Hilary's Picks

Hilary moved to Asheville from Charleston, SC in 2016 to start a sustainability studies graduate program. She has a long history of working in bookstores and loves to read environmental nonfiction, travel literature, and children's books, but fiction with fantasy elements is her favorite. Some of her favorite authors are Margaret Atwood, David Mitchell, John Crowley, Cormac McCarthy, Ursula Le Guin, Diana Wynne Jones, Nnedi Okorafor, Julia Donaldson, Neil Gaiman, and Edith Wharton.



Staff Pick Badge
Little, Big Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061120053
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - October 17th, 2006


This book is magical. An unforgettable, lyrical tale that weaves together four generations of an impossible family, who live in an impossible house that acts as a barrier between our world and a forgotten realm of tangible magic. John Crowley himself is a magician, whose perfect writing weaves a web of scenes and characters that stand out so distinctly in your memory that the story itself begins to take on a new, shifting life, impacting and affecting the reader long after finishing the final page.

Suttree (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679736325
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 5th, 1992


Everything about this book is dark and dirty, from the oily film on the Tennessee River to the cast of characters that are criminals, losers, and deadbeats.

And yet-

Suttree is beautiful. McCarthy’s writing is impeccable and transforms this tale of degenerates into a literary masterwork. Set in nearby Knoxville!

The Bone Clocks: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812976823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - June 16th, 2015

After reading Cloud Atlas, I've been slowing working my way through every novel David Mitchell has written and love the fantastical, futuristic tales and interconnected recurring characters integral to his work. The Bone Clocks, like many of his other novels, is a series of snapshots in the form of short stories that eventually connect in the most unexpected and satisfying way.

Independent People (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679767923
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 14th, 1997

A beautiful, pastoral Nobel prize winner written in the style of the old Icelandic sagas. Unique imagery and rich descriptions make this challenging book an unforgettable read.

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The Savage Detectives: A Novel Cover Image
By Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780312427481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - March 4th, 2008

This book has been on my radar for years and I finally read it this year. Pure poetry in novel form, it's mindblowing to think that it is a translation. It made me want to read every word Bolaño has ever written.

The Strange Bird: A Borne Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374537920
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - February 27th, 2018


A dark, strange novella that reads like an ominous fairy tale, The Strange Bird expands on the universe and characters created in his surreal post apocalyptic novel, Borne, but can easily be read as a standalone. The story follows the narrator, no longer animal or human, as she escapes the horrific laboratory that’s held her captive and explores the changed wasteland that surrounds it.

Akata Witch Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142420911
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Speak - July 11th, 2017

A middle grade fantasy about a girl whose physical differences, a source of teasing and insecurity, turn out to be the link to her magical powers. Set in Nigeria, Akata Witch is the most inventive fantasy series I've read this year.

Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374261177
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: FSG Originals - November 18th, 2014

An alternate universe? An alien attack? Nature's response to the abuses of humanity? In Vandermeer's trilogy, a group of researchers disappear into unknown territory when an 'incident' occurs in the Southern US. With Lovecraftian suspense, beautiful imagery, and a wholly unique premise, I was completely absorbed and so terrified that I had to read it in broad daylight.

When You Reach Me Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375850868
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yearling - December 28th, 2010


Such a fun, immersive read for all ages! Smart, funny, well-written, with one of the most perfectly crafted endings I’ve ever read.

Twelve year old Miranda is having an eventful year. Her mother has just been chosen as a game show contestant, her best friend Sal isn’t talking to her, and she is receiving mysterious, anonymous notes predicting a dangerous event that only she can prevent. Who is sending these letters? How do they know that someone in her life is in danger? And what does her favorite book have to do with it all?

A perfect companion to A Wrinkle in Time!!

CIRCE Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316556347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 10th, 2018

A riveting mythology with a feminist slant. Circe, daughter of the sun god Helios, grew up in her powerful father’s palace as a lesser god, underestimated by the men in her life. When her family discovers the deeper, unexpected levels of her power, Circe is exiled to an island oasis. A different kind of beach read, Circe is an exhilarating, romantic reclaiming of female agency in myth.