We’ve got a lot of great Holiday Picks this year; here are three of our Cookbook Picks to whet your appetite. The theme is Sweets and Liquor aka The Bookseller’s Breakfast.
Be on the look out over the next couple weeks for more Holiday Picks, as chosen by the wonderful Greenlight staff.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: This brand-new cookbook is as filled with delicious goodness as one of Emily and Melissa’s pies! I doubt there’s a more perfect gift for anyone who bakes, or has supposed once that they might like to try baking. Arranged seasonally, the recipes are thrilling and unique, and the photography is perhaps the most mouth-watering and beautiful I have ever encountered in a cookbook. (Annie)
- Mast Brothers Chocolate: Let’s be clear: if you patronize Mast Brothers Chocolate, either with the occasional bar, or frequent visits to their Williamsburg storefront, you are aware that it is an easily justifiable indulgence. Look at their family cookbook then, as an investment. One that offers you suitably refined recipes for their exquisite chocolate with clear, concise directions. (Halley)
- King’s County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining: This book leaps from the “perfect dad gift” category to cover the entire spectrum of those interested in the subject of whiskey. The gentlemen of Kings County Distillery have poured out their secrets from what whiskey to drink to how they make whiskey today in their Navy Yard distillery and even how to start your own moonshine operation (your secret is safe with us!). (Brette)
You can see the list of our entire Holiday Picks here.
The staff of Common Good Books shows you how to embrace the job you’ve always had.
- Shelve a book. Shelving a book has classic bookstore job description written all over it. Grab a book, any book, and put it on the shelf. Take a moment to look at the books next to it. Are they in alphabetical order? The important thing is that you tried.
- Say hello. These days, everyone is in a rush. Once an oasis of solitude, bookstores today are just another place to lose one’s self in a sea of information. Make a conscious effort to look up and greet your customers. C’mon. It’s your life. Direct, unwavering eye contact establishes trust and a sense of community. It also prevents shoplifting.
- Look it up. You’re not perfect and no one expects you to be.* Don’t be afraid to admit you’ve never heard of a book’s title or author. Take a breath. Keep breathing.
Ahhh!!! It’s like looking in a mirror. But where’s the part about jealously looking at new fiction and obsessing about the unfinished project in your drawer?
"Wow…these look so awesome…I’ll get to it as soon as I can…you know, I’m not really in the mood for something so weird right now…oh yea, I’ave heard of her…yea, its supposed to be great…"
-Anatomy of almost reading a great book.
When we posted our first half book preview in January, we promised to return in July with a second installment. Although we missed that deadline by just a little (cough, cough), we have returned with an epic Fall Book Preview. As previously stated, our tastes dictated the list and we make no claims to comprehensiveness, thoroughness, or even good taste.
Enjoy! — Eds.
- Joshua Comaroff & Ong Ker-Shing, Horror in Architecture (Oro Editions). Title says it all, doesn’t it?
- Jason Schwartz, John the Posthumous (OR Books). One of the most unusual pieces of fiction published this year. Best start here.
- Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq (trans. Humphrey Davies), Leg Over Leg volumes 1&2 (NYU Press). A previously untranslated classic of Arabic literature by a writer compared to Rabelais and Sterne.
- Georges Perec & the Oulipo (trans. Monk, Mathews and Sturrock), Winter Journeys (Atlas). A short story about an imaginary book spawns twenty successive stories. Ladies and gentlemen, the Oulipo!
- Keith Ridgway, Hawthorn and Child (New Directions). This mind-boggling play on the mystery novel starts with a guy getting shot by a ghost car—the car, not someone in it—and gets weirder by degrees.
- Léon Genonceaux (trans. Iain White), The Tutu (Atlas). The “strangest novel of the 19th century,” according to Marc Lowenthal.
- Mary Ruefle, Trances of the Blast (Wave). Ruefle’s first collection of poetry since her wonderful Madness, Rack and Honey.
- Sherry Simon, ed., In Translation - Honouring Sheila Fischman (McGill-Queen’s University Press). A festschrift for Canada’s prolific literary translator. Contributions by: Alberto Manguel, (the late) Michael Henry Heim, and other literati.
- Jeff Jackson, Mira Corpora (Two Dollar Radio). A coming-of-age tale for those who came to age with David Lynch.
- Travis Jeppesen, The Suiciders (Semiotext(e)). Kind of like Mira Corpora, but with more self-mutilation and parrots. Read an excerpt at 3:AM Magazine.
