Ruth's Picks

Ruth began as a bookseller at Market Street Bookshop on Cape Cod in 2017 and hasn't left the stacks since. She moved to Vermont after graduating from Clark University with a degree in Sociology. She has worked at Phoenix Books in Burlington since 2020.

Ruth's greatest accomplishment is that she has listened to the full audiobook of David Sedaris's diaries, Theft by Finding nine times. Her second greatest accomplishment is that she drove across the country solo in 2021 and only got one speeding ticket.

Ruth is happiest reading in her tent under the light of her headlamp or performing stand-up comedy at the Vermont Comedy Club. Her favorite genres are poetry, essay, memoir, short story, and literary fiction. Ask her about Joan Didion or Susan Sontag and watch her eyes light up!

Nevada by Imogen Binnie

Reviewed by: 
Ruth
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Nevada: A Novel By Imogen Binnie Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780374606619
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - June 7th, 2022

Meet Maria, the protagonist of Nevada and my new fictional best friend. Her favorite word is “whatever.” She is trans and Trying to Figure That Out. She is also freshly single and just got fired and kind of homeless and Trying to Figure That Out Too... without retreating into herself like she always does. Eventually, Maria "borrows" her ex's car and drives west. Trust me when I say you want to drive west with her.

Imogen Bonnie wrote this propulsive, luminous firecracker of a book in 2013. My hope is that this new edition released in 2022 will find new readers, because this is a book that really could change the world.


Butts by Heather Radke

Reviewed by: 
Ruth
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Butts: A Backstory By Heather Radke Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781982135485
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - November 29th, 2022

Behind this gloriously cheeky cover (ha!) lies a brilliant tour de force that I couldn't put down. The history of the butt, it turns out, says a lot about us humans! From colonialism to Nicki Minaj and everything in between, this is a fantastic and fascinating read.


The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon

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Ruth
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The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (Harper Perennial Deluxe Editions) By Michael Chabon Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062072238
Availability: Backordered. On Order at the Warehouse.
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - May 3rd, 2011

I've always loved the word "rollicking," and for The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, it is the perfect descriptor. This book is a ROLLICKING coming-of-age joyride of a book. Michael Chabon has perfectly depicted the feelings that fill the air when you're a late teen and it's the summertime. Humor and sadness and heartbreak and hope! First love! Sneaking beers and doing other dumb things with your dumb friends! This book almost makes me miss being a teenager. Almost.


The Hard Crowd

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Ruth
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The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020 By Rachel Kushner Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982157708
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Scribner - March 15th, 2022

Rachel Kushner is a badass whose essays are gritty and luminous. The thread that runs through this eclectic collection is ADVENTURE -- the kind that happens on motorcycles as well as the intellectual kind. I listened to this on Libro.fm while driving across the United States, and it kept me feeling alive whenever the road got monotonous. Rachel Kushner is one hell of a tour guide.
 


Walkman by Michael Robbins

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Ruth
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Walkman (Penguin Poets) By Michael Robbins Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780143134909
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Penguin Books - June 1st, 2021

I picked up this book for its stunning cover and was delighted to find that the poems inside it are even more stunning. The first line of the poem "Past One O'clock" tells you all you need to know:

"I'll quit smoking as soon as I get lung cancer. The young don't smoke anymore, they join gyms. I can't help thinking they've misunderstood something."

Robbins is a poet for those of us who lie awake and wonder about what ever happened to our Walkmans, to our childhood crushes... those of us who spend every night trying to recreate the nights when we were seventeen and anything could happen. Oh, and these poems are funny as hell. 


No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July

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Ruth
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No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories By Miranda July Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780743299411
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days
Published: Scribner - May 6th, 2008

For fans of Ottessa Moshfegh, this collection is alive with absurdity and awkwardness. In one of my favorite stories, a woman teaches seniors how to swim on the floor of her kitchen; in another, a woman fears that removing a birthmark will make her husband love her less. Humans do strange things to connect with one another, and July's intuitive understanding of this fact makes her a delight to read. 


Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

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Ruth
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Conversations with Friends: A Novel By Sally Rooney Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780451499066
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Hogarth - August 7th, 2018

Reading this book was like holding a mirror up to myself. The main characters are insecure, but also pretentious; obsessed with morality but morally inept; critical of conventional social hierarchies but inescapably enmeshed in them. And still, years after reading this book, I can't stop thinking about them.


Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

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Ruth
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The Anthropocene Reviewed (Signed Edition): Essays on a Human-Centered Planet By John Green Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525555216
Availability: Backordered. On Order at the Warehouse.
Published: Dutton - May 18th, 2021

Yes, you know who John Green is, but you've never known him like this. These essays expertly weave together history and memoir, searching for truths about humanity in the strangest of places-- Super Mario Kart, for instance, and the Bonneville Salt Flats. Monopoly, CNN, and "our capacity for wonder." This book is a wonderful gift, a bedside treasure, and a beach read of the highest caliber.

I give the Anthropocene Reviewed five stars. 


In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

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In the Dream House: A Memoir By Carmen Maria Machado Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450383
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Graywolf Press - December 1st, 2020

This book shook me to my core. Each chapter rarely extends longer than 1 page and explores a different facet of an abusive queer relationship through the lens of a different literary trope (stoner comedy, noir, déjà vu, etc.). As in her critically acclaimed book of short stories, Her Body and Other Parties, Machado's strength lies in her ability to create suspense and horror out of domestic life, Although this is a work of non-fiction, it reads like a thriller. -Ruth, Burlington


Girlhood by Melissa Febos

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Ruth
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Girlhood By Melissa Febos Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781635572520
Availability: Not in stock. At Our Partner Warehouse: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - March 30th, 2021

"I had learned about the male gaze in women’s studies classes, but knew no way to dig it out of me," writes Febos. This books is for feminists who are looking back at their own girlhoods and wondering when and why they began to see their body through others' eyes, where along the way their voices got smaller and their "no"s became diluted or disappeared altogether. This was a book I didn't know I needed until I found it. -Ruth, Burlington


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