Articles

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

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (Stephan Pastis)

From Stephan Pastis, creator of the comic strip Pearls Before Swine, comes a hilarious debut children’s novel starring eleven-year-old Timmy Failure and his pet polar bear, Total. Together, the two make up Total Failure, Inc., the “best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation.” Their caseload involves everything from Halloween candy theft to yard TP-ing, but all these take a backseat when Total Failure Inc.’s mode of transportation, a Segway dubbed the Failuremobile that Timmy might have “borrowed” from his mother, goes missing. Timmy is convinced that the culprit is none other than his four-foot-tall, she-who-shall-not-be-named arch-nemesis. Similar in style and layout to DIARY OF A WIMPY KID but even smarter and sillier than the competition, TIMMY FAILURE is funny and accessible enough to win young problem readers over, but clever enough to have engaged all the very sophisticated and adult Brazos booksellers.

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made Cover Image
By Stephan Pastis, Stephan Pastis (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780763660505
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - February 26th, 2013

Inventing Abstraction 1910-1925

INVENTING ABSTRACTION 1910-1925 is the catalogue from the current MOMA exhibit of the same name, which celebrates the emergence of abstract art. This shift toward abstract art occurred simultaneously in a variety of different countries as artists looked to nature, architecture, machines, film, geometry, and music for inspiration. The text tracks how early abstract works developed and what they meant to their creators. The focus on process and transformation shows the art’s urgency and importance to the contemporary art world now more than a century later. 

Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925 Cover Image
By Leah Dickerman (Editor), Matthew Affron (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), Yve-Alain Bois (Text by (Art/Photo Books))
$75.00
ISBN: 9780870708282
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Museum of Modern Art - January 31st, 2013

Catholicism Roundup

With a brand new pope and Easter on the way, you may find yourself thinking about Catholicism a little more than usual this Spring. Educate yourself! -Danielle

Saints, Santos, and Shrines Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781423631408
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Gibbs Smith - March 1st, 2013

Here’s a great coffee table book of Mexican Catholic folk art.


Afterlives of the Saints: Stories from the Ends of Faith Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781609530723
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Unbridled Books - June 12th, 2012

A fascinating look at some of the most bizarre saints and their surprising contemporary relevance.


The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780670026715
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Viking Books - February 21st, 2013

Want an inside look at the Vatican? Well, you probably can’t get one, but this new book is the next best thing.


Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780670024872
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Viking Books - February 12th, 2013

Gary Wills calls the centuries-old Catholic idea that priests should intercede between parishioners and God in this provocative read.


God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780547844589
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - January 1st, 2013

A fascinating look at the Spanish Inquisition and its effect on the modern world.


Tenth of December (George Saunders)

Just by looking at the cover of his latest collection, you can tell that Saunders has been moving in a darker, more serious direction with his work as of late. Although most of the stories in this collection are as funny as anything he’s written, Saunders often uses humor to hypothetically advance an existing social problem to its horrific logical conclusion. My favorite stories in TENTH OF DECEMBER - "Victory Lap", "Escape From Spiderhead", and "Home" - deal with kidnapping, our society’s overuse of pharmaceuticals, and PTSD, respectively. Saunders twists each of these issues, subtly exaggerating elements of each problem to clarify its menace. One of the most interesting things about Saunders is that his stories are rarely concerned with the privileged, the well-spoken, or the powerful. His characters are, at best, members of the middle class who are quickly falling through the growing cracks in America’s safety net. They are often uneducated, or at least uninformed. They are often being controlled and manipulated by forces far more powerful than themselves - parents, corporations, evil scientists - who are deeply invested in appearing to be their underlings’ 'friends' while leading them to certain ruin. This kind of setup has deep resonance in contemporary America, to say the least. It's hard not to sometimes relate to Saunders' hapless protagonists. In short, I wasn't surprised to find myself giggling over this beautiful collection, but I was surprised - and pleased - to find myself moved to tears several times.

