Matthew's Picks



Agent Running in the Field: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984878878
Availability: Out of stock. Please contact store for availability.
Published: Viking - October 22nd, 2019

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.

Staff Pick Badge
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.

Staff Pick Badge
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

Life in a Cold Climate: Nancy Mitford; The Biography Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643133034
Availability: Out of stock. Please contact store for availability.
Published: Pegasus Books - December 3rd, 2019

Edith Crawley of Downton Abbey was based on Nancy Mitford, the Mitford sister who didn't shoot herself when Britan declared war on Hitler, nor the one who eloped to Spain and supported the communists in that Civil War. She's the one who.... well, read it, and see.

Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525562955
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - September 10th, 2019

The mind behind HIS DARK MATERIALS collects short  essays and musings on reading, religion, science, and stories. This is a fun book of big ideas, good humor, and pictures!

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 changed my life.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781439156810
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Scribner - July 6th, 2010

Half-memoir and half-how-to-write book, this is among the best of either genre. Seriously, I hate memoirs and how-to-write books, and I don't even like King... but this is somehow better than all of that together. -mh