Keaton's Top 10 Books You Didn't Read in 2017

As the buyer, I tend to get excited about new releases waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before they ever hit our shelves. We’re talking 1000s of titles every year, not that I read all of them. But I do my best. Some, like LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, are no brainers. Titles that spark rabid reader anticipation as soon as they are announced and need very little help finding their way into your hands. Others become cult house favs, leading one or more Brazos bookseller on a personal quest to bring a lesser known gem to your attention. Then there are those books that, despite our best efforts, simply get lost in the literary wave that hits Brazos each season. We’re talking small press masterpieces that just don’t have the publicity push behind them, as well as major releases that just don’t get traction for whatever the reason. Most of the time, these titles are just as if not more deserving of a broad audience than the slew of NYT bestsellers dominating book and culture media year in and year out. Now, to even the playing field somewhat, I’ve decided to round up 2017 with my 10 favorite books you DIDN’T read this year! All of these amazing works have sold fewer than 10 copies at Brazos, and that I just cannot abide. So, here for your consideration are the top 10 books you didn’t read in 2017!

To Name Those Lost Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781609453497
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - February 7th, 2017

The first book I read this year, and still one of the best books I read this year! This heartbreaking and violent tale life in the Tasmanian frontier is at its foundation a story about parents and children--especially the hard choices we make to give the ones we love a better life. A taut page-turner and a slow-burning potboiler all at once, TO NAME THOSE LOST is an immersive adventure from one of the young shining lights of literature down under.


Themystery.Doc Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780802124913
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - October 3rd, 2017

The most unique book I read this year, THEMYSTERY.DOC is an attempt to capture the essence of living in the internet era in the form of a novel. Replete with photos and screenshots, symbols, transcriptions of real-life conversations, and no fewer than three intertwining storylines, this is the most avant garde American fiction of 2017. Imagine Danielewski but with much more substance. A weighty tome that is a breeze to read, you won’t find another book like this.


Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash Cover Image
By Eka Kurniawan, Annie Tucker (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780811225649
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - August 1st, 2017

The best crime comedy about murder for hire and male impotence you’ll find this year! VENGEANCE IS MINE… follows a traumatized hitman and his near-invincible gangster girlfriend as they just try to live and love on the mean streets, but can they escape the pull of the underworld? All the literary quality you expect from a New Directions title, now with car chases! This book is a blast and a half!


All We Shall Know Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143131045
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - July 4th, 2017

My favorite contemporary Irish author returns! ALL WE SHALL KNOW is the kind of quiet yet emotionally searing domestic literature that gets under your skin for a long time to come. Centering on the collapse of a relationship and its aftermath in a small rural town, this novel is further proof of Ryan’s ability to craft specifically Irish yet universally human drama from everyday life.


The Sarah Book Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780988518391
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tyrant Books - July 11th, 2017

West Virginia madman and indie lit cult hero, McClanahan, turns out a stunning semi-autobiographical novel documenting his divorce and the ensuing psychological tailspin with a truly raw honesty that is hard to forget. Unsettling, hilarious, demented, lyrical, and sad as fuck, THE SARAH BOOK is the work of a true American original.


The Glass Eye: A Memoir Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941040775
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - October 3rd, 2017

Somewhere between grief and madness lies THE GLASS EYE. This stunning debut memoir delves deep into young Jeannie Vanasco’s ordeal in overcoming the twin miseries of her beloved father’s death and the severe manic depression she is no longer able to keep in check. A visceral, haunting confessional-style read from an extremely talented and troubled woman that deserves to find a wide audience.


The Good People Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316243964
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - September 19th, 2017

Psychological thrills, pitch-perfect historical detail, and gothic chills all come together in THE GOOD PEOPLE, Kent’s sophomore novel that shows no signs of a slump. Three women face the suspicion of their neighbors and the disapproval of their priest, when they seek to cure an invalid child by “putting the fairey out” of him in 1800s Ireland. Based on an obscure legal case--much like her debut, BURIAL RITES--THE GOOD PEOPLE is a deft work of fiction that is as literary as it is suspenseful.


Swallowing Mercury Cover Image
By Wioletta Greg, Eliza Marciniak (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781945492044
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Transit Books - September 12th, 2017

Told in brief, episodic chapters, this subtle yet stunning work of autobiographical fiction perfectly distills the universal wonder of childhood while also capturing the particular experience of growing up under Communist rule during the 80s. Wiola is a precocious young girl trying to find her place in rural Poland but often finds herself in trouble – with her family, her teachers, even her entry into an art contest leads to a run-in with the Communist Party. Through it all she remains indomitable, learning about love, loss, sexuality, death, and the myriad forms of ugliness that run rampant in the world. SWALLOWING MERCURY – the third amazing release from nascent Transit Books this year--is a vital contribution to the literature of childhood.


Solar Bones Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781616958534
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Press - September 12th, 2017

A lyrical, haunting Irish novel recounting the last moments of a dying man's consciousness. An ordinary civil engineer--who may or may not be a newly minted spirit--sits at the kitchen table and mulls over his life and place in the world, moving back and forth in time at will. Written in a meandering, digressive narrative style that is strangely hypnotic, absolutely beautiful and totally engrossing, SOLAR BONES rightly deserved its Man Booker nomination and should also find its way into your hands!


They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781937512651
Availability: Backordered
Published: Two Dollar Radio - November 7th, 2017

OK, so this one just came out. It really hasn’t had a chance to sell yet, but I wanted to make sure I expressed every bit of my excitement for the BEST ESSAY COLLECTION OF 2017! Covering topics as varied as Fall Out Boy, racism and police violence, depression, underground hip hop, and beyond, THEY CAN’T KILL US… is simply brilliant. It is full of heart yet humble, and fully engaged with the political and cultural milieu of today. A book to break your heart and give you strength. I give it my highest recommendation!


Article Type Terms: