News (Updated 04.19.12)

Another Book This Year Will Keep Us Here.

Friends of St. Mark's Bookshop,

Last Fall, over 44,000 people signed the petition to save St. Mark's Bookshop by appealing to the landlord, Cooper Union, to lower out rent.

Thanks to you the appeal was successful. However, the deal that was finally negotiated will only lower our rent until the end of this year.

For us to continue to serve our community, as we have for the past 35 years, we very much need your support.

Our business is not simply selling books and journals. We provide a showcase for the life of the mind. Every day, people tell us how glad they are we're still here.

We know you value St. Mark's Bookshop. We're counting on you to help keep us here. We're asking you to buy a book or journal on a regular basis. Come visit every month, or order online. We can obtain most books in a few days and they can be picked up here (until midnight every day) or we can ship worldwide. Print books, e-books, and 2000 journals and magazines.

We need an increase in business in order to rebuild our inventory to the level most people have come to expect.

Time is critical. Please help now. Long live St. Mark's Bookshop! (04.19.12)

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Hey, We've got a Twitter account (late to the game?) and it's @stmarksbookshop so follow us for stock updates, event news and other bits of data we see fit to post. Also, check out our event calendar (at right) as we've added a bunch of new entries to our in-store reading series. (03.27.12)

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Some recent happenings:

The 2012 Tournament of Books has begun! Go here and bookmark it! Check back regularly for all of the bookfighting action!

Also, the National Book Critics Circle Awards were presented last night.

And, we're having another in our series of instore readings on Tuesday, March 13th. Click on that date on the calendar at right for more information. (03.09.12)

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We've got two new exciting events to announce! 

First up, on Tuesday, February 7th, St. Mark's Bookshop and The Huffington Post present an evening with Tea Obreht, author of "The Tiger's Wife." Ms. Obreht's novel is the first selection of the new Huffington Post Bookclub, and we look forward to hosting the inaugural meeting of all its readers.

Then, on Monday, February 20th, we present a celebration of Muumuu House with six (count'em) of their authors. Check back here for more information on future events. (01.29.12)

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You already knew that you could buy Google eBooks here at St. Mark's Bookshop's website. That's the old news. The new news is that there's now an Indiebound Reader available for your Android device. Click on the "Buy eBooks Here - Read eBooks Here" icon at right (or here) to download the reader, and you can start buying and reading Google eBooks from St. Mark's Bookshop today! (11.28.11)

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Here's the official word on the status of the bookshop:

St. Mark's Bookshop and The Cooper Union have reached an agreement which reduces our rent. This would not have been possible without the overwhelming support of our community. Over 44,000 people signed the petition to "Save St. Mark's Bookshop". We sincerely appreciate the efforts made by so many on our behalf. We especially want to thank Frances Goldin and Joyce Ravitch of the Cooper Square Committe, and Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough president.

Long Live Books and Readers! (11.07.11)

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Please note: we've added new events to the calendar at right for the month of November. Also, a friend of the store is having an online exhibition of her work, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit St. Mark's Bookshop. Check out "Intimations" An Online Exhibition of Photographs by Roberta Allen, November 1st through the 30th at the Project Room, Dinter Fine Art (http://www.dinterfineart.com/html/project.html and http://www.dinterfineart.com/html/allen.html). (11.02.11)

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We're hereby amplifying the reputation of the already much-esteemed Haruki Murakami. Next Monday, October 24th, we'll be staying open until after midnight in order to sell his new novel 1Q84 (check it out here), adding him to such laydown-date-breaking company as Thomas Pynchon and, er, J.K. Rowling. See you there. (10.19.11)

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Julian Barnes' "The Sense of an Ending" has won the 2011 Man Booker Prize. So, fourth time was the charm? (10.18.11)

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It started with the petition. Then there was an article in the New York Daily News, one in the New York Times and a few in the Village Voice. We've also had a guardian angel over at Jeremiah's Vanishing New York. Times, generally, are tight. And there are lots of reasons not to buy books from your local independent bookseller. But lots of people, both over the last week and over the last thirty-five years, have found lots of reasons to buy books from us, and for that we are very, very grateful. Thank you all very much. (09.24.11)

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Right down there, it says that the Man Booker Longlist was announced, and now the Shortlist is here. Time does fly. Julian Barnes has been shortlisted three times without winning? (09.07.11)

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Here's another addition to our in-house reading series: Ben Lerner and Justin Taylor will be at the bookshop on Tuesday, September 6th at 7 pm sharp to launch Ben's Leaving the Atocha Station. (08.23.11)

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Summer just seems to be the hardest season in which to post. But we've collected some things you should know about, and the fans are working, so here we go.

First, we've added another event to our ongoing reading series (see the calendar at right). Two weeks from tonight, on August 30th, Shiela McClear and Marc McAndrews will discuss American Sex Culture with Arthur Nersessian. Awesome. And there are more events coming in the late summer and early fall.

The Man Booker Longlist was announced a few weeks back, but the shortlist is still a few weeks away, and the winner won't be announced until October 18. Very reasonable, considering how much time they'll need to read all those books.

The Cooper Union is undergoing another phase of destruction/reconstruction as they erect a new academic building across the street from the bookshop. The scaffolding went up last week so bright and early on Monday they chopped down a bunch of trees. Like this one. Excellent.

Now, this is important. Our very own Margarita Shalina has published a new translation of Chekhov's The Duel. It's one of five Duels that Melville House Publishing released this week and we couldn't be more proud.

