Simon Menner’s incredible new book TOP SECRET: IMAGES FROM THE STASI ARCHIVE more or less has it all: blurred out faces, men sporting fake mustaches, and weird Stasi selfies. It is both disturbing and humorous, informative and aesthetically fascinating. It also demonstrates that, when awkwardly attempting to blend in with average citizens, Stasi agents looked a lot like your average Logan Square-dwelling hipster.
"And yet love, which is selfishness in duplicate, sacrifices everything for itself, exists on lies."
We played host to a Small Press Night for local book people (and some that were in town for MLA) so that some amazing small presses could enchant us with their amazing books. It worked! Charmed.The people (from top to bottom):The dashing Nick During from NYRB CLASSICSThe darling Jeff Waxman, from OTHER PRESS.The dynamic Patrick Thomas from MILKWEED EDITIONSThe dapper Declan Spring from NEW DIRECTIONThe dauntless Jeremy M. Davies from DALKEY ARCHIVE PRESSAnd The distinctive Chad Post from OPEN LETTER BOOKS
Hey thanks Unabridged for being such excellent hosts the other night! We think we speak for all attendees in saying that there are some really exciting titles coming at you from ALL of these presses. Check their sites & come running for the books on our shelves.
Scenes from last night’s spectacular TALES FROM THE PUNCH BOWL at the Punch House in Pilsen. We heard from poets Russ Woods & Daniela Olszewska as well as novelist Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon. We listened, laughed, and mingled. We drank potent punch. We walked through a doorway concealed with a bookshelf to get to the event space. We plan on doing this again.
Best of/year end lists: OUT
Previews/teasers/OMG I CAN’T WAIT FORs: IN
OP matchbook, made by Lauren Reese of @citylit_books
& Other Stories makes books that scream to be displayed, so here are a few looking good in our small press shrine. Treat yourself:
A mittened salute to fellow Chiberia-dwellers Curbside Splendor! This shelf of our small press shrine is dedicated to them. If you haven’t checked out their stuff, you really, really should:
Straight outta Columbus, it’s Two Dollar Radio. Their books are too loud to ignore, so of course they’ve got a shelf in our small press shrine. Tune in, take a listen:
More from the small press shrine, this time featuring Portland, OR’s Tin House. Confession: we’re obsessed! And so can you:
Small press shrine part deux: we pay homage to NYRB Classics. See those dangling pieces of paper? Those are staff recommendations. But don’t take our word for it:
We made a small press shrine. Here, we salute Open Letter and their ever-growing brigade of literary translations. Get your hands on these guys (we ship internationally, FYI):
Do you all have cabin fever yet? Break out of your igloos Thursday and head to Punch House for the first ever TALES FROM THE PUNCHBOWL, featuring drinks (I hear they have hot punch…) and great literature via some of our favorite small presses, Curbside Splendor Publishing and Two Dollar Radio. This is something you really, really don’t want to miss, so we’ll make sure to remind you over the next few days, too.
One of our booksellers, Jeff Waxman, is working his last shift at the store today (seems the weather is making the argument for him to stay: proven by the slushy window display of some of Jeff’s favorite staff recs, handsells, and what-have-you).
Jeff has worked here in some capacity for the last 6 years and in that time has handsold hundreds of books, invented 5 or 6 different ice cream floats (yeah, we have float days over the summer; it’s a hard life), and affected the store in countless ways.
He’s been a phenomenal bookseller, a great coworker, and a good friend. We will miss him (you’re very lucky to get him Other Press), but his staff recs and his influence on his coworkers and the customers that sought him out will remain.
Goodbye…for now, Jeff.
Happy New Years from 57th St Books! We know January can be a bit of a downer, what with the holidays over and -50 windchills around the corner, but at least we have British crime & costume dramas to keep us afloat! In honor of the return of Downton Abbey & Sherlock this month, we put together a window display of related literature, from a “downstairs” history of England to a collection of Victorian crime writing featuring female protagonists. Find a complete list of titles here: http://www.semcoop.com/sherlock-holmesdownton-abbey-0