With 87 years of bookselling experience, we think we know a thing or two about books. This year, for the first time in Strand's history, we asked our 150+ booksellers for their top picks. These are the 11 books Strand's booksellers loved most in 2014 (in no particular order).
Main Floor manager Cale H. highly recommends 10:04: "Ben Lerner's newest novel is semi-autobiographical, exceptionally interesting, and wholly uplifting. This is one of the only books I've read about "being a writer" that isn't annoying, but rather, incredibly life affirming." Plus: that cover is truly, truly spectacular.
Colleen from the Art Department loves this book: "Men Explain Things to Me is a perfectly digestible collection of essays on the current state of feminism in the world. Highlighting the more insidious ways discrimination affects not only those oppressed, but damages society as a whole, Men Explain Things to Me is calm, thorough, and heartbreaking, and among this year's necessary reading for all of those reasons. I fell in love with Rebecca Solnit after reading this, and have yet to be disappointed by anything she's written since."
This National Book Award Finalist captured the hearts of readers across the world, so naturally, more than a few Strand booksellers felt the same.
Marketing manager Brianne S. loves this book and frequently cries out: "I am jealous of every single reader who has yet to experience Doerr's magnificent, breathtaking novel! His sentences are like diamonds: cut to a glittering perfection."
To quote basement bookseller Maud P.: "Patricia Lockwood's poetry touches -- sometimes gropes -- the heart. Think hallucinatory pastorals; think 3rd wave feminism filtered through tumblr; think the rug pulled out from under you and presented back as an Onion headline."
In the words of Library Services manager Tris M.: "What is wrong with us? That is the question that sticks with you throughout Naomi Klein's masterful new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. Basically, if you care about the environment, if only a little, you should read this.
Lydia Davis rocks. Simple as that.
"Can't and Won't is funny, dark, sneaky and compelling, showcasing Lydia Davis' mastery of the short story and ability to hook her audience with as little as a sentence. A great gift for your smart friends with short attention spans," says Assistant GM Liz.
"Powerful. The exact book everyone in America should read right now," says Steffanie O., Strand's Associate Merch Buyer. She's right.
Strand's frontlist book buyer Carson M. says: "Phil Klay is the deserving winner of this year's National Book Award for Fiction. His debut story collection is a forceful examination of modern warfare's destabilizing effect on its participants, both on and off the battlefield."
Resident poetry fan Maud P. writes of Rome: "Dorothea Lasky's Rome is everything you could want from a modern re-telling of the ancient city, and every city that came after... Apollo smiled on these poems." Romulus and Remus approved.
Basement manager Sean C. is a huge fan of More Curious, calling it: "A propulsive collection of essays that takes the reader from Marfa, TX (one of the weirdest places in the continental United States) to the inner workings of NASA with a few exploratory pit stops in subcultures that are uniquely American. Wilsey's voice is peripatetic, inquisitive and one of a kind."
Also on The Huffington Post: