Grace Recommends!

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The Death of Jane Lawrence: A Novel By Caitlin Starling Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250769589
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Published: St. Martin's Griffin - October 4th, 2022

I was pretty sure I knew what I was getting into when I picked this book up. It turns out I did not. I’ve been on a Gothic romance tear as of late, with the leaves changing and crisp breezes beginning to convince fallen ones into swirling eddies on the sidewalks. I figured this would be a standard newlywed-gets-stranded-at-spooky-mansion type situation, and I was stoked. I’d recently finished Mexican Gothic (another fantastic fungus-based book, if you’re keeping up on our recommends lore – I’ve been haunted by fungus since reading T. Kingfisher’s What Moves the Dead) and I was in the mood for an isolated house, a morally ambiguous and kind of shady love interest, and things that go bump in the night.

But, dear reader, The Death of Jane Lawrence was not what I expected. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Shirley Jackson wrote an episode of Doctor Who? This gem of a novel is the answer to that question (which you likely didn’t know you needed!). Once I’d read the first page, I was hooked and, as is the mark of a truly immersive experience, barely noticed the light in my living room getting slowly lower and lower, until it was officially too dark to read without turning on a light. I can’t emphasize enough how I couldn’t have predicted – in any way, shape, or form – where this novel was going, or the ways it would take to get there. Set in a fictionalized post-war England, Jane Shoringfield views marriage purely logically, and enters into an agreement with a local doctor to wed and be married in name only. This, of course, goes off the rails entirely when Jane finds herself stranded at the doorstep of her husband’s crumbling old mansion on their wedding night – a place she has been forbidden ever to visit. It’s a mess! It’s a marriage of convenience! They’re all doing cocaine, including (spoiler alert) the ghosts! What more could you need! Starling merges Gothic romance, mathematic theory, and science fiction in a way that makes me want David Tennant to show up halfway through, sonic screwdriver in hand.

—Grace, Longfellow Books


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The Magicians: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy #1) By Lev Grossman Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780452296299
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Published: Penguin Books - May 25th, 2010

OH BABY. I’ve been needing this, you guys. I’ve been reading a lot of introspective novels, memoirs, essays – things that are lovely, but definitely low on thrilling duels, magical beasts, et cetera et cetera. And oh, does this trilogy deliver. There is a TV show, which I haven’t seen and am choosing to disregard.
    Quentin Coldwater is bored. He’s a seventeen year old genius who’s on the verge of matriculating at Princeton when he suddenly finds himself in an unexplainable exam room on an unfamiliar campus, taking an exam he has no idea how to complete. What follows is his introduction into the magical world of Brakebills, and the chaos and trials that come with putting hundreds of magically talented teenagers in one place. This first book is pretty slow – most of it is concerned with Quentin’s journey through his five years at Brakebills – but once the action starts, it’s pretty non-stop. The characters are beautifully written and engaging, and the relationships between them are gut-wrenching, volatile, and achingly teenaged. I always say this, but once I’d picked this guy up I was so hard-pressed to put it down – I tripped on the sidewalk a fair amount of times because I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going (on reading that sentence again, maybe I shouldn’t walk and read at the same time? perhaps am a menace to polite society). I bought the second one yesterday and am breathlessly awaiting my next day off so I can curl up and do nothing but explore Fillory with Quentin (I have a date on my next day off but I’m on the verge of cancelling it so I can read instead).

—Grace, Longfellow Books

Edit: Reader, I should have cancelled the date. 
 


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What Moves the Dead By T. Kingfisher Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250830753
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Published: Tor Nightfire - July 12th, 2022


As we move into the spooky season, I find myself looking for creepy Gothic nausea-inducing stories (think Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in The Castle, Carmilla) and lo, Sara of the killer recommendations came through for me. “Do you like body horror stuff?” she asked, and my answer was of course a resounding “duh.” Thus I was handed What Moves the Dead, a slim retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story “The Fall of the House of Usher.” I will issue a warning here and say that if you are squeamish at all, this may not be the book for you. I loved this book, however, and devoured it with my morning coffee (it’s only 130 pages!) It’s a joyfully eerie October read, and will check all your Gothic boxes.

