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 Logo
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 1st, 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
$16.99
ISBN: 9780765334565
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
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
$17.00
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 Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780399184598
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
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
$16.95
ISBN: 9781400033843
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Anchor Books - 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
$18.70
ISBN: 9780312421991
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - June 1st, 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 Cover Image
By Alvaro Enrigue, Natasha Wimmer (Translator)
$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


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Titus Groan Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781585679072
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Overlook Press - June 26th, 2007

If Edgar Allan Poe had written a fantasy trilogy akin to J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," this would be it. The text is thick with poetry, the world is rich and dark, and the characters are utterly unforgettable. A++++++

-- Stephanie


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Reincarnation Blues Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399178481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Del Rey Books - August 22nd, 2017

Milo is on his 9,995th life and only has 5 more chances to achieve perfection. The lives he leads take place both thousands of years before our time and also thousands of years after (and of course, many in the middle). Part historical fiction, part science fiction, part romance - this book is absolutely heartbreaking, undeniably hilarious, and easily found a spot on the list of my top 10 favorite books ever. Think Neil Gaiman meets Tom Robbins meets David Mitchell, and expect to be hooked from beginning to end.

-- Stephanie


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The Changeling Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780812995947
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: Spiegel & Grau - June 13th, 2017

How do we protect our children? Our loved ones? Ourselves? And how do we find our way back to each other after failing to do so? Yes, this is a modern retelling of the changeling fairy tale, but it is also loaded with love, folklore, social criticism, and a little bit of horror while remaining steadfastly literary throughout. LaValle asks a lot of difficult questions in this novel. He also writes like an angel. You fall into his prose from the beginning - and you'll desperately want his characters to succeed despite knowing that things will go very, very wrong first.

-- Stephanie


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The Folly of the World Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316190350
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Orbit - December 18th, 2012

Both witty and gripping, this is easily the best piece of historical fiction I have ever read. The Saint Elizabeth Flood hits Holland in 1421 - drowning thousands of people and entire towns. It is in this flooded realm and amid an ongoing civil war that a cut-throat, a con man, and a feral girl weave a (very) dark and intoxicating tale. It's so good that I missed my subway stop twice!

-- Stephanie


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The Manual of Detection Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143116516
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - January 26th, 2010

Espionage, secrets, perpetual rain, and a criminal mastermind plotting to put an entire city to sleep; this books feels like a meticulous dream. If you like good ol' detective fiction with a heavy dash of surrealism then this is the book for you.

-- Stephanie


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Palimpsest Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780553385762
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Spectra Books - February 24th, 2009

In "Palimpsest," Valente's characters unexpectedly find themselves traveling to a strange and wonderful city in their dreams. The catch is they can only get there by having sex with other travelers before falling asleep. As the city begins to feel more and more like home, their struggle to get there and stay - so that they won't have to wake up and return to our world - gets harder. "Palimpsest" is the most visceral and erotic portal fantasy I've ever read - the desperation of every character is as palpable as if it were your own. Valente is better known for her Middle Grade books ("The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making" etc.) but this adult novel is not to be passed over.

-- Stephanie


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River of Stars Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780451416094
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Berkley Books - April 1st, 2014

Think George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" but set in the East and with a smaller cast of characters. Fast-paced, memorable, and beautifully written.

-- Stephanie


Staff Pick Logo
A Natural History of Hell: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781618731180
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Small Beer Press - July 19th, 2016

Unsettling, poetic, and playful - Jeffrey Ford has an otherworldly talent for turning the familiar into the strange and the strange into the familiar. He is probably writing your dreams. If you are looking for something dark and thoughtful and completely unlike anything else you've read, look no further than these 13 stories. (Particularly good for fans of Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snicket, and China Mieville)

-- Stephanie


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