September Staff Picks: Books!

stock: Weird Horrors, digital comics museum

Broken Monsters Lauren Beukes Little, Brown and Company
Broken Monsters

Lauren Beukes

Little, Brown and Company

From the author of The Shining Girls, the newest book follows female homicide detective Gabi Versado as she tangles with failed-artist-turned-murderer Clayton Broom. I enjoyed the creepiness of The Shining Girls and it sounds like Broken Monsters follows the same path.

— Brenda

Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema Anne Helen PetersenScandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema

Anne Helen Petersen


Anne Helen Petersen is a former academic who left the world of academia to write for Buzzfeed. She does celebrity gossip — academic style. It’s nice to see academic feminism meeting a broader audience, and Petersen’s writing is erudite, but accessible. I’ve loved every one of her longer Buzzfeed articles so I am really looking forward to her book.

— Ginnis

The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell Simon & SchusterThe Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made

Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell

Simon & Schuster

This book is about the creation of The Room, thought to be the worst movie ever made, and the life of its mysterious creator, Tommy Wiseau. The book is written by one of the actors from The Room, Greg Sestero (Mark of the infamous “Oh, hi Mark”), and I went into it expecting it to be exploitative and fame hungry. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how affectionate it was, and despite the sometimes overwrought language, I really enjoyed it.

— Ivy

Stone Mattress Margaret Atwood McClelland & StewartStone Mattress

Margaret Atwood

McClelland & Stewart

As an unabashed Margaret Atwood fan, whenever she has a new book you can be guaranteed it will be one of my staff picks. Though I prefer novels, her short stories are always clever, fun to read and insightful. This latest collection sounds like a unique bunch with stories such as “Lusus Naturae,” about a woman with a genetic abnormality who is mistaken for a vampire and “Freeze-Dried Bridegroom,” about a man who bids on a storage locker with a surprise inside. There’s even a story that revisits some of the characters from The Robber Bride. This collection is a must read for any Atwood fan.

— Christa

Maplecroft Cherie Priest Roc Trade/PenguinMaplecroft

Cherie Priest

Roc Trade/Penguin

We all know the story. Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one…. Now you can read her side of the story in this new novel from Cherie Priest, the author of the fabulous steampunk zombie series, Boneshaker. It sounds incredibly spooky and perfect for reading on a brisk fall evening.

— Christa

Winterspell Claire Legrand Simon & SchusterWinterspell

Claire Legrand

Simon & Schuster

It was hard to narrow down the many amazing books releasing this month for my staff picks. But I knew Claire Legrand’s first Young Adult novel, Winterspell was going to be on the list no matter what. It’s a dark re-imagining of The Nutcracker with faeries, which has amazing written all over it. I’ve enjoyed her two middle grade novels, The Cavendish Home for Boys & Girls and The Year of the Shadows. She has a knack for writing quirky and charming characters and absolutely captivating plots. I would recommend her work to readers of all ages.

— Christa

Afterworlds Scott Westerfeld Simon PulseAfterworlds

Scott Westerfeld

Simon Pulse

Scott Westerfeld is the author of the Uglies series, among many other works. He is definitely one of my favorite young adult novelists, and I am very excited for Afterworlds. Westerfeld has a knack for writing strong young women as his lead roles and this newest work promises to offer the same.

Afterworlds will be adventurous in style as it weaves two different stories together: The story of Darcy, a young novelist, will be told parallel to Darcy’s own protagonist’s story. If this is anything like his previous works you can expect a lot of action, fast-paced drama, and just a little bit of realistic romance. I am pre-ordering it today.

— Al Rosenberg

Cover: Brian Froud Faerie TalesBrian Froud’s Faeries’ Tales

Brian and Wendy Froud


Mixing Brian Froud’s whimsical illustrations with original stories, Brian Froud’s Faeries’ Tales follows his other work in exploring the relationship between human and faery. This time he allows the faeries to set the record straight as they relate the “correct” version of familiar tales, interspersed with Froud’s lovely drawings.

— Sarah

Cover: Monster Manual (D&D Core Rulebook)Monster Manual (D&D Core Rulebook)

Wizards RPG Team

Wizards of the Coast

Dragons and beholders and mind flayers — hell yes!

The second of the new rulebooks is the Monster Manual, which is primarily a resource in for Dungeon Masters to use in populating dungeons and lairs. Players will also enjoy the art, though, and the book promises to have old favorites with new art and info to pore over.

— Sarah

Megan Purdy

Megan Purdy

Publisher of all this. Megan was born in Toronto. She's still there. Philosopher, space vampire, heart of a killer.