Nick's Picks

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A Confederacy of Dunces (Evergreen Book) By John Kennedy Toole, Walker Percy (Foreword by) Cover Image
By John Kennedy Toole, Walker Percy (Foreword by)
$14.40
ISBN: 9780802130204
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Grove Press - January 21st, 1994

Ignatius Reilly is the greatest anti-hero in the history of American literature, and the rightful protagonist of John Kennedy Toole's only novel. But what you'll realize here is that this is a modern-day epic told through the eyes of about a dozen different characters that you think will never, ever be able to be weaved into a satisfying ending...until it does. A masterpiece of storyelling & by far the funniest book I've ever read, too!


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A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems By Lawrence Ferlinghetti Cover Image
$9.86
ISBN: 9780811200417
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: New Directions -

An unmatched book of poetry by one of the faces of the Beat generation. To me, no poet has quite matched the pace and patterns of our internal narratives like Ferlinghetti. A readable, sprawling poetry collection that will stay with you long after you've turned the final page. 


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Employment By Gina Tron Cover Image
$15.27
ISBN: 9781952055287
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vegetarian Alcoholic Press - April 13th, 2021

Anyone who has ever worked a dull & demeaning menial job will enjoy this book. Gina Tron gives us a tongue-in-cheek tour of her long resumè - the ravenous bosses, the strange co-workers, the crying-in-the-bathroom tragedies, and everything else we can't help but remember about our worst jobs. But despite the very real horrors of minimum-wage labor, this book is funny, and despite yourself you'll be smiling right along with Gina Tron through every poem in this collection. In the end, I think the best part about Employment is that it doesn't sink into its own tragedies. Which is really all we can ask for from a mindless job, right?


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Nightmare Alley By William Lindsay Gresham, Nick Tosches (Introduction by) Cover Image
By William Lindsay Gresham, Nick Tosches (Introduction by)
$16.16
ISBN: 9781590173480
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: NYRB Classics - April 6th, 2010

One of those books I love so much that I almost don't know how to describe it. A very basic plot summary: Nightmare Alley is the story of the rise and fall of a conniving carnival mystic. But that one sentence doesn't even begin to do this book justice. It's a glimpse into the often-ignored and maligned world of the Depression-era carnival, and a reminder that the horrors of those inside don't end in the fairgrounds. And, oh, every chapter is headed under a specific Tarot card, which adds a fun twist to the very structure of the book. Here, the old cliché is true - you won't be able to put this book down.


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Angela Davis: An Autobiography By Angela Y. Davis Cover Image
$20.66
ISBN: 9781642598988
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Haymarket Books - May 2nd, 2023

"When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime."


With each passing page, the words echoed in my head louder and louder: I wish I had one-hundredth of the courage of Angela Davis. There is so much power in her words, her fight, and her life - a life met with ugly resistance at seemingly every turn. Centered around her unfounded trial for abetting the Soledad Brothers prison revolt, Angela Davis paints a beautifully-written chronicle of her life in this autobiography, a book that sheds light on not just her struggle, but the struggle for all people of color on a daily basis. Even though we're many decades removed from its original publication, make no mistake: this book remains a critical document of the revolutionary era, and we need Angela Davis's voice now more than ever.


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Grimmish By Michael Winkler Cover Image
$17.06
ISBN: 9781552454664
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Coach House Books - April 25th, 2023

I won't lie to you: this is a capital-W Weird book. But I mean that in the best possible way - Grimmish is a fun Weird, a Weird that makes you work, a Weird that makes you think. Loosely based on the life of mediocre turn-of-the-century boxer Joe Grim - whose main claim to fame was being able to take immense amounts of punishment without being knocked out - this book is a reflection on pain and failure, and the multitudes of variations within. A metafictional romp flush with footnotes and fourth-wall shattering, Grimmish is a genre-bending novel(?) that's sure to send you sprawling.


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People from Bloomington By Budi Darma, Tiffany Tsao (Translated by), Tiffany Tsao (Introduction by), Intan Paramaditha (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Budi Darma, Tiffany Tsao (Translated by), Tiffany Tsao (Introduction by), Intan Paramaditha (Foreword by)
$12.60
ISBN: 9780143136606
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Classics - April 12th, 2022

I have a tendency to fall into the habit of reading a never-ending string of novels, and on so many levels, picking up Budi Darma's People from Bloomington - a short story collection - was a breath of fresh air. Set in Bloomington, Indiana, these stories give an often chilling voice to characters on the fringes of a college town, people who lack a bond to the glories of the community (or what they imagine those "glories" to be) and are determined to produce those bonds whether they are reciprocated or not. These are stories of longing, stories of loneliness, and often stories of horror. In the end, People from Bloomington is, quite simply, the best book of short stories I've read in a long time, and one that reminded me how great the form can be. 


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Stoner By John Williams, John McGahern (Introduction by) Cover Image
By John Williams, John McGahern (Introduction by)
$15.26
ISBN: 9781590171998
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: NYRB Classics - June 20th, 2006

This book changed my life - and as much as I love reading, I can't say that about many books out there. On the surface, there doesn't seem to be much here - the novel details the life of William Stoner, a languishing Literature professor at a small liberal arts college. But underneath Stoner's story runs rivers of small victories and sufferings that mirror so much of the lives we are so quick to assign to the mundane, the daily battles that often go unstated in capital-L Literature. If you're like me, you'll cherish the time spent with Stoner, and miss him every time you drop this book back onto your nightstand.


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Brave New World By Aldous Huxley Cover Image
$15.29
ISBN: 9780060850524
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - October 17th, 2006

This might well be my favorite book. To me, no author has better captured what it means to live in a dystopia than Aldous Huxley. And while Brave New World predicts a shocking amount of "advances" in our current society - test-tube babies, 3-D movies, among others - the characters are what have stuck with me the most. Though much of the book focuses on Bernard Marx, an outcast of the top "Alpha" caste of Huxley's dystopia, the entire cast provides harrowing moments on every page as they attempt to navigate the (seemingly) euphoric society before them. What Brave New World understands, more than any other book I've ever read, is that the more empty pleasures we seek to create, the more alienated we become. Which is why it remains a necessary classic to this day.