Check these out. Here is a short film Vivian Kubrick shot behind the scenes while her father was making "The Shining." Somewhere near the middle there's an "on set" visit from James Mason, which struck me as odd until I remembered (from mid-sixties to early eighties shouldn't be such a leap) he had starred in the director's "Lolita." And here is an analysis of the physical impossibility of the Overlook Hotel in the aforementioned film.

Finally, be sure to pick up a copy of the summer issue of The Paris Review.

 

It's got two great interviews, one with Samuel R. Delany (which is really great) and one with William Gibson (which is merely great). Interviews are usually this journal's strong suit, but this time they've outdone themselves. (08.16.11) 

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Happy Independence Day and, y'know, Independents Day too, if you want to stop by and patronize your local bookseller. Yet another batch of great remainders has arrived in the last week (check out the titles by selecting the link at left) and we've added another event to our ongoing reading series. Next Tuesday, July 12th we'll host a panel on Women in Music and Media, featuring Mindy Abovitz of Tom Tom magazine, Emily Rems of Bust Magazine, and producer Shirley Braha. (07.04.11)

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You'll note we've refreshed the Periodicals page, and some new Remainders are on the way too (out on the table as you read this!). Don't forget to stop by Atlantic Bookshop in Brooklyn. I don't know how much longer they'll be there, but they're up to 75% off for everything in the store, and it's all good. And try to check out Mast Books on Avenue A near Fifth Street, with a great selection and really nice presentation. Remember that the sun sets and then it rises again. (06.04.11)

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Here are two videos for you to check out. This one is courtesy of Green Apple Books in San Francisco, and it shows just how easy it is to buy Google eBooks from your local indie bookseller, and here's a recording of Poetry Night at the White House. (05.12.11)

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We've added a bunch of new events to our schedule.

On May 10th we will host an evening of Poetry with Ammiel Alcalay, Dan Machlin and Cihan Kaan,

On May 17th we'll have Bill Morgan in conversation with Hettie Jones,

On May 24th join us to celebrate Akashic Books' new collection Barcelona Noir,

and on June 28th, Carolee Schneemann will be featured in a solo reading event.

Check the calendar at right for details and check back here for more events as summer unfolds. (05.08.11)

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If you live in New York or are planning on visiting in the next thirty days or so, you really should try to stop by the Atlantic Bookshop before they close for good at the end of the May. Once known as 12th Street Books and located in Manhattan, Atlantic is probably the closest I'll ever get to my ideal used bookstore. Really, there's only one thing that makes a bookstore great: the taste that is regularly demonstrated in the inventory on the shelves. I've frequently been floored by the appearance at Atlantic of a book I would never buy, but I've also found plenty of things there that I just had to have. Everything is discounted 30% until the very end, and everything in the store is worth checking out.

Atlantic Bookshop is at 179 Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill Brooklyn (between Clinton and Court, and right near Bookcourt, another great store) and is convenient to the Bergen Street F and G trains. (05.01.11)

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Two new additions to our event schedule:

First in just two days, we hosting an All-Star Reading of Akashic Authors, featuring Kevin Holohan, Nathan Larson, Nina Revoyr, David Unger and Persia Walker. That's this Tuesday, the 19th, at 7 pm sharp.

Then, next week, on Monday the 25th, also at 7 pm, we're having a reading to celebrate the publication of Lynne Tillman's Someday This Will Be Funny, with Lynne and special guests Tom McCarthy and Deb Olin Unferth. (04.17.11)

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Jennifer Egan's "A Visit from the Goon Squad," just out in paperback, has won the 2011 Tournament of Books. Also, we had some copies of "The Pale King," and now we don't. But we will again very shortly. (04.04.11)

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The next event in our home-based reading series (recently praised by The Gothamist) is scheduled for March 29th and features two longtime friends of the bookshop: Gary Indiana and Arthur Nersesian. See you there at seven sharp. (03.15.11)

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A few reminders: The Tournament of Books begins tomorrow, March 7 and you can check out the schedule of readers and rounds here. It's a very different take on the idea of literary competition and prizes, and the commentaries of the judges are fresh and honest responses to good writing. It's worth watching for that alone.

Also, there's this piece about what David Foster Wallace's The Pale King might have looked like, will look like and should look like. The book is out in only a few short weeks, but maybe it's a beginning rather than an end. (03.06.11)

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Thanks to all of you who came out to see Polina Barskova and friends. Next up in our reading series: Anna Moschovakis and Filip Marinovich will be here in the bookshop on Tuesday, March 1st at 7:00 pm sharp to read from their latest:

          

Anna Moschovakis' You And Three Others Are Approaching A Lake

and

Filip Marinovich's And If You Don't Go Crazy I'll Meet You Here Tomorrow

Please join us. (02.19.11)

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The next event in the St. Mark's Bookshop Reading Series has been announced. Join us on Tuesday, February 8th at 7:00 pm, here at the bookshop, for a Reading and Launch Party for Polina Barskova's The Zoo in Winter

And join us following the reading for a celebration upstairs at the bar Solas at 232 East 9th Street. (02.03.11)

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February 8, 2011 will mark the centenary of esteemed American poet Elizabeth Bishop. To celebrate the event, Farrar, Straus & Giroux has released new collections of her work along with some other treats, and they're now available at St. Mark's Bookshop.

