Wayne Giacalone, Co-Manager and Expert-of-all-the-Books-in-the-World

Wayne grew up in a family of nine, which lead to a strong belief that curling up with a book for some quiet alone time can save your sanity.  He has a comparative world literature degree from The University of Illinois, so feel free to strike up a conversation about Dostoevsky.  In addition to dusty old Russian tomes, he’ll read almost anything: from Contemporary Fiction, to Sci-Fi/Fantasy, to Noir, and sometimes even the occasional non-fiction book.  He co-writes the web comic 13 Baristas with two friends, which you can check out whenever they finally get their act together and finish it.  He’s been living in Roscoe Village for 8 years and currently resides with his beautiful talented wife and two of the worst-behaved cats he’s ever met.

Ancillary Justice Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316246620
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - October 1st, 2013

This book was fascinating.  It is narrated by Breq.  Breq used to be a spaceship'ss AI, and occupy the mind of a ship, as well as several human bodies that were used to work the ship, all at once.  Now, something has happened that has caused her to have only one body, and she spends the book bitterly trying to deal with having this new limited perspective.  At the same time, we are treated to a gripping, mystery of how she came to this situation, and what she will do for revenge.  Thought provoking and thrilling.

The Big Green Tent Cover Image
By Ludmila Ulitskaya, Polly Gannon (Translator)
ISBN: 9780374166670
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 10th, 2015

WOW. I was blown away by this book.  This is story of 3 boys who live 1950's Soviet Union, as they grow up, become dissidents, and take a stand against those in power.  Along the way, Ulitskaya tells us the stories of many of the people that the boys encounter, ultimately painting a picture of The Soviet Union that is both broad and intimate.  There are single chapters in here that tell a fuller, deeper story than many novels manage. Truly spectacular. 

All the Birds in the Sky Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765379948
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - January 26th, 2016

Anders, the Editor-in-Chief of I09.com, has delivered something special here. In her first book for adults, Anders tells the story of two outcasts, Patricia and Laurence, one who has magical abilities and one who is a science fiction scientist, as they form a friendship in childhood and meet again as adults.  Filled with more quirk and playfulness than you could shake a stick at, the novel none-the-less remains character focused and delivers real emotionally resonant moments. I loved it, a true blast to read

Stoner Cover Image
By John Williams, John McGahern (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781590171998
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New York Review of Books - June 20th, 2006

Whew, this book knocked me out.  The story of an English professor in early 20th century Missouri leading a quiet life may not sound like engrossing page turning literature, but it really is.  John Williams' thesis seems to be that a quiet uneventful life is still a beautiful story worth telling, and he proves this extraordinarily well.  I can't recommend this book enough. 

The Prestige Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312858865
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - November 29th, 2005

Boy, did I have fun reading this book! Rival stage magicians wreck havoc on each others lives trying to figure out the mysteries behind their magic tricks.  What truly amazes me about this book is how such a straight forward read can also be a fascinating reflection on the relationship between reader and writer.  A perfectly paced, intriguingly complex mystery, presented in stunningly simple language.  One of my favorites!

The Long Goodbye Cover Image
ISBN: 9780394757681
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - August 12th, 1988

This book contains the single best sentence ever written about coffee: "I went out in the kitchen to make coffee--yards of coffee.  Rich, strong, bitter, boiling hot, ruthless, depraved.  The life-blood of tired men." If Chandler can write that well about your morning cup, just imagine what he has to say about the human condition. Noir at it's best and most philosophically interesting.

Anna Karenina (Oprah #5): (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Cover Image
By Leo Tolstoy, Richard Pevear (Translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator)
ISBN: 9780143035008
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - May 31st, 2004

This is the best book I have ever read! Yes, it's long, heavy and old, but don't let that keep you away.  No other book I've read portrays relationships with as much depth, breadth or grace. This book is Immaculately contructed and surprisingly readable.  I love it! Don't be scared of this great book!

Black Swan Green Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812974010
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade - February 27th, 2007

This novel follows Jason Taylor, a 13-year ol boy living in a small English town in 1962. For a year we live in Jason's head, as he moves from childhood to his first thoughts of a bigger adult world.  Mitchell perfectly captures what it feels lke to be 13: all the confusion, anger, infatuation, grief and naivete.  Those who loved Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and Bone Clocks, be ready to be surprised at the subtlety and simplicity on display here.  My favorite of Mitchell's many great works.

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385333474
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Press - September 8th, 1998

Are people worth caring about even if they're stupid, lazy and poor? That's the question asked in this satirical examination of weath and class.  Meet Mr. Rosewater, a member of the super-rich, who has decided to live among the low-lifes of the town his family came from.  His journy is hilarious, moving and a critque of American culture that is right on target.  At times it was hard for me to remember that this book was satirizing a culter from 50 years ago instaead of today.  A great place to start with Vonnegut.

Magic for Beginners Cover Image
By Kelly Link, Shelley Jackson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780812986518
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade - July 1st, 2014

Kelly Link's short stories are great! Funny, strange, beautifully written and moving, these tales will astonish you. This book of hers is my favorite, but they are all fantastic.  My favorite short story writer is a very long time.