Lisa's Picks

Staff Pick Badge
How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America By Clint Smith Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316492928
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - December 27th, 2022

"How different might our country look if all of us fully understood what had happened here?" writes Clint Smith, and in "How the Word is Passed," he begins to help us do just that. From Thomas Jefferson's Monticello to the shores of Senegal, Smith looks at how the story of slavery is told and makes a compelling case for why the truth is important, not just to history, but to the here and now and the future. "The history of slavery is the history of the United States," writes Smith. With this book he offers a lifeline to help untangle and process that history. It could not come at a more critical time. I sincerely hope this book will be read and taught for generations to come. It is that important.


Pre-Order Now Badge
Endpapers By Jennifer Savran Kelly Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781643751849
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Algonquin Books - February 7th, 2023

Staff Pick Badge
Now Is Not the Time to Panic: A Novel By Kevin Wilson Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062913500
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - November 8th, 2022

"My Monticello" is this year's "The Secret Lives of Church Ladies" -- a story collection that bursts with exquisite sentences and complex humanity. Then the title novella grabs you with its urgency and does not let go.  Jocelyn Nicole Johnson is a force to be reckoned with. What a joy to discover this powerful debut.


Back in a Spell (The Witches of Thistle Grove #3) By Lana Harper Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593336106
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - January 3rd, 2023

The Marvellers By Dhonielle Clayton, Khadijah Khatib (Illustrator) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250174949
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - May 3rd, 2022

Staff Pick Badge
Arsenic and Adobo (A Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #1) By Mia P. Manansala Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593201671
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - May 4th, 2021

Mystery, romance, food, and family... what more could you ask for? This super fun read is the perfect antidote to whatever ails you.


To the Realization of Perfect Helplessness By Robin Coste Lewis Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781524732585
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - December 6th, 2022

All This Could Be Different: A Novel By Sarah Thankam Mathews Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593489123
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - August 2nd, 2022

My Monticello: Fiction By Jocelyn Nicole Johnson Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250848536
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holt Paperbacks - October 11th, 2022

James Baldwin said it all before and beautifully, and much of it is compiled in this volume. Read for understanding of the black experience in America, for insight into America in general, and for unrivalled language and poignancy.


Ten Thousand Saints: A Novel By Eleanor Henderson Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062021212
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - September 12th, 2017

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies By Deesha Philyaw Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781949199734
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: West Virginia University Press - September 1st, 2020

I'm not a huge fan of short stories, but I love a short story collection that flows like a novel, and this one does that and more. I love its complex characters, the contradictions in their lives, and how compassionately every life is rendered. 


Staff Pick Badge
The Prophets By Robert Jones, Jr. Cover Image
$27.00
Backordered or unavailable - Email or call for more information
ISBN: 9780593085684
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 5th, 2021

This one takes you places you may not want to go, places I certainly hadn't experienced in literature before, and it does so with so much beauty and compassion for its characters. A modern classic.


Staff Pick Badge
I Will Die in a Foreign Land By Kalani Pickhart Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781953387301
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Dollar Radio - May 10th, 2022

One of my top fiction titles of 2021! "I Will Die in a Foreign Land" reveals the back stories, motivations, and longings of four different individuals who come together during the Euromaidan protests in Kiev. This is a debut from a small press, so join me in celebrating it!


Nothing to See Here By Kevin Wilson Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062913494
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - September 1st, 2020

How does Kevin Wilson do what he does? He writes women characters with an honesty few to no other male writers ever have. And he delivers all of his characters with such love and tenderness for all of their oddities. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you believe in children who catch fire. I love this writer, and I love this book. 


Heads of the Colored People: Stories By Nafissa Thompson-Spires Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501168000
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: 37 Ink - January 22nd, 2019

Postcolonial Love Poem: Poems By Natalie Diaz Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450147
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - March 3rd, 2020

Good Night, Little Bookstore By Amy Cherrix, E. B. Goodale (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Amy Cherrix, E. B. Goodale (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781536212518
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - August 29th, 2022

Men We Reaped: A Memoir By Jesmyn Ward Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781608197651
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA - September 16th, 2014

Home Fire: A Novel By Kamila Shamsie Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780735217690
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - September 4th, 2018

Cleaning Nabokov's House: A Novel By Leslie Daniels Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781439195031
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Touchstone - March 13th, 2012

Set locally and by a local author, this is a funny, warm, and irreverent book that I think every Ithacan should read.


Days of Distraction: A Novel By Alexandra Chang Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062951793
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - February 16th, 2021

The Death of Vivek Oji: A Novel By Akwaeke Emezi Cover Image
$27.00
Backordered or unavailable - Email or call for more information
ISBN: 9780525541608
Published: Riverhead Books - August 4th, 2020

Recipe for Persuasion: A Novel (The Rajes Series #2) By Sonali Dev Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062839077
Availability: Available via Warehouse (7-10 Days)
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 26th, 2020

"Romanticals" as we like to call them here at BSB are hugely underrated. There are some amazing writers working in romance and Sonali Dev is one of them. I love to recommend series like her Rajes Series as satisfying, well-written escapist fun. Try some!


Take a Hint, Dani Brown: A Novel (The Brown Sisters #2) By Talia Hibbert Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062941237
Availability: Available via Warehouse (7-10 Days)
Published: Avon - June 23rd, 2020

Another great writer of romanticals, Talia Hibbert, whose Brown Sisters series is soul satisfying and great fun.


American Dreamer: An LGBTQ Romance (Dreamers #1) By Adriana Herrera Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781335469458
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Carina Trade - March 30th, 2021

This book and this author turned me on to how powerful romance can be. I always recommend this LGBTQ+ romance set in Ithaca. It gets spicy, in more ways than one!


Deaf Republic: Poems By Ilya Kaminsky Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555978310
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - March 5th, 2019

But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women's Studies By Hull (Editor), Patricia Bell-Scott (Editor), Barbara Smith (Editor) Cover Image
By Hull (Editor), Patricia Bell-Scott (Editor), Barbara Smith (Editor)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781558618985
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feminist Press - September 1st, 2015

This book was hugely influential on me as a college student in the early 80s, minoring in women's studies, and trying to read everything by black women writers I could find. It opened up a world to me, and I've happily stayed as engaged as possible with that world ever since.


Flight Behavior: A Novel By Barbara Kingsolver Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780062124272
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - June 4th, 2013

This is another author I suggest you read everything she's ever written, but I've chosen to highlight "Flight Behavior" here because I loved it, and I don't think as many people have read it. Like many of Kingsolver's books it contemplates how humans interact with nature, as well as focusing in on one character's period of challenge and growth. 


Zami: A New Spelling of My Name: A Biomythography By Audre Lorde Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780895941220
Availability: Available via Warehouse (7-10 Days)
Published: Crossing Press - January 1st, 1982

Staff Pick Badge
Ask Again, Yes: A Novel By Mary Beth Keane Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982106997
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - May 5th, 2020

I am a fan of Mary Beth Keane. I think I've read and loved everything she's ever written. And, yes, I did hunt her down at American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute and force her to take a selfie with me. This book is a satisfying slice of America, touching on policing, gun culture, and complex family relationships. Read everything by Mary Beth Keane.