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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Horror in Architecture Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781935935902
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: Oro Editions - May 30th, 2013

In capturing horror in its many guises, this study is presented in a unique manner - it spans architecture, art, and literature in a re-imagining of the failings of man-made architecture or man-made architectural works that have since been twisted by nature. This is a playful, easily read book that is an enjoyable work on the state of horror in our landscape. Highly recommended.

-- Nick


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The Waitress Was New Cover Image
By Dominique Fabre, Jordan Stump (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780977857692
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Archipelago - January 21st, 2008

Rarely is there a voice - a narrator or otherwise - that is as succinct and captivating as that of Fabre's The Waitress Was New. Pierre's observations of the people and world around him are nothing spectacular yet we are captivated by them. This is a beautiful and simply put novel. There is no embellishment here, just life.

-- Nick


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How I Became a Nun Cover Image
By César Aira, Chris Andrews (Translated by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780811216319
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New Directions - February 28th, 2007

As far as short, gripping novels go no one is better than the Argentinian Aira. He has perfected the subway read. Since I can’t choose all of them I will recommend that you start with the first one I read - How I Became a Nun, “My story, the story of ‘how I became a nun,’ began very early in my life; I had just turned six.” So begins the quick and wonderfully strange childhood of the character, César Aira. Enjoy!

-- Nick


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Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781590200421
Availability: Available for Special Order - Usually ships in 3-5 Days
Published: The Overlook Press - June 30th, 2009

As it says in “The Blue Notebook” - part 16, “Today I Wrote Nothing. Doesn’t Matter.” or part 8: “When sitting in place do not kick your feet.” This is such a slight insight into the writings of Daniil Kharms. His mind was far more brilliant than the short light that was his life. These short writings are a must for any lover of literature.

-- Nick


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The Book of Disquiet Cover Image
By Fernando Pessoa, RICHARD Zenith (Editor), RICHARD Zenith (Translated by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780141183046
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Classics - December 31st, 2002

Pessoa is in my top three favorite poets of all time. Though much of his work was written by three separate 'Heteronyms', characters he invented to write in different styles depending on their stature in life (the word was also invented by Pessoa). The Book of Disquiet was written by another of these 'selves' though this one had been hidden in a trunk until it was discovered after his death. Maybe it is my life as a bookseller that relates to Disquiet so much, or my becoming entrenched in Pessoa's work when I was at University. Or maybe because a "Factless Autobiography" is what life seems like a lot of the time. Either way this book speaks to me, and will speak to you, in a way few books can.

-- Nick


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Satantango Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780811220897
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New Directions - December 10th, 2013

There are few words that express the pure breadth of Krasznahorkai's Satantango. Like all his works it is a seamless masterpiece. The characters within are all part of a small Hungarian town awaiting some sort of change after the fall of communism. This is a monster of  a book that compels you to immerse yourself in a decrepitude that  is so brutal and relentless that it becomes darkly comical at times.

-- Nick


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The Complete Stories Cover Image
By Clarice Lispector, Benjamin Moser (Series edited by), Katrina Dodson (Translated by)
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ISBN: 9780811219631
Availability: Not in Stock - Out of Print
Published: New Directions - August 25th, 2015

Why I recommend this book: If you haven’t taken the time to delve into the world of Lispector then the time is now! Katrina Dodson’s tireless work translating Lispector’s stories is a thing of grandeur. Step into stunning Brazil as seen through Lispector’s eyes, she is one of the literary world’s true treasures.

-- Nick


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Kornel Esti Cover Image
By Deszö Kosztolányi, Bernard Adams (Translated by)
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ISBN: 9780811218436
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: New Directions - February 25th, 2011

This is one of the funniest and most enjoyable books I have ever read. Every time I think about it, I want to read it again. It will have you questioning the idea of self and the idea of sanity.

-- Nick


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Traveler of the Century: A Novel Cover Image
By Andrés Neuman, Nick Caistor (Translated by), Lorenza Garcia (Translated by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780374533946
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 7th, 2013

This was Neuman’s first book to be translated into English, and it hit me like a brick. Such a touching and interesting novel. This book will go down as one of the greatest novels of the 21st Century. It is quirky and funny and as Bolano called it “touched by grace.”

-- Nick


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The Things We Don't Do Cover Image
By Andrés Neuman, Nick Caistor (Translator), Lorenza Garcia (Translator)
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ISBN: 9781940953182
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: Open Letter - August 25th, 2015

Open Letter Books, out of the University of Rochester, has once again graced my shelves with a beautiful book. Neuman’s Traveler of the Century is a masterpiece. His short story collection shows that everything Neuman touches is gold. These stories weave in and out of each other touching on the very realist absurd. A true treat.

-- Nick


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Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret (Biblioasis International Translation #12) Cover Image
By Ondjaki, Stephen Henighan (Translator)
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ISBN: 9781927428658
Availability: Backordered - Please contact us for more details
Published: Biblioasis - June 10th, 2014

Granma Nineteen is an uplifting, heartwarming, and hysterically funny novel. I had never read an Angolan writer before, so I had to try this one. Hands down one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. A wonderful novel about the colonization of a small African village and the town’s folk who live there.

