Michael A. Staff Picks


 

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All Gates Open: The Story of Can By Rob Young, Irmin Schmidt Cover Image
$29.95
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ISBN: 9780571311491
Published: Faber & Faber Social - June 12th, 2018

CAN was the coolest band ever, and the fact that all but one of its members are dead now is surely a sign of the dark times we now live in. This book is purported to be the most definitive biography of the band yet produced, with a "scrapbook" exploring their influence through the ages.


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Eyes: Novellas and Stories By William H. Gass Cover Image
$16.00
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ISBN: 9781101873335
Published: Vintage - September 20th, 2016

Despite having famously said that he wrote because he hated -- "A lot. Hard." -- Gass's later work is a little more humane. The novella "In Camera" is one of the high points of his career. 


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The Animal Report By David Schutten (Illustrator), John Swartzwelder Cover Image
By David Schutten (Illustrator), John Swartzwelder
$16.95
ISBN: 9781500873905
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - November 26th, 2014

This was written by one of the head writers of The Simpsons. Ever heard of it? Very funny. 


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The Invention of Morel By Adolfo Bioy Casares, Suzanne Jill Levine (Introduction by), Ruth L.C. Simms (Translated by), Jorge Luis Borges (Prologue by) Cover Image
By Adolfo Bioy Casares, Suzanne Jill Levine (Introduction by), Ruth L.C. Simms (Translated by), Jorge Luis Borges (Prologue by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781590170571
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: NYRB Classics - August 31st, 2003

A slim sci-fi parable that Borges once called a perfect novel. If you ever played MYST as a kid, this book will resonate with you.


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Based on a True Story: Not a Memoir By Norm Macdonald Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812983869
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Random House - June 13th, 2017

Norm Macdonald wasn't just the best comedian of his generation -- he was also the most literate. (In spite of his repeated claim to have only read about six books in his life.)


Libra By Don DeLillo Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780140156041
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Penguin Books - May 1st, 1991

The best treatment in fiction ("fiction") of what happened in Dallas in 1963


Depraved Indifference (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents) By Gary Indiana, A. S. Hamrah (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Gary Indiana, A. S. Hamrah (Introduction by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781635901085
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Semiotext(e) - January 7th, 2020

This should be the gold standard for what we know as "true crime" writing. The story itself is like something from an early John Waters movie, but it happened.


Amalgamemnon (British Literature) By Christine Brooke-Rose Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9781564780508
Availability: Not In Stock - Usually ships in 3-5 Days
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - July 1st, 1994

A professor of literature on the brink of termination mourns the classics. It's uncompromisingly plotless and experimental, but reading it is a blast. 


Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things (American Literature) By Gilbert Sorrentino Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781564784704
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Published: Dalkey Archive Press - March 1st, 2007

A freewheeling satire of East Coast 1960s artists and intellectuals and all of their interpersonal foibles. Timelier than ever. 


Down There (La-Bas) By Joris K. Huysmans Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9780486228372
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Dover Publications - February 17th, 2011

This book will make you glad don't have any 19th century Satanists in your life -- unless you do, in which case it's also worth reading. 


The Unmapped Country: Stories and Fragments By Ann Quin, Jennifer Hodgson (Editor) Cover Image
By Ann Quin, Jennifer Hodgson (Editor)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781911508144
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Published: And Other Stories - January 16th, 2018

There's a whole generation of undersung avant-garde British writers awaiting rediscovery, and Ann Quin is among the best of them. The combination of formal inventiveness and vague, noirish menace is irresistible and feels way ahead of its time. 


Animalia By Jean-Baptiste del Amo, Frank Wynne (Translator) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802149404
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Grove Press - August 18th, 2020

This is the story of the 20th century told from the perspective of a family of pig farmers in the French countryside, replete with bodily fluids both human and porcine. 


Independent People (Vintage International) By Halldor Laxness Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780679767923
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Vintage - January 14th, 1997

Laxness's combination of social realism with a sense of the ancient and mythical is totally mesmerizing. He's also bleakly hilarious.