Bookseller at Lake Forest Park
Willing to talk about any book under the sun, Espresso Book Machine operator Vlad loves to read YA, Sci-Fi and Fantasy. With his interest in art and design, he is a treasure trove of graphic novel and comic book recommendations. In Vlad's spare time, he is the proud owner of a bunny suit and is guilty of a co-dependent relationship with mayonnaise.
The title of this book belies the wide-ranging concepts Manaugh covers as he explores the relationships between architecture, cities, criminals, and technology. Deeply fascinating and eye-opening. You'll see your environment in new ways.
In vivid, precise prose Dutten brings to life the turbulent world and vibrant mind of Margaret Cavendish, lady, writer, philosopher. Cavendish was an endlessly curious woman trapped in an era where women were rarely more than property. She struggled against the age, and in becoming a writer, challenged and changed the world. Utterly charming, richly envisioned. One of my favorite books of recent memory.
Winslow's Narco-epic spans several decades of the "War Against Drugs." It's gripping and brutal and an indictment of the USA's drug policy. Most of the novel - from characters to events - are based on reality, fictionalizing the harrowing back and forth between exasperated law enforcement and highly advanced and brutal drug cartels. "Power of the Dog" will keep you reading late into the night.
Reknown for his short stories and translation, Ken Liu's novel debut is a rich and vibrant recasting of the Chinese history (the Han Dynasty) told in the fantastical tone of Wuxia (Kung-Fu historical cinema) and classic literature like Journey to the West and Romance of the Three Kingdoms. A must!
Spanning centuries and continents, Mitchell's latest is the culmination of a writely trajectory that began with Ghostwritten. "Bone Clocks" is high on narrative ambition - spectacular even - but as usual, it's the minutae, the character moments and ruminations that carry this epic.
Waking up with the Devil in your apartment can be quite a shock. The good news: he made fresh coffee. The bad news: he's offering you a deal. And that's not even the weirdest part of Billy Ridgeway's day. Bushnell's novel is a comedic exploration of modern life's facebooktwitterness and hipster habitualness, morality, ineptitude, dreams, and desires deferred. Billy's world is filled with warlocks, werewolves, demons and gods, literary feuds, and a rather reasonable guy named Lucifer. Smart, hilarious, knowing, The Weirdness is shades of Good Omens with a dash of The Big Lebowski and Bored to Death.
Saunders is one of the best short story writers on the planet. This collection showcases his emotional range--whimsy, satire, deep and subtle tragedy--distilled, pared down to great effect.
Who needs post-apocalypse lit when you have 14th-century France during the Black Plague? A dishonored knight, a young girl who claims to see angels and demons, and a priest with a secret travel through a landscape of hysteria, disease, and violence. All the while the War in Heaven begins to manifest on earth. Evocative of place, beautifully written, and genuinely creepy in parts. One of the best books of 2012.
Here's a hefty, immersive, multifaceted novel--one that will remind you of that time you flew through one of Stephen King's epics. Bennett's skill and ease with his story and its cross-genre subject matter make for addictive reading. Meet Mona, and the mysterious town, Wink, that is more than it appears... Excellent!
Marco Polo and Kulai Khan sit sipping tea, enjoying the evening. Then Khan asks Polo about the places he has been to and this sets off a novel about memory, architecture, philosophy, the very nature of existence. This is a truly beautiful awe-inspiring work of the imagination. Read it!
When I read this book I was not a baseball fan--didn't understand the allure. But after reading this WWII-set novel, I finally understood what it means to fans. A wonderful coming-of-age novel with dashes of the "Frankenstein" myth, Brittle Innings is a must for baseball fans (or not).
Whether you grew up with the comics, or just recently watched The Avengers movie, Marvel Comics permeates our pop-culture fabric. Sean Howe's tremendous book describes the company's founding, its creative and business highs and lows, and manages to retain its humanity in such a large scale retelling. A GREAT BOOK, not just for comic book fans.
This book drifts seamlessly from memoir, to science, to culture and history. Stone talks about his failure as an amateur magician and his efforts to get back into the community--a community with personalities as fascinating and magical as the tricks they performed. Excellent!!
This dazzling, superbly written debut combines the best of techno-thriller and the fantastic to create a story that is at once very relevant and timely, and yet harkens back to the past. Modern and ancient Egypt and the Middle East transition perfectly in Wilson's hands--one of the best books of 2012!
Tom Bissell is a brilliant essayist--insightful, honest, and broad-ranging. Try it.
This glorious mutt of a novel draws from many genres and is written with such humor and panache it would make P.G. Wodehouse and Douglas Adams jealous. Aging superspies; doomsday weapons; criminal underworld and one hapless clockmaker; a sinister cabal of scientist-monks; and madman bent on conquering life itself; and a cavalcade of memorable characters! A must!
Curious about the new John Carter movie? Well this book collects the first 3 novels of this classic sci-fi series exclusively printed by Third Place Press with cover art by our Cover Art Competition winner!
