Hot 100 - 1 - 2 - 3 | New and Different - 1 - 2 - 3 | Ready for This? | Kids Books | Signed Books
|These books are guaranteed to stretch your brain and leave you wanting more...|
by Jonathan Carroll
"There are a few writers who are special. They make the world in their books; or rather, they open a window or a door or a magic casement, and they show you the world in which they live. Jonathan Carroll opens a window you didn't know was there and invites you to look through it. He gives you his eyesto see with, and he gives you the world all fresh and honest and new. A new book by Jonathan Carroll is still, as they used to say on the back of the book jackets, a cause for celebration. He has the magic. He'll lend you his eyes; and you will never see the world quite the same way again."
"Jonathan Carroll is as scary as Hitchcock, when he isn't being as funny as Jim Carrey. If you've never read this wonderful fantasist, buy this book. You'll stay up all night and thank me in the morning."
|Also by Carroll:
Voice of Our Shadow
Bones of the Moon
The Land of Laughs
Sleeping in Flames
by Greg Bear
This is the book that launched the career of Greg Bear, the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Moving Wars. It is the novel that prompted Ray Bradbury to proclaim Greg Bear "one of tomorrow's up-and-coming author's." It tunes our ears to the music that sings through our veins: the essential building blocks of life itself. And it begins with one scientist's bold exploration of "biologic," a dangerous experiment in cell restructuring that takes on a frightening and awe inspiring life of its own...
"A work of thoroughgoing excellence. It's a delight to read science fiction by someone who knows what he's talking about."
"Bear's unique novel about the nature of thought and reality solidifies his position as a writer of remarkable talent and fresh vision. Highly recommended!"
Queen of Angels
by Roald Dahl
Volume XX of the Diaries of Oswald Hendryks Cornelius, word for word as he wrote it...
Uncle Oswald is, if you remember, the greatest rogue, bounder, connoisseur, bon vivant and fornicator of all time. Here, many famous names are mentioned and there is obviously a grave risk that families and friends are going to take offense...
Uncle Oswald discovers the electrifying properties of the Sudanese Blister Beetle and the gorgeous Yasmin Howcomely, a girl absolutely soaked in sex, and sets about seducing all the great men of time for his own wicked, irreverent reasons.
New York Times Book Review
James and the Giant Peach
by Mark. Z Danielewski
"A rollicking Pynchon-esque oddity, a Nabokovian linguistic obsession, and a Borgesian un-reality. House of Leaves jumps and skips and plays with genre-wrecking abandon, postmodern panache, and an obsessively imaginative scope that absolutely shames most books on the market today."
San Francisco Examiner
"A love story by a semiotician. Danielewski has a songwriter's heart as attuned to heartache as he is to Derrida's theory on the sign."
Time Out New York
|House of Leaves is Danielewski's first novel.|
and Walking Spirits
by Robertson Davies
"I was never so amazed in my life as when the Sniffer drew his concealed weapon from its case and struck me to the ground, stone dead." So begins the story of Connor "Gil" Gilmartin when he catches his wife in flagrant with the Sniffer, his onetime colleague and now his murderer. But murder is on;y the first of the indignities that Gil must suffer. He lingers as a ghost, and from this vantage point one made even more unbearable by the fact that he must spend his afterlife sitting beside his killer at a film festival he gets to view the exploits and failures of his ancestors, from the forerunners who sailed the Hudson to Canada during the America Revolution to his university-professor parents.
Murther & Walking Spirits is the latest dazzling addition to Robertson Davie's distinguished career. Warmer and mellower than anything he has ever written, the book is bathed in the golden glow of emotion recollected in tranquility.
|Also by Davies:
World of Wonders
by Thomas M. Disch
In this chillingly possible work of speculative fiction, Thomas M. Disch imagines an alternate 1970s in which America has declared war on the rest of the world and much of its own citizenry and is willing to use any weapon to assure victory. Louis Sacchetti, a poet imprisoned for draft resistance, is delivered to a secret facility called Camp Archimedes, where he is the unwilling witness to the army's conscienceless experiments in "intelligence maximization."
