June 11, 2024



All Friends Are Necessary by Tomas Moniz. What a breath of fresh air, a "friends" book with characters that actually are truly wonderful friends with believable relationships! Tomas's beautiful writing pulls you into their lives in such a natural manner, you just want to be hanging out with Chino and his crew. Plus the San Francisco and Oakland setting brings the region to life as another character in the book. - Eric

Not In Love by Ali Hazelwood. The author is known for her STEM-inist rom-coms and she definitely turns up the spice levels in her latest! Rue and Eli meet through a dating app for what's supposed to be a one-and-done hookup but things go awry, forcing them to leave their mutual attraction unconsummated. The very next day Rue (a biotech engineer) discovers that Eli is leading the charge in a hostile takeover of the food science company for which she works. Unable to deny the chemistry, they begin a no-strings-attached affair while remaining on opposite sides of the boardroom politics and corporate secrets that begin to emerge. A steamy page-turner. - Carolyn

Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (in paperback). This 10-year anniversary edition celebrates a classic of Ugandan literature. Kintu Kidda has too many wives and four sets of twins for children. When he accidentally kills his foster son, he unleashes a curse that will haunt his many descendants for the next 250 years. Rivalries and disagreements about politics, religion, family secrets, and most importantly, who counts as family, follow each descendant as they try to mitigate the clan's curse and adapt to modern life in 21st century Uganda. - Alison

Margo's Got Money Troubles by Rufi Thorpe. Margo's Got Money Troubles, electric from the very first sentence, begs the question: who is responsible for the narrative of this novel? In a thrilling gesture of authorship Rufi Thorpe lends Margo, her 19-year-old teen mother heroine, agency over her own story. Margo simultaneously inhabits the 1st person narrative in a voice that is fresh and sardonically funny, and acts as 3rd person narrator thereby distancing herself from her own sticky moments. I say thrilling because the book is all about agency, about Margo finding her own power, her own voice, and about the decisions she makes to survive as a single, savvy, community college dropout in Southern California. Thorpe weaves in OnlyFans, cosplay, pro wrestling, Arby's, addiction, and complex family dynamics with aplomb, and has gifted us with a heartwarming story and a lovably quirky cast of characters I won't soon forget. - Hannah

The Color of a Lie by Kim Johnson. One of my favorite young adult authors has done it again: another riveting social justice thriller that is well paced and plotted with excellent character development. Delving into history, she takes us to 1955 Pennsylvania and explores housing discrimination in an all-white town, seen through the lens of a teen boy who is "passing" and finds himself caught between worlds and lies. Profound and moving. - Carolyn

Shark Heart by Emily Habeck (now in paperback). You might not believe me when I tell you that this quirky debut novel, about the relationship between newlyweds Wren and Lewis (a man diagnosed with a mutation that will, over the course of a year, transform him into a great white shark... I KNOW, but trust me here) will knock your socks off, charm you and steal your heart, and leave you in tears—and you will be grateful, transformed yourself by the experience of living in this world that Emily Habeck has created for a few hours. WOW. - Hannah

Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead (now in paperback). This stylish sequel to Harlem Shuffle moves a decade forward to the 1970s, where furniture store owner Ray Carney and his partner in crime Pepper navigate a city and neighborhood beset by corruption and political unrest. Whitehead's gift with words enriches this fully realized portrait of a time and place - in his hands, Harlem is a main character of its own. The result is an entertaining crime thriller elevated to a layered, nuanced literary masterwork. - Hut

You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith (now in paperback). In this ravishing gut punch of a memoir about a broken marriage, poet Maggie Smith (of "Good Bones" fame) unveils the fractures that led to her divorce, the bittersweet knowledge born from parenthood, the harrowing solitude of miscarriage and postpartum depression, the unseen weight of labor carried by women in relationship with men, the creative process of writing and living, in prose that is aptly poetic, fierce and unflinching. You don't need to have walked through the fires of divorce to feel the lick of the flame, to be burned and reborn along with Maggie. What a gift. - Hannah

