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Cool books to read, or to just leave around so that people will see them and be impressed. Hint: leave a bookmark sticking out near the end of the book. DVDs, too.

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Get your writing shit together. (The publisher only substitutes the "u" with an asterisk on the cover, so they're not fucking around.) One rule is "Don't fuck up the coordination of number between subject and verb." And, full of great writing advice! details

In which our hero reminisces about past girlfriends and themed top-five music lists as he runs a failing but cool record store and reconsiders the girl who just left him. Made into a hilarious movie with John Cusack and a young Jack Black. details

Legendary jazz bassist Charles Mingus' autobiography. More about his sex life than music; chock full of useful tips for the guys! details

The pulpiest of Jim Thompson's fiction. According to Stanley Kubrick, "Probably the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind I have ever encountered." details

Partying in Paris in the Twenties. details

A cultural (secret) history of art, revolution, and more. According to Ben Brantley of the New York Times, "Lipstick Traces has the energy of its obsessions, and it snares you in the manner of those intense, questing and often stoned sessions of intellectual debate you may have experienced in your college years. It was destined, in other words, to achieve cult status." details

They don't get much hipper than this. This edition has some very cool extras. "Baboons always attack the weakest party in an altercation. Quite right too. We must never forget our glorious simian heritage." details

Punk rock is so over—in fact, it was in 1978. details

Cool comics long before there were "cool" comics. details

This 1963 futuristic vision of a violent, seedy England has been tremendously influential on its own and through Stanley Kubrick's 1971 movie (and that soundtrack!). If you haven't seen the movie, it's all the more reason to read the book (and then see the movie). details

If you or and your kids are familiar with the classic "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," and you're into zombies, well, then this is the book for you. "A blood-red moon shown down on a corpse that lay rotting beneath the ground..." details

By Anaïs Nin. We like our porn nice and classy. And that umlaut over the "i" in her name—ooh la la! details

Compilation from the series that included "Strange Stories for Strange Kids." Edited by Art Spiegelman, featuring Maurice Sendak, Jules Feiffer, David Sedaris, and more. Get it for your favorite strange kid. details

As its cover describes it, "The legendary underground classic of Hollywood's darkest and best kept secrets." A classic of hardcore dirt. details

Crust Toothpaste! Minute Lice! Weakies: Breakfast of Chumps! These mid-1970s parodies of popular product packaging came with Topps bubblegum and were long overdue for coffee table book treatment. And with an introduction by Art Spiegelman, you know that they're now Serious Pop Culture—and still damn funny. details

A Smurf floats in space, staring at you while you read. A little creepy, but it would be a lot weirder if it was Sandra Bullock. Uses 3 AAA batteries. details

Everyone's read Lolita; try another Nabokov classic. details

"How to start a band, book gigs, and get rolling to rock stardom." Parts of the cover look goofy ("write a rad song") but if Joan Jett endorses it, we can't argue. details

According to Wikipedia, "The lengthy and complex work takes place in a semi-parodic future version of North America, and touches on tennis, substance addiction recovery programs, depression, child abuse, family relationships, advertising, popular entertainment, film theory, and Quebec separatism, among other topics." Something for everyone! details

Clement Greenberg helped convince the world the Jackson Pollack and Willem de Kooning were important artists and that New York had really become the center of the post-war art world. Just leave this on your coffee table with a bookmark sticking out halfway through it and people who know the name will be impressed. details

1961 was truly the year of the Boodleheimer. Well, it should have been. "Now you have to sing it again or else you will turn into a bathtub." details

In this interactive parody of the children's classic, you can "gut the zombie" and "put your finger through mommy's skull." Not really a kid's book. details

Perhaps Sheila K. Butt's finest work. From the official product description: "Seth and Sara learn that God loves all people, even those who are disobeying Him. But they also learn that the only way to have a relationship with God is to stop sinning and turn to Jesus...a professionally designed and illustrated book that promotes God’s love for all individuals, while at the same time showing, in a loving way, that homosexuality is out of harmony with Bible teaching." We're just happy that it wasn't designed and illustrated by amateurs. details

by Susan Sontag. Reached "Penguin Modern Classic" status a few years ago, and with good reason. details

When a noxious cloud of chemicals starts to infiltrate a midwestern town, things get weird for Hitler studies department chairman Jack Gladney and his family. U.S. National Book award winner; Time Magazine listed it as one of the 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. details

It's about boxing, but it's by Joyce Carol Oates! details

You can't go wrong with a David Sedaris book. You know it will be well written and very, very funny. details

There's no emoticon for how you'll feel when you read this handy reference work. details

Back in the sixties, a weekly Japanese magazine for boys licensed the Japanese rights to the groovy American Batman TV show and let early manga master Jiro Kuwata run with it. He created some strange, very Japanese stuff that was never collected in Japan or translated into English—until now. details

According to the New Yorker, "Morbidly funny … this book has something for all ages. For the grandparent, a nostalgic game of find the Who reference; the parent, a sad reminder of how cool things used to be; and for the kid, tucked into bed listening to the the most inappropriate bed time story ever, a lesson: old people are weird [and] alcohol kills." details

Lots of great pieces in one place. details

What's the best way to learn to cook Japanese food? One word: Manga! This Japanese manga cookbook will teach you how to make rice balls, yakitori, udon noodles and more—and, how to make bento boxes! details

Aravind Adiga's tale of a taxi driver in India who will do anything to become successful won the 2008 Booker Prize. And the New Yorker called it "darkly comic!" details

Describing this book, Dom DeLillo said "Jonathan Franzen has built a powerful novel out of the swarming consciousness of a marriage, a family, a whole culture—our culture." This wasn't some book reviewer guy, but Dom DeLillo. details

Real people in actual outfits. See streetbonersandtvcarnage.com for a taste. Includes commentary from Chloe Sevigny, Debbie Harry, Fred Armisen, and Tim & Eric. details

What we talk about when we talk about—Raymond Carver! details

There are too many books out there by pompous rock crits blathering on how punk rock, punk fashion, and punk everything else came about. This isn't one of those books. It's a series of stories told by all the key people and their friends who hung out with them, transcribed by two editors who were witnesses to the scene from the beginning. A real oral history. Just look at the William S. Burroughs blurb on the cover. details

Participants in obsessive subcultures reassure themselves that they're not bad by focusing on the idiots who are even worse. This book will help. details

If you know who Amy Sedaris is, and that she wrote a coffee table parody of coffee table crafts books, you won't ask any more questions. You'll just buy it. details

Tico the fairy teaches Princess Ruruna how to design a relational database, understand the entity-relationship model, use SQL, make it more efficient and secure... all as a manga comic book! details

Funny, but hip and clever funny, because it's McSweeney's. details

B.I.G., 2Pac, KRS One (not quite as gangsta), 50 Cent... all your favorites are in this excellent children's coloring book. details