The Future of Bookselling is Already Here

By The Bookstore at the End of the World

By The Bookstore at the End of the World

The Bookstore at the End of the World hasn't quit and it hasn't closed. Your favorite booksellers from New York, Portland, Philadelphia, Mystic, Chicago, and the Bay Area are all still reading and we're ready to tell you about some of the best books out in the coming months. If you've already got a tshirt and your personal "To Be Read" stack is threatening to topple over, you can still support this hardcore bookselling collective by preordering books to be delivered in the weeks and months to come. Read on for our recommendations and check back for more as time goes on.

 

In particular, check out our lead titles Lake Like a Mirror, Cars on Fire, and Cockfight, three recommendations by Justin Walls that appeared over at the Two Lines blog on May 5th.

Cars on Fire

Robin Myers and Mónica Ramón Ríos

$14.95 $13.75

OUT 4/14/2020 A taunting batch of Molotov-ian missives sparked by Chile’s disastrous free market economics and rising inequality, Cars on Fire is an intricate wallop of a book that's more than willing to confound, confront, and even entirely abandon its audience, if need be. Mónica Ramón Ríos dares readers to either keep up with her uncompromising pace or get left in the dust. [Justin Walls, Portland OR]

Lake Like a Mirror

Natascha Bruce and Sok Fong Ho

$16.95 $15.59

OUT 4/14/2020 A collection elegantly coiled around notions of marginalization and repression, Lake Like A Mirror consistently butts up against the threshold of reality, challenging Malaysia’s rigorous religious strictures even as it tumbles seamlessly into the surreal. These subtle aberrations might assume the form of a menacing houseplant or inexplicable balloons, but Ho Sok Fong's ultimate brilliance lies in her ability to capture the low, ever-droning hum of womanhood under restraint. [Justin Walls, Portland OR]

Cockfight

María Fernanda Ampuero and Frances Riddle

$15.95 $14.67

OUT 5/5/2020 María Fernanda Ampuero's Cockfight takes a distinctly direct approach—battering ram direct, to be specific. Wielded like a righteous cudgel against exploitative power, this Ecuadorian debut makes no bones about its intentions to hold the perpetrators of systemic violence accountable for their crimes. Ampuero fights dirty and, frankly, that's just the sort of writer we need. [Justin Walls, Portland OR]

Felix Ever After

Kacen Callender

$18.98 $17.46

OUT 5/5/2020 This new Young Adult novel from the author of Hurricane Child is as enjoyable as it is important. The title character of Felix Ever After is a queer Black trans guy going to a prestigious art high school in NYC. As he attempts to unmask a cyberbully who deadnamed him to the whole school, he ends up grappling with friendships, enemies, crushes and his own gender identity. It’s both a sweet and funny love story and a thoughtful, intersectional exploration of trans issues. I’d highly recommend this to any teen questioning their gender identity, and also to any adult who could use a reminder that the kids are alright. [Sarah Goewey, NYC]

Almond

Won-Pyung Sohn and Sandy Joosun Lee

$25.99 $23.39

OUT 5/5/2020 This story - about a boy born with Alexithymia, making it almost impossible for him to feel emotions - holds some of the best writing in the voice of a child I have ever read. Hope in the face of unimaginable tragedy is difficult to write into being, but Won-pyung Sohn has done an incredible job. [Sophia Kaufman, NYC]

Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe

Carlos Hernandez

$16.99 $15.63

OUT 5/5/2020 Nothing can beat the comfort of a middle grade book right now, and Sal & Gabi delivers every step of the way. Hernandez writes with so much love and joy that you can't help but also be swept up in it. The pitch-perfect end to a sensational series. [Jocelyn Bright, NYC]

