Patrick's Top 10 Books I Have Been Recommended

You know that rare feeling you get when someone recommends a book that is just right for you? The kind of book that makes you feel like a better person just from having read it. The kind of book that was made just for you. And you know deep down you would never have stumbled upon it by yourself. Thankfully, working in a bookstore this happens quite often, and I cannot express how thankful I am for some of the book recommendations I have received over the years. So, I have decided to pass along the top 10 best recommendations I have been given since I started working here and hopefully some of these books will reach the right people. 


I should note that the idea for this top 10 list was also a recommendation, and I just think that’s neat. 
 

Uncommon Measure: A Journey Through Music, Performance, and the Science of Time By Natalie Hodges Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781942658979
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bellevue Literary Press - March 22nd, 2022

To start off the list, the memoir Uncommon Measure. It is entirely thanks to other people that I started reading memoirs in the first place. I never thought they were my thing, until I was recommended some fantastic ones that really opened my eyes to the art form. Uncommon Measure is a memoir like no other, and I think it is great for someone’s first memoir or their fiftieth. A violin prodigy explores music’s impact on human experience and how we change as time goes by. 


Samuel Johnson's Eternal Return By Martin Riker Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895286
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Coffee House Press - October 9th, 2018

This is the most moving and touching book on this list, and it is one that has stayed with me despite the months that have gone by since I have read it. After dying protecting his son, Samuel Johnson jumps from one body to the next in a decade-long quest to return to his son. A beautiful, heart-warming journey about love, fatherhood, and identity. It is definitely one that tugs at the heartstrings at times.


The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas By Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Flora Thomson-DeVeaux (Translated by), Flora Thomson-DeVeaux (Introduction by), Dave Eggers (Foreword by), Flora Thomson-DeVeaux (Notes by) Cover Image
By Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Flora Thomson-DeVeaux (Translated by), Flora Thomson-DeVeaux (Introduction by), Dave Eggers (Foreword by), Flora Thomson-DeVeaux (Notes by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143135036
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - June 2nd, 2020

I had never heard of Machado de Assis before this book was recommended to me, and what an introduction to de Assis this is. A funny, weird, and quirky book that captures life at its most absurd. A dead man is writing his memoirs, summarizing his life through his many love affairs and failed ambitions (and critiquing his own deceased writing along the way). It is experimental and full of energy, and despite being published originally in 1881, it still reads as fresh as if it were written today.


Spadework for a Palace (Storybook ND Series) By László Krasznahorkai, John Batki (Translated by) Cover Image
By László Krasznahorkai, John Batki (Translated by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9780811228404
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions - September 27th, 2022

László Krasznahorkai is a one of a kind writer to say the least. I didn’t know what I was really getting into, I was simply told I had to read him. And I am glad I did. Spadework for a Palace displays a kind of madness, and that madness is addicting. The fervent ramblings that make up the novel reveal a genius that slowly unfolds as the book goes on. It is at the same time, thought-provoking and silly. A wild rush that made me take a deep breath by the time I was done. 


The Pleasure of My Company: A Novel By Steve Martin Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780786888016
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - October 6th, 2004

“Steve Martin has written books? The comedian?” I naively asked my coworker one day shortly before being handed The Pleasure of My Company. This book was not only funny, as I was expecting, but it was smart and surprisingly emotional. The book follows Daniel, a man who doesn’t so much as partake in life, as he does observe it. However, as Daniel slowly builds bonds with those around him, he starts to truly live. 


Trust By Domenico Starnone, Jhumpa Lahiri (Translator) Cover Image
By Domenico Starnone, Jhumpa Lahiri (Translator)
$17.00
ISBN: 9781609457037
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Europa Editions - November 9th, 2021

I really thought that this was going to be a simple and light hearted romance. Oh, how I was wrong. Trust is, you guessed it, about trust. Two young lovers each share a deep secret with one another, and then they shortly break up. That is only the start, as the decades go by, we see how the fear that their secrets might be revealed eat at them. As they try to live normal lives, it is with fascination that I couldn’t look away as paranoia slowly consumed them. It is a very personal and intimate journey, but it is a rollercoaster of emotions.


My Devotion By Julia Kerninon, Alison Anderson (Translator) Cover Image
By Julia Kerninon, Alison Anderson (Translator)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781609456146
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - August 25th, 2020

This one is also about a relationship that starts between two lovers but ends up twisting the lives of everyone involved. This is a love story that spans years and gets messy fast. It is brutal and tragic in all the right ways. Told in detail, we are shown the complex lives of two people and the ups and downs they face. By the time you have finished reading, it feels as if you have lived through them. It is quite an experience.


The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous Deception By Emmanuel Carrère, Linda Coverdale (Translated by) Cover Image
By Emmanuel Carrère, Linda Coverdale (Translated by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780312420604
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - January 5th, 2002

As with memoirs, I had never been interested in true crime. I probably would never have dived into it, but I was given a pitch for this book that made it impossible for me to resist. For 18 years, a man has been lying to everyone around him, including his wife and kids, convincing them that he is a successful doctor, when in reality he is nothing of the sort. He didn’t even finish medical school over a decade ago. As the truth finally comes to light, the man ends up murdering five people. It is horrifying and it is far darker than any fiction I have read, but it is also one of the most captivating things I have read in recent memory.


Staff Pick Badge
In a Garden Burning Gold: Book One of the Wind-up Garden series By Rory Power Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593354971
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - April 5th, 2022

I feel like we should lighten things up. I am no stranger to fantasy, it is my favorite genre, and that is why it is always such a joy to get recommended a really gripping fantasy book that hits the spot like a good meal. In a Garden Burning Gold tells of a semi-immortal set of twins who have very different ideas about how to keep their royal family in power. It is full of political intrigue, incredible world-building, and a dynamic cast of characters that continues to evolve through to the end. The best part about this book is that there is still more to come, the second part of this duology is set to come out this coming May, and I cannot wait!


The Autumn of the Patriarch By Gabriel Garcia Marquez Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060882860
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - March 14th, 2006

While I am ever grateful for all the book recommendations I have received, I do not think there is one that has impacted me more than The Autumn of the Patriarch. It is because of this book that I started my passionate and on-going love affair with the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It is a short book, but it is filled to the brim with subtle wordplay and the close examination of those who wield too much power. The book describes a near-mythical dictator and his antics, Garcia Marquez describes it as a “poem on the solitude of power.” There is a breadth to the writing in The Autumn of the Patriarch that I have not found in any other book. It is a masterpiece that I want to share with everyone. 


Article Type Terms: