Staff Pick

Enriquez’s 2017 Things We Lost in the Fire is one of my favorite short-fiction collections of all time; now, after a four-year wait, I'm happy to report that The Dangers of Smoking in Bed is every bit as magnetic and horrifying. Drawing on the places and cultural mythologies of her native Argentina, these pieces speak to specifically Latin American-inspired terror, but they resonate universally. Suffused with the kind of dread that lodges in your spine and drags you down as you read, these pages are haunted by curses, zombie ancestors, and the ghosts of murdered children. But the true menace here lies in the nightmares of everyday life lived in poverty, amidst military dictatorships and state sanctioned violence. If you’re looking to be jolted out of your own reality, these stories are for you. 

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories Cover Image
By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by)
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593134078
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Hogarth - January 12th, 2021

Staff Pick

Laurie Colwin is perhaps best known to modern readers as a food writer, writing a column for Gourmet magazine and her genre-defining book of food essays, Homecooking. Fortunately for new audiences, her works are being republished this year, starting with her incredible 1978 novel, Happy All the Time. If you’ve felt depressed and anxious and stressed any time in the last year, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. And if you haven’t then you’re unfairly lucky and should still read it. Happy All the Time is a bubbly, hilarious, fiercely clever comedy of manners set in a version of New York that seems to exist only in old movies, where everyone is clever and complicated and always impeccably dressed. And where it seemed perfectly acceptable to take long lunches at upscale restaurants to mull over romantic tribulations with a whiskey soda in hand. This book is some amazing amalgam of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Sex in the City, as written by Nora Ephron. Read it to become a Laurie Colwin evangelist and to soothe your pandemic-bruised soul.

Happy All the Time (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307474407
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - March 23rd, 2010

Staff Pick

The death of Tony Horwitz earlier this year was a tragic loss to the literary community and his last book, Spying on the South (Penguin Press, $30), is an exceptional example of the kind of intrepid spirit that he was. Following the wanderings of Frederick Law Olmsted through the South on the eve of the Civil War, Horwitz’s own travels read as an homage to the restless curiosity that drove Olmsted to roam and the empathy for humanity that inspired him to create Central Park, aka the “people’s park.” Rather than attempting to explain the South here, Horwitz—as Olmsted did—opts for offering observations over analysis. He lets us hear the voices of the people he meets, and as we listen to them tell their own tales, the book offers an implicit hope that we as readers will be able to find common ground among the diversity of experiences. Conversational and often humorous, Horwitz’s journalistic style is ultimately more poignant that comic; his openness and genuine interest in dialogue feels as uncommon and incredibly important in our political climate as it did to Olmsted two centuries ago.

Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781101980286
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Press - May 14th, 2019

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