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Revolutionary Suicide: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) By Huey P. Newton, Fredrika Newton (Introduction by), Ho Che Anderson (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Huey P. Newton, Fredrika Newton (Introduction by), Ho Che Anderson (Illustrator)
$16.20
ISBN: 9780143105329
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Classics - September 29th, 2009

Certain books stand the test of time for their elegance, others for their message, and still others for their relevance. Revolutionary Suicide is all of these things. You'll join Huey Newton as he takes us through his childhood and the eventual route to forming the Black Panther Party with Bobby Seale, but the real heart of this book lies in the narrative of Newton's farcical trial for the murder of an Oakland police officer in 1967. Given society's deepened racial divides, Newton details the impossibility of truly receiving a fair trial overseen by a "jury of peers" in perhaps the most prescient condemnation of the court system I have ever read. Revolutionary Suicide remains a true tour-de-force of Black literature, a book that maps out the competing honor and anger of what it means to be Black in America.


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Checkout 19: A Novel By Claire-Louise Bennett Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9780593420508
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Riverhead Books - February 28th, 2023

Checkout 19 is many things: a book about books, a book about storytelling, a book about how we converse through the arts we love. But what catapults this book above the generic "book about books" formula is that we see the art begin to consume our unnamed narrator, infecting her growth into adulthood to the point of horror. Like life itself, there is nothing linear in the telling of this story - reading it felt like I was reading four different books at once, every sentence a dark parade, every word infused with minor-chord beauty. In the end, Checkout 19 is a fascinating and off-kilter coming-of-age story about what happens when the art consumes the reader, rather than the other way around.


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A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments By David Foster Wallace Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316925280
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Back Bay Books - February 2nd, 1998

This is my favorite essay collection on the face of the earth. Wallace's fiction (understandably) scares some readers away, but if you ask me, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again is the place to start. The title essay is a hauntingly beautiful look at despair on the supposedly utopian decks of a cruise ship (of all places), and is still perhaps the single greatest piece of non-fiction I've ever read. But the other essays in this collection take us into similarly strange corners of pop culture - to places like tennis courts, state fairs, even the set of a David Lynch film. If Infinite Jest is a portal into Wallace's literary brilliance, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again offers a look at him as a human being, someone to chat with over coffee in a diner.


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Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays By David Foster Wallace Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316013321
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Back Bay Books - July 2nd, 2007

While I've long been a big David Foster Wallace fan, I feel like his post-Infinite Jest writing gets (unfairly) shoved aside when discussing his career, and for my money Consider the Lobster presents the best view into DFW's later body of work. The essays in this collection drop us into a comically varied world of porn conventions, presidential tours, and fringe talk radio - all presented, despite their decadence, with Wallace's trademark sincerity that makes his writing so memorable.


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Death in the Haymarket: A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movement and the Bombing that Divided Gilded Age America By James Green Cover Image
$16.16
ISBN: 9781400033225
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Anchor - March 13th, 2007

An intricate look at the most (in)famous moment of Chicago's long labor history, told in a masterful web of events connected to Chicago's Haymarket Riots of May 4, 1886. No detail is spared in covering the expected powderkeg of labor exploitation leading up to the riot, and the unfortunate aftermath of the city's attempts at scapegoating the Haymarket's victims. There's a certain sadness in seeing how fresh the wounds of 125 years ago can be and still are in today's work-a-day world, but this is a great read for anyone interested in Chicago history and/or the labor movement as a whole.


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The Right to Be Lazy: And Other Writings By Paul Lafargue, Alex Andriesse (Translated by), Lucy Sante (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Paul Lafargue, Alex Andriesse (Translated by), Lucy Sante (Introduction by)
$14.36
ISBN: 9781681376820
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: NYRB Classics - November 15th, 2022

The love for work has long been a fascinating issue in our culture, and, if you ask me, it remains one of our society's most pressing ills. The heart of this book is truly in the title - Paul Lafargue argues that it's up to the workers to shed the belief that menial labor will ever allow them the freedom to discover the pleasures in the pursuit of leisure. This is, sadly, an argument that rings all too true in today's incessant adoration of "grind culture" and working for illusory rewards. Complete with a few other short pieces (including an illuminating personal portrait of Karl Marx, Lafargue's father-in-law), The Right to Be Lazy is a readable treasure that all workers of the world should cherish.


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The Plague: A new translation by Laura Marris By Albert Camus, Laura Marris (Translated by) Cover Image
By Albert Camus, Laura Marris (Translated by)
$15.30
ISBN: 9780593082096
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - October 25th, 2022

I can't sit here and tell you this book is anything near a comfortable read - if you're like me, you'll be on the verge of a panic attack after every chapter (which I suppose is like everything else by Camus). But here I am recommending it to you because it's quite simply a masterful piece of storytelling, and an invaluable artifact of our troubled times. The Plague tells the story of a town on the brink of medical annihilation through the lens of the few souls doing their best to save their people from ruin. Though originally published over 75 years ago, this book resonates with our all-too-familiar COVID horror stories - the exploitative consumers, the disease-deniers, and the ultimate tragedy of a community so wholly unprepared for something bigger than themselves. In the end, The Plague is a harrowing book whose echoes are frighteningly loud when thrown against the backdrop of our pandemic age. 


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Tales of the City: A Novel By Armistead Maupin Cover Image
$15.29
ISBN: 9780061358302
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Harper Perennial - May 29th, 2007

The novel that cemented 28 Barbary Lane as one of the most famous addresses in fiction. Set in late-1970s San Francisco, Tales of the City follows Mary Ann Singleton as she navigates the curious world of roller discos and grocery store pickups, collecting a masterful cast of characters along the way. Definitely a book worth its weight in entertainment gold, but more than that, Maupin's novel remains a classic because of its amber-like preservation of pre-AIDS San Francisco.