—Grace, Longfellow Books


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The Song of Achilles: A Novel By Madeline Miller Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062060624
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Published: Ecco - August 28th, 2012

I was fifteen when I read this book for the first time and I’m pretty sure it changed my brain chemistry. I’m sure you’ve heard about how sad this book is, but the most defining factor for me is how beautiful the writing is – Miller is by trade a professor of Latin and Greek, and as a result her prose is lyrical and reminiscent of ancient Greek poets. The story of Achilles is one that we are all at least somewhat familiar with – whether intimately or peripherally, you’ve heard his name before – and many of us know the ending quite well. It is a story, then, that requires a decent amount of trust to begin: trust that Miller will reinvent the story enough to make it interesting, while remaining true to the version we know; trust that the conclusion will pay off enough to justify the heartache we feel on finishing (I, fifteen and inherently dramatic, flung the book across the room when I finished the last page). 
    And Miller kills it! Whatever trust you’ve placed in her, she fulfills – the narrative follows Patroclus as a boy, exiled from his kingdom for killing a boy and placed in the care of King Priam, whose son Achilles is the pinnacle of easy boyhood, which Patroclus idolizes. As Patroclus grows up, he and Achilles become closer, eventually becoming lovers, and the story follows their journey through adolescence as Achilles tries to dodge a prophecy handed down to him by the gods. The way in which Miller writes the relationship between these two characters is so delicate and intimate that it almost feels intrusive to read, to witness – there is a sweetness and a privacy between these pages that’s unmatched by anything I’ve read since.
    The Song of Achilles is a book that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it. I reread it often, to remind myself that it is good, and human, to love and to lose. Though a relatively quick read, Miller’s debut is something so lovely that it feels sweet and ephemeral, like honey on the tongue.

—Grace, Longfellow Books


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A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel (Shades of Magic #1) By V. E. Schwab Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780765376466
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Published: Tor Books - January 19th, 2016


It’s been a hot minute since I’ve become feral over a fantasy series. As a teenager I loved Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series, and have recently been feeling the pull of a fictionalized, magical London (ideally in the height of its sooty, industrial Sweeny Todd-esque deliciousness) and my coworker Sara suggested this V.E. Schwab series. I was hesitant (didn’t love Addie LaRue) but as soon as I picked up A Darker Shade of Magic, I was hooked. These books are the perfect amount of fantasy without feeling silly, dipping between Grey London (ours!) and other, parallel Londons, which have the advantage of magic. Our players are Kell, a magician from Red London who is capable of stepping between worlds and as a result plays messenger to the royal families of each world, and Lila, a pickpocket from Grey London who steals from the wrong mark and finds herself embroiled in something she doesn’t fully understand, but which may be a piece of her own history.
    Usually I can set a normal pace through a book, reading on my lunch breaks or on long bus rides, but with this series it’s become more and more common for my roommate to find me with book in hand, reading feverishly until I get to the next moment of romantic tension or worldbuilding genius. One notable instance found me mid-stew simmer, curled up on the floor of my kitchen between the radiator and the cabinet. I’ve had to resort to leaving this book (I’m on the last one!) at home when I go to work for fear I’ll finish it too fast, and be left alone in my living room without any of Lila and Kell’s adventures left to look forward to and a weird, sad book hangover – but I’m consistently torn between reading it slowly to savor my time with these characters, and the impulse to tear through it, to make it through to the end to make sure everyone is alright. 


—Grace, Longfellow Books


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The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial By Maggie Nelson Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977368
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Published: Graywolf Press - April 5th, 2016

