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Certain American States: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374265892
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 7th, 2018

"A little vitriol could make you feel human, give you the sense that you may be the kind of person who could break something on purpose, throw a plate at a wall just like that, just to prove a little human point."

Paralyzingly good stories ripe with perfect sentences.



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The Romantic: A Novel Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780312423247
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - May 1st, 2004

As someone who reads almost exclusively for leisure, it is not uncommon I will finish two or three books a week. The trouble with this, as is largely the case with the passage of time, is I often retain little of the book's details over time and only hold on to general impressions. The Romantic, however, is a book of such rich imagery and emotional resonance I feel I could channel passages wholesale. Gowdy never disappoints but, for my money, this is her finest work.



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Subtraction Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781640090859
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Counterpoint LLC - September 11th, 2018

Published almost thirty years ago and out of print over half that time, Subtraction is FINALLY back in the land of the living. Caustic without ever feeling cynical, Robison is the absolute queen of American wit. But don't let her flip tone fool you - her work is a keen, vital appraisal of who we are and how we live.



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Pure Hollywood: And Other Stories Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780802127617
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press - March 13th, 2018

Schutt's sixth book is similar to those that have come before - small, tightly wound sentences populating stories that feel like they may explode at any moment and forever alter your perception of how we should tell stories. But in Pure Hollywood, the writing is elevated from mere brilliance to the stuff of legend.

Loaded with fearsome imagery and poetic turns of phrase, Schutt's work is literary binary traction, the grotesque and the beautiful feeding off one another in a way that is beyond thrilling.



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The Blurry Years Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781937512712
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Two Dollar Radio - July 10th, 2018

From The Blurry Years:

"I thought to myself how dangerous it could be to set your value at what you thought you might deserve."

This fervent coming-of-age novel is moving, honest and full of casually profound observations of the human animal.



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Fight No More: Stories Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780393635485
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 12th, 2018

Another Lydia Millet book, another staff rec for a Lydia Millet book. This is going to keep happening until you give in and read a Lydia Millet book. Or, better yet, just accept your fate and read every Lydia Millet book. If I keep saying "Lydia Millet book" maybe the idea will lodge itself in your mind and you'll have no choice but to pick up a Lydia Millet book. Maybe this Lydia Millet book.

Lydia Millet book.



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Days of Awe: Stories Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780670025497
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Viking - June 5th, 2018

Returning to the form that gave her the reputation of "literary force," Homes outdoes herself with Days of Awe. These stories will move you, amuse you and make you squirm - often all at once.

Despite each story's succinct page count, Homes's mastery of the novel form enriches each tale with a depth and intricacy most writers cannot convey in 300 pages.



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Into?: A Novel Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781250147448
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Flatiron Books - May 22nd, 2018

Eileen for gym queens.

Morgan's debut with a major publisher is a bang-on satire of gay culture in the age of Grindr. What could easily be dismissed as a scandalous confection is a complex and unflinching look at modern vanities and loneliness. I wanted to shield the protagonist from himself - the book is not without its sympathies - while also wanting him to go just a little darker, a little deeper into the miasmic debauchery because the insights found therein are so eye-opening.

Musclestentialism is easily my new favorite genre.



The Second Sex (Penguin Poets) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143126645
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - September 30th, 2014

Robbins ain't Coleridge. He ain't Sexton. He ain't even Bukowski. Robbins is that 4AM Dexatrim-fueled rampage of youthful ideas. He is the unnerving moment we all have when Dianetics begins to make just a little bit of sense.

He is the poet who will completely reconfigure what you want out of poetry and maybe even what you need out of life.



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Bluff Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802128041
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mysterious Press - April 3rd, 2018

Though not the sort of thing typically found in my reading diet, this phenomenally gripping yarn floored me. It’s immensely enjoyable to witness the characters’ motivations and all the intricate workings of their multiple cons unravel and Kardos’s obvious  delight in the telling is infectious and absolutely thrilling.

The best pop novel I’ve read in centuries.



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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781328764522
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mariner Books - April 17th, 2018

This essay collection is nothing short of a powerhouse - my awe of Chee's talent and vision grew exponentially with each passing sentence. Such command of language and emotional finesse would be impressive if autonomously employed, but the way Chee weaves them together throughout the book? Forget it. Absolutely unbelievable. 

"After Peter" alone is worth the price of admission - it is the most clear-eyed, moving and accurate look at the AIDS epidemic I've encountered. A new classic that deserves to be read, read aloud and tirelessly recommended to everyone you know.