-- Nick


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The Bathroom (French Literature) Cover Image
By Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Nancy Amphoux (Translator), Paul Deangelis (Translator)
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ISBN: 9781564785183
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - November 1st, 2008

Toussaint's first novel is a wonderful first person narrative. It is a quick, enjoyable read that is seamless and surprising. There is something odd yet reassuring of the voice in all of Toussaint's novels -- but this is the beginning of it all. "When I began to spend my afternoons in the bathroom, I had no intention of moving into it..." Classic!

-- Nick


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The Armies Cover Image
By Evelio Rosero, Anne McLean (Translated by)
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ISBN: 9780811218641
Availability: Not in Stock - Subject to Availability
Published: New Directions - September 15th, 2009

This is a haunting masterpiece of writing and translation - everyone should read this book. Rosero writes of a small town in Columbia, a town caught in the middle of a war. Soldiers, paramilitaries, and guerrillas treat Bojayá and it's people as if they are nothing but a receptacle for their violence. Despite the violence and atrocities this book contains, you are constantly held by the stunning imagery and voice that Rosero brings to The Armies.This is the best book I read in 2011.

-- Nick


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Antwerp (New Directions Pearls) Cover Image
By Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer (Translated by)
$10.95
ISBN: 9780811219914
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New Directions - May 23rd, 2012

This is Bolano’s first and, I feel, his most remarkable novel. he was only twenty-seven when he wrote it but it is the beginning of what ultimately becomes Bolano’s voice. It is an unconventional but brilliant murder mystery. It is a quick read but one of the few novels I read time and time again, always discovering and experiencing new and wonderful nuances. Now in paperback you can enjoy this amazing novel for cheap.

-- Nick


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Sanctuary (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780679748144
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Vintage - December 6th, 1993

I recently took a break from international fiction to read true American voices -- I started with Sanctuary and couldn't put it down. Faulkner has a powerful understanding of the evil that exists in mankind. There is no justice -- for black or white -- in the south. This is a dark and troubling story yet there are times where the beauty of Faulkner's words make that darkest moments shine.

-- Nick


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Life: A User's Manual (Verba Mundi #18) Cover Image
By Georges Perec, David Bellos (Translator)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781567923735
Availability: Available for Special Order - Usually ships in 3-5 Days
Published: David R. Godine Publisher - July 1st, 2009

Perec finished Life A User’s Manual just a few short years before he died in 1982. It is truly a high point to finish such an epic and complete a novel -- not to mention see it published -- and to cap a lifetime of literary genius. Most known before Life was A Void, his funny, witty novel written completely without the letter “e.” Life is structured after a puzzle-maker but expands into the lives and rooms of an apartment block of Paris. after 20 years, Godine has updated this masterpiece (with a beautiful cover as well as corrections to the translation). You will love this book!

-- Nick


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The Man Who Walked Through Walls (Pushkin Collection) Cover Image
By Marcel Ayme, Sophie Lewis (Translated by)
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ISBN: 9781906548643
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Pushkin Collection - August 28th, 2012

I say this a lot but it is hard to find truly funny books. Aymé is funny. These stories are surprising, absurd, and remarkable. The is always a surprising, matter-of-fact magical realism twist to these stories that seem so plausible even in their ridiculousness.

-- Nick


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The Temple of Iconoclasts Cover Image
By J. Rodolfo Wilcock, Venuti (Translator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781567925302
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Verba Mundi - October 1st, 2014

For lovers of Bolaño, Borges, and Calvino...few know of Wilcock but should. This is a bizarre, funny, and intriguing novel that will have you researching ruffs, doublets, codpieces, and archaic diseases. Bolaño called Wilcock, "one of the greatest and strangest . . . writers of this century." This book will not disappoint.

-- Nick


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The Death of Napoleon Cover Image
By Simon Leys, Patricia Clancy (Translated by), Simon Leys (Translated by)
$14.00
ISBN: 9781590178423
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: NYRB Classics - May 5th, 2015

"Ladies and gentlemen, alas! The Emperor is dead." What happens when the world thinks you are dead? What happens to your sense of identity? Leys tackles these ideas and more in stunning prose that will captivate and hypnotize you in the best possible way. This is what I want every novel I read to be - thought provoking, funny, and damn well written.

-- Nick


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Log of the S.S. the Mrs Unguentine (American Literature (Dalkey Archive)) Cover Image
By Stanley G. Crawford, Ben Marcus (Introduction by)
$12.95
ISBN: 9781564785121
Availability: Available for Special Order - Usually ships in 3-5 Days
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - September 1st, 2008

All I can say is that this book is all that I think of when I think of the word 'Adrift'. When this book was recommended to me I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I spent a good couple nights of a trip reading and re-rereading this book rather than seeing the sights during an unseasonably warm October trip to Chicago. The person who told me to read it couldn't begin to describe it but said I had to read it. I concur. You have to read it.

-- Nick


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