Carl

Carl picture

Carl joined Fountain in 2015 after 3 years of recording/editing audiobooks. In 2016 he became a fulltime bookseller and operations manager. Our resident history nerd, Carl reads a lot of non-fiction and literary fiction, or "sad stuff" as he is often teased about. It's okay though, he knows how to have fun. When he's not at the store he can be found visiting battlefields, taking in a baseball game or touring with his band(s). 

Books: 

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Broken People Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781335013934
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hanover Square Press - June 9th, 2020

Sam is laboring through a dinner party (what else do you do at those things?) when he overhears, "He fixes everything that's wrong with you in three days." Depressed and anxious his whole life, Sam is skeptical but transfixed. A meeting with this shaman gives him enough hope to agree to a weekend of divine soul surgery that will take him to the depths of his memory in an attempt to find peace. BROKEN PEOPLE is a rare blend of ugly, difficult, soul-searching truth with a narrative that reads so easily, you don't realize you've been transformed yourself until it's over.


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Between Everything and Nothing: The Journey of Seidu Mohammed and Razak Iyal and the Quest for Asylum Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781640093140
Availability: Currently Out of Stock - Available to Ship From Our Warehouse in 3-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - June 2nd, 2020

Seidu Mohammed and Razak Iyal fled their home country of Ghana for very different reasons but ended up attempting to cross the Canadian border together on a below freezing night in December 2016. They were fleeing the United States, which had denied both of their asylum requests after years (!) spent in custody with their cases bogged down in bureaucracy. Joe Meno intertwines their stories in dramatic fashion while humanizing a much broader world issue. An essential book for anyone with an opinion on immigration.


The Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781644450314
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - June 2nd, 2020

Wayétu Moore is five years old when Liberia breaks out into civil war, forcing her family to flee their home. They eventually escape to the United States, where she is met with constant racism, both obvious and more subtle. Moore brings her incredible fiction writing talent into memoir, exploring her childhood imagination while soberly reflecting on her past and present as an adult. An incredible story in itself, I haven't read an immigrant or minority experience that has been expressed as powerfully and simply as this. The best memoir of 2020.


Boys of Alabama: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781631496295
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - May 19th, 2020

Max moves to Alabama from Germany with his parents and quickly takes a liking to his new home. He joins the football team, where he learns to play the game and is quickly brought into the social fold. He also meets Pan, a cross-dressing, self-proclaimed witch and the two begin a close relationship on the fringes of the social order in town. Max has a magical secret that could be dangerous for him if it's found out and is torn between two ways of thought as they pull him in opposite directions. Genevieve Hudson has created something really great, which holds onto the literary traditions of Southern Gothic, while expanding the genre to become relevant to our times. A beautiful and exquisite book.


American Harvest: God, Country, and Farming in the Heartland Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781644450178
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - April 7th, 2020

A lot has been written lately on "the divide" in America, however one defines it, but nothing I've read has tried bridging that gap more than this book. Marie Mutsuki Mockett is half Japanese and spends a summer with a wheat harvesting crew that has harvested her family farm for years. All members of the crew are white and evangelical, and Mockett spends her time learning about farming, going to church, and discussing thoughts on a variety of topics all while searching for her own place and self. Rarely have I learned so much while exploring and challenging personal beliefs with a single book as this. Truly thought provoking, empathetic and powerful. 


Braised Pork Cover Image
By An Yu
$25.00
ISBN: 9780802148711
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - April 14th, 2020

This is an exceptional debut novel about a woman who tries to make sense of her life after her husbands apparent suicide. Most puzzling perhaps is the only communication he left behind, a drawing of a man's face with a fish body. Jia Jia becomes obsessed in discovering the meaning behind this as she starts to have her own interactions with a similar character in her travels. Along the way she interacts with a cast of characters across Beijing and Tibet who are searching for meaningfulness as well. A quiet but powerful novel on human grief and connection, I can't wait to see what's in store from this talented young writer. 


