Cale H

Main Floor Manager

Cale originally hails from the great plains of Colorado, growing up in the foothills at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Cale has been in NYC for over 8 years and has been at the Strand for 5 of those years. Though he’s worked as a barista, a carpenter, and a shoe salesman (among other jobs), he’s always loved reading and has worked with books for nearly the past 8 years. He has his mother to thank for fostering his love of reading. Growing up that meant reading pretty much anything he could get his hands on, from the town paper, to the mystery novels his uncle sent him, to every cereal box that ended up on the kitchen table. One day an observant teacher gave him a copy of “On the Road.” After devouring “On the Road” he figured out he could be a lot pickier about what he read and developed a love for fiction, moving on from the beat writers to various memoirs and works of contemporary fiction. These days Cale sticks to a lot of literary fiction, essay collections, some biographies, and books about soccer. When he’s not working on the main floor you can find him playing in one of his bands, or if it’s Friday night and there’s no shows booked, playing soccer with his fantastic coed team, the Brooklyn Panthers.

Would you like other recommendations? Email me at staff+cale-h@strandbooks.com

Cale H's Reviews

The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake

by: Breece D'J Pancake

These are some of the best short stories I've read in a very long time. There isn't an extra word, or a word out of place in this brutal, complete, and basically perfect collection. It's a shame this is all we get, but it's also a perfect book. A must read.

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You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

by: Alexandra Kleeman

Fans of maybe unreliable narrators, super creepy advertising, probably crazy roommates, and really, really great writing will adore this book! Kleeman’s first novel unsettles you from the first page and only gets creepier. An astonishing debut from a crazy talented author. I can’t wait to reread this one. Easily the best novel I’ve read this year.

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Barbara the Slut

by: Lauren Holmes

Outstanding! One of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s hard to believe that a short story collection so sharp and emotionally keyed in as a debut. The depth of emotion and subtle shifts in feelings portrayed in this book are completely mesmerizing. Holmes writes in spare, direct sentences with near minimalist dialogue, and the results are nothing short of astonishing. Consider me a huge fan.

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Gutshot

by: Amelia Gray

Short, severe, bizarre, and oddly charming come close to describing his new collection of short stories from Amelia Gray. You might say this collection fits nicely in the center of a Lydia Davis/ Kelly Link venn diagram. This is an incredibly odd and compelling collection of short stories that is accessible as it is strange. Fantastic for a day at the beach or as a daily devotional before bed. Highly recommend!

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How to Set a Fire and Why

by: Jesse Ball

Jesse Ball's latest novel is the best book I've read this year. I can't remember a book that was completely beautiful and tender, while remaining extremely raw and vital. Anyone who's ever felt confused when their best doesn't pay off will find this book chockablock with sardonic and wry insight covering the softer bits below. It's hard to describe how this book made me feel. But however I was feeling, I felt it all during this exceptional story. A must read.

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Sweetbitter

by: Stephanie Danler

Sweetbitter is the book of the summer and one of the most compulsively readable books I've come across in in a long time. I couldn't put it down and I didn't want it to end. It's growing up, New York City, independence, crazy restaurant characters, and so much more. This book is as fun as it is richly detailed. Take it to the beach, lay under an umbrella, pair with something cold to drink, and get away from reality for a while.

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So Sad Today: Personal Essays

by: Melissa Broder

So Sad Today is incredible. This collection of intensely personal and raw essays manages to completely sidestep any shred of navel-gazing and deftly avoids self-aggrandizing personal trauma. The subject matter will resonate with many people. This is an essay collection without peer. Such is the intensity of the unflinching mirror that Broder turns upon herself.

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Slade House

by: David Mitchell

In the interest of full disclosure, I should start by admitting this is the first book I've read by David Mitchell. And now I suppose I'll need to read more by him because Slade House is a fantastically spooky novel. Every one of Mitchell's characters posses a unique voice and the writing absolutely sparkles. Fans of the supernatural and the eerie will love this one. Also, the book design is beautiful.

