Staff Picks - Todd

 
Lover of literary fiction and creative nonfiction. Hiker, backpacker, and travel bug-bitten daydreamer. Fearless photographer and daredevil grub-maker in the kitchen. An intrepid experimentalist in the art of making up nonsense songs. The guy who will cross the busiest intersection in town just to pet a cute dog. A great big dork, pretty much.
 

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Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don't Learn Them from Movies Anymore) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501130458
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 14th, 2016

A highly entertaining stroll down memory lane, albeit with a serious message: contemporary Hollywood takes far fewer risks than it did only a few decades ago. It's a wildly fun, snarky read, but with an activist's heart, tackling racism, sexism, and other -isms with wit and passion.--Todd


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M Train Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101910160
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - August 23rd, 2016

Exquisitely rambling and lyrical, dreamlike prose peppers this elegiac mediation on the pursuit of a meaningful life through art. Fueled by endless mugs of black coffee and musings on creative obsessions, it feels like less of a memoir and more like a series of leisurely cafe chit-chats...and it's time well-spent.--Todd


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The Green Road Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393352801
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 3rd, 2016

An absorbing tale of the Madigan family of rural County Clare, Ireland-- four adult siblings, all struggling to come to terms with the their never-satisfied mother. As always, Enright's portrayal of the knotted complications of family love is pitch-perfect, and her prose manages to be both lyrical and sharp as freshly-buffed blades. --Todd


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Saturday Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781400076192
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - April 11th, 2006

A "day in the life" yarn in the purest sense of the word: McEwan's masterful account of a neurosurgeon's rather eventful 24 hours dazzles with frightening clarity and smart, fluid prose. Considered a weighty commentary on the post-9/11 world when it was released over a decade ago, it remains a potent mirror to a very anxious modern society.--Todd


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The Children of Men Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307275431
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books USA - May 16th, 2006

Dystopian novels are a dime a dozen at this point, but for me this one is a true standout, offering a savage take on alienation and estrangement in an uncaring world. Beautifully bleak and meticulously-plotted, it all feels so chillingly convincing...which makes it all the more disturbing.--Todd


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Invisible Men Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781944853020
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Outpost19 - September 2016

A heady mix of hilarity and heartbreak, Freeze's stories forge a gloriously odd, wonderfully unpredictable journey into landscapes of loss, disappearances, and regret-- think Rick Moody with a sprinkle or two of George Saunders. Whip-smart, affecting stuff. --Todd


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The Orphan Master's Son Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812982626
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - August 7th, 2012

A hideously beautiful, chilling triumph of imagination-- part thriller, part dystopian nightmare, part love story, rendered with both a mammoth sense of heart and a flair for terrifying detail. Unforgettable storytelling, addictive even in its most somber of moments. --Todd


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The Complete Stories Cover Image
By Flannery O'Connor, Robert Giroux (Introduction by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780374515362
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Noonday Press - January 1971

No hyperbole here-- O'Connor gave us some of the most potent, penetrating fiction of the past century. Bizarre, bare-knuckled prose that unsettles and provokes, her short stories are simply dazzling in their mastery of tragedy and irony. Darkness never felt so beautiful. --Todd


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Giovanni's Room Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780345806567
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - September 12th, 2013

A moving and exquisitely-tangled tale of death and desire, delivered with immeasurable sensitivity and pitch-perfect detail. How Baldwin was ever able to distill so much passion and warts-and-all authenticity into this slim little volume might always remain one of life's greatest mysteries....A vital, brutally-honest masterwork. --Todd


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The Illusion of Separateness Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062248459
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - July 29th, 2014

I've always been a sucker for cross-generational tales of intertwined lives and the unexpected glues which hold them together, but sometimes they sadly feel contrived. Not so with Van Booy's dazzling story of random acts of kindness and mercy and their unexpected ramifications; this is a restrained, poetic message brimming with love and wonder. --Todd


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Under the Volcano Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780061120152
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - April 10th, 2007

Simultaneously horrific and blindingly beautiful, Lowry's masterwork of alcoholic annihilation-- set against the backdrop of the Day of the Dead in Mexico-- charges along with frightening intensity and wild-eyed, feverish delivery. Highly challenging, yes, and occasionally uncomfortable, but definitely worth it. --Todd


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The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780316715973
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - July 2002

Gritty, bloody-knuckled snapshots of broken households and lonely souls in rural Appalachia-- these studies of the long-term effects of grinding poverty were written with keen psychological insight and an occasionally surprising tenderness. Vivid, evocative language, too. --Todd


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Wanderlust: A History of Walking Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780140286014
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 2001

 Ah, I do love a good meander, and exquisite essayist Solnit leads us on a great number of lovely ones in this collection of meditations on the best way of keeping the feet busy. Drawing from a wowing range of inspirations and disciplines, this savvy cultural history quite often tickles the noggin in delightfully unexpected ways. --Todd


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Fantastic Night: Tales of Longing and Liberation Cover Image
By Stefan Zweig, Anthea Bell (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781782271482
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pushkin Press - May 5th, 2015

Tales of Longing and Liberation, by Stefan Zweig. True mastery of the short story form-- Zweig's delicately-nuanced, pitch-perfect explorations into heartbreak and exile wield a quiet but mighty power. Gorgeous writing with an enormous heart and a tremendous amount of psychological insight. Fun fact: Zweig delivered a eulogy at Sigmund Freud's funeral; the two were friends and mutual admirers. --Todd


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Another Country Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780679744719
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - December 1992

A raw, bloody, teeth-baring powerhouse of a novel-- Baldwin spares us no punches in his desperate vision of post-war New York and the boozing, swinging, quarreling cast of artists and dreamers at the story's core. Bubbling and boiling away with racial, sexual, and socioeconomic tensions, there's a white-hot current of relentlessness that, frankly, makes this pretty much unputdownable. --Todd