Porter Square Books Staff Picks: October 2022

Porter Square Books: Boston Edition, located on the first floor of GrubStreet's Center for Creative Writing, is open and ready to fulfill all of your book-browsing desires! Staff Picks are 20% off, so you can add to your TBR pile guilt-free. Whether you want to read about vampires that are only slightly well-behaved, one Cherokee family and the monsters they meet, or a character with the deep desire to be seen, loved and understood, PSB has a pick for you. We're located on the southeast side of 50 Liberty, facing the Marina and the ICA. Come visit!



Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee

When the boss at burnt-out Lizze Chung's law firm gives her time off to relax, she doesn't know what to do with herself. Enter Lizzie's childhood friend Jack Park. He fiercely misses Before Lizzie, the girl who was happy and free and not this workaholic shell of her former self. He's determined to bring the joy back into her smile. Perfect for fans of Emily Henry and Ashley Poston, Booked on a Feeling is whirlwind of a love story that captures exactly what it's like to fall headfirst off a cliff into the arms of someone safe. — Cindy

Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong

Foul Lady Fortune is Chloe Gong at her finest. The story is truly an adventure from start to finish, with a cast of familiar characters you grow to love more and more as the pages fly by. Rendered in a freshly cinematic hand that carries you through the hopeful and the heartbreaking, Lady Fortune and her crew will make you think you're safe from the havoc, just as they reach in and gouge your heart straight out from your chest. This book is genuinely, in every sense of the word, an absolute marvel. What a pleasure it is, to suffer so sweetly! — Cindy

House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson

In Alexis Henderson’s newest Gothic horror, you’ll find vampires that are only slightly well-behaved, a feral yet fascinating court, and a quickly passionate romance that threatens to devour the thing the protagonist holds most dear: her life. — Engel

Dowry of Blood by ST Gibson

This is maybe the best follow up to Dracula I have ever read, and trust me when I say I have read a lot. Gothic and sensual and capital R Romantic, Gibson captures the cultural feeling of Dracula while fleshing out the three brides and giving us their dark and bloody story. Vampire fans will not want to miss out on this ravenous story swathed in romance. — Katherine

How To Teach Grown-Ups About Pluto by Dean Regas

I was ten years old when Pluto was officially "demoted" - declared not a planet, but a dwarf planet. Being ten and a fan of underdogs, I was understandably offended on Pluto's behalf. But it's been almost twenty years since then, and some grown-ups still haven't gotten over it! This book addresses the history of Pluto, and also the way grown-ups hold onto ideas about the world even when our scientific understanding changes. One half of Piera's October "Science Sure Does Change!" Special. — Piera

Why Fish Don't Exist by Lulu Miller

Beautiful little book about fish, fascination, the deep and rotten roots of eugenics in this country, and the way what we know to be true changes. Fish don't exist! One half of Piera's October "Science Sure Does Change!" Special. — Piera

Man Made Monsters by Andrea Rogers

A journey through decades as we follow one Cherokee family and the monsters they meet—or face or befriend or become. Each story feels like the perfect glimpse into a the life of each complex character. In turns haunting, heartfelt, and hopeful, this book is ideal for teen and adult readers alike. — Katherine

Small Angels by Lauren Owen

Who doesn't love a haunted forest? Playing along the borders of a modern version of A24's The Witch, Small Angels is an intriguing Gothic tale that's perfect for October. Make yourself a hot drink, snuggle into your ideal reading nook, and ponder whether that forest retreat you've been yearning for is worth the risk. — Engel

Helltown by Casey Sherman

Fans of true crime: you won't want to miss this one! The case of the Cape Cod serial killer from the late 60's, Tony Costa, went largely forgotten due to the Manson murders that happened a few months later, stealing the spotlight of national news. Costa brutally killed at least 4 young women in the vibrant hippie town of Provincetown, MA. This case also haunted up-and-coming local writers/rivals Kurt Vonnegut and Normal Mailer, who took a keen interest in launging their own investigations of the murders (Vonnegut's daughter was an acquaintance of Costa's). Superbly researched, Helltown is shocking, disturbing and compelling, reading like horror novel. Who knew idyllic Cape Cod could have such a dark chapter? — Babbie

Moomins and the Great Flood by Tove Jannson

A true classic, the Moomins are back and ready to go on adventures! Join them on their first and most exciting, as they search for a home to call their own. — Jennifer

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

With a main character reminiscent of Wednesday Addams and Eloise, this charming murder mystery is part humor, part chills, all heart. Flavia will win your favor and save the day. — Jennifer

If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery

As a Jamaican-American writer and reader, it’s been a long journey for me finding writers who reflect my world. I’ve been lucky to find a few narratives that create that mirror, but If I Survive You is special. From tearing up while reading whole passages in Jamaican Patois to feeling entirely connected to Trelawney’s deep desire to be seen, loved and understood; I cannot help but feel that Escoffery has given something to the children of West-Indian immigrants we’ve been looking for for a while. I have big love for this one and I hope you will too. — Laniesha, GrubStreet

(This pick is discounted in Porter Square Books: Boston Edition exclusively.)

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