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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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The Crossing
Cormac McCarthy
In The Crossing, Cormac McCarthy fulfills the promise of All the Pretty Horses and at the same time give us a work that is darker and more visionary, a novel with the unstoppable momentum of a classic western and the elegaic power of a lost American...



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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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Fever Water
Darius James
Fever Water is a limited edition artist's book of one hundred and fifty numbered copies created by San Francisco based visual artist Tân Khánh Cao in collaboration with author Darius James. Its pages are printed on acid free one hundred percent cotton paper and vellum with archival ink and hand bound. Its melding of text and graphics...



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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