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The Autobiography of Malcolm X By MALCOLM X Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780345350688
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Ballantine Books - October 12th, 1987

Educating oneself is sometimes a joy, and sometimes a trial. While reading Malcolm X's autobiography (a reading years overdue, to boot), one thought kept running through my head: Why was all of this so new to me? I don't remember much of anything being said about Malcolm X in school growing up, and any other understanding I had of him was mostly surface-level: faces on posters, quotes on websites, images on TV.  I knew almost nothing of where Malcolm X actually came from, what he actually believed - nothing about the actual man behind the image that is so perfectly presented in this book. More than anything, I believe in books that are not only good, but necessary - and, even over 50 years since its release, Malcolm X's autobiography goes a long way in throwing a floodlight onto the problems our country has been facing for centuries.


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White Noise: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) By Don DeLillo, Richard Powers (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Don DeLillo, Richard Powers (Introduction by)
$16.20
ISBN: 9780143105985
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Classics - December 29th, 2009

A campus novel? A family chronicle? A postmodern dystopian thriller? White Noise is somehow all of these things, wrapped up into one tidy book. DeLillo has long been one of my favorite authors, but this one is, for me, his best novel. It's a twist on the enitre dystopian trope - in that our (anti?)hero needs to be convinced that he's living in a dystopia, rather than the other way around. Just a beautifully done book, and one that's sure to have a nugget of joy for every kind of reader out there.


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The Revolt of the Black Athlete: 50th Anniversary Edition (Sport and Society) By Harry Edwards Cover Image
$17.96
ISBN: 9780252084065
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: University of Illinois Press - August 14th, 2018

Originally published in 1969, The Revolt of the Black Athlete is a rare book that navigates the intersections of sports and social justice, coalescing with the famous Black Power salutes by John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Summer Olympics. The real treasure of this book is its dive into the lesser-known revolt of Black college athletes that spurred the famous Olympic protest into motion. In today's fraught sports world of Colin Kaepernick and coporatized solidarity, this book remains incredibly relevant, and its message still rings every bit as true.


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Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball By Donald Hall Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9780671659882
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Touchstone - April 15th, 1989

Dock Ellis is, of course, The Pitcher Who Threw A No-Hitter on LSD. A strange and glorious feat, no doubt, but in a way it's sad that's all he seems to be remembered for now, because Dock Ellis was so much more than that. He was a social justice crusader. He was one of the brightest stars in the galaxy of 1970s baseball. He was an all-around gift of a human being - and it's all detailed in this excellent book, easily one of the most enjoyable baseball collections I've ever read. Written in collaboration with celebrated poet Donald Hall, Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball is an overlooked treasure of baseball's bookish history.


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Memoirs of a Beatnik By Diane di Prima Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9780140235395
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Books - August 1st, 1998

Memoirs of a Beatnik offers us a rare glimpse of the Beat Generation through a woman's eyes. Though better known as a poet, Diane di Prima's foray into prose remains an unsung literary cornerstone. Part-memoir, part-fiction, part-existential-romance, this book is a slim compendium of di Prima's life, and a chronicle of the roads that led her to the bright "city lights" of San Francisco. You'll find all of the signature Beat tropes here - the loneliness, the debauchery, the whirlwind writing - but di Prima's prose in Memoirs of a Beatnik stands alone, flying off the page, mimicking the wild cries into the night that, as a reader, keep me coming back to the Beats.


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Another Country (Vintage International) By James Baldwin Cover Image
$16.20
ISBN: 9780679744719
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - December 1st, 1992

The more James Baldwin I read, the more I'm convinced that he's the best pure WRITER of his generation (maybe ever?) - and to me Another Country shows him working at the pinnacle of his talents. Every sentence on the page is poetic, every word carefully chosen, every character so perfectly crafted, all tied together with knots that struggle and (sometimes) break on the themes of race, gender, and fame in 1960s America. Meet Rufus, a troubled blues drummer. Meet Ida, Rufus's hardscrabble sister on the brink of maturity. Meet Vivaldo, Rufus's confidant who falls hopelessly in love with Ida. Meet Richard, whose tiny bit of literary success casts a wide net of jealousy and pain. Meet all these people, and you'll feel at home in the shimmering world Baldwin has created for us in this book.


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The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther By Jeffrey Haas Cover Image
$16.19
ISBN: 9781641603218
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Lawrence Hill Books - November 5th, 2019

I don't know about you, but I went way too long without knowing who Fred Hampton was. No one ever taught us about him in school, let alone his brutal murder at the hands of the Chicago police, LET ALONE the Black Panthers. His name never popped up in any textbooks that spent endless chapters discussing Andrew Jackson and other white "heroes" of American history. Hampton's legacy was pretty much whitewashed from my cozy, suburban existence. As I look back, I realize how horrible & glaring these omissions were, because Fred Hampton remains an icon of our revolutionary past, a social crusader whose life was taken far too soon. This book offers an accessible introduction to not only Hampton's assassination, but the subsequent trial that sought justice for him and all the lives he touched.


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Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches By Audre Lorde, Cheryl Clarke (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Audre Lorde, Cheryl Clarke (Foreword by)
$16.19
ISBN: 9781580911863
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Crossing Press - August 1st, 2007

Sister Outsider is one of those books I wish I'd discovered ten years ago, which is fitting because it's a collection that's seemingly decades ahead of its time. Lorde writes brilliantly on everything from race to gender, from academia to activism. But what I enjoy most about these essays (mostly written during the 1970s) is that they reflect on such vital topics from the view of an "outsider" who is constantly excluded from the social movements that purport to help her. Her essays poke holes in white feminism and other areas of progressive lip-service that so often become whitewashed under the silencing waves of the well-meaning, while offering arguments and solutions as to what "outsiders" like herself really want from society, and need for their ultimate survival.


