Neighborly Recs #001: 6 books you should read in 2024

Neighborly Recs #001: 6 books you should read in 2024

Can't figure out what to read next? We asked a few neighbors to help us out and share ONE book they'd put their stamp of approval on. Some are old, some are new. Some are recommended by staff and some are favorites of friends who just love books.

Here's a few gems you need to check out:


North Woods by Daniel Mason

"I read this in January and already knew it would be one of my top books of the year. The setting is so vivid, and each chapter brings something new and expected."

- Christine P. | My buddy who reads a lot and has great taste


As one reviewer stated.. this one is rather impossible to define.
It’s a hodgepodge and a narrative of its main character. A yellow house in Massachusetts. Traveling through time, it’s the story of the inhabitants-  humans, ghosts, insects, wildlife and of course the original apple trees.
Mason is a brilliant and creative writer. 
This is poetic and tragic yet he instills a sense of history and even humor.
Amazing feat.
Loved every character and every word.
Not to miss!"

- Mary M. | Monstera's Staff and Chief Book Recommender


Buy North Woods


A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

"It’s good to feel things! This might be my favorite book I’ve ever read. Yes, it is at times sad, but it is also funny and hopeful and a celebration of all of the relationships in life that help get us through. It is exquisitely written and the characters will stay with you long after you close the book."

- Marissa N. | Friend of the shop, Weekend Volunteer Employee


Buy A Little Life


James: A Novel by Percival Everett

"A darkly humorous novel employing deft dry wit by one of America’s unsung literary voices, Percival Everett. James reclaims a cornerstone of American literature as an act of reprisal in an effortless and playfully sardonic way."

- Wesley H. | Monstera's Staff


 Buy James: A Novel


Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

"Written as a satirical screenplay, I loved this book's twist on an Asian-American narrative. Willis, or 'Generic Asian Man #1,' works his whole life for the top role, 'Kung Fu Guy,' and learns the harsh reality that the harder you work to break the glass ceiling, the more of your life you lose.

Read if you loved: Barbie (the movie)"

- Jen M. | My friend who is living her dream by writing these bookstore recommendations


Buy Interior Chinatown


Still Life by Louise Penny

"Louise Penny mysteries read more like novels. In short paragraphs, she creates intricate plots, with complex memorable characters living in Three Pines, a little village complete with an independent bookstore.

While the mystery is solved within the pages of each of Penny's books, the main characters continue to evolve and mature [throughout the series]. You are going to love Chief Inspector Armand Gamache with his compassionate transcendent genius, his family, his team, and his community of supporting characters in Three Pines!"

- Sue S. | Our very first customer, lives 312 steps from Monstera's


 Buy Still Life


The Creative Act by Rick Rubin

"The way Rick Rubin approaches creativity will be insightful to any creative person – no matter if you are a writer, designer, musician, or scrapbooker. I find myself underlining every paragraph because it is has been so mind-blowing.

The ideas in here are pretty woo-woo, but I have a feeling most creative types (me included) will eat that sh*t up. Rubin refers to "the work" and how our creative projects have a life of their own, and how we can harness that energy to become masters of our craft. A must read for any creative person, this one will be iconic for decades."

- Justin W. | Not really on staff but I made this website and wrote this article so I deserve a say


Buy The Creative Act 


Have a Neighborly Rec to share?

Fill out the form on our contact page or email for a chance to be featured in our next batch of book recommendations. 

See you soon, neighbor!

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