Staff Favorites List

Each of these titles is personally recommended by one of our Brilliant Booksellers.  The list features both newly published and older books and draws from a wide array of writers, styles, and genres, making for a list as eclectic and unique as our Brilliant customers. Find past lists in our Staff Favorites Archive.

Brilliant Books Members receive additional benefits on current Staff Favorites books — Learn More

Staff Pick Logo
The Unconsoled (Vintage International) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780679735878
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - October 1st, 1996

From Nobel Prize winning author Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled is a mystifying critique of art culture.  Mr Ryder, a world renowned pianist arrives in an unnamed European city for a critical performance. The townspeople treat him as an authority on culture and art, but Ryder is a clueless, thoughtless lead. Time and space don't seem to matter in this story as events and locations fold in on themselves in wondrous ways.  A strange and bewildering read, filled with complex insights into the human psyche. --Andrew


Staff Pick Logo
The Invention of Ana: A Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062679079
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Custom House - February 13th, 2018

Invention of Ana started out a bit slow for me, but I was quickly hooked. The peek into the hipster art world of Brooklyn was a not what I was in the mood for, but when Ana started explaining to our narrator the possibilities of time travel through following astronomical time and promptly launches from there to a story about having her appendix removed under false pretenses as a child, I was hooked. The story hops back and forth between Ana's art projects and her bizarre childhood under the Ceausescu regime in Romania. All of our information filtered through our narrator, a hopeful young writer working for his brother in the art community.--Jack


Staff Pick Logo
The Overstory Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780393635522
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 3rd, 2018

A massive oak of a novel, Overstory follows nine people's branching stories, their lives converging in the united effort of saving a stand of virgin forest in the Northwest. Trees connect everything, the novel told in three parts, from the roots to the trunk to the crown, stories building converging and unfurling.   A powerful reminder of the natural world so many take for granted—an ode to trees, their presence, importance and history. --Rachel


Staff Pick Logo
Gandhi Reader: A Sourcebook of His Life and Writings (Revised) Cover Image
By Homer a. Jack (Editor)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780802131614
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - January 5th, 1994

This collection of speeches, essays, correspondence and biographical material ranks among the most influential of the 20th century. Gandhi's life and work is as relevant today as when his words inspired Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and countless others. If I could require one book be read by every human, it would be this one. --Sharon


Staff Pick Logo
Himself Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501145186
Availability: Available to ship immediately
Published: Washington Square Press - October 10th, 2017

Lin-Manuel Miranda once said of books, "To engender empathy and create a world using only words is the closest thing we have to magic." This exquisite debut novel is that kind of magic. Set in rural Ireland in 1976 in a landscape of ghosts, fairies and mysteries, the story centers on Mahoney, a handsome rogue who grew up in an orphanage and wants to solve his mum's disappearance. He disturbs and charms the village, as well as the readers. The cast of characters, living and dead, is enchanting, the story pulsates with energy and peril, and the prose is sublime. Magic indeed! --Sharon


Staff Pick Logo
The Optimistic Decade Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616206307
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - May 1st, 2018

This coming of age story set at the beginning of the Gulf War follows a few wings of a radical communist famliy as they grapple with what they really want. Set mostly at a utopian summer camp in the desert, The Optimistic Decade digs into idealism, hope, and early adult life. --Jack


Staff Pick Logo
The Music Shop Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812996685
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - January 2nd, 2018

On a dead end street in a run down neighborhood sits a funky old record shop. The owner, Frank, is a man of few words and an uncanny ability to prescribe the exact music a customer needs.  Joyce weaves in a whole cast of misfits whose loyalty and affection for Frank and one another is heartfelt and enriches the story as they all try and help Frank solve the mystery of a German woman in the green coat. A fun, lighthearted read. --Sandi


Staff Pick Logo
The Silent Companions Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143131632
Availability: Available to ship immediately
Published: Penguin Books - March 6th, 2018