Tenth of December: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780812993806
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - January 8th, 2013

Detroit: An American Autopsy (Charlie LeDuff)

After a distinguished career as a journalist for the New York Times, Charlie LeDuff decided to return home to his native Detroit as if compelled by instinct. Detroit: An American Autopsy tells us why the Motor City can no longer be ignored. LeDuff steers clear of geopolitics, macroeconomics, and global finance in favor of gripping reportage centered on the lives of individuals surviving most historic and cataclysmic years in history of the city. I found myself appalled, laughing out loud, and nearly moved to tears at LeDuff’s brilliant combination of piercing investigative journalism and personal recollection. -Nihal

Detroit: An American Autopsy Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781594205347
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Penguin Press - February 7th, 2013

Posada & Manilla

Posada and Manilla is a slim volume that collects illustrations from 19th century children’s books by the popular Mexican printmakers and additionally provides plot summaries and analyses of the books’ themes. Although children’s books of the time were meant to be ephemeral, many have survived because of the expressive illustrations reproduced on these pages. A facsimile of a complete original picture book is included. I love the fantastical imagery and the striking hand lettering in these illustrations, and I was fascinated by the window into the 19th century imagination that the art of Posada and Manilla provides.

Posada & Manilla: Illustrations for Mexican Fairy Tales Cover Image
By Jose Posada (Artist), Manuel Manilla (Artist), Mercurio Casillas (Text by (Art/Photo Books))
$24.95
ISBN: 9788415118510
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Rm - March 31st, 2013

A Map Of Tulsa (Benjamin Lytal)

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen: my nominee for the literary beach read of the season. Lytal, a young author whose work has been featured everywhere that’s anywhere (the New Yorker! the London Review of Books! the Wall Street Journal!) has written a debut novel of great power about growing up and tasting true love and true loss for the first time. The novel follows Jim, who has just graduated college and has moved back to Tulsa, his hometown, in order to regroup and determine his next move. He reconnects with Adrienne Booker, a rich and mysterious girl who has stayed in Tulsa after high school to party and work on her art. Jim is drawn into Adrienne’s wild, exotic world and she opens his eyes to a side of his small city he never knew before. I’m loathe to give away too much, but suffice it to say that things do not end particularly well and you will be flipping pages greedily to discover how and why. 

A Map of Tulsa Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780142422595
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - March 26th, 2013

SEPTEMBER - IMILCHIL WEDDING MOUSSEM

IMILCHIL WEDDING MOUSSEM (IMILCHIL, MOROCCO)

The economy in this Moroccan town is based on the nomadic herding of livestock, and this festival is an opportunity for those herders to return home and celebrate. During this time the town is transformed into multi-day open-air party and market complete with musical events, dances, and fireworks. The division between men and women, which is usually quite strict, is eased somewhat during this time, and single people are permitted to tease and flirt with the opposite sex. This moussem is also a time for matrimony and fertility - mass weddings take place each year.

Go back to the beginning

How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780465065745
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Basic Books (AZ) - April 9th, 2013

Thomas Day was an 18th century thinker - and jerk! - who was so particular about what kind of woman he wanted to marry that none of his available options would do. Instead, he adopted two young orphans and raised them to be the perfect wives, down to the very last detail. This one is in certain ways a little dense, but for feminists, Anglophiles, and romance skeptics, it's a strange history that will definitely capture the imagination.


The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062213785
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Ecco Press - August 7th, 2013

Remember the film SLIDING DOORS? This is kind of like that. Greta Wells's twin brother dies and her husband leaves her, and she attempts to handle the grief by undergoing electroshock therapy. However, every time she undergoes treatment, she is transported to various lives in different eras that she might have lived instead of her sad present-day existence. In each of her other possible lives, she encounters her brother and her husband, in different incarnations and contexts. Can what she learn in these past lives teach her how to live in the present? For that matter, will she be allowed to return to the present at all?


The Infatuations Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780307960726
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - August 13th, 2013

A translated novel by the Spanish master that contains lots of romance and a thrilling murder mystery. A woman frequents the same cafe every morning for breakfast. She becomes obsessed by a couple she sees there and imagines an idyllic life for them, until the husband is brutally murdered. The woman offers her condolences to the widow, and while at her house meets and falls in love with a man who shines new light on the shady past of the couple and the nature of the man's murder.


I Kiss Your Hands Many Times: Hearts, Souls, and Wars in Hungary Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780385524858
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Spiegel & Grau - August 27th, 2013

There are a million stories about the world wars in France, England, Germany, and Spain, but there isn't much out there about some of the smaller Eastern European countries that were basically steamrolled on either side by world powers. This is the story of one family in 20th century Hungary - a memoir of an entire clan and what happened to them as a result of war, genocide, and the more mundane problems of love and heartbreak.


