Kingsolver's masterpiece, it's a masterpiece of modern literature.

The Road (Oprah's Book Club) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307387899
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 28th, 2007

If you love words and beautiful writing and don't mind being utterly devastated, this is the book for you. At its heart, it's about the length and depth of love between a father and son, love that endures in unimaginable circumstances.

Habibi (Pantheon Graphic Novels) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375424144
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon Books - September 20th, 2011

You will never read a more beautiful book than Habibi. Not just because it's a graphic novel with gorgeous illustrations and one of the most intricate, lush covers I've ever seen. But because no one uses words and pictures to tap into our deepest emotions better than Thompson. You'll be hungry to tear through the entire book, but at the same time guilty for rushing past the illustrations. His memoir, Blankets, is also a must-own.

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780064472272
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - April 11th, 2006

The entire Georgia Nicholson YA series by Rennison is fun, fluffy, and hilarious. I loved the endless wit and Briticisms. A lighter take on the old "coming of age" trope, and a hilarious one at that.

Watchmen Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780930289232
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: DC Comics - April 1st, 1995

If you've stayed away from this one because it's a "comic book," then shame on you. This is a renowned classic, considered a masterpiece of its genre, and for good reason.

The Things They Carried Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618706419
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - October 13th, 2009

I always preface my recommendations of this one with "I'm not normally a fan of war novels, but..." I first read an excerpt in a fiction writing class, and through the years I never forgot it. The books itself is decidedly postmodern, almost a collection of vignettes rather that a traditional novel. It's a meditation on the act of war and its ramifications for those participating, willing or not.

The Count of Monte Cristo (Penguin Classics) Cover Image
By Alexandre Dumas Pere, Robin Buss (Translator), Robin Buss (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780140449266
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 27th, 2003

Sometimes we all need a bit of swashbuckling adventure in our lives. As a reader who went through a heavy "classic literature" phase, this one emerged as one of my favorites. Though its sized might seem intimidating, the pages will absolutely fly by!

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena Cover Image
ISBN: 9780770436421
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hogarth Press - February 4th, 2014

This is an absolutely lovely, quiet, slow-burner. It will get under your skin and stay with you, bubbling up in your mind long after the pages are closed.

Just Kids Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060936228
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - November 2nd, 2010

All I knew about Patti Smith before picking up this book was that she sang and a poetry teacher I once had was enamored of her. The glowing reviews of her memoir intrigued me enough to give it a shot, and I was not disappointed. The story of her journey from penniless (and sometimes homeless) artist to a New York legend is truly astonishing.

No One Belongs Here More Than You Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743299411
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 1st, 2008

July's one and only short story collection, and in my opinion a great option for fans of Raymond Carver. Her stories are at times heartfelt, lonely, uncomfortable, and cutting.

Socks Cover Image
By Beverly Cleary, Tracy Dockray (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780380709267
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - April 14th, 2015

My very favorite book as a kid, I still own my 20+ year-old copy.

Geek Love (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375713347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - June 11th, 2002

A book about a bunch of freaks who, in the end, act very much like the rest of us. A darkly insightful book about the (perhaps not so pure) nature of familial love.

Cat Getting Out of a Bag: And Other Observations Cover Image
ISBN: 9780811858229
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books (CA) - April 1st, 2007

I've yet to show this to anyone, cat fan or not, who hasn't laughed out loud at this book, page after page. These are spot on, absurdly accurate sketches of the strange ways our furry friends behave.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316925280
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - February 2nd, 1998

This, or any David Foster Wallace non-fiction, will rearrange your brain. I even loved his essays on subjects like tennis and David Lynch, of which I had zero previous knowledge. And if you like this one check out Consider The Lobster, another of my DFW favorites.

The Witches Cover Image
By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780142410110
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - August 16th, 2007

Perhaps my predilection for creepiness began at a young age, because I was all about The Witches. I liked some of Dahl's other books as well, but this is the one that stuck with me most.