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Brian's Book Recommendations

The Phantom Tollbooth Cover Image
By Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780394815008
Availability: Backordered
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers -

This is the book that opened up the world of quest novels to me, and was my gateway drug to Tolkien. Though I missed many of the subtle plays on words when I first read the book, reading it again as an adult made me love the novel all the more. Who cannot love a book that holds at its center the quest to restore Rhyme and Reason to the world.

Mostly Dead Things Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947793309
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 7 - 14 business days
Published: Tin House Books - June 4th, 2019

Jessa, a journeyman taxidermist, tries to keep her family and the family business together after the suicide of her father. As quirky as a Florida police blotter on New Year’s Eve, this family take is funny, visceral, and heartwarming.

A Feast of Snakes: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780684842486
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 7 - 14 business days
Published: Touchstone - January 7th, 1998

Set against the backdrop of a rural Georgia rattlesnake roundup, Crews has created a world as close to hell as can possibly be imagined for his main character Joe Lou Mackey, a man consumed by anger and spiraling downward. This is Southern Gothic literature at its most hardcore.

In the Distance Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566894883
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - October 10th, 2017

A poor Swedish immigrant is separated from his brother while trying to make it to California to find their fortune in the gold rush of the late 1840s. As the young man tries to get back to New York City, the last place he saw his brother, he instead finds a strange and dangerous 19th century America where circumstances lead him to get the reputation as a killer. An unconventional Western, where the moments of violence are more than offset by the novels moments of quiet and introspection.

Empire Falls (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375726408
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 12th, 2002

I love a story with an everyman hero, and Miles Roby is just that everyman.  A novel as much about a man and the troubles that beset him, including an unfaithful wife and a ne’er-do-well father, as about the place where he lives and the souls that make up Empire Falls. The writing is as easy to ingest as a cold beer on a hot summer day, and it is a wonderful mixture of the sad, funny, wistful, and heart-breaking events that make up so many of our lives. 

The River: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525521877
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 7 - 14 business days
Published: Knopf - March 5th, 2019

A blend of Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories and Deliverance. Two college buddies on a backwoods canoeing trip in Canada, save a woman who they find nearly beaten to death. Who did it, and can they elude them and stay ahead of a raging forest fire that threatens them in time to save the severely injured woman before she dies.