Mo's Staff Favorites

Mo joined the Annie Bloom's staff in September of 2022, and has also worked as a bookseller at BookPeople in Austin, TX and at the airport location of Powell's. Her debut novel, Every Anxious Wave, was published by St. Martin's Press in 2016 and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Mo is obsessed with contemporary novels that are either fun and funny or dark and gritty. She believes that some problems in life can only be solved through fiction. Mo is also a voracious reader of psychology and self-help books as well as hard-hitting memoirs. When she is not selling books, she is hard at work on her next novel.

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Every Anxious Wave: A Novel By Mo Daviau Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781250116345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
NON-RETURNABLE. May take longer to arrive. Please confirm this is the edition you want.
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - November 22nd, 2016

A Gen X time travel indie rock love story/a feminist High Fidelity. I wrote it. It's my pride and joy. If you like Pavement, Sebadoh, dark bars, and brooding, this is your jam. I'd be happy to sign and personalize a copy for you--just ask!


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Vladimir: A Novel By Julia May Jonas Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982187644
Availability: Special Order - arrival estimates will be provided when your order is processed
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - January 31st, 2023

English professors having affairs with students is usually a no thanks for me, but Julia May Jonas completely upends this tired trope with relentless erotic foreboding. Desire is the main character here, and whatever does or doesn't happen with the narrator's obsession, the new writing professor at her remote college, is hardly the point. Absolutely riveting.


How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving By David Richo, Kathlyn Hendricks (Foreword by) Cover Image
By David Richo, Kathlyn Hendricks (Foreword by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781611809541
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Shambhala - November 2nd, 2021

My go-to book for understanding and improving ourselves within relationships. Richo preaches the gospel of the Five As needed to sustain and grow a healthy relationship.


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Bookish People By Susan Coll Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781400234097
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Harper Muse - August 2nd, 2022

I adored this sweet and funny novel about a bookstore owner and her staff examining various and sundry misfortunes. Anyone asking me for a light read gets this one put in their hands. A sunny, hopeful, daring book, and one that has a turtle as a character.


Silver Sparrow By Tayari Jones Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781616201425
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Algonquin Books - May 8th, 2012

A stunner--this novel has stayed with me since the first time I read it ten years ago. The daughter of a man's secret second family meets and befriends his known daughter, her half-sister, and secrets are revealed.


Maybe It’s Me: On Being the Wrong Kind of Woman By Eileen Pollack Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781953002211
Availability: Special Order - arrival estimates will be provided when your order is processed
Published: Delphinium - January 24th, 2023

Little, Big By John Crowley Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780061120053
Availability: Special Order - arrival estimates will be provided when your order is processed
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - October 17th, 2006

The Last Playboy: The High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa By Shawn Levy Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780007170609
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Harper Perennial - October 31st, 2006

The true story of Porfirio "Rubi" Rubirosa, an early twentieth century womanizer, an operative of Trujillo's dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, a lothario who tangled with multiple high-profile heiresses, a Hollywood gad-about, a looker, a lover, and according to Portland's own Shawn Levy, the last guy to get away with all of this. You will never look at large pepper mills the same after reading this scrupulously researched biography. (For a more wholesome read, check out Levy's IN ON THE JOKE, about pioneering female comedians!)


Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts By Matt Bell Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781641293419
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Soho Press - March 8th, 2022

A most useful and straightforward craft book for the novel. You WILL re-key the entire second draft and you will be happy you did.


The Done Thing: A Book Club Recommendation! By Tracy Manaster Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781507204894
Availability: Special Order - arrival estimates will be provided when your order is processed
Published: Gallery Books - December 5th, 2017

This book did not get the attention it deserved when it was published. An arch, angry, dare I say "unlikeable" (bleh!) protagonist, a family tragedy, and a healthy serving of revenge flesh out this masterful work of fiction. If you're looking for a book club book, dare to read The Done Thing!


Staff Pick Badge
Big Swiss: A Novel By Jen Beagin Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982153083
Availability: Special Order - arrival estimates will be provided when your order is processed
Published: Scribner - February 7th, 2023

OMG. This book.

It's funny. It's sad. The ending goes darker than I expected. In short: two deeply traumatized women meet in a morally questionable way and have an affair. They admire each other's resistance to the label of trauma. There are dogs and bees. CW for extreme violence. I laughed out loud multiple times. Protagonist Greta is a hilarious, tragic character, and her love for the woman she calls Big Swiss is palpable and, of course, doomed.


The Red-Headed Pilgrim By Kevin Maloney Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781953387288
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (updated daily)
Published: Two Dollar Radio - January 24th, 2023

Kevin Maloney is a Portland guy. I've seen him around writer events for years. He wears a trucker hat. He is affable and we have had a few short, friendly convos over the years. Maloney's novel is pretty great, like a weird dream that you want to tell people about. I dig it. If you're the kind of person who groks "so funny it gave me diarrhea, but in a good way," this is your ride.


Snacking Cakes: Simple Treats for Anytime Cravings: A Baking Book By Yossy Arefi Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780593139660
Availability: Special Order - arrival estimates will be provided when your order is processed
Published: Clarkson Potter - October 27th, 2020

In May 2023, I became utterly obsessed with this fine book of EZ cake recipes. Each cake is a single layer, just enough for you and no more than three friends to snack on.

As of this writing, I have baked the following:
Vanilla cake (5 stars)

Strawberry-glazed passion fruit cake (5 stars, was a hit at a dinner party)

Pumpkin olive oil cake (4.5 stars, made it in the spring when it's a fall flavor)

Pineapple upside down cake (4.5 stars, involves some sorcery with fruit)

Chocolate peanut butter (3 stars, but this may be a Mo Problem, as I confess my cocoa was of poor quality)

Powdered Donut Cake (4.5 stars--really does taste like a Hostess Powdered Donette from the gas station!)

Jam Cake (3.5--I made it for a friend who gave it 5 stars but I'm not really a jam person. Jam isn't my jam, I guess you could say. Your jam mileage may vary.)

If you want to distract yourself from the matters at hand and end up with some simple, delicious cakes, I wholeheartedly recommend SNACKING CAKES, along with a glass of milk and therapy. Seriously, this book rules and makes a perfect gift.


Bread and Circus By Airea D. Matthews Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781668011454
Availability: Special Order - arrival estimates will be provided when your order is processed
Published: Scribner - May 30th, 2023

Airea D. Matthews was a classmate of mine at the University of Michigan's MFA creative writing program. I adore her and highly recommend everything that she writes.


Speedboat (NYRB Classics) By Renata Adler, Guy Trebay (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Renata Adler, Guy Trebay (Afterword by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781590176139
Availability: Backordered - availability and arrival estimates will be provided when your order is processed
Published: NYRB Classics - March 19th, 2013

I went looking for a discursive novel, as I have written one myself, and landed on this gem from 1976. Speedboat is a series of disconnected vignettes with varying levels of power and emotional wallop stitched together with the through-line of what it means to be a woman in New York in 1976. I was a baby in California in 1976 and I still managed to find much to admire here. If you are a fan of Sigrid Nunez, you will dig this.