Martin's Staff Picks

Passing Strange Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780765389527
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 24th, 2017

This is an incredible read. I will simply say this. There is a small shelf in my library of great novels about/set in San Francisco. Passing Strange is on that shelf, between The Maltese Falcon and Tales of the city. 


The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories Cover Image
By Ken Liu
$15.99
ISBN: 9781481424363
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Saga Press - October 4th, 2016

These are some of the best short stories I've recently read. And while you may be thinking 'but I don't like science fiction', these stories transcend genre in the way very few writers are able to do. And so far, there is not a single story in this collection that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed. If you are in any way a fan of well written short stories, then I cannot recommend this collection highly enough.


Conversations in Jazz: The Ralph J. Gleason Interviews Cover Image
By Ralph J. Gleason, Toby Gleason (Editor), Ted Gioia (Foreword by)
$30.00
ISBN: 9780300214529
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Yale University Press - May 24th, 2016

Some of the best interviews of jazz musicians that I've ever read. A must have for any jazz fans bookshelf


The Vorrh Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101873786
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Published: Vintage - April 28th, 2015

How much did I love this book! If one has to assign a genre to The Vorrh, I suppose it would be fantasy, although it could just as easily be called magical realism or a handful of other definitions. There are also bits of historical fiction, and a bit of what might be called steampunk. I won't try to summarize the story. The two weeks I spent reading this book were some of the most challenging, enjoyable and rewarding. I'm hoping for more from Mr Catling as soon as he is ready. Reading The Vorrh is like being admitted to a number of different worlds, each with it's own rules, and watching as these worlds coalesce. 


Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780143127864
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Penguin Books - October 13th, 2015

The first 'just the facts' biography I've read of Stalin, and easily the best biography I've read in the last few years. There are more than a few surprises in this book.


Shakespeare's Restless World: Portrait of an Era Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780143125945
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Published: Penguin Books - November 4th, 2014

This book sets out to do two things, and it does them quite well. It gives us a fresh look at Shakespeare's plays, and the times they were born in. In my world, a fresh look at Shakespeare's plays is always a good thing. Second, it uses his plays, and the objects in the title of the book to re-examine, with fresh eyes,the world in Elizabethan times. I forget, and this book reminds me, that Shakespeare was writing for a common audience, and his plays encompassed everything from comedy through drama all the way to some of the best tragedies ever written.  SRW is an excellent introduction to Elizabethan England, one of my favorite eras of history.


Eggshells Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781612195971
Availability: Coming Soon. Available for Pre-Order Now!
Published: Melville House Publishing - March 14th, 2017

So many reasons to love this book. Great writing, interesting narrator , and the best literary stroll around Dublin since Joyce.


Alif the Unseen Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802121226
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships 1-10 business days from warehouse. ETA will be updated with email order confirmation.
Published: Grove Press - April 2nd, 2013

The first novel from the author of Ms. Marvel. Alif The Unseen is an incredible fiction debut. The story of a middle eastern hacker on the run from the authorities, Alif is one of the best books yet about the passions and frustrations that led to the Arab Spring(s). It is also a welcome, and long overdue, use of middle eastern culture, legends, history, and other story elements in popular literature. There were moments in ATU that made me pit the book down, to let what I'd just read sink in. Based on her first novel, G Willow Wilson is an author we will be enjoying for decades to come. Alif The Unseen is/are many great stories, wrapped together in one novel, very well told.