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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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Parting the Waters
America in the King Years 1954-63
Taylor Branch
Parting the Waters is the first volume of Branch's essential history of the Civil Rights movement. This book is on Obama's reading list and it should be required reading for everyone...



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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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Musicophilia
Tales of Music and the Brain, Revised and Expanded Edition
Oliver Sacks
Revised and Expanded With the same trademark compassion and erudition he brought to The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks explores the place music occupies in the brain and how it affects the human condition. In Musicophilia, he shows...



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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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Music in the Air
The Selected Writings of Ralph J. Gleason
Ralph J. Gleason, Toby Gleason
The co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine, Ralph J. Gleason was among the most respected journalists, interviewers, and critics writing about popular music in the latter half of the twentieth century. As a longtime contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, Down Beat, and Ramparts, his expertise and insights about music, musicians...



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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