Adam

Adam's thorough reading of Scandinavian literature is the stuff of legend amongst the Third Place Books staff. He takes an interest in literary fiction and religion, but enjoys a good discussion of film and little-known and forgotten writers of fiction.

Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard (Vintage International) By Isak Dinesen Cover Image
$16.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780679743330
Published: Vintage - June 1st, 1993

What do you find in Dinesen's fiction? The ordinary crammed with miracles and the world of legend exporting nourishment and hope to our lands of the Mundane. The spark of eternity, the soul's language, is ever-present in Dinesen. -Adam


Loitering with Intent By Muriel Spark Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780811223034
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: New Directions - May 27th, 2014

Here we see Spark in one of her best roles: a literary subversive exposing the extreme narcissism of the social and intellectual elite - or, even better, faux elite. And in this novel she demands the reader pay close attention to subtext, to puzzles, to her game of conspicuous names and mysterious doublings and triplings of characters. Ultimately we ask: how reliable is our narrator - and, how sane? -Adam 


The Silent Gondoliers: A Novel By William Goldman Cover Image
$15.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780345442635
Published: Del Rey - January 2nd, 2001

This gonzo tall tale is the only other book Goldman has written in the style of "The Princess Bride." And it's a thing to behold: the way he takes a seemingly scatter-shot mode of storytelling and funnels everything into a hair-raising and absolutely satisfying climax. A book best read in one delirious sitting (or, as I did, read aloud in a day to a bookish and giddy 6th grader). -Adam


That Summer in Paris: A New Expanded Edition (Exile Classics series) By Morley Callaghan Cover Image
$23.95
ISBN: 9781550963618
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Exile Editions - January 1st, 2014

Who would have imagined that a Canadian author, virtually unknown in the U.S., had written a Lost Generation memoir twice as compelling as Hemingway's "Moveable Feast"? The book gave me chills when I first read it and has done so for more than a decade since - whenever I think of it. I don't expect ever to find another book of its kind that so convincingly deposits you in a similar time and place of renown, allowing you to rub shoulders with legends (albeit quirky, quirky legends). -Adam


See Now Then: A Novel By Jamaica Kincaid Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374534363
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 4th, 2014

Less a novel than an exercise in poetic monologue, in Voice and Character a darkly playful dirge-for-marriage shot through with surprising laugh-aloud gallows humor; an engine burning the dense and dangerous fuel of bitterness; a book only for the very brave and the unhurried, for those willing to take a careful, Orphic expedition through an unsettling landscape where, perhaps, nothing at all may be rescued. -Adam


The Narnia Code: C. S. Lewis and the Secret of the Seven Heavens By Michael Ward Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781414339658
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Tyndale House Publishers - November 1st, 2010

A truly brilliant book (even if the title is less than brilliant). A few years ago Ward authored a dense scholarly work on Narnia that functioned as nothing less than a seismic event in Lewis studies. This is the more accessible, popular edition of that book. But watch out - after just 30 or 40 pages, you'll never look at Narnia or Lewis the same way again! - Adam


Angela Sloan: A Novel By James Whorton Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781451624403
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Free Press - August 2nd, 2011

In a sense, the exploits of young Ms. Sloan occur in a landscape no less fantastical than that of Oz or Wonderland. This is the uncanny milieo of Watergate, hippies, anarchic radicalism, and the insane serpant-eating-its-own-tail, Ouroboros, of the espionage world. Whorton's writing is unpredictable, and touch melancholy, and filled with deliciously wry, deadpan humor. A must-read for fans of Charles Portis's "True Grit." -Adam


Life, God, and Other Small Topics: Conversations from Socrates in the City By Eric Metaxas (Editor) Cover Image
By Eric Metaxas (Editor)
$19.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780452298651
Published: Penguin Books - September 25th, 2012

After the success of his "Bonhoeffer" bio, Metaxas gained overnight fame with his February 2012 appearance (catch it on YouTube!) at the National Prayer Breakfast in which he preceded Pres. Obama with a poignant/hysterical speech that suggested an amalgam of Woody Allen and Billy Graham. In this book he collects about a decade's worth of events in N.Y. at which he hosted public intellectuals (most with international reputations) for riveting lectures on topics concerning religion and the publice square. - Adam


