Robert

Robert Sindelar is the Managing Partner at Third Place Books. Robert is interested in literature in translation, drama and theater, and discussing the place books, reading, and bookstores occupy in our lives.

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781476731902
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner Book Company - September 23rd, 2014

The word "tragedy" is thrown around very liberally and many times inaccurately, but in recent memory, I can't think of a book where it is more fitting than this one. Jeff Hobbs does not take any of the easy roads in telling this complex story. It is a book that will break your heart. -Robert


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American Innovations: Stories Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781250069238
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador USA - May 5th, 2015

These stories exquisitely balance the cerebral and the emotional as well as the scientific and the fantastic. Like stories from the great masters, those in this book inform, illuminate, and enrich one another. They are stories that reward through multiple readings. Galchen is easily one of my favorite new writers. -Robert


Neverhome Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316370134
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little Brown and Company - September 9th, 2014

Why have I nnot read Laird Hunt before? This novel is so spare yet so rich. The character of Ash Thompson is an amazing creation and her story is utterly moving and captivating. This is historical fiction unlike that you've read before. -Robert


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Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780871404510
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - March 10th, 2014

What a ride! Besides being an incredibly gripping story about a bizzarre con-man, this book is a fascinating look inside the mind of a writer. Kirn's own culpability about being duped and what that says about writers and the human psyche is the real engine that drives this book. Highly recommended! - Robert


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All That Is Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781400078424
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books - January 28th, 2014

There are some authors that you feel priviledged to be able to have read. James Salter is one of those authors for me. This book is so rich in its humanity. It basks in the simple yet extraordinary pleasures and pains of what it is to live a life. -Robert


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The Infatuations Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307950734
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - April 22nd, 2014

I love how this novel argues with itself. It's a novel you read not for plot but for the long, no stone left unturned passages of thought about the potential motivations behind human behavior. Making it all the more rewarding when you discover that, underneath the philosophical debates the narrator has with herself, there are pieces of a plot that feel like an homage to the great Hitchcock films. -Robert


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The Night Guest Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780865478169
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Faber & Faber - July 1st, 2014

You will be hard pressed to find a more unsettling read this year. From the very beginning of this tale of a woman living alone in an isolated locale and the mysterious woman who comes to take care of her, it is filled with a subtle haunting menace that lurks behind even the most simple of day to day events. Highly recommended. -Robert


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The Son Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062120403
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ecco Press - January 28th, 2014

I enjoyed this book on so many levels. While I see the subject matter and setting compares to Blood Meridian and Lonesome Dove, this book only deserves to be compared to itself and possibly the author's other work. Its meticulously constructed structure is not common for an epic like this. The constant shifting of points of view build so effectively on one another giving a truly original view of these parts of our history. The novel's concern and interest in the legacy of people and their land and the land's legacy back to the people living on it is worthy of course adoption and wide discussion. It is a rich and rewarding read. It was a great way to begin my summer. - Robert


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A Marker to Measure Drift Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780345803863
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books - June 3rd, 2014

It is rare for a book to get you so emotionally involved so quickly. My heart ached for Jacqueline within the first 20 pages of this novel and never really stopped. What is more rare is for the author to be able to navigate such a richly charged emotional landscape and be able to at once sustain it through the course of the novel and at the same time not abuse the reader in the process. This book allows you to visit a particular locale in human loneliness that is shockingly familiar in spite of being so situationally foreign. It is a journey I won't soon forget. - Robert


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The Sound of Things Falling Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594632747
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - June 3rd, 2014

In his third novel to be translated into English, Colombian novelist Juan Gabriel Vasquez confirms what we fans of his early work had suspected from the beginning : that he is a master of showing us how the political past, in this case the drug trafficking in the 80's and 90's in his native country, continue to influence and inform the personal present. This is a moving tale about the the balance between choice and fate and how memory and the way we tell the tales of the past can influence how we live. - Robert


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The Dinner Cover Image
By Herman Koch, Sam Garrett (Translator)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780385346856
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth - October 29th, 2013

This is the kind of book you are ashamed of for liking so much. You should be outraged, disgusted, and horrified by this family and their awful behavior. And you are at times. But you also end up reading along with a devilish smile as you cheer on the narrator in a story that surprises over and over again. - Robert


