Abe

The classics, modernism, postmodernism, and  satire  of all stripes  are good bets, but any book with lively language and interesting ideas interests him. He also enjoys non-fiction, particularly psychology, philosophy, and science. 


 


 

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Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780618871711
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - June 2007

This is an incredible literary comic about the twinned relationships of a daughter and her father. Must read!
As touching as it is well written. (Memoir)
 


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Montauk Cover Image
By Max Frisch, Goeffrey Skelton (Translator), Jonathan Dee (Introduction by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941040249
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tin House Books - April 16th, 2016

You know those subtle feelings and thoughts that you've never beem able to describe in wordds? Max Frisch captures all of them in the purest prose possible. (In this book he said he set out to describe the events within without any embelishments. He succeeded.) What could have been a short romance novella of a famous author and his younger romantic interest instead becomes an ode to memory, love, melancholy, and the moment-to-moment experience of a life well lived.


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Crucial Interventions: An Illustrated Treatise on the Principles & Practice of Nineteenth-Century Surgery Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780500518106
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Thames & Hudson - November 23rd, 2015

Crazy beautiful - and morbid - catalogue of 19th century medical practices and knowledge of anatomy. Some of this stuff has to be seen to be believed! Equal parts Art/History/Science/Horror.


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The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060839789
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - July 5th, 2005

History, linguistics, biography, general interest - this is for anyone who loves knowledge and a crazy story. As the Oxford English Dictionary is being produced over 70 years, a madman (delusions, murder, manic depressive) sits painting in his cell in Bethlehem insane asylum. The tale is in the telling, but long story short this psychopath contributed 10,000 definitions to the OED! 


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Moby-Dick Cover Image
$5.95
ISBN: 9780553213119
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam Classics - February 1st, 1981

This isn't half as hard as you've heard! Poetry, encyclopedia, adventure, and madness - this really is the American Bible. But no one ever tells you Melville is the wisest and most humane writer of English since Shakespeare. Worth reading for Captain Ahab's soliloquies alone, this book is for all peoples for all time. 


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Ulysses Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780679722762
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Books USA - June 16th, 1990

Forget all you've heard about this allegedly "unreadable" book. It is more beautiful in its humane portrayal of Dublin over the course of one day and says more about life than almost any other book. It also has the most likeable and fully realized man - Leopold Bloom - in all of literature. Yes, it is hard, but so is life. It took me 2 months of unemployed all day reading to read this and I'll read it for the rest of my life.


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The Changing Light at Sandover Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780375711749
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Alfred A. Knopf - August 2nd, 2011

Absolutely unlike anything I have ever read in my entire life, this 500-page tripartite poem deals with life, death, domesticity, cosmic history and everything in between. Communications between James Merrill and his partner David Jackson end up placing them in contact with Ephraim, a low level soul stranded in post-death bureacracy...and what they find will utterly blow your your mind beautifully. Read this and be awed.


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Strange Bodies Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250062260
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - June 2nd, 2015

This one makes you think and entertains in equal measure.A literary thriller for people who read older classics and claim they dont like mysteries. (Like me.) An English professor has come back from the dead, or at least a body claims he is Dr. Nicholas Slopen, along with Dr. Samuel Johnson. Are they who they say they are...what is a soul....and as for the Russians? Makes you think and entertains in equal measure.


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The Dig Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781566893930
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Coffee House Press - April 7th, 2015

Short gripping pitch-black dark read about a cruel badger hunter a grieving farmer who cross paths. As they say, the journey is more important than the destination. Fans of Cormac McCarthy will dig this one.


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Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision o Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062315410
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - October 27th, 2015

*Holiday 2015  Recommendation*

Until very recently I was skeptical that nonfiction could have the same thought-provoking and aesthetic qualities literature has. I stand corrected. Instead of a simple cultural overview or history, Pacific is composed of 10 telling events that reveal the importance of the Pacific from ocean, pole to pole, from Asia to the Americas to Australia, past to future. Page by page, sentence by sentence, this informative, beautifully written, moral work is fascinating.

 


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Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307744258
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - February 3rd, 2015

*Holiday 2015  Recommendation*

As Shakespeare wrote: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” After reading this, I think I agree. Max Tegmark, with his quirky examples and clear language, takes the reader on a truly cosmic trip from the beginning of the universe, to present day, and beyond into some mind boggling theoretical physics. If you are remotely interested in space, cosmology, physics, or The Big Question, I’d say you’ll enjoy this. And if you read it we can can debate whether the universe is a mathematical structure and whether we are just expressions of mathematic principles through physics...fun stuff!
 


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The Collected Poems: The Corrected Edition Cover Image
By Wallace Stevens, John N. Serio (Editor), Chris Beyers (Editor)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781101911686
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - August 18th, 2015

*Holiday 2015  Recommendation*

I didn't read poetry for a long time because I 'couldn't get into it.' What a mistake! On any level you could measure, linguistic, aesthetic, formal, emotional, creative, you name it, his work is powerful, and will stick with you. Genius this pure– and readable– is a rare miracle.