I have no idea how to define Maggie Nelson as a writer. Each of her books is thematically diverse and overwhelmingly unique, but The Red Parts feels like an intimate conversation with the author. In 2005, Nelson published Jane: A Murder, a book of poetry about the 1969 murder of her mother’s sister, which was believed to be one of a string of murders committed by John Norman Collins. As she waited for this book to be published, she received a call from a detective: a new suspect had been identified through DNA evidence – not Collins, who was serving a life sentence for “the Michigan Murders,” as they were known, but a 62-year-old nurse named Gary Leiterman. What follows is Nelson’s experience of the pre-trial hearings and the trial itself, as well as her process of writing Jane and the impacts of her aunt’s murder on her childhood, though it took place four years before her birth. 
    This is not a true crime book, though it does concern a crime and a trial which truly happened. It defies classification – if pressed, I would say that it is an author’s attempt to make sense of an event which has become a generational trauma, to alleviate the fresh grief and pain that came with the reopening of the case. Throughout the book, Nelson grapples with our cultural fascination with true crime and its lascivious nature, actively fighting the impulse to sensationalize her aunt’s murder. But ultimately Nelson’s goal seems to be to leave this generational trauma behind her, to put a period at the end of her family’s heartbreak. 
   “I know what I want is impossible. If I can make my language flat enough, exact enough, if I can rinse each sentence clean enough, like washing a stone over and over again in river water, if I can find the right perch or crevice from which to record everything, if I can give myself enough white space, maybe I could do it. I could tell you this story while walking out of this story. It could — it all could — just disappear.”

—Grace, Longfellow Books


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Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe By Serhii Plokhy Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781541617070
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Published: Basic Books - March 10th, 2020

      A few weeks ago on a coworker’s recommendation, I watched the first episode of HBO’s eponymous miniseries and by the 30-minute mark was completely enthralled. I could feel it happening – the weird, middle-school crush feeling I get when a historical event hooks its claws into my brain and which doesn’t go away until I’ve learned everything I can about it. My heart pounded thinking about those men staring into the heart of a nuclear reactor, a sight no human should ever see. Most of the plant workers and firemen died within weeks, their cellular structures destroyed by incomprehensible amounts of radiation. Naturally, I had to find a book about the whole thing.    
    Serhii Plokhy is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky professor of Ukrainian history at Harvard. He opens the book with an anecdote about his visit to the Chernobyl exclusion zone, where signs advertising meat and dairy still hang in the supermarket, despite the Soviet Union’s lack of resources at the time. Throughout the book, which reads like a thriller timed down to the second, Plokhy reiterates the necessity of efficiency in Soviet Ukraine: the construction of the Chernobyl was poorly executed, a rush job to fill quotas, which would satisfy party leaders. This is a thread that Plohky traces through each chapter: the failings of the political system which placed emphasis and value on quick results rather than safe ones: the safety test which ultimately led to Chernobyl’s fourth reactor exploding was performed by a 25-year-old who had four months’ job experience, and had been handed the folder of instructions less than half an hour before the test was meant to begin. Plokhy explores the factors which contributed to the world’s greatest nuclear disaster, and details thoroughly the effect Chernobyl would go on to have, not only on the neighboring city of Pripyat and the lives of the men involved, but on the Soviet Union as a whole. 
    I keep reading this on my lunch breaks and then coming back upstairs and being really annoying to my coworkers: “You guys, Chernobyl was crazy! Did you know about this?”


—Grace, Longfellow Books


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The Unreality of Memory: And Other Essays By Elisa Gabbert Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780374538347
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Published: FSG Originals - August 11th, 2020

     Elisa Gabbert won’t stop blowing my mind. Her essays – short by some standards, but intensely well-researched and compulsively readable – are so information-packed that I’ve been having trouble sitting with this book for more than a few pages at a time. I find myself finishing a particularly hefty section and going back over it a couple more times, just to absorb the dense gravity of information Gabbert has managed to condense into just a couple of paragraphs. I’ve read her essay on nuclear disaster, “Doomsday Pattern,” probably four times at this point, underlining feverishly and scribbling notes in the margins. If you’ve read my other recommends throughout the store (OMG hi, welcome back, so nice to meet a fan), you’ll know I’ve gone down a Chernobyl rabbit hole, and as a result was floored by Gabbert’s ability to not only present facets of this disaster that I hadn’t heard before, but to examine the long-term effects – not politically, but on the general psyche of the population, as well as unraveling the effects of Hiroshima and the Rocky Flats plant in Colorado, which made plutonium triggers for nuclear bombs. Gabbert explores the concept of hibakusha, a Japanese word that means bomb-affected person, rather than survivor, which has been perceived as a slight towards those who did not survive Hiroshima. 
    Beyond nuclear radiation, Gabbert’s essays cover a wide range of topics: anesthesia, memory loss, witches, hysteria, the news, compassion fatigue (!!!!), and chronic fatigue, to name a few. These essays taken as a collective are cohesive and smart, and individually are deeply impactful, opening up new areas for research and leaving the reader feeling breathless, as though you’ve run a short distance up a treacherous hill. 
    This book caught me off guard, and surprises me anew each time I turn a page. There is hardly a page in here without a particularly impactful phrase underlines and annotated with a quick !!!!!!! to remind myself to go back later and feel the same heartache I felt upon my first read.