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May We Be Forgiven Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780147509703
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - September 24th, 2013

I have a hard time believing that any of the National Book Award judges this year read this book all the way through. This is such a big, bold, unsettling, artful yet thoroughly entertaining novel. Homes manages a major feat here, taking us deep inside the darker and more disturbing parts of our America suburban lives and brings us out the other end to what could hardly be imagined at the beginning of the novel: a happy ending. - Robert


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Lazarus Is Dead Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781609450809
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2012

Richard Beard gives the New Testament a Milan Kundera-like treatment here where the narrative novel and the imaginative esay flow freely back and forth in forming and influencing one another in a style that elevates both formats. Through questioning the details in an ancient story thre novel delves into the nature of storytelling itself. It is an smart fun and thoughtful book. - Robert


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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250037756
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador USA - September 24th, 2013

This book does a great job of marrying the slower, more pensive traditional world of physical books and long drawn research with the speed of virtual data and high tech crowd sourcing in an ultra-modern grail-like-quest that honors both new knowledge and old. It is a page-turner that you will burn through. - Robert


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A Million Heavens Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781938073342
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: McSweeney's Books - July 16th, 2013

There is an infectious aching loneliness that floats through the characters of this book and haunts the reader. Brandon paints the distinct world of each of the many characters we follow in this novel, including a wolf and a dead college student, with a mix of painted brevity and astonishing thoroughness. It is a novel that really lives with you, even after finishing. - Robert


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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780060885618
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ecco Press - November 27th, 2012

Ben Fountain has created a sort of inverted "Odyssey" here where our here, Billy Lynn, comes home from the Iraq War to find yet a whole new catalog of trials and challenges awaiting him and the rest of Bravo Company before they are shipped back to the Gulf. It is a novel that gives us a fresh take on how we view capitalism, materialism, our country, and our military while providing a wonderfully empathetic tragic hero in Billy Lynn, at once a brave , fearless fighting machine while still a very innocent young man. - Robert


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Open City Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9780812980097
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Trade - January 17th, 2012

This is an unashamedly philosophical novel that proudly follows its protagonist around the city (mostly Manhattan but also Brussels) without a concern or need for plot. Yet what we gain instead is a powerful meditation on identity, place, and history and the emotional and physical memory that we individually and collectively share on these topics. It is a rich and generous book that I will certainly return to again. - Robert


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The Orphan Master's Son Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812982626
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Trade - August 7th, 2012

Its as if Kafka decided to write a John LeCarre novel, chose to set it in North Korea, and then suddenly realized he didn't have to make up crazy, haunting, metaphorical images, because the PRK supplies plenty of its own. Adam Johnson executes a pretty impressive juggling act here, balancing broad satire with agonizing pathos, he creates art out of horrors and humanity out of desolation. And, yes, Kim Jong-il does appear as a character in the later half of the book. - Robert


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These Dreams of You Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781609450632
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Europa Editions - January 31st, 2012

Steve Erickson's fiction delivers dreamlike narratives where history, pop culture and the stories of his characters are woven together in tight webs of circular points of reference that create in the reader a deja vu induced reading experience that is as rewarding as it is unsettling. "These Dreams of You" is the perfect novel to read in this election year. With plot threads that venture from Obama's historic election to Robert Kennedy's last years all the while following the story of a young adopted Ethiopian girl who has an almost mystical connection to the music of David Bowie, the author is clearly tackling the politics in this book from every angle of our culture. - Robert


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By Blood Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250023964
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador USA - December 24th, 2012

I wont discuss the plot of this book, because its one of those novels that rewards so much to the reader who goes in without preconceptions of what they are in for. Wonderful in its hypnotic creepy atmosphere, Ellen Ullman’s By Blood, moves like a Hitchcock thriller, bewilders like a labyrinthine Paul Auster story and probes and questions like a Malcolm Gladwell essay. Its one of those books where you know the path will be mysterious and the path’s end unpredictable, but you give yourself over to the ride enjoying the richness of the moments rather than rushing onward for the next twist in the tale. The narrative device that Ullman employs here works wonders, giving the perfect mix of tension and momentum to the story and carefully pacing what the characters and the reader get to learn as the novel progresses. This is a book that is going to a strong word of mouth following. You want other people to discuss it with while your reading it and certainly when you are done. - Robert


