Put together by Lília

Written by EmmaS, Bob, Isabelle, IrisM, Maria and Naomi.

In this Part 4 of our Staff Choices we again present titles chosen by ABC colleagues, and everyone has their own reasons for loving them. Read on to see what they are. You might even find one or two new titles for your TBR list!

The Story of Art Without Men – Katy Hessel

EmmaS: Absolutely delightful! It may look a little dense but I definitely went through this book much more smoothly than I anticipated. Introducing so many great artists that flew under the radar in the art historic canon the last few centuries. Revealing some of the creative ways in which women managed to practice art during times and places where they had little tools at their disposable. Had a lot of fun learning about many little hidden secrets tucked away in artworks as well. Like a miniature self portrait within the reflection of a vase in a still life.

Hell Followed with Us – Andrew Joseph White

Maria: A grim and gruesome post-apocalyptic tale with great LGBTQ+ representation. The ending did not go where I expected it to go and threw me way off. I love it when a book does that. An amazing debut from author Andrew Joseph White.

The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020 – Rachel Kushner

Bob: In The Hard Crowd, Rachel Kushner gathers a selection of her writing from over the course of the last twenty years that addresses the most pressing political, artistic, and cultural issues of our times – and illuminates the themes and real-life terrain that underpin her fiction.

Call Down the Hawk – Maggie Stiefvater

IrisM: Some books read like a roller coaster, others like a fairy tale. “Call Down the Hawk” reads like a dream.

I was hooked from the first, promising page and fortunately, the rest of the book delivered on that promise. It has an interesting premise, some beautiful language and diverse characters with their own voice.

Call Down the Hawk is the first installment of the Dreamer Trilogy. This series follows the Raven Cycle series, but it can be read separately.

Magic, Lies and Deadly Pies – Misha Popp

Naomi: When people say “don’t judge a book by its cover”, they are specifically talking about this book. What you expect: a cute, cozy mystery. What you get: magical realism, vigilante homicide, social commentary, feminism, casual queerness and found family.

The women of Daisy’s family have been capable of magic for generations. Her mother and grandmother performed gentle magic that helped people feel good. Daisy, however, can use her magic to bake pies that kill abusive men. She runs an underground pie-business that helps women who need to escape the terrible men in their lives. When a mysterious blackmailer threatens to expose her if she doesn’t use her magic to kill the women on his hit-list, Daisy must figure out who he is before her life is destroyed.

Despite the rather dark subject matter, the tone of the novel is lighthearted, filled with snarky humor and a lovable main character.

Also, don’t read this while hungry, you will crave pie. Of the non-poisonous variety.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin

Isabelle: It was incredibly refreshing to read a book that is all about the depth and value of platonic love and that it can be just as valuable and fulfilling as a romantic one. I loved how Zevin centers playfulness, both in the story itself and in her writing style.

I was worried that because I’m not much of a gamer myself that I would have trouble following along, but Zevin writes in a way that I could appreciate and understand the characters world and their fascinations. What really set this book apart for me was the chronic pain and disability representation, and particularly the mental tole this has on a person.