Grant is the kind of travel writer who packs half his backpack with books related to the journey he's taking. In this book he chronicles his own attempts to journey through Africa, while exploring the historical record of colonial travelers and finding new ways to look at modern Africa.
This dazzling debut has been the talk of the booksellers for the past six months. THE NIGHT CIRCUS bursts at the seams with an array of fantastical imagery and characters. Morgenstern is a capable ringmaster of words and magic. You should read this book. Now!
This is the most stimulating and vibrant book about the history, myth, and meaning of comic books. Part memoir, analysis, and spirited riff, "Supergods" is funny and eye-opening. If you love comic books and how they relate to the human experience you have to read this!
You're the last of your kind and you've lived a long time, done everything. What reason is there to exist if you know the world is hunting you? Duncan writes a wonderfully compelling protagonist moving through a complex, surveillance-rich world. This book defies expectations: imagine if John Le Carre had written a werewolf novel and you get The Last Werewolf. Highly recommended.
A LINGUISTIC-SF-ALIEN-CONTACT-THRILLER!! No, really, who knew that one would literally hang on every word; or figuratively even. An awesome, brainy book!
A bounty of wordplay and surprises await the reader who dives into this clever fantasy. Un Lun Dun takes an 'Alice in Wonderland' approach to urban existence--the cast-off, discarded and obsolete come to life in this alternate (un)London. Full of exotic locales and characters, and a genuinely endearing heroine, Mieville's book is endlessly inventive fun, and even manages to convey an ecological message.
Angelica is a delightful puzzle of a book. Prismatic in nature, the narrative shifts subtly to examine what, at first glance, appears to be a haunting, but quickly reveals itself to be something more disturbing. Phillips explores genres, the social mores of Victorian London, the supernatural, and the nature of memory to produce a novel that, while set in the past, proves to be profoundly modern.
A unique piece of literature: a werewolf novel written in verse (think "The Iliad" meets "American Werewolf in London") that surpasses genre & creates a brutal, stirring, philosophical story where our humanity is reflected back at us through these desperate, ruthless, primal characters. Truly, one of my favorite books of 2008!
Local author Priest, who has carefully and quietly published a steady stream of high-quality fantasy/horror books, turns on the nitroglycerin (or in this case, the steam) for this rollicking historical SF (aka Steampunk). Read it! I am! And besides, how can you pass up a book with quotes from both Warren Ellis & Mike Mignola?
Coming back round to his "King Rat" roots, Mieville's book is all urban sprawl, doomsday cults, truly weird magic and science and wonderfully vivid characters. There's a glut of "urban fantasy" around, but you ain't seen it done like this. This book kicks ass, once again crosses genres, and - did I mention squids?
The Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico are to this day a highly lawless and dangerous region due to drug trafficking, decades-old feuds and desperate poverty. If you want a sense of the Old West alive and well in the modern age - look no further than this jaw-dropping, insightful and darkly humorous book. Amazing!
Hot on the heels of the remarkable award-winning "Arrival," Tan's delightfully weird and poignant take on suburban living firmly cements his reputation as a gifted storyteller and artist. Tan's books are for the young and old, to be revisited time after time. A new book by Shaun Tan is always a joyous occasion.
I believe that everyone--be they adult or child--should own at leastone picture book. The Arrival is that one book. In style and substance it defies simple classification: it has the narrative thread of graphic novels; the technical precision of fine art; the wonder & whimsy inherent in kid's books. But like Tan's previous books (gorgeous, surreal children's stories), there exists deeper layers of visual and emotional meaning--The Arrival warrants continual revisiting; like a stroll through your favorite park at different times of the year, you'll always find something new to spark the imagination.
Grant, a Brit-expat and drifter himself, brings amazing candor and insight to the topic of American's 'mobile millions' - whether they be train-hopping hobos, RV enthusiasts, motorcycle gangs, truckers, what have you. I myself love to plant my roots deep, but this book is enjoyable and enlightening about an urge I've always been curious about...
A sumptuous historical novel set in 18th century Japan. Mitchell explores the clash of cultures with a delicate hand, he evokes the austerity and brutality of an era, and he shows us the quiet few (Japanese and Dutch) who sense that their world has begun to change. A wonderfully immersing book - lose yourself in it for days!
Bissell explores video game culture through the lens of a gamer, writer and sociologist. Rather than get lost in too much detail, Bissell carefully writes abut a handful of games (and their designers) that changed the industry and the way video games "tell" stories. Whether you're a hard-core gamer, or just curious about what motivates them, this intriguing and accessible book is a must!
Crosley's sophomore collection of essays finds her more nuanced, aware, and deeper. There's a generous humor that permeates her narratives, whether it's a bear encounter in Alaska, smuggling in Paris, furniture haggling in NYC, or childhood rivalries. This book reveals a writer of tremendous talent worth your time.