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Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame
Charles Bukowski
Verses soaked in cheap booze and bad living. Donne this ain't.



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Hot Water Music
Charles Bukowski
Short stories about bad jobs, bad love affairs, and bad living conditions. The ever-present stench of booze does not leave the pages.



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Trout Fishing in America, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, and In Watermelon Sugar
Richard Brautigan
This book and everything else by Brautigan are worth reading and rereading. Having influenced writers such as Haruki Murakami and Tom Robbins, his comic perplexed thoughts of romance intermingle with his dying, insane black comedy, and the ghosts living inside our coffee cups. —Recommended by Don, City Lights Books



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Plainwater
Essays and Poetry
Anne Carson
The poetry and prose collected in Plainwater are a testament to the extraordinary imagination of Anne Carson, a writer described by Michael Ondaatje as "the most exciting poet writing in English today." Succinct and astonishingly beautiful, these...



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Head Above Water
Stefano Bortolussi
Italian writer Cardo Maraini is a cauldron of contradictions. Plagued by guilt over the drowning of his younger brother, he is strangely terrified by life. When the Norwegian woman he loves becomes pregnant, he plunges into a comically disastrous...



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Written In Water
The Collected Prose Poems
Luis Cernuda
While Cernuda's verse is vivid testimony to various aspects of his biographical itinerary, it is in his prose poems that he traces more explicitly an outline of his life's journey. Reviewing this work, Octavio Paz wrote: "In these memories and...



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This Is Water
Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life
David Foster Wallace
Only once did David Foster Wallace give a public talk on his views on life, during a commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College. The speech is reprinted for the first time in book form in THIS IS WATER. How does one keep from going through...



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Black Water Rising
A Novel
Attica Locke
Recommended by Paul, City Lights Books Jay Porter has long since made peace with not living the American Dream. He runs his fledgling law practice out of a dingy Houston strip mall—where his most promising client is a low-rent call girl—and he's...



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Crossing Zero
The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire
Paul Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Gould
How the U.S. war in Afghanistan has spread to Pakistan; how Russia, India, China, and Iran are involved; and the long term consequences for America.



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Water and the California Dream
Historic Choices for Shaping the Future
David Carle
The history of water is the history of the world. Carle has provided us with a fantastic framework for understanding California's past, present, and future, and makes a strong case for how we can transition away from exploitation and scarcity, and towards sustainability. —Recommended by Ivy, City Lights Books



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Blood in the Water
The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy
Heather Ann Thompson
A powerful and extraordinarily comprehensive study of the Attica uprising and its aftermath, and the repercussions still felt in our diabolical prison system today. —Recommended by Michael