Annie Bloom's Staff Picks

By Annie Bloom's Books

By Annie Bloom's Books

The Woman in the Purple Skirt

Natsuko Imamura

$23.00 $21.16

Hollow

Brian Catling

$17.00 $15.64

Rabbits

Terry Miles

$28.00 $25.76

The Lost Apothecary

Sarah Penner

$27.99 $25.75

All the Devils Are Here

Louise Penny

$17.99 $16.55

Blacktop Wasteland

S. a. Cosby

$16.99 $15.63

Black Sun

Rebecca Roanhorse

$16.99 $15.63

Homeland Elegies

Ayad Akhtar

$16.99 $15.63

Whereabouts

Jhumpa Lahiri

$24.00 $22.08

Apeirogon: A Novel

Colum McCann

$18.00 $16.56

The Silent Patient

Alex Michaelides

$17.99 $16.55

A Deadly Education

Naomi Novik

$17.00 $15.64

Squeeze Me

Carl Hiaasen

$16.95 $15.59

The Law of Innocence

Michael Connelly

$16.99 $15.63

Hamnet

Maggie O'Farrell

$16.95 $15.59

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

Michelle Zauner

$26.95 $24.79

Utopia Avenue

David Mitchell

$18.00 $16.56

Fair Warning

Michael Connelly

$16.99 $15.63

The Night Always Comes

Willy Vlautin

$26.99 $24.83

I was deeply moved by The Night Always Comes, Willy Vlautin's novel about two days in the life of a person on the brink. Lynette is in her early thirties and lives with her mother and her developmentally disabled brother. She's been working three jobs so that she and her mom can buy their ramshackle house in Portland, Oregon. But, when her mom threatens to back out of the deal, Lynette spends one desperate night driving all over town, trying to collect the money owed to her by friends and clients. At every turn, people lie to her. They throw her troubled past in her face. They threaten to kill her. Vlautin's Hemingway-esque prose keeps the pages turning, as did my great sympathy for Lynette. She's had such a hard life and is trying her best to build a better future. This is also a story about how gentrification in Portland has pushed longtime residents to the margins. The odds are heavily stacked against Lynette. I rooted for her throughout every heart-pounding page of The Night Always Comes, and so will you. — Michael

Where the Crawdads Sing

Delia Owens

$18.00 $16.56

Simon the Fiddler

Paulette Jiles

$16.99 $15.63

Fans of Paulette Jiles will not be disappointed in her latest book, Simon the Fiddler. Set in the same post-Civil War Texas as her popular News of the World, Jiles takes you on a journey fraught with the uncertainty and danger of a divided state in the early stages of reconstruction. Simon Boudlin has managed to dodge the Confederate conscription men until late in the war. After all, a fiddler is more valuable than a soldier. Simon escapes harsh treatment from his Union victors after the brutal and unnecessary Battle of Los Palmitos by forming a band of ragtag musicians to play at a reconciliation dinner. There Simon lays eyes on Doris, a young Irish immigrant who is working off her 3-year indenture as the governess for a Union colonel with a bad temper, a huge ego, and a salacious eye. From Galveston to Houston to San Antonio, Simon doggedly makes his way across Texas to claim the woman he's already decided should share his new life with him. — Carol

The Dharma of Poetry: How Poems Can Deepen Your Spiritual Practice and Open You to Joy

John Brehm

$15.95 $14.67

This is the book I needed when I first knew I wanted to engage with poetry but had no idea how to find a way in. It leads you through a small selection of excellent poems, illuminating them with a contemplative focus in a Buddhist context. The reader is gently encouraged just to slow down when reading a poem and, for instance, allow it to induce a way of being rooted in connectedness rather than separability, then to carry the insights from such a reading into our lives. The same leap from literature to life occurs when we pay attention to poems that sharpen our ability to pay attention, to poems that demonstrate extraordinary compassion, to poems that invite self-forgetfulness. Brehm shows how poetry is not just the conveyance of information but a guide to vaulting over the limits of thought; how, when read with the right “quality of awareness,” it can be experienced as a vehicle for transcendence rather than being mistaken for a collection of clever descriptions. He shows the way in to poetry is to notice what you enjoy about a poem rather than giving in to the temptation to analyze, “to live in the field of its imaginative energy for a time, to appreciate and experience it rather than think about it.” Short contemplative exercises are also included to complement the meditative readings of the poems. Although perfect as a standalone volume, the book is a great companion to Brehm’s earlier anthology, The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy. –Andy

Deacon King Kong

James McBride

$17.00 $15.64

Bezoar: And Other Unsettling Stories

Guadalupe Nettel

$15.95 $14.67

Nettel's latest story collection is as deeply satisfying as it is unsettling. These carefully wrought stories are fraught with a mesmerizing tension and filled with strange and occasionally disturbing situations that have an air of familiarity. Nettel is the master of the uncanny and at making the reader feel content in being uncomfortable. The stories may be brief, but they leave a long-lasting impression. — Erin

Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between

Eric Nusbaum

$17.99 $16.55

If there is anything to be learned from the negotiations of baseball's current shortened season, it's that––as beautiful as the game is and as talented as the players are––the aligned business interests of baseball franchise owners are always in the background performing callous acts of greed. Nusbaum tells the story of the building of the Los Angeles Dodgers' ballpark, which eliminated three neighborhoods, through the story of Mexican immigrant Abrana Arechiga, who fought the eviction which took away her home in order to complete a stadium parking lot. This fascinating history touches on topics as early as Santa Anna and the Mexican-American War, some false myths of the baseball’s origin, the history of bubble gum, the harsh discrimination of Southwest mining towns of the early 20th Century, and the Zoot Suit assaults. Eventually, Cabral's neighborhood was planned for an expanded utopian housing project in the rapidly growing city, but that was brutally squashed with 1950’s red-baiting tactics and the area was then cleared, by force in the end, to make way for one of baseball’s most celebrated parks. Stealing Home is an exceptionally American story of entrenched, moneyed interests crushing immigrants and activists in their wake. — Will

