In this bookclub we aim to read and discuss notable yet often overlooked works of literature, with a focus on independently published works. Books in translation, essay collections — you can't pigeonhole taste.

eric-obenauf-unicorn-book-club-two-dollar-radio.jpgHosted by Eric Obenauf: Eric is a voracious bibliophile and cinephile and the publisher of the indie press Two Dollar Radio, which he founded in 2005 at the age of 23. His writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Millions, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Columbus Alive, The Billfold and others, and he is the writer and director of the Two Dollar Radio film I'm Not Patrick. In 2017 he cofounded the indie bookstore/bar/cafe Two Dollar Radio Headquarters, where he is the chief book buyer and head chef.


Tuesday, May 17, 6:30pm
Four Lost Cities, by Annalee Newitz

A quest to explore some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history―and figure out why people abandoned them.

In Four Lost Cities, acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz takes readers on an entertaining and mind-bending adventure into the deep history of urban life. Investigating across the centuries and around the world, Newitz explores the rise and fall of four ancient cities, each the center of a sophisticated civilization: the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Central Turkey, the Roman vacation town of Pompeii on Italy’s southern coast, the medieval megacity of Angkor in Cambodia, and the indigenous metropolis Cahokia, which stood beside the Mississippi River where East St. Louis is today.

Newitz travels to all four sites and investigates the cutting-edge research in archaeology, revealing the mix of environmental changes and political turmoil that doomed these ancient settlements. Tracing the early development of urban planning, Newitz also introduces us to the often anonymous workers―slaves, women, immigrants, and manual laborers―who built these cities and created monuments that lasted millennia.

Four Lost Cities is a journey into the forgotten past, but, foreseeing a future in which the majority of people on Earth will be living in cities, it may also reveal something of our own fate.

 Four Lost Cities, by Annalee Newitz


FORTHCOMING PICKS FOR THE UNICORN BOOKCLUB

June 21, 2022Paradais, by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophie Hughes

Written in a chilling torrent of prose by one of our most thrilling new writers, Paradais explores the explosive fragility of Mexican society―with its racist, classist, hyperviolent tendencies―and how the myths, desires, and hardships of teenagers can tear life apart at the seams. Inside a luxury housing complex, two misfit teenagers sneak around and get drunk. Franco Andrade, lonely, overweight, and addicted to porn, obsessively fantasizes about seducing his neighbor―an attractive married woman and mother―while Polo dreams about quitting his grueling job as a gardener within the gated community and fleeing his overbearing mother and their narco-controlled village. Each facing the impossibility of getting what he thinks he deserves, Franco and Polo hatch a mindless and macabre scheme.

Paradais by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophie Hughes


PAST PICKS FOR THE UNICORN BOOKCLUB

April 2022: When We Cease to Understand the World, by Benjamin Labatut, translated by Adrian Nathan West

When We Cease to Understand the World, by Benjamin Labatut translated by Adrian Nathan West

March 2022: The Employees, by Olga Ravn, translated by Martin Aitken

The Employees, by Olga Ravn, translated by Martin Aiken

February 2022: Peach Blossom Paradise, by Ge Fei, translated by Canaan Morse

Peach Blossom Paradise, by Ge Fei

January 2022: Nina Simone's Gum, by Warren Ellis

Nina Simone's Gum, by Warren Ellis

December 2021: His Name Was Death, by Rafael Bernal

His Name Was Death, a novel by Rafael Bernal

 

November 2021: Pity the Beast, by Robin McLean

 Pity the Beast, a novel by Robin McLean

October 2021: The Things We've Seen, by Agustin Fernandez Mallo

The Things We've Seen, a novel by Agustin Fernandez Mallo

 

June 2020: Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir, by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman

Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir

May 2020: In the Distance, novel by Hernan Diaz
In the Distance by Hernan Diaz

February 2020: Keywords: The New Language of Capitalism by John Patrick Leary
Keywords

January 2020: Circus by Wayne Koestenbaum
 Circus

December 2019: Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk.

November 2019: Mount Analogue by René Daumal
Mount-Analogue-book

October 2019: Polyglot Lovers by Lina Wolff
 Polyglot Lovers

September 2019: As She Climbed Across the Table by Jonathan Lethem
As She Climbed Across the Table

August 2019: Love Drones by Noam Dorr
 Love Drones

July 2019: Devil Comes to Town
Devil Comes to Town

June 2019: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

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May 2019: Negrophobia: An Urban Parable

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April 2019: Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang.
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March 2019: The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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February 2019: Solar Bones by Mike McCormack.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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January 2019: Samuel Johnson's Eternal Return by Martin Riker.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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December 2018: Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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November 2018: Destroy All Monsters: The Last Rock Novel by Jeff Jackson.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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October 2018: You Could Do Something Amazing with Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat] by Andrew Hankinson.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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September 2018Comemadre by Roque Larraquy, translated by Heather Cleary, published by Coffee House Press in 2018.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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August 2018The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica Hopper, published by Featherproof Books in 2015.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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July 2018: A Loving, Faithful Animal by Josephine Rowe, published by Catapult in September 2017.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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June 2018: Her Mother’s Mother’s Mother and Her Daughters by Maria José Silveira, published by Open Letter Books in December 2017, and translated from the Portuguese by Eric M. B. Becker.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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May 2018: Street of Thieves by Mathias Énard, published by Open Letter in November 2014, and translated from the French by Charlotte Mandell.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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April 2018: Farewell, Damascus by Ghada Samman, published by Darf Publishers in October 2017, and translated from the Arabic by Nancy Roberts.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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March 2018: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, translated from the French by Alison Anderson, published by Europa Editions in 2008.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog cover

February 2018: Distant Star by Roberto Bolaño, translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews, published by New Directions in 2004.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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