 


 


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Purity Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374239213
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 1st, 2015

*Holiday 2015  Recommendation*

This globe-trotting novel full of characters who love and hate with abandon is the ever-hated Franzen at his most fun. 20-something Purity ‘Pip’ Tyler, the titular heroine, just wants to find out who her father is, and pay off her 130K in student loan debts. Along the way she’ll become involved in mysteries parental, personal, and political. Shockingly, the deepest and most believable character is Purity, a girl all of 24!
 


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Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780061339202
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - July 2008

*Holiday 2015 Recommendation*

This renowned psychologist claims he has it all figured out. People are happiest when in a state of “flow”– essentially passionate involvement in an activity. This isn’t typical pop-psych, or self-help. I can say from personal experience that reading this will actually help you be happier and more engaged day-by-day.


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The Folly Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780914671374
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Archipelago Books - September 22nd, 2015

*Holiday 2015 Recommendation*

Mr. and Mrs. Malgas live a contented, if bland, life until a stranger sets up shop in the abandoned lot next door. When he begins building… something… from detritus and scraps, the frailty of the Malgas’ (and our) assumptions of those around us begins to show. This absolutely brilliant parable can be read on many different levels. 

 


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Under Tiberius Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316405669
Availability: Special Order
Published: Little Brown and Company - August 4th, 2015

In this unique retelling of the New Testament the Divine is made a little--OK, a lot--more human. Disgraced speech writer Gaius Fulvius Falconus finds a two-bit Jewish thief, but sees great promise, thus cometh Christ. A buddy tale, a black comedy, an adventure, historical fiction, this lyrical 'memoir' is funny, profane, wise, and undoubtedly offensive to certain persons.

P.S. The prologue is a framing story where Nick Tosches discovers the manuscript that is this book. Honestly, if that part doesn't work for you, you can skip to the actual 'memoirs' of Gaius, the speechwriter who writes 'Under Tiberius.'


Cancer Ward Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780374511999
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - November 1991

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The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781400096237
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - March 6th, 2012

We live in the information age, so we're told. What does this mean exactly? This wideranging and very informed guide covers pre-tribal drum patterns to analysis of digital noise today. Very cool book that encapsulates our modern age.


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Corrections Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780312421274
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - August 27th, 2002

Spot on satirical look at the suburban malaise in us all refracted through a family trying to get together for Christmas. Each section told from a different POV. For fans of domestic fiction, voice, and the midwest.


A Confederacy of Dunces Cover Image
By John Kennedy Toole, Walker Percy (Foreword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802130204
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - January 21st, 1994

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Lolita Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780679723165
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Books USA - March 13th, 1989

You've probably heard what it's about, and may be turned off by the concept of an erudite pedophile kidnapping his prepubescent step daughter and abusing her, but to avoid this book for its subject matter would be a mistake. The inimitable Vladimir Nabokov's poetic prose is in full-effect. This is one of the most beautiful books ever written in English. More than a story of a heinous crime, its a love letter to America, and the English language. 6 stars out of 5.


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Infinite Jest Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780316066525
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - November 13th, 2006

A sprawling tragicomic postmodern masterpice that captures the sadness and hope of entertainment and addiction within the USA. There are three main threads in this tangled tapestry: an elite boston tennis academy, down the hill from them is a rehab house, and north, in Canada, are terrorists attempting to locate the titular videotape, which if watched renders the watcher catatonic. If this sounds zany, well, it is, but it is also a work of genius with a lot to say about how we live. Somehow it's more than the sum of its 1000+ pages.


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The Room Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780804139984
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hogarth Press - February 17th, 2015

For anyone who has ever worked in an office. A new employee  at a modern office finds a rather unusual way to get his work done. His coworkers become quite displeased. To say more would ruin the story. File under: Social Satire, Novella, Kafkaesque, Strange But Entertaining.


The Sellout Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374260507
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 3rd, 2015

Absolutely profane, hilarious, and occasionally profound satire of race relations in the U.S. A black man in the agrarian town of Dickens--think Compton, with horses--is charged in the Supreme Court with owning a slave and resegregating the town. The main character is a sociologist (and a comic, whether he'll admit it, or not) and as such the pages are fulll of humorous asides and spot-on character assasinations. You'll know within 5 pages or so if you want to keep reading, and if so, strap in.


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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781400032716
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - May 18th, 2004

This book is perfect for ages 15 to 100! A lot of people claim that a book is beloved by anyone who reads it, but I truly don't know a person who didn't like this novel. An autistic boy takes it upon himself to  solve the mystery of who killed his neighbor's dog, and along the way learns so much more. The narrator is believable, and the diagrams he occasionally draws never detract from the story. It could be classified as young adult, or an easy adult read, but what its classified as doesn't matter because it is just flat-out a great book.