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Brad's Recommendations

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Piranesi Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781635575637
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - September 15th, 2020

Clarke's first book in 16 years has been well worth the wait. The main character lives in a world like a huge museum, a labyrinth filled with numberless statues that never repeat. The only human that shares these halls is The Other, a person who our main character cannot quite understand, but meets with twice a week. A beautifully executed story, and perfectly worded.
 


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The Lying Life of Adults Cover Image
By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translator)
$26.00
ISBN: 9781609455910
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Europa Editions - September 1st, 2020

Possibly Ferrante's best stand alone novel. When Giovanna hears her father compare her to an aunt whom the family has distanced themselves from, she wants to meet her hidden family and learn about them. What unfolds is a story of a teenager who loses her footing in the world, who comes to realize that no one is what they seem. Ferrante's descriptions of Naples are stunningly picturesque. 


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If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781631496103
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Liveright - September 15th, 2020

An important read in the technologically controlled world we inhabit now. The Simulmatics Corporation can be held at least partially responsible for data-mining, social networks, political ad campaigns, and behavior modification through mixed media. This company has been all but forgotten since they went bankrupt in 1970. Jill Lepore takes an in-depth look at the ethics of everything they created. 


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The Memory Police: A Novel Cover Image
By Yoko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101911815
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Vintage - July 28th, 2020

A writer lives on an island where the police can make entire concepts disappear from people's memories, such as emeralds, hats, or music boxes; she is constantly worried that words will be the next to go. A few can remember the past, and they are rounded up and taken away, and no one knows where. The writer attempts to hide one who can remember, her publisher, for a taste of the world she once knew. 


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The Doll: A Portrait of My Mother Cover Image
By Ismail Kadare, John Hodgson (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781640094222
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 17th, 2020

This book was written in 2015 but has been translated into English for the first time. Kadare discusses his childhood and his relationship with his mother, a woman who felt trapped in her house (a house with an actual dungeon) and trapped in her own life. Mostly, this story is about how Albania changed from the author's birth in 1933 until his mother's death in the 2000s. A must read for any Kadare fan. 


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Summer: A Novel (Seasonal Quartet) Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781101870792
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Pantheon - August 25th, 2020

A brilliant ending to a beautifully written quartet. Two siblings who can't seem to agree on anything, their mother, and two young adults who created a nature blog drive to see a 104 year old man whom none of them have met. This provides the framework for a story about the times we live in. While I don't think it is necessary to read the first three volumes, it will add an extra layer to the tale. 


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Flights Cover Image
By Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft (Translated by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525534204
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Riverhead Books - August 13th, 2019

An incredible mixture of stories about travel and anatomy. Intertwined are a man who loses his wife and child on a trip in Croatia, Chopin's heart, and the person who originally found the achilles tendon by operating on his own severed leg. In between is the narrator, who has beautiful passages about what it means to be a traveler, about being in motion and refusing roots wherever they try to cling.


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Tyll: A Novel Cover Image
By Daniel Kehlmann, Ross Benjamin (Translated by)
$26.95
ISBN: 9781524747466
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Pantheon - February 11th, 2020

The everlasting legend of Tyll Ulenspeigel, one of the most famous characters in German story-telling history, is made new again in this novel set during the Thirty Years' War. Tyll is a jester who knows no bounds and can turn a crowd on itself so quickly that they don't know what has happened. Is the jokester truly happy, or is at all a part of an elaborate show? Darkly lyrical and powerful.


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Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: A Memoir Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393329407
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 17th, 2005

One of my all-time favorite memoirs. Nick Flynn's father abandons his very young kids and wife for alcohol. Years later, Nick is working at a homeless shelter and his father checks in; they try to have a relationship again. Flynn has a way of bringing pure emotion through in writing that very few writers possess. Poetic and heartbreaking and 
brutally real.


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This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire: A Memoir Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781324005544
Availability: NOT on our shelves - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 25th, 2020

Another brilliant memoir from Nick Flynn, author of my favorite memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. In this book, Flynn tries to come to terms with new information he learned about his mother years after her suicide: when he was a child, she lit the family home on fire while he and his brother were asleep. He also writes very candidly about his affair, and how his family survived his indiscretions.