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The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781451659092
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner Book Company - October 2nd, 2012

This collection reminded me why I love Don Delillo so much. These stories, which span his whole career, really show off the author at his best. I have been feeling for quite a while that the reason I like most of Delillo's novels is more for their parts rather than their whole (Libra being the exception - I love that book). The baseball game and the party at Truman Capote's in Underworld, the opening scene in The Body Artist, almost any single section of Point Omega, are all essentially exquisite stand alone stories. Here you get his power, his brevity, his focused finesse and, most of all, the unnamed haunting menace of our daily lives that Delillo teases out of the most ordinary of situations (running in the park, going to a movie, viewing an art exhibit). - Robert


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The Sense of an Ending Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780307947727
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books - May 29th, 2012

This is a wonderful meditation in miniature about aging, memory, the actions of our past and our responsibility for our effect on others. Don't let the diminutive size of the book fool you. Barnes has weaved a rich poetic lyricism into his text here that makes you slow down, savor and flip back a few pages to revisit. Wonderful. - Robert


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The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy Cover Image
By Bill Simmons, Malcolm Gladwell (Foreword by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780345520104
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: ESPN Books - December 7th, 2010

Disappointed with the loss of the Sacramento team? Bummed that you can't root for any playoff team without compromising your inner-Sonic? Well, Bill Simmons' book is the perfect antidote. It reminds us of all that is glorious and ridiculous about the NBA. Simmons writes with deep insight and refreshing humor about a sport we all want to love again. - Robert


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The Wandering Falcon Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781594486166
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - October 2nd, 2012

These linked tales set along the Pakistan/Afghan border are unlike anything else you have read about that region. They offer a generous and moving portrait of a little understood way of life. This is the kind of fiction that moves beyond terms like "great literature" and moves onto terms like "essential" and "necessary." - Robert


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1Q84 Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307476463
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books - January 22nd, 2013

Easily one of my favorite Murakami novels. There is a lot here for his fans to sink their teeth into. One of the advantages of the novel being so long is that the atmospheric hauntingly lonely neverland, that you travel to in most Murakami books, sustains for so long here. This book crept into my dreams and popped its head up regularly in my daily routines. On a subtle level, I kept expecting to see the world of the book everywhere I looked. One of the main characters is a novelist, so there is some rare instances of Murakami actually writing about writing and reading that is a real treat for fans who have been craving such material for so long. Overall there is more of a typical (as much as you can stretch the meaning of that word to relate to Murakami) hero journey than you find in most of his books, which really helps keep a clean satisfying arc to a long novel. Its interesting the choice of setting the book in 1984. There is the obvious Orwell reference. There is also the convenient fact that cell phones and internet searches didnt exist then, both of which would have completely changed the nature of the characters options and the plot. As the book was winding down, however, I started to think about another possible connection. In the book there is a novel that is published that causes quite a stir in the world of the book. I was wondering whether there was an indirect notion on Murakami's part that publishing and the role of fiction in the world has changed enough since then that a work of fiction couldn't have the same impact today. If so, in typical Murakami fashion, this is posed as a question puposely unanswered. - Robert


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The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594485756
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - May 1st, 2012

The title here is a bit misleading. The book is not just about psychopaths but the extreme edges of the psychology industry. But like all Jon Ronson books it is as much about the author/investigative journalist's journey in researching his subject as it is about the subject itself. Ronson is an obsessive and neurotic writer whose specialty is hanging out with and writing about people most of us are happy to never meet. Its fun and a bit disturbing following him around. In the end, you won't think about psychological disorders the same way again. - Robert


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The Family Fang Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061579059
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ecco Press - April 17th, 2012

This is NOT a vampire novel. Fang is the last name of the family in this utterly charming novel. The book examines, in the most unusual ways, what it means to be part of a family and how we define ourselves as members of that group and individuals outside of it. I would happily have spent another 300 pages with these characters. - Robert


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The Devil All the Time Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307744869
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor Books - July 10th, 2012

This is a powerhouse of a novel. Disturbing? Yes, but Pollock earns the gravity of his subject matter. As the title suggests, God is pretty elusive to the characters in this book despite many of their attempts to keep it otherwise. There is, however, an almost biblical inevitability in the fate of these people, and Pollock hooks your interest in their destinies from the very beginning. - Robert