      

First, there's a new edition of her collected poems, entitled, simply, Poems, running to 368 pages and including 31 facsimiles of handwritten or typed drafts. It includes all of the poetry published in her lifetime as well as a selection of her unfinished work. Prose contains stories, memoirs, essays and reviews, and the correspondence with Anne Stevenson, the author of the first full-length study of Bishop's verse. Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker collects for the first time the complete correspondence between Bishop and her editors at the magazine, documenting a relationship of over forty years. Finally, don't forget Words in Air, collecting the complete correspondence of Bishop and Robert Lowell, published just last spring in paperback.

St. Mark's Bookshop is known world-wide for its poetry selection. Visit us and browse these and other great additions to our poetry shelves. (02.01.11) 

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So, it turns out that Nabokov was right after all. I wonder how many times that's been said or written in the last hundred years. You could check out Nabokov's Blues from Zoland Press or Nabokov's Butterflies from Beacon Press for more information. They're both out of print though, so try www.abebooks.com (01.26.11)

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Ah, this makes the late winter worth enduring: the contenders for the 2011 Tournament of Books have been announced. If you don't already know, the tournament consists of a series of head-to-head elimination matchups between sixteen novels, each decided by a different judge. You can watch all the action unfold, agree, disagree and even wager on the outcome. As usual, Moby Lives has just the right take on it. (01.24.11)

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The National Book Critics Circle has announced the Finalists for its 2010 Awards here. (01.23.11)

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Yes, it's been a while. Let's just get right to the news:

This seems like kind of a coup: Genesis P-Orridge will be at St. Mark's Bookshop next Tuesday, January 25th as part of our In Store Reading Series, with special guest Lonely Christopher.

Yes, it's cold out, and the bookstore may seem far from where you are, but we have newly arrived DVDs and Remainders that you have to check out. 

HTMLGiant does not disappoint: What Do You Mean When You Say Brooklyn? (Be Sure to Read the Comments)

David Foster Wallace's The Pale King is now just under three months away. The always excellent MobyLives has some thoughts and useful links. 

Um, Martin Amis is moving to Cobble Hill? This is bad for both Martin Amis and Cobble Hill. I just don't know of a better way to put it.

You can use this site to check out the New York Times Bestsellers for the week you were born. It's kind of like astrology, in the sense that you can now discover that you were born under the sign of Jacqueline Susann. It could explain a lot.

Here are some brief thoughts from Don Delillo on the occasion of his winning the PEN/Saul Bellow Award. Apparently, he typed them out. (01.17.11)

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In the "Future is Now" department, St. Mark's Bookshop has started selling Google eBooks. Check them out by clicking on the icon to the right.

You can browse through the listings and purchase titles just like you would print books, but you can also read them via your Google account, wherever you are. If you've been wanting to buy eBooks and to support independent book stores at the same time, now's your chance. And, as always, you can e-mail us with any questions. (12.15.10)

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Check out our friends at OR Books by clicking here. We're selling their titles, in paperback and ebook formats, through this site, and we're happy to be a part of their bold new experiment in publishing. (12.6.10)

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The next event in our reading series has just been announced. Christian Hawkey, author of the newly published "Ventrakl," will read with Sarah Riggs and Kathy Park Hong on Tuesday, December 7th at 7:00 pm. Remember, all of these events are at the bookshop, and are free and open to the public. Please join us. (11.28.10)

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The 2010 National Book Award Winners have been announced.

     

Patti Smith's Just Kids won for Nonfiction (the paperback is available now too), Jaimy Gordon's Lord of Misrule won for Fiction, Terrance Hayes' Lighthead won for Poetry and Kathryn Erskine's Mockingbird won for Young People's Literature. (11.18.10)

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James Frey is a kind of Sarah Palin figure for the publishing world (despite Sarah Palin being herself a part of the publishing world) in that we seem unable to be rid of him, no matter how illegitimate we have found his presence or his origin to be. He's up to something we can barely bring ourselves to understand fully, but we love Roxane Gay at HTMLGiant and she's got the scoop.

The very, very long list for the international IMPAC DUBLIN literary award was recently announced, so here it is, and here's a breakdown from The Millions.

We're having another event here at the store! This one will be a week from next Tuesday, on November 30th and you can get all the details here. (11.16.10)

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The nominees for the National Book Awards for 2010 were announced today, and you can see them all here. It's nice to see Coffee House Press and McPherson among the nominees for fiction, and Patti Smith is a pleasant surprise for Just Kids in the nonfiction category. The poetry nominees seem like a good mix too.

Also, the winner of the Guardian's Not-the-Booker Prize was announced, and this year it's shared by Lee Rourke for The Canal and Matthew Hooton for Deloume Road (not yet in a US edition). It's supposed to be a knock at the judging process of the actual Booker Prize (won last night by Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question) as the winners of the Not-the-Booker are chosen by popular vote from actual readers, not by a small number of bookish people who may or may not have time to read everything short or long-listed. And on that point, Rourke's US publisher, Melville House, has a piece up about the recriminations of past Booker judges at their always excellent blog. (10.13.10)

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The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson has won the Man Booker Prize for 2010. Early commentary mentions that this is the first "unabashedly comic novel" (The Guardian UK) to win and notes that Jacobson, at 68, is pleased to be able to put the "underrated" tag to rest, finally.

