Ghosts Of Booksellers Past
While these booksellers themselves aren't necessarily ghosts, their recommendations still stand even after they've left our stores.
Beware, anytime Roth begins to write about water, something beautiful is about to occur. Roth's travel journalism remarks on his experience in a variety of places, showing a glimpse of Europe in transition between the two world wars. Instead of a merely useful historical document, The Hotel Years conveys Roth's deep empathy and makes for a lovely read.
This book will terrify you, but in a very necessary way. Doyle offers an original evaluation of the psychic state of college campuses in the United States, clarifying much of the muddled viewpoints and facts surrounding sexual assaults on college campuses.
When I first sat down with this book, I didn't plan to read it in one sitting. But I did. This is Aira at his best. I would recommend all of his novels, but I think this short book condenses everything I love about his work. In this whirlwind of characters, monsters, and a writer (Aira himself?) working on a novel in Paris, Aira produces a beautiful work of art.
So much more than a book of recipes! This book gets into the *how* and *why* of good cooking-- think Alton Brown's "Good Eats" with the quirkiness dialed down. The only cookbook that has earned a permanent place on my shelf. Bonus-- really cool illustrations throughout!
I always love reading debut novels from authors who generally work in other mediums-- Charles Soule usually writes comic books, having worked on the more recent incarnations of Daredevil, She-Hulk and various Star Wars characters. He brings all of those sensibilities to this novel, it is full of a “show-don’t-tell” style befitting someone who isn’t used to getting the space for exposition, with richly drafted characters all the way through. His protagonist, a twentysomething bassist struggling to make his way in the Manhattan music scene, wakes up one day with 108 predictions for the future in his head. He doesn’t know why or how, but one by one they all come to be, with or without his intervention. Look for this to be a movie within a year or two.
This strange, engrossing novel is the most powerful debut I have ever encountered. Stephen's story is one of singular obsession and futility, of creating his own meaning and constructing a whole reality, a whole self around it. What follows is surreal, affecting, and entirely unique. Be forewarned-- Stephen's voice will remain in your head long after you put this book down.
I have never come across a novel that manages to be both so fantastical and so deeply human as Kalfar's debut. Having grown up in the Czech Republic, Kalfar channels that complicated history into his astronaut-turned-celebrity protagonist, exploring how the weight of the past enfeebles our push towards a brighter future. At times zany and surreal, but still one of the most affecting novels I have ever read
Daniel Alarcon's new collection had me in goosebumps after the first two pages. The premiere story in this collection, 'The Thousands', portrays such limitless hope in the face of constant heartbreak in sparse, economic, and yet somehow still intensely emotional prose. These deeply human stories of migration and uncertainty, of small triumphs in a long history of failures, will resonate as deeply with you as they have with me.
Helen DeWitt can do anything. She can fill a page with a treatise on ancient Greek linguistics without losing a complete layman's attention; she can write convincingly from the perspective of a grappling-with-his-budding-genius eleven year old boy; she can hammer you with erudition while telling a story deeply rooted in family and relationships. I'll read anything she puts on paper
I loved this book so much that after I finished it, I couldn’t read anything else for two weeks. It’s that good. Meticulously written, explosively plotted, and exquisitely written, set primarily in a women’s prison this is a novel about people whose lives turned out very differently than they expected. Kushner is a fearless writer, and this is her best book yet.
This book deserves all the hype. Berlin is a master of the short story who deserves a place alongside Denis Johnson and Grace Paley. If you like Mary Gaitskill, Jennifer Egan, or Lydia Davis, you have to read this book.
This is a book of lectures, but it feels more like reading letters from your most brilliant friend. This is a book about poetry but it’s also about the moon landing, four, Anne Frank, sentimentality, lying, Versace, secrets, and time. It’s sharp, lucid, and most surprisingly, addicting to read. It’s unlike everything else I’ve ever read.
This book weaves together the cultural history of Jell-o with the story of the author’s family. Absorbing, heartbreaking, and wholly original.
Unlike some memoirists (who will remain unnamed) Lockwood’s life is actually fascinating. She’s also hilarious -- but don’t let that fool you, at its core this book is out to break your heart. Truly one of my favorite books of the last several years.
This is an anti-romance book for all you cynics out there. The narrator of this novel is mean, bitter, and violent after her breakup with her girlfriend, the titular Delores. This is no heartwarming tale about the beauty of same-sex love in the face of adversity! No, it's something much better.
Read this and spend the next year connecting every topic of conversation to the Koch brothers. It may not be surprising, per se, but it's horrifying nonetheless.
This novel, set in the very recent past, deliberately blurs the line between truth and fiction while exploring gift economies, artistic collaboration, and online communication. Intellectually, all those thing appeal to me, but the real reason to read this book is to spend time with Browning's generous and wonderful narrator. I'm happy I'll be carrying her voice around with me now.
I will admit that I approached this book with equal parts excitement and fear. The His Dark Materials books were among my favorites as a kid, but would this prequel hold up as an adult? I'm happy to report that fans of the original series will not be disappointed. What a pleasure to be back in Philip Pullman's world!
I fully recognize that this book may hold only niche appeal, but I am that niche. I have been saying for YEARS that I wanted an encyclopedia of chili peppers, and finally, someone wrote it! Though it has some recipes, this is less a cookbook and more an illustrated guide to everything you might ever want to know about the chili. Nerds who will appreciate this: you know who you are.
Part tourism satire, part Yucatán noir. I think this is a good beach read for beach cynics.