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The Upright Piano Player Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9780385534420
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Nan A. Talese - June 7th, 2011

This is one of the most moving novels I've ever read. The comparisons to Ian McEwan are right on. The haunting tension in each scene is perfectly balanced in this story of clearly flawed but good people who cannot sidestep their way out of the tragic path that fate has in store for them. - Robert


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In the Valley of the Kings: Stories Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9780393339086
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 6th, 2010

I have read the first 5 stories of this collection and am blown away. The term "original voice" is way over used, but is completely applicable in this case. These are haunting, touching, strange stories. People will be talking about this book for years to come.

The rest of the stories in this volume lived up to the first 5. These are dark, haunting stories almost all focusing on mortality that echo the voices of Poe and Borges. Yet Holt's voice is entirely contemporary and very American. I haven't been this aware of having discovered a "new" voice since I first read Cormac McCarthy. - Robert


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The Informers Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594484674
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - July 6th, 2010

This is one of my top 5 favorite novel's of the year. It tells a little-discussed chapter of Latin American history (the tensions between Jewish German immigrants and German Nazi immigrants in Colombia during and after WW II). It also plays with time and voice in a way that reminded me of Ian McEwan's Atonement. - Robert


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Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143115038
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books - February 2009

I have been listening to this book on audio for the past couple months while I walk to work. It is really amazing. Mark Harris finds, in this single year (1967) of film every major influence on film for the next 15-20 years. At 17 hours of listening, I would happily have kept going if he had gone on and done another 17 hours on 1968. - Robert


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Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307390301
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books USA - April 6th, 2010

I was constantly intrigued with what Dyer was playing with here. Its one of those novels that has a great narrative that pulls you along, but also lets you know that the author is up to something bigger in the background. I never read The French Lieutenant's Woman, but now I will have to after the reference in this book. - Robert


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Zeitoun Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307387943
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books USA - June 15th, 2010

Heroic and harrowing. Inspiring and insane. Spitirual and scandalous. I was sure I didnt need to read anything more about Katrina. I was wrong. - Robert


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Out of My Skin Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374299095
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - February 3rd, 2009

What does Zen enlightenment look like when you live in LA? The Haskell in John Haskell's new novel thinks it might look like Steve Martin. Or at least "being Steve" is a step on the road to enlightenment.

Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed this meditation on being and self.

I loved his collection "I am Not Jackson Pollack" and after this, I will need to go back and give his novel "American Purgatorio" another shot. - Robert


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Man Gone Down Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780802170293
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - January 2007

This novel's nameless narrator's desperate race to catch up to his version of the American Dream is stunning in its visceral authenticity. It is modern day angst and despair transformed into an almost mythic journey that challenges your notions of race, class, wealth, poverty, and family. - Robert


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Sag Harbor Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307455161
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor Books - June 15th, 2010

While being a black kid who spends his school year in a white private school in Manhattan and his summers in a mostly black resort community in Sag Harbor is not really even close to the reality of my teen years, the fact that I was the exact same age (15 years old) as the narrator in 1985 (the year the book is set) certainly helped my appreciation of this book. But overall, Colson Whitehead finds the universal in his, admittedly, autobiographical childhood experience. - Robert


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Black Swan Green Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812974010
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Trade - February 27th, 2007

David Mitchell does SO many things right in this novel. It is a charming, angst-filled coming of age story that captures the perfect nuance of humiliation, wonder, confusion, fear, and delight that is adolescence. Its episodic structure, each chapter leaping to a new "chapter" in a single year (1982) of a young boy's life, creates an impressionism that forms a complete portrait of the age thirteen that a seamless linear narrative could not have. - Robert


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Revolutionary Road Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780375708442
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books USA - April 25th, 2000