Long Bright River

Liz Moore

$17.00 $15.64

The Authenticity Project

Clare Pooley

$17.00 $15.64

"Everyone lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth instead?" Julian Jessop, age 79—or is that really his age?—is lonely. He writes his story in an exercise book and purposely leaves it behind in a café. The owner picks it up, reads it, and decides to add her own story and leave it in a neighboring wine bar for someone else to find. The book passes through several hands and several life stories before coming full circle. Interesting premise. One thing leads to another in most unexpected ways. While this story is not a serious psychological study, I found myself thinking philosophically. What is a lie? The absence of truth? Partial truth? White lie? Lies you tell yourself? Tell others? This is a fun and satisfying read. Each character is unique. All have different lifestyles and stories to tell. The reader is kept wondering where the exercise book will land next. But one thing is certain. By being authentic and taking a chance, you just never know where life will lead you, often in most surprising and satisfying ways. — Sandy

The Cactus League

Emily Nemens

$17.00 $15.64

Nemens is equally skilled at conjuring the spirit of baseball as she is her cast of characters, all of whose lives pivot around star player Jason Goodyear's troubled spring training campaign. A lively, warm, and probing novel, The Cactus League is a boon for those of who love baseball and well-crafted literary fiction. — Michael

A Children's Bible

Lydia Millet

$15.95 $14.67

One day, if 21st Century America is excavated for clues to its decline, analysts will find that much of their work has been explained for them––if they are lucky enough to find Lydia Millet’s scathing novel as an artifact of this era. A large summer gathering of families leads to a generational divide in which the children seek to live entirely separate from their parents and deny their relationship to them. The parents' hedonistic holiday in the face of ignored climate change and nature itself lays bare their own decadence and complacency; yet the crisis is existential to the children who try to navigate a world ravaged by weather events, felled by a virus (not airborne!), and endangered by an unraveled society turned both cruel and violent. This wonderfully devastating novel is filled with dark humor while also exploring human frailty as well as art, science, and invention in hard times. — Will

Infinite Country

Patricia Engel

$25.00 $23.00

Infinite Country begins with a bang: we ride shot-gun to fifteen year old Talia's escape from a correctional facility and race with her across Colombia to reach her father, Mauro. Beginning with the choice that put Talia in the facility, it becomes clear early that the core of this book is choices: those borne from desperation, desire, youth, and hope. Each decision that Talia’s family makes pulls them apart and knits them together again across Colombian and American borders. Infinite Country is poignant and Engel uses lush descriptions mixed with Colombian mythology and history to bring these characters to life. By the end we can understand the justifications behind the worst and hardest of their decisions. This book will make your heart ache and will stay with you long after reading. — Mal

Sharks in the Time of Saviors

Kawai Strong Washburn

$17.00 $15.64

A Single Thread

Tracy Chevalier

$17.00 $15.64

Underland: A Deep Time Journey

Robert MacFarlane

$17.95 $16.51

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir

Anna Wiener

$17.00 $15.64

The Dutch House

Ann Patchett

$17.00 $15.64

Such a Fun Age

Kiley Reid

$17.00 $15.64

It's amazing how people can have the best of intentions and still make an utter mess of things - especially where race is concerned. A wonderful debut novel and such fun to read! — Karen

A Private Cathedral: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

James Lee Burke

$17.00 $15.64

The Starless Sea

Erin Morgenstern

$28.95 $26.63

Night Boat to Tangier

Kevin Barry

$16.00 $14.72

Vesper Flights

Helen MacDonald

$17.00 $15.64

The Topeka School

Ben Lerner

$17.00 $15.64

The Overstory

Richard Powers

$18.95 $17.43

The Night Watchman

Louise Erdrich

$18.00 $16.56

Dominicana

Angie Cruz

$16.98 $15.62

Turning to her mother's immigration story for inspiration for her latest novel, Angie Cruz has created a tender-hearted and inspiring character in Ana, the fifteen-year-old narrator of Dominicana. In 1965, when Ana is fifteen, her poor parents in rural Dominican Republic push her into marrying Juan Ruiz, an older man with ambitions. A contract is understood: in exchange for Ana, Juan will develop her parents' land and help the rest of her family immigrate to America. In an instant, teenage Ana is whisked off to a tiny apartment in New York City. She doesn't speak English and doesn't know a single person aside from Juan, who is controlling, abusive, frequently absent, and probably having an affair. In another author's hands, Juan could become a caricature, purely monstrous. But Cruz has created a fully realized human––an unlikable human, yet one whose deep flaws can be understood. His moods are realistically volatile, which makes him all the more terrifying to Ana. When she becomes pregnant, the walls close even more tightly around her. It's only when Juan is trapped in the DR during a military coup that Ana has the freedom to begin forging a life for herself. She explores her Washington Heights neighborhood and takes English lessons at the church across the street. But she also falls in love with Juan's kid brother, Cesar, who is watching over Ana while Juan is away. Throughout the novel, her already complicated life becomes more and more complicated. Cruz is a superb writer on every level: plot, character, backstory, setting, mood, psychology. You will find yourself utterly immersed in the wonderful Dominicana. -Michael

The Need

Helen Phillips

$17.00 $15.64