Mark


Before Mark Ouillette retired, he was our senior bookbuyer, with over 40 years in the book business. He likes to read primarily contemporary American novelists and short story writers with a decidedly playful bent (Pynchon, Lorrie Moore, the McSweeneyites). A victim of a liberal-arts education, he knows his modern poets, essayists, and musicians too, and prefers the experimental to the tried-and-true.

Mark's Staff Picks:

(See more of Mark's past Staff Picks here.)


Staff Pick Logo
Save Twilight: Selected Poems Cover Image
By Julio Cortazar, Stephen Kessler (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780872867093
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: City Lights Books - August 9th, 2016

Bookseller: Mark
Title: Save Twilight

Comments:
Mark comments from and old notebook, something like: Delight in giving up sprang into his craning dinosaur head." Anyway, as with Cortazar's masterpiece novel Hopscotch, you skip around - he encourages it - these generous, pensive, and playful poems to wonders and rhythms on every page.

Hear the bandoneon's gentle urging in "The Getaway Polka." Pre-hear the pre-echo from a vinyl record scientifically dissected in "For Listening Through Headphones." Like their peerless writer, his people "throw into the most serious moments a large portion of play." Neruda famously said, "Anyone who doesn't read Cortazar is doomed." Might I suggest you avoid your doom with this fantastic little book?

(Also, check out his newly-published Literature Class, Berkeley 1980. The best teachers practice preventative medicine.)


Staff Pick Logo
Purity Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250097101
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - August 2nd, 2016

Bookseller: Mark
Title: Purity

Comments:

Coming Soon!


Staff Pick Logo
Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change It: Wisdom of the Great Philosophers on How to Live Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780143126799
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - October 27th, 2015

Bookseller: Mark
Title: Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change It

Comments:

Dan Klein's latest book is one for the ages, a remarkable blend of autobiography and philosophical survey. Each modest chapter takes off from a signature quotation of a well-known thinker, indicative of an approach to life, which Dan takes the measure of with insight and wit by telling how it has played out (or hasn't) in his own life experiences. How-to-live advice casts its existential shade, its free will roves, its pessimistic pall changes to positive thought and free thinking spirit, spun with Kleinian candor and serious humor. (Huh?) From youthful enthusiasms to qiseguys's wisdom, it reads like the offspring of an authoratative "Bertrand Russell and a weird uncle Monty Python.

How can this be?

Pithy indeed!


Staff Pick Logo
City on Fire Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780385353779
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 13th, 2015

Bookseller: Mark
Title: City on Fire

Comments: Wonderfully ambitious & fantastically successful -- the best new literary novel from the best publisher in America. / Hallberg's generous, immense worldview is portrayed on an intimate scale by his main characters, from all ages & social classes: writers & artists, anarchists & power brokers, rockers & wannabes, lovers & madmen... / Its narrative captures in gritty detail NYCity in 1976-77: the punk-rock heyday, dubious financial affairs, the big blackout in July. On a sentence-by-artful-sentence level, thru perfect-scale chapters, we are propelled thru this early version of our current life. There's drama: terrorist plots, addiction, adulteries, police procedures -- & there's humanity: multifaceted, pulsing with people & dreams, unsettling & yet restorative. / This entertaining & omnivorous novel is alive with deeds dark & hopes high & everything in between. I finished it with tears of joy.


Staff Pick Logo
Preparation for the Next Life Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780991360826
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tyrant Books - November 3rd, 2015

Bookseller: Mark
Title: Preparation for the Next Life (A Novel)

Comments:

1. We three agree: great! This first novel of the lower depths is utterly contemporary and vital writing. Gritty, disturbing, unforgettable...

2. "So much of American fiction American fiction has become playful, cynical, & evasive. [This] is the strong antidote to such inconsequentialites. Powerfully realistic, with a solemn, muscular lyricism, this is a very, very good book." - Joy Williams

3. "Atticus Lish is a true original & this tremendous book, relentless, moving, written in prose of marvelous integrity. Now that America & the novel are dead, I hope we can have more great American novels as alive as this one." - Sam Lipsyte

 Highly recommended; but be forewarned that this may be the most unsentimental novel you'll ever read, harshness conveyed in masterful writing.


Staff Pick Logo
Caribou: Poems Cover Image
$13.00
ISBN: 9780374535155
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 10th, 2015

Bookseller: Mark
Title: Caribou

Comments:

Any or all of these new poetry collections from the three great American poets- Charles Wright, Louise Gluck, & W.S. Merwin- would make a lovely, mindful gift for an aspiring poet or anyone else who admires meditative poetry, opening from the natural world & rising to the transcendental.
Gluck's book won the National Book Award for poetry this year (2014), and Wright & Merwin are equally contenders. Sample & see...


Staff Pick Logo
Faithful and Virtuous Night: Poems Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780374535773
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 1st, 2015

Bookseller: Mark
Title: Faithful and Virtuous Night

Comments:

Any or all of these new poetry collections from the three great American poets- Charles Wright, Louise Gluck, & W.S. Merwin- would make a lovely, mindful gift for an aspiring poet or anyone else who admires meditative poetry, opening from the natural world & rising to the transcendental.
Gluck's book won the National Book Award for poetry this year (2014), and Wright & Merwin are equally contenders. Sample & see...


Staff Pick Logo
The Moon Before Morning Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781556594540
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Copper Canyon Press - December 2015

Bookseller: Mark
Title: The Moon Before Morning

Comments:

Any or all of these new poetry collections from the three great American poets- Charles Wright, Louise Gluck, & W.S. Merwin- would make a lovely, mindful gift for an aspiring poet or anyone else who admires meditative poetry, opening from the natural world & rising to the transcendental.
Gluck's book won the National Book Award for poetry this year (2014), and Wright & Merwin are equally contenders. Sample & see...


Staff Pick Logo
Ambigram Leather Journal Cover Image
By Peter Pauper Press (Manufactured by)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781593596699
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Peter Pauper Press - March 2009

Bookseller: Mark
Title: Ambigram Journal

Comments:

This Ambigram journal is excellent! Look at it upside-down or write-side up. The light lines and generous page size allow for lots of room for words or sketches to roam. The thicker pages make for no-bleed-thru, front & back writing. I use mine pratcicaly every day for random thoughts, poetic scraps, graphis try-outs & copying apercus from my scattered reading. The gilt-edged pages, leather cover, ribboned place-marker, & the perfect, personal portability, make this a beautiful and useful journal that anyone would enjoy filling up.