Tag Archives: miles

On Our Nightstand, October 5th-11th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
Half Empty
By David Rakoff
As in his previous collection–Don’t Get Too Comfortable, one of my favorite books of essays ever–the pieces in this book delve into a vast array of subjects with Rakoff’s perversely reassuring pessimism.

Grant in Oakland
Zero Decibels: The Quest for Absolute Silence
By George Michelsen Foy
A personal journey through one of the noisiest places on earth – New York City – and its opposites – a snowy forest, an underground mine, an anechoic chamber – in search of absolute silence and what that means.

John Evans
Introduction to Sufism: The Inner Path of Islam
By Eric Geoffroy
Why not take a good look at the heart of Islam and its messages of universal tolerance, love, and peace? I can’t think of a reason.

John Peck in Oakland
The Scott Pilgrim Series
By Bryan Lee O’Malley
Little graphic novels that somehow manage to be simultaneously escapist and true-to-life.

Miles in Malibu
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work
By Alain de Botton
The world is full of man-made things. Every day, we use, eat, see, buy, and sell man-made things. But who are these “men,” and how does “making” “things” affect their lives and the lives around them? De Botton’s meditation on labor and laborers paints a portrait of the faceless manufacturers of our everyday commodities.

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On Our Nightstand, September 14th-20th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
Gunn’s Golden Rules
By Tim Gunn
Tim Gunn, how are you so awesome? This book is partly a 21st century etiquette manual advocating basic human decency, partly a peek into the oddities of the world of fashion, and partly a series of autobiographical anecdotes. In its entirety, it is utterly charming.

Cheryl in Brentwood
Kitchen Confidential
By Anthony Bourdain
Bourdain’s classic restaurant expose almost makes me want to be a chef, but the fact that they work 12-hour days on their feet, with maybe one day off a week, and labor in a sweltering kitchen, makes me thankful I work in a bookstore.

Grant in Oakland
Alive in Necropolis
By Doug Dorst
By mixing together the tropes of ghost story, detective noir, and coming-into-adulthood narratives, Alive in Necropolis plays with the notion of what makes us human, given that Dorst’s undead are often more humane than the living.

John Evans
The Interloper
By Antoine Wilson
Just finished local author Antoine Wilson’s wonderful, not-to-be-forgotten novel. Writing the way it is supposed to be done–craftily, engagingly, intelligently.

Miles in Malibu
Why We Fight
Edited by Simon Van Booy
Why We Fight is a collection of passages culled from a number of texts (ranging from the Bible to present day writers such as Thich Nhat Hanh), all dealing with the history and philosophy of fighting. Each passage is concisely prefaced in an insightful manner by novelist and editor Simon Van Booy, making the heavy subject matter easier to digest.

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On Our Nightstand, August 31st-September 6th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
Mockingjay
By Suzanne Collins
If you’re anywhere between the ages of eight and eighteen, you’re probably all over this already. But all you dignified adults out there would get a lot of pleasure out of this brilliantly conceived and powerfully written young adult series, of which this is the final–and impressively mature–installment.

Colin in Oakland
Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy
By Eric D. Weitz
I picked up Weimar Germany because I wanted to know how the Nazis came to power, but what I found was a history of a fascinating period in its own right. Rife with contradiction, revolution, workers rights, feminism, antisemitism, right-wing and left-wing paramilitaries, the blossoming of modern art and architecture, nudists, depression and hyper-inflation–the 15 years of the Weimar Republic are a microcosm of the 20th Century superbly brought to life in this excellent book.

Geo in Brentwood
The Master and Margarita
By Mikhail Bulgakov
In an excellent role reversal, a customer came into the bookstore and recommended a book for me! This Russian classic about the devil visiting Stalinist Russia is dark, inventive, and wickedly funny.

Kim in Malibu
Better
By Atul Gawande
I have a slight book crush on New Yorker columnist and surgeon extraordinaire, Atul Gawande, who writes about medicine and medical-related issues with sensitivity, intelligence, incredible humanity and very little ego. This particular book (he has written three) talks about the complicated reasons the medical profession succeeds and fails on a performance level both historically and in the present, and reads like the most compelling narrative. Fascinating stuff and highly, highly recommended.

Miles in Malibu
What the Dog Saw
By Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell’s attempt to analyze and find deeper meaning in such mundane subjects as hair dye, ketchup, and dog training is a success. He asks the “more interesting” questions and answers them tactfully and with insight.

