Clevo Books shares six book recommendations

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Looking for your next great read? We stopped by Clevo Books, which opened at the end of March in downtown Cleveland’s 5th Street Arcades, to hear from owner Cathryn Siegal-Bergman and sales manager Marc Lansley.

The shop focuses on books from around the world that have been translated into English, and so do Siegal-Bergman and Lansley’s picks. All titles are available for purchase from the shop, which is open 11 am-7pm Mondays through Fridays.

Here’s what Siegal-Bergman and Lansley think you should check out:

Lansley

“Mountains Oceans Giants” by Alfred Doblin

Very specifically expressionist, very in-your-face, Alfred Doblin’s “Mountains Oceans Giants” is a rare dystopian novel from before the Second World War. He is most famous for “Berlin Alexanderplatz,” which was also an epic work.

“We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin

When it comes to science fiction, everything goes basically, for me. I love the classics, especially the unknown classics. This is a Russian novel that got the author in trouble with Stalin himself, but he managed to escape the country, and he died in Paris. It’s one of those novels, I’d see it in the same line as “1984 ″ and“ Brave New World, ”those big, early 20th-century utopian, dystopian things. This is sci-fi that’s more like society in 20 years, 100 years, how weird is it going to be, instead of spaceship battles.

“Heartsnatcher” by Boris Vian

I do also have a soft spot for French weirdos, especially after the Second World War. One of my favorites of all time will always be Boris Vian. He was a jazz trumpeter, he was an author, he was an existentialist, but then he was no longer because Jean-Paul Sartre stole his wife. He wrote these really interesting, surreal, kind of cute novels – cute only on the surface because he did a lot of wordplay. A lot of it is actually pretty dark if you scratch a little bit below the surface.

“Funeral Rites” by Jean Genet

Another one of my favorites will always be Jean Genet: a thief, a burglar and a criminal who ended up in prison, where he wrote his first novel that was so good that Sartre himself made a big petition in France to get him out of prison . He became one of those activist philosophers and writers just like Sartre and Foucault. They were basically all marching in the same riots in the ’60s. He is also famous for his own autobiography called “The Thief’s Journal.”

Siegal-Bergman

“The White Book” and “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang

Those are both very good. They are not happy books. They are very dark subject matters, but still fantastic. Really good stories about human experiences – about terrifyingly normal human experiences.

“The Anomaly” by Herve Le Tellier

I like anything that is sci-fi or mystery, so those are going to be the books that I gravitate to first, but I’m also interested in some literature pieces. One, in particular, that’s getting a lot of attention – that has my attention – is “The Anomaly.” It’s featured in The New York Times. I’m very much looking forward to reading that.

Find more information about Clevo Books at clevobooks.com.

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