Gift Guide: 5 Intellectual Books for Your Bibliophile Bestie

Dark mahogany, spindly chairs, and a cell-phone-free zone make Mother Foucault’s Bookshop on SE Morrison Street a heady hub for global literature and philosophy. Owner Craig Florence picks his favorites to stoke the intellectual Yule fire.

By Kate Goodling December 1, 2014 Published in the December 2014 issue of Portland Monthly

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Around the Day in Eighty Worlds, Julio Cortazar (1967)
“From the Latin American boom of the 1960s and ’70s, this is experimental fiction at its finest.”

The Eiffel Tower, Roland Barthes (1979)
“Absolutely beautiful writing—how I wish everyone wrote. It is theory, but really applied to how we view the most simple everyday.”

Kafka’s Other Trial, Elias Canetti (1969)
“A bizarre, raw read. Gives fascinating insight into a brilliant mind of our time.” 

Surveiller et punir (Discipline & Punish), Michel Foucault (1975)
“My collection couldn’t be complete without a mention of our namesake, and it’s important to me that our store carry works in their original languages.”

Drawn and Quartered, E. M. Cioran (1979)
“E. M. is Romanian but spent a lot of time in Paris. These aphorisms are dark stuff, but also incredibly lucid and engaging.”

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