If the idea of a novel about the Twin Towers suddenly reappearing intact in the middle of the Badlands doesn't scare you off, then let me coax you along a little further. The concept is high, yes, but this blend of mixtape liner notes, speculative fiction, and family history is terrifically written. Somehow familiar and far-out at the same time, SHADOWBAHN is strangely addictive.
This is a deep, dark story about the consumptive power of loss and grief, and the fissures they crack open in our lives. Haunting images and grave suggestions are scattered throughout by a steely, mysterious narrator that refuses to let you set the book down.
Sometimes a novel isn't really a novel, but rare is the book that walks that fine line successfully. Mike Roberts has done so here, with a smooth, conversational style that belies the depth of his intentions. A great and refreshing read, like they all should be.
Fans of HBO's The Wire will be fascinated by this personal account of life on the streets of Baltimore, MD. Watkins provides insight into the highs and lows—financial, psychological, and spiritual—of the drug game through a profound self-awareness and a truly endearing narrative voice.
Without a verteran in your life, the cost of war may sometimes slip from mind. Books like this, and men like Tomas Young, ensure that as a nation and a society, we never disregard the value of human life or forget the simple truth of peace.
In the ebullient style that made him one of the most popular scientists of his age, Richard Feynman gives us a spectacular crash course in physics. From balance and momentum to his groundbreaking work in quantum electrodynamics, Feynman continually elucidates each of his "pieces" with style, wit, and his trademark vigor.
After seven long years, one of my all-time favorite authors returns with another novel you just can't put down. Taking dead aim at those who would dare use a term like "post-racial", THE SELLOUT is as funny, smart, and tuned-in as Beatty has ever been.
From the staff of the now defunct but highly influential rap mag Ego Trip is what I consider the greatest book ever written on the subject. Packed with amazing facts, infinite hip-hop wisdom, and the collective's smart-ass sensibility, it's a book you can pick up and put down until the spine breaks. They don't call themselves "the arrogant voice of musical truth" for nothing.
A loose retelling of the tale of Theseus, OREO is an overlooked classic now back in print after 40 years. It is a wickedly funny look at race, culture, and betweenness—even if it's sometimes hard to tell what truly lay on either side.
Imbued with the wild spirit of his short but powerful classic JESUS' SON, but polished with the literary gold of his epic masterpiece TREE OF SMOKE, Denis Johnson's poetry is every bit as good as his prose. I love to loan this collection out, never get it back, and buy it all over again.
A story that operates as a window into one reclusive mind, but speaks volumes about the whole of humanity, Darnielle's debut novel is damn near flawless. Its message and meaning adapt and change with more and more attention and grip hard at something hidden within.
A friend once handed me this book and simply said, "read it, I know you'll like it." He was right. Loaded with meaning and resonant prose throughout, this 65th anniversary edition proves that THE SHELTERING SKY remains a good story, well told (as the man says...). Read it, I know you'll like it.