Ben M.

Ben M.

Dean of the Clerks and the Institutional Memory of the Fiction Section

Ben M. grew up in Detroit, the only child of two schoolteachers, and he studied literature and music in college. He worked at a bookstore in Connecticut after graduation and then moved to New York in the mid-1970s to flourish as an actor, singer, poet and openly gay man. He took a job at the Strand in 1978. Read more about the man dubbed, "The Strand Oracle" who was recently featured in the New York Times.

Would you like other recommendations? Email me at staff+ben@strandbooks.com

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  • Annals of the Former World

    By John McPhee

    Our Price: $18.90
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780374518738
    • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    • Published: June 2000
    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. An organic succession of American geology in five books: Basin & Range; In Suspect Terrain; Rising from the Plains; Assembling California; Crossing the Craton. This edition of one of the finest popular surveys on the subject adds twenty-five new maps, as well as an essay outlining the history & structure of the project, 'Narrative Table of Contents.' This mulit-layered tale brims over with flashbacks, biographical sketches, and histories of the human and lithic kind. 696p.
  • Crazy Salad & Scribble Scribble: Some Things About Women & Notes on Media

    By Nora Ephron

    Our Price: $14.35
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780345804747
    • Publisher: Vintage Books
    • Published: October 2012
  • Darkness at Noon: A Novel

    By Arthur Koestler

    Our Price: $8.00 - $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781416540267
    • Publisher: Scribner
    • Published: October 2006
    During Stalin's purges, Nicholas Rubashov, an aging revolutionary is imprisoned and psychologically tortured by the party he has devoted his life to. Under mounting pressure to confess to crimes he did not commit, Rubashov relives a career that embodies the ironies and betrayals of a revolutionary dictatorship that believes it is an instrument of liberations. Koestler's book, first published in 1941, remains to this day, one of the most harrowing explorations of the moral danger inherent in a system that is willing to enforce its beliefs by any means necessary. 272p.
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

    By Hunter S. Thompson

    Our Price: $13.45
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679785897
    • Publisher: Vintage Books
    • Published: May 1998
    Gonzo journalist extraordinaire Hunter S. Thompson's 'scorching epochal sensation' (Tom Wolfe) redefined journalism. Just to nail it down, in his own words, 'There is nothing in the world more helpless andirresponsible than a man in the depths of...the dope decade.' And now that he's blown his brains out Hemingway-style, Thompson's indelibly immortal. And, he'll always be a great read to get to the grist of the American psyche-mill of the last four decades of the 20th century. 204p. Pap.
  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

    By Alison Bechdel

    Our Price: $13.45
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780618871711
    • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    • Published: June 2007
    A memoir done in the form of a graphic novel by a cult favorite comic artist offers a darkly funny family portrait that details her relationship with her father--a funeral home director, high school English teacher, and closeted homosexual.
  • Housekeeping

    By Marilynne Robinson

    Our Price: $15.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780312424091
    • Publisher: Picador
    • Published: October 2004
    The story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone, which is set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. Ruth and Lucille's struggletoward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience. Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award. From the author of 'Gilead.' 219p.
  • Invisible Man

    By Ralph Ellison

    Our Price: $8.00 - $14.35
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679732761
    • Publisher: Vintage International
    • Published: March 1995
    First published in 1952. The nameless protagonist of this nightmare journey across the racial divide discovers unparalleled truths about the nature of bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators. One of the most important novels of the twentieth century. 581p. Pap.
  • Last Novel

    By David Markson

    Our Price: $14.35
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781593761431
    • Publisher: Shoemaker & Hoard
    • Published: March 2007
    In this new work, an elderly author (referred to only as 'Novelist') announces that since this will be his final effort, he obviously possesses 'cart blanche to do anything he damned well pleases.' Pressed by solitude and age, Novelist's preoccupations inevitably turn to the stories of other artists - their genius, their lack of recognition, and their deaths. Keeping his personal history out of the story as much as possible, Novelist creates an incantatory stream of fascinating triumphs and failures from the lives of famous and not-so-famous painters, writers, conmposers, scientists, even athletes. 190p.
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day

    By David Sedaris

    Our Price: $6.95 - $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780316776967
    • Publisher: Back Bay Books / Little, Brown and Company
    • Published: June 2001
    This collection from the ribald humorist features his attempt to learn French given the fate of his having taken up residence in Paris. But, there's still his family to skewer and cashiers with 6-inch fingernails to get even with. 'At last, someone even meaner than the French!...not! 272p.
  • Mrs. Dalloway

    By Virginia Woolf

    Our Price: $5.95 - $7.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780156628709
    • Publisher: Harvest / Harcourt, Inc.
    • Published: 1981
    The portrait of a single day in a woman's life. Clarissa Dalloway, preoccupied with the last-minute details of party preparation, experiences a flood of memories that sets her awash in the sensations of faraway places. In thisrevelatory and experimental novel, the past, present, and visions of the future fuse together in each and every moment. The novel lies at the heart of the contemporary novel, The Hours, by Michael Cunningham, that has been made into a major motion picture (2002/3). 197p. Pap.
  • Orlando: A Biography

    By Virginia Woolf

    Our Price: $6.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780156701600
    • Publisher: Harcourt Brace Javonovich
    • Published: May 1993
    A whirlwind tour through four centuries of sex, gender, and popular culture, considered among Woolf's most significant and sharpest works. This edition published to coincide with the release of Sally Potter's extraordinary film adaptation. 333p. Pap.
  • Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them

    By Francine Prose

    Our Price: $12.00
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780060777043
    • Publisher: HarperCollins
    • Published: September 2006
    Long before creative writing programs and graduate degrees taught the finer points in composing fiction, writers looked to the enduring works of authors such as Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, and Kafka to supply the raw material out of which literature is crafted. In 'Reading Like a Writer,' Francine Prose discusses a handful of classics and how close reading of these works can offer insight into the tools and the tricks of the masters. Marvel at the serpentine sentences of Philip Roth, the masterful use of dialogue to advance plot by John Le Carre, and how enduring literature can inspire readers to look at the world with a fresh eye. 273p.
  • Seed to Harvest

    By Octavia E. Butler

    Our Price: $17.10
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780446698900
    • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
    • Published: January 2007
    Contains the novels Wild Seed, Mind of My Mind, Clay's Ark, and Patternmaster.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance With Death

    By Kurt Vonnegut

    Our Price: $13.50 - $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780385333849
    • Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback
    • Published: January 1999
    A classic of contemporary American literature, the novel centers on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany, 'the Florence of the Elbe,' in WII, as it intersects Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time, reflecting the mythic journey of our own fractured lives. 275p.
  • Song of Solomon: A Novel

    By Toni Morrison

    Our Price: $14.35
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781400033423
    • Publisher: Vintage International
    • Published: June 2004

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