A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan's Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them by Timothy Egan (now in paperback). A historical thriller about the Klan's rise to power in the 1920s - not in the South but in the country's heartland - Indiana. The KKK was an equal-opportunity hate group, despising Blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants in equal measure. The leader of the hatred was D.C. Stephenson, a cunning, charismatic con man who, emboldened by support from both church and state, brought the Klan into national prominence. Egan chronicles Stephenson's rise, reign, and eventual fall with a historian's keen eye, while providing an apt reminder of what polarizing politics and condoned societal vitriol can breed. - Hut

Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan (in paperback). From the author of Nora Goes of Script and Same Time Next Summer, comes a charming new contemporary romance starring newly separated mom of three, Ali Morris. Ali is emotionally stuck--living in the town where she grew up, mourning the recent death of her mother and the end of her soul-sucking marriage, when she meets a great guy at the dog park. The sparks between them fly, and Ali is ready for a breezy summer romance... and clearly I was ready for this summer romance too, as I blazed through it in two sittings. It's light and sweet, a cozy rom-com, big on feelings and cuddles, without the spice (if that's your jam). - Hannah

Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo. "With each moment, I understood less and less." So says the narrator of this perplexing, non-linear novella. In a new translation nearly 70 years after its original Spanish publication, Pedro Páramo pulls you in and doesn't let go. There are dead people who are alive and Macondo-ish towns that exist, or don't, or maybe never did. A classic of modernist literature, the interpretive possibilities will keep bouncing around in your head long after you've reached the last page. It's also available in the original Spanish. - Alison

Service by Sarah Gilmartin (in paperback). Restaurant kitchens are notorious for hotshot/hot-headed chefs, relentless hours, late nights of drugs and booze, insidious misconduct, and generally debauchery. The restaurant at the center of Sarah Gilmartin's keen and insightful novel Service, helmed by chef Daniel—who we learn in the first few pages has been accused of rape—fits this bill. Gilmartin's novel positively shines when the narrative shifts perspective between Hannah (a former waitress at the restaurant), Daniel (chef de cuisine), and Julie (Daniel's wife) revealing a richer story about power, complicity, and the characters whose lives intersected in this particular place and time. - Hannah

My Murder by Katie Williams. For fans of Blake Crouch and Sarah Gailey's The Echo Wife, this humorous, spellbinding, genre-bending sci-fi thriller, about a woman murdered by a serial killer who is then cloned back to life, reveals itself like an onion. Chapters like layers peel away to reveal more layers, the fascinating mystery at the core both dark and elusive up until the very shocking end. I loved every smart plot twist, and couldn't have put it down if I tried! - Hannah

Open Throat by Henry Hoke (now in paperback). I read this novella in one sitting and it’s ridiculously good: hilarious and cheeky and wise, told in spurts of bright insight with compassion and real humanity, from the perspective of a hungry, keenly observant queer mountain lion living in the Hollywood Hills. Rawwwrrr...loved it! - Hannah



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MITSUE NAGASE is the photographer for Gardens of Awakening: A Guide to the Aesthetics, History, and Spirituality of Kyoto's Zen Landscapes, which reveals the deep, inner spiritual connections that Zen gardens can foster. The book features over 75 stunning full-color photos of the masterpiece gardens of Kyōto, Japan taken by Mitsue, whose photography is based on her studies in Zen Buddhism and of Miksang, a contemplative approach to photography as a spiritual practice.

Local children's author/illustrator CINDY DERBY holds her most recent picture book Oh, Panda, about an adorable (and ingenious!) panda bear who must find the grit within to climb--and overcome--a snowy, slippery mountain. She is also displaying Outside In, for which she won a 2021 Caldecott Honor award for illustration.


Tomatokind magazine, which is dedicated to "exploring the social-emotional fabric of neighborhoods," recently published an entertaining and informative story about our bookstore and its new owners. Entitled Bridging Stories, Art, and Community with Jessica and Eric Green, the article by Tomatokind founder Vanessa Li focuses on how the wife-and-husband team came to buy the bookstore, the welcome they received from the neighborhood, the learning curve they faced, how they divide store operations between themselves, and much more.

If you'd like to read the piece, click here and learn more about the people and the approach that make Mrs. Dalloway's a special place. 



Help start a library for a young reader in your life with Mrs. Dalloway’s Little Library subscription service! Every month for the length of your subscription, we'll gift wrap and send your recipient a book that fits their age and interests. Our experienced staff selects titles from our ever-changing inventory of new titles and rediscovered hidden gems. To find out more and sign up, click here.
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