Ghosts Of Booksellers Past

While these booksellers themselves aren't necessarily ghosts, their recommendations still stand even after they've left our stores.



Staff Pick Badge
Of Two Minds: An Anthropologist Looks at American Psychiatry Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780679744931
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Vintage - August 14th, 2001

What a treat to find an author whose research just so happens to overlap with my own nerdy areas of niche interest! Luhrmann is a psychological anthropologist, and here she takes on the disciplines of psychology and psychoanalysis themselves. It will be of interest to anyone who's ever been in therapy. And if you like this, don't miss her book on evangelicalism, When God Talks Back!

--Caitlin


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Our Lady of the Nile: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780914671039
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Archipelago - September 16th, 2014

At turns chilling and very funny, this is a great boarding school novel (and I'm a sucker for boarding school novels!)

--Caitlin


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I'm Trying to Reach You Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780983247111
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Two Dollar Radio - July 17th, 2012

I love this little comic novel, in which a former ballet dancer turned NYU Performance Studies postdoc becomes drawn into a wonderfully absurd mystery involving YouTube and the deaths of various dance world luminaries. If any part of that summary piqued your interest, then yes, you should definitely read this book.

--Caitlin


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Young Men and Fire: Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition Cover Image
By Norman Maclean, Timothy Egan (Foreword by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780226450353
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: University of Chicago Press - May 2017

In 1949, twelve men died fighting a forest fire in Monatana. Today few people remember the Mann Gulch tragedy, but Norman MacLean never forgot about it, and forty years later he wrote this amazing book about it. Part memorial to lives lost and forgotten, part inquiry into memory itself; one of my very favorite books. 

--Caitlin


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The Driver's Seat Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811223010
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - May 27th, 2014

Muriel Spark is the master of the novella. Leave it to her to deliver a book so unexpected, so devastatingly shocking, in under 100 pages. Just read it!

--Caitlin


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Peace Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780765334565
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: Orb Books - December 11th, 2012

Full disclosure: I've only read this book once, which any serious fan will tell you is not enough to really "get it," but here goes. This book, the fictional memoir of Alden Weer, written by scifi master Gene Wolfe, can almost be read as straight-up literary fiction. A hundred pages in, I thought I had it figured out: the house that Weer is living in is a metaphorical house of memories, and as he wanders from room to room, he travels back to different periods in his life and narrates his story. 

When I reached the end, though, I realized how much more was going on; under the surface of this lyrical memoir is a very creepy, and entirely different, story. 

Recommended for people who like literary puzzles!

--Caitlin


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Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780307718976
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Broadway Books - January 26th, 2016

Fink's story of a New Orleans hopsital during Katrina should be required reading for anyone who works in--or has any interest in--our healthcare system. It deals with profound questions of medical ethics and the ability of our current system to function in an emergency. This book made me so angry I cried every day on my way to work, and it's stayed with me ever since.

--Caitlin


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Fever Dream: A Novel Cover Image
By Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell (Translated by)
$25.00
ISBN: 9780399184598
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: Riverhead Books - January 10th, 2017

What a strange little book! If you're looking for something to curl up with and read all in one sitting, this one's for you. A young boy coaxes a story out of an older, unrelated woman who seems to be on her deathbed. What's going on? How do these two know eachother? It's not always clear, but the sense of urgency and mystery are unforgettable.

--Caitlin


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Seeing Red Cover Image
By Lina Meruane, Megan McDowell (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781941920244
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - February 23rd, 2016

My favorite novel of 2016. This semi-autobiographical work upends the all the conventions of the "recovery memoir," delivering something uniquely visceral and weird. 

--Caitlin


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Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial Cover Image
$13.00
ISBN: 9780300181708
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Yale University Press - November 20th, 2012

Janet Malcolm could make any topic interesting--not that it's especially challenging in this case, given the dramatic subject matter (a murder trial in Queens). This is a great meditation on truth, justice, and the trial-by-jury system. You really can't go wrong with Malcolm, but this is a great place to start. 

--Caitlin


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About a Mountain Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393339017
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 7th, 2011

The mountain of the title is Yucca Mountain in Nevada, at one time a proposed nuclear waste storage site. D'Agata explores the problems inherent with trying to store nuclear waste from several different angles, including some personal ones. The chapter about the panel tasked with figuring out how to keep our curious descendents from meddling with the deadly site for tens of thousands of years is worth the price of admission alone. 