Don't I Know You?: Stories Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781250089809
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Flatiron Books - October 17th, 2017

A wild conceit handled with subtle shading and humor that works on every level, Jackson's story collection has an exquisite crescendo effect. Each story builds upon the wryness and absurdity of the one that comes before with such style and nuance that Gwyneth Paltrow as a facialist or Taylor Swift as a cable repairperson feels entirely plausible.

 



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Shadowbahn Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735212022
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Blue Rider Press - February 13th, 2018

Today is as good a day as any to rewire your brain and Erickson is definitely the writer for the job.

Let go of any notions you may have about what fiction can or should do and enjoy watching an innovative writer explore the outermost boundaries of storytelling.



Come West and See: Stories Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393635584
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 8th, 2018

A mother explains to her daughter — a little sociopath who will stalk my slumber for years — the facts of her burgeoning body. A western settler experiences VERY squirmy feelings towards an advancing and hungry bear. New parents find a much-needed joyful afternoon suddenly threaded with a malice which forces them to confront their mutual infidelity and individual dark histories. The connecting thread of extremism is a mirror of our times that leaves the skin feeling silty and coarse but the stories do not entirely abandon joy, giving the book a scope that makes it feel like a real gift.



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Hollow Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781619029408
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Soft Skull Press - July 11th, 2017

I picked this up based solely on an intuitive response to the cover and the publisher’s stellar track record, cracking it without the faintest idea of plot, tone or character. It was a hunch that paid off terrifically – Hollow is engaging from the first page and its sardonic humor and emotional resonance create a vice grip that enthralls to its conclusion.

All you need to know about Egerton’s novel is that it purrs and hums like a kitten and will not disappoint.



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Why Did I Ever Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781619029644
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Counterpoint LLC - January 9th, 2018

Pithy. Prickly. Perfect.

Hands down my favorite book. 



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Red Clocks: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316434812
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown and Company - January 16th, 2018

Red Clocks, is a lightning rod of a novel: a little bit ripped-from-the-headlines, a little bit Atwood, all sharp and adroitly drawn angles. Each of the book's characters and storylines are riveting and perfectly balanced, keeping the reader engaged (and frequently enraged) throughout. 

Zumas's speculations paint a near future that feels extremely near, making this a discomfiting but necessary work of fiction.



Straying Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781501172465
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner Book Company - February 20th, 2018

Delicate and finely distilled storytelling that is as soothing as it is eloquent and insightful. A ruminative exploration of love’s ability to survive its own weaknesses, Straying is a quietly powerful novel whose whispered human truths will stay with readers for years.



The Friend: A Novel Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780735219441
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - February 6th, 2018

Doubtlessly the best book I have read in over ten years. A bold but deserved claim. Any fumbling praise I can muster could simply never do this book justice. It is moving. It is original. It is mind-bogglingly intelligent. 

I'm just going to come out and say it. This is a perfect book. 



Always Happy Hour: Stories Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781631493973
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - January 2nd, 2018

Full of stories whose polish belie their acerbity and bite, this is a masterful collection brimming with savvy observations that recapitulate contemporary life with a startling candor.

Early Lorrie Moore may come to mind but any comparisons would be a disservice to Miller and I can't wait to see more work from her.



Tangerine: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062686664
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ecco - March 27th, 2018

Lush and twisty, Mangan's debut is one of the most thrilling first novels I have encountered in twenty years of book selling. A tautly drawn plot, decadent prose and spectacularly drawn characters make for easy Highsmith comparisons. and even easier reading. 
This book does what we want every book to do: it captivates us so deeply we can think of nothing else until we see it through while also dreading its end. Tangerine is a novel full of astute observations and keen insights wrapped in a psychological thriller so deft, so smart, it will ring any reader's bells.



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All Days Are Night Cover Image
By Peter Stamm, Michael Hoffman (Translated by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781590518908
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Other Press - September 5th, 2017

Prolific but mostly ignored in the states, Stamm is a master storyteller, translated with a cunning and precision that always leaves me breathless. Of course, that could also be the Mary Gaitskill-like emotional agony and asphyxiating atmospherics. (This is an enormous compliment.) 

All Days Are Night is the perfect gateway drug for this Swiss doyen - readable and, whether you like it or not, relatable.



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Kiss Me Someone: Stories Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781941040751
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tin House Books - September 12th, 2017

Collecting almost twenty years' worth of Shepards arresting, enigmantic short fiction, Kiss Me Someone is a must for any fan of contemporary fiction.

Like Ann Beattie or Mary Robison, Shepard populates her stories with characters (mostly women) who are prickly, complicated and charismatic. In language both austere and enchanting, these are tales to be read carefully for their beauty and emotional cunning.



