The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy

Staff Pick

I picked this up on a whim, though I’ve been meaning to read Levy's fiction, and this particular novel is less than 200 pages--which felt like a reasonable commitment after I'd slogged through a few duds. Then-- whoa. I don’t know how to describe the plot, other than to say it takes place in 1988 in Communist East Berlin...but it also--doesn't. This is a narrative about the slipperiness of time and memory and our fundamental inability to access someone else’s inner world; about the narcissism of looking, but also being looked at; and about the complex ways historical trauma shapes our identities and thus our relationships. I took a lot of notes, and had a lot of thoughts, and mostly I loved it.

The Man Who Saw Everything By Deborah Levy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632869852
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - September 1st, 2020

Improvement by Joan Silber

Staff Pick

Charles Finch referred to Silber as “our country’s own Alice Munro, " and I've been collecting her books for years on the assumption that when I finally get around to reading one, I’ll fall in love. Sure enough, I did love this precise, beautiful book. A novel in interconnected stories, Improvement is suffused with the quiet heartbreak of ordinary lives. Ranging from a single mother in Harlem to her aunt decades earlier on a farm in rural Turkey, Silber shows how even the smallest decisions we make can ripple outward to change someone else’s life, for better or worse. 

Improvement: A Novel By Joan Silber Cover Image
ISBN: 9781640091139
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Counterpoint - August 21st, 2018

Venomous Lumpsucker by Ned Beauman

Staff Pick

In addition to being a smart, sharp satire on a dystopian near future, this is also the funniest book I’ve ever read about rampant capitalism and the climate crisis. Set in the aftermath of a cyber-attack that's thrown the "extinction industry" into chaos, it follows a pair of reluctant partners roped into a round-the-world search for the last remaining venomous lumpsuckers. Along the way the narrative pokes fun at the utter inability of humanity to be accountable for our environmental destruction, presenting an absurdist vision that seems depressingly possible given our current trajectory. If you’ve been rooting for the orcas getting revenge on fishing boats, you should take a look at this novel.   

Venomous Lumpsucker By Ned Beauman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641294843
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Soho Press - June 13th, 2023