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November 2021: Matt

Matt Riedl was born before time itself; musician and songwriter by trade, book person for love! Probably should have grown up by now; no longer feels that compulsion.

Animal by Lisa Taddeo

Captivatingly violent and funny. One of the best unreliable narrators I’ve ever read, as well. Kept me reading and guessing furiously. Constantly taboo-testing, this comes highly recommended.

The Every by Dave Eggers

Doubly—quadruply!—horrifying because it’s so kinetically true. It’s a thriller, to be sure, but the nasty implications of a panopticon society brutally run by social media, sales giants, MBAs, and cruel wonks hang over this nonetheless entertaining novel like thick gray clouds.

The Collected Stories of Diane Williams by Diane Williams

A very fat book of very tiny experimental stories. Some will make immediate sense to you. Others will reveal their meaning as you remember reading them. Some will never make any sense but are filled with an indescribable vitality and joy of creation, very poetic and still blunt.

Everybody Had an Ocean by William McKeen

Some of this has been covered elsewhere but not in such depth. Adding to what’s already an excellent encapsulation of the history of 60s California music, McKeen traces the intricate machinations of Charles Manson, singer/songwriter, trying to weasel and worm his way into the industry. Remarkable effort, and a good read.

The Glassy Burning Floor of Hell by Brian Evenson

Brian Evenson hits the sweet and terrifying “scary spot” so easily and so often. I can still mistake each story for a fluke, though, and be amazed each time (can't I?). His writing is cold indeed, so very precise and scientific, so spare. Each story is a tiny masterpiece, he just floors me. It's not possible to be better than his previous Song for the Unraveling of the World—my firm belief—but this is its equal in many ways: often not of this Earth at all. More, please, sooner.

No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

Beautiful and fragmented, a novel most definitely written by a poet! It will confuse you, no doubt—it lost me in spots—but the flow pulled me through. I want to say it’s about humanity’s perseverance through and beyond The Singularity, but that would ring glib and flat in comparison to the writing in this oddly uplifting book.

Antoni: Let’s Do Dinner by Antoni Porowski

Plain old gorgeous cookbook here, come and get it. For ease of recipe, simple ingredients, and appealing presentation, you just won’t find much better. Kitchen tested by my wife Katie and me!

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

I’ve heard tell that some were depressed by this. OK, sure, sometimes John Green ends up talking about how we’re doing ourselves and the planet in. Hey, life’s rich tapestry! In these essays (which tie themselves together like vines), he also lays out how great we are and can be: our achievements, our disappointments, our survival instinct itself. Some of these were quite specific and funny, reminded me of things I’d long forgotten. The whole thing left me in a weird giddy fog.

Hallucinations from Hell by Gregg Turner

Really funny, and not for the weak of constitution. I bought this because I read Creem Magazine as a teenager, and Gregg Turner made me guffaw. Also, because he was in one of the stupidest, most offensive, and best punk bands ever, The Angry Samoans. I was dismayed to find that he barely mentions either of those pastimes, rather favoring tales of his years as a math professor (yes), his encounter with Hunter S. Thompson (whoa), all manner of absurd critique—and finally, some really disgusting true stories from a life of observation. Good writing!

The New York Times Cooking No-Recipe Recipes by Sam Stinton

It’s easy because the ingredients are all listed; it’s you because you know what you like. That sounds too easy, but it’s not. The point of these non-recipes is that complicated and fussy recipes mandating what must be in them are a sure bet to drive folks away. These are to-the-point and come together in a fun way—I’ve made a whole bunch of them myself. Look through it and see!

Staff Pick Badge
Animal: A Novel By Lisa Taddeo Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982122126
Availability: Ships from warehouse to store in 3-6 business days
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - June 8th, 2021

From Lisa Taddeo, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon Three Women, comes an “intoxicating” (Entertainment Weekly), “fearless” (Los Angeles Times), and “explosive” (People) novel about “what happens when women are pushed beyond the brink, and what comes after the reckoning” (Esquire

The Every By Dave Eggers Cover Image
May not be available - email or call for information
ISBN: 9781952119361
Published: McSweeney's Publishing - October 5th, 2021

This title is available exclusively through independent bookstores and the book’s independent, nonprofit publisher, McSweeney’s. When the world’s largest search engine/social media company, the Circle, merges with the planet’s dominant e-commerce site, it creates the richest and most dangerous–and, oddly enough, most beloved–monopoly ever known: the Every.

The Collected Stories of Diane Williams By Diane Williams, Ben Marcus (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Diane Williams, Ben Marcus (Introduction by)
May not be available - email or call for information
ISBN: 9781616959852
Published: Soho Press - September 10th, 2019

With over three hundred new and previously published short stories as well as three novellas, The Collected Stories of Diane Williams brings together distilled works of “unsettling brilliance” (Vanity Fair) that have rewritten the rules of American short fiction.

From Ben Marcus’ introduction to The Collected Stories of Diane Williams:

Everybody Had an Ocean: Music and Mayhem in 1960s Los Angeles By William McKeen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641605717
Availability: Ships from warehouse to store in 3-6 business days
Published: Chicago Review Press - September 7th, 2021

"Excellent social history...an indispensable account of a time of beauty and terror." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

A modern epic of the battles between innocence and cynicism, joy and terror

Los Angeles in the 1960s gave the world some of the greatest music in rock ’n’ roll history: “California Dreamin’” by the M

The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell By Brian Evenson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566896115
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Coffee House Press - August 3rd, 2021

"Here is how monstrous humans are."

Staff Pick Badge
No One Is Talking About This: A Novel By Patricia Lockwood Cover Image
May not be available - email or call for information
ISBN: 9780593189580
Published: Riverhead Books - February 16th, 2021


Antoni: Let's Do Dinner By Antoni Porowski Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358395324
Availability: Ships from warehouse to store in 3-6 business days
Published: Harvest - September 14th, 2021

In the follow-up to his New York Times bestseller Antoni in the Kitchen, Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski shares exuberantly easy dinners for every night of the week

Let’s Do Dinner is an invitation into Antoni’s easy kitchen. Dinner with Antoni means satisfying meals full of clean protein and loads of vegetables, with splurges of c

The Anthropocene Reviewed (Signed Edition): Essays on a Human-Centered Planet By John Green Cover Image
May not be available - email or call for information
ISBN: 9780525555216
Published: Dutton - May 18th, 2021

Goodreads Choice winner for Nonfiction 2021 and instant #1 bestseller! A deeply moving collection of personal essays from John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down.

“The perfect book for right now.” –People

Hallucinations from Hell: Confessions of an Angry Samoan By Gregg H. Turner, Gary Panter (Illustrator), Mindy Turner (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Gregg H. Turner, Gary Panter (Illustrator), Mindy Turner (Illustrator)
May not be available - email or call for information
ISBN: 9781644282205
Published: Rare Bird Books - August 10th, 2021

The Angry Samoans are a hugely influential punk band Gregg Turner was a founding member of in 1978In 2021, much of the Angry Samoans discography will be re-releasedWhen live events resume, Gregg Turner will be touring with his band The Oblivians to help promote the book and the albumsFeatures art by Gary Panter, who designed sets for Pee-wee's Playhouse and won a Klein award for his cartoon

The New York Times Cooking No-Recipe Recipes: [A Cookbook] By Sam Sifton Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984858474
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Ten Speed Press - March 16th, 2021

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The debut cookbook from the popular New York Times website and mobile app NYT Cooking, featuring 100 vividly photographed no-recipe recipes to make weeknight cooking more inspired and delicious—featuring a convenient flexibound format.
ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: Vanity Fair, Time Out, Salon, Publishers Weekly

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