—Grace, Longfellow Books


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Coraline By Neil Gaiman Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780063088238
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Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - September 21st, 2021

Neil Gaiman’s young characters are whip-smart, bored, and endlessly disappointed in the adults around them for their complete lack of imagination. Coraline in particular is tired of her parents’ unending focus on their gardening magazine, especially when they’ve just moved into a boring new house. But Coraline is perhaps too clever for her own good – she discovers a secret passage in her new house, leading to an alternate version of her own reality, with better food, more attentive parents, a cat that can talk. It’s a dream come true! As Coraline explores, however, she discovers a sinister side to this new utopia, and must decide whether this excitement is worth giving up everything she knows.

            As an adult reader, this book scares me more than anything Stephen King has ever written. When I was a kid, though, it was one of my favorite books, and held no fear for me. I saw myself in Coraline’s unending curiosity, and I also saw what I as a child wanted to be: fearless, headstrong, bold. I also wanted the talking cat. Even now that I’ve grown up and out of my childhood home (full of secret passages, I might add), I return to Coraline in moments when I need her fearlessness, and also when I want to feel creepy and Halloweeny. A staple of childhood Octobers – best accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate and a cozy sweater.

Grace, Longfellow Books


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The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Book 1) By Maggie Stiefvater Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780545424936
Availability: Not in stock, usually ships to store in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - July 30th, 2013

Blue Sargent is the only non-psychic in a family full of female psychics. None of them can agree on any future, but the one thing they can agree on is this: if Blue Sargent kisses her true love, he will die. This isn’t a problem until St Mark’s Eve, a night when the ghosts of next year’s dead reveal themselves, and she comes face to face with a boy her own age. The only reasons a non-psychic could see a ghost on St Mark’s Eve are these: either the ghost is your true love, or you killed him.

            So you see Blue’s problem.

            The story that follows is full of sleeping Welsh kings, psychic horrors, murder, and dark-academia-in-West-Virginia aesthetics. Stiefvater’s teenage characters are blisteringly sarcastic, with skinned knees and mommy issues – nobody here is angelic, unless of course you’re talking about Adam Parrish, who can do little wrong. The intensity of the friendship between this group of teenagers brings me back to my own high school friendships; the way we clung to each other in our insulated little town, as though we were all there was or ever would be.

Grace, Longfellow Books


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The Haunting of Hill House By Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143039983
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Published: Penguin Classics - November 28th, 2006

I don’t even remember why I picked this book up in the first place, but I’m so glad that I did. I tore through this masterpiece in about five hours at my college desk job, and found myself deeply stuck in Hill House for days afterward, unable to think about anything else. Jackson’s prose is simple and yet makes your skin crawl, and the haunts of Hill House barely have to show themselves for you to be thoroughly uncomfortable reading in the dark.

The story follows a scientific investigation into Hill House led by paranormal scientist Doctor Montgomery, who has compiled a small team of people with psychic experiences. The narrative takes influence from traditional Gothic haunted house tales and, much like her predecessors, Jackson weaves a horror story that doesn’t so much terrify as it does inspire the reader to scare themselves. Unlike classic haunted houses, however, Hill House is not inhabited by a malevolent spirit – the bones of the house itself seem to be evil, malignant, diseased.

This remains one of my favorite books to reread, especially when the weather is dark and spooky. Nothing quite compares to the thrill of reading those first few words and knowing that, for better or worse, you’ve entered Hill House. You’ve put your trust in Shirley Jackson – and now she is going to tell you a story.

