John's Staff Picks

By Italo Calvino, William Weaver (Translator)
ISBN: 9780156439619
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - October 20th, 1982

I could recommend Italo Calvino's masterpiece just on the merits of the first chapter -- his journey through the book-pitching process in an unnamed bookstore will have hardcore book nerds (like myself) nodding their heads in appreciation! Where he goes from there, however, is a journey into uncharted territory. You, as the reader, join into the novel's progress and then find that your book is misprinted and embark on a quest to find the rest of the book you started (and had really wanted to read!). With chapters alternating between reading books that might be your original book's continuation and trying to figure out what is going on, you have a lot going on -- but the experience is one of the most rewarding reads I've ever had.

By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (Translator)
ISBN: 9780679775430
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books USA - September 1998

Japan's most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.