Wesley

Wes is one of Third Place’s used book buyers and takes care of the Sociology and True Crime sections. Rather unreliable where biographical details are concerned, we deferred to people who know Wes better than he knows himself:

"Prudish in genre flexibility." Matthew Stearns, author of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation (33 1/3)

 

"Could be the Don Rickles of [his] generation." Logan Fox, Shakespeare & Company

 

"I don't know what [he] is capable of." Christine Calvo, Digital Asset Management Associate, TIME Magazine

 

What Belongs to You: A Novel Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780374288228
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - January 19th, 2016

Greenwell's first novel is rhapsodic - a sophisticated tale that peers into the contiguous relationship between our desires and our loneliness. Like James Baldwin or Edmund White's best, the novel's tone is astoundingly elegant, its urbanity and quietude brought into sharp focus when considering how gratuitous the narrative could seem if written by a less refined writer.


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Confessions Cover Image
By Kanae Minato, Stephen Snyder (Translated by)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316200929
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mulholland Books - August 19th, 2014

For better or worse, I am a self-declared book snob and rarely dabble in contemporary genre fiction. Finishing a Tana French or Gillian French nove lhas inspired little more than a drowsy "egh," but Confessions might be a watershed read. Its delightfully macabre plot, contemptible characters and artfully placed twists had me practically ripping out each page to get to the next. -Wes

 


The Longest Night Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812997743
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Random House - January 12th, 2016

Absorbing, engrossingly pure storytelling. Deftly paced with handsomely drawn characters and moments of sharp humor, it is an elegant calling card for Williams with admirable narrative backbone and full of promise.                  


After the Parade: A Novel Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781476790107
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Scribner - September 22nd, 2015

It is all too rare that a book lives up to the promise of its blurbs but Ostlund's novel is a welcome exception, far exceeding the cover's lavish praise. A bravura performance, it is a deeply moving novel full of rich emotion and humanity.


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All My Puny Sorrows Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781940450711
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: McSweeney's - July 28th, 2015

Suicide and depression, those oft-choked nuggets of contemporary literature, are a tricky terrain — but one Toews handles deftly. The ache and anger of the people left to witness and endure are not wrought darkly but with honesty and precision, tempered with the shocks of humor and relief we experience when confronted by life's inevitable finality, self-inflicted or not. -Wesley


Refund: Stories Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781619024557
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Counterpoint LLC - January 13th, 2015

In each of these wonderfully offbeat stories, a mundane life is turned on its ear by a jarring, left-field occurrence. A series of increasingly aggressive (and annoying) requests for the titular refund from a subletter, a marriage's flaws brought into focus after the family cat's vocal proclamation of love for only one of its owners, and a kitchen kept kosher by floor to ceiling aluminum foil are only a few of the imaginative spoils found in this collection.


Eileen: A Novel Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781594206627
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Press - August 18th, 2015

A pretty wild departure from her debut (but equally excellent) novella McGlue, Eileen is a gut-wrenching journey with one of the most intriguing antiheroes I've ever encountered. Darker, complex interior lives of seedy characters are Moshfegh's stock-in-trade but that murkiness shouldn't dissuade potential readers. It is a fearless, compulsively readable novel that reads as if it's on fire.


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It's a Slippery Slope Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780374525231
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 30th, 1997

His performances are the stuff of legend, his tireless effort to get to the root of the self a thing of unparalleled beauty. Here, a late-onset, inexplicable obsession with skiing is used as a jumping-off point to shake out the pockets of a mid-life crisis. Gray was genuinely a national treasure and his trademark precision and sophistication are sublimely realized here.


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Eve's Hollywood Cover Image
By Eve Babitz, Holly Brubach (Introduction by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781590178904
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: NYRB Classics - October 6th, 2015

Eve's Hollywood, cruelly out of print for four decades or some equally ridiculous length of time, is categorized as fiction but could just as easily be used as a travel guide to a bygone L.A. or possibly a user's guide to life. Effortlessly witty and armed to the teeth with an inimitable style, Babitz is in a class by herself.


