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David
Books: 
Swamplandia! Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307276681
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Vintage Books - July 26th, 2011

Set in Florida’s Ten Thousand
Islands, Karen Russell’s Swamplandia!
more closely exists somewhere between a forgotten episode of The Twilight
Zone and a gator-wrestler’s Alice in Wonderland. The story of a family of
faux-Native Americans who operate a roadside attraction, the novel begins (not
a spoiler!) with the passing of the family’s matriarch—the centerpiece of
their high-diving act—and the arrival of a competing theme park modeled after
man’s descent into hell. How the family responds in the wake of these disasters
is where you’ll find the beating heart of this book. Replete with death-defying
acts of bravery, heartache, lover boy ghosts, countless gators named Seth, and the
echoing ramifications of life after the death, Swamplandia! is an absolute carnival of a book. It’s joyous, full of wonder and you’ll never want to leave.


Middle Men Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9781451649314
Availability: Special Order
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 19th, 2013

Despite the collection’s title, Jim
Gavin’s Middle Men is replete with comic
highs and heart-breaking lows. The stories, five and a two-part novella, are
rendered with an acuity for men who want more than they are capable of
attaining, leaving them stranded in a perpetual “middle” between ambition and
accomplishment. These are not great men, the ones that populate Jim Gavin’s
stories, but they are haunted by the desire for greatness. They
can struggle for it. They can resent their own desires for fame. Or they can
accept the idea that greatness is a myth—a combination of preparation and
happenstance—and that even the greatest of men are often left to fade on the
walls of a high school gym.


Killing Mister Watson Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780679734055
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Vintage Books - July 30th, 1991

Set in a particularly lawless cluster of islands in the Florida
Everglades, Killing Mr. Watson is
every bit the epic as Moby Dick, In Cold
Blood,
and Blood Meridian. Sound
like lofty praise? It is. And deservedly so. The first book in Mathiesson’s
“Watson Trilogy”—all three parts were later revised into the massive Shadow Country—Killing Mr. Watson is an
all-too real retelling of the all-too true story of the murder of Edgar J.
Watson by a posse of his own neighbors. But make no mistake. This story isn’t
about what happened—Mr. Watson is shot dead in the first few pages—it’s about
why, told from a myriad of characters, in a myriad of marvelously realized
voices. This belongs on the shelf where they keep the Great American Novels.


How to Leave Hialeah Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781587298165
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: University of Iowa Press - September 2009

            Junot
Diaz’s Drown. Sandra Cisnero’s House on Mango Street. Achy Obejas’ Memory Mambo. These are just some
reference points for Jenine Capo-Crucet’s marvelous short story collection, How To Leave Hialeah. Set in the vastly
Cuban working class neighborhood
of Hialeah, a city in northwest Miami-Dade, these stories are tragic and
tender, violent and hilarious. A young woman seeks to resurrect a legendary
salsa singer to help cement an internship. A gang of kids find a dead body and
wind up having to protect it from themselves. And, in what might be the
funniest of these stories, a son runs over his own father, and that’s not even
the worst of it. To say these stories are firmly rooted in the Cuban-American
experience is to describe the heart of this collection. To say these stories
address nothing less than the great themes of literature—love and loss, family
and country—is to describe its spirit.


The Deep Blue Good-By: A Travis McGee Novel Cover Image
By John D. MacDonald, Lee Child (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812983920
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - January 8th, 2013

Take everything you love about Chandler—the razor sentences,
the thick-fog cool of the characters, the adoration of setting—and set it sail
for South Florida in the 1960’s. However, instead of the back alley noir of Old
Hollywood, think black tops and bathing suits, quaaludes and margaritas. Throw
in a serial predator, some missing gemstones, and a sunburnt Sherlock Holmes (I’m
mixing my metaphors here, I know) who, in lieu of his Baker Street, makes his
home on a houseboat, and you’ve got yourself the beginnings of The Deep Blue Good-By. This is the book
that introduced Travis McGee to the world, a “salvage consultant” who is equal
parts hard-boiled and meditative and, a first for the noir archetype,
unusually eco-conscious. The settings are exotic. The villains are vile. This
book reads like a yacht rock cover of classic crime noir.


Magic for Beginners Cover Image
By Kelly Link, Shelley Jackson (Illustrator)
$14.00
ISBN: 9780156031875
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harvest Books - September 5th, 2006

         She’s been
described as the middle ground between Alice Munro and J.K. Rowling, as an even
kookier George Saunders. The imagined step-child of Kafka and Carver. Italo
Calvino, Ursula K. LeGuin. Jonathan Lethem, Neil Gaiman, Garcia Marquez. Donald
Barthelme, Shirley Jackson. In one breath her writing is described as “wildly
inventive” and in the next as “utterly insane.” None of this actually helps
describe Kelly Link’s stories. They are beautiful, and terrifying, and
heartbreaking, and absurd. It’d be as if I’d invite you over for burgers then
provide you a turtle sandwiched between two ironing boards. It may look
similar, and you may even be able to digest it in a similar fashion, but it is
quite unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.


By the Balls: The Complete Collection Cover Image
By Jim Pascoe, Tom Fassbender, Paul Pope (Illustrator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781617751592
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Akashic Books - April 2nd, 2013

It’s hard to believe it’s been over fifteen years since DIY publishing house UglyTown broke on to the scene. For
it’s anniversary, UglyTown founders Pascoe and Fassbender bring you this deluxe  edition that includes the
debut bowling-alley murder mystery that started it all, By The Balls, the novel Four
Shots and Funeral,
as well as five short stories and essays from industry heavyweights. This is pulpy noir writ with punk
rock spirit. An absolute must!