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You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine

by: Alexandra Kleeman

Fans of maybe unreliable narrators, super creepy advertising, probably crazy roommates, and really, really great writing will adore this book. Set in just another town, with characters only known as “A,” “B,” and “C,” Alexandra Kleeman's first novel unsettles you from the first page and only gets creepier. There's so much packed into this fantastic book, much more than I've described. I really loved this book. An astonishing debut from a crazy talented author. I can't wait to reread this one. Easily the best novel I've read this year.

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Barbara the Slut and Other People

by: Lauren Holmes

Outstanding. One of the best books I've read this year. It's hard to believe that a short story collection so sharp and emotionally keyed-in is a debut. The depth of emotion and subtle shifts in feelings portrayed in this book are completely mesmerizing. Lauren Holmes writes in spare, direct sentences with near minimalist dialogue and the results are nothing short of astonishing. Consider me a huge fan.

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There Must Be Some Mistake

by: Frederick Barthelme

Frederick Barthelme has been described as “...a master of minimalist suburbia-set fiction” and his newest book only reinforces this sentiment. This book is centered around a semi-retired, fifty-something, partially nocturnal, ex-graphic designer and the slightly off-color cast of characters who inhabit his world. Though often not by choice, Barthelme has quite the knack for subtle, seemingly normal characters who may be hiding something slightly sinister just beneath their normal facades. Fans of Tom Drury will find a lot to like here. A magnificent read from an underrated author. Highly recommended.

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Lucky Alan: and Other Stories

by: Jonathan Lethem

With Lucky Alan, Jonathan Lethem artfully blends the absurd with the banal, the outlandish with the pedestrian. Only a writer as assured and complete as Lethem could release a short story collection that feels so effortless, yet so important. If you're new to Lethem this is a must read. Fans of his earlier work will recognize Lethem's wit, voice, and gift for subverting the traditional. I loved it.

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Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?

by: Dave Eggers

Egger's latest is less a novel than an exercise in taut, tense, minimalistic dialogue. But more than that it's the story of a lost, lonely, misguided soul who doesn't understand why the world is the way it is. To me, this book is a fascinating literary rorschach experiment. I defy anyone to read this book and come away with nothing to say, good or bad. A quick, interesting, fun, and thought provoking read.

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The Martian

by: Andy Weir

I almost never read hard science fiction but I tore through, and thoroughly enjoyed this book. At its core is a very simple premise: A man stranded on Mars in the not so distant future has to survive. (And maybe find a way to get back to earth). Andy Wier throws in enough plausible science to keep the story interesting and somewhat grounded, but also achieves a wonderful balance of dread/fun/suspense. Even people who don't read science fiction will find something to love here. The Martian is a real page turner and a great gift!

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Station Eleven

by: Emily St. John Mandel

think more than anything, Station Eleven is a book concerned with hope. Yes, there's been a global pandemic, and yes, much of the world's population has been lost. But hope, and the relationships that sustain us are the focus of this beautiful and solemn book. This is a well paced and detailed novel that is never hampered by verbosity. There's a little something for everyone here. A little dystopian, a little introspective, and hugely compelling. Station Eleven isn't to be missed.

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Adam

by: Ariel Schrag

Adam is the funniest, sweetest, smartest, most empathetic book I've read this year. Ariel Schrag is some sort of feelings wizard, managing to write a number of very different character’s voices in a completely convincing fashion. As I read I lost count of how many times I knew exactly what Adam, an awkward, 17 year old, completely confused boy was feeling. When reading Adam I couldn't stop smiling, cringing, laughing, and hoping. This is a book that feels like it absolutely had to be written. Easily the most charming book I've read in a very long time and probably the best book I've read this year. Bravo.

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10:04: A Novel

by: Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner's newest novel is semi-autobiographical, exceptionally interesting, and wholly uplifting. This is one of the only books I've read about “being a writer” that isn't annoying, but rather, incredibly life affirming. This book is difficult to describe and completely rewarding to read. One of the best books I've read this year, maybe THE best.

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To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

by: Joshua Ferris

This is a book about putting down your phone, getting out of your own head, and connecting with what's around you, what's real. Or is it? Part well intentioned identity theft, part obsessive thought log of a social oddball, and part pseudo-theological siren song, Joshua Ferris again gives readers a lot to think about. Though the main character, Paul, starts off rather annoying, if you stick with this story the payoff is well worth it. There's a lot going on in this book, but the message is a simple one.

