Articles

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Best American Writing of 2016

It’s that wonderful time of the year again, when The Best American collections hit the shelves and give us the perfect sampler of the best and most exciting short-form writing to be published in the last year. The Best American publications started with THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES in 1915, making it the oldest series of the sort. As readership has expanded, they’ve added several more genres and focuses, with the most recent being THE BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY (added in 2015).

The Best American Short Stories 2016 Cover Image
By Junot Diaz (Editor), Heidi Pitlor (Editor)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544582897
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - October 4th, 2016

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy Cover Image
By Karen Joy Fowler (Editor), John Joseph Adams (Editor)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544555204
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - October 4th, 2016

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 Cover Image
By Rachel Kushner (Editor), 826 National (Editor)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544812116
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - October 4th, 2016

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016 Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544748996
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - October 4th, 2016

The Best American Travel Writing 2016 Cover Image
By Bill Bryson, Jason Wilson (Editor)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544812093
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - October 4th, 2016

The Best American Comics Cover Image
By Roz Chast (Editor), Bill Kartalopoulos (Editor)
$25.00
ISBN: 9780544750357
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - October 4th, 2016

The Best American Mystery Stories 2016 Cover Image
By Elizabeth George (Editor), Otto Penzler (Editor)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544527188
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - October 4th, 2016

The Best American Essays 2016 Cover Image
By Jonathan Franzen (Editor), Robert Atwan (Editor)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544812109
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - October 4th, 2016

The Best American Infographics Cover Image
By Gareth Cook (Editor), Robert Krulwich (Editor)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780544556386
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - October 4th, 2016

The Best American Sports Writing 2016 Cover Image
By Rick Telander (Editor), Glenn Stout (Editor)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780544617315
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - October 4th, 2016

Sidelines Spotlight: Magpie and Jay

Halloween is not technically part of the holiday season but is still one of my favorites. This month, to highlight my love of dark, creepy things, we are featuring vintage-inspired pieces from Magpie and Jay’s New Curios collection.

Last year, when we introduced Magpie and Jay to the Brazos repertoire, we featured their nervous system mugs and journals. The items were cartoonish and had bold colors, but offered something beyond literary merchandise. This year, I wanted to focus on the New Curios line, which has more of a gothic, hand-painted look.

The Best NEWS OF THE WORLD You'll Find This Year

The high speed train from Shanghai to Beijing glides out of the central station. We pass the distinctive Chinese buildings fast, and then faster, speeding out of the urban din. I imagine what the countryside will look like, anticipating dramatic Asian art inspired mountains or rice fields. Instead, about an hour out of the station, when the city and the suburbs finally begin to subside, the countryside seems more familiar than not.

I’ve brought along an advance copy of NEWS OF THE WORLD by Paulette Jiles to read on this segment of my journey. I’m not very excited about it.

News of the World Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780062409201
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - October 4th, 2016

Paulette Jiles will launch her book tour at Brazos Bookstore on Tuesday, October 4.


Keaton Likes Music

Keaton likes music: everyone at Brazos know this (and sometimes, upon hearing the heavy metal blaring from his office, learns the hard way...) Keaton also loves to bust a move– our social media channels offer regular evidence of this. But more than anything, Keaton is a voracious reader of books about all different kinds of music. This week, he walks us through some of his favorites in the music section:


 

The Incantations of Daniel Johnston Cover Image
By Ricardo Cavolo (Artist), Scott McClanahan (Text by (Art/Photo Books))
$17.95
ISBN: 9781937512453
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Two Dollar Radio - July 19th, 2016

Igor Stravinsky Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781780234946
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Reaktion Books - December 15th, 2015

Schubert's Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780307961631
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - January 27th, 2015

Kill 'em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812993509
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Spiegel & Grau - April 5th, 2016

Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music: Sixth Edition Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780142181584
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Plume Books - April 28th, 2015

Some Girls Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781441192806
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Continuum - June 9th, 2011

The Humorless Ladies of Border Control: Touring the Punk Underground from Belgrade to Ulaanbaatar Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781620971796
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Press - August 2nd, 2016

Translation Spotlight: Open Letter Books and Deep Vellum Publishing

No secret: all of us at Brazos have a little thing for literature in translation, and two of our favorite publishers are Open Letter Books and Deep Vellum Publishing. Next week, we’re hosting two of their authors: Josefine Klougart (ONE OF US IS SLEEPING) on Monday, September 26; and Ananda Devi (EVE OUT OF HER RUINS) on Tuesday, September 27.

Treehouse Favorites on the NBA and Kirkus Longlists

Awards season is here in the Kids’ Treehouse, too! We are absolutely thrilled that so many of our favorite titles have been long-listed for the National Book Awards and chosen for Kirkus Prize Finalists! What better proof that we are working our hardest to fill our shelves with the best of the best for our customers!

Some Brazos Picks that made the National Book Award Long List:

Booked Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780544570986
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin - April 5th, 2016

"Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/""on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can t nobody stop you/""can t nobody cop you " In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams.Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read. This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match.


