Kelso

About Kelso: 

Kelso has been ravenously reading since she was 3 years old. The first books she remembers reading on her own were "The Stinky Cheese Man" and "The Paper Bag Princess". Her favorite genres are true crime, mystery, LGBT authors, and literary fiction. When not at work, she likes to spend time reading, knitting, drinking tea, and playing roller derby (her roller derby name is BiblioReckah).

Books: 
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How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781612197494
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Melville House - April 9th, 2019

Kelso's February 2020 pick, 1 of 2
 
Let me first mention right off the bat that this is not - in the traditional sense - a "How-To" book. You will not find listicles about the top 5 best app blockers or buzzy words like "digital detox" and "mindfulness", but if you take your time with this collection of entwined essays I guarantee you will walk away with a new understanding of your awareness and place in the world.
In a time where social media and the news cycle keeps us forever anxiously fixed on the present, Jenny expertly crafts a treatise on how to make use of your attention by simply doing nothing (or near nothing) via tools like bioregionalism, refusing/resisting in place, and acknowledging the right to not express yourself. I highly recommend this book for fans of Jaron Lanier's work, birdwatchers, and folks who don't mind a little heady academia with their "How-To".


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The Regrets Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316516167
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - February 4th, 2020

Kelso's February 2020 pick, 2 of 2

Rachel is a twentysomething, unlucky in love librarian living in Brooklyn. Thomas is a remarkably handsome, twentysomething victim of a deadly motorcycle accident. He should have shuffled off this mortal coil already but there’s some bureaucratic red tape that needs to be fixed; so, the Powers That Be have requested he stay on Earth as a ghost for three months while his death is being reprocessed. Until then, he is warned not to seek out “any form of self-medication (pharmaceutical, alcoholic, sexual, or otherwise) lest he incur regrets.
Rachel & Thomas fall madly in love.
Equal parts ghost story and literary romance (You will not find Nicholas Sparks level of romance here, folks), “The Regrets” asks us to draw lines in the sand. The line between love and infatuation; when to keep hanging on and when to let go.


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Such a Fun Age Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525541905
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - December 31st, 2019

Kelso's January 2020 pick, 1 of 2

There's a saying that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and this debut novel shows how much that saying rings true. The novel centers around Emira, a 25 year old black female babysitter and her rich white female employer, Alix. The story begins with Emira being accused of kidnapping when she is at a high end grocery store with her employer's daughter; a little white girl. The novel progresses into Alix attempting (and failing) to "make things right" while trying to befriend Emira in the process.

Kiley beautifully weaves difficult yet necessary topics about race, class, white savoirism, and privilege into an incredibly accessible narrative. The characters are very well developed - every character in this book are well meaning but incredibly flawed, and the plot is excellently paced. I highly recommend this for a great book club pick.


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The Witches Are Coming Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316449885
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - November 5th, 2019

Kelso's January 2020 pick, 2 of 2

Lindy has once again cranked out a well-written and hilarious observational book of essays covering topics such as GOOP to Grumpy Cat; Her love/hate relationship with Adam Sandler movies to the strange and gross serialization of male serial killers vis-a-vis Ted Bundy. I could not help myself laughing aloud during my son's basketball games, thus killing the mood (sorry kiddo!). Pick this up if you're infatuated with the works of Samantha Irby or David Sedaris.


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Who Wet My Pants? Cover Image
By Bob Shea, Zachariah OHora (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316525213
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 17th, 2019

Kelso's December 2020 pick

If it's one thing I enjoy, it's a good mystery, but I also - and this may shock some of you - love to laugh. "Who Wet My Pants?" is the book both kids and adults need in these turbulent times. Sure, it can be a book about potty training, but it's really a witty book about embarrassment, anger, empathy, and forgiveness. Hilarious storytelling (Try not to laugh when yelling "WHO WET MY PANTS?!" to the kiddos during your next holiday get together) supported with remarkable, bright and fun illustrations; this children's book will leave everyone rolling on the floor in laughter. Pants wetting optional.


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The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781538730287
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - October 15th, 2019

Kelso's October 2019 pick

It all started with the missing farm magazine.
In 1993, Axton's family's mail was being stolen. Just little things like pen pal letters, and her father's farming magazines. Her parents just thought it was some neighboorhood kids pulling a prank, so they purchased a PO Box, but the mail was still getting stolen.

Then came the utility shutoffs, the credit card debts, and ultimately a foreclosure on Axton's childhood home. This was the work of an identity thief.

With the local police at a loss with how to help, Axton and her family became increasingly paranoid, cutting themselves off from friends, family, and tearing their family apart. When Axton learns that she too, has become a victim of identity fraud herself, she decides to devote her life to catching the persons responsible for the years of psychological, financial, and emotional damage.