Grace, Longfellow Books


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Just Kids By Patti Smith Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060936228
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Published: Ecco - November 2nd, 2010

A classic for a reason! As someone who studied art history in college and has always been a little pretentious (to my own detriment), I’m very familiar with Robert Mapplethorpe’s work, and Patti Smith’s music was the soundtrack to my teenage angst, so the interiority depicted in this gorgeous memoir felt like catching up with old friends – learning about their childhoods, where and how they met, the heartbreaks and successes. Smith is such a talented writer, and the portrait she paints of late 1960s and ‘70s New York City, infested with roaches and lice and yet somehow sparkling with promise and innovation, grabs you by the sheepskin vest and doesn’t let you go.

 

            Studded with cameos of everyone’s favorite ‘70s icons (Jimi Hendrix comforts our narrator in a stairwell! The Velvet Underground eats in the same restaurant as Patti and Robert! Our guys get invited into Andy Warhol’s circle!), this book dragged me out of a months-long reading slump. Smith’s writing feels deeply intimate – almost conspiratorial, as though the two of you are talking in hushed tones late into the night over glasses of cheap wine and a cigarette. Her relationship with Robert is the subject of much of the book as it shifts, but whether romantic, platonic, or collaborative, the reader is always sharply aware of some kind of specialness to it, a quality that makes the existence of this relationship vital and generative for both participants. If you don’t believe in soulmates, give this book a shot – by the end, you might just change your mind.

Grace, Longfellow Books


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I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer By Michelle McNamara, Gillian Flynn (Introduction by), Patton Oswalt (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Michelle McNamara, Gillian Flynn (Introduction by), Patton Oswalt (Afterword by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062319791
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Published: Harper Perennial - February 26th, 2019

    Do you remember what you were doing on April 24, 2018? I had just woken up in my sophomore year dorm when I got a call from a friend – they caught the Golden State Killer. One of the most enduring cold cases of the 20th century had been solved due to DNA evidence, and the killer brought to justice – but it was bittersweet, for those of us familiar with Michelle McNamara’s work. She was a true crime writer who died suddenly in 2016, in the midst of writing a cohesive account of one of the nation’s most prolific serial offenders, while also documenting her own personal obsession with the case. She had been researching his crimes for years – she coined the “Golden State Killer” moniker on her blog, TrueCrimeDiary – and had thus become one of the foremost non-police authorities on the man who had plagued Northern California for years. Much of this book was finished when Michelle died unexpectedly, and the rest was finished in a joint effort between her husband, her lead researcher, and a friend who is an investigative journalist. 
    Reading this book after Joseph DeAngelo was arrested in 2018 gave me a whole new perspective on the case. Though it’s heartbreaking that Michelle spent so much time hurtling towards a conclusion she would never see realized, the outcome is nonetheless a relief: so few cold cases are solved years later, especially one with such scope and terror as this. It is something of a gift that, though bittersweet, Michelle’s research contributed massively to the solving of this case, and brought it to the fore of the cultural true crime zeitgeist. This book has also recently been adapted into a documentary available on HBOMax, and features interviews not only from Michelle’s friends and family, but people directly affected by the case. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark demands to be finished in one sitting; each page is more frightening and well-researched than the last, forcing you to understand McNamara’s obsession with the shadowy figure of a murderer, blotted throughout Northern California’s darkest nights.


—Grace, Longfellow Books


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The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel By Neil Gaiman Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063070707
Availability: Not in stock, usually ships to store in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 18th, 2021

How much do you remember of your childhood? Do you remember the people who lived around you, the dysfunctions of your family, the brief but terrifying expeditions into other worlds? Our unnamed narrator doesn’t – until, deeply into middle age, he attends a funeral and finds himself following a long, winding lane back to the place he grew up, where his childhood home has been turned into prefab houses. The farm next door, however, remains, and upon entering the house looking for an old friend, our narrator is plunged into the past, into memories that have remained hidden for the entirety of his adult life.

This perfect little fairytale is pretty short, clocking in at just under 200 pages, but is powerful for its size. Gaiman perfectly encapsulates the overwhelming nature of childhood: wiser and more intuitive than the adults surrounding you, and yet in no position to do anything about it. It’s a completely different kind of story, melding the wonders of ancient folk tales and scientific myth. I read this book every October to ring in the soft misty autumns I crave, imagining myself alongside Lettie Hempstock and our narrator as they battle an interdimensional entity determined to shred its way into our reality. Every October I am newly enamored with Gaiman’s grasp of language (and his mouthwatering descriptions of farm-fresh dinners!); he builds a world that feels soft-edged, sleepy, and nostalgic, like a film photo of your childhood home, taken in the hazy hours before the day begins.