- Robert Walser (trans. Damion Searls), A Schoolboy’s Diary and Other Stories (NYRB Classics). Fans of Jakob von Gunten should check out this collection by the “clairvoyant of the small.”
- Pitigrilli (trans. Eric Mosbacher), Cocaine (New Vessel). Worth buying just for the “I’ve got Cocaine in my bag” jokes you can make. Here’s the Complete Review’s take.
- Pierre Mac Orlan (trans. Napolean Jeffries), Handbook for the Perfect Adventurer (Wakefield). A satirical guide to the art of passive adventuring.
- NYRB Poets (ed. Mary Ann Caws), Pierre Reverdy (NYRB Classics). An anthology of the great French poet’s work, with translations by Kenneth Rexroth, Frank O’Hara, Lydia Davis, and others.
- Sergio Chejfec (trans. Heather Cleary), The Dark (Open Letter). A subtle and oblique novel, written in Chejfec’s signature style, that works along the borders of memory and reality.
- Jeremias Gotthelf (trans. Susan Bernofsky), The Black Spider (NYRB Classics). A terrifying supernatural tale in an excellent new translation. Yes, there’s a giant spider.
- Orly Castel-Bloom (trans Dalya Bilu), Textile (Feminist Press). Another withering satire by Israel’s most corrosive novelist.
- Roderigo Rey Rosa (trans. Jeffrey Gray), The African Shore (Yale). A haunting novel about a Columbian of uncertain means stranded in Tangier.
- Eduardo Lago (trans. Ernesto Mestre-Reed), Call Me Brooklyn (Dalkey Archive). A kaleidoscopic novel about writers and artists in NYC.
- Robert Lax, Poems (1962-1997) (Wave Books). A monumental collection by the hermit of Patmos.
- Luigi Serafini, Codex Seraphinianus (Rizzoli). The legendary Codex, written in an imaginary language, gets a new release.
- Various authors (and translators), The Library of Korean Literature (Dalkey Archive). A collection of ten never previously translated novels from Korea.
- Marek Hłasko (trans. Ross Ufberg), Beautiful Twentysomethings (Northern Illinois University Press). The first English translation of the 1966 autobiography of a great writer and Poland’s own rebel without a cause.
- Mircea Cărtărescu (trans. Sean Cotter), Blinding (Archipelago Books). A bestseller in Romania, this hallucinatory book, the first of a trilogy, is one of the year’s most interesting novels.
- Herbert Read, The Green Child (New Directions). A fantastical tale with a philosophical undercurrent that riffs on Plato. This new edition of Read’s only novel features an intro by Eliot Weinberger, adding him to the book’s other distinguished admirers: T. S. Eliot, Graham Greene, Kenneth Rexroth.
- Jean-Christophe Valtat, Luminous Chaos (Melville House). The second novel in Valtat’s steampunk Mysteries of New Venice trilogy, with plenty of dirigibles.
- Alphonse Allais (trans. Doug Skinner), Captain Cap: His Adventures, His Ideas, His Drinks (Black Scat Books). An unabridged and illustrated collection of “the peerless French humorist”, who was later revered by the Surrealists for “his elegant style and disturbing imagination.”
- Martin Vaughn-James, The Cage (Coach House Books). The return of a classic proto-graphic novel.
- Anne Carson, Nay Rather (Sylph). A cahier featuring an essay and poem by Carson, along with illustrations by Lanfranco Quadrio.
- David Ohle, The Old Reactor (Dzanc). Catch up with Moldenke in this sequel to Motorman!
- Renee Gladman, Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge (Dorothy). The final installment of Gladman’s Ravickian trilogy.
- Jean Ferry (trans. Edward Gauvin), The Conductor and Other Tales (Wakefield). The first full translation of Ferry’s pataphysical tales, which in the original French were favorites of the Surrealists.
- César Aira (trans. Chris Andrews), Shantytown (New Directions). If you were waiting for the ever-mutating Aira to write a noir, your day has come.
- Peter Handke (trans. Martin Chalmers), Storm Still (Seagull). A series of monologues exploring the often tragic lives of Slovenes in Austria.
- Rachel Shihor (trans. Ornan Rotem), Stalin is Dead (Sylph). Parable-like stories inviting comparisons to Kafka. Read an excerpt at Asymptote.