Written with brilliant prose against the backdrop of Axton's Ph.D in Human Development with a focus on Child Identity Theft, and with a seriously shocking twist that even I didn't see coming,  "The Less People Know About Us" is a stunning, heartbreaking work of True Crime that will keep you reading until the last page, I would highly recommend this book to readers new to the True Crime genre, or readers looking to a fantastic True Crime book, but without all the serial killers, murderers, blood, and gore.


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Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501188886
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - August 20th, 2019

Kelso's September 2019 pick, 1 of 2

Why is it that the majority of True Crime fanatics are women? What is the reason why women are drawn to these gruesome crimes? Rachel brilliantly tackles these heavy questions by seamlessly telling the stories of 4 women - Frances Glessner Lee (an heiress who crafted crime scene miniatures) Alisa Statman (a young woman who started to obsessively date Sharon Tate's sister), Lorri Davis-Echols (the woman who defended her husband - Damion Echols- for over 20 years), and Lindsay Souvannarat (who attempted to plot a mass murder in a Halifax shopping mall in 2016).

Savage Appetites is a stunning debut work of non-fiction that isn't afraid to tackle the cultural perspective of women obsessed with crime. Rachel really digs deep into her own psyche and puts a mirror up against herself and her reading audience. What drew me in the most was how she seamlessly interweaves her own personal history with the rich, factual, and accurate narrative of the folks she has interviewed. This book is destined to be a classic of the True Crime genre.


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Hollow Kingdom Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781538745823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - August 6th, 2019

Kelso's September 2019 pick, 2 of 2

S.T. (short for...well, it's not appropriate that's for sure) is a foul-mouthed, Cheeto loving, domesticated crow who loves his owner, Big Jim but hates his owner's dog, a basset hound named Dennis. When Big Jim's eye pops out of his head one day, S.T. and Dennis set out to try and find help for their owner. Told in the perspectives of S.T. and all the other animals left behind after humanity succumbs to the Zombie Apoplycapse (Genghis Cat is a personal favorite of mine), this novel from a debut author aims a sharp yet tender story about the lengths we go for the ones we love, and how humanity - with all of its flaws - is worth saving. PS - parts of this novel can get kinda gross but stick with it, it's the funniest book I've read all year.


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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525562023
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - June 4th, 2019

Kelso's July 2019 pick, 1 of 2

The narrator - Little Dog, now in his late 20s - crafts a letter to his illiterate, Vietnamese refugee mother, detailing a family history rooted in trauma, healing, and forgiveness. This novel, written by queer poet Ocean Vuong is getting major critical acclaim, and for good reason. The prose is beautifully written. The characters are unforgettable, and every page packs a little punch to your gut. Heartbreaking and tender, this is one novel that should be on every literary award's shortlist next year. ⁣I highly recommend listening to the audiobook narrated by the author via Libro.fm for the full immersive experience.

Want the audiobook?
https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781984888846-on-earth-we-re-briefly-gorgeous


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Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250196682
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - May 29th, 2018

Kelso's July 2019 pick, 2 of 2

Jaron brings his 20+ years as a Silicon Valley titan and AI pioneer to is arguments on how social media is BUMMER-ing ("Behaviors of Users Modified, and Made into an Empire for Rent") us out. Social Media is turning politics terrifying, undermining truth in journalism, robbing us of our free will, and turning all of us into unhappy jerks (See Argument Three). Never fear though, since Jaron still brings his humanitarian positivity to his scary realizations. Equal parts eye-opening and optimistic, this is a book everyone should read regardless if they want to go full detox mode, or just need to take a break from the BUMMER machine.


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My Year of Rest and Relaxation: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525522133
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 25th, 2019

Kelso's June 2019 pick, 1 of 3

In pre-9/11 Manhattan, a 24-year-old, blonde, skinny, rich, beautiful woman decides to combat her trauma by taking a boatload of prescription sedatives & psychotropic drugs administered by the worst psychiatrist I have ever come across in my reading life.
Ottessa knows how to craft the worst characters in history, but in a very Sienfield-ish/Larry Davidesque kind of way. She finds herself sleepwalking, sleep-purchasing, sleep-taking-lewd-photos-of-herself-and-sending-them-to-strangers-in-AOL-Chatrooms, doing things she has no recollection of doing. Her life is a mess of VHS tapes, melted ice cream, and pill popping. I thoroughly enjoyed this sardonic romp through the worst depths of her life, and eventually overcoming her trauma by processing it in the absolute worst way possible.
Some critics have said the Moshfegh writes "terrible", "horrible", "gross" and "unladylike" characters. But find me a woman who HASN'T dealt with their trauma by making terrible coping mechanisms a-la drinking, drugging, sexing, and I'll show you a liar. I found parts of my early 20s in the main character - blacking out, taking questionable substances, casually dating horrible people - and I think many women will too.
If you're into dark humor, female rage, and the gross, often morbid ways women tend to deal with shit that has happened to them, then please pick up Moshfegh's book. You won't be disappointed.


