facebook

Justin

I make music and I make movies, so I tend to like books about those topics. Also, I like hard-boiled crime fiction and absurd literary fiction, which are sometimes the same thing.

Book Recommendations: 
Staff Pick Badge
Cotton Comes to Harlem (Harlem Detectives Series #7) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780394759999
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - November 28th, 1988

Chester Himes's novel is best known as source material for one of the first '70s blaxploitation films. It's also as twistedly funny as it is tough and thrilling. The mysterious arrival of a giant bale of cotton on the streets of Harlem is far from the strangest thing detectives Grave Digger and Coffin Ed will encounter as they investigate a daring daytime heist.


Staff Pick Badge
Varieties of Disturbance: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374281731
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - May 15th, 2007

Lydia Davis's often very short stories are not like anything else. Straightforward but elusive. Otherworldly but everyday. Poetic but journalistic. The included story "What You Learn About the Baby," with its deadpan catalog of advice for new mothers, is strangely sweet and one of my all-time favorite pieces of writing.


Staff Pick Badge
I Served the King of England (New Directions Classic) Cover Image
By Bohumil Hrabal, Paul Wilson (Translated by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780811216876
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions - May 31st, 2007

From the author of CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS comes another tragicomic tale of Czechoslovakia during World War II. The rise and fall of a hotel waiter who never lets any sort of conscience interfere with his ambition.


Staff Pick Badge
The Late Monsieur Gallet (Inspector Maigret #2) Cover Image
By Georges Simenon, Anthea Bell (Translated by)
$11.00
ISBN: 9780141393377
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - January 28th, 2014

Georges Simenon's gift for writing economical crime stories that somehow ride the line between hardboiled terseness and deadpan whimsy is really on display in this short novel. Inspector Maigret is assigned to a superficially banal murder investigation that gets twistier and harder to solve with each new discovery.


Staff Pick Badge
The Hunter Cover Image
By Jan Wahl, Tim Jessell (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781568462974
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Creative Editions - August 21st, 2018

Jan Wahl was a good personal friend, in addition to being a great author of children's stories. This story, one of his last, concerns a hunter who discovers a new respect and reverence for nature that causes him to make a change. The book is beautifully illustrated too.


Staff Pick Badge
The Collected Stories of Chester Himes Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781560252689
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Da Capo Press - March 22nd, 2000

Although best known for his crime novels set in Harlem, this collection focuses on the broader literary side of Chester Himes. Included are slice-of-life stories, portraying a bygone era of Black Los Angeles, vignettes of prison life, as well as later, more experimental fiction that Himes wrote after he gave up the U.S. for France.


A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking (Applause Books) Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9781557836274
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Applause Books - April 1st, 2004

My favorite filmmaking memoir, from the director of pulpy masterpieces like FIXED BAYONETS!, SHOCK CORRIDOR, and PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET. This tale of combat both in the trenches and within the Hollywood studio system is as unsentimental as Fuller's films, but I still got choked up at the end.


Elvis Presley's from Elvis in Memphis (33 1/3 #150) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781501355387
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Academic - November 12th, 2020

A great entry in the 33 1/3 series, covering Elvis Presley's late-'60s comeback. Well-researched and engagingly written, and I'm not just saying that because I know the guy who wrote it.


Staff Pick Badge
Cotton Comes to Harlem (Harlem Detectives Series #7) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780394759999
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - November 28th, 1988

Chester Himes's Harlem is sometimes mean, sometimes scary, sometimes colorful, sometimes funny, and quite often surreal. COTTON COMES TO HARLEM is one of the best books featuring his detective duo Grave Digger and Coffin Ed. 


Hedy and Her Amazing Invention (Amazing Women) Cover Image
By Jan Wahl, Morgana Wallace (Illustrator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780998799995
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Penny Candy Books - February 5th, 2019

A great non-fiction book for children about film star and renowned inventor (!!) Hedy Lamarr. Beautifully illustrated, this is a delightfully offbeat choice for little burgeoning scientists and future film fanatics.