All Adults Here

Emma Straub

$27.00 $24.30

Out 5/5/2020 People without children thought that having a newborn was the hardest part of parenthood, that upside-down, day-is-night twilight zone of feedings and toothless wails. But parents knew better. Parents knew that the hardest part of parenthood was figuring out how to do the right thing twenty-four hours a day, forever, and surviving all the time you failed." This book! Jam-packed with all these subtle, profound insights. Straub is a master character developer, each endearing even at their worst. I, admittedly, arrived at the end questioning, "what exactly was the plot?" And then I realized, that's part of the point. All Adults Here introduces you to the Strick family at a particular juncture, and shows you bits and pieces of how they arrived there. With few neat and tidy resolutions, and a lot of wisdom and humor, this novel is pretty much your next door neighbor's real life. [Genay Jackson, NYC]

Quotients

Tracy O'Neill

$27.00 $24.30

OUT 5/12/2020 I like a novel about the mysterious interconnected machinery of state violence and business. I like a novel that lays bare the emotional lives and desires of the individuals who enact these global agendas. And above all, I like a novel that brings suspense and nuance back to an age when too much is made knowable by technology or physics. This is an exquisite bit of writing because O'Neill brings a skillful tension and intimacy back to the world, and her deft touch with the inner lives and relationships of her characters is something that bears recommendation to readers of le Carré as easily as to lovers of Marguerite Duras. Hugely impressive. [Jeff Waxman, NYC]

Boys of Alabama

Genevieve Hudson

$26.95 $24.26

OUT 5/18/2020 Keywords for this book include: Southern, Gothic, Coming of Age, LGBTQ, and Magical Realism. That’s it! [Katie Kenney, Mystic CT]

Beach Read

Emily Henry

$16.00 $14.72

OUT 5/19/2020 It's really just delightful. She writes happily ever afters and he writes angsty, "deep," fiction. Surely, they have nothing in common. But, when family secrets send author, January, to her late father's beach house in a tiny town in Michigan to figure out her life, she doesn't expect to recognize her next door neighbor from her college writing classes. They strike a deal to help each other out of their writer's block, and, you guessed it, fall in love, but, now without confronting past demons that have scarred them both deeply. So vulnerable and aware, as each of them realize that they're worthy of love and all of life's good things and find those in one another. [Genay Jackson, NYC]

Nine Moons

Jessica Powell and Gabriela Wiener

$22.00 $19.80

OUT 5/26/2020 Currently mainly known for her fascinating "Sexographies", this newly translated Weiner book is much more straight-forward in subject matter. Originally released in her native Spanish in 2009, Nine Moons is primarily a book about an unexpectedly pregnant woman reckoning with the reality of motherhood and exploring all the possibilities it might entail. She briefly delves into things like grisly stories of mothers who have killed or were killed by their children while also describing a common scenario of nervously nesting while living in a too small space. She talks about being newly unemployed at the same time and eventually landing a job that becomes quickly too physically demanding. It illuminates all the struggles people have to go through and choices people have to make before a child even enters the world. There's even some humor in it! [Amanda Rivera, NYC]

#veryfat #verybrave: The Fat Girl's Guide to Being #brave and Not a Dejected, Melancholy, Down-In-The-Dumps Weeping Fat Girl in a Bikini

Nicole Byer

$19.98 $18.38

OUT 6/2/2020 Unsaturated facts: On June 2, funny lady and host of Netflix’s Nailed It! Nicole Byer is coming out with a delicious new memoir, #VERYFAT #VERYBRAVE: The Fat Girl’s Guide to Being #Brave and Not a Dejected, Melancholy, Down-in-the-Dumps Weeping Fat Girl in a Bikini. Everyone could use a solid dose of #brave body positivity, which is all the more reason to celebrate someone embracing theirs. Besides, who doesn’t want to obsess over Byer’s fierce bikini looks? [Robyn Smith, NYC]

