We can get behind a good bit of this.
Devil in the Flesh
by Raymond Radiguet via Melville House
A tale of reckless youth, love during wartime, & living fast & dying young; this is some killer nihilism right here. Raymond Radiguet was a disciple (and possible lover) of Cocteau, a friend of Hemingway & Picasso, and a Rimbaud-like enfant terrible, who himself engaged in an adolescent affair with the wife of an absent soldier - much like the one depicted in this novel - before dying of typhoid at 20. Here, he looks back with hard-boiled honesty on the selfishness & recklessness, the sadism & masochism of his liaison dangereuse, all against the backdrop of WWI and its attendant international violence and moral anarchy. Powerful, sexy, & disturbing.
No Regrets: Three Discussions
ed. Dayna Tortorici
When this book arrived in our store Tom turned to me and said, “This might be your new favorite book.” He was right, this short collection of interviews brings together women to discuss the books they’ve read and the regrets they have, or don’t.
Focusing on what they read in their college years and early twenties, these women are asked to think about regrets they might have now, pressure they felt to read iconic works, and what they think they should have been reading. This book changed how I regard both what I read and myself. Since reading this book I’ve vowed to read with no regrets.
All the librarians at this party are coming over to pay homage to the active card catalog of the Mutter Museum.
Hyde Parkers rejoice!
For Melville House publishes novellas that fit in your pocket while you wait for the ever so fickle six bus.
For they also bring the works of obscure authors to life in beautiful, affordable, paperback editions that look pretty sexy on your shelf.
For they are an independent press with a valiant mission.
Ol’ Mel…I love thee
Read more about all these titles here: http://www.semcoop.com/melville-house-presents-neversink-library-art-novella
Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano; Book One of the Interment Chronicles
What I love most about this series so far is how subtle it is. Other stories are so very in your face, gritty, and uncomfortable. But this one, not so. The way the story is plotted and they type of language used is so lovely, you almost can feel see yourself living on Internment in a sort of fairytale dream. But pay attention, and stay sharp because life on Interment is not as enchanted as King Furlow would have his subjects believe. Once Morgan Stockhour finds out the truth, both she and you will quickly realize living in Internment is like looking at Hell through frosted glass.
Book two, Burning Kingdoms, is due out…at an inconclusive date [muffled sobbing]
It’s cold. Warm up your kitchen with a little help from some of these winter comfort food cookbooks, and the many more on our shelves.
So I’ve already made a staff rec in-store about this series, but it’s just so good, I can’t help repeating myself.
The Gentlemen Bastard Series by Scott Lynch
You want sharp wit? It’s got sharp wit. You want gang wars? It’s got gang wars. You want to see fake priests steal from the rich, but not give to the poor as a silent ‘up yours’ to the Powers That Be? Hey, it’s got that too. The Lies of Locke Lamora, the first book of the series, is the beginning of one of the few gems in the fantasy genre that tears you through the well-written plot, while leaving you unsure of why you’re actually okay with any of it. Ah, moral ambiguity, who knew it could be so much fun??
by Richard Siken
These poems feel like Shakespeare’s sonnets fused with the Clash. His obsessive and reckless love is almost upsetting but always strangely beautiful. Siken is overbearing in his tortured adoration of various people and objects yet his infatuate writings endear.Crush redefined, for me,
what modern poetry
We have been frantically wrapping galleys to give you anyone who buys a book that has been recommended by our staff. Come discover two new books at once…winning
57th Street thinks Melville House is really really ridiculously good-looking…and just good…and…well…there’s a lot of love for ol’ mel
(from OTHER PRESS)
by Irmgard Keun
Keun masterfully tells the story of day to day life in 1930s Berlin through the voice of Doris a young, party-hard, bad decision making woman willing to do anything to make it. Follow her through crummy jobs, shitty apartments, faked orgasms, and bad hangovers with the occasional Nazi thrown in. Doris spews unfiltered truths that reveal much more than just the life she’s living. Filtered through her naivety she speaks to much larger ideas about feminism and what it meant to be successful as a woman.
by Marek Hlasko
(part of the NEVERSINK LIBRARY from Melville House)
The drunken ferocity with which this dystopic critique of Poland’s communist party regime was written is gripping. Hlasko is pissed off. His rage permeates the clean prose of this fable-like account of what happens to an individual living with an oppressive government he helped to create. The protagonist is no Winston from 1984, Franciszek is a loyalist whose commitment is relentless. At every turn he clings to an old self who hasn’t made a costly mistake. He truly internalizes the aspersions thrown his way, making his sensitivity his greatest weakness when facing a hostile mass. While reading I kept thinking back to the day I proudly cast a vote for our current leadership and the sick feeling I get every time I hear of wrongful detainment, and endlessly delayed trials for people who have done nothing. Franciszek is arrested for one arrant comment while drunk, quickly loses his party card, then becomes outcast. We like to think of ourselves as being immune to such mistreatment but his story is our own.
This is a powerful book.
I drank a glass of beer once, but I will never drink another one again. Where will it lead? To noble endeavors? Certainly not.
—Robert Walser, A Schoolboy’s Diary, “Fritz Kocher’s Essays”
Photo submitted by pattyyumicottrell.tumblr.com
As inveterate consumers of caffeinated beverages and nyrb classics alike, we wholeheartedly endorse this project.
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.