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March 2021: Alex

Alex has been working in the bookselling world for almost three years. He relocated to Raleigh from Asheville near the start of the pandemic and therefore has little sense of what the city is really like, but he's enjoying it to the extent that he can. When he isn’t selling books, he writes, walks his dachshund/yorkie mix, and plays saxophone in a band called Space Heater. 

Winning the Green New Deal by Varshini Prakash and Guido Girgenti

Here is an excellent collection of writings by those on the front lines in the fight for climate justice, and it warrants urgent reading.

Postcapitalist Desire by Mark Fisher

The late Mark Fisher was among the most important political voices of the past two decades for his incisive analysis of “capitalist realism,” i.e., the idea that there’s no viable economic alternative to capitalism. Fisher spent his career challenging this dubious claim, and his writings/lectures are invaluable for contemplating what a postcapitalist future might look like. This posthumously published book collects a series of lectures given shortly before his death.

Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber

Bullshit Jobs is an essential read for anyone even mildly interested in labor relations and the economy and what can be done to improve them to work toward a more equitable and just society. The late David Graeber makes the bold claim that a vast swathe of the global economy is saturated with jobs that ultimately do not need to exist. He makes a compelling argument that we are overworked, and that our understanding of labor needs to be revisited and reformed.

Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

Russian writer Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky was virtually unknown in his time (1887-1950), which is a shame, because his writing is fiercely experimental, gripping, and immersed in an unreality that’s difficult to find elsewhere. These short stories are exceedingly bizarre, a postmodernist foray into Krzhizhanovsky’s imagination long before postmodernism was even a tradition.

Against the Web by Michael Brooks

The late Michael Brooks looks at the rise of the alt-right and explains how “Dark Web faux-intellectuals” like Jordan Peterson seduce young men into conscripting themselves into radical groups like the Proud Boys. He also offers critiques of the left and its inability to answer the spread of propaganda on the right.

Against Amazon and Other Essays by Jorge Carrion

The titular essay focuses on that anathema-to-democracy company that has been the bane of independent booksellers for years, but this collection is more broadly a love letter to the printed word and the spaces/communities that enable its distribution. Corrosive effects of late capitalism aside, this book is wonderful for anyone with a penchant for literature, travel, and/or bookstores.

New Dark Age by James Bridle

A deeply illuminating read about the internet, rise of the network, and the environmental and political landscapes in which they exist. Bridle explores mass surveillance, social media, AI, and other technologies and argues that, instead of the utopian vision tech-apologists offer, the network that now dominates human life is pushing us further and further into the dark.

It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track by Ian Penman

Brilliant essays from one of the preeminent music journalists of our time. Penman writes about music as it should be written about—as a sociocultural phenomenon that extends far beyond the sound itself. Even if you don’t care about the artists here (Parker, Prince, Steely Dan), you would do well to read it anyway, if only for Penman’s masterful use of language and critical perspective.

Uncle Tom’s Children by Richard Wright

This collection of novellas was Richard Wright’s first book, published in 1938. Set in the Deep South during the post-slavery era, these stories of racial oppression, violence, and survival are at once powerful, illuminating, and devastating. 

The Foreign Student by Susan Choi

Susan Choi’s (recent winner of the National Book Award) debut novel chronicles the experiences of a war-torn young Korean man at a small college in the American South. It’s a story of love, trauma, and salvation that explores both the fissures and overlaps between different cultures and pasts.

Winning the Green New Deal: Why We Must, How We Can By Varshini Prakash, Guido Girgenti Cover Image
May not be available - email or call for information
ISBN: 9781982142438
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 25th, 2020

An urgent and definitive collection of essays from leaders and experts championing the Green New Deal—and a detailed playbook for how we can win it—including contributions by leading activists and progressive writers like Varshini Prakash, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Bill McKibben, Rev William Barber II, and more.

Postcapitalist Desire: The Final Lectures By Mark Fisher, Matt Colquhoun (Editor) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781913462482
Availability: Ships from warehouse to store in 3-6 business days
Published: Repeater - January 12th, 2021

A collection of transcripts from Mark Fisher's final series of lectures at Goldsmiths, University of London, in late 2016.

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Bullshit Jobs: A Theory By David Graeber Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501143335
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 7th, 2019

From David Graeber, the bestselling author of The Dawn of Everything and Debt—“a master of opening up thought and stimulating debate” (Slate)—a powerful argument against the rise of meaningless, unfulfilling jobs…and their consequences.

Does your job make a meaningful contribution to the world?

Autobiography of a Corpse By Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, Joanne Turnbull (Translated by), Adam Thirlwell (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, Joanne Turnbull (Translated by), Adam Thirlwell (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781590176702
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: NYRB Classics - December 3rd, 2013

An NYRB Classics Original

Winner of the  2014 PEN Translation Prize

Winner of the 2014 Read Russia Prize

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Against the Web: A Cosmopolitan Answer to the New Right By Michael Brooks Cover Image
ISBN: 9781789042306
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Zero Books - April 24th, 2020

"A brilliant critique of the Right with very sharp insight on some of the shortcomings of the Left, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to understand how dishonest actors spread their propaganda." Ana Kasparian, Host and Executive Producer of The Young TurksMichael Brooks takes on the new "Intellectual Dark Web." As the host of The Michael Brooks Show and co-host of the Majority Report, Br

Against Amazon: And Other Essays (Biblioasis International Translation #30) By Jorge Carrión, Peter Bush (Translator) Cover Image
By Jorge Carrión, Peter Bush (Translator)
ISBN: 9781771963039
Availability: Ships from warehouse to store in 3-6 business days
Published: Biblioasis - November 17th, 2020


New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future By James Bridle Cover Image
ISBN: 9781786635488
Availability: Ships from warehouse to store in 3-6 business days
Published: Verso - May 21st, 2019

New Dark Age is among the most unsettling and illuminating books I’ve read about the Internet, which is to say that it is among the most unsettling and illuminating books I’ve read about contemporary life.”  – New Yorker

It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track: Objects & Essays, 2012-2018 By Ian Penman Cover Image
May not be available - email or call for information
ISBN: 9781910695876
Published: Fitzcarraldo Editions - November 19th, 2019

When all else fails, when our compass is broken, there is one thing some of us have come to rely on: music really can give us a sense of something like home. With It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track, legendary music critic Ian Penman reaches for a vanished moment in musical history when cultures collided and a certain kind of cross-generational and 'cross-colour' awareness was born.

Uncle Tom's Children: Novellas By Richard Wright Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061450204
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - January 10th, 2023

"I found these stories both heartening. . . and terrifying as the expression of a racial hatred that has never ceased to grow and gets no chance to die." —Malcolm Cowley, The New Republic

Richard Wright's powerful collection of novellas set in the American Deep South

The Foreign Student: A Novel By Susan Choi Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060929275
Availability: Ships from warehouse to store in 3-6 business days
Published: Harper Perennial - September 21st, 2004

"This wonderful hybrid of a novel--a love story, a war story, a novel of manners--introduces a writer of enchanting gifts, a beautiful heart wedded to a beautiful imagination. How else does Susan Choi so fully inhabit characters from disparate backgrounds, with such brilliant wit and insight?

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