Wine Cellar Gift Guide

Your 2020 guide to the n+1 bookstore

As true n+1 heads know, n+1 liquidated our office earlier this year to save money on rent. And liquidated is right! Now we store all our bookstore inventory in the corner of a wine cellar (pictured), generously loaned to us by an anonymous restaurateur and friend of n+1. It’s dark in here! Sometimes, the basement floods, and a little moat of stagnant wine-water glugs up around our inventory; we’ve started wearing our waterproof boots to work.

Anyway, we’re begging you from our wet basement: PLEASE HELP US GET OUR INVENTORY OUT OF HERE! BEFORE IT GETS WET! We have a lot of great stuff in stock, all of it perfect for holiday gift-giving: new books by our brilliant contributors, anthologies from our contemporary art imprint Paper Monument, beautiful tote bags and posters, and an assortment of back issues to fill the n+1-shaped holes in your loved ones’ bookshelves, hearts, and minds. Place orders before Friday, 12/11 to ensure USPS ground delivery by Christmas, and by Thursday, 12/17 for first-class shipping—and whatever you order, we promise it will arrive safe and dry.

Here’s what we recommend this winter, from your favorite bookseller wine cellar:

School Yourself: No Zoom workshops here! Get the full art school experience with Draw It With Your Eyes Closed—an anthology of artists, critics, and art professors on studio pedagogy—plus all the MFA wisdom you need from MFA vs. NYC, our classic collection of writing about the two cultures of American fiction (and the NYC publishing gossip you’d normally scrounge for at readings).

Reading for the 99 Percent: Malcolm Harris’s Shit is Fucked Up and Bullshit, a fiery and radical work of nonfiction inspired by Occupy, pairs well with Caleb Crain’s Overthrowa beautiful, propulsive novel about Occupy. Get radicalized in two genres at once.

We Miss Our Office: Offices! What WERE those? Former n+1 coeditor turned PA state senator Nikil Saval offers a mind-expanding history of the American workplace in Cubed. Pair it with Uncanny Valley, Anna Wiener’s funny and extremely stylish chronicle of San Francisco’s startup culture, which will take you to many offices—all described with the satisfying synthesis of a stapler.

Freaky Geniuses: Give the gift of zany fiction! Two favorites by Nell Zink and Helen DeWitt, two of the world’s weirdest and greatest American fiction writers (and n+1 contributors): Zink’s Doxology, an astonishingly funny novel about climate change and post-punk, and The Last Samurai, DeWitt’s masterpiece about a skateboarding genius in search of his father, which Vulture (correctly) named the best novel of the 21st century. 

Future Sex, Present Sex: Looking for a gift for the hot girl in your life? Try Emily Witt’s celebrated Future Sex, Natasha Stagg’s scathing collection Sleeveless, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s instant classic The Freezer Door, newly out this month and excerpted in our Fall issue. 

Posters! Decorate your walls with n+1! We’ve got enough posters to fill a modestly sized apartment, including Chloe Scheffe’s gorgeous Tools for the Revolution print, Ben Davis’s 9.5 Theses on Art and Class poster (only $10!), Fletcher Williams III’s Open Utopia print, and Aaron Gemmill’s Planned Service Changes design, a fan favorite.

Founders’ Fiction: Two flawless novels by n+1 founding editors: Chad Harbach’s best-selling The Art of Fielding, and Keith Gessen’s A Terrible Country, which, despite the title, is not about the United States of America (or is it?). 

For the Urbanist: Speaking of terrible countries, get the full American experience with City by City, our anthology of dispatches from American cities recovering (and failing to recover) from the financial crisis, and Race for Profit, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s lucid, enraging history of racist and predatory 20th-century real estate practices. (A Pulitzer finalist!)

What to Read (and What Not to Watch): The Earth Dies Streaming, a collection of A. S. Hamrah’s prescient and damning film criticism, includes a list of movies at the back that it would be much better to see in a theater than watch on your laptop. No Regrets, a set of conversations between women writers on the books they read and wished they’d read in their twenties, includes a list of books that are easier to read in your home than inside a dark movie theater. This is the paradox of quarantine.

The Issue 37 Set: Were you among the countless n+1 subscribers who read Issue 37 and found yourself thinking, “I wish everything in here were way longer?” Great news! Three of the best books of 2020—Percival Everett’s Telephone, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s National Book Award–nominated The Undocumented Americans, and Judith Levine and Erica Meiners’ The Feminist and the Sex Offender—were excerpted in Issue 37, and all are available in our bookstore. 

The Post-Soviet Set: The Soviet Union: what was it? The Post-Soviet Set offers three brilliant answers from three very different perspectives: radical-poetic, Ukrainian, and comic-essayistic. Three must-reads for the price of two!

The Etiquette Collection: Remember socializing in groups of more than four people? We don’t! Which is why we’re grateful for I Like Your Work, an anthology featuring thirty-eight anecdotes about how to behave in public. While it mostly covers gallery shows and studio visits, the lessons learned—don’t wear khaki pants; if conversation falters, introduce new topics in alphabetical order—can be more generally applied. The book comes paired with HOW ARTISTS MUST DRESS, still the only tote we’ve seen that features the full length of an essay, and an essential item whenever you’re stuck on the subway without a book (commuting will happen again someday!) or waiting in an interminable line for a Covid test. 

The Holiday Box Set: for superfans of n+1, or superfans of big boxes—a collection of our favorite back issues, n+1 books, and a tote bag. All half off

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