General

The man who isn’t there

We live in an age when vacuum-headed nonentities become celebrated simply by allowing their personal lives to be exploited on television and smeared over the front pages of every trashy tabloid in the country.

Greta (“I want to be alone.”) Garbo would be more bewildering than fascinating to the public today. Why, for God’s sake, would anyone not want to be famous?

Movie director Stanislas Cordova doesn't like being famous. Cordova makes Stanley Kubrick look like a party animal. He haunts the pages of Marisha Pessl’s excessive new literary thriller, Night Film as the constant presence who is never there. The indistinct figure in the blurred photograph might be him. The man in the backseat of the car resembled what he probably looks like. The general consensus is that he isn't dead, but no one knows for sure. (READ MORE)

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Night Film: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812979787
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - July 1st, 2014

Illusion of Separateness Simon Van Booy

A few months ago the bookstore received an Advance Readers Copy of Simon Van Booy’s newest book, The Illusion of Separateness. Fights broke out among several booksellers and, by some miracle, I was the second bookseller to get ahold of it (I swear I never threw a single punch). I read it in one sitting, as many of us did, not only because I couldn't put it down, but because putting it down mid-story, thus disrupting the flow, would have been a crime. A terrible, unspeakable crime.

The Illusion of Separateness is an intimate look at the tiny choices that connect us all. Readers get the story of multiple characters that are all seemingly connected in the present day through events that began during the Second World War. Each chapter is written with a different voice, telling the story of a fully-realized character that you can't help but empathize with. (READ MORE)

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The Illusion of Separateness: A Novel Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062248459
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Published: Harper Perennial - July 29th, 2014

If Orson could do it

There is a big difference between a bad movie and a boring one. I would rather sit through Plan 9 from Outer Space three times than have to endure Out of Africa once more. Until recently, Plan 9, directed by Ed Wood, the acknowledged DeMille of cinematic debris, has often been cited as the worst film ever made. Its pedigree for the honor is impressive if only for the pie plate flying saucers and the abrupt disappearance of its titular star, Bela Lugosi, who mercifully died before the movie was finished.

There is a kind of perverse grandeur to a really bad movie, like gazing in awe upon the blackened skeleton of the Hindenburg as it lay on the ground. If you want to invest a bad film with grandeur, then you have to cede a certain nobility to its creators. And using that debatable premise, then Tommy Wiseau should be a candidate for sainthood. (READ MORE)

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The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476730400
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Published: Simon & Schuster - October 7th, 2014

Stephen King’s house of horrors

Joyland will probably be remembered as a minor entry in Stephen King’s impressive collection of books, but even minor (not to be confused with second-rate) King is more addictively readable than most contemporary authors. The new novel, released in paperback, doesn't have the epic sweep of Under the Dome or the intricate structure of 11-22-63, but Joyland is not unlike hopping on to one of the rides at the amusement park in North Carolina where most of the book is set. You just hold on and wait for the thrills.

The novel is part murder mystery, part ghost story. It has many of the elements that have become Mr. King’s literary trademarks over the years: a small town setting, a sympathetic child (who shares Danny Torrance’s gift for shining), an array of colorful secondary characters, a mascot of sorts -- in this case, Howie the Happy Hound -- and a particularly vicious murderer on the prowl. (READ MORE)

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Joyland Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781781162644
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Published: Hard Case Crime - June 4th, 2013

Judge a book by its cover. Right now.

I do it.  I do it all the time.  Show me a book cover and I'll tell you how likely I am to enjoy it.  I know "they" say it shouldn't be done, but I'm here to tell you "they" are wrong.  Here's why:

1. Publishers chose great covers:
Why? Because they've been at it and they know what they're doing.  For example, Vanessa Farquharson hated the cover of her book, Sleeping Naked is Green.  But I like it.  It's funny.  It represents the book well, which is also funny.   Writers write and publishers market.  So go marketing team, you sold me a book.  See, not all marketing is bad.

Political books often feature a photo of the author on the cover.  That's because publishers know that the readers who are going to pick that book up are doing it because they recognize the author and may want to read what they have to say.  Many of those authors may not have chosen to put themselves on the covers (or maybe they would.  Ugh, politicians). (READ MORE)

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1984 Cover Image
By George Orwell, Erich Fromm (Afterword by)
$9.99
ISBN: 9780451524935
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Published: Signet -

Gulp by Mary Roach

Mary Roach’s books have been on my to-read list for a long time. However, when your job depends on knowing what’s new and great, reading an author’s backlist can be difficult to find time for. Naturally, when Roach’s newest book came out, I jumped at the chance to finally make time for this intriguing writer.  Right now I’m kicking myself for not having read her other titles sooner. Everything they say about Mary Roach is true. She’s exactly what a great science author should be: easy to understand, incredibly interesting, and outrageously hilarious. Outrageously.

In a way, I’m glad I waited. Gulp is the perfect follow-up to Salt, Sugar, Fat; It details some of the science that Moss hinted at. Gulp is a scientific exploration of digestion, from start (the nose) to finish, (the toilet). It may sound as though the book could be disgusting, but I assure you, it isn't. Roach makes her intentions clear from the start: she wants to fascinate the reader, not cause disgust (much). In this, she achieves her goal. From the first chapter I was completely engrossed, but never grossed-out. (READ MORE)

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Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393348743
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 1st, 2014

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