Recommendations Gone Wild

apartmentYesterday, I put my indie bookselling cred on the line and memory to the test, resolving to recommend a book from each of the sections in our store.  9 hours and nearly 60 recommendations later, I pulled it off.

Collected here, you have proof that there’s no real reason (at least in terms of quality) to avoid any genre or topic in a bookstore.  There’s a lot to be found, be it in the mainstream or ghettoized sections.

Can you think of any topics that I missed?

Science Fiction / FantasyThe Child Thief by Brom. Brutal, dark and compelling retelling of the story of Peter Pan.

SailingA Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast. This book is a must have for Maine sailors. Evry harbor, evry anchorage.

Gift BooksLove, Mom by Shafrir and Grose. Is your mom on Facebook or Twitter? This book is for you.

Current AffairsDon’t Think of an Elephant! Fantastic piece of political writing about the importance of language.

Nature/PetsWesley the Owl. Move over, dog memoirs! You just got owl’ed.

GardeningWicked Plants by Stewart. If you’re one of those folks that thinks anything natural is good for, no.

Self-Help/Pop PsychologyGet High Now (Without Drugs). Very cool book about lucid dreaming, meditation, hallucination..

Maine CookbooksRSVP by the Junior League of Portland. Traditional ME cooking from blueberry pancakes to Whoopie Pies.

Health/DietYour Big Fat Boyfriend. Advice to girls for living + eating w/a guy with fast metabolism (hey, like me!)

SciencePhysics of the Impossible. Applies real scientific theory to sci-fi ideas like time travel and energy shields.

Chapter BooksEncyclopedia Brown. Can’t mess w/a classic. These bks always made me feel like a little Sherlock Holmes.

Lg Format HistoryStrange Maps by Jacobs. I LOVE maps, and this is a great collection of maps both realistic & fantastic

Homeblding/ArchitectureBLDGBLOG Book. Curious what cities will lk like in 50 yrs? Rad collection of design predictions

CraftsPhotocraft, by Herter. Great book for crafty types to make coasters, mosaics and other cool stuff from yr photos

TravelExtreme Bars. Bars with programable taps! Inflatable bars! Bars in trees and bars underwater! EXTREMEEEEE!!

Staff RecsJohannes Cabal the Necromancer. Hilarious Faustian bk that plays out in yr head like a Tim Burton movie.

PB Bestsllrs (Fic) Art of Racing in the Rain. Typical bestsllr fare vastly improved by being told from a dog’s POV.

HC Bestsllrs (NonFic)Superfreakonomics. Come for the global warming disc, stay for the teaching monkeys to use money.

HC Bestsllrs (Fic)Juliet, Naked. Hornby returns to his best subjects – obsessive fandom + pop music – w/great results.

PB Bestsllrs (NonFic)The Wordy Shipmates. The inimitable This American Life regular introduces you to the Pilgrims.

Computers and TechTwitter Wit. Hopefully I haven’t created some kind of singularity by recommending this on Twitter.

AudiobooksWorld War Z. Not your momma’s audiobook. A full-on production of the oral hist, performed by a veteran cast.

Youth NonfictionThe US Constitution. The same pocket version of the Constitution I carried in my pocket in college.

HumorHoly Sh*t: The World’s Weirdest Comic Books. Look at Amputee Love, Tales of the Leather Nun, and others.

ReferenceShow Me How! A visual guide with how-tos for everything from packing a suitcase to fighting a shark.

Toddler/Baby/Board BooksGallop, Swing and Waddle by Seder. SCANIMATION WILL BLOW YOUR MIND.

Maine KidsBlueberries for Sal. Absolutely classic. Pair with McCloskey’s other ME kids bks like One Morning in Maine.

Maine FictionState’s Witness. Fast-moving and clever mystery from the “John Grisham of Maine.”

Maine TravelGood Beer Guide to New England. Essential for travelers and locals looking for good local beer.

Graphic NovelsThe Nightly News by Hickman. A dense, funny, intense book with some groundbreaking design ideas.

BioAll the Way Home. Step-by-step guide to converting a dilapidated rubber baron’s mansion into a family home.

HistoryAnything for a Vote by Cummins. News flash: elections have always been wicked dirty. Fun overview in ths grt bk

SportsInstant Karma by Sheldrake. Zen and the art of ski maintainence. All about the joys and community of ski bumming

Maine Gift BooksStory of Sugarloaf by John Christie. Big, beautiful picture book about the history of @SugarloafMaine

Middle ReadersNerds by Buckley. Geeky, grade school super spies. Lots of fun, the book I would have read at age 10.

Personal FinanceRich by 30 by Scorgie. Aimed at teens and young adults, but great all-around financial advice.

Beer/WineExtreme Brewing by Sam Calagione. Brew your own big-ass beer at home w/ help from the founder of @dogfishbeer

CookbksJust a Bunch of Recipes. A really simple guy-friendly cookbook with a lot of crowd-pleasing impressive recipes.

Philosophy/ReligionSocrates Cafe. Another fave, about conducting Socratic dialogues and answering the big questions.

ParentingGrand Theft Childhood. A robust study of the effect of exposure to video games on children.

Mystery13th Hour. Fast-moving mystery with a creative time travel conceit. Stupendously well-plotted.

ClassicsTo Kill A Mockingbird. My favorite book. Atticus is more of a hero than anyone in the comics I read.

College BooksThe Naked Roommate by Cohen. A bk I had my freshman year. All those issues you just might run into at uni

FictionThe Gone-Away World by Harkaway. Funny, genre-bending + unlike anything y’ve read. Rec’d to me by @bookavore

TraveloguesThe Ridiculous Race. One of the funniest bks we carry. I handsell more of this than anything else.

Sex/RelationshipsGuide to Getting it On. Charming, educational bk. If you want yr teen to pay attn to sex ed, get this

Young AdultHush, Hush by Fitzpatrick. Great book for Twilight fans, replacing vamps w/ fallen angels. Set in Maine!

Pop-Up BooksThe Pop-Up House of Inventions. Original activity bk full of trivia about when/how things were invented.

PhotographyThe Oxford Project. Totally original photo book that I reviewed on @murmur a while back.

Bargain BooksThe Sweeter Side of R Crumb. Collectn of work from the famous artist. Marked down from 30 bucks to 9.99.

Maine Non-FictionThe Lobster Coast by Woodard. The best history of ME (esp the coast) I’ve read. Must-read for locals.

Music / EntertainmentPlease Kill Me by Legs McNeil + Gillian McCain. The only history of punk music you’ll ever need.

PoetrySailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins. Poetry for people who aren’t poetry fans. Quirky, clever read.

ArtGig Posters, Vol 1. Beautifully produced bk collecting rock-show posters. Wicked original art, great for music fans

Maritime Fic/NonficGeorge Washington’s Secret Navy by James Nelson. Story of the tiny, secret navy Washington built

Picture BooksBeware of the Frog by William Bee. Awesome, darkly funny story with amazing construction paper-esque art


One response to “Recommendations Gone Wild

  1. I concur with your Health/Diet and Maine series of books. Need to pick up Extreme Brewing.

    Awesome list.

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