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  • A Year in the Merde

    By Stephen Clarke

    Our Price: $7.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781582346175
    • Publisher: Bloomsbury
    • Published: May 2006
    An almost-true account of things that may or may not have happened to the British journalist and writer in the ten years he has lived in France.
  • Among the Thugs

    By Bill Buford

    Our Price: $8.00 - $14.35
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679745358
    • Publisher: Vintage Books
    • Published: June 1993
    They have names like Barmy Bernie, Daft Donald, and Steamin' Sammy. They like lager (in huge quantities), the Queen, football clubs (especially Manchester United), and themselves. Their dislike encompasses the rest of the known universe, and England's soccer thugs express it in ways that range from mere vandalism to riots that terrorize entire cities. Now Bill Buford, editor of the prestigious journal Granta, enters this alternate society and records both its savageries and its sinister allure with the social imagination of a George Orwell and the raw personal engagement of a Hunter Thompson.
  • An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

    By Kay Redfield Jamison

    Our Price: $8.00 - $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679763307
    • Publisher: Vintage Books
    • Published: January 1997
    Examines bipolar illness from the dual perspectives of the healer and the healed, revealing both its terrors and the cruel allure that at times prompted the Author to resist taking medication. A deeply powerful book that has both transformed and saved lives. 224p.
  • Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot on and Never Will

    By Judith Schalansky

    Our Price: $15.00
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780143118206
    • Publisher: Penguin Books
    • Published: 2010
    A journey to fifty far-flung worlds - from Tristan de Cunha to Clipperton-Atoll, from Christmas Island to Easter Island - telling stories of stranded slaves and lonely naturalists, aberrant explorers and weathered lighthouse keepers, forgotten ships and mutinous sialors. Armchair explorers who undertake this epic journey will find themselves in places that exist in reality, but may only be found in the imagination. All the solitary islands in this book are depicted on a sacale of 1:125000. Glossary, Index. Illus. 144p.
  • Bicycle Diaries

    By David Byrne

    Our Price: $15.30 - $17.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780143117964
    • Publisher: Penguin Books
    • Published: September 2010
    Renowned musician (Talking Heads) and visual artist David Byrne relates his adventures and observations from the seat of his bicycle as he travels through some of the world's major cities. From Buenos Aires, Istanbul, and San Francisco, to Berlin and London, Byrne shares his thoughts on everything from architecture to globalization. He fashions an engaging narrative of city life from a two-wheeled perspective, illuminating the inner workings and rhythms of cities, and revealing how many communities have embrace a transportation revolution. Illus. 300p.
  • Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer

    By David Winner

    Our Price: $14.35
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781590200551
    • Publisher: The Overlook Press
    • Published: July 2008
    A rollicking and peculiar study of Dutch culture is brought to life through a mysterious form of soccer called Total Football, a strange sport that continues to delight and befuddle observers around the world, vividly detailing a colorful cast of characters, including anarchists, church painters, skinheads, and Holland's beloved soccer players.
  • Dandy in the Underworld: An Unauthorized Autobiography

    By Sebastian Horsley

    Our Price: $7.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780061461255
    • Publisher: HarperPerennial
    • Published: March 2007
    An unflinching, painfully honest self-portrait describes the author's painful childhood growing up with a suicidal mother, cult member stepfather, and crippled millionaire father; his diverse careers as an artist, dandy, male escort, and brothel connoisseur; love and marriage; heroine and crack addiction; and desperate struggle to get clean. Original. 50,000 first printing.
  • Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

    By David Sedaris

    Our Price: $6.95
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780316143462
    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
    • Published: 2004
    Following in the laugh track of his most recent take on life's absurdities, 'Me Talk Pretty One Day,' David Sedaris presents this new collection of autobiographical vignettes, embedded with his characteristic gift for deadpan humor, especially when poking fun at his family and neighbors. Mining the gulf of misunderstanding between people and within oneself, Sedaris draws from his youth as well as from recent incidents, with his main target remaining true to form: his own obsessive-compulsiveness and the emotional armor he kicks around in proof of his own human nature run amuck and with a profound sense of humor about the entire enterprise. Hey! He writes this stuff for us! 257p. Kindle Price: $9.99
  • Drinking: A Love Story

    By Caroline Knapp

    Our Price: $8.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780385315548
    • Publisher: The Dial Press
    • Published: July 2005
    A journalist describes her twenty years as a functioning alcoholic, explaining how she used alcohol to escape the realities of life and personal relationships, until a series of personal crises forced her to confront her problem. Reprint. 90,000 first printing.
  • Dry. A Memoir.