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1919 By Eve L. Ewing Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9781608465989
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Haymarket Books - June 11th, 2019

it was so hot / our dreams laid out on the sidewalk / and said 'never mind, we good'

 

Here's a genre you don't often hear about - Historical Poetry. It's a genre that deserves to be spearheaded by this very book. Ewing takes the ugly events of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot and weaves them into a series of poems that, despite the grim subject matter, are often beautiful and resonate loudly in today's fraught world of social & racial unrest. 1919 is a gem of a poetry collection, and a cornerstone of Chicago Art that will remain standing for a long, long time.


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The Grapes of Wrath By John Steinbeck, Robert DeMott (Introduction by), Robert DeMott (Notes by) Cover Image
By John Steinbeck, Robert DeMott (Introduction by), Robert DeMott (Notes by)
$16.20
ISBN: 9780143039433
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Classics - March 28th, 2006

Do me a favor: don't wait as long as I did to read The Grapes of Wrath. I had it buried on a bookshelf, unloved, collecting piles and piles of dust. Do me a favor and make this your next "classic" read, because it deserves every bit of the praise you've probably heard by now. Steinbeck weaves the westward travels of the Joad family with a series of mystical vignettes that serve as a kind of moonlight shining down on the troubled terrain of 1930s America. The characters here are masterfully crafted, and I have yet to find an author who writes about the environment as painfully and beautifully as Steinbeck. Combine everything here - the plot, the characters, the landscape - and you have a book that has rightfully stood the test of time (and doesn't deserve to collect dust on anyone's bookshelf!).


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Revolutionary Letters: 50th Anniversary Edition: Pocket Poets Series No. 27 (City Lights Pocket Poets #27) By Diane Di Prima Cover Image
$17.06
ISBN: 9780872868793
Availability: Backordered. Will not ship for 2 weeks or longer.
Published: City Lights Books - September 28th, 2021

One of 2021's better developments was the long-overdue return of Diane di Prima's Revolutionary Letters into print. Originally published in 1971, these poems remain every bit as revelatory as they were upon their first appearance fifty years ago. It's a timeless call to arms for the '70s militant or the present-day anarchist, a series of beautiful poetic streams that can be shouted through a megaphone or whispered to a friend. Equal parts shattering, instructional, and compassionate, di Prima's voice shines through in this masterful collection, and we should all thank the publishing gods that Revolutionary Letters is back in print for us to enjoy, learn from, and ultimately treasure.


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Nine Stories By J. D. Salinger Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780316769501
Availability: Not in stock. Usually arrives in 2-7 business days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 1st, 1991

Listen, by now you've probably already heard 893 different reasons why people like or don't like Catcher in the Rye. I won't get into that. Let's take a look at Salinger's short stories instead - because to me this is just a better book than Catcher in the Rye. Every corner of Nine Stories has its own heroes and villains, its own failures and victories, its own bits of beauty. Plus this is the book that really highlights what I love most about Salinger's writing - his ability to throw children into the hearts of his stories, and make them characters with incredible depth, at that. It's a rare feat in fiction. No matter how you feel about Holden Caulfield, I highly recommend you give this collection a chance, because if you're anything like me you'll see how great of a pure *writer* J.D. Salinger was, something I'm guessing that high-school English teacher all those years ago never told you.


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The Kaepernick Effect: Taking a Knee, Changing the World By Dave Zirin Cover Image
$23.39
ISBN: 9781620976753
Availability: Not in stock. Usually arrives in 2-7 business days
Published: New Press - September 14th, 2021

There has been no greater injustice in my life of watching sports than Colin Kaepernick's blackballing from the NFL for the seemingly simple (yet incredibly complex) act of taking a knee during the national anthem. Though Kaepernick's story has been well-documented, The Kaepernick Effect sheds a light on the scores of high school, college, and other professional athletes who followed Kaepernick's lead and battled emotional, physical, and (not unimportantly) financial harm for the "crime" of being outspoken against the ills of America's racial divide. Dave Zirin is a rare blend of sportswriter and activist, but the shining moments in this book are the voices of those who dared to take a stand (or a knee) for justice within the ultra-conservative sports universe, risking their athletic dreams for a voice in a world that has remained deaf to their cries.


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We: A Novel By Yevgeny Zamyatin, Bela Shayevich (Translated by), Margaret Atwood (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Yevgeny Zamyatin, Bela Shayevich (Translated by), Margaret Atwood (Introduction by)
$17.09
ISBN: 9780063068445
Availability: Not in stock. Usually arrives in 2-7 business days
Published: Ecco - November 2nd, 2021

I am, admittedly, a bit of a sucker for "forgotten classics" (whatever that term may bring to mind), and Zamyatin's We definitely belongs to that fold if for no other reason than it not only foreshadowed the rise of fascism, but also predated the success of other dystopian novels that received far more acclaim than this book ever did. Originally published in the 1920s, We features the dystopian anonymity & loneliness of Huxley's Brave New World, the "Big Brother" destruction of Orwell's 1984, and hits the one true joy/horror of a good dystopian novel right on the head - predicting a world that looks eerily similar to the unfettered madness we live in now, almost 100 years in the future.


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The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded: Poems By Molly McCully Brown Cover Image
$14.36
ISBN: 9780892554782
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Persea - March 7th, 2017

American history is lined with unimaginable horrors, and The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded is one of the very few books I've read that has attacked these horrors through poetry. Based on a real turn-of-the-century institution in Virginia, this haunting collection of poems provides voices for the women whose voices/bodies were so violently suppressed for being deemed "unfit" to exist in American society (with "treatments" ranging from solitary confinement to sterilization). The poems themselves are beautiful, and when thrown against such an awful backdrop, they act as a mirror that forces us to take a long, hard look at our relationship to madness.


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Quicksand By Nella Larsen, Thadious M. Davis (Editor), Thadious M. Davis (Introduction by), Thadious M. Davis (Notes by) Cover Image
By Nella Larsen, Thadious M. Davis (Editor), Thadious M. Davis (Introduction by), Thadious M. Davis (Notes by)
$12.60
ISBN: 9780141181271
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Classics - January 29th, 2002

In Quicksand, we follow light-skinned Helga Crane as she navigates the world of academia, city life, and rural America, doing her best to "pass" as white in the elite (see: racist) society circles of the 1920s. But as she jumps from place to place (and continent to continent), we watch as Helga begins to feel the horror of her (non-)role within the society she tries so hard to adapt to, accumulating pains and rejections like small cuts across her soul. In the end, the reader can't help but wonder what Helga is chasing, and after we turn that last page, we're left with the question: what does it mean to belong? The complexity of this (unanswerable?) question is what makes Quicksand a true gem of the Harlem Renaissance.