--Caitlin


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Wizard of the Crow Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781400033843
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Anchor - August 28th, 2007

The most fun you'll ever have reading about a (fictional) African dictatorship. Ngugi tackles greed, corruption, magic, and post-colonial politics with humor and imagination in this satire. His funniest book. 

-- Caitlin


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What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780312421991
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: Picador - June 2004

I read this book years ago and have never stopped thinking about it. This story of a young teacher's affair with her teenage student, narrated by her equally deluded friend, is merciless with its characters, sly in its humor, and totally unforgettable.

-- Caitlin


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Sudden Death: A Novel Cover Image
By Álvaro Enrigue, Natasha Wimmer (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735213449
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Riverhead Books - February 7th, 2017

Enrigue defies almost all of the conventions of the novel here to give us something delightfully different. Objects and ideas bounce back and forth across continents, empires, and eras like the tennis ball in the game between Caravaggio and Quevedo that frames the story. The cast of characters is truly impressive -- I never thought I would read a book that starred both Galileo and Cuauhtémoc, but here it is!

--Caitlin


Staff Pick Badge
Across the China Sea: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977849
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Graywolf Press - September 5th, 2017

It's almost hard to think of this graceful and empathetic book as a novel, since not much happens. That said, it's been a while since I've loved a book in this way, for its poetry and insight about the small moments that make a life. Our narrator's family runs a home for the mentally challenged, and as he goes back to close the house after his mother's death, he takes us through his childhood--his closeness to a mute girl, his sister's tragic death, the struggles of his parents' relationship. It is an ode to memory, to family, to the beauty of patience and love. It is a kind and simple book, and one I hope you will treasure.

-- Cari


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Salt Houses Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780544912588
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - May 2nd, 2017

This is an ambitious debut that delivers. In a multi-generational saga of beauty and heartbreak, Halan Alyan deftly shows us the love and sorrows of one Palestinian family as they attempt to find their place in the world as exiles. As each character searches for a sense of home in an increasingly stressful world, family bonds are forged and broken, relationships developed, and the very idea of nationality questioned. Written with lyricism and sympathy, this side of the conflict is rarely shown but impacts us all.

-- Cari


Staff Pick Badge
Moving the Palace Cover Image
By Charif Majdalani, Edward Gauvin (Translator)
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781939931467
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: New Vessel Press - April 18th, 2017

Every now and again, you find a novel that fills you with wanderlust, that so thoroughly places you in a time and place that you feel the need to stay there for longer, to learn more about the people who inhabited it. This is such a book--a Lebanese adventure novel full of politics and intrigue, outrageous situations, charming characters, and even a brief appearance from T.E. Lawrence. It's a meditation on history and how we write it from a distance, of how the stories we tell others can grow in the passing from mouth to mouth. Let this book be your personal oasis as the summer months get hotter and the travel bug starts to get under your skin.

-- Cari


Staff Pick Badge
The Visitors Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781612194639
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: Melville House - December 29th, 2015

In The Visitors, Simon Sylvester writes about the lure of folktales, of being an outsider, and of growing up, and then weaves it all seamlessly into a classic whodunit murder mystery. Perfect for those who typically shy away from the genre, this is a lyrical and moving mystery about a high school girl on a Scottish island and her reclusive new neighbors who or may not be killing the other islanders. The Visitors is a suspenseful coming of age story with a dash of selkies and plenty to teach you about the mysteries of home and the heart.

-- Cari


Staff Pick Badge
The Incarnations: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501106781
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: Touchstone - August 18th, 2015

When Driver Wang starts receiving mysterious letters about his former lives, he starts doubting everything happening in his current one. Who is sending them, and to what aim? Switching between the current day and the stories the letters tell, this is a book for those who crave the unreliable narrator in a new and fresh way. Susan Barker is a master at twisting history and folktales, creating a China that is at once modern and mythical. Nothing in this novel is quite as it seems and the ending is just as spooky as the beginning.

-- Cari


Staff Pick Badge
The Distant Marvels: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781609452520
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: Europa Editions - April 7th, 2015

In the middle of a hurricane, Maria Sirena tells a room full of sheltering women the story of her life. Spanning three revolutions and multiple generations, it is a story full of love and loss set in the beautiful and exotic Cuban landscape. The Distant Marvels is a marvel itself, full of poetry and lyricism, love, and reflections on life and storytelling. This is the best summer read you could imagine for the person who doesn’t actually like summer reads--and who isn’t afraid to finish it in privacy as it breaks the heart three different ways.

-- Cari


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