This is a book that, over the years, has come up again and again as a book that a number of novelists have cited as one of the pivotal books in their reading development. I really wanted to get it under my belt before the onslaught of movie previews came out for it this fall. It is a brutal and aggressively critical but empathetic look at middle class suburban life. Published in 1961 and set in 1955, it certainly has a bit of a dated feel to it: what was clearly shockingly critical and revelatory at the time does not quite have the same effect today--many others have followed Yates' lead and carried on. Yet, still, the novel has an incredibly powerful punch. If you read this merely as a commentary on society, the novel does not quite have the thread you would think it needs. But it is actually Tragedy (capital T intended). Every small point early in the book is groundwork for what is to come. No character is safe from the author's harsh view of the world, nor are they abandoned in that world--they are all given their due sense of purpose and entitlement. It is touching and appalling. It is hard to recommend something this unpleasant and bleak. But here I am saying: get your high ball glass, fill it three fingers high, hold it tight, and dive into this book. -Robert


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Laughter in the Dark Cover Image
By Vladimir Nabokov, John Banville (Introduction by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811216746
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - September 17th, 2006

No author abuses his hapless protagonist with the hysterical cruelty that Nabokov applies to this unlucky anti-hero. While clearly a first attempt at ideas that would eventually become his masterpiece Lolita, this novel is much more of a mean-spirited morality tale than its eventual successor. The disaster that befalls the main character of this novel is one you can't take your eyes off of, nor wipe the smile from your face as you witness his decent. - Robert


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Castle Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781555975593
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - April 27th, 2010

Lennon's writing is addictive. This story of a man who buys a huge piece of property in a remote area, only to find a large building in the middle of the property that he does not own, is chilling. - Robert


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Netherland Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307388773
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books USA - May 7th, 2009

I would not have predicted that a novel about cricket would be one of the more illuminating views into the American character that I have read in a long time. Netherland is a thoughtful, fun, and moving book; one to savor as one would an early morning stroll. - Robert


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The Northern Clemency Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781400095872
Availability: Please email internetorders@thirdplacebooks.com for availability.
Published: Anchor Books - February 9th, 2010

I really loved this book. It chronicles 30 years of 2 families that live across the street from one another in Sheffield, England. All 9 of these characters are richly drawn and Hensher brings incredible humor and compassion to their stories. For my tastes, its form and writing style are pretty traditional. But this author shows that style does not need to be constantly reinvented to convey beauty and humanity. Of course, this novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, which I previously thought should have gone to the longlisted Netherland by Joseph Oneill (or at least to also shortlisted Sebastian Barry's Secret Scripture). But it would be tough for me now to decide between The Northern Clemency and Netherland. - Robert


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The Secret Scripture Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143115694
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - April 28th, 2009

I love Barry's lyricism. He is unique among contemporary Irish writer's in that you can clearly see (feel) the thread of tradition penetrating his novels. Echoes of John Millington Synge, Yeats, and even Beckett are present here. But the novels are no mere copies of the old style. They hum with their own clear voice and vision. This novel touches upon events from Barry's first novel, "The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty." Both can be read independently, but there is a richness in having read both. -Robert


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Zeroville Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781933372396
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Europa Editions - November 2007

This is the ultimate novel for the film obsessed. Taking a surreal outsider journey through Hollywood with an unlikely guide: a cross between Chauncey Gardner (Being There) and Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver). This book sucked me in, swept me up, roughed me around a bit, and ultimately won me over. Highly recommended! - Robert


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Atmospheric Disturbances Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780312428433
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador USA - April 28th, 2009

It is rare for a novel to be both thoroughly intellectual (scientifically so) and significantly emotional (romantically so). This debut novel achieves both in a serious but playful world where a doppelganger is exposed through the science behind Doppler Radar. A great novel about the duality of love and relationships. - Robert


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Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802145314
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press - May 10th, 2011

Do not let the size or subject matter of this book disuade you from giving it a shot. After the first 25 pages, you will not be able to stop. This incredible book, 30 years in the making, gives us a fresh, necessary look at the experience of combat. My thoughts on Vietnam will forever be colored by my reading of Matterhorn. - Robert


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Super Sad True Love Story Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812977868
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Trade - May 3rd, 2011

This hilariously satiric sneak peek into our country's potentially not-too-distant future frightens as much as it amuses. Shteyngart's brutal re-envisioning of our world--where our fates lie in our credit scores, books are artifacts, and youth and sex dominant every aspect of our society--will keep you up at night: first laughing, then worrying about what you were laughing at. - Robert


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Citrus County Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781936365098
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: McSweeney's Books - June 7th, 2011

