Conrad's Picks
Featured Items
The Lathe of Heaven
The Lathe of Heaven
Paperback      ISBN: 1416556966
A classic science fiction novel by Ursula K. Le Guin, one of the greatest writers of the genre, set in a future world where one man's dreams control the fate of humanity.

In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George's dreams for his own purposes.

The Lathe of Heaven is an eerily prescient novel from award-winning author Ursula K. Le Guin that masterfully addresses the dangers of power and humanity's self-destructiveness, questioning the nature of reality itself. It is a classic of the science fiction genre.
Chaos: Charles Manson, the Cia, and the Secret History of the Sixties
Chaos
Charles Manson, the Cia, and the Secret History of the Sixties
Paperback      ISBN: 0316477540
A journalist's twenty-year fascination with the Manson murders leads to shocking new revelations about the FBI's involvement in this riveting reassessment of an infamous case in American history.
Over two grim nights in Los Angeles, the young followers of Charles Manson murdered seven people, including the actress Sharon Tate, then eight months pregnant. With no mercy and seemingly no motive, the Manson Family followed their leader's every order -- their crimes lit a flame of paranoia across the nation, spelling the end of the sixties. Manson became one of history's most infamous criminals, his name forever attached to an era when charlatans mixed with prodigies, free love was as possible as brainwashing, and utopia -- or dystopia -- was just an acid trip away.
Twenty years ago, when journalist Tom O'Neill was reporting a magazine piece about the murders, he worried there was nothing new to say. Then he unearthed shocking evidence of a cover-up behind the "official" story, including police carelessness, legal misconduct, and potential surveillance by intelligence agents. When a tense interview with Vincent Bugliosi -- prosecutor of the Manson Family and author of Helter Skelter -- turned a friendly source into a nemesis, O'Neill knew he was onto something. But every discovery brought more questions:
  • Who were Manson's real friends in Hollywood, and how far would they go to hide their ties?
  • Why didn't law enforcement, including Manson's own parole officer, act on their many chances to stop him?
  • And how did Manson -- an illiterate ex-con -- turn a group of peaceful hippies into remorseless killers?

O'Neill's quest for the truth led him from reclusive celebrities to seasoned spies, from San Francisco's summer of love to the shadowy sites of the CIA's mind-control experiments, on a trail rife with shady cover-ups and suspicious coincidences. The product of two decades of reporting, hundreds of new interviews, and dozens of never-before-seen documents from the LAPD, the FBI, and the CIA, Chaos mounts an argument that could be, according to Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Steven Kay, strong enough to overturn the verdicts on the Manson murders. This is a book that overturns our understanding of a pivotal time in American history.
Chelsea Girls
Chelsea Girls
Paperback      ISBN: 0062394665

Available once again for a new generation of readers, the groundbreaking and candid coming-of-age novel in-real-time from one of America's most celebrated poets that is considered a cult classic.

In this breathtakingly inventive autobiographical novel, Eileen Myles transforms life into a work of art. Told in her audacious voice, made vivid and immediate in her lyrical language, Chelsea Girls cobbles together memories of Myles' 1960s Catholic upbringing with an alcoholic father, her volatile adolescence, her unabashed "lesbianity," and her riotous pursuit of survival as a poet in 1970s New York.

Suffused with alcohol, drugs, and sex; evocative in its depictions of the hardscrabble realities of a young artist's life; and poignant with stories of love, humor, and discovery, Chelsea Girls is a funny, cool, and intimate account of a writer's education, and a modern chronicle of how a young female writer shrugged off the chains of a rigid cultural identity meant to define her.

Speedboat
Speedboat
Paperback      ISBN: 1590176138
Winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, this is one of the defining books of the 1970s, an experimental novel about a young journalist trying to navigate life in America.

When Speedboat burst on the scene in the late '70s it was like nothing readers had encountered before. It seemed to disregard the rules of the novel, but it wore its unconventionality with ease. Reading it was a pleasure of a new, unexpected kind. Above all, there was its voice, ambivalent, curious, wry, the voice of Jen Fain, a journalist negotiating the fraught landscape of contemporary urban America. Party guests, taxi drivers, brownstone dwellers, professors, journalists, presidents, and debutantes fill these dispatches from the world as Jen finds it.