Valentine: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062913265
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - March 31st, 2020

The oil fields of West Texas in 1976 are a hard place full of roughnecks, rattlesnakes and bad weather. It takes tough people to make it out there and that includes the women, who have often been forgotten in stories about the area. A native of Odessa, TX, Elizabeth Wetmore has compiled stories from a number of strong, determined women of all ages into a novel that touches on love, race, class, immigration, sexism, abuse and the home. It is empathetic as it is gritty and it is gritty as hell. A fantastic new voice in fiction. 


Pride of Eden: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250203816
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - March 17th, 2020

Anse Caulfield runs a refuge for exotic wildlife called Little Eden on the Georgia coast. He is joined by Malaya, a former soldier, Tyler, his lover and veterinarian, and Lope, an expert in falconry. Most of the animals have been rescued from abandonment, abuse, bankrupt zoos and circuses, though not always through legal means. I've been a big Taylor Brown fan since his first book and this one is without a doubt his best. An incredibly unique plot with badass characters fighting against a seedy underworld of people looking to exploit incredible animals.


Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250239402
Availability: Currently Out of Stock - Available to Ship From Our Warehouse in 3-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - March 3rd, 2020

Despite being valedictorian of her HS class and earning a masters degree, Eliese Goldbach finds herself in a situation familiar to many millennials: poor, with mountains of debt and mental health issues. She lands a job at a steel mill, which pays very well but is extremely dangerous work that threatens her health and strains her relationships as she struggles to find her identity in the mill. RUST is a powerhouse of a memoir that touches on class and political divides, while also exploring religion, mental health, women's issues and the process of steel making. It is so tough and so empathetic and honest you will absolutely be moved by it. 


Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America's Stolen Land Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781948226462
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - March 3rd, 2020

Noe Alvarez grew up working class to Mexican immigrant parents in Yakima, Washington. He dropped out of college after learning about a movement called the Peace and Dignity Journeys, marathons meant to connect Indigenous and Native peoples to each other and the land across North America. He takes on a 6,000 mile run from Canada to Guatemala that tests his physical and mental limits as well as those running with him. Alvarez depicts sides to America that most of us aren't familiar with but need to be and the result is very powerful and enlightening.


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Washington's End: The Final Years and Forgotten Struggle Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781501154232
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - February 11th, 2020

No one really touches on Washington's "retirement years" after he voluntarily left office, something that was unheard of at the time. However, you couldn't call it much of a retirement, as his mind never really strayed from the struggles of his new nation. As much as he wished to just tend to his farm, or so he said, his efforts in establishing a capitol city along with constant political correspondence would occupy a large portion of his remaining life. Jonathan Horn has done a masterful job in getting us closer to understanding Washington, the man. 


Hi Five (An IQ Novel #4) Cover Image
By Joe Ide
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316509534
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mulholland Books - January 28th, 2020

The fourth installment in the IQ series, this may be the most bizarre case Isaiah has tried to figure out yet. An arms dealer forces IQ to prove the innocence of his daughter as a murder suspect under the threat of harming IQ's girlfriend. Unfortunately, the daughter is the sole witness of the murder and suffers from a multiple personality disorder and no single personality was witness to the entire incident. IQ must piece together clues from each distinct personality before the cops do, all while under threat of white supremacist thugs. Funny, thrilling and intense as always!  


Remembrance Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250298454
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Forge Books - January 21st, 2020

I knew I had to read this book when I heard the plot. Remembrance is a community in the space between dimensions where escaped slaves have eluded whites for years. But when some slave catchers stumble into their realm, the boundaries start to unfold and the world becomes dangerous for them again. Rita Woods has blended together a story that is both historically and currently relevant, told across three timelines with four different protagonists, all women of color. This is an exciting and important book! 


Firebird Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781950182022
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Haywire Books - January 7th, 2020

Political operatives look to get rich quick by staging and escalating a conflict between Russia and Ukraine and reaping the sales of gas reserves in Slovakia. But when a member of the inner circle goes rogue and threatens to expose the conspiracy, it sets off a chaotic chain of events and everyone must pick a side. This literary thriller takes us headfirst into the underworld of global politics and will change the way you think about things, cementing Mark Powell as one of the best writers today. This one really threw me for a loop!