The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture By David Mamet Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781595230973
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Sentinel - August 28th, 2012

Mamet is one of our finest writers and a true, tough-talking, no-nonesense Chicago-ite, but nothing could have prepared me for this. With incisive brio Mamet tears into the modern America's political double standards, the sacred rows of Progress and our current, unhinged, grow-government mania. The intellect and rhetorical skill on display here left me - I'll admit it - just a little in awe! - Adam


A Soldier Of The Great War By Mark Helprin Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780156031134
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Mariner Books - June 1st, 2005

This novel shows us one of our most generous writers in top form. Helprin just gives you so much! The book is a tale of grim war, impossible loves, and, most of all, soul-stealing Beauty. It's a novel that will take over your life for a week or two and, if you're not careful, leave your expectations toward modern literature forever changed. - Adam


Intellectuals and Society By Thomas Sowell Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780465025220
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Basic Books - March 6th, 2012

Sowell lays out a beautifully researched case and, step by step, proves his thesis that many intellectuals in recent history have carried out a carried out a campaign of attempts to subvert democracy in favor of oligarchy and cultural imperialism. Both fascinating and devastating, this may well be the best book I read all year. - Adam


Facing East: A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy By Frederica Mathewes-Green Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780060850005
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: HarperOne - February 28th, 2006

Yes, this is an NPR commentator's memoir of the "personal journey" sort, but there's nothing typical in her approach - no awkward exhibitionism, no sense that life is being filtered and processed, turned into cultural commodity. In fact, this reads like a wagon-train tale of a couple driving their children and their future off into an untamed frontier. And that frontier just happens to be- to American eyes, at least - the most mysterious and most radically traditional form of Christianity. An utterly charming inviting read. - Adam


Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day By Ben Loory Cover Image
$17.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780143119500
Published: Penguin Books - July 26th, 2011

Imagine observing a highly-proficient artisan specializing in balloon animals or origami. Twist and fold, twist and fold. Then there's that last turn and the obscure creation suddenly pops into being, large as life. But Ben Loory is a tad more skilled than most and when his bizarre inventions abruptly open their eyes, gain consciousness of their artificial existence, and then scream wildly (or saunter up to you for a cuddle) - well, it's at that moment you realize you've hit on something extraordinary. - Adam


A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles By Thomas Sowell Cover Image
$23.99
ISBN: 9780465002054
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Basic Books - June 5th, 2007

Forget about all the clowns and comedians today posing as valid pundits, the man to clarify the American political debate is Thomas Sowell. For me this was the sort of tremendously-challenging book I came across only a couple of times in a decade that really makes me shift my assumptions and rethink my worldview. - Adam


Fer-de-Lance (Nero Wolfe #1) By Rex Stout Cover Image
$8.99
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780553278194
Published: Crimeline - January 21st, 1997

I don't know the last time that I enjoyed a mystery novel so much! This is the first of Stout's Nero Wolfe novels, and somehow he combines the appeals of a Sherlock Holmes-like detective in a Raymond Chandler "hard boiled" world. The plot is fantastic but you read Stout just as much for the characters and the dialogue. - Adam


Hidden Camera (Eastern European Literature) By Zoran Zivkovic, Alice Copple-Tosic (Translator) Cover Image
$13.95
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781564784124
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - November 1st, 2005

A neurotic undertaker finds himself compelled to take part in a bizarre scavenger hunt tailored entirely to him. If you enjoy post-modern, existential suspense, this book may keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. Every twist and turn of this labyrinth is completely unpredictable, and yet Zivkovic masterfully pulls off an escape for the hero in the end. Sort of!
- Adam


The Year of the Hare: A Novel By Arto Paasilinna, Pico Iyer (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Arto Paasilinna, Pico Iyer (Foreword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143117926
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - December 28th, 2010