Along with Mario Vargas Llosa's winning the Nobel Prize last week, perhaps this upset will help to end the baseless speculation among handicappers, bookstore clerks and other so-called interested parties. Tim MCcarthy's C was supposed to be a shoe-in for this year's Booker, except it wasn't, the same way any number of familiar names were due to win the Nobel, but no one saw Vargas Llosa coming. It's not the World Series, and even the shortlist (postseason?) turns out not to be a solid indicator of who or what will win. (10.12.10)

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Our in-house event with Eileen Myles went so well, we're going to try it again. On Tuesday, October 26th, we'll host an evening with Tao Lin and Sara Marcus in the bookshop. Tao Lin, the author of "Shoplifting from American Apparel" and "Bed," will read from his new novel, "Richard Yates," published by Brooklyn's own Melville House. Sara Marcus will read from "Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution." It's another chance to hear from our kind of authors and to get them to sign your books, so stop on by. (10.08.10)

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Mario Vargas Llosa has won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature (10.07.10)

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While we may argue with the selection, we agree with the sentiment.

NPR has a story about David Markson's library being dispersed after his death and then almost accidentally discovered on the shelves of The Strand Bookstore. 

2010 MacArthur Fellows were announced today, including writer Yiyun Lee and historian Annette Gordon-Reed. (09.28.10)

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The 2010 PEN Literary Awards have been announced, and over at their site they have an interview with the winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award, Don DeLillo. (09.26.10)

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Two pieces of David Foster Wallace news today.

The first is that a publication date has been announced for Wallace's unfinished final novel. It will be released under what we presume was its last and intended title, The Pale King, on April 15, 2011. And it's no coincidence that it will come out on the day income taxes are due, as the story is set in an IRS facility in Illinois. The cover was designed by Wallace's widow, Karen Green, and here it is:

 

The second is that his personal archive at the Harry Ransom Center (and they've got all the great archives) in Austin, Texas isopen for researchers. They don't say anything about gawkers or the idlycurious though. Sure, someone has to comb through his notebooks andfind out "what it all means," but some of us just want to see what hewrote in the margins of "Ratner's Star" (he had a 1989 VintageContemporary edition, just like everybody else). You can begin here. (09.15.10)

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So, it worked, it worked really well. Eileen Myles came to the bookshop last night and read from her latest, Inferno: A Poet's Novel, and a bunch of you came by and bought copies. We'll have to do this again soon. Check out some pictures from the event here. (09.15.10)

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The Shortlist (that's six titles) for the Man Booker Prize has been announced, culled from the longlist of thirteen announced last July. Surprises? Well, David Mitchell didn't make it, but Peter Carey did. If Carey wins, it will be his third Booker Prize (he's previously won for Oscar and Lucinda in 1988 and for True History of the Kelly Gang in 2001). (09.07.10)

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We're going to try having readings in the bookshop, and we can't think of anybody better than Eileen Myles to kick things off. She'll be reading from her new novel, Inferno, published by OR Books and available at St. Mark's (but not at any other retail bookstore) on Tuesday, September 14th at 7:00 pm. Come by and hope you have to squeeze in. (09.06.10)

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Okay, back to work.

The biggest recent thing is the release of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom last Tuesday, August 31st. We stayed open late on Monday night to sell the book after midnight, and we got a few nibbles. But we decided to do it kind of late, and barely publicized it, so one probably couldn't read too much into the response. We do appreciate the concern. And sales have been more than a little better since then.

Of course, that doesn't mean that everyone's thrilled, just because we all had to wait ten years. One of our regular regulars recommends an alternative, and someone else we really like covers a resulting, though minor, controversy.

As we noted here previously, David Markson passed away on June 4th. The Millions has a nice introduction to his work.

Not a big fan of The Huffington Post (mainly because the previous incarnation of Arianna Huffington made such a strong impression), but this piece is intriguing, if only because nearly everyone on it is a St. Mark's favorite.

Tom McCarthy's Remainder started small and quiet, then proceeded to build a following the old fashioned way (that means word of mouth). He's returned with another called C. (09.06.10)

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Just a few brief things to consider while summer reading:

- Our air-conditioning has been restored, mostly. The bookshop is a lovely 73 degrees fahrenheit this morning. A dramatic improvement.

- David Mitchell came by to sign copies of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (and it's apparently "Zoot") and Cloud Atlas, and there are still a bunch of both left.

- The Man Booker Prize Longlist has been announced here.

- David Markson passed away in early June and his library has started to show up at The Strand. For more, go here. (07.28.10)

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The lastest issue of The Paris Review is here, and it's a good one. I feel that each new issue can be judged almost instantly by the interviews, and number 193 will not disappoint on that score. The latest "Art of Fiction" piece is a conversation with David Mitchell, a longtime St. Mark's favorite and author of "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet," which will be out in about ten days. Then there's the inaugural "Art of Comics" interview with R. Crumb, who talks about his adaptation of the Book of Genesis. (06.17.10)

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Reading Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Windup Girl" and enjoying it a great deal. The premise is very fresh, at least to someone who doesn't read a lot of contemporary science fiction, but it's the density of the text that's the surprising thing. And every page is packed with the echo of insurmountable environmental disaster, so it feels very right-around-the-corner. (06.17.10)

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When he had a regular book page in Equire, Sven Birkerts was worth reading every month. Not just for his skillful reviewing, but because of the way he set the books he wrote about into a larger cultural context. He continues to write and to teach and to publish, in Agni and at Bennington, for example. But his recent essay "Reading in a Digital Age" is further proof that he should be more widely read. He not only discusses what the consumption of web-based media does to our brains, but then follows that thinking into an exploration of what the act of reading is and what impressions it makes on us. Outstanding. (06.02.10)

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We have a "special" edition of the new issue of McSweeney's. Nick McDonell was kind enough to drop by and sign the copies of his latest, "The End of Major Combat Operations," including those copies that happen to be bundled with McSweeney's Number 34. You can have signed McDonell with or without the latest McSweeney's! (05.25.10)