Blowout Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780822962366
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: University of Pittsburgh Press - February 17th, 2013

Denise Duhamel has written too many books of poetry to mention here. But
it’s her latest collection, Blowout, that
sees her accrued talents tackle what feels like a novel in poems. What begins
with the prediction that love will not end well for the unnamed narrator sees
us following her through the inevitable divorce, through a middle section that
serves as a coming to terms, of stepping back through past lovers and the
lessons learned to find acceptance, while the third and final section of the
book ends with a combination of trepidation and wonder as the speaker discovers
a new love. These poems are fireworks of joy, effusive praise for the power of
love. This book is for everyone that’s every mishandled their own heart. Think
of it as instructions for righting the ship.

 


Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century's Biggest Bestsellers Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812970951
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Random House Trade - April 10th, 2012

Okay, so I’m biased. I worked as a research assistant on this book and
wrote the plot summaries you’ll find towards the end. That said, the info
gleaned in this book is fun, accessible, instructive and engaging. The story
goes like this, Jim Hall teaches a class in the bestseller assuming he and his
students will mock the books they read. Much to their chagrin, they don’t. And
soon, they started learning from them. A cultural history of the New York Times
bestseller list, an analytic look at the themes and ideas that compel us as
readers, and a road map of sorts for the beginning novelist, this book is all
three.


Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393338393
Availability: Special Order
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 1st, 2011

Sure, you’ve heard of this book, and you’ve heard of the profound influence
it has had on professional baseball, but have you actually read it? Moneyball is on par with the great
inside-baseball books like Ball Four
and Lords of the Realm. The
difference being, Moneyball literally (literally!) changed the sport of
baseball forever. In a book filled with compelling characters, none is more so
than Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane, a failed high-level prospect whose efforts to
find value in the most improbable of corners is just as must a search for
himself. Moneyball is about baseball
the way Moby-Dick is about whaling.
It’s not the subject that makes it a classic, it’s the size of the characters
that inhabit it that does.


L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062202635
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anthony Bourdain/Ecco - November 5th, 2013

Few chefs embody the spirit of Los Angeles quite like Roy Choi does. Ever since the launch of his Kogi truck—the first of his multi-faceted food empire—the world of fine dining has never been the same. His cooking is imaginative and inspired and brings together a host of influences in ways that are straight up joyful. Now imagine bringing all that joy home. Loaded with recipes and anecdotes, this book is for the food—and L.A.—lover in your life.


Babayaga Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374107871
Availability: Special Order
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - August 6th, 2013

Do you like quiet, pensive novels where hardly anything happens? Well, this is not one of those novels. At its heart is a love story, set in Paris, in 1959. Throw in the CIA, a gaggle of Russian witches, the birth of a prestigious literary magazine, and weaponized LSD, and you start to get a sense of exactly the kind of novel it is. A thrilling, enchanting and absolutely wonderful one.


City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles Cover Image
By Mike Davis, Robert Morrow (Photographer)
$22.95
ISBN: 9781844675685
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Verso - September 17th, 2006

When I first moved to Los
Angeles everyone I knew said I should read City
of Quartz.
They were right. It’s a powerful examination of the city, both
bracing and beautiful, that lays bare some of L.A.’s troublesome truths. And
although Los Angeles has changed considerably since the book’s publication in
1990, there’s still no better way to understand where L.A. is headed than to
know where it’s been. An absolute classic.


The Victory Season: The End of World War II and the Birth of Baseball's Golden Age Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780316205917
Availability: Special Order
Published: Little Brown and Company - April 2nd, 2013

Lost among the tales of
post-WWII prosperity are the tribulations faced by returning servicemen and
women. Homelessness, job shortages, and the nascent threat of atomic war were
everyday reality for millions of Americans. That’s where baseball comes in. With
superstars like Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Bob Feller and Joe DiMaggio
returning to the game, Jackie Robinson threatening the color barrier, and a World
Series for the ages between (of all teams) the Red Sox and the Cardinals, it’s
no wonder why 1946 is regarded as one of the greatest seasons in baseball
history. This is America, and it’s pastime, in all it’s complicated and inspiring
glory.


No Regrets, Coyote Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393070538
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 15th, 2013

The secret is out on Florida. It’s a wild place, both strange and
beautiful, with a twisted past and an equally twisted present. And while there
are no shortages of writers mining Florida for its in-built audacity, few are
capable of imbuing the strangeness with heart and heroism. Such is the
accomplishment of John Dufresne’s latest novel, No Regrets, Coyote. There are a number of moments that are so
tender and compassionate that you forget, if for a moment, that there are
vicious murderers on the lam. This is a literary thriller, with the emphasis on
literary. The plot isn’t front and center in NRC. It’s the characters, their hearts, their desires, their
failures and their attempts to right the wrongs that make NRC unforgettable.


The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and Other Stories Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781597804677
Availability: Special Order
Published: Night Shade Books - September 3rd, 2013

Love stories that go bump in the night? Laird Barron's The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All
delivers them by the bucketful—of blood, that is. It's a cosmic kind of horror
employed here, one populated by ghosts and demons and monsters of yore. The
pages are dense with deep woods and haunted lakes. The writing is inspired and
scintillating and grotesque deeds are cast in new astonishing ways—skulls are cracked
through like crisp cabbage, a gangster describes the evil of his father by
quoting E.E. Cummings, and a modern-day tale of espionage is peopled by
satanic NSA agents. A literary comparison would be Richard Matheson, a
cinematic analog would be Guillermo Del Toro, but through and through, these
tales of the monsters that haunt are uniquely and exquisitely Laird Barron, a new and exciting talent in horror literature.