Things You Should Know About

Staff Pick: Old Filth by Jane Gardam

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Funny and touching, a very British portrait of a widower and his frenemy-turned-neighbor. Sir Edward Feathers, aka "Old Filth," Retired Solicitor and former "Raj Orphan," is an utterly original creation. This is the first book in a trilogy. Lucky you.

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: Gutshot by Amelia Gray

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These stories will unsettle you. Gray revels in the grotesque, absurd and visceral, testing the reader's mettle as she goes. In one story, a woman makes love to a shack as her decrepit mother watches. In another, a father and son spend weeks carving up a whale heart that appears in their living room. More than merely grisly, this collection is imbued with wit and humor that make for an engaging--if bizarre--read.

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

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Some might call this novel’s overarching impetus naiveté, but the story brims with the charming clarity of a young woman’s heart, its emotions uncensored and unadulterated. From its dismal, urban start to its daring, oft-cited conclusion, only some kind of faith in true love – or maybe just a simple taste for Sapphic intrigue – will bear the reader along the psychosomatic tumult of this book’s story.

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye

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In the cut-throat world of 1845 NYC, a disfigured cop finds a girl running through the street in a blood-soaked nightgown. What follows is the mad hunt for a serial killer through the city’s underbelly, involving gangs of urchins, a manipulative madame, and ruthless politicians. Faye’s riveting plot is matched only by the beautiful language she weaves from the colorful diction of 19th century NYC.

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From the publisher:

1845: New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two events will change New York City forever.

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Staff Pick: The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

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In the centuries-long human quest to brew or distill a stiff drink from whatever ingredients our ancestors could get their hands on, some fruits, grains, flowers, and trees have emerged as the superstars of flavor and inebriation.

This is their story – with cocktail recipes!

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: The Revolution Was Televised by Alan Sepinwall

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The best TV dramas of the last 15 years, from Buffy to Breaking Bad, didn’t just have great stories and strong creative personalities behind them; they had a financial and technological redefinition of what television is to help them succeed.

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From the publisher: 

A phenomenal account, newly updated, of how twelve innovative television dramas transformed the medium and the culture at large, featuring Sepinwall's take on the finales of Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

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Staff Pick: Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara

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John O’Hara’s first novel was the Prohibition-era story of an a-hole’s downward spiral to destruction. If The Great Gatsby had been written for a pulp magazine, it might’ve come out something like this….

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: A Voyage to the Island of the Articoles by Andre Maurois

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On an isolated island, society is divided into a strict caste of artists (Articoles) and the workers who revere them (Béos). Maurois offers a wry look at the process of creation and the perils of forsaking reality in the pursuit of art.

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From the publisher: 

A couple becomes shipwrecked on an island of literary zealots, a place where every subject/feeling deserves expression. Sound familiar? Turtle Point, $12.00

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Staff Pick: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee

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Perhaps the finest prose of the 20th century.

Sample pages 41-42.

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Staff Pick: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison

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Road trip! Perfect summer reading – flat out funny, full of quirky characters, and laced with a deeper poignancy than your average beach book.

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From the publisher: 

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