Some days isn't this exactly what we all want to do - just ditch the rat race and walk off into the Finnish wilderness with an animal companion? (Okay, maybe not all of us.) Vatanen, a journalist turned mountain man, drifts from one quirky adventure to another, gradually learning to view civilization from the outside and, all the while, nurturing a new passion for independence and untamed nature. - Adam


Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword By Barry Deutsch Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781419706196
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Amulet Paperbacks - October 1st, 2012

Author-artist Deutsch not only delivers a great story & strong heroine, he also creates an entire family of great characters and a fantasy world I couldn't get enough of. Packed with little insights about Jewish culture and language, as well as irresistible humor, this is one graphic novel I can't wait to see sequel-ized! - Adam


Norwood: A Novel By Charles Portis Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780879517038
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: The Overlook Press - August 1st, 1999

This was just what I needed at the time: a perfect antidote to "serious" reading. It's a novel filled with characters cursed (or blessed?) with an excess of personality and for whom the world offers one big fat rainbow-colored Redneck Life. It's a life of inexhaustible country-fed wit and unlooked-for adventure, the latter arising from chance encounters and asinine schemes. I wish I had a dozen books like it! - Adam


A Tiler's Afternoon By Lars Gustafsson, Tom Geddes (Translated by) Cover Image
By Lars Gustafsson, Tom Geddes (Translated by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780811212403
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: New Directions - June 17th, 1993

Here is a fine, short existential novel about an aging everyman, a sort of solitary "born loser" working to eke out a living as a tile-layer in Uppsala, Sweden in the early 1980s. The book employs wry humor to offset the haunting Beckett-like seriousness at its heart. - Adam


A Tale of Two Lions: A Novel By Roberto Ransom, Jasper Reid (Translated by) Cover Image
By Roberto Ransom, Jasper Reid (Translated by)
$19.95
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780393329360
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 17th, 2007

In this novel 3 men get up close and personal with a pair of lions, finding the king of beasts to possess certain unnerving and quasi-mystical qualities that connote its majesty, its indomitable spirit. This mysterious, episodic marvel of a book will delight anyone who wishes that Borges was still alive and writing. - Adam


Arkansas By John Brandon Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780802144362
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Grove Press - June 3rd, 2009

The people in these pages are so irresistibly ordinary, so petty, hopeful & crazy - most of the time. John Brandon is constantly expanding his convincingly detailed & riveting backdrops, the character histories that lull us repeatedly into a false sense of security while we know that inevitable explosions of violence loom close at hand. This is a unique debut with an Elmore Leonard exterior than thinly conceals a bleak core owing much to Samuel Beckett. - Adam


In the Aftermath: Provocations and Laments By David Bentley Hart Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780802845733
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company - December 1st, 2008

The depth and erudition to be found in Hart's essays on Christianity and modern culture revitalizes every topic that falls under his scrutiny. Hart is quite simply one of the most articulate and thoughtful voices in contemporary Christendom - an Orthodox author not to be missed! - Adam


Auralia's Colors (The Auralia Thread #1) By Jeffrey Overstreet Cover Image
$21.99
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781400072521
Published: WaterBrook - September 4th, 2007

This smart, lively cautionary tale chronicles the strange history of a kingdom destroying itself over a fundamental misunderstanding about the purpose of Beauty. The first volume in a new epic, Overstreet's novel often feels like a fantasy counterpart to Fahrenheit 451. And in terms of storytelling, it reads like a surprising intersection between the styles of Bradbury, Patricia McKillip, and Kate DiCamillo. - Adam


I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project By Paul Auster (Introduction by), Paul Auster (Editor) Cover Image
By Paul Auster (Introduction by), Paul Auster (Editor)
$22.00
ISBN: 9780312421007
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - September 7th, 2002

For my money, this is the ultimate vacation, read-anywhere, pick-up-and-put-down book. It also has a nearly universal appeal, so it's also the ultimate gift book. Many of these very short, true stories have Twilight Zone-like eeriness to them, and every story gives you something unexpected, whether that is a gut-wrenching poignancy or an episode of laugh-out-loud humor. - Adam


Konfidenz (Latin American Literature) By Ariel Dorfman, Andrei Codrescu (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Ariel Dorfman, Andrei Codrescu (Introduction by)
$13.50
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781564782939
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - June 1st, 2003