Prisoners given Pallidine, a drug derived from the syphilis spirochete, quickly blossom into genius, but there is one unfortunate side effect. Pallidine is invariably fatal. Touching, terrifying, and genuinely visionary, Camp Concentration is a novel of devastating power.
"Disch is without doubt one of the really bright... lights in the American SF scene."
Fantasy and Science Fiction
|Also by Disch:
by Steve Erickson
"Happiness is a dark thing to pursue... and the pursuit itself is a dark thing as well." These are the words of Erickson's Thomas, an inventor of the American dream and guiding spirit of this passionate, brave, unforgettable novel. In Thomas' love for his fourteen-year-old slave, Sally, and in her irrevocable choice to forfeit freedom for that love, lies the emblematic dilemma that has forged our nation's destiny the tension between history's denial of the dictates of the human heart and our secret pursiot of the heart's expression.
Over Arc d'X hovers the smoke of an eighteenth-century slave who was burned at the stake for murdering the white man who raped her. Through the ashes move the many incarnations of Sally, and the men who are touched by her Etcher, perched on the mouth of a volcano on the outskirts of a strange theocratic city, who is literally rewriting history; a washed up, middle-aged American novelist waiting in the city of Berlin in the 1999 for the end of time, while a small guerrilla army rebuilds the Wall in the dead of night.
Arc d'X is a reckless, visionary elegy for the second millennium and literary bridge to the third, where feeling is at once heightened and debased, language drained of significance but filled with portent, meaning tensed at the intersection of desire and conscience, male and female, black and white. It is a novel that has been looming at the end of the American imagination, where the center of the soul meets the blunt future of the street.
|Also by Erickson:
Days Between Stations
Tours of the Black Clock
by Hugh Gallagher
Follow the global soul searching of Neil, a dentally challenged, reluctantly hip downtown scribe. Disenchanted after his East Village writing career crumbles, he takes off for Hollywood, the tropical wilds of Indonesia, and the anarchist squats of East London. At once a saddening chronicle of childhood's end, and an insightful trek through the world of possible futures, Teeth is disarmingly funny and touching a resonant anthem for all those truly hungry for a solid bite out of life.
"With a lyrical and contemporary style, Gallagher moves easily between blaring backstage rock'n'roll grit and his character's quiet soul searching.... [A] compelling and entertaining first novel... as moving as it is clever."
San Francisco Chronicle
|Teeth is Hugh Gallagher's first novel.|
of the Flies
by William Golding
When Lord of the Flies appeared in 1954 it received unprecedented reviews for a first novel. Critics used such phrases as "beautifully written, tragic and provocative... vivid and enthralling... this beautiful and desperate book... completely convincing and often very frightening... its progress is magnificent... like a fragment of nightmare... a dizzy climax of terror... the terrible spell of this..." E.M. Forster chose it as the Outstanding Novel of the Year. Time and Tide touched upon perhaps the most important facet of this book when it said, "It is not only a first-rate adventure story but a parable of our times," and articles on this and subsequent Golding novels have stressed the twin aspects of Golding: a consummate control of the novel form, and a superb all-encompassing vision of reality which communicates itself with a power reminiscent of Conrad.
|Also by Golding:
by Mo Hayden
In The Treatment, Mo Hayden once again plumbs the darkest recesses of the human mind as she sends Detective Jack Caffery on the trail of a villain capable of unspeakable perversion.
