Fiction

It's My F---ing Birthday | ,

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“In the coming year,” she said, hoisting her blindingly clean and gleaming glass into the air, “may half of all your dreams come true.” “Mom,” I said to her, “isn’t that kind of pathetic?” “Well, it’s realistic.” It’s her thirty-sixth birthday, and she really thought things would be different this year—that she’d have figured out men and how to get along with her narcissistic parents enough to survive a birthday celebration. But nothing’s changed. Her disappointing day is capped off by the delivery of a huge bouquet of flowers from Carl, with whom she has recently, and bitterly, split. A gesture of reconciliation? Of passive aggression? She’s too unhinged to tell. It’s My F---ing Birthday unfolds in seven state-of-my-life addresses this hapless high school art teacher writes to herself on consecutive birthdays, as she is determined to break the patterns of behavior that are keeping her down. Her objective: to avoid making the same mistakes over and over and start making some new ones. Through seven outrageously funny years of needling parents, self-absorbed boyfriends, riots, O.J., and Monica—and bigger and bigger bouquets from Carl—she navigates a circuitous (and ultimately successful) route to happiness in a world where everything seems to conspire to the contrary. What I Learned This Year That I Need to Remember 1. No more taking the bait from Mom. Even if the fight becomes about not taking the bait. 2. No more dwelling in the past. 3. Try much harder to continue being a vegetarian. This will limit the restaurants the folks can take me to. 4. No more trying to decode the flowers from Carl. If he sends them again, just think of them as a fun, free thing, like a little sample box of cereal or detergent that suddenly appears in the mailbox. 5. Don’t make a big deal out of the fact that there were no guys this year. Perhaps that’s a better thing than continuing to get involved with guys who exhibit behavior from the beginning that indicates the whole thing is completely hopeless. So try to remember the above as a coping strategy when I am so crazed with horniness that I want to throw myself off a building. 6. No more mumbo jumbo. This means no more calling 900 astrology numbers listed at the end of horoscopes in women’s magazines to find out my love forecast. And no more going to psychics, no matter how dicey things get..

Humor

Hiding Boys in Bathrooms | Giuliana Prada

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I was the poster child for someone who would attract and yes, date dysfunctional males. Send me your poor, emotionally and geographically unavailable, huddled masses, yearning for credit, co-dependency, or just yearning to break free (probably from prison). Yes, send them to me. I will pick up the pieces or end up in pieces trying to do so. Why this had become the norm for me, I still had yet to figure out. Giulianas thirties were mired by her boozy romantic debacles. From sociopath swindlers and drug addicts, to pothead-surfers and commitment phobes, she wondered why she always seemed to attract such types. Why was she the poster child for girls who dated dysfunctional guys? She certainly wasnt purposely seeking these winners out? Or was she? Hiding Boys in Bathrooms reads with love, humor, and heartache, as you follow the romantic mishaps of a girl who seems to find love in all the wrong places..

Fiction

Walking in Circles Before Lying Down | Merrill Markoe

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Dawn Tarnauer’s life isn’t exactly a success story. Already twice divorced, the young Californian is too busy job-hopping to start a career, her current boyfriend insists on living “off the grid,” her Life Coach sister perpetually interferes with incomprehensible affirmations, her eccentric mother is busy promoting the culmination of her life’s work: The Every Holiday Tree, and her father is ending his brief third marriage while scheduling two dates for the same night. Dawn’s only source of security and comfort, it seems, is Chuck, a pit-bull mix from the pound. So, when her boyfriend announces that he’s leaving her for another woman, a despairing Dawn turns to Chuck for solace. “I should have said something sooner,” Chuck confides, as he tries to console her. “Couldn’t you smell her on his pants?” Dawn is stunned. It’s one thing to talk to your pets, but what do you do when they start talking back? It’s not just Chuck, either; she can hear all dogs–and man’s best friend has a lot to say. The ever-enthusiastic Chuck offers his tried-and-true advice on the merits of knocking over garbage and strewing it everywhere, auxiliary competitive peeing etiquette, and the curative powers of tossing a ball. Doubtful of her own sanity, Dawn considers that, in the ways of life and love, it might be better to trust Chuck’s doggie instincts instead of her own. Filled with sharp wit, biting humor, and canine conversation that would make Doctor Dolittle’s jaw drop, Merrill Markoe’s engaging, cleverly written novel is about the confusing search for love and the divine acts of dog..