 

 
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Fans of our reading series, please take note: we've moved over to Bar 82 at 136 Second Avenue for all future events. See you there next Thursday. (05.22.10)

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We're about to run out of first edition copies of Patti Smith's "Just Kids." The pubisher has been out for a while, and copies we received from local wholesalers this morning were eighth printings. So, if those tiny numbers opposite the title page mean anything to you, hurry. We hope to continue to have signed copies (of various printings) on hand for some time to come. (05.19.10)

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Bookselling's annual convention, Book Expo America begins next week here in New York City. If you're visiting for the convention, please drop by the store and introduce yourself. We look forward to seeing you and to showing off our fine store. (05.19.10)

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When Patti Smith dropped by the store yesterday to sign copies of "Just Kids," she had a copy of Roberto Bolano's "Amulet" under her arm. When asked about it, she said that she's a big fan, recommending both "Amulet" and "Distant Star," then singling out "2666" as the late author's masterpiece. She also revealed that she's hard at work on the paperback of "Just Kids," which will feature a redesigned cover and sixteen pages of new material. She knows that she has very dedicated fans who will probably buy the paperback after having already bought the hardcover. By adding extra material, she feels that she can show those fans how much she appreciates them. The paperback edition of "Just Kids" should be ready in time for Robert Mapplethorpe's birthday in early November. (04.28.10)

      

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Our Small Press Buyer Margarita returns with some great new picks.

Check out "The Eco Language Reader" from Nightboat Books, an anthology of  writing about writing and ecology. Margarita points out "it's theory, but by poets, so it's better."

The winner for favorite title goes to "When You Say One Thing But Mean Your Mother," a poetry collection from Melissa Broder.

"To Light Out" is the first full-length collection of poetry from Karen Weiser, published by our nearby friends at Ugly Duckling Presse.

Ammiel Alcalay brings us "Islanders" from our faraway friends at City Lights.

MacGregor Card won the 2009 Fence Modern Poets Prize and offers us the sort of songbook that is "Duties of an English Foreign Secretary." Enjoy. (04.21.10)

       

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So, okay, you can't judge a book, etc. etc.

But, really, kudos to Dalkey Archive Press for their recent and stunning redesign. Dalkey titles were always distinct but spare, sometimes featuring a black and white photograph superimposed on a plain white background, removed from context but conveying some element of the narrative within.

But look at these two new titles that that arrived just this morning.

Joshua Cohen lives in beloved and bedeviled Brooklyn (Holla!) and Witz (to the left) is his fifth book. It's 817 pages long, so take frequent breaks to run in place or do some sit-ups. The blurb on the back from Steve Erickson should tell you all you need to know about who he is as a writer and what his writing's about. And just look at that cover. The spine, by the way, (which must be an inch and a half thick) is black with white lettering, creating a tasteful contrast.

Dalkey's also published a number of Jean-Philippe Toussaint's books recently. Self-Portrait Abroad (on the right) is a concise 84 pages, and features a semi-atobiographical narrator (as many of Toussaint's books do) roaming the world for the sake of roaming. A perfect, eye-catching sorbet to follow any meal,

Take a look at some of Dalkey Archive's latest titles here at the bookshop. Check out the fresh designs on the covers of all of them, then look inside. (04.16.10)

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If you're a Roberto Bolano completist (and that's a big job these days), we have a new entry for you. El Tercer Reich, a novel from 1989  is now available, in Spanish, from Random House. This is the first of several Spanish language Bolano editions that will be coming out this year ("Estrella Distante" and "Nocturno de Chile" should follow in May), but El Tercer Reich is distinct for not having yet been translated into English. And yes, it means "Third Reich," but no, it's not the Spanish language version of "Nazi Literature in the Americas." (04.15.10)

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Anne Carson's Nox is pretty special, even for her. She is already renowned for her excellent poetry, her thoughtful essays and her elegant translations, but Nox is evidence of all of her talents in one place at one time. She describes it as an epitaph for her brother, and the version we have, published by New Directions, is a replica or facsimile of that relic. It's made from an inches thick sheaf of accordioned paper and contained in a clamshell box. There is collage and there are old photographs. Catullus is present nearly constantly. It's a gorgeous argument against e-readers, is what it is. Come have a look. (04.01.10)

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I like to play a game (which I usually win, of course) of comparing and rating reading material on the subway. New Yorkers try to get a lot done while they're between stops (eating, filling out forms or sorting mail, etc.) and their persistent reading speaks highly of us as a city. I once met a man on F train into Brooklyn who was finishing (finishing!) The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Now CoverSpy provides a handy guide to what's being read and where (and by whom) on the MTA and in other public places. (04.01.10)

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Margarita returns with more great books from great small presses.

     

The first is just your typical pocket book of contemporary poetics, "Notes on Conceptualisms" from our friends in beautiful, bountiful Brooklyn, Ugly Duckling Presse.

Next is a hattrick of hits from Madras Press of Brighton, Mass: Trinie Dalton's "Sweet Tomb" is a short and sweet fiction, Rebecca Lee's "Bobcat" describes a difficult dinner party, and Aimee Bender's "The Third Elevator" is a little animal fancy.

They're here now and ready to be perused at our front counter. (03.26.10)

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The aforementioned "Tournament of Books" has concluded its first round and there are some unexpected winners and losers already. The quarterfinals begin on Monday, March 22nd, and you can check out all the reading the critiqueing action right here. (03.19.10)

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Margarita, St. Mark's Independent Press buyer, has some great recommendations to pass along. They're special books from small presses and they're in stock right now at the bookshop.

