Ill's Picks

10 books? Impossible. Instead I present the Nob(ill) Prize Winners. Nob(ill)’s are awarded for a complete body of work rather than a single title. 10 authors? Impossible. There could have been at least 50 more. Each of these authors possesses a strong and singular voice that my world has been much improved by hearing and not one of them are anything at all like each other.

Happy Reading, ill

Collected Fictions Cover Image
By Jorge Luis Borges, Andrew Hurley (Translator)
ISBN: 9780140286809
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - September 1st, 1999

Jorge Luis Borges: This Argentinian author created whole universes in the span of a few paragraphs. If you haven’t read him yet, please, treat yourself. Recommended: Collected Fiction

We Have Always Lived in the Castle Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Jonathan Lethem (Introduction by), Thomas Ott (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780143039976
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - October 31st, 2006

Shirley Jackson: One of the great unsung (or too rarely sung) heroes of American literature. I can recommend everything, however “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” is one of the rare books that I think is perfect

The Talented Mr. Ripley Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393332148
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 1st, 2008

Patricia Highsmith: The Shangri-la’s sang “he’s good bad, he’s not evil” but Highsmith is a bit of both. Morally fraught, claustrophobic, and all around terrible in the best possible way. Recommended: The Talented Mr. Ripley

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594634635
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 8th, 2016

Helen Oyeyemi: Oyeyemi’s books are a bit like ballet: she uses her considerable storytelling muscle to create works of such whimsy and fantasy that you can almost forget the technical difficulty of what she does. Absolutely amazing. Recommended: What is Not Yours is Not Yours

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393348743
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 1st, 2014

Mary Roach: Not to be crass, but if you haven’t read science writer Mary Roach’s hilarious and fascinating screeds on the subject of buttholes then you probably aren’t living your best life. As Muriel Spark put it “It is the kind of thing one would like, if one likes that kind of thing.” Recommended: Gulp - Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde: Stories, Plays, Poems & Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060963934
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - August 16th, 1989

Oscar Wilde: When I was a young nerd Oscar Wilde was my teen suicide prevention hotline. How could a world that made Oscar Wilde be all bad? Recommended: Complete Works

Housekeeping Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312424091
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - November 1st, 2004

Marilynne Robinson: It takes a mighty talent to make a profoundly queer heathen such as myself dig into Christian books. But if more Christians - no, scratch that - if more people had her empathy and insight the world would be a much better place. Highly Recommended: Housekeeping

Crackpot: The Obsessions of Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743246279
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - October 21st, 2003

John Waters: Yep, that John Waters - professional wierdo, aesthete of the awful. Waters writes essays that are love letters to unlovable things. Funny, opinionated, and (dare I say) nearly heart-warming if you’re a little bit unlovable yourself. Recommended: Crackpot, the Obsessions of John Waters

Parable of the Sower Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446675505
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - January 1st, 2000

Octavia Butler: In some nerdy circles Butler has reached near mythic status. It makes sense, she was ahead of the curve - looking at what would make not just individuals, but communities survive and evolve while writing a cracking, fast-paced story. Walking Dead, please tip your cap to the queen. Recommended: Parable of the Sower

One Hundred Demons Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781570614590
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Sasquatch Books - August 30th, 2005

Lynda Barry: It takes a special type of talent to publish collected class syllabuses and to have it be one of the most delightful and inspiring books I’ve read in ages. Her comics are funny, raw, and alarming. I would kill to have her be my friend, but I get the distinct impression that she wouldn’t approve. Recommended: 101 Demons