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Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, The Flesh, and L.A. By Eve Babitz, Matthew Specktor (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Eve Babitz, Matthew Specktor (Introduction by)
$15.26
ISBN: 9781681370088
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: NYRB Classics - August 30th, 2016

It's weird: I have no desire to travel to California in this lifetime, but a lot of my favorite books have come out of that crazy state. For my money, Slow Days, Fast Company remains a quintessential piece of '60s West Coast literature and a lock for any California reading list. Written in the same ilk as Joan Didion, Nathanael West, and other classic Hollywood storytellers, these essays(?)/short stories(?) blur the line between fact and fiction and allow us to be a fly on the wall for 162 pages of fun. Writing about everything from a date at Dodger Stadium to the serenity of Los Angeles rain, Eve Babitz captures the glory and grime of '60s L.A. better than pretty much any writer I've come across. It's enough to make me want to see California for myself...almost.


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Working: People Talk about What They Do All Day and How They Feel about What They Do By Studs Terkel Cover Image
$22.49
ISBN: 9781565843424
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: New Press - February 28th, 1997

In the preface of Working, Studs Terkel tells us that "this book, being about work, is, by its very nature, about violence." This is 100 percent true. Violence enters into the most menial of jobs. But there is also a strange beauty in the pages of this book, a beauty that exists in the knowledge of how sparsely the concept of "work" has been (and still is) treated on the written page. There is victory in the community breadmaker who takes pride in the act of baking, and tragedy in the constant belittling of the downtown parking attendant. One of the many, many reasons I love this book is because Studs Terkel presents the words of workers exactly how they are spoken, with no authorial liberty or gloss. The words of the workers are all there are, and all there needs to be. And as you comb through the stories in Working, you'll find a chronicle of a hundred little bits of revolution. 


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The Man with the Golden Arm (50th Anniversary Edition): 50th Anniversary Critical Edition By Nelson Algren, William J. Savage, Jr. (Editor), Daniel Simon (Editor), Kurt Vonnegut (Contributions by), Studs Terkel (Contributions by) Cover Image
By Nelson Algren, William J. Savage, Jr. (Editor), Daniel Simon (Editor), Kurt Vonnegut (Contributions by), Studs Terkel (Contributions by)
$19.76
ISBN: 9781583220085
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Seven Stories Press - November 9th, 1999

Nelson Algren's masterpiece The Man with the Golden Arm follows the mythical Frankie Machine as he walks the streets of Chicago in the disillusioned aftermath of WWII, buried deep beneath the rubble of the "booming" society plastered across the front pages of newspapers and storefront windows. For Frankie Machine, there is no utopia - he's always on the hunt for the next fix, easily understanding (and almost embracing) the knowledge that one of these fixes (whether cards, drugs, or women) is sure to be his last. This is simply a wonderful book, and if you're like me, it'll make you want to pick up everything else Algren has ever written. I've yet to find someone who writes about Chicago better than he does in this book, and the true victory here is his ability to find beauty in the gutters of the city, the cast-offs of society. And let's face it, what's more "Chicago" than that?


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The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop By Kevin Coval (Editor), Quraysh Ali Lansana (Editor), Nate Marshall (Editor) Cover Image
By Kevin Coval (Editor), Quraysh Ali Lansana (Editor), Nate Marshall (Editor)
$17.96
ISBN: 9781608463954
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Haymarket Books - April 7th, 2015

The BreakBeat Poets is special for many reasons, perhaps mostly because it's of the few books of poetry I'd wholeheartedly recommend to poets and non-poets alike. Drawing upon the voices of revolutionary poetry from the 1960s to the book's release in 2015, the voices in these poems create a universe of what it has meant/means to be Black in America - the pain, the power, and the pride. Whether this is your first poetry book or your 1,000th, I guarantee there's something in here for you. Just a wonderful collection of poems from a wonderful collection of writers.


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The White Album: Essays (FSG Classics) By Joan Didion Cover Image
$16.20
ISBN: 9780374532079
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 10th, 2009

I bow to Joan Didion. Slouching Towards Bethlehem provided the spark - The White Album turned me into a flat-out fanatic. Here, Didion once again rhapsodizes on the time and place she writes about so well: the 1960s. The White Album, however, allows her to look at that wild decade through the lens of retrospection - which only helps highlight the clash of love and disillusionment for the past that makes her writing so special. The title essay in this book ranks among the best non-fiction I've ever read, and other pieces about otherwise banal topics (like the California Freeway System and the Hoover Dam) are made magical by Didion's thrilling voice. Take it from me: The White Album is a book you'll love.


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Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics) By Joan Didion Cover Image
$16.20
ISBN: 9780374531386
Availability: Not in stock. Usually arrives in 2-7 business days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 28th, 2008

Despite what many essay collections would have you believe, '60s America wasn't an unfettered utopia, and I've yet to read a book that better sums up the equal-parts delights & horrors of the decade's counterculture than Slouching Towards Bethlehem. As only she can do, Joan Didion takes on topics ranging from the Haight-Ashbury district, Joan Baez, and the joys of keeping a notebook. The one line that runs clear across these essays is Didion herself - her voice has a clarity and strength that remains every bit as powerful now as it was 50 years ago. As someone who is borderline obsessed with '60s culture, this book is an absolute treasure.


