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July Staff Picks!

Check out this month’s staff picks from the Betty’s Books crew!


Alain’s Pick


French Milk book cover

French Milk by Lucy Knisley

Through delightful drawings, photographs, and musings, twenty-three-year-old Lucy Knisley documents a six-week trip she and her mother took to Paris when each was facing a milestone birthday. With a quirky flat in the fifth arrondissement as their home base, they set out to explore all the city has to offer, watching fireworks over the Eiffel Tower on New Year’s Eve, visiting Oscar Wilde’s grave, loafing at cafés, and, of course, drinking delicious French milk. 

I’ve only ever read Lucy Knisley’s comics and strips as I’ve encountered them in the wild (Instagram), so with Lucy coming to town, I thought it was about time I formally read her work! I picked up French Milk since it seemed the most fitting piece to start with, with me going through a weird early twenties phase, and it ended up being such a wonderful read! I love how open and real Lucy is in her works; memoir and diary comics have always been my jam, so getting the added element of seeing the photos made it feel like I was reading a friend’s journal. Truly such a fun and comfy read!



Alex’s Pick


Trick Pony book cover

Trick Pony by Greg Lockard, Anna David, and Lucas Gattoni

This book wowed me with its art and fantastic storytelling, which refuses to hold the reader’s hand. Subtleties about our protagonist and what’s going on with him as he travels home are left to be interpreted as the reader chooses — is this a supernatural encounter, or simply the internal manifestation of his unresolved trauma?

The art is incredible. I loved the sketchy yet evocative style, and the vivid, almost pastel colors used, especially during magical realistic scenes. So delicious!

The ending may feel a tad anticlimactic if you’re expecting melodrama, and I suspect that may be the point. Life isn’t a movie, and the things we avoid for years don’t always resolve with fanfare, but often instead much more quietly than the conclusion we anticipate in our minds. 

All in all, it’s a great new release from a team that I’m super excited about!


Betty’s Pick


Woe: A Housecat's Story of Despair book cover

WOE: A Housecat’s Story of Despair by Lucy Knisley

One of my first staff picks when BB’s opened was Relish by Lucy Knisley, so it feels incredibly satisfying to choose her newest title, WOE: A Housecat’s Story of Despair, as my staff pick–just in time for her to visit the shop next weekend (!!) Read on for my blurb about the new book. 

Cats–mystical beings, well-known friends, subjects of beloved YouTube videos, and apex predators. These are just a few of the contradictions of cat kind that Lucy Knisley explores about her beloved housecat, Linney. Whether filled with WOE because she is STARVING, purring and cuddling or hunting baby socks, Linney’s antics are funny, and reveal a classic cat persona that anyone will love. (And frankly I don’t want to hear it if you don’t love Linney!)

Knisley’s signature art style–I love how she draws her kiddo and cats– and humor are delightful. Even with the humor and zippy pace, Knisley takes time to recognize the sad fact that cats’ lifespans aren’t as long as humans, so we better worship them while we can. I read most of Knisley’s Linney comics in black and white on her Instagram as they came out, so I was happy to see this compilation included color as well. 

Anyone who loves Lucy Knisley and/or cats should read this book. I agree with the publisher that this book works well for all ages–but I think the humor will especially appeal to tweens and up since Linney has an advanced vocabulary and sophisticated jokes. I will issue a content warning that Linney does pass away at the end of the book (not a spoiler, this outcome is made clear very quickly), so prepare to shed some tears for this majestic feline. 


Katie’s Pick


The Last Delivery by Evan  DahmThe Last Delivery book cover

An anonymous delivery boy arrives at a mansion with a parcel he must deliver to the Resident. This task is not as simple as it should be. The mansion is a sprawling labyrinth full of frenzied parties and unpredictable partygoers. He sacrifices life and limb as he pursues his singular purpose, but does he manage to track down the Resident to sign for the package? I’ll leave you to find out. 

If Hieronymus Bosch wrote “The Garden of Earthly Delights- The Graphic Novel” you’d have something quite similar to this captivating story. It’s dark, strange, and surprising at every turn. I didn’t expect to be rooting so hard for the backstory-less delivery boy, but I did to the very end. 


Lottie’s Pick


The Sprite and the GardenerThe Sprite and the Gardener book cover by Rii Abrego and Joe Whitt

The Sprite and the Gardener immediately caught my eye with just how beautiful it is-—thin, careful inking with saturated colors that pop against the warm, skillfully tinted flat tones that compliment the lines, but let them do the talking. When I read it, I was excited to find the story was just as beautiful and delicate. It follows a tiny sprite, Wisteria, as she resurrects an old form of magic to help a kind human gardener she meets, struggling with their flowers. This book feels like a Ghibli movie in all of the best ways, and is just as gorgeous even when it’s sitting on a shelf. So glad I picked this book up that’s outside of my usual reading pool. You should too!