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Bunny: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525559733
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - June 11th, 2019

Kelso's June 2019 pick, 2 of 3

Bunny is a smart, compulsively readable, delicate, and sinister form of literary art. I am floored that this is her sophomore novel. Floored. Mona's dreamy, brutal prose is the perfect equal to Donna Tartt and Brett Easton Ellis. Refreshing, razor sharp, full bodied (and full OF bodies), Bunny will make your head explode into a dreamlike trance that you'll never be able to fully recover. Bunny is hands down my favorite read of 2019. I am now a new convert to the Mona Awad fan club and cannot wait to see what she comes out with next.


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Magic for Liars: A Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250174611
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - June 4th, 2019

Kelso June 2019 pick, 3 of 3

Set in the hills of Northern California in a backdrop of a present day US Magical Academy, Hardboiled detective Ivy Gramble (not a magical person) is tasked to investigate a murder within the halls of Osthorne Academy for Young Mages; where her estranged magical twin sister works as a teacher. Ivy and her sister try to reconcile their relationship while interviewing "Chosen Ones" "Mean Girls" and a host of other colorful fantasy tropes.
I read this in a night, which is unheard of for me. Ironically, the last time I did this was for the last Harry Potter book, except this time the remedial magical students drink actual beer and instead of house elves there's a ton of hazing. Sarah takes multiple genres and interweaves them near seamlessly in this California Noir story with a sci-fi/fantasy bent. Even though I guessed the solution quickly, the journey of the whodunit - rooted in past traumas, character dysfunctions and teen insecurities - made the book compelling and yes, perhaps even a bit magical. 


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The New Me Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143133605
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - March 5th, 2019

Kelso's May 2019 pick

The New Me is a 200 page satirical, stream-of-conscious novel that centers around the often dark and negative thoughts of Millie; a 30 year old woman working in a dead-end office temp job.
That's it. That's the whole book.
But look closer, it's more than that.
This is a book about making an effort by changing your behavior in a world that constantly thinks you're not worth your weight in crap.
This is a book that 90% of you are going to hate, and that's okay. Either you're not interested in reading about female rage or it's just not up your alley. Sure, it's okay to just be wrong in your opinion, I guess.
If you're one of the lucky 10% who-like me- finds this sort of longer formed character study with dark, self-deprecating, sinister humor right up your alley then pick this up.


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Eat the Apple Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781632869517
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - February 26th, 2019

Kelso's April 2019 pick

In 2005, an 18 year old Matt Young catapulted himself into a fire hydrant with his car in a drunken haze one night. The next day, looking for guidance and a way to get his crap together, he signed up for the Marine Corps.

What follows is a raw and unflinching look at the Iraq War. However, if you're here looking for valiant war stories with some moral or meaning, where violence and death have a larger purpose, then this is not the memoir for you.
 

If you're looking for a book that:
- Takes a useful corrective to the current idealization of the American Marine
- Gives you frank, brutal stories about life "in the shit" and
- Provides an unflinching experience about what war and the military does to young folks
Then please pick up this book. Eat the Apple answers everything I always wanted to ask my stepfather (1st Battalion, 2nd Marines)  but was too afraid to ask.


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An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good Cover Image
By Helene Tursten, Marlaine Delargy (Translated by)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781641290111
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Crime - November 6th, 2018

Kelso's March 2019 pick

Maud is a grumpy 88 year old woman with no family, friends, and lives a life of delicious solitude in her late father's spacious apartment in Gothenburg. She's also a cold and calculating killer who uses her "feeble old lady" skills to deceive the police as she kills folks who need killing. You will cheer for Maud as she takes on abusive husbands, predatory ex lovers, and annoying celebrities.

For fans of A Man Called Ove and the movie Fargo (I know I've connected Fargo in my reviews before. Can you tell that it's my favorite movie?), this story collection is good for folks who'd like to get into the feel of Scandinavian mysteries but without all the graphic depictions that can typically go along with them.
This is a lithe, quick little book for anyone who's into crime/mystery novels, but has a long connecting flight or has a long afternoon to spare.This collection of stories delivers the perfect amount of dark humored punch with the sweet undertones of a cozy, lighthearted story.