The Year of Magical Thinking: National Book Award Winner (Vintage International) By Joan Didion Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9781400078431
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - February 13th, 2007

At this point, I believe with all my reading heart that Joan Didion is a truly generational literary talent. In relation to the dry wit of her earlier essay collections, The Year of Magical Thinking is a much more introspective treatment of grief - one that's somehow enamoring, haunting, and so, so readable. Following the sudden death of her husband (and the simultaneous illness of her only daughter), Didion captures the inner workings of the grieving mind better than any writer out there. The questioning of the past, the tragedy of the present, and the loss of the future - a clash of time stranding us in a place that is both everywhere and nowhere. Whether you're a long-time Didion fan or are just now discovering her work, be sure to leave a place for this one on your reading list.


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Anarchism and Other Essays (Dover Books on History) By Emma Goldman Cover Image
$14.36
ISBN: 9780486224848
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Dover Publications -

Every generation needs its own Emma Goldman. A person who rises forcefully against the status quo, a person who refuses to bow to social order, a person unsatisfied with "the way things are." These are the people who keep us awake and alive. There is rage and violence in the pages of this book, but there is also a very sensible questioning of what is truly best for the human race (surely not a society dominated by robber-barons and warlords). Goldman is a timeless and under-appreciated figurehead of American history, and although this book was published well over a century ago, her words remain powerful, and still bridge a large gap that we as a society have never quite been able to fill.


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Invisible Man (Vintage International) By Ralph Ellison Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9780679732761
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - March 14th, 1995

I was a bit of a latecomer to literature, and Invisible Man was (and still is) one of the books I point to in showing how hypnotizing a good book could be. The story takes us through the trials of an unnamed narrator as he travels through 1920s Harlem, encountering menial jobs, bigoted city-folk, and social revolutionaries along the way. The plot is a wonderful series of twists and turns, but Ralph Ellison's writing is what'll keep you reading through the night - he puts a magical spin on the language within what is, at its center, a harsh novel. Invisible Man remains a classic for good reason - no book I've read has showed me what it truly means to be Black in America better than this one.


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Breakfast of Champions: A Novel By Kurt Vonnegut Cover Image
$16.20
ISBN: 9780385334204
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 11th, 1999

Breakfast of Champions is quite simply, a whole lot of fun - a weird kind of dystopian travelogue with echoes of Bradbury and Steinbeck. It's also the book I'd recommend for any first-time Vonnegut readers because it's the best convergence of all things Vonnegut. There's the playfulness, the text-fused-with-drawings, and even appearances from Kilgore Trout and other characters from the expansive Vonnegut canon. But maybe more than any other book out there, it perfectly distills the seriousness of merely existing in such a scattered world, and the joy that can come from the madness. So whether you're new to Vonnegut or a longtime fan, I can't recommend Breakfast of Champions enough.


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Bluebeard: A Novel By Kurt Vonnegut Cover Image
$16.20
ISBN: 9780385333511
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - September 8th, 1998

I'm a big Kurt Vonnegut fan, and while I love his oft-quoted heavy hitters - Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions, etc. - I have to say the lesser-known Bluebeard is my absolute favorite book of his. It tells the tale of the aging Rabo Karabekian (such a Vonnegutian name!), a reclusive artist hiding a secret in his potato barn that the world craves to uncover. And it's a secret he's content to take to his grave...at least until an alluring fan named Circe Berman arrives at his farm. As only Vonnegut can pull off, it's an "autobiography"-within-a-novel, telling of Rabo's rise to fame parallel with Circe's present-day push to reveal Rabo's big secret. Complete with a twist of an ending that'll make you love it all the more, Bluebeard represents everything l adore about Kurt Vonnegut rolled into a single, special book.


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A Different Drummer By William Melvin Kelley Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780385413909
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Anchor - May 1st, 1990

Tucker Caliban, mythical outcast of a small Southern town, destroys his home and burns his prized field of crops - thus setting forward (and backward) a tale that spans centuries. A harrowing novel written during the pinnacle of the Civil Rights Movement, A Different Drummer is a beautifully-told tale of black struggle, and the desperation of trying to understand the unexplainable. Easily one of the most powerful books I've ever read, beautifully written with memorable moments on every page.


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The Fran Lebowitz Reader By Fran Lebowitz Cover Image
$16.20
ISBN: 9780679761808
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - November 8th, 1994

I *love* Fran Lebowitz. So much. She is the voice inside the heads of the somewhat misanthropic public that I identify with (for better or worse). This book collects what are (sadly) her only two essay collections - Metropolitan Life and Social Studies - into a single volume. While her hatred for the annoyances of society are many - everything from clothes to art galleries to fancy restaurants - there is an oddly endearing quality to her writing, one that makes these essays a real treasure. If you're anything like me, this book will make you want to have dinner with Fran Lebowitz - although honestly, after reading this, I don't think she'd want to have dinner with any of us.


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The Harbor By Ernest Poole, Patrick Chura (Introduction by), Patrick Chura (Notes by) Cover Image
By Ernest Poole, Patrick Chura (Introduction by), Patrick Chura (Notes by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143106449
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Classics - December 27th, 2011

Ernest Poole is probably best remembered as the answer to a trivia question - who won the first Pulitzer Prize? I admit, I had no idea who he was before I picked up a dusty copy of The Harbor buried in the bottom shelves of a bookstore years ago. What I discovered, once I finally dipped into this book, was arguably the finest Socialist novel I've ever come across. The plot follows the life of Billy, an aspiring college student seeking to make a name for himself in the arts. The Harbor shows the battle of opposing societal forces at the turn of the century - the fight between the Capitalist father-in-law who promises to make Billy's life a profitable one, and his Socialist friend who seeks to open Billy's eyes to the plight of the exploited. If you're like me and love a good "forgotten classic," pick this up this book. It's a classic piece of working-class fiction, and its author deserves to be remembered as more than the answer to an obscure piece of trivia.