Ornamental

Lizzie Davis and Juan Cárdenas

$16.95 $15.59

OUT 6/2/220 As its title suggests, this is a novel of artifice, adornment, aestheticism. Set in a murky, well-drawn and yet well-concealed nameless place in a nameless time, it's the story of a pompous doctor conducting human trials for a major pharmaceutical company to develop a drug based on a native plant that seems only to have an effect on women. Lizzie Davis' translation--at turns razor sharp and remarkably fluid, making for a brilliant clash between the aseptic formality of the doctor's voice and the apparent chaos in the drug-induced monologues of one of the test subjects--brings to life one of the central tensions at the heart of this book, namely, the way outward adornment and ornament reflect, or create a dialogue with what's contained within (something we see in the novel's fixation with architecture). Refusing easy characterization or interpretation, it's a cryptic, multi-faceted gem of a book, and one that begs, along with Davis' note at the end, to be read and re-read time and again. [Jacob Rogers, NYC]

A Fish Growing Lungs: Essays

Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn

$16.00 $14.72

OUT 6/9/2020 A Fish Growing Lungs resists the idea of a “typical” narrative of addiction and mental illness. Drawing on photographs, songs, and specific locations spanning much of the continental U.S. and beyond, Sawchyn creates a rich multimedia backdrop for a clumsy, yet compelling collection of stories whose fragmented nature seems to speak to her distinctive method of remembering and healing. [Althea Meer, NYC]

Echo on the Bay

Masatsugu Ono and Angus Turvill

$16.95 $15.59

OUT 6/9/2020 A roiling, contemplative cauldron of rumor and happenstance, small town folklore intermingling with curious occurrences. Echo on the Bay cements Masatsugu Ono as a master storyteller. [Justin Walls, Portland OR]

Take a Hint, Dani Brown

Talia Hibbert

$15.99 $14.71

OUT 6/20/2020 The follow up to Hibbert's Get a Life, Chloe Brown, this beauty follow's Chloe's younger and much more free-spirited sister, Dani. A bad heartbreak has left her unwilling to consider any real relationship, but she's happy to entertain some companionship. Her walls, however, are no match for the gruff but, patient and endearing former rugby player turned security guard for the University building where she teaches her literature courses. Super steamy, yet painfully adorable. Their banter is LOL-inducing, and their happily ever after so satisfying. [Genay Jackson, NYC]

Death in Her Hands

Ottessa Moshfegh

$27.00 $24.30

OUT 6/23/2020 "Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body." So goes a note found by Vesta—an older widower, newly moved to the town of Levant—which prompts the obsessive, paranoid, and sharp voice of Death in Her Hands, a novel equal parts murder mystery and dissection on truth, community, loneliness, voyeurism, and narrative. No pun intended: Moshfegh kills it. [Joe Demes, Chicago]

Tokyo Ueno Station

Yu Miri

$25.00 $22.50

OUT 6/23/2020 This book was an incredible and heartbreaking depiction of urban homelessness in Japan. Without any attempts to avoid uncomfortable concerns the dispossessed are forced to deal with or even chapter breaks, it acts as an unrelenting tale of an old man who worked his whole life only to feel like a burden to his family and eventually move into a tent. It's considered a ghost story, exploring how so many of us choose not to see homelessness or recognize them as the complex people they are. Maybe it's because it's scary to meditate on the fact that so many never thought they would be homeless, and indeed so many of us never think it will happen to us. It made me think of the 60,000+ people living on the streets or shelters in NYC alone, how our governor just recently called those forced to sleep on trains "disgusting" and "disrespectful" amidst the pandemic. This book takes a stand and forces the reader to see something that we would prefer not to. [Amanda Rivera, NYC]

It Is Wood, It Is Stone

Gabriella Burnham

$26.00 $23.40

OUT 6/30/2020 Fine, yes: I love the drama. But I like my juicy self-discovery blunders with a healthy dose of class and race consciousness. In this whirlwind debut, Gabriella Burnham takes you along with a white American woman encountering São Paulo, making encounters she may not be equipped to handle as she ventures out of the cushy entrapments of the space she's told to occupy. With a deft second-person narrative hand and a central character whose shape gets built as you read her, Burnham takes you from the city to the coast, brushing into rural Brazil and the tenuous social codes they're all built on. This one lets you breathe in the tropical air, but doesn't let you ignore at what cost you occupy the space. [Nora Tjossem, NYC]

