Staff Pick

As Margaret Atwood says, “men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” But what if the opposite were true? Writing in the tradition of Atwood and Le Guin, Naomi Alderman imagines a present where young women around the world discover they have the power to shock others with a touch. Oppressive governments are overthrown overnight, the patriarchy is challenged and a new religion aims to create a feminist utopia. But as the novel’s heroines expand the range of their ambitions, they begin to realize the difficulty of their task: with every human on earth trained since birth to hurt each other, how do you uproot evil from the human condition without destroying civilization in the process? This is an angry, deeply pessimistic book, and I suspect Le Guin or even Atwood might have written a different ending. But at a time when those who abuse women for their own amusement are more visible than ever, The Power (Little Brown, $26) gives catharsis and a portrait of a world that in the end is no crueler or more violent than our own.

The Power Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316547611
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 10th, 2017

Staff Pick

You’ve probably never seen a book like this before. Zahhak: The Legend of the Serpent King (Fantagraphics, $39.99) is a pop-up book that retells the Iranian myth of the monstrous tyrant Zahhak and his defeat by the noble youth Feraydun. The fantastic art featured within is courtesy of Guggenheim fellow Hamid Rahmanian, drawn from his work adapting the Shahnameh, or Book of Kings. But it’s the pop-up engineering, designed by Simon Arizpe, that makes this book dizzying. Not only do some sections literally erupt from the page, but others unfold as booklets to continue the story, complete with smaller pop-up designs within. Myths remain popular fodder for the imagination, from Neil Gaiman’s adaptation of Norse mythology this year to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson Literary Universe. But with nations across the world (including our own) turning to fear and nationalism, our responsibility to move past Norse and Greek mythology and learn the stories of other countries—their similarities, and their differences—is more crucial than it’s ever been. Kids will love this book, but adults will learn something from it too.

Zahhak: The Legend of the Serpent King (a Pop-Up Book) Cover Image
By Hamid Rahmanian (Artist), Simon Arizpe (Artist)
ISBN: 9781606998892
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Fantagraphics Books - October 2nd, 2018

Staff Pick

Chris Ware’s new collection, Monograph by Chris Ware (Rizzoli, $60), assembles countless strips, pages, magazine covers, sculptures, photographs, and other things into a thorough and astoundingly generous retrospective of the artist’s career. It comes replete with commentary written by Ware himself, who charts his path from RAW to Jimmy Corrigan to Building Stories and beyond. Reading this book is like touring the interior of a vast and seemingly impossible mechanism carved from space metal, while your tour guide chats amiably and bemoans the lack of carpets. There are also individual booklets within the book that you can flip through, and several of his New Yorker covers depicted in their full glory. For any fan of the cartoonist, this is probably the single best purchase you could make this holiday, a blueprint for everything Ware has done over the past few decades. But for artists, this is something even better: Chris Ware opens the door backstage, shows you how he performs the magic tricks, and then gives you a chance to do it yourself.

Monograph by Chris Ware Cover Image
By Chris Ware, Ira Glass (Preface by), Francoise Mouly (Introduction by), Art Spiegelman (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780847860883
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Rizzoli - October 17th, 2017