Fiction

The Psycho Ex Game | Merrill Markoe,Andy Prieboy

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Lisa Roberty is a successful screenwriter with an impoverished social life who’s enduring a demoralizing job at the mind-numbing sitcom You Go, Girl. Grant Repka is an obscure indie rock musician who, in his forties, finds his career surprisingly resurrected with the success of his comic operetta about the doomed romance of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson. When Grant and Lisa meet after one of his shows, sparks don’t immediately fly—but e-mail addresses are exchanged. A my-book-for-your-CD trade and a couple of e-mails later, Lisa tells Grant that she enjoys his song “My Psycho Ex,” but warns him that where psycho-exes are concerned, she’s pretty sure she “could drink him under the table.” Little does she know that this will become the opening salvo in an epic e-mail battle dubbed the Psycho Ex Game, a storytelling competition in which horrific tales of dysfunctional love and living with lunatics are volleyed with glee. The rules are simple; the point system, unique: the experiences that would normally leave someone running for the therapist’s office (humiliation, degradation, and complicity in psychotic behavior) just might win match point in the Psycho Ex Game. Now it’s Grant vs. Lisa as the wretched tales of his ex, the Junkie Queen of Darkness, vie with the woe inflicted by her ex, a tantrum-throwing actor/director widely known as Mr. Summer Box Office Record-Holder. As the correspondence evolves, it surprises Lisa by offering her the kind of intimacy she has never shared with a man in the same room. Before long, what started as a friendly competition becomes a road map to an unlikely couple’s growing involvement, leaving both Grant and Lisa secretly wondering, “If we were to get involved, which one of us is potentially the next Psycho Ex?” Written in alternating he said/she said chapters, The Psycho Ex Game is shot through with the acerbic humor of Merrill Markoe and the mordant observations that have made Andy Prieboy a literate voice in rock. The Psycho Ex Game is a hilarious dissection of injuries sustained on the front lines of romance—and the careful nursing that gets us battleready once again..

Humor

Cool, Calm & Contentious | Merrill Markoe

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“This is so well written. [When a book like this] comes along, it’s, like, ‘Thank you!’ What a great way to spend an afternoon, an evening, reading these essays. . . . Absolutely great.”—Jon Stewart “[Merrill] Markoe is easily as funny as David Sedaris. She’s capable of manic riffs and acerbic skewering. Still, her good nature shines through.”—The Washington Post In this hilarious collection of candid essays, including two pieces new to this edition, New York Times bestselling author Merrill Markoe reveals much about her personal life—as well as the secret formula for comedy: Start out with a difficult mother, develop some classic teenage insecurities, add a few relationships with narcissistic men, toss in an unruly pack of selfish dogs, finish it off with the kind of crystalline perspective that only comes from years of navigating a roiling sea of unpleasant and unappeasable people, and—voilà—you’re funny! Cool, Calm & Contentious is honest, unapologetic, sometimes heartbreaking, but always shot through with Merrill Markoe’s biting, bracing wit. “This has been a great year for funny women. . . . Let’s call Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling exhibits A and B. Both owe a debt to those who came before, including Merrill Markoe.”—The Boston Globe “Markoe’s goal is to find the absurdity in everyday life. That, coupled with her sharp wit, makes her writing sublime.”—BookPage “Laugh-out-loud humor.”—Tampa Bay Times “Not only crazy-funny, but crazy-heartbreaking.”—The New York Times.

Fiction

Nose Down, Eyes Up | Merrill Markoe

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At forty-seven, Gil is the world’s oldest twenty-two-year-old man, living in relative contentment with his four dogs, including the alpha, Jimmy. When he stumbles upon Jimmy delivering lectures on canine manipulative techniques to the rest of the dogs in the neighborhood, Gil’s not particularly surprised, and his eyes light up with dollar signs. But their money-making venture has barely begun when chatty canine Jimmy realizes the shocking truth: He’s adopted. And not only is Gil not his real father, they’re not even the same species. In the identity crisis that ensues, Gil hears the last thing he wants his favorite dog to say: Jimmy wants to be reunited with his birth mother, a bitch owned by Gil’s sexy ex-wife, now remarried and living in Malibu. Could things get worse? Apparently, yes..

Pets

What the Dogs Have Taught Me | Merrill Markoe

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Award-winning comedy writer Merrill Markoe, the slightly warped mind behind Stupid Pet Tricks, is an old hand with dogs. She knows who’s boss (they are) and the myriad ways a loving pet can make you feel guilty twenty-four hours a day. This new edition of Merrill Markoe’s classic collection of humorous essays gives readers the choicest selections along with brand-new material. In these razor-sharp essays, Markoe recounts her dogs’ phone chats with animal communicators, her search for past lives, and her brief stint as a stun gun saleswoman. She describes the workshop that taught her how to launch an Internet porn business and another that gave proper instruction in the esoteric art of becoming a dominatrix. She shares insight into what it is like to structure your day using only dog rules, how to spot a really horrible restaurant, and what it’s like to have a romantic dinner with Fabio. There’s even a bright side to preparing for the apocalypse: “At last, it is time to forget about fat grams and low cholesterol.” This enchantingly rambunctious and boundlessly enjoyable book gives you Merrill Markoe at her best. You’ll devour it in one sitting (and so may your pet)..