It takes a talented writer to pull off an extended maybe-it-is-maybe-it-isn't mindgame between two characters. And it takes something close to a genius to turn the tables, aim the mindgames at his readers, and leave us begging for more. This book reads as rapidly as a play or screenplay, but one written by an heir to Borges and Kafka. - Adam


Colony By Hugo Wilcken Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780007106486
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Harper Perennial - August 6th, 2007

Wilcken accomplishes the strange trick of raising his novel's "subtext" and injecting it into the surface of his story. So there's something very puzzle-like about this book, but for the careful reader the puzzle pieces are all out there in the open. Will the man character - a penal colony prisoner - realize his ambition to "become someone else" in order to escape? Wilcken elaborates on this theme with a stunning number of instances of doubling, partnering, modeling, and replacing. - Adam


The 13 Clocks By James Thurber, Marc Simont (Illustrator), Neil Gaiman (Introduction by) Cover Image
By James Thurber, Marc Simont (Illustrator), Neil Gaiman (Introduction by)
$14.95
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781590172759
Published: New York Review of Books - June 1st, 2008

So richly imaginative, positively brimming with wit and unexpected surprises - if I had to pick one book from American children's literature that was clearly on par with "Alice in Wonderland" for the sheer pleasure it gives, this would be that book. One difference is that this story can be read in one long sitting, but that simply means I will re-read it more frequently. - Adam


The Friends of Eddie Coyle: A Novel By George V. Higgins, Dennis Lehane (Introduction by) Cover Image
By George V. Higgins, Dennis Lehane (Introduction by)
$17.99
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780312429690
Published: Picador - April 27th, 2010

Unforgettable scenes & an exceptionally convincing talent for capturing the dialogue of the streets - these are the signature elements established in this debut 1972 crime novel by George Higgins, a lawyer-turned-novelist. It would be difficult to provide examples of comparably crisp & edgy dialogue, outside of a Tarantino movie or a David Mamet play. - Adam


Old House of Fear By Russell Kirk Cover Image
$20.50
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780802817624
Published: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company - April 1st, 2007

This novel was "retro" when it was first published - 50 years ago. A homage to the Gothic adventure tales of the 19th century, Kirk's novel provides an intricately-plotted and atmospheric background against which his - by contrast - brash, lively characters stand out vividly, much like the ancient Scottish castle of the title looming over its isolated and ominous isle. - Adam


Do You Believe?: Conversations on God and Religion By Antonio Monda Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780307280589
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Vintage - November 13th, 2007

At a time when there is a notable lack of perspective in the public square regarding religion, Monda gives us a book demonstrating that some of America's most fascinating cultural figures are also people who've carefully & generously considered the challenge of faith, whether they themselves believe or not. Warning: interviews like Elie Wiesel's may be about enough to rip your heart! - Adam


The Swallows of Kabul By Yasmina Khadra, John Cullen (Translated by) Cover Image
By Yasmina Khadra, John Cullen (Translated by)
$17.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781400033768
Published: Anchor - April 12th, 2005

In this dark, melancholy, but beautifully written novel, the unrelenting whirlwind of Islamic fundamentalism is the daily terror of the "swallows of Kabul" -- those Afghans with no freedom and no power who can only dream of life without the Taliban. One woman finds that though she has no freedom, she can still make a great sacrifice, but what effect will it have in a land where tragedy is commonplace?
- Adam


C. S. Lewis: Images of His World By Douglas R. Gilbert, Clyde S. Kilby Cover Image
$24.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780802828002
Published: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company - October 1st, 2005

This beautiful book gives us a new window on the complex C. S. Lewis -- nature-lover, religious thinker, and Narnia creator. On every page we see some person or place dear to Lewis: his good friend J. R. R. Tolkien, his wife Joy Davidman, his Oxford home, and the academic settings in which he spent so much of his time. This book is an excellent gift idea for Lewis fans!
- Adam


The Night Country: A Novel By Stewart O'Nan Cover Image
$19.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780312424077
Published: Picador - October 1st, 2004

