Ryan J. Staff Picks


 

Speedboat Cover Image
By Renata Adler, Guy Trebay (Afterword by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781590176139
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Published: New York Review of Books - March 19th, 2013

Speedboat is what you'd get if Joan Didion wrote a novel, put it through a shredder, and let Pound stich the pieces back together. Totally wild!


Reality Hunger: A Manifesto Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307387974
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Books USA - February 8th, 2011

This book should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of literature in our cacophonous, media-saturated, self-reflexive culture. An excellent, thoroughly provocative read.


The Most of It Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781933517292
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Published: Wave Books - June 1st, 2008

Please enter these prose poems and enjoy their uncontainable energy, their sudden insight, and their constant ridiculousness. Mary Ruefle is a mad genius.

-- Ryan


The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780226260129
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Chicago Press - December 1st, 1998

For any fan of Mad Men: a history of advertising's "Creative Revolution" in the '60s. Frank shows that, rather than simply taking advantage of the counterculture, the business was very much a part of it. Deeply researched and replete with anecdotes about Madison Avenue's odder folk.

-- Ryan


The Empathy Exams: Essays Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555976712
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Published: Graywolf Press - April 1st, 2014

In this essay collection, Leslie Jamison explores how we assimilate feelings of pain in ourselves and others. Critically fluent and with a highly refined style (something akin to a sestina), she complicates the standard understanding of empathy -- that it is simple, reflexive, and morally pristine. I would particularly recommend the essay "In Defense of Saccharin(e)." Like Notes From No Man's Land, a winner of the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize.

-- Ryan


Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555975180
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Published: Graywolf Press - February 3rd, 2009

In these essays Eula Biss investigates the complex history (and present) of race in America. With her remarkable talent, the result is a clear-sighted, always-empathetic portrait of racial privilege, violence, and division -- and sometimes transcendence. If only we could all be as graceful and thoughtful as Eula B. The first step is reading this wonderful book. 

-- Ryan


Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780375705281
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - September 14th, 1999

Is it excusable to lie to children, to the dying? Is it just to lie in order to avoid great harm?: Some of the topics covered in this enlightening, refreshingly pragmatic account of the ethics of deception.

-- Ryan


Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780679743460
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Published: Vintage - March 2nd, 1993

Though one of his less-read novels, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is where Murakami most imaginatively articulates his belief in the essential dual nature of reality.

-- Ryan


The Mezzanine Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780802144904
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Published: Grove Press - July 13th, 2010

This book takes place entirely during one office worker’s trip on an escalator up to his office’s mezzanine. Tactile, neurotic, architectural -- it has an engaging logic that will make you reconsider all the little objects in your life.

-- Ryan


No One Belongs Here More Than You Cover Image
$7.98
ISBN: 9780743299411
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Published: Scribner Book Company - May 1st, 2008

Miranda July is also a filmmaker (You, Me, and Everyone We Know) and a general personality. She writes in the lineage of “empathy lit” -- stories about human foibles and silly fantasies. Check her out on YouTube and David Sedaris reading her story on the New Yorker fiction podcast.

-- Ryan


My Brilliant Friend, Book One: Childhood, Adolescence Cover Image
By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translator)
$17.00
ISBN: 9781609450786
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Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2012

The nature of Elena Ferrante’s identity has generated much debate, but more interesting are her bold and uncompromising novels. My Brilliant Friend is the first in her Neapolitan series, about the turbulent friendship between two intelligent girls born into poverty in Naples after WWII. For anyone who has ever felt like a sidekick, or been in awe of prodigious talent, this is a great book, full of truth.

-- Ryan


Leaving the Atocha Station Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566892742
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Published: Coffee House Press - August 23rd, 2011

Ben Lerner is mostly a poet, and this is his first novel. It’s a semi-autobiographical account of his time in Spain on a Fulbright. Fraudulence, meta-anxiety about art, hashish: the major items on the menu.

-- Ryan


Redeployment Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143126829
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Published: Penguin Books - February 24th, 2015

Billed as “The Things They Carried for the Iraq War,” Redeployment tells of the dissonant homecomings of America’s soldiers. With brutal oo-rah humor, Klay shows us the empty gestures of civilian thanks, missing girlfriends, and the cognitive echoes of an ignored war.

-- Ryan


Necessary Errors Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780143122418
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books - August 6th, 2013

This is the first novel from long-time N+1 critic Caleb Crain. It’s about a young man who has traveled to Prague right after the fall of Soviet rule, trying to understand his sexual identity and his literary ambition.

-- Ryan


Netherland Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307388773
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Published: Vintage Books USA - May 7th, 2009

O’Neill writes with superbly intelligent prose in this book about post 9/11 NYC, the immigrant experience, and the quiet satisfaction of playing cricket. A novel about a sensitive observer and his charismatic friend in the tradition of the Great Gatsby.

-- Ryan