Matthew's Picks

Matthew Hattie Hein has been a bookseller at TBC since the Summer of 2019. He has previously worked at Laughing Horse Books, The Title Wave Bookshop, and the Independent Publishing Resource Center. He contributes to and tweets @hattiehein.




Maybe the People Would Be the Times Cover Image
ISBN: 9781891241574
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Verse Chorus Press - September 22nd, 2020

My favorite essay collection of 2021. It's filled with short little magic-mirror reflections on thrift store records, lost and found photos, a $150/month NYC apartment, and the "Summer With a Thousand Julys" (the season that "wasn't always like this. It had a decent upbringing and a reasonable education.")

You'll re-read parts over and over, like watching a magician in slow-motion, and say, "I still don't know how the hell he did that!" 

Hotel Almighty Cover Image
ISBN: 9781946448644
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sarabande Books - September 15th, 2020

Am I on drugs? 

Bonjour Tristesse: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061440793
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - June 17th, 2008

As irresistable as Sally Rooney. As morally ambiguous as Michel Houellebecq. As sensual as the summer of '54 on the French Riviera. Everyone from Rachel Cusk to Jean-Luc Godard adores this book, and so will you.


The Glass Hotel: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525562948
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - February 16th, 2021

My favorite novel of 2020. Every character is real, even the bit players. Every city and room is real, from coastal Washington to Manhattan. All that, and a great big heart.  -mh

Agent Running in the Field: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984878892
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - August 18th, 2020

The master is back, with his best book in years. Wow, this book is fun. I read it in 4 days, grinning the whole time.

Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America's Most Dangerous Amusement Park Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143134510
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 30th, 2020

Like an episode of “Wipeout!” this will make you forget morality, intelligence, and everything else that matters for 350 gloriously stupid pages. Co-written by the owner’s then-teenage son, this memoir of a below-the-law 1980 New Jersey water park reeks of Sun-In, Coors Lite, and hormones.  -mh

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307279286
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - February 25th, 2020

This is serious stuff—it’s truly gripping. Like All the President’s Men or Catch and Kill, this is suspense journalism. It tells twin tales of the initial crime, and then the chase to uncover it. -mh

Cooking with Fernet Branca Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609455774
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - August 13th, 2019

The David Sedaris-like protagonist makes his living by ghost-writing celeb quickie memoirs: "Downhill All the Way! is about a skier; "Hot Seat!" is about a stock car driver... you get the idea. He finds the ideal little Tuscan villa to fix up, while satirizing every posh ex-pat book since the 1990s. But wait! There's a new neighbor, Marta--a shabby composer from a sketchy Eastern Bloc family--who absolutely insists on sharing our hero's penchant for 80-proof Fernet. A riotous farce worthy of rereading every few years.

I acquired my first copy from a display table at Looking Glass Books in Portland, Oregon. -mh

Rancid Pansies Cover Image
ISBN: 9781933372624
Availability: Out of stock. Available to order.
Published: Europa Editions - October 28th, 2008

The slapstick sequel to Cooking With Fernet Branca has all the alcoholic-yet-inedible recipes, snide-yet-sublime commentary, and wordplay of its predecessor. ("Rancid Pansies" is itself an anagram for Princess Diana, about whom our delusional John Waters/David Sedaris-like hero hope to write an opera.) This might be the funniest, snarkiest, big-hearted book in the shop.

All My Puny Sorrows Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635574975
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - October 15th, 2019

Somehow, this incredible book about things I know nothing about--being a sister, growing up Mennonite, parenthood--grabbed me tight. Once I started, I carried it everywhere until I finished. It's not light and fluffy; it's not a globe-traversing multi-generational epic. It's a perfect little gem of a novel.  -mh

This is finally legally available in paperback after years as a clothbound-only release. Worth the wait.

Stray City: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062666697
Availability: Not In Stock. Email or call for availability
Published: Custom House - March 19th, 2019

An irresistible roman a clef of 1990s Portland featuring a queer Bridget Jones, several straight boys in cardigans, and an immense empathy for everyone who has ever made a decision—or tried not to. -mh


Swann's Way: In Search of Lost Time, Volume 1 (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Cover Image
By Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis (Translated by), Lydia Davis (Introduction by), Lydia Davis (Notes by), Christopher Prendergast (Editor)
ISBN: 9780142437964
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - November 30th, 2004

The great Lydia Davis translation of 2003 can be read on its own. No professors or notes needed (though she adds a plot summary at the back). This masterwork of art, sex, and memory will change your life.