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The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America's Game By Edward Achorn Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781610393775
Availability: Not in stock. Usually arrives in 2-7 business days
Published: PublicAffairs - April 29th, 2014

Beer has shaped an incredible amount of baseball history. The Summer of Beer and Whiskey takes a long look at the influential-yet-forgotten American Association, whose formation in the late-1800s came about largely thanks to, well, beer and whiskey. Created largely due to the National League's growing reluctance to cater to beer-guzzling fans of the game, the American Association proudly embraced the rowdiness that came to define it, with several teams backed by brewing companies. But the AA also represented the first real attack on the NL's early stranglehold on the game, producing an exciting 1883 pennant race with a rousing cast of teams & characters we've never quite seen since. This book is simply a fun romp through a mostly shadowed corner of baseball history, and a treasure for any fan of the National Pastime.


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Playing Through the Pain: Ken Caminiti and the Steroids Confession That Changed Baseball Forever By Dan Good Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9781419753640
Availability: Backordered. Will not ship for 2 weeks or longer.
Published: Abrams Press - April 18th, 2023

The "Steroid Era" was a very untragic time for baseball that produced a number of ultimately tragic figures. Perhaps the saddest tale among them was that of Ken Caminiti, a talented third baseman whose life was haunted by steroid and drug abuse. Playing Through the Pain serves as a extensively researched chronicle of Caminiti's life -  from his rookie years with the '80s Astros, to his magical (and steroid-fueled) 1996 MVP season with the Padres, to his untimely death at the age of 41. While Caminiti is perhaps best remembered as the first player to publicly admit his steroid use, this book paints a memorable picture of the man behind the uniform, a man whose harrowing tale foreshadowed the fallout from baseball's darkest days.


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The Road to Wellville By T.C. Boyle Cover Image
$16.20
ISBN: 9780140167184
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Books - May 1st, 1994

The Road to Wellville is one of my favorite books, which is somewhat shocking coming from someone like myself who is, admittedly, not much of a historical fiction fan. Here, T.C. Boyle takes aim at W.K. Kellogg's doomed "Cult of the Sanitarium" - perhaps the most egregious example of the quack faux-health craze that swept America around the turn of the century (among its founding beliefs were electrotherapy and what was essentially starvation, for starters). Drawing from a cast of sheepish skeptics, manic believers, and even Kellogg himself, The Road to Wellville is a just plain fun book to read.


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The Trial: A New Translation Based on the Restored Text (The Schocken Kafka Library) By Franz Kafka Cover Image
$14.40
ISBN: 9780805209990
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Schocken - May 25th, 1999

It's weird recommending a book that leaves a massive pit in your stomach, but that's exactly what I'm about to do. The Trial follows lowly bank cashier Josef K. who, in the very first chapter, is placed under arrest for an unspecified crime - a crime he himself is baffled by, and one that nobody can (or will?) explain to him. Josef K. is free to do as he wishes while under arrest, but the nebulous "trial" looms over his head wherever he goes, and from page to page, the real punishment seems to be the inability to escape the eyes of society, the simple horror of being watchedThe Trial is quite possibly the most harrowing book I've ever read - and probably the closest we'll ever come to defining what the heck "Kafkaesque" really means.


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Notes of a Crocodile (NYRB Classics) By Qiu Miaojin, Bonnie Huie (Translated by) Cover Image
By Qiu Miaojin, Bonnie Huie (Translated by)
$15.26
ISBN: 9781681370767
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: NYRB Classics - May 2nd, 2017

I'm a sucker for a good campus novel, and while Notes of a Crocodile indeed belongs to that beloved genre, it would be unfair to reduce it to the oft-imagined trope of a suit-and-tied professor at a stodgy university. Set at a Taiwanese college in the late 1980s, this book follows the fractured narrative of Lazi, a queer student trying to navigate the barriers of the very closed-minded university around her. Between the cast of destructive men and annoyingly lovable freshmen (among others), it's a fun book, but also one whose scatteredness mirrors the confusion of being queer in a quietly violent setting. A terrific blend of LGBTQ fiction, campus novel, and generally good literature, Notes of a Crocodile is a landmark book I'm sure you'll treasure as much as I do.


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Hunger By Knut Hamsun, Sverre Lyngstad (Translated by), Sverre Lyngstad (Introduction by), Sverre Lyngstad (Notes by) Cover Image
By Knut Hamsun, Sverre Lyngstad (Translated by), Sverre Lyngstad (Introduction by), Sverre Lyngstad (Notes by)
$15.30
ISBN: 9780141180649
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Classics - February 1st, 1998

Hunger is one of those rare books that explodes seconds into eternities, a book that truly shows the horrific gears of the mind at work. Following a struggling writer walking the very thin line between reality and madness as he wanders the streets of 1890s Norway, I can't think of many other books that show the interlocking joys, tragedies, and (often) insanities of making a life of words better than this one, which is why it remains a hidden classic of turn-of-the-century fiction.


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Sometimes a Great Notion By Ken Kesey Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780140045291
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Books - July 28th, 1977

Sometimes A Great Notion is a masterpiece of a novel. I can't put it much better than that. At its base, the plot follows the bookish Leland Stamper as he returns to his Oregon home, hellbent on vengeance against the backwoods logging family - especially Hank, his hulk of an older brother -  who so violently scarred the years of his youth (or so he believes). Bound with a beautiful tapestry of characters and voices, Sometimes A Great Notion is a novel that deconstructs masculinity, a novel that sheds light on our desires for revenge, a novel that makes us question what life means when there's nothing left to fight for.


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The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man By James Weldon Johnson, William L. Andrews (Introduction by) Cover Image
$11.70
ISBN: 9780140184020
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Penguin Classics - February 1st, 1990

You could make a good case that The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (published in 1912) is the first Harlem Renaissance novel, one that anticipates so much of the terrific Black Art that was yet to come. Yet to see it as a surface-level curiosity of the era is to miss the beauty in this book. Taking the style of a personal, confessional style that jumps off the page, this novel-disguised-as memoir follows an unnamed narrator as he paints the events that culminate in the revealing of "the great secret" of his life - that he is a Black man passing in the white world. With echoes of Ralph Ellison and Nella Larsen, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is one of the great Black novels, one that masterfully (and often horrifically) personifies the perpetual tragedies of our country's racial divide.


