Melissa's Picks

Melissa - Ingenious Head Book Buyer


I came to work at Auntie's after finishing my MFA in Creative Writing. I wear many different hats at the store but one of my favorites is buying. Getting to see all the books that get published each month is exciting! I love just about all types of books, from nonfiction to graphic novels to short stories. If it's a good read, you'll probably find it in my hand. When vacationing, the first thing I do is find the nearest bookstore to scope out; after years of this, my family now sets time limits. If I'm not reading, you'll probably find me playing basketball, spending time with friends, walking my dogs or pursuing my latest hobby. 

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The Batman Files Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781449408220
Availability: Special Order
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - October 25th, 2011

This book is truly a work of art, with a high quality cover, magnetic closure and black gilded edges. Starting with the drawings of a young Bruce Wayne, following him through some of his most significant life events, The Batman Files is a complete must-have for fans. Matthew Manning painstakingly highlights The Batman’s most compelling moments in the battle between good and evil, complete with bios on his most villainous enemies along with beautiful illustrations of Batman’s gadgets, uniforms, blueprints and maps to Gotham City and more.

Be Ready When the Sh*t Goes Down: A Survival Guide to the Apocalypse Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061998263
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: It Books - August 9th, 2011

As Forrest Griffin’s mother will tell you on the back of his recent book; she did not allow him to eat paint chips as a child. After looking at his outfit for the cover, you may disagree. No matter where your opinion falls on the paint chip spectrum, one thing is for sure: this guy is hilarious. Full of apocalyptic tips like digging up your wife’s rose garden to build a fall out shelter, hot wiring a car and even starting your own religion, you will feel enlightened, entertained and perhaps a bit nauseous from laughing.

Jesus' Son Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312428747
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - February 17th, 2009


This gritty and sharply written short story collection remains not only my favorite book but what I believe to be Denis Johnson's greatest piece of work. I first read this linked collection as a recommendation from my professor and started it sometime during the night and found I could not put it down. I was mesmerized by the prose, the flow of sentence and emotion invoked. I finished the book, flipped back to the front and started again. I will be surprised if a book ever pulls at me the way this one does.


Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393324822
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 17th, 2004

The life of the human cadaver is anything but beautiful, yet somewhere in this look at death Mary Roach seems to find it. Her sharp wit, eye for humor and honesty weave a tapestry of history formed from the lifeless bodies she explored. As we search for the answers of 'what happens when I die,' Roach skips the spiritual aspect and gets down to the hard science. From vivid accounts of burial, embalming, cremation and the less obvious choices such as crash test dummy donor or crime scene victim, we find what death really means. Sure to help you make a decision about your own remains!

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781563893421
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: DC Comics - May 1st, 1997

I used to watch the old Batman reruns with Adam West when I was a kid. I thought Batman was funny and a bit cheesy but the love for him remained. There was something in those blue tights and cool Batmobile that left me fascinated. But when I read Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, I saw Batman as not just a superhero but as a man, troubled by his past and his future, a real human being. Take the trip into the man and the darkness that stirs inside.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618871711
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - June 1st, 2007


Alison Bechdel, author of the comic 'Dykes to Watch Out For,' strikes a cord with a look back on her family life. This memoir told in graphic novel form  is easy to devour in one sitting. The drawings and short dialogue actually slow you down in a good way and help you focus on the simple story of a girl, her father and the secret they both keep. The narrative is both hilarious and heartbreaking all with the back drop of the family business- a funeral home- or as the family and title describe, a 'fun home.' Eventually, as Alison is away at college, her and her father form a bond over books but the attention is both overwhelming and repulsive- not really understanding why he finally offers the relationship she had longed for. This is great for just about any reader teen and up (due to one slightly explicit sex scene) but would be a great fit for those just coming out or dealing with family issues and sexuality.