Mister Monkey: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062397843
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Perennial - October 17th, 2017

Dangerously prolific but always relevant and readable, Prose is at her best when writing satire. Inhabiting the minds of various players in a threadbare theater production, Mister Monkey skewers perceptions of artistic "quality" while broadly and masterfully lampooning ambition and its ensuing anxieties.

An engaging, seemingly frothy story far sharper than its lightheartedness would lead the reader to believe.



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Eat Only When You're Hungry: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250183613
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - August 14th, 2018

Lindsay Hunter's sophomore novel is a compulsively readable anti-hero's journey, populated with haunted characters who move through the book's landscape with aches and desires I found contagious.

It is a gift to make the reader not only sympathize with an unsavory protagonist but feel as though they have befriended him as well.



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What I've Learned in 86a' Years Cover Image
By Martin Usborne, Joseph Markovitch (Text by (Art/Photo Books))
$16.95
ISBN: 9781910566176
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hoxton Mini Press - April 18th, 2017

Hoxton Mini is the coolest (and most affordable) photography publisher in centuries and Joseph Markovitch is the most charming and pragmatic octogenarian since the dawn of time.



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American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781631494512
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - May 22nd, 2018

While disparate at first glance, American Fire turned out to be the book I wanted Hillbilly Elegy to be. Without sacrificing objectivity or sympathy, Hesse has created a gripping, polished account of working class America's resentments and struggles without flirting with condescension or neglecting its strengths. It is a timely, intriguing and poignant book deserving of a wide audience.



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Conversations with Friends: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780451499066
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth - August 7th, 2018

Sally Rooney reminds me of a millennial Neil Labute; she packs her novel with characters who are all driven by instinct and seem utterly powerless to their base emotional compulsions, often relishing the surrender with nominal regard for consequences. Objects of affection become objects of derision in a story told with a lacerating wit and jarringly raw honesty that make it breathlessly compelling.


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Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250182555
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - July 10th, 2018

Easily my favorite book of 2017, Goodbye, Vitamin is full of jaunty wit that never feels twee and packs its fair share of emotional punches that startle the reader but never leave a bruise. 


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What We Lose: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735221734
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - June 5th, 2018

"My theory is that loneliness creates the feeling of haunting."

This passage from Clemmon's' debut novel perfectly conveys the book's ghostly effect. Written with a sparseness that disguises its depth, What We Lose tackles the heady themes of belonging and familial legacies with a power and style that engages, provokes and moves the reader.


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The Invaders Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781682450871
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Regan Arts - May 16th, 2017

Waclawiak's second novel is a scathing send-up of the pharmaceutically drowsy morals and manners of the upper crust and their offspring's politicall correct rebellion that never leaves the safety of the golf community gates.

Too funny to consider it a polemic but cutting too close to the bone of contemporary America to feel like a spoof, it is a timely and tightly-drawn yarn.


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Chemistry: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525432227
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - April 3rd, 2018

A piquant little novel told with an acidic wit whose bite entertains without employing the barbaric snark so common in modern comedy. Chemistry is a petite little book but it is overflowing with vim and vigor.



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Time's a Thief: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781101974131
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor - April 3rd, 2018

Capturing New York during its Giuliani inflection point, beautifully juxtaposing the atmosphere and protagonist to illuminate the character's evolution out of adolescence. The book's clarity, humor and energy are all so distinctly of that time and perfectly rendered that its effect for any reader who lived in New York City as it teetered at the precipice of becoming a capitalist amusement park will be left viscerally shaken.


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So Much Blue: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977825
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - June 13th, 2017

What makes a masterpiece? In a career as prolific, eclectic and adventurous as Percival Everett's, his body of work the very definition of singularity, it may even be foolish to hint one book is superior to another. And while it might be brazen to assert So Much Blue may be that magnum opus, it is an accusation i gleefully declare. A blissfully precise pen firmly draws the reader into the life of Kevin Pace in his quest for absolution and closure and the novel's three timelines kept deftly aloft by Everett's signature humor and nuanced storytelling.


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Marlena: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250160157
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - April 3rd, 2018

This is the novel I wanted The Girls to be. What Buntin's novel lacks in flair and fanaticism it makes up for in its shrewd and sympathetic examination of the arrogance and exaggerated angst that makes adolescence such an electrifying study.


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Heartbreaker: Stories Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780374536060
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: FSG Originals - July 12th, 2016

Each story here feels like it is dressed in a color that doesn't exist in nature. They feel familiar, somehow, but with an effect of feeling slightly left of center, rattling your expectations.