Newly widowed and pregnant, Elsie retreats to her late husband's estate in the country, only to find the crumbling old pile already has a resident: a life-sized wooden cut-out painted with the lifelike features of someone who looks quite a lot like Elsie herself.  As you might expect, things go downhill from there.  This book is about as gothic as it gets, with all the requisite intrigue, wickedness (both human and supernatural), and plenty of the familiar tropes, as well as the delightfully atmospheric creepiness that makes gothic novels such a pleasure to read. --Caitlin


Staff Pick Logo
From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars) Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780345511478
Availability: Available to ship immediately
Published: Del Rey Books - October 3rd, 2017

By far my favorite Star Wars title of the new Disney canon! From A Certain Point Of View is a collection of 40 different short stories from different authors celebrate the 40th anniversary of the franchise. Each is set within the confines of the original trilogy & together they showcase a plethora of characters who appear in the movies, but have minor or no role in the plot. A great look into the Star Wars universe from the inside! --Jodie


Staff Pick Logo
Slow Boat (Japanese Novellas #1) Cover Image
By Hideo Furukawa, David Boyd (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781782273288
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pushkin Press - June 6th, 2017

Slow Boat is the story of a floundering life told through the prism of failed romantic relationships.  The narrator wants to escape from Tokyo, but is  mysteriously unable to do so.  All of his girlfriends find a way free of the city however, dissolve their relationships with him as they go. The narrator finds success, and failure in his work life, but Tokyo continues to ensnare him, often in outrageously comic fashions. --Andrew


Staff Pick Logo
The Balcony Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316554671
Availability: Available to ship immediately
Published: Little Brown and Company - March 27th, 2018

A generation hopping look at a French country estate, and the families who have lived on its grounds over the years. Spanning over a hundred years, we get a glimpse of the pre war years, through the WWII resistance and up to our current social situation, Delury's characters are rich, and find their way into each other's stories much as you would expect in a small town. --Jack


Staff Pick Logo
Codex Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780156028592
Availability: Available to ship immediately
Published: Mariner Books - May 2nd, 2005

Edward Wozny, investment banker, is in over his head.  What was supposed to be a laughably easy task--organizing a library of rare & valuable books--unravels into a quest for answers that may tie together a missing book, a bizarre computer game, & centuries of secrets.  This is a book that I could (and have) read again & again.  On the surface, it sounds like a Dan Brown novel, but despite its brisk pacing and twisty plot, the characters are the real stars.  The story takes on a dreamy quality as obsession blurs the line between fate & coincidence. --Caitlin


Staff Pick Logo
The House of Broken Angels Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316154888
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - March 6th, 2018

The dying patriarch of a large Mexican-American family in San Diego gathers his friends and family for one last weekend celebration to share stories, re-negotiate relationships and divulge secrets. Death may shadow the proceedings, but this exuberant novel oozes life in all its messy glory. It reeled me in from the first page. Bonus points for the shout-out in the middle to the late great Reynolds Price. --Sharon


Staff Pick Logo
New People of the Flat Earth Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781912248001
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Repeater - January 16th, 2018

Proteus, a man split in two, lost and without his soul, leaves his life as a Zen Buddhist monk abruptly when the metal ball bearing he named Mosquito vanishes from the recesses of his mind. He embarks on a journey, rife with metaphysical problems unique to his situation, that takes him from Seattle to Mongolia, with various strange stops along the way. A marvelous labyrinth of a novel that unfolds like a clementine unwrapping. --Andrew


Staff Pick Logo
Child of a Mad God: A Tale of the Coven Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780765395276
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - February 6th, 2018

R.A. Salvatore, long time Dungeons & Dragons fiction author, returns to his personal world of Corona with Child of a Mad God. This tale, the beginning of a new independent series, follows the developing life of Aoleyn, a young girl who was born into a barbaric culture of strength and magic where men rule, but women hold all the power. Adventure awaits in this new epic and I for one will be eagerly awaiting the next installment!  --Jodie


Staff Pick Logo
Asymmetry Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501166761
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 6th, 2018

With simple elegance, Asymmetry unfolds in three parts, two seemingly unconnected stories that cross briefly in the third.  There is such thoughtful space in this novel, the prose elegant and refined, as Halladay examines the importance and responsibility of creativity in our lives. This is an excellent read that will leave you in awe of her masterful writing. --Rachel