Ben Burgis$16.95 $15.59
The far-right has taken the rhetorical initiative, online and off. Denunciations are insufficient; we are in a debate, even if the topics of racism, sexism, and oppression should be beyond debate. Arm yourself with ideas and take on everyone from your cranky uncle to a YouTube "philosopher" with this handbook to logical fallacies and argumentation.
W. Somerset Maugham$16.95 $15.59
A satire of literary society that is both vicious and delightful, an examination of the changing sexual mores of the twentieth century, and an elegiac look at what happens when the party is finally over and life must go on. Maugham supposedly called himself the best of the second-rate writers, but Cakes and Ale is first rate.
Rokuro Inui$16.99 $15.63
A Japanese "clockpunk" novel in stories, with each vignette turning against the others like perfectly set gears. In an alternative Edo Period where exquisitely detailed automata can be made of everything from crickets to grown women, every segment of society—from sweaty sumo stables to the apartments of the empress—is open to intrigue, conflict, and change. And then the hour (and the page) turns, and everything changes.
Lydia Lunch$17.95 $16.51
Lydia Lunch has done everything, met everyone, and knows everything there is to know about transgressive culture—making her the best possible compiler of a handbook to the music and literary fringe. This is an ever-intriguing mix of essays, interviews, and commentaries that will send you scuttling back to the bookstore and the music shop again and again to experience the underground of the twentieth century.
Molly Tanzer$16.99 $15.63
A coming-of-age story, a historical about the waning days of the Second World War, an occult fantasy—this is a true hexeroman, a witch's novel. The world isn't what you think it is, and the right way to live isn't what you imagine it to be. that the book is shot through with pulpy fun and Nazi-smashing is just the icing on the devil's food cake.
Nicolette Polek$15.95 $14.67
Slim volumes of avant-garde flash fictions may not be for everyone, but few are as clever, whimsical, suddenly dark, and always delightful as this one. Think Kelly Link, Italo Calvino, Atlas Obscura, and your own dreams about the long-dead residents of your childhood neighborhood, all at once.
Edward St Aubyn$16.00
Man, Edward St. Aubyn hates all the books you like! Well, who can blame him? He's the best writer, and can switch from thriller to existential angst to comedy of manner with ease, mocking the forms while displaying his virtuosity with them. Also, if you've ever taken literary awards seriously, this book'll cure you.
Deirdre Bair$29.95 $26.96
Here's something interesting about Samuel Beckett: all of his friends and acquaintances were conniving sociopaths and most of them also alcoholic, as memoirist Dierdre Bair found out the hard way after committing to writing his literary biography. Simone de Beauvoir? Also no picnic! Bair's decades-long quest to become a writer and scholar while dealing with the bizarre demands of egomaniacs, the stresses of the women's movement and family life, and the maze of academe makes for compelling reading and plenty of cringes.
Readers often confuse the noir and the hard-boiled. This is true noir: a languid slow burn, a protagonist with almost no agency, temptations all around, a corpse that doesn't even show up till page 100, and almost no way out. All dark and no light, but giddy in the way that only truly transgressive noir can be.
Darius James$14.95 $13.75
They don't write books like this anymore. Or, for that matter, when it was written. A nearly impossible to summarize avant-garde novel in screenplay form, it is graphic in every sense of the word, from gross to reminsicent-of-a-cartoon, hysterical in every sense of the word, and absolutely unique. Whatever you're thinking, that's not it.
Nick Mamatas is an author, editor, and bookseller currently living in Oakland, California. His novels include the instant cult classic Move Under Ground, the lit conference murder mystery I Am Providence, and the forthcoming The Second Shooter. Nick's short fiction has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, and many other venues. He recently compiled Wonder & Glory Forever: Awe-Inspiring Lovecraftian Fiction for Dover Publications.