Search form

Staff Picks by Tag

Staff Pick Badge
An Ideal Presence Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781735297309
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Fern Books - September 7th, 2021

The inaugural publication from Fern Books, AN IDEAL PRESENCE is a book about death, dying, care, and the cold logistics of it all. A work of fiction by an OuLiPian with the fatal energy of Alice Oswald's Memorial, I was as amazed by this polyphonic novel as I was humbled by its reverence for the profession of caregiving in our often unremarkable final hours. An instant favorite.


Review by Spencer R.

Staff Pick Badge
Out of the Cage Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781646050451
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - March 9th, 2021

Our ill-fated narrator is Aurora Berro, who dies in the novel’s opening pages when a vinyl record, screaming across the sky like a “demented boomerang,” slices her jugular in unspectacular fashion. What ensues is a nightmare of vaudevillian overtones and magnificent solitude (think Carmen Boullosa meets Jon Fosse meets Marx Brothers). Out of the Cage made me feel uneasy in my skin, uneasy about the fact of my birth, and suddenly unsure of how my mother really felt about me.


Review by Spencer R.

Staff Pick Badge
Seasonal Associate (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents) Cover Image
By Heike Geissler, Kevin Vennemann (Afterword by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781635900361
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Semiotext(e) - December 4th, 2018

When Geissler's narrator, a writer and translator, is unable to afford a life on freelance wages, she takes up a seasonal position at an Amazon fulfillment center. As a prose writer, Geissler is like a German Valeria Luiselli or Sheila Heti; like no other book I've read, she makes the humiliations of wage labor unavoidably clear. Read this if you've ever purchased a book from Amazon (or a shower curtain, or anything really). This book is not a journalist's hit piece on the megacorporation—it's a nightmare, an intellectual life subdued, a novel full of nuance and dread worthy of Kafka.


Review by Spencer R.

Staff Pick Badge
The Wind That Lays Waste: A Novel Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781555978457
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - July 9th, 2019

Selva Almada's novel lasts only a moment but echoes across deserts. She treats the subject of God with an honesty both skeptical and earnest. In this sharp translation by Chris Andrews, Almado is one of those mysterious debuts who has eschewed naivety, achieving perfect mood.


Review by Spencer R.

Staff Pick Badge
No Longer Human Cover Image
By Osamu Dazai, Donald Keene (Translated by)
$14.95
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780811204811
Published: New Directions - January 17th, 1973

From the legendary Japenese author Osamu Dazai, father of Yuko Tsushima, comes this miserable book, hardly a novel at all, a book about extreme alienation and cruelty that somehow perfectly describes the discomfort and obscurity of coming of age.


Review by Spencer R.

Staff Pick Badge
Elemental: Earth Stories Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781949641110
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Two Lines Press - March 9th, 2021

These authors filled my imagination with textures and tales I thought I could only experience through extensive travel, and such beautiful prose and dreamlike destinations took my breath away. But most of all, these stories made it clear that all over the world we are asking the same questions: Can we still truly be at home with these earthly elements? Were we ever? And even if we can, will we jointly survive long enough to do so? And the only response I could come up  with was to read the collection again, finding solace and wisdom in the convergence of such diverse works. 


Review by Katelynn

Staff Pick Badge
Comemadre Cover Image
By Roque Larraquy, Heather Cleary (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895156
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Coffee House Press - July 10th, 2018

At a sanatorium just outside Buenos Aires, where patients are living out their last days, Dr. Quintana and his colleagues have signed up to participate in a medical research project, which concerns the minutes just after death. They just need a few volunteers. An excellent translation of a horror novel, which is also darkly funny.


Review by Mark B.

Staff Pick Badge
Satania Cover Image
By Fabien Vehlmann, Kerascoet (Illustrator)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781681121437
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: NBM Publishing - November 15th, 2017

Look, I cannot even begin to describe the fleshy gloriousness that is this book. Please...just dive in. 


Review by Dean