Ghosts Of Booksellers Past
While these booksellers themselves aren't necessarily ghosts, their recommendations still stand even after they've left our stores.
Rooted in Polish folklore, this novel upends fairytales and stars a heroine who is wholly her own. Seventeen-year-old Agnieszka's journey has shades of the familiar (Grimm and Austen come to mind) but her voice is compelling and original. You won't want to leave this fully-realized fantastical world where empathy and identity -- not princes or gold -- are the true treasures.
This perfect summer read has the heart of "Cloud Atlas" and the pacing of "The DaVinci Code." Each chapter becomes a puzzle box leading you through a centuries-spanning mystery and romance through reincarnation. But the true heart of this book lies in the imaginative and historically riveting visions of life in Ancient Greece, 1980s Boston, feudal Japan, and Viking voyages. Though a light read, the many layers will leave you guessing and mesmerized up until the final act.
Terrible title. Incredible novel. The writing is electric, the characters equal parts dazzling and damaged, the content purely original. There is not artifice here—just verve. You may get whiplash from the swerves between righteous anger and gallows humor; you may even drown in the choppy waves of feminism; but you will not be able to stop reading. I haven’t been this transfixed by a writer in years.
I usually pop Prozac like Pez when people talk about extinction and climate change, but this book was a revelation. Newitz breaks down complex scientific issues in a conversational and thought-provoking way. Also, instead of fear-mongering or existential angst, she highlights humanity's resilience and our penchant for creativity and kindness. (What other species would make sure animals boarded the ark, too?) Perfect book to read for education and inspiration.
Binge read Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy in one gorgeous volume. Go from the atmospheric, Hitchcockian first novel (Annihilation) to the second’s spy vs. spy showdown (Authority) to an ending that connects all the plots like constellations (Acceptance). You won’t want to leave Area X after starting this swampy sci-fi series—and Area X might not leave you.
A memoir of Robert Capa is not only important for its description of historic events, but also amazingly funny. Robert Capa started as a war photojournalist in the Spanish Civil War and continued through WW II. He died in 1954 during the Indochina War when he stepped on a landmine. Apart from being a war photojournalist he also took photos of regular life of the "Generation X" - people who reached adulthood shortly after WW II.
This book, banned in USSR for a long time, show the late Soviet life through an eye of a delusional alcoholic. It is funny and sad at the same time and is considered one of the most important Soviet novels.
This book is a fundamental work of Kropotkin, one of the founding fathers of anarchism as it is understood nowadays by the majority of activists. It shows that naarchism does not equal chaos, but is a comfortable way for a society to exist.
This is the story of an unlikely bond that develops between two young girls living and going to school in New York City. Drita, a refugee from Kosova, flees to America with her family, knowing very little English and very little about living in New York City. It is within her new public school that she is befriended by Maxie, who is struggling with the recent loss of her own mother. Through alternating first person narratives between to the two girls, this story features poignant messages about bravery, perspective, respect, friendship, and difference. This is a wonderful read aloud for students grades 3-7.
-- Kylie M.
Is the slow death of dreams inevitable?
-- John L.
This book Left me dizzy & lightheaded & short of breath. It is, as promised, "too loud to ignore."
-- Arielle S.
In A Dialogue On Love, queer theorist Eve Sedgwick explores questions of gender identity, and selfhood through the lens of her experience in therapy. Her writing is experimental, weaving together poetry, dreams, memory, and her therapist’s notes throughout the text. There is honesty and sharpness in her account, one of reflection, creativity, and growth. I highly recommend this book!
-- Maxine K.
Lisa Robertson's Cinema of the Present is unlike any book of poetry I've read before. The book is structured as an uninterrupted poetic dialogue between two unnamed voices and is a meditation on relationships, the language of thought, and most of all, self creation--all taking place right now in this book.
-- Maxine K.
This 1930s English coming of age story is sometimes funny, sometimes heavy, and always eccentrically lovely. A struggling family living in a dilapidated castle on the English countryside boasts a father who was once a bestselling author, a step mother who likes to go for nude walks, and Cassandra and her sister, who dance around fires to celebrate long forgotten pagan holidays. Cassandra Mortmain must be one of the most charming narrators any book has seen. Often compared to Jane Austen and lauded by J.K. Rowling, this is the perfect read for a rainy day.
This is a fiercely imaginative story about two sisters lost in the woods. Summer and Bird are realistic, flawed girls who just want to find their parents (and learn to speak to the birds, of course).
Told through a man's short stories, his recurring main female character / muse / fantasy woman "comes to life" to teach him a lesson about killing off all the women in his books. It is dark, bizarre, charming, and cheeky all at once.
This satire on class is infused with philosopht and ramarkable wit. The writing is so beautiful, each sentence could be quoted on a poster. Picking a favorite books was nearly impossible until I read The Elegance Of The Hedgehog.
I picked this up on a whim and could not physically put it down until I finished it. Beautiful, heart-wrenching, hilarious and deeply weird all at the same time.
-- Skylar N.
Immersive tale of political intrigue and religious upheaval set in Dark Ages Britain. Told from the point of view of Hild, a historical figure, from childhood to early adulthood, Griffith brings her story to life with a keen eye for detail that adds a lush texture to an already compelling narrative. "Game of Thrones" for archaeology nerds and academics!
-- Skylar N.
Fast paced, brilliantly written adventure into the depths of various subcultures across the globe and incorporating Gibson’s obsessions at the time -- fashion, Japanese urban landscape, corporate sabotage and the Curta calculator. In typical Gibsonian fashion, his treatment of the viral video phenomenon back in 2003 is particularly prescient. GREAT vacation read and the most accessible introduction to Gibson’s ouvre.
-- Skylar N.