Girl Crushes, Nudism, Sweet Smoky Swine: A Year in Features

Article by annalia

What does Richard Ford, author of LET ME BE FRANK WITH YOU, want to ask our next upcoming author? Nothing.

This year began a new chapter in the story of Brazos Bookstore, as we decided to use our website as a showcase for original literary content. We delivered new articles every week, from author interviews and publisher profiles, to staff chats and reviews of books we loved.

Whether you watched it all unfold or just joined the Brazos family, here’s a look back at our favorite web features of 2015.

Special thanks to our guest contributors:
Erika Jo Brown
Whitney DeVos
Lawrence Lenhart
B.J. Love
Ted McLoof
Cassandra Neace
Michele Nereim
Mary-Helen Specht
Jonathon Walter
Alexander Whelan


Something Wild Felt Unleashed: A Visit to 14 Pews
by Benjamin Rybeck
Originally published February 2, 2015

Annalia: This is the first piece on our website that made me say, “Holy shit.” It represents both the type of work I want to read and the caliber for the quality of features I hope to someday write. Plus, 14 Pews is just a quirky place people should know about—not to mention wild Miss Thibodeaux, as Creole as her name implies.


Cookin’ The Brookes Series
by Brooke Alexander
Originally published March 29, 2015

Augusta: I liked this column because Brooke is funny and I like the idea of pairing foods and books.


Literature As Love: An Other Press Profile
by Annalia Linnan
Originally published June 8, 2015

Liz: I’m interested in publishing and so it’s really cool to see the psyches of different publishing houses.


Pearls Before Swine, Chapter 1: All Men Are Dogs
by Mark Haber and Keaton Patterson
Originally published June 15, 2015

Jeremy: Pearls showed our silly sense of humor while still including great books.

Liz: I like the stuff that’s us being kinda goofy and gets our personalities out there.


The Fantastic Is Always Possible: A Q&A with Guadalupe Nettel
by Mark Haber
Originally published June 16, 2015

Brooke: I thought this one was really cool. THE BODY WHERE I WAS BORN is kind of creepy (in a good way), and I liked learning about the author behind it.

Ülrika: This interview was actually originally conducted in Spanish, and my good friend Barbara Ruiz did the translation!


Nudism, The Great Equalizer: A Q&A with Mark Haskell Smith
by Annalia Linnan
Originally published June 21, 2015

Mark: We did so many great features this year—we did great—but I have a clear memory of reading and enjoying this one.


Staff Chat: Literature’s Dirty Word
Originally published July 6, 2015

Keaton: “Genre” books were what made me fall in love with reading and literature, and I am always happy to discuss the ways that thrillers and sci-fi can surprise and challenge readers. In fact, because you’re writing with a specific set of audience expectations, it almost requires even more creativity.


No One Is Invisible: An Interview with Wendy S. Walters
by Annalia Linnan
Originally published July 28, 2015

Ben: Independent bookstores highlight important books that the larger population might miss, and that certainly applies to MULTIPLY/DIVIDE by Wendy S. Walters, a brave work from Sarabande Books, a remarkable small press. Annalia’s feature is a probing, interesting interview that focuses not only on the author but on Annalia’s personal experience reading the book, which is really what we try to share with our customers all the time.


Obsessions, Ghosts, and Metaphors: A Q&A with Andrés Neuman
by Mark Haber
Originally published September 8, 2015

Keaton: You could feel the love between the two of them. There was an understanding there, and it was cool seeing that.


At Once Familiar and Utterly Foreign: A Q&A with Valeria Luiselli
by Mark Haber
Originally published September 21, 2015

Corby: I really liked the anecdote about Valeria Luiselli and her mom reading DON QUIXOTE out loud to each other while traveling in India because I like reading things out loud and India intrigues me.

Brooke: Valeria Luiselli is my literary girl crush. I really enjoyed her style when she was here.


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