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Justin's Best Books He Couldn't Finish!

"Books, which we mistake for consolation, only add depth to our sorrow." --Edward , My Name is Red

The beginning of Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller describes the inherent dangers of visiting a bookstore – the looming stacks of books never read, books we’ve pretended to have read, books we buy with no intention of reading, books that so many people have read it’s as if we have too... 

So, this blog is an homage to my favorite literary joke and all those looming stacks of books!

My Name is Read by Orhan Pamuk: An ambitious and complicated novel, defying the narrative joys of Pamuk’s other works as one of his lead characters here is the color red – all powder pigment and delicate dye. There are, in fact, 20 other narrators, including murderers and painters. As ever, Pamuk is exploring questions of identity and history, this time in the context of classical Ottoman manuscript illuminations.

The Overstory by Richard Powers: Powers’ novel takes an interesting frame for its multigenerational story – a tree’s eye view. In some cases, we watch a family shift, grow, and navigate tragedy through the perspective of an oak tree in their front yard, measuring generations as it grows from a sapling (beautiful); in others, characters’ political ideas are framed through their relationship with each other as they plan anti-logging protests (clumsy).

Moby Dick by Herman Melville: Beautifully and magnificently written but far too long and too many dead whales.


When he isn’t selling books at Kramers, Justin is a teacher and lecturer in acting and Greek tragedy. He was born in Italy and has lived in 13 different countries over the years; as a young teenager, Justin was mauled by a giraffe.

Interested in buying? Check out the list here!