AUGUST - HOMOWO

HOMOWO (GHANA)

This unusual harvest festival takes place as drought ends in Ghana and the crops begin once again to grow. Because African agriculture is so unpredictable and the heat can be incredibly intense, droughts are often deadly. As a time-honored way of dealing with this sad fact, Homowo allows Ghanians to blow off steam and celebrate the harvest by making fun of their former hunger. Homowo is also an opportunity for people to visit their homes and enjoy festivals that include marching, dancing, and music.

Go on to the next month

Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385536264
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Doubleday Books - July 9th, 2013

You may recognize Kate Christensen's name from her literary novels, most recently THE ASTRAL. You may not know, however, that Christensen runs a well-respected food blog! This book is a collection of some of her best posts, many of which have an autobiographical element to them. Fans of her blog will obviously be excited for this book, but even readers outside the loop will enjoy Christensen's pungent descriptions of food and spot-on observations about her unusual life.


The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780385337007
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Dial Press - July 30th, 2013

A glimpse into the wild world of cheese connoisseurs. Paterniti runs across a cheese that is considered one of the most delicious and valuable in the world, and goes to great lengths to track it down again. Part madcap biography, part food reportage, this one is a terrific glimpse into the madness that overcomes the truly gastronomically obsessed.


Cinnamon and Gunpowder Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374123666
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - June 4th, 2013

Fiction with a culinary twist. A celebrated chef is captured by a fearsome female pirate captain who threatens to throw him overboard if he doesn't deliver a gourmet spread every week - despite the fact that the ships larder contains only rotting meat, maggot-infested grains, and inedibly hard biscuits. This is a novel of literary merit, but it will appeal especially to cooks and swashbucklers.


Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story about Looking at People Looking at Animals in America Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781594204425
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Penguin Press - May 16th, 2013

Jon Mooallem began thinking about animals differently when his daughter was born. Everything in her life was covered in cute animals - her sheets, her dishes, her walls, her books - while at the same time animals are going extinct in the wild at a disastrous pace. Mooallem gives us a wild tour of the contemporary environmental and conservation movements, the state of animal life in an increasingly hostile wild, and the place of animals in our imaginations. Perfect for nature lovers, science geeks, and people generally interested in the state of our changing planet.


JULY - BASTILLE DAY

BASTILLE DAY (FRANCE)

French Independence Day, celebrated on the anniversary of a symbolic early victory in the French Revolution - the overthrow of a military prison in Paris. In the present day, Bastille Day is celebrated with parades, fireworks, and (until recently) the state of the union address. It occupies a similar place in the French imagination that the 4th of July occupies in the American one. 

Go on to next month

Equilateral Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781620400067
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - April 16th, 2013

This strange, strange little novel from cult favorite Kalfus tells the apocryphal story of a Victorian English astronomer who is obsessed by his quest to make contact with beings on the planet Mars. His plan, funded by the English government, among others, is to conscript Egyptian workers to dig a monumental equilateral triangle into the sand of the Sahara Desert, fill it with pitch, and on the date that Mars is closest to Earth, light it on fire. Of course, there is also a love triangle running throughout this short novel, which gives it depth. One of my favorites of the year so far.


Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781610391139
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: PublicAffairs - May 7th, 2013

Because Rice is one of the foremost centers in the world for nanotechnology research, this book should appeal both to science enthusiasts and readers interested in a little-known but possibly someday very important Houston industry. Drexler's thesis is that, once we are able to manufacture on an atomic level, we will be able to make more of the things we need - food, sources of energy, etc etc etc - with less waste and for a much lower cost. Written clearly for the layman, this is still probably best for our sharpest, most technically minded customers.


The Days of the Rainbow Cover Image
By Antonio Skarmeta, Mery Botbol (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781590516270
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Other Press (NY) - June 25th, 2013

A beautiful translated novel about the power of everyday humanity to overcome totalitarianism and terror. Skarmeta, a Chilean author, writes about families attempting to survive in Pinochet-era Santiago without giving up on their dreams or their dignity. A perfect look at how political oppression defines and indelibly marks ordinary people living under it.


Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9781610391542
Availability: Out of Print - Not Available for Order
Published: PublicAffairs - May 28th, 2013

The forgotten story of two intrepid New York City reporters who risk life and limb to report on the Civil War from Confederate territory, only to be captured. The men escape prison and eventually make it back to Union land, for the most part on foot and in the snow. This book has it all - politics, history, adventure, and a good deal of humor. This story was once well-known but hasn't been revisited in decades, which makes this a perfect book for the history enthusiast who thinks he's heard it all.


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