It is the middle of summer in Brockwell Park, a pleasant residential area in London. Behind the placid facade of one house,a man and his wife lie tied up and imprisoned in their own home. When they are discovered, badly dehydrated and bearing the marks of a brutal beating, they reveal one final horror. Their young son has disappeared. Called in to investigate, Jack Caffery uses all the tricks of the forensic investigator's trade to piece together the scanty clues at the crime scene. But the echoes of a heartrending disappearance in his own past make it almost impossible for him to view the crime with scientific detachment. As Jack digs deeper, attempting to hold his own life together as the disturbing parallels between past and present mount, the real nightmare begins.
|Also by Hayden:
by Jonathan Lethem
Lionel Essrog is Brooklyn's very own self-appointed Human Freakshow, an orphan whose Tourettic impulses drive him to bark, count, and rip apart our language in startling and original ways. Together with three veterans of St. Vincent's Home for Boys, he works for smalltime mobster Frank Minna's limo service cum detective agency. Life without Frank Minna, the charismatic King of Brooklyn, would be unimaginable, so who cares if the tasks he sets them are, well, not exactly legal. But when Frank is fatally stabbed, one of Lionel's colleagues lands in jail, the other two vie for his position, and the victim's widow skips town. Lionel's world is suddenly topsy-turvy, and this outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the threads of the case while trying to keep the words straight in his head. Motherless Brooklyn is a compulsively readable, memorably recursive, and totally captivating homage to the classic detective tale.
"Immerses us in the mind's dense thicket, a place where words split and twine in an ever-deepening tangle."
New York Times Book Review
|Also by Lethem:
Gun, With Occasional Music
Girl in Landscape
The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye
by Patrick McGrath
An institution for the criminally insane. A beautiful woman with an unexplored capacity for passion. A seductive madman with a hideous crime in his past. In Asylum, a master of the psychological thriller works these figures into a nerve-racking yet eerily beautiful tapestry of erotic obsession and violence.
Stella Raphael is elegant, headstrong, and formidably intelligent. Her psychiatrist husband, Max, is staid and unimaginative. When Max takes a position at a maximum-security mental hospital in the English countryside, Stella quickly calls under the spell of Edgar Stark, a sculptor who has been confined for the ghastly murder of his wife. Neither the strictures of convention nor the knowledge of Stark's past is any match for the volcanic attraction that ensues, an attraction that will consume Stella's sanity and destroy her and the lives around her. Hair-raising, heartbreaking, and hypnotically engrossing, Asylum is Patrick McGrath's most accomplished novel yet a timeless story, a contemporary classic.
|Also by McGrath:
Blood & Water
Dr. Haggard's Disease
by China Miéville
Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none not even Isaac, a gifted and eccentric scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory.
Isaac has spent his lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before encountered. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for the curious stranger.
While Isaac becomes more and more consumed with his experiments, one of his lab specimens demands special attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger and more voracious by the day. What finally emerges from the silken cocoon will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it invokes...
|Perdido Street Station is Miéville's second novel. He has also written King Rat and The Scar.|
by Flann O'Brien
"The indolent, frivolous, but inspired attempt of a collage student to write a book a fantastic, parodistic stew of drunken banter, journalese, pulp fiction, and Celtic myth. Like Beckett, O'Brian... has the gift of the perfect sentence, the art, which they both learned from Joyce, or turning plain language to a lyric pitch.
"An underground classic. ... First published in London in 1939... it has gathered a subterranean reputation. ... It is also funny, once the reader gets used to the suspicion that the biggest joke is on him."
|Also by O'Brien:
The Third Policeman
The Hard Life
The Dalkey Archive
by Angus Oblong
If Edgar Allan Poe and David Lynch wrote a book, it might be as warped, wicked, and perversely funny as this treasure of twisted tales from childhood's Twilight Zone. So don't be alarmed if you find yourself screaming ... with laughter ... until the day you die. Which may be very soon...
by Geoff Ryman
Normal trade paperback catchy cover and interesting copy.
Tremendously popular on the Internet, 253 is one of the year's most imaginative, unclassifiable books.
What it is
A London tube train, with all seats occupied, carries 252 passengers. The driver makes 253. Each one has a secret history, thoughts about themselves and the world. And each one's story takes one page (comprised of exactly 253 words) in this novel.
Meet Estelle, who has fallen madly in love with Saddam Hussein; James, who anesthetizes sick gorillas for a living; and Who? a character who doesn't know where, or what, on earth he is.