   

First is Richard Hell's "Voidoid," (from 38th Street Publishers) a classic work in a new edition, followed by "Thirty Years of Being Cut Up" by Genesis Breyer P. Orridge, of Throbbing Gristle fame, and third is "Ted Berrigan" (Cuneiform Press) by Bill Berkson and George Schneeman, about an old friend of ours.

   

 Ryan McGinley's "Moonmilk" is from Morel Books in the UK, "Fela: This Bitch of a Life" is the authorized story of the Afro-Pop icon by Carlos Moore (from Lawrence Hill Books) and "Feminaissance" is an essay collection from Les Figues Press edited by Christine Wertheim.

Come by and check them out. (3.19.10)

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University of Texas at Austin has acquired the archive of David Foster Wallace. The contents will be available to both the public and researchers beginning this fall, and you can preview some stunningly annotated pages here (don't miss the menus at right). (03.10.10)

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The aforementioned Tournament of Books began yesterday morning, with a first round victory for "The Help" over "Lowboy." Check out all the book reading action here. (03.10.10)

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We've added a page to the website for the DVDs we carry in the store, and we'll be updating it regularly. Take a look. (03.05.10)

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Yes, so, we now have a Facebook page. This means you'll be able to read about all kinds of new things from a whole bunch of the people who work here, and you'll be able to talk back to us too. Please check it out. (02.24.10)

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Bolano fans, I have a question. Okay, several. Have you read him in English or in Spanish, or maybe both? Have you read him in both and noticed a difference? Do you believe him to be well-translated? I recently read my first Bolano (which is also his first, The Skating Rink) and I was surprised that it didn't grab me. There has been so much notice and attention to his work, but I thought the writing kind of flat. Am I reading the wrong one? Should I have started with a Farrar Bolano instead of a New Directions Bolano? If you have any advice on this topic (including advising me that I'm wrong) please e-mail us. (02.23.10)

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Are you following all the drama between Macmillan and Amazon? Are you able to understand it? Basically, Macmillan (the smallest of the six largest publishers in the United States) told Amazon that it wouldn't allow its eBooks to be sold for $9.99 going forward and Amazon responded by suspending sales of all Macmillan titles on its site. It's nice to know who your friends are, isn't it? Amazon also accused Macmillan of having a monopoly over books published by Macmillan, which should clarify for everyone just how literate the 200 lb eTailing gorilla in the room happens to be.

Moby Lives, an otherwise merely excellent literary blog, is providing play-by-play coverage at just the right angle (that is, one with which we agree). It all starts here and you can follow almost daily updates thereafter. Also noteworthy is this video of Steve Jobs at the iPad rollout explaining that the $9.99 eBook price is unsustainable and simply won't be a factor going forward. (02.03.10)

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By the way, yesterday (February 2) was James Joyce's 128th birthday. (02.03.10)

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Yes, it's been a while, and longer than we'd like. Between the busy holiday season, the requisite recovery, and other assorted distractions, we'd nearly forgotten about the news. Let's try to make up for that here:

- Perhaps most notably, the nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award have been announced, and you can see them here.

- Finalists have also been announced for The Story Prize.

- Have you heard of The Tournament of Books? The 2010 contest begins in March, and although the very idea of head-to-head competition between novels might seem a reductive approach to an impossibly subjective task, though it might betray too aggressive an attitude, or seem simply less-than-bookish, it's still intriguing. And we want to see who wins.

- Book Piracy is not nearly as sexy as it sounds, or as one might hope. Here's a piece about one pirate at The Millions. It's mostly to do with downloading and file sharing and not so much the buried treasure or parrots. 

- The writer's under discussion here were all published in the first Best of the Young British Novelists issue of Granta about a thousand years ago (Okay, 1983). How have they endured?

- Finally, there are more and more Kindles popping up on the R train and its related lines here in NYC. Initial curiosity has given way to frustration because it is impossible to determine what, exactly, is being read. It might be true that the best way to detemine that was always to read it oneself (covers being misleading, etc.) but watching other people reading is a minor sport on the New York City Subway, and Kindle, among its other crimes, is eliminating it through uniformity. (01.27.10)

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Of all the year-end and decade-end lists that have appeared already and will continue to pop up in the days and weeks ahead, it's pretty hard to beat this one. A lot of these things are either meant to take up space so content-producers can begin their holidays early, or else to flog something that didn't sell that well back in March (or back in 2004, whichever). This is different, and it's a special treat to see some familiar names recontextualized by the presence of some lesser known but very talented writers. Overall this is a very powerful selection and one that's hard to argue with.