The Only Good Indians

Stephen Graham Jones

$26.99 $24.29

OUT 7/14/2020 Four Native men hunt on the wrong patch of land, and kill the wrong beast. Author Stephen Graham Jones refreshes the traditional novel of supernatural revenge with effortlessly literate prose, well-observed passages about everything from working at the postal service to the intricacies of rezball, and one of the most sympathetically portrayed monsters in recent fiction. [Nick Mamatas, Bay Area]

Utopia Avenue

David Mitchell

$30.00 $27.00

OUT 7/14/2020 Even as a David Mitchell fan, I was not sure that the premise of a forgotten psychedelic British band's rise and fall in the 1960s would interest me in the way his boldest science fiction has. I'm happy to say that I was wrong. Not only does Mitchell beautifully explore love, friendship, family, and fame, but he weaves in a supernatural subplot connecting to a previous novel (one of the band member's surname is De Zoet) that will surely satisfy his diehard fans. [Walker Iverson, NYC]

A History of My Brief Body

Billy-Ray Belcourt

$15.99 $14.71

Out 7/14/2020 Written by a queer member of the Driftpile Cree Nation, this debut memoir is a great coalescence of political critique and Belcourt's personal narrative. Gracefully weaving together things like his sexual experiences of fetishization on Grindr with general condemnations of white supremacist capitalism, he succeeds in staying endlessly interesting throughout. He speaks of an urgency to recognize what could be done for so many forgotten people: "That we haven't sufficed in the project of making being in the world an arousing and joyous thing for all is a cause for alarm." It's a book that explores the act of writing as a way to challenge and a way to console. A History of My Brief Body will no doubt eventually be seen as a part of the ever diversified canon of incredible queer texts along with Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, Wojnarowicz’s Close to the Knives, and Ocean Vuong's more recent On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous. It's concurrently about anger and positivity; Belcourt manages to look back on how "NDNs" have historically been brutalized and traumatized, as well as proposing a way to move evermore forward. [Amanda Rivera, NYC]

Pew

Catherine Lacey

$26.00 $23.40

OUT 7/21/2020 The brilliance of Catherine Lacey’s new novel is in its apparent simplicity. An identity-less “child” wakes up on a pew in a church somewhere in the American South. Through a cast of various caretakers, the absence created by the novel’s titular protagonist allows space for a community to reveal itself and the vacuous fervor with which it defines itself and everything else. Pew is a gothic allegory of how rigid systems of thought destroy one’s capacity for empathy. [Nathan Stormer, Chicago]

True Story

Kate Reed Petty

$26.00 $23.40

OUT 8/4/2020 I first picked up True Story because the cover made it look like a cheesy thriller, a guilty fave for my employment-era 30min lunch break. But the joke was on me: once I'd started it, I couldn't put it down. Experiencing Perry's debut feels less like reading and more like binge-watching. A wildly well-paced, multi-formal novel with an empathetic hand for each of its narrators, the story unfolds over years, hopping between 1999 Baltimore and 2014 Brooklyn as more dimensions are revealed. If you want twists, turns, untrustworthy narrators, and a deeply urgent example of the way narrative shapes our lives, ditch the streaming and hop to this book! [Nora Tjossem, NYC]

Difficult Light

Andrea Rosenberg and Tomas Gonzalez

$18.00 $16.56

OUT 8/11/2020 I keep thinking about this book. The story is simple. Tragic, but simple. An elderly painter thinks back to his paraplegic son’s euthanasia. The way González creates the worldview of a sight diminished artist is how he primes his own canvas, and the finished product is astounding. Some of the best writing I’ve ever read. [Josh Bohnsack, Chicago]