Brett's Staff Picks

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The Sellout: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250083258
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - March 1st, 2016

Beatty is one of the first and few writers whose works make me literally laugh out loud. That Beatty is also an accomplished poet, and "The Sellout" is also filled with lush, velvet passages that evoke the senses as much as they do the funny bone is an unexpected gilding. That this book is also one of the most trenchant, arresting and precise books about racial conditions in this country that I've read? That makes "The Sellout" something else entirely. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cry because you're laughing, then you'll laugh some more.


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What We See When We Read Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780804171632
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - August 5th, 2014

As one of the lead design directors for Alfred A. Knopf, Peter Mendelsun knows how to judge a book both by its cover and its contents. Part graphic novel, part semiotics explorations, part a pure, evocative demonstration of the very concepts and "feeling' of reading that Mendlesun is contemplating, this book is one of the coolest, funnest experiences I've had reading, and has informed the way (and increased the amount of fun) I have read ever since.


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Home Land: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780312424183
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - December 9th, 2004

Bear with me: the last thing any reader needs right now is another single-person invective from another white male writer. But that's precisely how good this book is; even if it were bad for me, I'd keep reading this thing. It's not only one of the well-crafted comic novels I've read since Confederacy of Dunces, but it also manages to pull off a send-up of their entire "genre" of white male confessionals, lampooning the form while it transcends it. Utterly worth it, and also a great companion to any more "intense" books.


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Milkman: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450000
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - December 4th, 2018

Set during the Troubles of 1970s Northern Ireland, this book is a quiet whirlwind. Stylistically, it has to be one of the most innovative books of recent memory. Sentences elide in legato before suddenly tumbling over one another into a tangle, or being vivisected by the glottal brogue and the nearly-overflowing anxieties of the characters. And it is the characters themselves who explain the need for Burns' formal experimentations; quickly drawn, granted only to the reader as well as to the fellow characters' in glances, every member of this novel is given a false name, or an indirect assignation as one of the requisities to staying alive in a bottle war. Milkman reads like a dream that has pierced reality, leaving you less certain but more appreciative of both.