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Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555975180
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - February 3rd, 2009

Exploring prejudice and its impact on identity, both personally and on a larger anthropological scale, Biss's essay collection towers over its contemporaries. Her focus seamlessly shifts between the subjective experience and historical actuality with powerful insights that cut to the quick with jaw-dropping grace. Such command and lyrical force are an undulterated pleasure - a pleasure to be read slowly, then passed on to every reader you know. -Wes


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Truck: On Rebuilding a Worn-Out Pickup and Other Post-Technological Adventures Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780874517552
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: University Press of New England - April 1996

Finding myself inexplicably drawn to an old hardcover edition of this when it crossed the used counter, I have been in its thrall completely, reading as slowly and carefully as possible. Maybe it's nostalgia for my father's 1971 Chevy (which still runs beautifully), maybe it's Jerome's plaintive simplicity. At the end of the day, though, whatever it is I found so beguiling from the outset has paid off richly. An unfussy but ambiguously complex meditation. -Wes


A Little Life: A Novel Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780385539258
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Doubleday - March 10th, 2015

A remarkable work of fiction, Yanagihara's novel demands full attention--not an easy undertaking with such brutal, emotionally abrasive subject matter. The characters are so human, so fully realized, that I wept openly in parts. It may not be what everyone would consider praise but to employ mind and body, to react viscerally, is not something I experience often. And it is the only book I've read that left me feeling I am a better person having done so. -Wesley


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The Quick and the Dead (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780375727641
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - January 8th, 2002

Long before George Saunders and Karen Russell introduced literary weirdness to the reading public at large, Williams was writing satisfyingly elliptical and witchy stories and novels. -Wesley


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In the Country of Last Things Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140097054
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - May 2nd, 1988

Auster's second novel is the most ill-fitting in his body of work but also one of his more enjoyable. In an unnamed city, Auster's protagonist struggles to overcome increasinlgy difficult (possibly dystopian?) hurdles. It is a fully realized feat of imagination that takes hold of the reader from page one and absolutely refuses to let go. -Wes


The Folded Clock: A Diary Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385538985
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Doubleday Books - April 7th, 2015

The first book-length work of nonfiction by Julavits, an accomplished novelist and editor, is an absolute triumph. A two year diary, pieced together here out of chronological order, The Folded Clock is an elegant and wry exercise is self-reflection, occasional accusation, and compassion. Julavits perfectly captures the ongoing process of becoming one's self, the impossibility of fully doing so, and the nascent pleasures of the undertaking. -Wesley


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What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781476785059
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Scribner - March 24th, 2015

Safekeeping, Abigail Thomas's first memoir, has been my foolproof back pocket recommendation for the fussiest of readers for over a decade, and a follow-up that is as deeply felt and elegant is very much a publication to celebrate. 

Her work's subtlety is arresting; her wisdom truly astonishing. -Wesley 


Man v. Nature Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062333100
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Harper - October 7th, 2014

Situationally fantastic but emotionally familiar, every story in  Man v. Nature is top-drawer. Dystopian landscapes, sexual anarchy, and vividly real antagonists (especially in "It's Coming" and the title story) all create a rambunctious energy, making the collection utterly unique and an inimitable joy to read. -Wesley


The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374280444
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 18th, 2014

It's been well over ten years since Daum's last collection of essays, and while the long wait was painful at times, all is forgiven now that she's back. A little Fran Lebowitz, a little Nora Ephron, she is a writer of great warmth with a caustic optimism I deeply admire. -Wesley


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The Essential Ellen Willis Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780816681211
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Univ Of Minnesota Press - May 2014

"I find I can't keep myself from playing roles. The emotionless decadent, looking for diversion from boredom, is a favorite. Corny, but it works by my criteria: maximum pleasure, minimum anxiety." An overwhelming, ebullient genius. -Wesley


Outline: A Novel (Outline Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374228347
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - January 13th, 2015

The thin line between fact and fabrication in an individual's memory is a rich territory to mine and one custom-made for Cusk's adroit prose. 

