Ghosts Of Booksellers Past

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



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The Trauma of Everyday Life Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143125747
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Books - July 29th, 2014

In an accessible and engaging voice, Dr. Epstein contextualizes the Buddhist teaching of mindful meditation within modern psychotherapeutic understanding and the emotional development of the future Buddha. Infused with personal insights, professional experience, careful readings of Buddhist sutras, and strong narratives, this book makes a compelling case that, Buddhist or not, "there may be nothing else to do with the traumas that befall us than to use them for our own awakenings."

-- Michael


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 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn [75th Anniversary Ed] Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060736262
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - November 6th, 2018

As a child, Betty Smith's autobiographical protagonist is read one page each day from the collected works of Shakespeare, said to contain "all the wonder of life...; all that man has learned of beauty, all that he may know of wisdom and living..." For the same reasons, this "deeply, indelibly true" American classic ("a story about what it means to be human") is my all-time favorite novel.

-- Michael


Speedboat (NYRB Classics) Cover Image
By Renata Adler, Guy Trebay (Afterword by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781590176139
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: NYRB Classics - 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
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307387974
Availability: Available for Special Order - Usually ships in 3-5 Days
Published: Vintage - 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.


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The Most of It Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781933517292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
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


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The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780226260129
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
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


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The Empathy Exams: Essays Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555976712
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
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


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Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781555975180
Availability: Hard to Find
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


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Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780375705281
Availability: Backordered - Please contact us for more details
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


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Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (Vintage International) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780679743460
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
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


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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


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No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780743299411
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Scribner - May 6th, 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


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My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One Cover Image
By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translated by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9781609450786
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
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


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Leaving the Atocha Station Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566892742
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
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


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Redeployment Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143126829
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
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


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Necessary Errors: A Novel 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


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Netherland (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307388773
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Vintage - 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


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The Folded Clock: A Diary Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780804171441
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Anchor - March 8th, 2016

Think E.B. White, John Irving, and maybe even Bridget Jones. The Folded Clock is biting, self-aware, stubborn, and refreshingly un-fluffy for a diary-of-sorts. I wish as a sequel she would publish the diary she wrote as an eight-year old; how has nobody done that already? Keep an eye out for Flora: At Eight.

-- Flora


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Critical Mass: Four Decades of Essays, Reviews, Hand Grenades, and Hurrahs Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780767930635
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: Anchor - April 14th, 2015

Wolcott’s Wikipedia page lists him as a practicing Transcendental Meditator, but you wouldn’t know it from his zinging, resonant critical essays that in the course of a few years can applaud and then brutally strike down (see: Woody Allen). I appreciate his acknowledgement of the intellect behind all things media, and his ability to call out a phony when he sees one. None of the decades-old essays feel creaky with age; if anything they nostalgically remind us of the power that movies, books, and late-night talk show hosts have on a culture-hungry country.

-- Flora


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The Flick (Tcg Edition) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781559364584
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Theatre Communications Group - September 30th, 2014

I never would have guessed that a play about the internal happenings of a movie theater and its employees would so powerfully address the equally mundane and fantastic experience of going to work each day-- what one brings in with them, what they leave, and what they communicate to one another-- but now it seems so perfect. The Flick is funny and depressing, hopeful and quiet, and illustrates the everlasting importance of the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”

-- Flora


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