Ghosts Of Booksellers Past
While these booksellers themselves aren't necessarily ghosts, their recommendations still stand even after they've left our stores.
An incredibly moving and musical biography and conversation with one of the most talented and important musicians of the twenty first century. Show the man some respect and read this!!
A great novel of academic meltdown, with Mormon ghosts, some thoughts on Nietzsche, divorce, and departmental politics, from the author of Grendel and On Moral Fiction.
One of the finest examples of the phenomenal capabilities of language, this may be called one of the greatest books ever written. As a reader one finds whatever one is looking for, and the beauty of 'War and Peace' is that one can find anything within.
This isn't "feminist literature". This is a text on the notion of freedom, on language, on examples of living as a woman, on the importance of playing chess every day, and on having a sense of humour. "Cuntlovingly decontextualized, 'a goldmine between your legs' is a wonderful sentiment. Like what you find at the end of the rainbow."
Different incarnations of Shirley Jackson lurk throughout each uncanny story, thoughtful essay, craft lecture, and quotidian grocery list in this collection of found manuscripts--co-edited with obvious care by Jackson's children. Use the satin red ribbon to jump between the refractions of Jackson, a master of suspense who explored the subtle horrors of American life with acerbic wit.
This novel-in-verse follows one man from a childhood in Nazi-occupied Poland to adolescence in Chicago to broken adulthood in Zodiac-era San Francisco. But instead of telling it straight, his life story is shredded, flayed, and tossed in the air. The horrors—a tragic accident, draft-dodging, the massacre in Jedwabne—mingle with the humor—certifiably insane coworkers, life-saving typos, drama of philosophy departments. The non-linear storytelling is as vital as the poetry. The Wherewithal is Perseus’s shield, allowing us to face unfathomable darkness without losing sight of our humanity.
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.