Like Jonathan Lethem & Michael Chabon, O'Nan here gives a literary gloss to genre fiction. And O'Nan mutes the horror-novel overtones of his story to follow a sort of mystery-novel structure (peeling back various narrative layers to finally reveal what happened That Night). In addition to all of this, a neo-Americana atmosphere underlies everything: Norman Rockwell meets Ray Bradbury meets the 21st century. - Adam


The Runes of the Earth (Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant #1) By Stephen R. Donaldson Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780441013043
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Ace - August 30th, 2005

This is just what Thomas Covenant fans were waiting for. Returning to the Land after 21 years, Donaldson marshals many unique elements of the previous 6 novels and revisits questions raised by those books. Whatever became of the Ramen and the Ranyhyu, the ur-viles of Waynhim? What was made of the Staff of Law after Covenant died and Lindon Avery left the Land? A great kick-off to the new four-part series!
- Adam


A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel (Vintage International) By Haruki Murakami Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780375718946
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - April 9th, 2002

Murakami is just oh-so-casual about dropping you in the exact center of Weird Country and leaving you to find the way out all on your lonesome - Adam


Fup By Jim Dodge Cover Image
$5.95
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780933944046
Published: City Miner Books - January 1st, 1987

A piece of Southern fiction set in Northern California (!), "FUP" mainly takes place in the 99th year of Kentuckian Jake Santee's life, whose household also includes a young mountain-man grandson and a 20-pound duck named Fup. Yes, Fup Duck. Part yarn, part fable, part tall-tale, part stumper (what an ending!) - this is an always funny and often crass little miracle of a book. - - Adam


October Light: Novel By John Gardner Cover Image
$14.95
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780811216371
Published: New Directions - October 17th, 2005

Here, in one of Garnder's first novels, domestic warfare between 2 spirited, overl opinionated senior citizens -- brother and sister -- brings chaos to their community of friends and family. Gardner's story says much about that vital tension at the heart of American line -- the conflict between tradition and progressivism -- and about the difficult business of pushing beyond this conflict to find a place where one cant stand, secure and untroubled beneath the haunted, holy light that comes with an autumn in the Land of the Free!
- Adam


Lessons in Essence: A Novel By Dana Standridge Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593761097
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Counterpoint - April 24th, 2006

Even if Dana weren't a co-worker here at Third Place I'd still see similarities between this and favorite books by Kazuo Ishiguro, Shusaku Endo and Ivan Klima. Lessons is an eloquent novel of mounting desperation, occasional eroticism, intense inwardness, and a crisis of cultural identity occurring while Teacher Li's Taiwan continues to hang suspended tenuously between China and the West. Imbued with a richly perceptive voice and engrossing tension.
- Adam


The Wanting Seed By Anthony Burgess Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780393315080
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - December 17th, 1996

Burgess' talent for rhythmic prose & the "novel of ideas" makes, here, for a farcical dystopian story with tremendous narrative momentum and dark humor, a book that will suggest associations with "Brave New World" and "Dr. Strangelove." On one hand it has the patina of "old Sci-Fi," on the other hand Burgess was well ahead of his time on topics such as carbon footprint mania.- Adam


Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis By Michael Ward Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9780199738700
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - May 12th, 2010

Sure, I thought, maybe there's some fuzzy little thread of ancient and medieval cosmology stuff running through the Narnia books. Then I read the first chapters of Ward's book and had the rug ripped out from beneath me. I've been reading the Narnia series since I was a kid, over and over - how can it be that there was a whole other level (another galaxy)of meaning there that I'd missed? But it most certainly is there. - Adam


The Dog of the South: A Novel By Charles Portis Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781585679317
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: The Overlook Press - June 5th, 2007

When young slacker and military-history aficionado Ray Midge has his wife and Ford Torino stolen by his best friend, he heads south of the border determined, whatever the cost, to get that car back! A modern country-cousin to "The Odyssey," this redneck quest novel was a revelation... never before had I realized that redneck humor was so full of dry wit and could be just as hilarious as Wodehouse or Douglas Adams. - Adam