January is probably too early to call it one of the year's best novels, but it's just that good.  -Wesley


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And Sons: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812984354
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 27th, 2014

Gilbert draws upon the biographical mythologies of Vonnegut, Pynchon, and Salinger to create an intricate and moving tale about the familial bonds between. Atmospheric and engrossing, it is not to be missed. -Wesley


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A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Jonestown Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781416596400
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Free Press - November 13th, 2012

Scheeres's account of the Jonestown Massacre breathes humanity into a ghastly piece of American history that, sadly, is little more than a punchline today. Meticulously researched and written with a sympathy that doesn't betray its journalistic intentions. -Wesley


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Fools Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780393348897
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 14th, 2014

For years, Joan Silber has been quietly building a body of work far warmer and more generous than her contemporaries. Criminally overlooked, she deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Ann Patchett or Colum McCann. -Wesley


The Patrick Melrose Novels: Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, and Mother's Milk Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780312429966
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Picador USA - January 31st, 2012

The stunning lyrical precision of these four short novels is what garnered enormous critical praise upon publication but it is the emotional profundity that has stayed with me over the years. Examining the darkest corners of family and interior life with humor and grace, St. Aubyn is a modern master. -Wesley


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The Last Animal Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781619024373
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Counterpoint LLC - October 14th, 2014

The first few stories made such a strong impression that I could not shut up about them, really bugling the hell out of one in particular. Geni's correlative thread is fascinating and subtle--a truly unique debut. -Wesley


Love Me Back Cover Image
$23.95
ISBN: 9780385538077
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Doubleday Books - September 16th, 2014

Solid, assured prose elevates this novel to a level you don't expect. Quite dark at times, it is not for the faint of heart but the author deftly reveals the interior life of a woman adrift that is surprisingly rewarding. -Wesley


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Mary Coin: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780142180785
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Plume - February 25th, 2014

With Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" as inspiration, Silver has created an affecting novel that examines the lasting impressions a work of art can have on all involved: artist, subject, and observer. -Wesley


There Must Be Some Mistake: A Novel Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780316231244
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 7th, 2014

Barthelme's unique blend of unassuming prose and flip, wise-cracking dialogue never gets old for me. His work fits seamlessly alongside Carver, Beattie, and the other usual suspects who are (reluctantly) described as minimalists. -Wesley


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I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780816677740
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Univ Of Minnesota Press - March 2014

A former editor for Wired, culture and media critic Mark Dery is a fitting successor to Mailer's throne and worthy of any Didion devotee. It's hard to say if it is his rapid-fire humor or often mind-blowing lyricism and insight that makes this collection so enjoyable. -Wesley


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The Woman Upstairs (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307743763
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - February 4th, 2014

The realization that we have already become the person we are going to be is a difficult one and a personal reckoning Messud captures with admirable restraint and elegance. -Wesley


Mermaids in Paradise Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393245622
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 3rd, 2014

Impossible to pigeonhole, Millet has been amassing an impressive body of work that employs satire and heartbreak in equal measure. While always sharp and inventive, she really goes for broke here. A fantastic blend of modern snark and old-fashioned broad comedy. -Wesley


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Snapper (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780345803368
Availability: May not be available. Please call (206) 366-3333 for info.
Published: Vintage - March 11th, 2014

Admirable in its ease and subtlety, I'm hard-pressed to name another debut in recent memory as poignant as this. The charm is evident from page one and only gathers strength throughout. -Wesley


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A Guide to Being Born: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594632686
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 6th, 2014

Ausubel's stories are the drunk uncle at Thanksgiving: attention-grabbing, amusing, casually insightful. The suspension of disbelief is a tough undertaking for me but plausibility never even factored in given the author's storytelling sophistication. No matter how fantastic the conceit, the stories are full of such emotional authenticity and their underlying points dressed so beautifully, the collection is an undeniable pleasure.