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Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393651645
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 12th, 2019

Kelso's February 2019 pick

We follow a young Jessica around on a grand tour of the northeast where she plays classical violin for festivals, PBS concerts, and sold-out stadiums. But it's all a ruse. The microphones they play to are turned off, and a boom box is playing a Thomas Kincaidian music that sounds eerily similar to the 'Titanic' Soundtrack. She is hired under the tutelage of a Tommy Weiseau type of man known only to us as "The Composer". He likes to jog in his tuxedo and has no earthly idea how to use a microwave.

Oh by the way - this is memoir.

This book feels like a Cohen Brothers movie come to life. In a world full of phonies and an ever increasing unease about what is authentic and what is fake news, Ms. Hindman's debut is a polished, funny, unbelievable and angry account of the way young women are perceived, and the comfort we take in false pleasures. 


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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781328764522
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - April 17th, 2018

Kelso's January 2019 pick

t’s hard to find words for a book as perfect as this one. Chee’s set of essays about writing and growing up as a queer Asian American man & seeing his transitions from an unsure student to master of the literary craft is incomparable to anything, I’ve read in my 30 years on Earth. Chee's novel is what I look for in contemporary literature. Some of these essays will make you cry. Every page, every passage grabs you by the neck and slams your nose in the book. Excellent prose will gut you like this.
I would say that he's up there with the greatest authors, but he's surpassed them all. I cannot and will not compare him to any other author, he's that good. Reading this book is like eating the last meal your grandmother ever cooked for you and knowing every other substitute afterwards will always pale in comparison.


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My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9780385544238
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - November 20th, 2018

Kelso's November 2018 pick

A wicked sharp satire about the jealousy that springs between 2 sisters. Korede is the sensible, no-nonsense, responsible sister who works as a nurse and holds the house down, while Ayoola is the social media obsessed, wantonly beautiful sister who has a habit of killing her boyfriends when she's done with them. Korede keeps her sister in line by disposing of the bodies, cleaning up the crime scene, and making sure she doesn't post that pasta dinner to Instagram while she should be mourning the loss of her boyfriend.
Things change when Korede falls in love with one of the doctors she works with, yet Ayoola has her eyes on the same man. Korede must decide between family loyalty and the love of her life.

Dark, funny, fully developed characters and prose that cuts like glass. This Nigerian slam poet's novel debut should be shot to the top of your TBR list. I'll be hard pressed to not find this novel on some Best Of or Longlisted lists next year.


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Hey, Kiddo (National Book Award Finalist) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780545902489
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - October 9th, 2018

Kelso's October 2018 pick

Jarrett writes about his complicated family life growing up in Worcester, MA. His mother is a heroin addict, in and out of jail and rehab homes, his father was never in the picture (he wasn't even listed on Jarrett's birth certificate until several years later) leaving Jarrett to be raised by his brash, opinionated, and loving grandparents. The color palate is soft, somber, and the line work is brushed with a hurried chaos that beautifully conveys the tension and drama surrounding the background of young Jarrett's life.
 Hey, Kiddo is a powerful, gorgeous, articulate graphic memoir from the creator of the Lunch Lady series (yes, that comic your middle grade kids are obsessed with) that shows readers that you can still love your imperfect family and survive with your spirit unbroken.

Although this book does have content that could at the very least be considered PG-13 (depictions of drug use, a drawing of violence, chain-smoking grandparents, swearing) I do highly recommend this book to children (generally 10+ but anyone younger should have a grownup read it with them). I also recommend this book to everyone who has ever had an imperfect childhood or complicated family relationships - chain-smoking, swearing, grandparents included.


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The Line That Held Us Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399574221
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - August 14th, 2018

Kelso's September 2018 pick, 1 of 2

"A man's mind is his own kind of hell."

When Daryl kills Dwayne's brother Sissy in a tragic hunting accident, we are pulled into a darkly brutal cat-and-mouse chase in this gritty Southern Noir tale. Joy restlessly captures the grey areas of the human essence within the background of the lush Southern Appalachia mountains. For fans of Blood Meridian, and No Country for Old Men, this book will keep you gripped to your seat until the very last page.


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Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062851352
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dey Street Books - September 18th, 2018

Kelso's September 2018 pick 2 of 2

This is not a book about politics, nor a book about immigration, this is a book about being homeless. Cut adrift in a country where you are illegal and unwelcome, yet it's the only world you've ever known.
I tore though this book in 2 hours, I stopped only to grab more tissues. As an immigrant I saw EXACT parallels from my life - and the lives of other immigrants I know - throughout this book. From the time Jose found out he was "illegal", to being detained by ICE, to the muddled, grey hoops immigrants have to jump through to "get legal" (a burdensome process only made worse by your skin color, trust me). This book is required reading for every person (American and Immigrant alike). Jose Vargas is incredibly brave for writing this memoir, and for the 11 million immigrants who survive by lying, passing, and hiding, floating adrift in a sea of uncertainty and limbo, are grateful for the existence of this book.