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The Pepsi Cola Addict By June-Alison Gibbons, David Tibet (Foreword by) Cover Image
By June-Alison Gibbons, David Tibet (Foreword by)
$19.76
ISBN: 9781913689711
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Strange Attractor Press - June 13th, 2023

The Pepsi-Cola Addict is the rare example of a book's backstory being just as fascinating as the book itself. June-Alison Gibbons is likely best known (with her sister) as one of England's "Silent Twins" who communicated only to one another, and were (unfairly) institutionalized as teens. Buried in this complicated history, however, is The Pepsi-Cola Addict, published (at the age of 16!) by June-Alison in 1981 and almost instantly vanishing from the industry. Thankfully, it's back in print, which is a joy for us because it's a force of dark comedy, following young Preston Wildey-King as he navigates the distortion of adolescence, from troubled loves to juvie centers, all with a fresh can of Pepsi in his hand. The Pepsi-Cola Addict is more than a simple curiosity of our bookish world - it's a hidden gem that deserves to be treated as the literary feat it is.


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On Browsing (Field Notes #5) By Jason Guriel Cover Image
$12.56
ISBN: 9781771965101
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Biblioasis - November 15th, 2022

"I've never thought about a book I own and then recalled where I was when I ordered it off a website...When we're online, we're everywhere -- and nowhere."

 

I'll grudgingly admit that I might be a little too much in love with stuff (see: books, mostly). Sometimes I worry that I'm becoming the anachronism in the streaming world of Netflix and Kindles, but then I read a book like this one and all is right in my world again. Jason Guriel's On Browsing is a brilliant little love letter to physical media, one that doesn't mourn our losses as much as celebrate the memories of our (cluttered) past. If you're anything like me, you'll love this book - it's an essay collection that understands the joy of spending hours wandering aisles in search of the unsearchable.


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High Fidelity By Nick Hornby Cover Image
$16.20
ISBN: 9781573225519
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Riverhead Books - August 1st, 1996

Don't get me wrong: both the movie and TV show of High Fidelity are great, but I think they've made us overlook how darn good the book is. Nick Hornby's novel is still, for me, the book that best depicts the insanity of what it means to be a collector of...well, anything. Those insanities are funneled through our (anti-)hero Rob, a grumpy English record store owner in the midst of a breakup that leaves him in perpetual denial, sending him back into his beloved cocoon of vinyl and music. High Fidelity is a novel for the collector, the accumulator, the hoarder - and the very thin line that separates those terms.


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Assata: An Autobiography By Assata Shakur, Angela Davis (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Assata Shakur, Angela Davis (Foreword by)
$17.06
ISBN: 9781556520747
Availability: Not in stock. Usually arrives in 2-7 business days
Published: Lawrence Hill Books - November 1st, 1999

I've always believed that if you truly want to understand what's going on in today's world, you should look to the voices of our revolutionary past. In her brilliant autobiography, Assata Shakur traces the fraught lines of her life for us - starting from her childhood, to her burgeoning race/class consciousness, to her time in the Black underground, and, eventually, to her perpetual victimization at the hands of bloodthirsty police. This is a necessary book on so many levels - perhaps foremost being that I don't know if I've read a book that better maps out the impossibility of the oppressed truly receiving the American myth of a "fair trial." This book, to me, is proof that revolutionaries are not born, they are made - molded from the tragic ashes of their anger.


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Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul By Karen Abbott Cover Image
$17.10
ISBN: 9780812975994
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - June 10th, 2008

There's a certain thrill about living in a city like Chicago whose history is so closely tied to the seedy undercurrents of society, and Sin in the Second City adds yet another curious chapter to that mix. Following sisters Minna and Ada Everleigh, proprietors of the famous Everleigh Club, Chicago's most notorious turn-of-the-century brothel, this book is a chronicle of the sisters' fight to keep their high-class afloat in the midst of religious crusaders, political machines, and even fellow madams doing their best to banish/extort/intimidate them. Sin in the Second City is bawdy and illuminating read for anyone interested in the kind of Chicago lore you won't find in a travel guide.


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Accidental Genius: An Oral History of the Room By Andrew J. Rausch (Editor) Cover Image
By Andrew J. Rausch (Editor)
$17.06
ISBN: 9781955904964
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Clash Books - December 12th, 2023

I'll admit it: I'm a HUGE fan of The Room. It's the king of the so-bad-it's-good movie. And as a lover of oral histories, I was ecstatic to see Accidental Genius surface. Featuring interviews with many cast & crew members - as well as a number of general Room fanatics - this book perfectly captures the madness that is The Room and proves a worthy (and equally entertaining!) companion piece to the already-widely-known Disaster Artist saga. If you're as big of a Room fan as I am, I know you'll love this book.


My Year of Meats: A Novel By Ruth Ozeki Cover Image
$16.20
ISBN: 9780140280463
Availability: Not in stock. Usually arrives in 2-7 business days
Published: Penguin Books - March 1st, 1999

Here's a pitch for you: ever thought you'd find a funny novel about the meat-packing industry? Look no further, because My Year of Meats is somehow exactly that. Here, you'll follow Jane, a struggling filmmaker who gets sucked into the world of a Japanese meat corporation with the promise of money and glory. Predictably, Jane's caustic sarcasm proves no match for the evils of her job - this book doesn't hide from the very real horrors of meat production - but Ruth Ozeki manages to balance cynicism with an equally comic narrative that makes My Year of Meats a joy to read.


Sister Carrie (Vintage Classics) By Theodore Dreiser Cover Image
$8.96
ISBN: 9780593314883
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Vintage - December 28th, 2021

The best novels are those that can stand the test of time, and Sister Carrie (published in 1900) passes that test with flying colors. Following the small-town "Sister Carrie" Meeber as she attempts to carve out a hardscrabble life in turn-of-the-century Chicago, this gem explores the seediness of the high and the low in society - and, with plot lines that range from infidelity to an undying quest for fame, still strikes me as an uncommonly modern story. When you put it all together, Sister Carrie is one of those books that I've always felt has been long overdue for a literary revival.