This is for any kind of written article like a blog post about a certain topic.

Brazos Bestsellers

Here's a list of the top selling books at Brazos Bookstore this week!

Ten Dollars to Hate: The Texas Man Who Fought the Klan Cover Image
ISBN: 9781623495299
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Texas A&M University Press - January 20th, 2017

Shrill Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316348461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - February 28th, 2017

Lincoln in the Bardo Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812995343
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 14th, 2017

Exit West Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735212176
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - March 7th, 2017

The Sympathizer: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802124944
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - April 12th, 2016

Chronicle of the Murdered House Cover Image
By Lucio Cardoso, Margaret Jull Costa (Translator), Robin Patterson (Translator)
ISBN: 9781940953502
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - December 13th, 2016

You Are Here: An Owner's Manual for Dangerous Minds Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250119889
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - March 7th, 2017

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524733131
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 7th, 2017

White Tears Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451493699
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 14th, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
The Underground Railroad (National Book Award Winner) (Oprah's Book Club) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385542364
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - August 2nd, 2016

Every Human Being Migrates Through Time: An Interview With Mohsin Hamid

We strongly believe in uplifting voices that need to be heard. This month, we're highlighting literary works by immigrants and refugees. These books defy national boundaries and provide a lens through which we can examine power, empathy, and community.

In conjunction with today's release of Exit West, we interviewed author Mohsin Hamid. 

Exit West Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735212176
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - March 7th, 2017

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594632334
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - March 4th, 2014

Staff Chat: To Football, or Not To Football

The Topic: Football, The Super Bowl, and specifically The Super Bowl in Houston
The Chatters: Annalia Luna (Shipping and Returns Manager), Augusta Bartis (Inventory Manager), and Ülrika Moats (Merchandiser and Gift Buyer)

AL: Welcome to our staff chat! This is the Girl Cave here, (Annalia, Augusta, and Ulrika), who work in the back of the store. We’re talking about football because the Super Bowl is this weekend and it’s kind of everywhere.
So, what is your first memory of watching football?

Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream Cover Image
ISBN: 9780306824203
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Da Capo Press - August 11th, 2015

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape Cover Image
ISBN: 9781617754913
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Edge of Sports - September 6th, 2016

Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612194912
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Melville House Publishing - August 18th, 2015

The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501116193
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - September 20th, 2016

The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393330472
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 17th, 2007

The Perfection of Short: Mary Miller and Chanelle Benz


Two anguished cries often heard in pseudo-literary circles, both usually experienced as something approximating all caps: INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES ARE FAILING (they’re not—but you already know that, reader), and LITERARY FICTION IS DEAD. That second cry is heard so often that not only has it become a cliché, the response to it—to point toward exciting new novels, young authors, book sales, etc.—now feels like its own kind of cliché.

The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062490759
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press - January 17th, 2017

Always Happy Hour: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631492181
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - January 10th, 2017

I Dream About a Lot of Things, Man: On Angel Otero, CAMH, and Neuroses

Generally speaking, I try to practice a nonthreatening demeanor (for this, you’re welcome). The first time I meet you, I will stand as far away from you as possible. I will go out of my way to not squeeze by you in an airplane-tight place, fearing I’ll accidentally touch you and you’ll find this invasive.

This Time Machine Works Damn Fine: On Carolyn Hembree

Carolyn Hembree “know[s] how to fuck with the future” and the present and the past. In Hembree's second book of poems, RIGGING A CHEVY INTO A TIME MACHINE AND OTHER WAYS TO ESCAPE A PLAGUE, she writes a verse novel as a fractured multiverse set in Tennessee.

Wartime, History, and Scottish Insults: An Interview with Caroline Leech

I am so incredibly excited for the arrival of Caroline Leech’s YA historical romance debut, WAIT FOR ME. (Okay in full disclosure, I have not only read it already—bookseller perk!—but was honored to have been asked by her publisher Harper Collins to blurb it as well. You’ll see my praise somewhere on the finished copy). It’s a lovely, moving novel, set in WWII Scotland, and we are thrilled to be hosting the WAIT FOR ME release party on 2/7 at 7 PM right here in store. We hope you’ll join us!