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Little Eyes: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525541363
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Published: Riverhead Books - May 5th, 2020

Some people purchase robots that live in their homes, and other people use programs to inhabit those robots. The 'keepers' and 'dwellers' are randomly assigned to each other. Schweblin creates several storylines that weave in and out of each other and we follow people as they become comfortable, sometimes too comfortable, with this new technology. I was surprised by how much I liked this creepy novel.


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Anniversaries (Boxed Set): From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl Cover Image
By Uwe Johnson, Damion Searls (Translated by)
$39.95
ISBN: 9781681372037
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: NYRB Classics - October 16th, 2018

If you're going to read one 1,700 page novel in your life, it should be this one. Gesine and her daughter, Marie, live in New York City. From August 1967 to August 1968, Gesine relives the story of her life in Nazi Germany, then in Soviet occupied Germany, while they both steer through the tumultuous year that saw the deaths of MLK and RFK, violence in the streets of NYC, and Prague Spring. Breathtaking in so many ways.


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Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781451691573
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 26th, 2012

I was discussing this book with a colleague the other day and remembered how much I loved it, and how relevant it is to our times. Not only does Hunter give an interesting take on politics, he also discusses in great detail the entirety of a campaign and a brokered convention. To date, one of the best books about a political campaign ever written, even if it was a landslide loss for his candidate.


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Fireflies Cover Image
By Luis Sagasti, Fionn Petch (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781999722746
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Charco Press - February 4th, 2020

I loved this book for reasons that I find hard to explain. Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Beuys and Basho and Wittgenstein (and many others) are all detailed, their lives all interconnected. In between Sagasti talks about fireflies, asteroids, haikus, and the art of story. This is the best book I've found from Charco Press so far, a small publisher with which I have become enamored.


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Sabrina Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781770463165
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - May 22nd, 2018

A woman is murdered and a tape is sent to local news stations. People unconnected with the victim start saying it was a false flag operation designed to make people fear their neighbors. Mostly, this book is about how these rumors effect those closest to the victim and the tragedy itself. One of the more important graphic novels I've read in a long time, especially for his day and age.


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Autumn Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780399563324
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Penguin Books - November 5th, 2019

I loved Knausgaard's My Struggle series, but this is, in a way, more intimate. In the first two volumes of the quartet, he explains the world in incredible detail, from apples and wasps, to the sun and plastic bags. The third and fourth books are more about the family life around the time of his daughter's birth. Both are wonderful; I've never been more captivated by descriptions of things I already know all about.


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An Orchestra of Minorities Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316412407
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Back Bay Books - October 8th, 2019

A spirit is telling the story of Chinonso to a council and trying to save his soul. Thus unfurls the heartbreaking story of Chinonso, who will do anything to become good enough for Ndali, and specifically for her family. But when he heads overseas to try and further his education, he is taken for all of his money and stranded far from anyone he has ever known. One of the best twist endings I've read in a long time.


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The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316246279
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Orbit - July 23rd, 2013

Is there anything better than jumping into a new fantasy series? The story revolves around the ruler of a world where magicians can make light into solid. Each color has its own unique qualities, but use too much of your power and you can go insane. Brent Weeks is one of the best fantasy writers around, and this series is one of his greatest. With Book 5 being released in November, there is no waiting for the next book.


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Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780525566182
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Vintage - April 23rd, 2019

Paul can transform his body at will, turning from a man to a woman, and alter his body in each state. He uses this power to have every type of sex imaginable. Part love story, part erotica, part fantasy, this book doesn't let you slowly step into the storyline but rather drags you in on page one. Original, fast paced, and well written, I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I would.


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On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780544866478
Availability: NOT on our shelves - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 8th, 2019

At 76 years old, Theroux drives to the border with Mexico and after crisscrossing along the entire length heads deep into the interior. In his classic fashion, he meets locals, gathers stories, dines with other writers, and meets a revolutionary hero. My favorite travel writer once again makes me want to go out on the open road.