Criticism

Lost Time

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Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp Cover Image
By Jozef Czapski, Eric Karpeles (Translated by), Eric Karpeles (Introduction by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781681372587
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: NYRB Classics - November 6th, 2018

 

One of the most beautiful statements on the power of reading I’ve ever read. Whether you know Proust or not, Czapski’s story of using literature to stay sane and build community in a Soviet prison is profoundly moving. Even more impressive, his reading of Proust is absolutely brilliant; insightful if you’ve read Proust and a great place to start if you haven’t.

Josh


This Little Art

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This Little Art Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781910695456
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Fitzcarraldo Editions - April 17th, 2018

 

Far more than a book about translation, This Little Art, is a beautiful treatise on the reading life and the creative life. Through examining her own struggles translating Roland Barthes’s lecture notes, Briggs wanders through the all the questions you typically encounter in translation to get to something more fundamental about the power of words and what happens when we try to communicate with each other.  

Josh


There’s a Mystery There

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There's a Mystery There: The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780385540438
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Doubleday - May 16th, 2017

Highly recommended for anyone interested in children's literature, illustration, or storytelling. In each chapter, Cott speaks with a different expert on Sendak's masterpiece Outside Over There, examining the book through different lenses. Cott did a number of interviews with Sendak and his quotes fill the pages. The result is readable, compelling, and inspiring. (Really, I stayed up late in bed reading because I couldn't put it down.)

 

Marika


The Art of Death

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The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story (Art of...) Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781555977771
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - July 11th, 2017

Though this is billed as a book about writing, Danticat turns the topic into something so much more. This about how we talk and write about death, but also how we talk and write about life and how we understand what it means to have life and what it means to lose it. Definitely a great book for writers or readers who also want insight into the writing process, but also a powerful book for everyone.

Josh


The Nemirovsky Question

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The Némirovsky Question: The Life, Death, and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in Twentieth-Century France Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780300171969
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact Us for More Info
Published: Yale University Press - November 22nd, 2016

Since the discovery and success of her final novel Suite Française, Irène Némirovsky has had a resurgence in popularity and there is much interest in her life. Suleiman’s book skillfully traces Némirovsky’s rise as a writer of great talent and fame to her death in Auschwitz in 1942.  Nathan

 

Nathan


Against Everything

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Against Everything: Essays Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781101871157
Availability: Hard to Find--Contact us for More Info
Published: Pantheon - September 6th, 2016

I seldom encounter academic cultural criticism. If the purpose of cultural criticism is inform/outrage/irritate/excite us, and academia's function too often seems to bewilder one with jargon, the two are uneasily conflated. Greif resists such a division, and his essays give us the rare treat of clear writing--a sign of clear thinking--probing deeply into issues about which there is much talk, but rarely enough thought. Clever, articulate, and insightful: the kind of voice you wish appeared in every social conversation.

Matthew


Pretentiousness: Why It Matters

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Pretentiousness: Why It Matters Cover Image
By Dan Fox
$15.95
ISBN: 9781566894289
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Coffee House Press - April 5th, 2016

This is a smart and elegantly argued essay about the necessity of failure, experimentation, and pretending in art and life. Reading Fox is like watching a gymnast perform a floor routine. He lofts ideas and arguments through the air, seamlessly incorporating art criticism, pop culture, and personal narrative into the somersaults, and sticks landing after landing. A celebration of the weird, the challenging, the ambitious, and everything that makes art, music, pop culture, and life interesting.

 

Josh

 


Slaughterhouse 90210

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Slaughterhouse 90210 Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250061102
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Flatiron Books - October 6th, 2015

What does Leo Tolstoy have to do with Orange is the New Black? Or Sylvia Plath with The Bachelor? Maris Kreizman's juxtapositions of great literature with pop culture icons are funny and clever, but also intuitively true on a deeper level the stories told through "high" and "low" culture may not be that different at their core. A great gift for the film, TV, and book lovers on your list.

Katie

 


What We See When We Read

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What We See When We Read Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780804171632
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Vintage - August 5th, 2014

An entertaining and fascinating look under the hood of the experience of reading. What, exactly, happens when we look at words on a page? How do words become images in our minds? Do we all see the same images when we read the same words? With images, quotes from other sources, and brilliant insights, Mendelsund reveals everything about reading we normally take for granted.

Josh

 


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