Grace, Longfellow Books


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The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking Inside Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy By Ann Rule Cover Image
$17.99
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781501139147
Published: Gallery Books - November 6th, 2018

            I listen to true crime podcasts every day. I was fairly certain I had a handle on the Ted Bundy story, and we all know the mythos: a whip-smart mastermind who manipulated women and outsmarted cops alike, whose victims resembled (for the most part) the woman who turned down his marriage proposal. Here are some of the things I did not know about Ted Bundy, in no particular order: his grandfather was also his father (ew). He liked Chablis. And on the weekends, he volunteered at a suicide prevention hotline, where he sat in the cubicle next to one ex-policewoman named Ann Rule.

            Rule and Bundy not only knew each other – they were friends; he walked her to her car at night. She used to say if she were 10 years younger, or if her daughters were 15 years older, he would have been the perfect man. As a result, Rule’s portrayal of Bundy is one of the most multifaceted and complex portraits of a modern serial killer I’ve ever read. Rule’s examination of the quintessential sociopath and his trial is a nail-biter and a must-read for any true crime fans. But read it with the light on and the door locked – how well do you really know your cute next-door neighbor?

Grace, Longfellow Books


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The Secret History (Vintage Contemporaries) By Donna Tartt Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781400031702
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Published: Vintage - April 13th, 2004

This is it. This is the book for me – my all-time, ultimate, one-hundred-percent favorite book. I have bought multiple copies of this book at thrift stores with the sole intention of keeping a stash in case someone, somewhere, displays any modicum of interest in reading it. I love to be the guy that’s like “this is my favorite book! Here, don’t worry about buying it – I have an extra copy!” It is my MOVE – every single time I’ve wanted to date someone I’ve given them a copy of this book and EVERY TIME those have become long-term relationships. I am not kidding when I say this is my favorite book.

 

            The book that began the Dark Academia craze, Donna Tartt’s first novel follows a group of Greek students who are arguably too invested in their studies. There’s really no way to talk about the plot of this book without giving too much away so I will just say: it is about the vibes, my friend. A small liberal arts college in Vermont; a fanatical group of classics students following a charismatic teacher; a murder. For those who read and loved The Goldfinch, this is a sure hit: you’ll recognize the main character’s mid-narrative drug-assisted mental spiral, characteristic of Tartt’s work. It’s a book full of anti-heroes, grey morality, and the most beautiful prose you’ve come across in a long time. Crime! Moral crises! Snobbery! Drug abuse! A lot of very in-depth knowledge on very niche topics! What more could you need?

Grace, Longfellow Books


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Little Weirds By Jenny Slate Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316485364
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Published: Back Bay Books - November 24th, 2020

            When I picked up this book, I was thinking of a Jenny Slate quote from her comedy special Stage Fright that stuck with me – tearing up and preparing to take the stage, she says “I don’t deserve the love unless something beautiful goes out”. Jenny Slate has always, whether in 240 characters on Twitter or an hour-long special, been able to verbalize experiences I have previously felt alone in experiencing, and completely unable to describe. When I bought Little Weirds, I was expecting it to be full of that same recognition – things I could point to and say yes, I have felt this, yes, my heart has hurt this way, yes, we are the same. I have never been more correct about a book before reading the first page.

 

            Slate’s writing is full of an authenticity that is beyond palpable. This book is a collection of short essays, some of which are entirely fantastical and some of which are directly related to Slate’s own experiences. I cried multiple times reading this book, both because I saw myself in it and because Slate is a wonderful storyteller. Whether you’re familiar with her from her work as Marcel the Shell (with shoes on), Mona Lisa Saperstein from Parks and Recreation, or her excellent tweets, Jenny Slate is a heartfelt force to be reckoned with, and Little Weirds will keep you laughing, even through your tears.

Grace, Longfellow Books