HTMLGiant always reminds you that there are more ideal readers out there than you ever would have imagined. (12.11.09)

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Please do check out Swimming Inside the Sun by David Zweig of Brooklyn. We like the cover and we like the place where we first saw it and it would make a great gift for someone to whom you want to show the worlds in New York. (11.30.09)

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Reading The Selected Essays of Cyril Connolly. Not quite the English Edmund Wilson (not truly fair to either writer) but definitely in the same vein: a learned sharer, a quiet adventurer and a fervent advertiser of the good. (11.30.09)

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This Thursday, Solas Bar will host the last event in our reading series for this year, and it's going to be a big one. Amiri Baraka will be reading, and he's bringing back-up. That's at Solas Bar, on 9th between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, this Thursday, December (already?) 3rd, at 7:30 sharp. (11.30.09)

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Check out this new blog called A City Reader. Its inaugural article is on a subject close to our hearts. (11.30.09)

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Would it be a little off-topic to recommend this piece about pending Health Care Reform Legislation? It's the first good news we've heard on the topic in some time. (11.30.09)

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The National Book Awards were announced last night at Cipriani Wall Street (wow!) and they included:

Phillip Hoose's Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice for Young People's Literature

Ken Waldrop's Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy for Poetry

T.J. Stiles' The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt for Nonfiction

Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin for Fiction

There was a special award to Gore Vidal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and The Literarian Award went to Dave Eggers. The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor also won for the Best of the National Book Awards Fiction. (11.19.09)

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Sometimes these things get lost in the shuffle, so now might be a good time to remind interested readers that we actually have books by the Nobel-Prize winner Herta Muller, including The Passport and The Land of Green Plums. (11.19.09)

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The Center for Fiction has announced the winner of its First Novel Prize, and it's Woodsburner by John Pipkin. (11.19.09)

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The first annual Independent Bookstore Week begins next Sunday, November 15th, and we'll be celebrating here at St. Mark's by featuring a bunch of your local authors in a special "Independent Bookstore Week" section of our front display wall. The exact details are still uncertain, but we plan to have lots of autographed copies available. Please do stop by and check it out, and we'll try to have some visuals here for you next week. (11.10.09)

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Reading Joan Didion's Run River after finishing Raymond Federman's Critifiction. (11.10.09)

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Sorry about the lack of updates. We now have a new office PC with all the fixings and a newly vigorous hatred for Earthlink. (11.10.09)

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Jonathan Lethem was kind enough to come by this week and sign copies of his new novel, Chronic City. We're still reeling from the twin greatnesses of Motherless Brooklyn and Fortress of Solitude, so maybe we're a little biased, but we were definitely disappointed with the New York Times review on Tuesday. Not just because it was negative, which is certainly permissible, but also because it seemed so unnecessarily nasty. It turns out that there's a specific diagnosis for this kind of problem, and it's part of something called The Kakutani Two-Step. (10.16.09)

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Whatever happened to Harold Brodkey? (10.16.09)

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The nominees for the National Book Award in Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and Children's Literature have been announced and there are some St. Mark's favorites on the list. (10.14.09)

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Nobel Prize season is over but the conversation continues, specifically about the lack of an American Nobelist in Literature since Toni Morrison sixteen years ago. One of our favorite bloggers has a theory and along the way he suggests an original candidate. (10.14.09)

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Reading William T. Vollmann's The Rainbow Stories after finishing Alfred Kazin's A Walker in the City. (10.13.09)

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This is the new poster from Bruce McCall (Noted New Yorker Contributor) for the First Independent Bookstore Week (November 15-21). We hope to have printed versions by sometime next week, and there's likely to be a special signed edition available too. (10.13.09)

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Beginning Sunday, November 15, it's Independent Bookstore Week in New York City. We've yet to figure out exactly how we'll be celebrating, but we'll be celebrating, especially since it just follows St. Mark's Bookshop's 32nd Birthday on the 13th. Keep checking this page for more information. (10.8.09)

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Herta Muller, born in Romania but late of Germany, has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Not much of her work is currently available in the United States, but that should change shortly. (10.8.09)

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Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, a historical narrative set in Tudor England, has won the Mann Booker Prize. It will be available in the United States in a cloth edition starting Tuesday, October 13th. (10.7.09)

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We neglected to post it on the "Events" calendar, but we have another in our excellent series of readings tomorrow night (that's Thursday, October 1st) at nearby Solas Bar. This time, we're celebrating the publication of The Best of Fence (here and here) with Alice Bradley, Macgregor Card, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Jennifer L. Knox and Paul Killegrew. That's at Solas Bar (232 East 9th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues) tomorrow night (Thursday, October 1st) at 7:30 pm, sharp! (9.30.09)

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Nobel Prize Season is nearly upon us. First, the chemists and other fine scientists, and then the main course: Literature. Oh, and, at some point, Peace. HTMLGiant continues to entertain with a brief history of the Nobel Prize for Literature. (9.30.09)

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The Center for Fiction (originating in 1820 as The Mercantile Library) has announced its short list for its First Novel Award:

American Rust by Phillip Meyer

The Cradle by Patrick Somerville

Tinkers by Paul Harding

The Vagrants by Yiyun Li

Woodsburner by John Pipkin

The winner will be announced on November 9th. (9.20.09)

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The translated works of Roberto Bolano, most recently including the one-volume paperback edition of "2666" and "The Skating Rink," continue to amuse and amaze new readers. As his published writings appear for the first time in English and new books are being discovered in manuscript, both in and out of the order in which he wrote them, some kind of atlas or guide might be helpful. Enter The Millions, fine literary blog, and their very thorough Bolano Syllabus. (9.20.09)

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Found this site through a trail of links. Interviews, espeically of writers, are always good (the best part of The Paris Review, for example) and Recommended Reading talks to a lot of writers you should know more about. People who spend so much of their time thinking should be asked what they're thinking more often. (9.18.09)

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Yes, it's only September, but we have 2010 calendars out for sale. New versions of old favorites (Hokusai and Hiroshige, Gorey and Giger) are on display along with calenders featuring a Graffiti Revolution, Sneaker Style and Outsider Art. The Wayne Thiebaud calendar features a gumball machine and the Rothko looks particularly smart this year. (9.18.09)

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Can one make that argument that true literary greatness is a thing of the past, or, at least, that potential greatness is confounded by the cautious and cost-conscious nature of modern publishing? Check out an excellent literary blog, HTML Giant, and these posts (here and here) that make the case for and against. (9.17.09)

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The New York Times points out something subway riders already know: there's a lot of reading going on in those trains. The R in the morning has held a few surprises from time to time, but the F in the late afternoon is where I saw a man finishing Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

The third of three volumes.