As the stories progress, they feel increasingly tighter with a strengthening emotional punch that will leave the reader breathless.


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Sorry to Disrupt the Peace Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781944211493
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: McSweeney's - March 13th, 2018

Harsh but funny and, ultimately, strangely moving, Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is an unputdownable underdog's journey.

Helen might be schizophrenic; she may just be a little fed up and batty from years of being frustratingly dismissed by everyone she encounters. Though it's probably the former, the book never feels exploitative, as Cottrell's ability to keep the pitch-black humor tempered with compassion is wildly impressive.

 


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What Belongs to You: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250117892
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - December 20th, 2016

Greenwell's first novel is rhapsodic - a sophisticated tale that peers into the contiguous relationship between our desires and our loneliness. Like James Baldwin or the best of Edmund White, the novel's tone is astoundingly elegant, its urbanity and quietude brought sharply into focus when considering how gratuitous the narrative could seem in the hands of a less refined writer. 


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A Separation: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399576119
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - February 6th, 2018

A hypnotic, witchy tale of a woman's desultory search for her estranged husband who has gone missing in Greece, A Separation is an enigmatically seductive narrative whose gauzy embrace draws easy comparisons to DeLillo (or his innumerable acolytes).

It is a powerfully engrossing quagmire and its misty atmosphere of isolation and emotional riddles are truly haunting.


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Homesick for Another World: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399562907
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - December 5th, 2017

With just three books, Moshfegh has established herself as the beating heart of contemporary American literature. But be warned – it is a dark heart. Tonally eccentric, morally dubious and emotionally swampy each story exists inside its own filmy, insidious macro cosmos. Ottessa Moshfegh is derseving of her own cult and, once her day of ascension arrives, I will be the first to don a robe and begin chanting.


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Transit: A Novel (Outline Trilogy #2) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250151797
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - December 19th, 2017

The follow-up to Outline is an even more satisfying exposition of a woman’s rich interior life; it is a fascinating, subdued illumination of the mundane’s transformation into profundity when examined in the right light.

The main pleasure in Cusk’s cycle of novels is their meditative effect. Like a mindfulness exercise disguised as fiction, their palliative energy make them necessary reading.


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The Idiot: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143111061
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - February 13th, 2018

Moving at such a deliberate, languid pace and voiced by a character easily accused of insouciance, it is all too easy to overlook the book and protagonist's incisive wit and keen social perception.
Like Don Quixote translated by Joy Williams, Batuman's debut novel is a distinct reading pleasure, startling and soothing in equal measure.


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Hospice Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781573660518
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Fiction Collective 2 - April 1st, 2015

Abstruse humor and atmospheric capriciousness are the name of the game in Howard's first novel. What the book may lack in traditional narrative is mollified by the protagonist's amiable relationship with the story's almost ceaseless peculiarity (a compliment, to be sure).

It had me in its misty, aimless thrall for its duration and won't be forgotten any time soon.



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Nobody Is Ever Missing: A Novel Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780374534493
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: FSG Originals - July 8th, 2014

Those vague, errant anxieties which plague and paralyze us, strengthened by subjectivity's inability to aptly describe them, are painted in precise, vivid colors in Lacey's debut novel. Our heroine, floundering (literally and figuratively) through New Zealand with mostly just her perturbation to keep her company, is as mysterious and fascinating as the landscape.

 


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Ongoingness: The End of a Diary Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781555977658
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - December 6th, 2016

While there is a story arc at play here (Sarah the girl becomes Sarah the wife and Sarah the mother), Ongoingness is a meditation on one writer's propensity for excess that gives way to a profound restraint.

Manguso has built a career out of cool-edged precision and it is readily apparent here she is well on her way to fully realizing her talent and has taught her pen to sing.



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Innocents and Others Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501122736
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Scribner Book Company - November 15th, 2016

Spiotta's fourth novel fits seamlessly alongside her other work. It is a tale that magnificently ghosts a moment in American history, her research and fabrication masterfully woven into a contextually rich yarn. Innocents and Others (inspired by the fascinating Exploding the Telephone) introduces readers to Jelly, the author's most enigmatic and intriguing character to date. Her presence on the page and in the relationship between the book's alternating protagonists is so acutely observed and emotionally sonorous, she haunts the reader long after the page is turned.

The LA Times succinctly says it all: "[Spiotta] writes with a breezy precision and genuine wit that put her on a short-list of brilliant North American novelists who deserve a much wider audience.”