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On Our Nightstand, August 24th-30th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Alison
The Same River Twice
By Ted Mooney
I am absolutely taken by this moody, atmospheric novel set in contemporary Paris. There are artists, filmmakers, art dealers, and Russian mobsters all swirling around in this well-told tale. It is the kind of story that runs like a film in your head, but I have no idea where it’s going.

Anna in Brentwood
Our Tragic Universe
By Scarlett Thomas
As in her previous novel, The End of Mr. Y, Thomas is brilliant at getting inside the inquisitive, troubled minds of her young female protagonists as they ponder life’s big questions. Plus, every time I read a Thomas novel, I find myself getting recommendations for other books, as her characters are always reading. PopCo made me pick up Survive the Savage Sea, and this one already has me searching for my copy of Aristotle‘s Poetics.

Kim in Malibu
Little Black Book of Stories
By A.S. Byatt
A book of previously uncollected and intriguingly creepy short stories by Byatt that includes the fascinating “A Stone Woman” about a woman who literally morphs into rock. Freak of nature or metaphor? You decide!

Miles in Malibu
Consider the Lobster
By David Foster Wallace
Seeing America through the David Foster Wallace lens is like looking at your favorite food under a microscope. At first you may be unsettled by the inconvenient truths, but you will ultimately be rewarded for reading about the seedy underbelly of the world of dictionary editing, life on the 2000 McCain campaign trail, and the surreal hilarity of adult entertainment conventions. Eat up.

Thomas in Brentwood
The Insufferable Gaucho
By Roberto Bolano
More literary antics from Senor Bolano. An expectedly eclectic collection of incurably ill, insufferable, and ingenious characters. “Jim,” the three-page story that begins the collection, is an absolute knockout: a chili scalding the back of your mouth and a ghost haunting the corners of your memory.

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On Our Nightstand, June 22nd-28th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
A Good Man Is Hard to Find
By Flannery O’Connor
If you’ve never read it, the title story will provide one of the biggest literary shocks of your life. I’m still reeling!

Geo in Brentwood
Nature and Selected Essays
By Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson’s essays are staunch defenses of individualism. They are each positive and affirming, and they are just as powerful read in today’s society as in Emerson’s time.

Grant in Oakland
Perfecting Sound Forever
By Greg Milner
This topic could very easily be boring, but in Milner’s hands it’s totally not. He brings a lot of fascinating social history, such as race relations, into his narrative of recorded music.

John Peck in Oakland
Martyrology Books 1 & 2
By bpNichol
I’m rereading this gorgeous epic poem from the late Canadian experimentalist. In case you doubt the depth of my feelings for this book: I have a tattoo of the second to last illustration on my left arm.

Miles in Malibu
The Amazing Adventures of a Marginally Successful Musician
By Bill Cinque
A hilarious look at the joys, wonders, and harsh realities of being a professional musician, as told by someone who’s been in the business over 30 years. A must read for all musicians, or anyone unfortunate enough to have to deal with one on a regular basis.

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On Our Nightstand, June 15th-21st

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
By Aimee Bender
Bender’s second novel is a whimsical concoction, seasoned with enough of the bittersweet to avoid becoming cloying. I’m so excited that she’s going to be here to sign on July 10th!

Geo in Brentwood
Working
By Studs Terkel
My attempt to understand the different class relationships in this country. Terkel’s illuminating oral history presents a variety of voices from all walks of life.

Karen in Oakland
Nemesis
By Jo Nesbo
Nesbo is a musician, economist, and mystery writer who’s really hot in Sweden right now. This is the perfect follow up to Stieg Larsson‘s Millennium Trilogy.

Margaret in Oakland
Deaf Sentence
By David Lodge
From the absolutely hilarious cocktail scene that opens the book, Lodge’s latest novel is hysterical, especially for people of “a certain age.” David Lodge has never written a bad book.

Miles in Malibu
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
By Oliver Sacks
Case studies from Sacks’ work as a neurologist, which cover everything from savantism to synesthesia. I’m learning about all kinds of things I didn’t think were possible!

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A Band Apart

Booksellers are actually pretty cool. (By which we mean the leather jackets and the good tables in the high school cafeteria kind of cool, not anything to do with our internal temperatures. You got that, right?) For instance, Miles in Malibu has a band, Moses Campbell, which is going to be hitting the Western Seaboard for a tour starting March 26th. Check out the band’s website for a full list of dates, and its MySpace for some free streaming tunes. That’s like, totally rad, no?

Okay, some booksellers are cool. We’ll leave it at that.

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