Snow (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375706868
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Vintage - July 19th, 2005

In the desolate Turkish town of Kars, strange things are happening: young Muslim women are inexplicably committing suicide; events are written in the newspaper before they happen; poems appear as if from nowhere (from God?); the poet Ka searches for any tangible form of identity...and it snows, and snows, and snows...the perfect summer read to beat the heat!

The End of the World Book: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780299226305
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Published: University of Wisconsin Press - February 13th, 2008

This genre-bending book is laid out like one man's personalized version of the World Book Encyclopedia, in elegant vignettes from Ancestors to Ziplock Bags. McCartney associates selected words with--memories? fantasies? musings?--which weave throughout the book into a cohesive portrait of both the story-teller and of the (somewhat apocalyptic) state of things. Some of the most unique and inspiring new fiction I've read recently.

The African Trilogy: Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease, and Arrow of God (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics Series) Cover Image
By Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780307592705
Availability: Backordered
Published: Everyman's Library - January 5th, 2010

Achebe's gotta be one of the greatest story-tellers of all time--these books are all stunning.  Everyman has finally collected these classics (three loosely-related folkloric novels of colonial Nigeria) into one appropriately serious-looking volume.  Lovely, lovely books.

The Horned Man: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393324389
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 17th, 2003

Very unsettling in a nice, Kafkaesque (seriously) kind of way. It's a surreal story of a man framed for murder and slowly losing his mind...or is he? This novel incorporates the mythic into the post-modern...and pulls off a weird but gripping and very well-written psychological thriller.

The Executioner's Song Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780375700811
Published: Vintage - April 28th, 1998

The size of this guy is daunting, yes, but soo worth it.  I brought "The Executioner's Song" to a potentially hellish wait at the DMV and it was one of the best afternoons I ever spent.  As far as I'm concerned, Mailer has told here, as simply as possible, one of the most interesting stories of human struggle ever: convict Gary Gilmore's true, existential, death-row struggle NOT to live actually makes for a surprisingly gripping read--it's artfully investigative, and incredibly affecting. 

The Screwtape Letters Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060652937
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Published: HarperOne - April 21st, 2015

The demon Screwtape writes a series of letters to his nephew, the tempter-demon Wormwood, giving advice on how to lure humans away from salvation and towards hell. Chock-full of gems of striking insight into human nature and (to a lesser extent) into the nature of faith. And it's funny.

Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618526413
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - April 21st, 2004

McCullers' masterpiece, and one of my very favorite novels of all time. A hot and sleepy Southern town in the 1930's is examined from four very different but equally poignant persepectives.  Should be on your to-read-before-you-die list.

No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780812971897
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - January 10th, 2006

Local author/scholar Aslan gives an introduction to Islam--for those of us who don't know a whole lot to begin with--in incredibly concise and well-written story form, from the time of Muhammed to the present...and potential future. It's the best possible introduction to the history and evolution of Islam, as well as a well-balanced look at how it's interpreted and (mis)understood over time and of course particularly nowadays.

Miss Lonelyhearts: And the Day of the Locust Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780811202152
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - January 1st, 1975

Both novellas are dark and strange and funny and moving, and full of sick scenes of old L.A. (and New York)--and together in one cool-looking paperback! What more could you ask?

Serve It Forth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780865473690
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: North Point Press - September 18th, 2002

I love this lady. W.H. Auden called her "the greatest American prose writer", and she just so happens to write about the most basic experience of our daily lives. Your appreciation for the "art of eating" is guaranteed to be changed forever after reading this gorgeous collection of her early musings.

Wolf Hall: A Novel (Wolf Hall Trilogy #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805080681
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - October 13th, 2009

I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit I hardly knew anything about the Tudors before reading this fantastic book--it didn't matter.  Mantel's prose is just so goddamn impressive, I found myself actually shaking my head at the book as I was reading, at her crazy skills.  Wow.  Firmly, exhuastively rooted in historical accuracy; dark, disorienting; violent as hell; so good!

The Power and the Glory Cover Image
By Graham Greene, John Updike (Introduction by)
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ISBN: 9780142437308
Published: Penguin Books - February 25th, 2003

Greene's big thing is incorporating his favorite themes--religion, colonialism, and moral ambiguity--into simply-told and thrilling stories (often having to do with shady foreign politics). I recommend most highly: "A Burnt-Out Case" for dark/funny (lepers in Africa), "Our Man in Havana for funny/dark (political satire), and "The Power and the Glory" for pretty much one of the greatest modern novels ever written.

The Talented Mr. Ripley Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393332148
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 17th, 2008

Less your standard whodunit than a character study of a subtly disturbed, charming young man and the privileged and oblivious friend who obsesses him. It's a rich and complex but plainly told story of an old-fashioned European holiday which grows slowly more eerie as the story progresses. Highsmith is a master--all her work is incredible but so far this one is my favorite.