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The Red Car Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781631493393
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - September 12th, 2017

Disillusionment is a risky theme to tackle; a character adrift can easily come across as too thorny or unsympathetic, making even a masterfully written story insufferable. Luckily, we have Marcy Dermansky.

In the sea of earnest, self-conscious, cloyingly "witty" (and ultimately forgettable) modern fiction, she and The Red Car are acerbic salvation.


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The Men's Club: A Novel (FSG Classics) Cover Image
$13.00
ISBN: 9780374208196
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - July 8th, 2008

Michaels was, in his best moments, a conversational writer drawing scenes with the wry, confessional tone of pillow talk. He is responsible for a body of work that regularly flirts with perfection and is, in a horrendous testament to how unfair life can be, no more than a footnote in contemporary literature. His stories easily rival that of [insert reknowned short story writer here] but The Men's Club is a quintessential work, a sardonic masterpiece skewering politically correct notions of masculinity, self-improvement platforms and the cult of oneness.



The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101873717
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - August 9th, 2016

It is a very particular, nebulous America illuminated by Williams's pen. Rather arch and  often addled, her characters langorously circle the existential drain as they search for an ever-elusive stability and calm. Shrewd and astute, her observations often castigate but never sermonize. The Visting Privilege is a momentous collection gathering together a staggering number of older stories and the desperately-needed new.



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The Collective Cover Image
By Don Lee
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393345421
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 8th, 2013

Addressing identity and the role we play in one another's lives, The Collective is the haunting, moving and wryly drawn novel I wanted The Interestings to be. Don Lee is writing at the height of his powers in this novel, the acuity common to all of his work tempered here with the perfectly rendered melancholy of growing pains. 


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Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781455554584
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 7th, 2016

For my money, there hasn't been a work about alcohol abuse that feels this humble and forthright since Caroline Knapp's Drinking. It isn't surprising how compulsively readable and relatable this is, given Hepola is the personal essays editor at Salon, but it is her ability to steer clear of navel-gazing and address past transgressions frankly without sensationalizing them that makes Blackout so inspiring.



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All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780393340563
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 12th, 2011

Director of Iowa Writers Workshop and former student of Marilynne Robinson, Lan Samantha Chang is as incredible and well-groomed a storyteller as that pedigree suggests.

This novel, set largely in a writing program quite similar to Iowa, is intimate territory for Chang and a familiarity that pays off in spades for the reader. The novel's characters inhabit a wonderfully and immediately authentic atmosphere; the story's subtlety making for a pastoral and elegant work opf fiction.



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Arcade Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781939419729
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Unnamed Press - June 14th, 2016

Arcade manages to succeed where most contemporary American fiction fails, boldly testing the reader's sympathy and patience without the reader questioning the writer's talent or character's emotional worth.
It had my heart and stomach competing for a place in my throat while my hands struggled to keep both book and moral compass aloft.
Redemption is secondary to an admirably frank confrontation of "right" and "wrong" with a concupiscence that is startlingly edifying.



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Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594634895
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - June 13th, 2017

With her trademark wit and a sensitivity that has intensified since her last novel, Ausubel perfectly captures the unintentional irony and unavoidable hypocrisy that peppers (and, in the worst cases, defines) a marriage. Illuminating the story of a union's mounting tensions with those inherited from the blue-blooded bride's even bluer-blooded parents, the novel posits an engaging domestic drama against a sophisticated moral, nature vs. nurture argument.



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Partial List of People to Bleach Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9781892061447
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Future Tense Books - August 6th, 2013

An English professor and grammarian by trade, Lutz slaps both day jobs in the face with short stories teeming with inventive usage, intricate sentences and story structure that redefines elliptical. Referenced and respected by contemporary household names but never staying in print for long, Lutz is deserving of a much larger readership.



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The Odd Woman and the City: A Memoir Cover Image
$13.00
ISBN: 9780374536152
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 17th, 2016

Solitude and loneliness, two of our greatest social anxieties, are inevitable (and at times barely discernible) states of being – both often carrying a stigma that generates silence rather than celebration. Gornick’s ruminations, however, extol the virtues of these ineluctable conditions with an elegance that ennobles us misfits and autonomy junkies.



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A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos Cover Image
By Tim Dlugos, David Trinidad (Editor)
$24.95
ISBN: 9780984459834
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Nightboat Books - May 10th, 2011

A contemporary of Joe Brainard and Eileen Myles, Dlugos was a defining voice in queer and AIDS literature in the 80s at the height of the AIDS crisis, the disease ultimately claiming him far too soon. His ability to stare down his own mortality and his country’s failure to take the reins of the growing epidemic while never losing his signature irreverance defines his legacy but each poem is a marvel of its own.



