Robert Recommends

Staff Books: 

The Big Book of the Dead Cover Image
ISBN: 9781640092532
Availability: On Our Shelves Now--Subject to Availability
Published: Counterpoint LLC - September 17th, 2019

Marion Wink is esteemed for bringing humor and wit to that most unavoidable of subjects: death.

A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana Cover Image
ISBN: 9780767915052
Availability: Not on hand, usually available within 1-5 Days
Published: Crown - September 3rd, 2002

The New York Times bestselling memoir about growing up in small-town Indiana, from the author of The Solace of Leaving Early.

Truth & Beauty: A Friendship Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060572150
Availability: On Our Shelves Now--Subject to Availability
Published: Harper Perennial - April 5th, 2005

"A loving testament to the work and reward of the best friendships, the kind where your arms can’t distinguish burden from embrace.” --People

New York Times Bestselling author Ann Patchett’s first work of nonfiction chronicling her decades-long friendship with the critically acclaimed and recently deceased author, Lucy Grealy.

The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara Cover Image
By Frank O'Hara, Donald Allen (Editor), John Ashbery (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780520201668
Availability: Not on hand, usually available within 1-5 Days
Published: University of California Press - March 31st, 1995

I had not read any Seuss but the good Doctor until I discovered this remarkable collection, although the Kalamazoo-based Diane Seuss has been publishing poetry since the late 1990s. I obviously have some catching up to do, because her ekphrastic poems in this collection are evocative, brilliant, startling in their imagery and flow, and take autobiography to a new level, where one’s sensations, feelings, and thoughts upon meeting a painting reveal the inner core of the viewer. In a series of “Still Life” poems and “Self-Portraits,” Seuss crosses genres, not only from poetry to prose but also poetry to painting and back. In the series “Walmart Parking Lot,” Seuss gives us the seemingly banal scene as if told from the art and point of view of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keefe, Andy Warhol, and Alice Neel, and in doing so shows how much each artist has to offer to the world. I dare you to read poems like “I Look Up from My Book and Out at the World through Reading Glasses,” “Self-Portrait with the Ashes of My Baby Blanket,” and “I Have Lived My Whole Life in a Painting Called Paradise,” and not be at least a little changed. That’s what a good poem can do.

How to Carry Water: Selected Poems of Lucille Clifton (American Poets Continuum #180) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781950774142
Availability: Not on hand, usually available within 1-5 Days
Published: BOA Editions - September 8th, 2020

I recently got to see Tommy “Teebs” Pico read at the wonderful Women and Children First bookstore in Chicago. If you get a chance to hear him read, take it! I doubt there’s a funnier, braver, or more bracingly intelligent poet working today. He’s fresh from winning a “genius grant” from the Whiting Foundation. In their award citation the committee said, “Pico writes poetry of rare brilliance, assured in form and forceful in its interrogation of myth and cultural expectations and self. His ability to move among those spaces gives the work the feeling of an opened ceiling.” In the book-length poem Junk, gay, urban, Native American Pico tackles all possible meanings of the word “junk” to give us an amazing portrait of the complexity of the world. With its rampant consumerism, its heady and possibly poisonous mix of politics, personal history, class, sexuality, race and consumption, and with its ode to the snack foods that are so good (but so bad for us), Junk uses a breakneck, high-speed internet pace to let us into the mind and point-of-view of a new, vital voice in American poetry. And then buy Pico’s 2017 collection Nature Poem while you’re at it—a searing critique of racism, colonialism, and contemporary society, all with Pico’s disarming honesty, humor, and mad skills.

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679724636
Availability: Not on hand, usually available within 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - March 17th, 1990

Stein's most famous work; one of the richest and most irreverent biographies ever written.