STAFF PICKS: Best Back To School Books!

Summer is over and the school year has begun! We asked our staff for their favorite BACK TO SCHOOL BOOK! Check them out here!


LYRIC'S PICK: CULTURE CLASS by Martha Rosler- Artist Martha Rosler looks critically at the intersections of art practice, labor, and capital in this influential essay collection from e-flux journal. This is essential reading for artists, thinkers, students, and anyone willing to engage thoughtfully with the world.

LAURA'S PICK: SPINNER OF DREAMS by K. A. Reynolds- This is the perfect middle grade book to sneak into your kid's backpack (and hey, maybe yours as well!). With her trademark spark of magic, mystery, and lyrical prose, Reynolds proves that young girls can face their demons - and they can win!

MARK'S PICK: WELCOME TO AMERICA by Linda Boström Knausgård- Though dark and brooding, there's something beautiful about this small, stunning novel from a celebrated Swedish writer. Quiet and insular, the story inhabits the inner mind of a young girl coming to terms with the death of her father. She has stopped talking and not a single word is spoken to another character in the book. Yet the moody, strange atmosphere of the story, as well as the honest thoughts of a child fighting to make sense of the world, is moving and a brilliant exercise in restraint. A very touching book for the fall and the gloom that often arrives when school begins again.

TRACI'S PICK: TRUE GRIT by Charles Portis- Going back to school can be tough. It can require a certain degree of bravery (I'm looking at you, teachers). I read TRUE GRIT when I need to feel brave. I read TRUE GRIT when I need Mattie Ross to remind me how strong I can be. Back to school also reminds me of my football coach father who loves westerns and taught me the meaning of grit. So in a way, I choose this for him. And for my English teacher mother who is as sharp and funny as this classic tale. I choose TRUE GRIT for all the teachers out there entering into the pit of snakes that is the long hours and low pay of the American education system. May you all be the Rooster Cogburn's of the wild west that is your classroom!

CASSIE'S PICK: THE DISASTERS by M.K. England- "The Breakfast Club" meets "Guardians of the Galaxy" in this sci-fi adventure. Our highly diverse group of academy washouts race against the clock to stop a terrorist group from decimating Earth's planetary settlements - and they just met! Queer rep with a genuinely laugh-out-loud narrator, this is a must read for any fan of sci-fi and comedy!

ÜLRIKA'S PICK: THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tart- A group of eccentric misfits bound under the influence of the classics professor at an elite New England college. Quickly they discover a new way of thinking and living, pushing the boundaries of normal morality in their lives that will never be the same again. A contemporary classic. 

JOY'S PICK: ALL THE IMPOSSIBLE THINGS by Lindsay Lackey- A grand, adventurous, fall middle grade read with heart and a strange and wonderful touch of magic realism, about a girl named Ruby as she navigates the foster care system. Perfect for anyone of any age who is struggling to find their place in the world.

KEATON'S PICKS: CONSIDER THE PLATYPUS: EVOLUTION THROUGH BIOLOGY'S MOST BAFFLING BEASTS by Maggie Ryan Sandford- Getting to know all of the astonishingly weird creatures with which we share this planet is the perfect way to kickstart your brain after a long summer lull. And a few laughs don't hurt either. From egg-laying mammalians that don't have nipples to "talking" birds with mysterious extra chromosomes, here's all the proof you need that life or god or whatever has a terrific sense of humor.

BLACK MOUNTAIN POEMS edited by Jonathan C. Creasy- If I could go to any school at any time, it would be the Black Mountain College that existed only from 1933-1956. It was a radical and fruitful experiment in education with students/faculty who had a profound effect on art and creativity throughout the 20th century. This anthology--including not only poems from famous and lesser known BMC alumni, but also photos, prose, and quotes from visitors and admirers of the college--is a testament to the power of a liberal education and the free-spirited love of learning. Available for preorder now.

Staff Pick Badge
Culture Class Cover Image
By Martha Rosler, Stephen Squibb (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781934105818
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Sternberg Press - September 6th, 2013

Staff Pick Badge
The Spinner of Dreams Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062673954
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - August 27th, 2019

Welcome to America Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781642860412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: World Editions - September 3rd, 2019

True Grit: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781590204597
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - November 5th, 2010

Staff Pick Badge
The Disasters Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062657671
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - December 18th, 2018

The Secret History (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781400031702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 13th, 2004

All the Impossible Things Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250202864
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - September 3rd, 2019

Consider the Platypus: Evolution through Biology's Most Baffling Beasts Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780316418393
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal - August 27th, 2019

Black Mountain Poems Cover Image
By Jonathan C. Creasy (Editor)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811228978
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - November 26th, 2019

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