Ryan's Picks

The Goldfinch Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780316055437
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - October 22nd, 2013

Published a decade after her previous book, Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is a carefully, patiently, and masterfully wrought novel. With a keen eye for sensory and narrative detail, Tartt tells Theo Decker's story, one of loss, survival, and of being forced to grow up -- early in the novel, Decker survives a tragic accident at a museum that kills his mother. Throughout the story, Decker holds on to her memory, and a painting they saw that fateful day in the museum: Dutch painter Carel Fabritius' tiny, curious masterpiece, The Goldfinch. What unfolds is a dangerous ride through the art underworld, but also through Decker's earnest introspections, all written with Tartt's exciting sense for a heart-stopping adventure.


The Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam Cover Image
By Osip Mandelstam, Clarence Brown (Translator), W. S. Merwin (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781590170915
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New York Review of Books - August 31st, 2004

Open to any page: Mandelstam, a Russian poet who lived and died in the midst of revolution — an imprisoned poet — calls through the bars of prison with a precise, stark, and vivid voice, shaping images of both harsh and beautiful reality. He belongs to a school of writers, known as the Acmeists, who were concerned with the poetics of tangibility, clear expression, and compactness of form. Such qualities endow these almost century-old poems with startling ripeness. Mandelstam’s poetry is solemn and dire. Consider these words from his pen: “Only in Russia is poetry respected—it gets people killed. Is there anywhere else where poetry is so common a motive for murder?”


Songs of Experience: Facsimile Reproduction with 26 Plates in Full Color Cover Image
$6.95
ISBN: 9780486246369
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dover Publications - July 1st, 1984

To the modern eye, William Blake's illustrated poems that comprise Songs of Innocence and Experience may seem commonplace. But in 1789, when Blake's copperplate engravings were first printed, he was considered a pioneer of the form. Dozens of editions of the book were printed and individually hand-colored, the result being that no two pages are identical. These editions represent just one of his many versions of the book. Keen, insightful, and profound, Blake's poetry and paintings have been a major source of inspiration for artists for centuries; contemporary examples include Maurice Sendak, Kenneth Patchen, and Allen Ginsburg. Familiar with the phrase "fearful symmetry"? That's Blake! Songs of Innocence and Experience has stood the test of time and is worth revisiting again and again.


Songs of Innocence Cover Image
$7.95
ISBN: 9780486227641
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dover Publications - June 1st, 1971

To the modern eye, William Blake's illustrated poems that comprise Songs of Innocence and Experience may seem commonplace. But in 1789, when Blake's copperplate engravings were first printed, he was considered a pioneer of the form. Dozens of editions of the book were printed and individually hand-colored, the result being that no two pages are identical. These editions represent just one of his many versions of the book. Keen, insightful, and profound, Blake's poetry and paintings have been a major source of inspiration for artists for centuries; contemporary examples include Maurice Sendak, Kenneth Patchen, and Allen Ginsburg. Familiar with the phrase "fearful symmetry"? That's Blake! Songs of Innocence and Experience has stood the test of time and is worth revisiting again and again.


The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems Cover Image
By Emily Dickinson, Jen Bervin (Editor), Marta Werner (Editor)
$45.00
ISBN: 9780811221757
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - October 29th, 2013

I’m tempted to say it—
so say it I shall—
Emily’s lines
could raise one’s morale;
and were she to live today,
tweet she might,
I do dare say;
her house, alive,
in Amherst remains
where the air holds
her sweet poetry;
and now we may know
with this new tome
that her lines’ homes
include the envelope


The Dream of a Common Language: Poems 1974-1977 Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393346008
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 1st, 2013

With intensity, mindfulness, and an critical eye toward the wrongs of the world, Adrienne Rich tackles matters emotional and political head-on in Dream of a Common Language. Rich's poems offer guidance through turbulence: they can dispel the pain of heartache and longing; they can rouse up courage to confront injustice. She famously declined the National Medal of Arts in 1997, protesting the incompatibility of her art with "the cynical politics" of the Clinton administration, adding, "art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power which holds it hostage." Her love poems take on the same virtue and vitality. Read Adrienne Rich — her poems will be a boon to your well-being.


Exercises in Style Cover Image
By Raymond Queneau, Barbara Wright (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811220354
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - January 31st, 2013

A banal story of a scuffle on a bus in Paris is brought to life 99 different ways — in the form of a three-act comedy; in a Cockney accent; in strictly mathematical terms; and in a host of strange literary devices like paragoge, parechesis and polyptoton, to name a few. Plot is abandoned, and narrative development is nowhere to be found (except in the "Narrative" exercise) in favor of wild (yet highly controlled) wordplay that any word-nerd would adore. Hilarious and playful as it is esoteric, Queneau's experimental writing may prompt you to attempt your own linguistic experiments. New exercises by Queaneau and other contributors are featured in this updated anniversary edition. Read this one out loud.


Heartsnatcher Cover Image
By Boris Vian, Stanley Chapman (Translator), Raymond Queneau (Foreword by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781564782991
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - October 3rd, 2003

French writer Boris Vian once wrote that only two things matter in life: love, and the music of Duke Ellington.Inspired by the great bandleader and composer's work, Vian wrote novels of great imagination that capture all the beauty and abstraction of jazz. Heartsnatcher is certainly abstract: it follows Timortis, a wandering psychoanalyst, born an adult, who finds himself in a remote village suddenly at task to help deliver triplets. From there, he gets entangled in the village's colorful (and at times ethically deranged) web of characters. As March melts into “Julember” melts into “Novembruary”, he sets out to rationalize his increasingly bizarre surroundings, with relative success. Vian’s inventive prose and wonderful wordplay build a fantastic world where metaphors are taken too far, and answers to life's moral and philosophical dilemmas are diligently sought.