"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, I read a book. "

Will Kaufman's writing has appeared most recently in A Book of Uncommon Prayer. His web site is kaufmanwrites.com.

...And here is some more inspiration.
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Feed By M. T. Anderson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780763662622
Availability: Not On Our Shelves - Available within 1 to 5 Days
Published: Candlewick - July 17th, 2012

What does it mean to be connected all the time? What are the risks? What are we giving up? Feed takes place in a future where everyone is constantly connected, and does more to challenge and question contemporary culture than the entire current crop of dystopian series rolled into one. This book understands social media and internet privacy issues better than anything this side of Cory Doctorow. More than that, it understands teenagers and their emotional lives, and provides a deeply moving story. I'd recommend this book for science fiction fans both teen and adult, and for anyone who wonders about the ramifications of always-on social media

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The Quantum Thief (Jean le Flambeur #1) By Hannu Rajaniemi Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765375889
Availability: Not On Our Shelves - Available within 1 to 5 Days
Published: Tor Books - August 19th, 2014

With the release of the third of Rajaniemi's Jean Le Flambeur novels coming up in July, now is the time to catch up with one of the most interesting and exciting contemporary science fiction series. The Quantum Thief introduces readers to Le Flambeur, a thief in a post-human, post-singularity, post-quantum computing universe, who has been broken out of prison–a prison made of an infinitely recurring prisoner's dilemma–for one more impossible job. I love this series for its complexity, and for how rewarding Rajaniemi makes the experience of discovering and coming to understand the story, the characters, and the world. This is Science Fiction of the highest order, reminiscent of Gene Wolfe. Additionally, the way the world expands in The Fractal Prince, the second book in the series, is pretty astounding, and it left me very excited for the upcoming The Causal Angel.

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Super Flat Times: Stories By Matthew Derby Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316738576
Availability: Not On Our Shelves - Available within 1 to 5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - May 5th, 2003

A decade ago this collection of stories was in the vanguard of a new wave of highly literary science fiction. If you have ever heard any ill-informed bore claim, "Science fiction always has such bad writing," or, "Literature is always so boring and unoriginal," you should drive said person to a bookstore and make them drink from Derby's well. Do it, or I'll torture another metaphor.

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Moby Dick or, The Whale By Herman Melville, Barry Moser (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Herman Melville, Barry Moser (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780520045484
Availability: Not On Our Shelves - Available within 1 to 5 Days
Published: University of California Press - August 16th, 1983

This is not actually a book about whales or a story of revenge, it is a book about books and a story about stories. It is also one of the most beautifully written English-language books...EVER. Just make sure you've read a complete edition, one that includes the chapter "The Sermon."

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Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century (Eastern European Literature) By Patrik Ourednik, Gerald Turner (Translator) Cover Image
By Patrik Ourednik, Gerald Turner (Translator)
ISBN: 9781564783820
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - April 17th, 2005

A brief, strange, funny, tragic history of Europe in the twentieth century, organized by association and inference rather than subject or chronology. A unique history, written with a poet's sensibility.

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The Branch Will Not Break: Poems (Wesleyan Poetry Program) By James Wright Cover Image
ISBN: 9780819510181
Published: Wesleyan University Press -

My favorite single-author collection of poetry, and one I re-read frequently. Wright explores daily life, world politics, and American culture with truly virtuosic verse. His alliteration is certainly more nuanced than mine.

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Neuromancer (Sprawl Trilogy #1) By William Gibson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780441007462
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ace - July 1st, 2000

This book re-booted science fiction in the eighties, introducing new themes and technologies to readers, and creating stylistic conventions that still influence the genre. Also, it's totally rad.

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Don Quixote By Miguel de Cervantes, Edith Grossman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060934347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - April 26th, 2005

Four hundred years later, we're still reading and writing in the shadow of Cervantes' masterpiece. Immensely funny, and endlessly insightful about how we create and experience stories.

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House of Leaves: The Remastered Full-Color Edition By Mark Z. Danielewski Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375703768
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - March 7th, 2000

A wild maze of a book that embodies its subject. An object that could never be translated into e-book format. This story within a story withing a story is a must-read for anyone who loves the book as an object, and wants to experience how its physicality can be used to deepen the impact of a story.

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Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man By Marshall McLuhan, W. Terrence Gordon (Editor), Philip B. Meggs (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Marshall McLuhan, W. Terrence Gordon (Editor), Philip B. Meggs (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781584230731
Published: Gingko Press - November 1st, 2003

"The medium is the message." A piercing analysis of how media works. You'll never see a movie the same way after reading this book.

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How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics By N. Katherine Hayles Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226321462
Availability: Not On Our Shelves - Available within 1 to 5 Days
Published: University of Chicago Press - February 15th, 1999

Make no mistake; you, too, are a posthuman. Hayles does a wonderful job laying out how technology is changing us as humans.This book is as much about philosophy, sociology, and psychology as it is technology.