The Crying Book Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781948226448
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - November 5th, 2019

Of course I would read a book about crying! I can already hear the jokes at my expense from my coworkers. But in truth, this is a beautiful study on the subject - part memoir, part science, philosophy, history and poetry. Heather Christle uses her research in part to make sense of her own depression as well as the mental illness of loved ones and artists who have inspired her. I was highlighting passages and writing notes in margins, something I rarely do! Definitely a book I will revisit over and over.  


Vicksburg: Grant's Campaign That Broke the Confederacy Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781451641370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 29th, 2019

I have read many accounts of Grant's Vicksburg campaign but this is by far the most balanced and exciting I've yet to come across. Miller avoids the usual "Grant was a drunk and actually an idiot"  vs the "Grant was not that drunk and actually a genius" categories by analyzing a broader range of sources, both critical of Grant's shortcomings while also recognizing his strengths. Pulling from reports and diaries of common soldiers and citizenry, Miller weaves them seamlessly into a thrilling story of the campaign that ultimately doomed the Confederacy while also liberating around 100,000 slaves. This is some of the best writing on the Civil War I've had the pleasure to read!


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Sugar Run: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781616209810
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - October 8th, 2019

Jodi McCarty gets out of prison after 18 years, determined to start anew in her grandmother's old mountain home in West Virginia. She immediately encounters Miranda, a pistol of a younger woman on the run from her husband with her three sons. But it turns out the property is no longer owned by Jodi's family and frackers are encroaching on the land, threatening Jodi's redemption. Written in two timelines, Mesha Maren's debut is rich with prose and a hunger that will shake you to your bootstraps.


The Edge of America Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781950182008
Availability: Currently Out of Stock - Available to Ship From Our Warehouse in 3-5 Days
Published: Haywire Books - September 10th, 2019

Sarah M. Broom grew up in New Orleans, New Orleans East to be exact, an area that tourists don't go to. Often neglected by the city administration, the area suffered even greater during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This is a memoir of family history, the city's history, class and racism through the lens of the house Sarah grew up in, which was lost to "The Water."  As she continues to get pulled back to the city despite her attempts at distance, she struggles with the meaning of "home" when it seems like home is always working against you. Exceptional and moving, this is the kind of memoir against which other memoirs get judged. 


The Yellow House: A Memoir (2019 National Book Award Winner) Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802125088
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - August 13th, 2019

Former big-shot lawyer Kevin Moore is trying to put his life back together after a 3 month cocaine binge has left him debarred and divorced. Working at a sandwich shop and living on his cousins property, he declines a sketchy invitation to join an insurance scam only to have those same people threatening his attempts of getting his old life back. It will take every lawyer trick up his sleeve if he stands a chance at beating them. I read this in one day. Could. Not. Put. Down.


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The Substitution Order: A novel Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780525656326
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - July 9th, 2019

Former big-shot lawyer Kevin Moore is trying to put his life back together after a 3 month cocaine binge has left him debarred and divorced. Working at a sandwich shop and living on his cousins property, he declines a sketchy invitation to join an insurance scam only to have those same people threatening his attempts of getting his old life back. It will take every lawyer trick up his sleeve if he stands a chance at beating them. I read this in one day. Could. Not. Put. Down.


Deep River Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780802125385
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - July 2nd, 2019

It's hard to keep anyone engrossed in a book this heavy (literally and figuratively) but, WOW, Marlantes has done it! A family epic that follows the Koski's from their origins in Finland before the children must immigrate to the Pacific Northwest at the turn of the 20th century. Their lives center around the logging industry and as they try to make a living off the forests they must navigate the danger of the landscape, the work and labor politics all while trying to maintain a connection to home. This book means a helluva lot to me and I will talk anyone's ear off about it!


Waiting for Tom Hanks Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781984804020
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - June 11th, 2019

Annie Cassidy was raised on Rom Coms and dreams of being a screenwriter. She's waiting to meet her Tom Hanks, the perfect guy, who's sweet, sensitive and charming. When a major Rom Com production comes to her neighborhood in Ohio, it seems like fate when she lands a job as the director's assistant. She meets lead actor Drew Danforth and he quickly becomes a thorn in her side. And yet...could he be her Tom Hanks? No way! Right? Winfrey twists and plays with many tropes of the genre in this funny and charming book. I can tell she had a great time writing it!