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Maestra Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399184277
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 4th, 2017

Listen. It's flashy. It's a little trashy. It's so gratuitous (and occasionally heartless) you might get a little rashy. As someone who grew up obsessed with the silly lavishness of Dynasty and Lace, though, these are all selling points. It's getting hot outside and a little decadence never killed anyone (summer isn't exactly the right time for The Decalogue, you know?). The character's slow, tawdry, expensive descent into psychopathy had me blushing, balking and laughing out loud. Maybe not Hilton's intention, but the low-throttle maniac she has created here wouldn't hold it against me.



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True Crimes: A Family Album Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781400063482
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Random House - April 5th, 2016

It has been over a decade since Harrison's last work of personal nonfiction or memoir, a genre she helped define, and True Crimes is a magnificent return to the genre that gave Harrison her well-deserved reputation. It is a collection as versatile and varied in curiosity as its creator, running the gamut of an adult's emotional life with refinement and grace.



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Happy All the Time (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780307474407
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - March 23rd, 2010

A marriage plot with no infidelity or emotional strife (of the humorless variety, at least) is certainly an odd duck in most domestic fiction but Colwin’s novel flies in the face of convention. Illuminating the everyday humor and anxieties of married life with penetrative wit, it is a work interested in celebrating love’s less pronounced colors. The characters’ endless bemusement and befuddlement is an immense pleasure, revealing the innumerable ways in which we are capable of love.



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I Met Someone Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399159367
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Blue Rider Press - March 1st, 2016

The eloquently written but nauseatingly discomfiting kind of tale Wagner has built a career on has finally met an accessibility his previous novels lack. Absolutely no one can touch him and humiliation awaits anyone who tries to emulate the high-wire act only he can perform: his Joycean flourish; a manic, satirical irony that would decimate any smug millennial; a sense of ghoulish humor that could embarrass the most hardened dark web dweller.
Though his signature verbosity and stunning cadence is noticeably absent here and there, there is a certain festivity in watching him tone down the linguistic pyrotechnics in service to a plot-driven, black-hearted calliope of a story.



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13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl: Fiction Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143128489
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - February 23rd, 2016

There are few things I enjoy more than a novel full of sharp edges and people with unpredictable characters. 13 Ways is right up my alley - a self-assured debut, it is at times melancholy while an occasional sauciness flirts with the emotionally monstrous. Obsessively readable and viscerally  satisfying.



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Hall of Small Mammals: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594634055
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - January 12th, 2016

What’s not to love about something described as an “enchanting primordial soup”? Who wouldn’t trust a short story collection recommended by Ann Beattie? Why would you even try to resist a book that turns the tired convention of magical realism on its ear, introducing you to a whole new level of sublimity? What do I have to say to convince you to take it home already?



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Confessions Cover Image
By Kanae Minato, Stephen Snyder (Translated by)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316200929
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mulholland Books - August 19th, 2014

For better or worse, I am a self-declared book snob and rarely dabble in contemporary genre fiction. Finishing a Tana French or Gillian French nove lhas inspired little more than a drowsy "egh," but Confessions might be a watershed read. Its delightfully macabre plot, contemptible characters and artfully placed twists had me practically ripping out each page to get to the next. 



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The Longest Night: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812987423
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - October 4th, 2016

Absorbing, engrossingly pure storytelling. Deftly paced with handsomely drawn characters and moments of sharp humor, it is an elegant calling card for Williams with admirable narrative backbone and full of promise.



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After the Parade: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781476790114
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner - July 26th, 2016

It is all too rare that a book lives up to the promise of its blurbs but Ostlund's novel is a welcome exception, far exceeding the cover's lavish praise. A bravura performance, it is a deeply moving novel full of rich emotion and humanity.



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All My Puny Sorrows Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781940450711
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: McSweeney's - July 28th, 2015

Suicide and depression, those oft-choked nuggets of contemporary literature, are a tricky terrain — but one Toews handles deftly. The ache and anger of the people left to witness and endure are not wrought darkly but with honesty and precision, tempered with the shocks of humor and relief we experience when confronted by life's inevitable finality, self-inflicted or not. 



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Refund: Stories Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781619026230
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 10th, 2015

In each of these wonderfully offbeat stories, a mundane life is turned on its ear by a jarring, left-field occurrence. A series of increasingly aggressive (and annoying) requests for the titular refund from a subletter, a marriage's flaws brought into focus after the family cat's vocal proclamation of love for only one of its owners, and a kitchen kept kosher by floor to ceiling aluminum foil are only a few of the imaginative spoils found in this collection.



