James W. Staff Picks


 

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Ducks, Newburyport Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781771963077
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Biblioasis - September 10th, 2019

Holy shit.

-- James


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The Cat in the Hat for President: A Political Fable Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781944869717
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Published: OR Books - April 10th, 2018

Originally published in 1968 in the run-up to Nixon's presidency, it is no wonder it is being re-printed in 2018. In both this book and 1977's "The Public Burning," Coover has proved himself a prophet by imagining an America so ridiculous that it couldn't help but become reality. (Definitely NOT for kids!)

-- James


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Loudermilk: Or, the Real Poet; Or, the Origin of the World Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593763909
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Soft Skull Press - May 7th, 2019

This book is nothing short of genius. A frenzied look at graduate school, the hysteria of post-9/11 America, and what happens when you treat art like a competition.

-- James


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Star Cover Image
By Yukio Mishima, Sam Bett (Translated by)
$11.95
ISBN: 9780811228428
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New Directions - April 30th, 2019

Equal parts beautiful and sinister in the way that only Mishima could be.

-- James


The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches Cover Image
By Matsuo Basho, Nobuyuki Yuasa (Translated by), Nobuyuki Yuasa (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140441857
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Penguin Classics -

Do you ever feel like we’ve all lost our minds? Let Basho be an antidote. His writing is precise, beautiful, and lonely -- I mean that as a good thing. There is still peace to be found in the world if you know where to look.

-- James


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Lost Empress: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525436218
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Published: Vintage - April 16th, 2019

This is, without a doubt, the best contemporary fiction I have read in years. Equal parts hilarious and thought provoking. If you have ever read Zadie Smith or David Foster Wallace and thought, “why don’t more people write books like this?” They do. Here is one of them.

-- James


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The Universal Baseball Association Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781590203118
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Harry N. Abrams - November 1st, 2011

J. Henry Waught is the proprieter of a sort of fantasy baseball league, but a truly fantastical one in which all the teams, players, coaches, and officials are amde up and games are decided by rolls of die. Henry loves his league, he loves what he has created (after all, his initials can be read as JHWH,) but the league begins to affect his real life as he becomes more and more entrenched in the current season. This book is a pitch-perfect, pitch-black comedy that's not really at all about basebll and is instead an almost unparalleled look at lonliness, escapism, the creative process and the self-fulfillment therein.

--James


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Manazuru Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781640090187
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Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 14th, 2017

This book reads like a dream: there is something slightly off about the world, the past and present bleed together, shadows lurk in corners, and you can't remember if you've been here before. A strange and beautiful book about trying to make sense of everything I just listed.

-- James