Wait for Me Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062459886
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Teen - January 31st, 2017

Buyer Spotlight: Bullet Journals

January: it’s a perfect time of year to start getting your life organized, whether with planners and journals, or with calendar alerts on your phone. But myself? I’m always trying to stay organized. In fact, over the summer, I fell down a rabbit hole of bullet journal blogs, posts, and videos—and, like any good friend (or enabler?), I took a few other people down the rabbit hole with me. We made plans to start our own bullet journals, which included multiple ones for different needs.

SKU: 812442022300

SKU: 812442022331

SKU: 812442022317

SKU: 812442022386

SKU: 812442022379

SKU: 812442022393

SKU: 812442022416

There’s more to Designworks Ink than the Standard Issue journals: the company also produces journals that are hand sewn with lay-flat exposed binding, and also hardcover large format journals. Each journal type comes with the day/month headers and subject lines to keep your life organized. Beautiful and practical—you’ll fall in love with these bullet journals, and maybe you’ll be able to take your own friends down the rabbit hole with you! It’s the kind of enabling that they’ll thank you for.

SKU: 812442022195

SKU: 812442021495

#BrazosBest: What Kathleen Collins Left Behind

The Gist: A posthumously published short story collection by Kathleen Collins, an important and newly re-discovered African American writer
The Chatters: Mark Haber (Store Manager) and Keaton Patterson (Book Buyer)

Facing Fears and Writing Through Them

I first became a fan of Micol Ostow back in 2009 with her YA novel SO PUNK ROCK (And Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother). It was a funny, quirky, irreverent little book that also dealt authentically with spiritual identity, and it was illustrated by Micol’s brother David Ostow. I loved it. And then in that way that often happens in the world of publishing, our paths began to cross here and there: mutual author friends; a mutual Soho Press editor; bumping into each other at various panels at a writing conference.

Amity Cover Image
ISBN: 9781606841563
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Egmontusa - August 26th, 2014

One of my favorite Micol Ostow series to put in readers’ hands is actually not her YA work, but her series for emerging chapter book readers, LOUISE TRAPEZE. The titular Louise is one spunky girl, but not without her doubts and layers. It’s definitely a departure from Micol’s other work and so I asked her if I could interview her about what it’s like to write the darker as well as the more frothy. Here’s what she had to say:

Joy: Here at Brazos we (and our customers) are huge fans of your LOUISE series and recommend it to our younger readers. It's such fun but also very girl positive. So how did this wonderful series come into existence? Do you have a plan about how you will continue to develop Louise in each subsequent book?

Micol: As you know, traditionally I've been a young adult writer, and I never had any designs about writing for a younger market. But one day a friend of mine suggested I try it. I laughed her off, but my daughter was two years old then, and I was just beginning to feel like I had some perspective on younger readers' and their point of view. So, shortly after that conversation, a character -- Louise Trapeze -- popped into my head. Immediately, I tried to imagine what Louise's story -- or her "problem" -- would be. And of course, the worst thing I could imagine for a trapeze artist would be a fear of heights. (It happens to be that I'm terrified of heights, too, so I could relate). So from there, the basic concept of book one was born. And again, going back to my own experiences with my daughter, I was very taken by the fact that overall, my daughter was (and still is) extremely determined and brave, much more than I ever was as a child. It's a great quality but it also works against her because she has a hard time accepting her own occasional fears. So that informed a lot of Louise's character, and her journey in book one -- realizing that being brave is not about not having fears, but rather, it's about how you go about facing them.

As of now, we have four books planned, and in each, Louise aspires to do something that she perceives as "grown up," while balancing her own concurrent fears about falling short or failing. For instance in book two, she really wants an important job of her own. But when she gets one, she makes an error in judgement and finds herself scrambling to course-correct. In book three, she misunderstands a conversation she overhears among the grown-ups, and sets out to "save the circus," despite the fact that the adults around her keep telling her not to worry. And in book four, Louise yearns to lose her first tooth -- until it seems like that just may be happening. So, we try to develop her character by putting her into typical seven year old experiences where she learns to bridge the gap between her own wishes and expectations, and her capabilities. If we were to continue the series, my own wish list includes a Halloween special. I imagine Louise could cause a lot of trouble around that theme!