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Eileen: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143128755
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - August 16th, 2016

A pretty wild departure from her debut (but equally excellent) novella McGlue, Eileen is a gut-wrenching journey with one of the most intriguing antiheroes I've ever encountered. Darker, complex interior lives of seedy characters are Moshfegh's stock-in-trade but that murkiness shouldn't dissuade potential readers. It is a fearless, compulsively readable novel that reads as if it's on fire.



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It's a Slippery Slope Cover Image
$13.00
ISBN: 9780374525231
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 30th, 1997

His performances are the stuff of legend, his tireless effort to get to the root of the self a thing of unparalleled beauty. Here, a late-onset, inexplicable obsession with skiing is used as a jumping-off point to shake out the pockets of a mid-life crisis. Gray was genuinely a national treasure and his trademark precision and sophistication are sublimely realized here.



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Eve's Hollywood Cover Image
By Eve Babitz, Holly Brubach (Introduction by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781590178904
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: NYRB Classics - October 6th, 2015

Eve's Hollywood, cruelly out of print for four decades or some equally ridiculous length of time, is categorized as fiction but could just as easily be used as a travel guide to a bygone L.A. or possibly a user's guide to life. Effortlessly witty and armed to the teeth with an inimitable style, Babitz is in a class by herself.



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Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555975180
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - February 3rd, 2009

Exploring prejudice and its impact on identity, both personally and on a larger anthropological scale, Biss's essay collection towers over its contemporaries. Her focus seamlessly shifts between the subjective experience and historical actuality with powerful insights that cut to the quick with jaw-dropping grace. Such command and lyrical force are an undulterated pleasure - a pleasure to be read slowly, then passed on to every reader you know.



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Truck: On Rebuilding a Worn-Out Pickup and Other Post-Technological Adventures Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780874517552
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: University Press of New England - April 1st, 1996

Finding myself inexplicably drawn to an old hardcover edition of this when it crossed the used counter, I have been in its thrall completely, reading as slowly and carefully as possible. Maybe it's nostalgia for my father's 1971 Chevy (which still runs beautifully), maybe it's Jerome's plaintive simplicity. At the end of the day, though, whatever it is I found so beguiling from the outset has paid off richly. An unfussy but ambiguously complex meditation.



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A Little Life Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780804172707
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor - January 26th, 2016

A remarkable work of fiction, Yanagihara's novel demands full attention--not an easy undertaking with such brutal, emotionally abrasive subject matter. The characters are so human, so fully realized, that I wept openly in parts. It may not be what everyone would consider praise but to employ mind and body, to react viscerally, is not something I experience often. And it is the only book I've read that left me feeling I am a better person having done so. 



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The Quick and the Dead (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780375727641
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - January 8th, 2002

Long before George Saunders and Karen Russell introduced literary weirdness to the reading public at large, Williams was writing satisfyingly elliptical and witchy stories and novels.



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In the Country of Last Things Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140097054
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - May 2nd, 1988

Auster's second novel is the most ill-fitting in his body of work but also one of his more enjoyable. In an unnamed city, Auster's protagonist struggles to overcome increasinlgy difficult (possibly dystopian?) hurdles. It is a fully realized feat of imagination that takes hold of the reader from page one and absolutely refuses to let go.



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The Folded Clock: A Diary Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780804171441
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor - March 8th, 2016

The first book-length work of nonfiction by Julavits, an accomplished novelist and editor, is an absolute triumph. A two year diary, pieced together here out of chronological order, The Folded Clock is an elegant and wry exercise is self-reflection, occasional accusation, and compassion. Julavits perfectly captures the ongoing process of becoming one's self, the impossibility of fully doing so, and the nascent pleasures of the undertaking. 



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What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476785066
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner - April 19th, 2016

Safekeeping, Abigail Thomas's first memoir, has been my foolproof back pocket recommendation for the fussiest of readers for over a decade, and a follow-up that is as deeply felt and elegant is very much a publication to celebrate. 

Her work's subtlety is arresting; her wisdom truly astonishing. 



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Man V. Nature: Stories Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062333117
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harper Perennial - October 6th, 2015

Situationally fantastic but emotionally familiar, every story in  Man v. Nature is top-drawer. Dystopian landscapes, sexual anarchy, and vividly real antagonists (especially in "It's Coming" and the title story) all create a rambunctious energy, making the collection utterly unique and an inimitable joy to read. 