Cooking

What the F*@# Should I Make for Dinner? | Zach Golden

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If dinnertime has you cursing up a storm, this cookbook of 50 profane and delicious dishes will get you off your indecisive a** and into the f*@#ing kitchen! Derived from the incredibly popular (and totally addictive) website, WhatTheFuckShouldIMakeForDinner.com, this "choose your own adventure" style cookbook provides quick and easy solutions for the nightly conundrum. Every page is a new (and easy) meal, with enough pizzazz to keep you interested. Don't like the recipe? Simply choose another page for a new f*@#ing idea! Making choices is hard, so let this book do it for you with 50 solid meal ideas-and a side of salty language-for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, such as: Scallop Ceviche Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Red Flannel Hash Vegetarian Cassoulet Never hem and haw over what to make for dinner again! What the F*@# Should I Make For Dinner? is the perfect gift for anyone who loves food, and will become your go-to guide to save you from headache, hunger, and your own wishy-washy self..

Comics & Graphic Novels

We Saw Scenery | Merrill Markoe

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“Merrill Markoe got all the talent. In addition to being an Emmy-award winning comedy writer, she's also a top-notch artist. We Saw Scenery is revealing, sad, funny, and, above all, relatable. Merrill captures the experience of a young woman finding—and holding onto—her own voice. And we’re all lucky she did.” —Nell Scovell, author of Just the Funny Parts In her first-ever graphic memoir, four-time Emmy-winning comedy writer Merrill Markoe unearths her treasured diaries, long kept under lock and key, to illustrate the hilarious story of her preteen and teen years and how she came to realize that her secret power was her humor. Wielding her layered and comically absurd style, Markoe takes readers back through her time as a Girl Scout, where she learned that “scouting” was really more about learning housewifery skills, to her earliest crushes on uniquely awful boys and her growing obsession with television. Much has changed in our world since Markoe wrote in her diaries, or has it? Climate change wasn’t yet a rallying call, but the growing hole in the ozone preoccupied Markoe’s young mind. No one was flocking to the desert for Burning Man, but Markoe readily partook in the Ken Kesey Acid Test. As she charts the divide between her adolescence and adulthood, Markoe questions and berates her younger self, revealing how much is opaque to us in those young years. Perfect for fans of Roz Chast, Allie Brosh, and Lynda Barry, We Saw Scenery is a laugh-out-loud story of a girl growing up, told from the perspective of the woman she became, and it will speak to all who wanted to understand themselves in the midst of their own maturing..

Fiction

The Family Upstairs | Lisa Jewell

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A GOOD MORNING AMERICA COVER TO COVER BOOK CLUB PICK “Rich, dark, and intricately twisted, this enthralling whodunit mixes family saga with domestic noir to brilliantly chilling effect.” —Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author “A haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read.” —Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light. Be careful who you let in. Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am. She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them. Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone. In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets..

Humor

Effin' Birds | Aaron Reynolds

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A compact, comprehensive, and very silly field guide featuring more than 200 of the rudest birds on earth. Effin' Birds is the most eagerly anticipated new volume in the grand and noble profession of nature writing and bird identification. Sitting proudly alongside Sibley, Kaufman, and Peterson, this book contains more than 150 pages crammed full of classic, monochrome plumage art paired with the delightful but dirty aphorisms (think "I'm going to need more booze to deal with this week") that made the Effin' Birds Twitter feed a household name. Also included in its full, Technicolor glory is John James Audubon's most beautiful work matched with modern life advice. Including never-before-seen birds, insults, and field notes, this guide is a must-have for any effin' fan or birder..

Fiction

Sophie's World | Jostein Gaarder

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One day Sophie comes home from school to find two questions in her mail: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" Before she knows it she is enrolled in a correspondence course with a mysterious philosopher. Thus begins Jostein Gaarder's unique novel, which is not only a mystery, but also a complete and entertaining history of philosophy..

Fiction

My Year of Rest and Relaxation | Ottessa Moshfegh

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From one of our boldest, most celebrated new literary voices, a novel about a young woman's efforts to duck the ills of the world by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes Our narrator should be happy, shouldn't she? She's young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, works an easy job at a hip art gallery, lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn't just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It's the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong? My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a powerful answer to that question. Through the story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs designed to heal our heroine from her alienation from this world, Moshfegh shows us how reasonable, even necessary, alienation can be. Both tender and blackly funny, merciless and compassionate, it is a showcase for the gifts of one of our major writers working at the height of her powers..

Fiction

Kindred | Octavia E. Butler

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The visionary author’s masterpiece pulls us—along with her Black female hero—through time to face the horrors of slavery and explore the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now. Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin..

