We carry over 10,000 new books in all categories, including a large section of unique books and toys for kids, preteens, an expanded local section, history, gardening, food & wine, G/L/B/T, and sections featuring local writers and interests. Whether you’re looking for a classic or cutting edge, we’re constantly adding new titles, so stop in to see what we have! Special ordering is always available.

fiction
Perfectly Broken
Robert Burke Warren

Grant is a forty-something musician. He moves–with his editor/publicist wife Beth, and their young child–from their NYC apartment to New York State’s Hudson Valley to live next door to old friends. As with so many of life’s turning points, things can veer far from the plan. If there’s any plan at all.

Local author Robert Burke Warren’s debut novel is an achingly beautiful meditation of relationships, kids, blown connections, over-medication, and growing older while still feeling young. The characters are so masterfully-drawn, in so few words, that they quietly become the readers’ friends. You will see parts of your friends–or yourself—in every character. We can certainly age while fighting it. To age beautifully, everything still might need to be broken apart. MORE

fiction
The Book of Speculation
Erica Swyler

(By Kelley) The Book of Speculation has a little something for everyone: mystery, fantasy, history, suspense, and a sprinkle of romance. When Simon unexpectedly receives a circus logbook from the late 1700’s that includes a family name, he sets out to unravel the secrets of his parents and all the women who died young on his mother’s side of the family. Despite being “mermaids” able to hold their breath for 10 minutes at a time, they all mysteriously drowned. Told in alternating chapters set in present day Long Island and an old-time traveling show, this epic tale will keep you turning pages and rooting for Simon to solve the mystery before the family curse catches up with his sister. MORE

non-fiction
Being Mortal
Atul Gawande

(By Alan) Bestselling author Atul Gawande writes a timeless and personal account on how we can better live with (and assist our loved ones with) old age, serious or terminal illness and approaching death. Far from depressing or morbid, it’s a book for the living, and that offers navigation through the most difficult times of old age and illness. If you have parents, read it. It will change all of your lives in some way. MORE

Read the NYT Review
fiction
My Struggle, Book Four
Karl Ove Knausgaard

(By Amanda) One ‘novel’, running 6 volumes and some 3,600 pages: to say that My Struggle is an ambitious piece of work is a bit of an understatement. It’s also the literary event  of the decade, maybe the century. I balked at reading this behemoth, or even part of it, until rave reviews started rolling in from friends, and trusted regular customers. I dipped my toe into Knausgaardian waters by reading his recent travel pieces for the NY Times, and was shocked to find myself laughing aloud at some passages, crying like a baby at others. (A TRAVEL piece. In the Times. Seriously?)

Pick up that first volume with caution: a few minutes’ exploration easily turns into hours-long binges, as a strangely uneventful story (the author’s middle-class Norwegian childhood/youth/adulthood, rendered in minute detail) unspools before you. Two volumes in and I (in agreement with many actual, professional book reviewers) am prepared to call it the best contemporary fiction out there. My only complaint is having to read it in (seemingly amazing) translation. I keep wondering what the Norwegian is like…not that I’ll ever know.

Volume 4 was just released in English on April 28th, great news for anyone who’s already made their way through the first three books, and a further challenge (or comfort, once you’re hooked) to those of us just getting started on this massive, and massively engaging, project.

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memoir
H is for Hawk
Helen Macdonald

(By Amanda) Sometimes the unexpected literary successes are the most satisfying. Anyone can write an exciting, bestselling thriller or vampire book, but something subtler, more meaningful?

H is for Hawk is the beautifully written chronicle of a woman’s struggle with grief after her father’s death. A grief that leads her, naturally, to acquire a hawk and attempt to train it. You just have to read it. And then give it to a friend/parent/child/neighbor and have them read it.

You’ll thank me. That is all. MORE

fiction
After Birth
Elisa Albert

(By Amanda) I picked up Elisa Albert’s novel After Birth because several other writers had mentioned it to me, and I was in the middle of a 3600-page autobiographical novel by a Norwegian man (see above). I was in desperate need of something both literally and figuratively closer to home, a palate-cleanser, if you will. And then I couldn’t put it down.

The incredibly honest story of a woman grappling with the boredom and disappointment of new motherhood while dealing with the boredom and disappointment of living in a gentrifying upstate town, it hit a nerve- well, really, most of my nerves. Yes, it will speak to mothers and upstaters. But it’s also a great exploration of motherhood today, and living outside of the mainstream politically, geographically, or psychologically (not every birth experience is a Hallmark moment, and not every new mother takes to her role with ease and joy. And that’s OK.) MORE

poetry
SOS Poems
Amiri Baraka

(By Amanda) I am not a poetry person, really. I love it, but I don’t have the wherewithal to follow the contemporary scene as closely as I should. I read the classics when I think of reading poetry- Shakespeare, Auden, Carson.

Amiri Baraka is a classic, a giant of the 20th-century, and this is the definitive collection of his work. A beautiful, substantial volume (50 years of writing!) this is one of those books I think every home with a bookcase should have. Read him to your friends, read him at parties, then read him to your kids. Guaranteed to provide 50 years of reading. MORE

non-fiction
Hide and Seek
Sofia Borges

(By Amanda) A truly amazing coffee-table book? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? (Sorry, they’re usually more gloss than content…) This collection of small modernist buildings (think sheds, vacation cabins, tiny houses) is a revelation: the projects documented are exquisite, and the photography and layout are perfect. This is a book that could entertain an armchair builder for years, or provide endless inspiration for anyone actually considering building.

Hide and Seek is a great complement (and 21st-century update) to two other Spotty Dog favorites, the eternally amazing Shelter, and its sister publication Tiny Homes. If you’re a fan of either, Hide and Seek will blow your mind. From minimalist beach huts to tiny cabins that look like boulders, there’s something here for anyone interested in sleeping under a (very stylish) roof. MORE

non-fiction
Feral
George Monbiot

(By Amanda) Did you know you’re a hundred and fifty times more likely to be killed by a toothpick than by a wolf? That playing outdoors around grass and trees reduces the incidence of ADHD in children, while playing on pavement increases it?

You may know George Monbiot from his articles and blog for The Guardian. He’s a thoughtful writer about social issues and the environment, and he’s long come down on the side of both wild animals and wild places. His latest book is an exciting approach to a host of man-made ills, embracing the idea of rewilding, a kind of un-development of the landscape coupled with steps to help wild things (plants, animals) reclaim the places and spaces they’ve lost.

It sounds dry, but for those of us overwhelmed by the constant barrage of environmental bad news, it’s lovely to think that there might be some hope, a positive proactive set of steps we can take in places around the world to slow the mass extinction of species currently underway, and reinvigorate both the health of our landscapes and our relationship with nature. All while actually improving human health, happiness, and sanity. MORE