There is a very fine balancing act that John Brandon pulls off here. The characters and their actions are pretty hard to read about, but you can't stop following their story. Creating empathy for characters who end up on the wrong side of the evening news is pretty tough. Brandon does so without asking us to forgive or excuse their behavior. Once you start this book, you won't want to put it down. - Robert


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Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781400034475
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books USA - June 26th, 2007

If, like Bill Buford, you have ever wondered if you had what it takes to take your domestic kitchen skills, that wow your friends and family, and apply them in a professional setting, this is the armchair culinary adventure you have been waiting for. Extremely entertaining, the book is also very informative (I picked up quite a few tricks of the trade). This is the kind of book you really don't want to end. - Robert


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Last Night Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781400078417
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books USA - March 14th, 2006

The loneliness of failed relationships, the longing for things that never were, and the subtle melancholy of regret all quietly blister in the empathetically and economically drawn characters in James Salter's gorgeous short stories. Many authors struggle to imitate the potent minimalism that Salter here seems to offer so effortlessly. He is the real deal. - Robert


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Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780061881817
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Perennial - February 9th, 2010

The restraint and on target accuracy of these stories display a young writer of enormous talent and extreme confidence. This is a writer to watch. - Robert


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The Ask Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780312680633
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador USA - March 1st, 2011

You will be hard pressed to find a funnier book this year. The author's willingness to humiliate and be cruel to his characters is only matched by this novel's large and generous heart. This book has a lot to say about how we live now. - Robert


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Chronic City Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307277527
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books USA - August 24th, 2010

This is easily Lethem's best work to date. In his slightly "off" version of Manhattan, he gives us a thoroughly entertaining journey with characters you won't soon forget. - Robert


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The Tiger's Wife Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780385343848
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Trade - November 1st, 2011

I loved this novel on so many levels. Set in an unnamed Eastern European country in and around decades of conflict, this gorgeous novel is steeped in the region's folklore and mythology. Readers of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mikhail Bulgakov will find a new favorite here. - Robert


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The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307389046
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Departures - May 3rd, 2011

I could not put this book down. I really (excuse the pun) tore through it. This true story of a man-eating tiger on one hand is a heart-pounding adventure in a "Jaws" kind of way. Yet it also does a great job of putting the incident in a socio-economic, environmental, and geopolitical context--giving us an unforgettable portrait of a region and way of life many of us know very little about. - Robert


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The Last Samurai Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780786887002
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Miramax Books - April 3rd, 2002

This bold and ambitious first novel about a child genius and his eccentric single mother and their shared obsession with Kurasawa's "Seven Samurai" is not only stylistically daring and astutely intelligent, but also wonderfully funny. One of my top 10 books of all time! - Robert


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Sputnik Sweetheart Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780375726057
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - April 9th, 2002

There are two distinct camps of Murakami fans: the novels and the stories. Yet the economic brevity and surprising emotional punch of this novel satisfies both those groups. This is a book to be read (devoured) in a day or two and then haunt you for the rest of the week. - Robert


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All the Pretty Horses Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780679744399
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage Books USA - June 23rd, 1993

For those who have only read his more recent books, do yourself a favor and go back to this brilliant early novel. The first of an outstanding trilogy, this novel introduces us to John Grady Cole, a character who will stand beside the creations of Faulkner and Steinbeck in the Great Amerian Character's Hall of Fame. - Robert


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When We Were Orphans Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780375724404
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - October 30th, 2001

This novel beautifully blends Ishiguro's exquisite storytelling (shown off in Remains of the Day) and his Kafkaesque bent for the surreal (displayed in Unconsoled). Together these two styles help create a densely layered world where our most basic understanding of good and evil are brought into question as are our notions of memory, family, history, and self. This is a bold and grand work. It spoiled me for other novels for weeks. - Robert


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What We Talk about When We Talk about Love: Stories Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780679723059
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - June 18th, 1989

Yes, this is the story that Michael Keaton and Edward Norton are staging in the Oscar-winning film Birdman. Raymond Carver was a master of the short story and his spare writing style and emotionally raw tales have inspired countless writers and some other filmmakers too. Besides Birdman, the first story in this collection has been made into two separate films. But no film can capture the power and intimacy of his writing.