A touchstone over the years for writers as different as David Foster Wallace and Elizabeth Hardwick, Speedboat returns to enthrall a new generation of readers.
Riddley Walker, Expanded Edition
Riddley Walker, Expanded Edition
Paperback      ISBN: 0253212340

A hero with Huck Finn's heart and charm, lighting by El Greco and jokes by Punch and Judy. . . . Riddley Walker is haunting and fiercely imagined and--this matters most--intensely ponderable. --Benjamin DeMott, The New York Times Book Review

This is what literature is meant to be. --Anthony Burgess

Russell Hoban has brought off an extraordinary feat of imagination and style. . . . The conviction and consistency are total. Funny, terrible, haunting and unsettling, this book is a masterpiece. --Anthony Thwaite, Observer

Extraordinary . . . Suffused with melancholy and wonder, beautifully written, Riddley Walker is a novel that people will be reading for a long, long time. --Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World

Stunning, delicious, designed to prevent the modern reader from becoming stupid. --John Leonard, The New York Times

Highly enjoyable . . . An intriguing plot . . . Ferociously inventive. --Walter Clemons, Newsweek

Astounding . . . Hoban's soaring flight of imagination is that golden rarity, a dazzlingly realized work of genius. --Jane Clapperton, Cosmopolitan

An imaginative intensity that is rare in contemporary fiction.' --Paul Gray, Time

Riddley Walker is a brilliant, unique, completely realized work of fiction. One reads it again and again, discovering new wonders every time through. Set in a remote future in a post-nuclear holocaust England (Inland), Hoban has imagined a humanity regressed to an iron-age, semi-literate state--and invented a language to represent it. Riddley is at once the Huck Finn and the Stephen Dedalus of his culture--rebel, change agent, and artist. Read again or for the first time this masterpiece of 20th-century literature with new material by the author.

Dhalgren
Dhalgren
Paperback      ISBN: 0375706682
In one of the most profound and bestselling science fiction novels of all time, Samuel R. Delany has produced a novel to stand with the best American fiction of the 1970s (Jonathan Lethem).

Bellona is a city at the dead center of the United States. Something has happened there ... The population has fled. Madmen and criminals wander the streets. Strange portents appear in the cloud-covered sky. Into this disaster zone comes a young man--poet, lover, and adventurer--known only as the Kid.

Tackling questions of race, gender, and sexuality, Dhalgren is a literary marvel and groundbreaking work of American magical realism.
The Glass Hotel
The Glass Hotel
Hardcover      ISBN: 0525521143
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:
THE NEW YORKER - NPR - TIME - THE WASHINGTON POST- ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY - AND MORE

"The perfect novel. . . . Freshly mysterious." --The Washington Post

From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, an exhilarating novel set at the glittering intersection of two seemingly disparate events--the exposure of a massive criminal enterprise and the mysterious disappearance of a woman from a ship at sea.

Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star lodging on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. On the night she meets Jonathan Alkaitis, a hooded figure scrawls a message on the lobby's glass wall: Why don't you swallow broken glass. High above Manhattan, a greater crime is committed: Alkaitis's billion-dollar business is really nothing more than a game of smoke and mirrors. When his scheme collapses, it obliterates countless fortunes and devastates lives. Vincent, who had been posing as Jonathan's wife, walks away into the night. Years later, a victim of the fraud is hired to investigate a strange occurrence: a woman has seemingly vanished from the deck of a container ship between ports of call.

In this captivating story of crisis and survival, Emily St. John Mandel takes readers through often hidden landscapes: campgrounds for the near-homeless, underground electronica clubs, service in luxury hotels, and life in a federal prison. Rife with unexpected beauty, The Glass Hotel is a captivating portrait of greed and guilt, love and delusion, ghosts and unintended consequences, and the infinite ways we search for meaning in our lives.

"Compulsively readable." --Chicago Review of Books
Piranesi
Piranesi
Hardcover      ISBN: 163557563x

New York Times Bestseller

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an intoxicating, hypnotic new novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.

Piranesi's house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house--a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

For readers of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller's Circe, Piranesi introduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds.
The Way of Zen =: [Zendao]
The Way of Zen =
[Zendao]
Paperback      ISBN: 0375705104
In his definitive introduction to Zen Buddhism, Alan Watts (the perfect guide for a course correction in life --Deepak Chopra), explains the principles and practices of this ancient religion.

With a rare combination of freshness and lucidity, he delves into the origins and history of Zen to explain what it means for the world today with incredible clarity. Watts saw Zen as "one of the most precious gifts of Asia to the world," and in The Way of Zen he gives this gift to readers everywhere.

"Perhaps the foremost interpreter of Eastern disciplines for the contemporary West, Watts had the rare gift of 'writing beautifully the unwritable.'"
--Los Angeles Times
Collected Stories of Carson McCullers
Collected Stories of Carson McCullers
Paperback      ISBN: 0395925053

Carson McCullers--novelist, dramatist, poet--was at the peak of her powers as a writer of short fiction. Here are nineteen stories that explore her signature themes: wounded adolescence, loneliness in marriage, and the tragicomedy of life in the South. Here too are "The Member of the Wedding" and "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe," novellas that Tennessee Williams judged to be "assuredly among the masterpieces of our language." (A Mariner Reissue)