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The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250074928
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - November 3rd, 2015

It's been well over ten years since Daum's last collection of essays, and while the long wait was painful at times, all is forgiven now that she's back. A little Fran Lebowitz, a little Nora Ephron, she is a writer of great warmth with a caustic optimism I deeply admire. 



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The Essential Ellen Willis Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780816681211
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Univ Of Minnesota Press - May 1st, 2014

"I find I can't keep myself from playing roles. The emotionless decadent, looking for diversion from boredom, is a favorite. Corny, but it works by my criteria: maximum pleasure, minimum anxiety." An overwhelming, ebullient genius.



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Outline: A Novel (Outline Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250081544
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - February 9th, 2016

The thin line between fact and fabrication in an individual's memory is a rich territory to mine and one custom-made for Cusk's adroit prose. 

January is probably too early to call it one of the year's best novels, but it's just that good.



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And Sons: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812984354
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 27th, 2014

Gilbert draws upon the biographical mythologies of Vonnegut, Pynchon, and Salinger to create an intricate and moving tale about the familial bonds between. Atmospheric and engrossing, it is not to be missed.



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A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Jonestown Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781416596400
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Free Press - November 13th, 2012

Scheeres's account of the Jonestown Massacre breathes humanity into a ghastly piece of American history that, sadly, is little more than a punchline today. Meticulously researched and written with a sympathy that doesn't betray its journalistic intentions.



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Fools Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780393348897
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 14th, 2014

For years, Joan Silber has been quietly building a body of work far warmer and more generous than her contemporaries. Criminally overlooked, she deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Ann Patchett or Colum McCann.



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The Complete Patrick Melrose Novels: Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother's Milk, and At Last (The Patrick Melrose Novels) Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781250069603
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Picador - May 5th, 2015

The stunning lyrical precision of these five short novels is what garnered enormous critical praise upon publication but it is the emotional profundity that has stayed with me over the years. Examining the darkest corners of family and interior life with humor and grace, St. Aubyn is a modern master.



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The Last Animal Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781619024373
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Counterpoint LLC - October 14th, 2014

The first few stories made such a strong impression that I could not shut up about them, really bugling the hell out of one in particular. Geni's correlative thread is fascinating and subtle--a truly unique debut.



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Love Me Back Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780345807137
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor - June 9th, 2015

Solid, assured prose elevates this novel to a level you don't expect. Quite dark at times, it is not for the faint of heart but the author deftly reveals the interior life of a woman adrift that is surprisingly rewarding.



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Mary Coin: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780142180785
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Plume - February 25th, 2014

With Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" as inspiration, Silver has created an affecting novel that examines the lasting impressions a work of art can have on all involved: artist, subject, and observer.



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There Must Be Some Mistake Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316231367
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Back Bay Books - May 16th, 2017

On paper, Barthelme's novel seem awfully synonymous - marriage plots tackling middle age and matrimonial ennui somewhere along the gulf coast - his blend of unassuming prose and flip, wise-cracking dialogue never gets old for me. 

Each book is a timeless, soothing pleasure, like an evening idled away catching up with an old pal on a porch swing.



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I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780816677740
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Univ Of Minnesota Press - March 1st, 2014

A former editor for Wired, culture and media critic Mark Dery is a fitting successor to Mailer's throne and worthy of any Didion devotee. It's hard to say if it is his rapid-fire humor or often mind-blowing lyricism and insight that makes this collection so enjoyable.



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The Woman Upstairs (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307743763
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - February 4th, 2014

The realization that we have already become the person we are going to be is a difficult one and a personal reckoning Messud captures with admirable restraint and elegance.



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Mermaids in Paradise Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393351729
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 13th, 2015

Impossible to pigeonhole, Millet has been amassing an impressive body of work that employs satire and heartbreak in equal measure. While always sharp and inventive, she really goes for broke here. A fantastic blend of modern snark and old-fashioned broad comedy.



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Snapper (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780345803368
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Vintage - March 11th, 2014

Admirable in its ease and subtlety, I'm hard-pressed to name another debut in recent memory as poignant as this. The charm is evident from page one and only gathers strength throughout.



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A Guide to Being Born: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594632686
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 6th, 2014

Ausubel's stories are the drunk uncle at Thanksgiving: attention-grabbing, amusing, casually insightful. The suspension of disbelief is a tough undertaking for me but plausibility never even factored in given the author's storytelling sophistication. No matter how fantastic the conceit, the stories are full of such emotional authenticity and their underlying points dressed so beautifully, the collection is an undeniable pleasure.