- Rafael Bernal (trans. Katherine Silver), Mongolian Conspiracy (New Directions). Francisco Goldman says it best when he calls Mongolian Conspiracy ”The best fucking novel ever written about Mexico City.”
- Josef Winkler (trans. Adrian West), When the Time Comes (Contra Mundum). Winkler’s chronicle of a rural village in Austria, rife with tragedy, is a dark entertainment.
- Reggie Oliver, Flowers of the Sea (Tartarus Press). More strange stories from a writer deemed a master of the form since his first two collections: The Dreams of Cardinal Vittorini and The Complete Symphonies of Adolf Hitler.
- Philippe Jaccottet (trans. Tess Lewis), Seedtime: Notebooks (Sylph). Jaccottet’s notebooks collect precise evocations of the natural world and limpid reflections on the arts.
- Yves Bonnefoy (trans. Beverly Bie Brahic), The Present Hour (Seagull). The latest collection from the great French poet.
, Double Negative
(And Other Stories). In which our two protagonists choose three houses to visit from a hill in Johannesburg.
- Alona Kimhi (trans. Dalya Bilu), Lily La Tigresse (Dalkey Archive). Another wicked satire from Dalkey’s Hebrew Literature Series.
- László Krasznahorkai (trans. Georges Szirtes), The Bill (Sylph). An eleven-page sentence on Palma Vecchio, a 16th century Venetian painter.
- Amina Cain, Creature (Dorothy). A beautifully written collection of short experimental stories.
- Curzio Malaparte (trans. David Moore), The Skin (NYRB Classics). Malaparte’s The Skin returns in the first unexpurgated English edition.
- Hilda Hilst (trans. John Keene), Letters from a Seducer (Nightboat). If The Obscene Madame D is any indication, this novel from Hilst will be a wild, metaphysical ride.
- Wiesław Myśliwski (trans. Bill Johnston), A Treatise on Shelling Beans (Archipelago Books). An earthy and comic novel from the author and translator of the Best Translated Book Award winner, Stone Upon Stone.
- Raul Zurita and Forrest Gander, Pinholes in the Night (Copper Canyon). An anthology of Latin American poetry.
- Igor Vishnevetsky (trans. Andrew Bromfield), Leningrad (Dalkey Archive). A contemporary novel of the Siege of Leningard, mixing elements of the absurd and avant-garde.
- Antonio Muñoz Molina (trans. Edith Grossman), In the Night of Time (HMH). A sweeping historical novel set in the days leading to the Spanish Civil War.
- Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (trans. Joanne Turnbull), Autobiography of a Corpse (NYRB Classics). NYRB’s second offering of Krzhizhanovsky’s dark, bizzare, philosophical short stories.
- Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (trans. Antonina W. Bouis), Definitely Maybe (Melville House). The Strugatskys brought us Roadside Picnic, which became Tarkovsky’s cult film Stalker. That in itself is enough reason to read this comic romp. Yes, romp.
- Ben Marcus, Leaving the Sea (Knopf). A collection of stories from the author of Notable American Women.
- Mikhail Shishkin (trans. Andrew Bromfield), The Light and the Dark (Quercus). The second of Shiskin’s novels to be translated into English, told in the form of letters between lovers.
Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marks by Keith Houston
Amazon ‽ Barnes & Noble @ iBookstore # Indiebound † Powell’s
"With zeal and rigor, Keith Houston cracks open the &, the #, the †, and more—all the little matryoshka dolls of meaning that make writing work. Inside, we meet novelists, publishers, scholars, and scribes; we range from ancient Greeks to hashtagged tweets; and we see the weird and wonderful foundations of the most successful technology of all time."
—ROBIN SLOAN, author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
I recommend this one. And that red ink is a nice touch, guys.
Greenlight is most proud to be hosting signings for some fabulous cook book authors as part of Taste Talks Food and Drink Conference in Brooklyn (of course!). We’ve got a robust roster of authors putting the ink to some delicious pages. You can see the books, with signers and times above. Everything is occurring this Saturday the 14th, with signings commencing at 11am through 3pm (at Kinfolk Studio) and then another signing at 8:30pm (at the Wythe Hotel).
Here’s a post from the Taste Talks blog that tells you all about it!
We asked our friends on facebook for their favorite ‘books with a romantic story that ends sadly,’ and we got a big response. In a very much non-scientific way, here is a visual sampler of the responses we got.
…It is a very special flavor that comes with stories of the Tragic and of love obstructed…