Nina Simone as captured by Alfred Wertheimer, December 1964.
Life in the bookstore...such as it is.
Rumors have it at night the store turns into a submarine. We have yet to establish documentary proof.
Sounding like a Rust Belt Don DeLillo - complete with abundant deadpan surreality - and conjuring images reminiscent of the weirdest Harmony Karine film, this anti-coming of age novel is not for the faint of heart. If, however, you’re looking for proof that American literature is not stale or dying or dead, or if you’re holding out hope that radically new voices are out there waiting to be heard, then read this book. After all, don’t you want to be able to say, one day, that you read Jeff Jackson before everyone else did?
When people talk about Chicago, their eyes light up and no matter where they’re from or what language they speak, they always seem to say the same names: Al Capone. Michael Jordan. Barack Obama. Cabrini Green. Some people might remember pizza or Oprah or the damned Cubs, but the silhouettes of this city’s housing projects still loom large for out-of-towners driving past the still-empty lots that millions of black Chicagoans have called home since 1940. In High Rise Stories, Audrey Petty gives voice to twelve of the people who lived in these projects in an approachable, personal oral history format. Their stories offer a vastly different picture of life in the projects than decades of sensationalist news stories and the depiction here is buttressed by essays and comments from well-regarded scholars like Alex Kotlowitz, Larry Vale, and Brad Hunt. This isn’t just one of the best new books about the city, but one of the best works of first-person history I’ve ever read.
- Jeff Waxman
Let’s be clear shall we?
American Dream Machine is many things: a multi-generational tale; a fable of becoming and unbecoming and becoming again; a story of power and the myriad ways it shapes you and the world you inhabit; a brilliantly conceived and accomplished novel. It is also the closest thing to the Great American Novel I’ve encountered in some time. This isn’t just one of my picks for “Best of the Year,” it’s also firmly in my pantheon of “must reads.” I’ll be handselling it forever, so you might as well pick it up before I force it into your hands.
Just so we’re clear.
Pie charts, and bar graphs, and flow charts, oh my! This cheeky look at the actual graphics used in graphic novels is a great compilation of wit, eye-catching visuals, and meticulous breakdowns. It’s got a great handle on the whos, whats, whens, wheres (but never really whys) of the multiverses of my favorite vigilante superheros. The fact that this book even exists pleases the overly-curious, hyper-organizational, I-Really-Wish-I-Could-Draw-But-Can’t-So-I’ll-Drool-Over-Other-People’s-Work streak in me. Naturally.
Well folks, here they are: our 20 Best of 2013. All books on this list are 20% off from today (11/30) through 12/31. For your wishlist-making and gift-buying convenience, books are displayed in our front window, along the back wall, and listed online!
Terry Eagleton thinks he has Booker Prize potential. Rob Sheffield says that lines from his book deserve to be carved on tombstones. He didn’t recognize Tom Hanks. And he’ll be on our shelves next Tuesday.
Morrissey. Autobiography. 12/3/13.
Oh and he pairs well with Peanuts, too.