Raymie Nightingale Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763681173
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - April 12th, 2016

Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a moving, masterful story of an unforgettable summer friendship. Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie's picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who's determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.


Pax Cover Image
By Sara Pennypacker, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062377012
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - February 2nd, 2016

From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. Pax is destined to become a classic, beloved for generations to come. Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter's dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.

At his grandfather's house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn't where he should be with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox. Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .


Ghost Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481450157
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books - August 30th, 2016

Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award winning author Jason Reynolds.

Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.


Check out the full NBA Long List here


And some more of our staff favorites that were recently named Kirkus Prize Finalists:


The Reader Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780399176777
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - September 13th, 2016

Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin's been taken, or if she's even alive. The only clue to both her aunt's disappearance and her father's murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed and punish the people responsible.


As Brave as You Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781481415903
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books - May 3rd, 2016

As you can see from the above list, this is yet another Jason Reynolds book. If you are not reading this author yet, you absolutely must come get his books today!

When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires literally in this piercing middle grade novel by the winner of the Coretta Scott King Johnson Steptoe Award.

Genie's summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia in the COUNTRY The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind. Thunderstruck and being a curious kid Genie peppers Grandpop with questions about how he covers it so well (besides wearing way cool Ray-Bans).

How does he match his clothes? Know where to walk? Cook with a gas stove? Pour a glass of sweet tea without spilling it? Genie thinks Grandpop must be the bravest guy he's ever known, but he starts to notice that his grandfather never leaves the house as in NEVER. And when he finds the secret room that Grandpop is always disappearing into a room so full of songbirds and plants that it's almost as if it's been pulled inside-out he begins to wonder if his grandfather is really so brave after all.


Burn Baby Burn Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780763674670
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - March 8th, 2016

Two-time Pura Belpre Award winner Meg Medina returns with one of her greatest YA novels yet, which also made the longlist for the National Book Award.

While violence runs rampant throughout New York, a teenage girl faces danger within her own home in Meg Medina's riveting coming-of-age novel.

Nora Lopez is seventeen during the infamous New York summer of 1977, when the city is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam who shoots young women on the streets. Nora's family life isn t going so well either: her bullying brother, Hector, is growing more threatening by the day, her mother is helpless and falling behind on the rent, and her father calls only on holidays. All Nora wants is to turn eighteen and be on her own. And while there is a cute new guy who started working with her at the deli, is dating even worth the risk when the killer likes picking off couples who stay out too late? Award-winning author Meg Medina transports us to a time when New York seemed balanced on a knife-edge, with tempers and temperatures running high, to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit and the hardest to accept.


Check out the full Kirkus Prize list here


#BrazosBest: Vila-Matas Stories Translated at Last

Interview translated by Bárbara Volkmer Ruiz

What do The Paris Review, Bomb Magazine, and Brazos Bookstore have in common? We’ve all been lucky enough to interview the reticent Spanish author Enrique Vila-Matas, author of our current #BrazosBest pick, VAMPIRE IN LOVE!

Vampire in Love Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811223461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - September 27th, 2016


Mark Haber is the store manager of Brazos Bookstore. He was a juror for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award. Besides being an advocate for translated literature his own short story collection, DEATHBED CONVERSIONS, is currently being translated into Spanish.


To Add, Not Reduce: A Q&A with Rafi Mittlefehldt

Rafi Mittlefehldt’s debut novel, IT LOOKS LIKE THIS, is a book I wish I could have read ten years ago—a simple, heart-wrenching story told in a quiet, cautious voice. Protagonist Mike is still adjusting to his new school in his family’s new hometown; his father is still trying to get him to be the tough, sports-driven son he wants; and his family is still attending church, still trying to pretend everything is fine. Then Mike meets Sean, and slowly, then quickly—too quickly—everything changes.

It Looks Like This Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763687199
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - September 6th, 2016

Rafi Mittlefehldt presents and signs IT LOOKS LIKE THIS on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 7pm. Pre-order your signed copy today.


Lydia is the events coordinator at Brazos Bookstore. She received her MFA in fiction from Iowa State University, but happily came back to Texas immediately after. Her writing has been published in Ninth Letter, LIT, and The Rumpus.


National Book Awards Longlists Announced

The literary awards season has begun! The National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards, has announced ten titles in four categories as the semi-finalists for the prestigious prize. The shortlist will be published on October 13, 2016 and the winners will be announced on November 16, 2016.

Women Are Humans: A Q&A with Laia Jufresa and Sophie Hughes

How to stump me as a bookseller: come into the store and ask me for a funny, happy book where nothing bad happens. Because the truth is, I will fail you, one hundred percent of the time. The flip side? People ask me about my favorite books and often, I can see their eyes glaze over as I mention rape, suicide, addiction—as if those books can’t also have moments that are funny and happy.

Umami Cover Image
By Laia Jufresa, Sophie Hughes (Translator)
$21.99
ISBN: 9781780748917
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: ONEWorld Publications - September 13th, 2016

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