Perhaps you'll see a bit of yourself in some or all of them.
This seven-and-a-half minute ride between Embankment and Elephant & Castle is highly original. And enjoyable. And unpredictable. And full of marvels.
|Also by Ryman:
The Warrior Who Carried Life
The Child Garden
World Operations Manual
Secrets of world domination revealed! This comprehensive reference manual is the definitive guide to running a small planet, and contains everything you need to become a world operator. Easy-to-follow graphic instructions include sections on how to take control, and infinitely more. Complete with poster, ID card, certificates, stickers, and postcards, the World Operation Manual is the one tool you have been missing in your quest for world domination. But it now and use it, regardless of whatever minor dimension you currently inhabit! This manual has been banned on over 13,000,000 planets! Get it while you can!
by Art Spiegelman
It is the story of Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father's story. Maus approached the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and suceeds in "drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust" (New York TImes).
Maus is a haunting tale within a tale. Vladek's harrowing story of survival is woven into the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits. This astonishing retelling of our century's grisliest news is a story of survival, not on;y of Vladek but of the children who survive even the survivors. Maus studies the bloody pawprints of history and tracks its meaning for all of us.
by Peter Straub
Every year on his birthday, Ned Dunstan is cursed with visions of horrors committed by a savage figure he calls Mr. X. This year, Ned's vision will become flesh and blood.
A dreadful premonition brings Ned home to find his mother on her deathbed. She reveals the never-before-disclosed name of his father and warns him of grave danger. Driven by a desperate sense of need, Ned explores his dark past and the astonishing legacy of his kin. Accused of violent crimes he has not committed and pursued by a shadowy twin, Ned enters a hidden world of ominous mysteries, where he must confront his deadliest nightmares.
"A monster thriller about the supernatural... entertaining."
|Also by Straub:
Steps of the Sun
by Walter Tevis
The Steps of the Sun is the story of Ben Belson, a twenty-first-century New York financier, the only man who has any hope of reversing the decline of civilization.
It is the year 2063 and all energy sources have been depleted or declared unsafe. An ice age has begun, China's world dominance is growing and America is sliding into impotence.
Belson, undaunted by the paralyzing apathy around him, haunted by deep emotional problems that are driving him towards suicide, embarks on a highly publicized search for an extraterrestrial fuel supply that will reverse America's decline. Though he sleeps through the long night of space, fate brings him to his star. What happens there is unexpected, nearly inexplicable, and shocks him back into sanity and life.
|Also by Tevis:
The Man Who Fell to Earth
The Queen's Gambit
in the Zero
by Andrew Vachss
Andrew Vachss has reinvented detective fiction for an age in which guilty secrets are obsolete and murder isn't even worth a new headline. And in the person of his haunted, hell-ridden private eye Burke, Vachss has given us a new kind of hero: a man inured to every evil except the kind that preys on children.
Now Burke is back, investigating an epidemic of apparent suicides among the teenagers of a wealthy Connecticut suburb. There he discovers a sinister connection between the anguish of the young and the activities of an elite sadomasochistic underground, for whom pain and its accompanying rituals are a source of pleasure and power.
by Gene Wolfe
Volumes 1 and 2 of the Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning tetralogy.
The Shadow of the Torturer is the first volume on this four volume epic, the tale of young Severian, an apprentice to the Guild of Torturers on the world called Urth, exiled for committing the ultimate sin of his profession showing mercy towards his victim.
The Claw of the Conciliator continues the saga of Severian, banished from his home, as he undertakes a mythic quest to discover the awesome power of an ancient relic, and learn the truth about his hidden destiny.
|Also by Wolfe:
Sword and Citadel
The Fifth Head of Cerberus
Nightside the Long Sun
Left Hand of Darkness
by Ursula Le Guin
The story of a lone human emissary's mission to Winter, an unknown alien world whose inhabitants can choose and change their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters. Completely embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.
|Also by Le Guin:
The Wizard of Earthsea
The Lathe of Heaven