    By Augusten Burroughs

    Our Price: $7.00
    Kindle Price: $9.99
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780312423797
    • Publisher: Picador
    • Published: April 2003
    The author chronicles his misadventures in advertising and his terrifying struggle with alcoholism, confirming his darkly comic literary talent with 'laughter on the road to sobriety.' As heartbreaking as it is heroic. 309p.
  • Eating the Dinosaur

    By Chuck Klosterman

    Our Price: $5.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781416544210
    • Publisher: Scribner
    • Published: July 2010
    From why German don't laugh while they're inside grocery stores to Lady Gaga, there's a lot of stuff between the covers. Klosterman goes into time travel and spends several pages with the film Rear Window. Myabe this will help. Klostertman writes, 'I see a zebra, and I know what it is. But you know what I can't see? How zebras look to a zebra. And that, I realize, is what matters most.' Index. 281p. Kindle Price: $11.99
  • Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

    By Eric Schlosser

    Our Price: $6.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780060938451
    • Publisher: Perennial
    • Published: January 2002
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

    By Steven D. Levitt

    Our Price: $7.50
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780060731328
    • Publisher: William Morrow
    • Published: April 2005
    Economics is not widely considered to be one of the sexier sciences. The annual Nobel Prize winner in that field never receives as much publicity as his or her compatriots in peace, literature, or physics. But if such slights are based on the notion that economics is dull, or that economists are concerned only with finance itself, Steven D. Levitt will change some minds. In Freakonomics (written with Stephen J. Dubner), Levitt argues that many apparent mysteries of everyday life don't need to be so mysterious: they could be illuminated and made even more fascinating by asking the right questions and drawing connections. For example, Levitt traces the drop in violent crime rates to a drop in violent criminals and, digging further, to the Roe v. Wade decision that preempted the existence of some people who would be born to poverty and hardship. Elsewhere, by analyzing data gathered from inner-city Chicago drug-dealing gangs, Levitt outlines a corporate structure much like McDonald's, where the top bosses make great money while scores of underlings make something below minimum wage. And in a section that may alarm or relieve worried parents, Levitt argues that parenting methods don't really matter much and that a backyard swimming pool is much more dangerous than a gun. These enlightening chapters are separated by effusive passages from Dubner's 2003 profile of Levitt in The New York Times Magazine, which led to the book being written. In a book filled with bold logic, such back-patting veers Freakonomics, however briefly, away from what Levitt actually has to say. Although maybe there's a good economic reason for that too, and we're just not getting it yet.
  • Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon

    By Chuck Palahniuk

    Our Price: $7.95
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9781400047833
    • Publisher: Crown Journeys
    • Published: 2003
    The bestselling author of 'Fight Club,' 'Invisible Monsters,' and 'Choke', a Portland resident since 1980, is host to armchair travelers, providing a tour of 'strange personal museums, weird annual events, and ghost stories.' On Palahniuk's itinerary are swingers' sex clubs, gay and straight, Frances Gabe's famous 1940s Self-Cleaning House, the I-Tit-a-Rod Race and the Santa Rampage. 176p.
  • Half a Life

    By Darin Strauss

    Our Price: $6.50
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780812982534
    • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
    • Published: May 2011
    National Book Critics Circle Award Winner. Acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss examines the fart-reaching consequences of the tragic moment that has shadowed his whole life. In his last month of high school, he was behind the wheel of his dad’s Oldsmobile, driving with friends, heading off to play miniature golf. Then: a classmate swerved in front of his car. The collision resulted in her death. With piercing insight and stark prose, Strauss leads readers on a deeply personal, immediate, and emotional journey – graduating high school, going away to college, starting his writing career, falling in love with his future wife, becoming a father. Along the way he gives loss an indelibly hard look, not to mention guilt, maturity and accountability. 207p.

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