Mike's Picks

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With Dad By Richard Jackson, Brian Floca (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Richard Jackson, Brian Floca (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780823444953
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Neal Porter Books - May 7th, 2024

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Tom Lake: A Reese's Book Club Pick By Ann Patchett Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063327528
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - August 1st, 2023

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Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel By Anthony Doerr Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781982168445
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - September 27th, 2022

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This Time Tomorrow: A Novel By Emma Straub Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525539018
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 16th, 2023

A satisfying book that is more about familial relationships rather than time travel, sort of the reverse of Back to the Future. I was in a reading funk before finding this book, and it was the entertaining, put-myself-in-her-shoes story my mind needed to rejuvenate that reading love again. It’s impossible not to finish and want to tell a parent how much you love them.


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The Traces: An Essay By Mairead Small Staid Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781646052004
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Strange Object - November 1st, 2022

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Mercury Pictures Presents: A Novel By Anthony Marra Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780451495211
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hogarth - June 27th, 2023

I started this book a while ago, but I waited until I had a few quiet afternoons to savor and finish it. It was the perfect book to read with my newborn daughter sleeping away on my chest. This has such heart, ache, soul. It made me reflect on the kind of father I want to be, aim to be, hope to be. This week, as I stood in my front yard, sun setting, watering my lilacs and planting a new sugar maple, I heard my neighbor’s three daughters play in the field by our house and their laughter made me pause and think of this book, its characters, and these words by Fatima Farheen Mirza. Few books affect me so much, but this book enchanted and moved me, and it made me feel so aware of family, identity, religion, Home.


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Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel By George Saunders Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812985405
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 6th, 2018

Reinventing what a novel can and should do.  This is, to me, the novel of the decade. 


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Crossroads: A Novel By Jonathan Franzen Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780374181178
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 5th, 2021

The NY Times says the matriarch, Marian, is one of the best characters in modern fiction; I have to agree. This novel is setting up a future Franzen trilogy that, for me, could be the best I've ever read. 


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Field Recordings (Made in Michigan Writers) By Russell Brakefield Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780814344965
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wayne State University Press - March 26th, 2018

Steeped in Michigan history, Russell Brakefield uses folk music and sounds of rural Michigan as a guide to create a poetry collection that explores the intensely personal as well as the naturalistic. To me, reading poetry is like listening to a conversation. Here, Brakefield acts as both listener and poet: He describes not just the notes around us, but like any good conversationalist, the silences, the buzzes, the cicadas, the nearby lone trout stalking a mayfly. When Russ worked here at Literati, I was an avid "Russ Reader" -- I devoured his staff picks. Reading his own work in Field Recordings, I'm delighted to listen to his own words, his song ringing in my mind long after finishing.


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Number One Chinese Restaurant: A Novel By Lillian Li Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250229328
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - June 4th, 2019

Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse (Vintage Contemporaries) By Anne Carson Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780375701290
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - July 27th, 1999

Let the Great World Spin: A Novel By Colum McCann Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812973990
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - November 30th, 2009

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The Cataracts By Raymond McDaniel Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566894937
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - January 9th, 2018

“when I was small and wanted to look at the sun / he said if you want to stare at the sun / and not go blind you look not at its light / but what it illuminates the world the moon / never the thing itself and always its reflection.”

I love this collection from staff-favorite poet, Raymond McDaniel. I devoured this in two days. Its pitch-perfect blend of colloquial language interwoven with beautiful prose and imagery is a dream-like meditation on sight and light (and its existential opposites). McDaniel wonderfully threads narrative throughout this collection, giving it substance with its immense, thought-provoking style and philosophical explorations. A must-read for those unafraid to delve into the reflections all around. 


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Desert Boys: Fiction By Chris McCormick Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781250141019
Availability: Usually Available in 2-5 Days
Published: Picador - January 9th, 2018

“The desert, like the past, can be a thorny and sometimes serpentine place for people to live; in the interweaving stories throughout Desert Boys, debut author Chris McCormick offers a stirring examination of those who live, leave, and—in the case of protagonist Daley Kushner—return. With McCormick’s smart, witty prose and equally gratifying storytelling, we are offered a refreshing, nuanced, and much more complicated take on the stereotypical male coming-of-age tale. It is an unforgettable kaleidoscope of not just childhood friendship and the small-town American West, but, seemingly, anyone’s nostalgic, binary star quandary of simultaneously loathing and longing for the past. Desert Boys is an unforgettable, startling debut by the talented and skilled McCormick — one that will surely gain him a loyal and career-long mainstream following. It will resonate with those who have sought identity in far-away places, only to find it lurking in one’s own rattlesnake-filled childhood backyard.”


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Haunts Of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero By Charles Sprawson Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780816635399
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Univ Of Minnesota Press - June 13th, 2000

This is a book for aquaphiles. You know who you are: The kind of person who abandons family and friends at every beach excursion and voyages out alone into the open waters, freestyling for endless minutes and miles. All my life, I have had a love affair with water: Rivers, lakes, oceans, chlorinated indoor pools. As a former NCAA swimmer, I have searched wide and far for books about swimming. There are only a few, and this is the best. And if you’re like me, and you have relatives who often ask, “Where’s Mike?” only to see a small speck in the horizon splashing around in far-distant waters, you’ll enjoy this read.


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Notes from a Public Typewriter By Michael Gustafson (Editor), Oliver Uberti (Editor) Cover Image
By Michael Gustafson (Editor), Oliver Uberti (Editor)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781538729113
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - March 27th, 2018

Over the years, thousands of anonymous Literati book browsers have left notes at our public typewriter. Here are our favorites--along with photos, stories, and musings about The World's Smallest Publishing House. 


My Modest Blindness By Russell Brakefield Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781957392264
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Autofocus Books - October 17th, 2023