Here They Come, by Yannick Murphy (McSweeney’s). Told in the voice of a female child with a charmingly off-kilter worldview who is trying to find her lost brother and manage her slightly dysfunctional mother. Funny, and not at all heartwarming.
The World as I Found It, by Bruce Duffy (New York Review Books Classic). A long-forgotten, recently rereleased novel about, of all things, Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Life on Air, by David Attenborough (Princeton University Press).
The Story of my Wife: The Reminisces of Captain Storr, by Milan Fust (Vintage International). A novel by a Romanian author about a sailor who is insanely jealous of his wife, who is probably not cheating on him. Dark and hilarious.
MODERN TIMES, 888 Valencia (@20th)
The Hakawati, by Rabih Alameddine (Knopf). A novel set in Lebanon that integrates ancient tales from the Middle East into the lives of one family. Totally enjoyable to read.
Kraken, by China Mieville (Del Rey). Very witty urban fanstasy about a giant squid missing from the Bristish museum and the squid-worshipping cult that is anxious to find it.
Best Served Cold, by Joe Abercrombie (Orbit). Essentially a George R.R. Martin fantasy crossed with a Sergio Leone revenge Western. So good! So violent! So blackly comical!
ADOBE BOOKS, 3166 16th Street (@Guerrero)
The John Ford Movie Mystery, by Andrew Sarris (Indiana University Press). Criticism about one of America’s finest filmmakers. A great pleasure to read.
MISSION COMICS, 3520 20th Street (@Mission)
Acme Novelty Library, vol. 20, by Chris Ware (Drawn and Quarterly). The death of Jimmy Corrigan!
KALEIDOSCOPE FREE SPEECH ZONE, 3109 34th Street (@ Folsom)
From the Canyon Outward, by Neeli Cherkovski (R.L. Crow Publications). Neeli is a poet who lives on Bernal. He’s also written biographies of Charles Bukowski and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
The Black Panthers 1968, by Howard L. Bingham (Ammo Books). This guy was hired by Life magazine to follow the Black Panthers for almost a year. There was a disagreement and the photos were never published. It’s an important part of local history — there are a lot of photos of the Black Panthers in the Bay Area. And it’s a super badass-looking book.
NEEDLES & PENS, 3253 16th Street (@ Guerrero)
I can’t decide! It’s a toss-up between:
The Mental Health Cookbook, by H. Cunningham (Source Press). A locally published zine about foraging, sprouting, fermenting, medicinal herbs and so forth.
Henry and Glenn Forever, by Igloo Tornado (Microcosm).
The fictional love story between Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig, two legendary macho musclemen of punk music.
SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY: MISSION BRANCH
People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks (Viking). It’s about a preservationist who talks about how she goes about researching things, like the history of a butterfly’s wing. It’s like someone wrote this book especially for librarians.