Joy: You are a prolific writer with a fine skill for telling darker suspense and horror. Can you talk a bit about how you balance writing the more frothy LOUISE books with, say, something like AMITY, your YA retelling of The Amityville Horror?

Micol: Thank you so much! In a time where so many artists are encouraged to "brand" themselves, I feel very lucky that the publishing community has really embraced my split personality. Like I say, I'm not sure that I would have been inspired to write something as young as Louise if it weren't for raising young girls of my own. But in terms of the balance, I find it comes very naturally. The darker YA and the frothy chapter books are both a challenge in their own way, and it's often a relief to go back and forth. It keeps me from burning out on one or the other. I think it would be too difficult to be forced to write cheerful, upbeat stories all the time -- but equally impossible to be constantly mired in dark, intense long-form novels. This way I get to work through all of my many moods. How amazing is that?! I think they just organically balance each other out. Hopefully that means my split personality has a certain equalibrium, too. :)

Joy: You came to writing full time from a number of years in editing. How does that experience inform your writing?

Micol: I would like to think that I am basically devoid of ego. Not only do I come from an editorial background, but my earliest writing was ghostwriting into ongoing series, where it was imperative that I conform to a series style and hit deadlines unfailingly. It is a very different process than that romantic notion of plinking away at ones' art ever so thoughtfully, coffee mug in hand, gazed fixed serenely out a window. So I tend to write more quickly than some, and after all those years of being expected to emulate a specific style, I think I'm very open to editorial feedback. (That said, my editors might disagree!) I don't get very defensive when I read editorial letters, and I am always willing to consider a note or comment. I don't think I get very precious about my "darlings." When I was in graduate school for writing my advisors were always very pleasantly surprised by my openness to their editorial feedback. (Or so they said!)

The flip side, though, is that after so many years in the business I can get into my own head and get very caught up in the packaging and marketing aspect of publishing. It's useful when it comes to discussion publishing schedules, and deadlines, but it can be distracting and counterproductive to the process of simply writing. Obviously if there were a magic bullet for publishing a bestseller we'd all be bestselling authors. Better to spend one's time writing for the joy of it and telling the story you are meant to tell.

Joy: Besides your own books, what are some children's titles that you'd recommend, both for younger readers as well as for teens? What are you reading to/with your own kids these days?

Micol: My five year old is a precocious reader, and we're constantly fighting over books (I buy things for "research," and then find them in her bed). Lately we are obsessed with PRINCESS IN BLACK and THE OODLETHUNKS  -- anything with strong female characters, humor, and a distinct voice. We also like THE OWL DIARIES, and she's getting into nonfiction as well. We will read anything by Peter Brown, basically. Also: unicorns and superheroes.

I've been on a bit of an adult mystery kick lately, but on the YA front am eager to read Adele Griffin's forthcoming BE TRUE TO ME, and Marianna Baer's THE INCONCEIVABLE LIFE OF QUINN. Too many books, too little time!

Joy: So why writing? That is, why are you a writer? Why is this your art?

Micol: I don't have a great answer for that! Only that I never really felt I had a choice. I began making up stories as early as I can remember, and writing them down as soon as I was able to. I loved working as an editor and didn't plan to become a full-time writer, but eventually, the deadlines became too difficult to juggle. I think it's true for most writers, and it's certainly true for me, that we write because we can't NOT write. I'm incredibly grateful to have been able to make a career of it.

Joy: What else should we know about Micol Ostow?

Micol: Micol Ostow has a caffeine addiction that is borderline problematic. Micol Ostow is unduly obsessed with dogs, and specifically French Bulldogs. Micol Ostow can nap anytime, anywhere, and is always happy to do so. Micol Ostow is afraid of heights, as mentioned, as well as loud noises, and phone calls from unrecognizable numbers. Micol Ostow is distinctly uncomfortable writing about herself in the third person, but is pleased to learn of your interest in her rather un-interesting life.

Louise Trapeze Is Totally 100% Fearless Cover Image
By Micol Ostow, Brigette Barrager (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780553497427
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - May 31st, 2016