On the subway. (9.10.09)

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Reading That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana. That is, admiring its vast riches and wishing I read Italian. The translator admits in his introduction that he couldn't accurately render the range of dialects, so one whole dimension of the novel is lost to the English reader. Still, precision of phrasing and a kind of compactness of depth are two high prioroties in literature and this novel delivers. (9.10.09)

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The Shortlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced today, turning the previous twelve into six:

The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt

Summertime by J.M. Coetzee

The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Some of these titles have yet to be released in America, but we've linked to all that are available now or will be in the near future. The winner will be announced on October 6th. (9.08.09)

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Inventory Coincidences (the first in a potentially ongoing series):

Found next to each other on a backlist order this morning were Everything and More and Everything and Nothing. (09.08.09)

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Finishing Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, asking what does it have in common with Hersey's Hiroshima and The Massacre at El Mozote? Submit answers here. (09.08.09)

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This Tuesday, September 1, 2009, marks the seventieth anniversary of the start of the Second World War after the German invasion of Poland. Auden's "September 1, 1939" memorializes the occasion with power and solemnity. (08.31.09)

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Reading Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem (08.31.09)

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Can this be true? It would be nice to think so. (08.14.09)

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Reading Sidewalk Critic, a collection of architectural and urban criticism by Lewis Mumford. (08.14.09)

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Haruki Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" came out in paperback yesterday, but that's not the Murakami we're waiting for. His latest novel, "1Q84" has been a huge seller in Japan but there's no English translation on the horizon as yet. Check out this review at Neojaponisme for some idea of what's to come. (08.12.09)

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Well, that was unexpected. We had copies of Thomas Pynchon's "Inherent Vice" ready to sell on Monday night at midnight, and you were ready to buy! We actually sold more copies of "Inherent Vice" in that half an hour than we did of "Against the Day" in the same thirty minute span two and a half years ago. What recession? (8.4.09)   

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The Longlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced yesterday, consisting of the twelve books from which the winner will be chosen. They are:

The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt

Summertime by J.M. Coetzee

The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds

How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall

The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey

Me Cheeta by James Lever

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

Not Untrue and Not Unkind by Ed O'Loughlin

Heliopolis by James Scudamore

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Love and Summer by William Trevor

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Some of these titles have yet to be released in America, but we've linked to all that are available now or will be in the near future. The winner will be announced on October 6th. (7.29.09) 

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Somewhat in the shadow of Thomas Pynchon's new novel, which comes out shortly, is a new book by William T. Vollmann. Imperial seems typical for Vollmann, which is to say that it is distinctly atypical. But don't take our word for it... (07.26.09) 

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Reading E.L. Doctorow's The Book of Daniel (07.26.09) 

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If you're trying to read David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and you're stumped, help is on the way. We're getting in copies of Greg Carlisle's Elegant Complexity, a formal study of the mammoth novel. (07.23.09)

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Reading Walter Benjamin's Berlin Childhood Around 1900 (7.23.09)

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Margarita is the small press buyer at St. Mark's, and she'd like to recommend some newly published books she thinks may have been overlooked:

Open City publishes only one book a year, and this year that book is Flight Patterns, a collection of writing about flying featuring classic and contemporary authors.

Litmus Press has published Hyperglossia, an excellent new poetry collection from Stacy Syzmaszek, the art director of the St. Mark's Poetry Project.

Another recent find is The Selected Poems of Steve Carey, edited by Edmund Berrigan and published by Farfalla Press.

Will Work For Drugs is No Wave pioneer Lydia Lunch's follow-up to 2007's Paradoxia, both published by Akashic Books of Brooklyn. (7.23.09) 

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A customer wrote us about Narrative Magazine (for both readers and writers) and their current story contest, so check it out. (7.23.09)

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The latest issue of The Paris Review has a typically fascinating interview, only the second in The Art of Nonfiction series, with Gay Talese. Read it not only to get a look at his method and a sense of his story, but also to find out what exactly this is. (7.12.09)

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A great literary blog, The Millions, has a pretty comprehensive list of books we're looking forward to. The next DeLillo novel gets mentioned in the comments section. (7.12.09)

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We're staying open late again!

It was only two and a half years ago that Thomas Pynchon's "Against the Day" was published, over nine years after "Mason & Dixon." To celebrate, we stayed open after midnight the day before it was to go "officially" on sale in order to satisfy the diehard fans, and we sold... more than we thought we would, honestly.

Now, he's back again, and sooner then we thought he'd be. Pynchon's new novel, "Inherent Vice" will be released "officially" on Tuesday, August 4th, so we'll be open for one extra half hour after midnight on Monday, August 3rd to sell the book. (7.7.09)

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London-based electronic musician Scanner writes some very nice words about the bookshop, and we're much obliged. (7.7.09)

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We've added a page of remainders to the website (just a few so far) and we've also added a new, enormous bookshelf full of the same next to the sale table at the back of the store. Times are tough and money's tight, but these books are priced to move. (7.7.09)

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I'm reading Kate Braverman's "Palm Latitudes" and it's positively florid in the finest sense of the word. (7.7.09)