Fiction

The Kite Runner | Khaled Hosseini

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The #1 New York Times bestselling debut novel that introduced Khaled Hosseini to millions of readers the world over. Amir and Hassan are childhood friends in the alleys and orchards of Kabul in the sunny days before the invasion of the Soviet army and Afghanistan’s decent into fanaticism. Both motherless, they grow up as close as brothers, but their fates, they know, are to be different. Amir’s father is a wealthy merchant; Hassan’ s father is his manservant. Amir belongs to the ruling caste of Pashtuns, Hassan to the despised Hazaras. This fragile idyll is broken by the mounting ethnic, religious, and political tensions that begin to tear Afghanistan apart. An unspeakable assault on Hassan by a gang of local boys tears the friends apart; Amir has witnessed his friend’s torment, but is too afraid to intercede. Plunged into self-loathing, Amir conspires to have Hassan and his father turned out of the household. When the Soviets invade Afghanistan, Amir and his father flee to San Francisco, leaving Hassan and his father to a pitiless fate. Only years later will Amir have an opportunity to redeem himself by returning to Afghanistan to begin to repay the debt long owed to the man who should have been his brother. Compelling, heartrending, and etched with details of a history never before told in fiction, The Kite Runner is a story of the ways in which we’re damned by our moral failures, and of the extravagant cost of redemption..

Self-Help

30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30 | Pamela Redmond Satran,The Editors of Glamour

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Featuring advice, wisdom, and observations from an array of prominent and beloved women, 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30 is an essential guide (and perfect gift) for women on the brink of thirty--and for those who are already there! Fifteen years ago, Glamour published a list of distinctive yet universally true must-haves and must-knows for women on the cusp of and beyond the age of thirty titled, "30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30." It became a phenomenon. Originally penned by Glamour columnist Pamela Redmond Satran, The List found a second life when women began to forward it to one another online, millions of times. It became a viral sensation, misattributed to everyone from Maya Angelou to Hillary Clinton--but there's only one original list, and it stands the test of time. Quirky and profound, The List defines the absolute must-haves (#11: "A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra") and must-knows (#1: "How to fall in love without losing yourself") for grown-up female happiness. Now, Glamour magazine has gathered together its editors and an incredible group of notable women to expand on each of the items on The List in wise, thoughtful, and intimate essays. Kathy Griffin meditates on knowing when to try harder and when to walk away. Lisa Ling explores the idea that your childhood may not have been perfect, but it's over, and Lauren Conrad shares what she has learned about what she would and wouldn't do for money or love. Other personal insights come from Maya Angelou, Rachel Zoe, Taylor Swift, Katie Couric, Portia de Rossi, Kelly Corrigan, ZZ Packer, Bobbi Brown, Padma Lakshmi, Angie Harmon, and many more. Along with essays based on The List, writers share their feelings about what the milestone of turning thirty meant to them. 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30 is the one book women of all ages will turn to for timely and timeless wisdom..

Body, Mind & Spirit

The Astrology Birthday Book | Michelle Knight

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Ever wondered how your date of birth influences your personality, your loves and passions, and your path in life? The Astrology Birthday Book reveals how the precise alignment of the planets on your date of birth determines the characteristics that make you unique..

Juvenile Fiction

Wonder | R. J. Palacio

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Millions of people have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face—who shows us that kindness brings us together no matter how far apart we are. Read the book that inspired the Choose Kind movement, a major motion picture, and the critically acclaimed graphic novel White Bird. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Beginning from Auggie’s point of view and expanding to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others, the perspectives converge to form a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out..

Fiction

Imaginary Friend | Stephen Chbosky

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Instant New York Times Bestseller One of Fall 2019's Best Books (People, EW, Lithub, Vox, Washington Post, and more) A young boy is haunted by a voice in his head in this acclaimed epic of literary horror from the author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend. We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us. Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with her child. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It's as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out. At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six long days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a treehouse in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again. Twenty years ago, Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower made readers everywhere feel infinite. Now, Chbosky has returned with an epic work of literary horror, years in the making, whose grand scale and rich emotion redefine the genre. Read it with the lights on..

Juvenile Fiction

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland | Lewis Carroll

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CELEBRATE 150 YEARS OF ALICE Oh my ears and whiskers, how late its getting! Would you be surprised to see a white rabbit take a watch out of his waistcoat pocket? It certainly seems a remarkable sight to Alice and, full of curiosity, she follows him down a rabbit-hole into a very strange world. She meets a disappearing cat, plays croquet with a bad-tempered Queen, joins a mad Hatter's tea party and becomes entangled in the case of some missing tarts. In Wonderland nothing but out-of-the-way things happen... Includes Through the Looking Glass. BACKSTORY: Learn about the author and what inspired him to create Wonderland, and try writing some nonsense verse!.