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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.
NON-RETURNABLE. May take longer to arrive. Please confirm this is the edition you want.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.