Book Lists

This category is for lists of books (example: Top 10 Books for Summer Reading)

#BrazosBest Picks for June

In June: Waterloo witnessed by a rabbit; getting to know THE STRANGER from an Algerian perspective; a portrait of the artist as a young woman; killers caught in the hallucinatory heart of the Old West; the appeal of nudism and the necessity of sunscreen; finding humor amid the absurdity of life in modern Israel; love...Tom Haverford-style 

The Sage of Waterloo: A Tale Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393246919
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 1st, 2015

I thought the same thing you’re thinking now: why would a debut novelist write about one of the most decisive battles in history from the point of view of a rabbit, or a family of rabbits to be more precise? Yet, this narrative choice puts enough separation between humanity and its history to approach a well-told tale in an entirely new way. We see our history enmeshed in the natural world, at once of us and not of us. We see how our actions reverberate through time and space and that we are never truly shed of them. 


The Meursault Investigation Cover Image
By Kamel Daoud, John Cullen (Translator)
ISBN: 9781590517512
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Other Press (NY) - June 2nd, 2015

While primarily a postcolonial re-rendering of THE STRANGER, recounted by the brother of the anonymous "Arab” killed by Camus’ anti-hero, THE MEURSAULT INVESTIGATION is also an unnerving psychological thriller, an absurdist origin story of (post)revolutionary Algeria, and a virulent screed against the nationalism and religious fundamentalism that have overrun Daoud’s home country ever since its independence. Much like the book with which it converses, this slender novel belies its multilayered profundity.

The Body Where I Was Born Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609805265
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Seven Stories Press - June 16th, 2015

Guadalupe Nettel is a badass—one of the most impressive authors of contemporary Mexican fiction (a pantheon with no shortage of impressive writers). This autobiographical novel shows how she got that way. A coming-of-age tale wrapped in a rousing appeal for outsiders and the ostracized to accept their flaws.


Haints Stay Cover Image
ISBN: 9781937512323
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Dollar Radio - June 2nd, 2015

Brooke and Sugar. Brothers. Killers. They make their way through a nightmare of the Old West just trying to stay alive in a land teeming with death. The literary equivalent of Jarmusch’s DEAD MAN or Peckinpah’s PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID, this is the joyously violent, supremely strange head-trip of a novel you’ve been bleeding for. 


Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist's Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9780802123510
Availability: Out of Print - Not Available for Order
Published: Grove Press - June 2nd, 2015

Whether you call it immersive, participatory, or gonzo journalism, Smith goes all in, giving us the full monty if you will. His latest obsession? Nudism (or naturism, depending on who you ask). While an insightful social commentary and (sub)cultural history, what really drives this book is Smith’s own comic exploits in letting it all hang out. As an experiment, read it naked.


The Seven Good Years: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594633263
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - June 16th, 2015

Have you heard of Etgar Keret? You will. An Israeli author known for brief and comically absurd fiction, he is poised for a huge breakthrough. And this breezy, delightful, thought-provoking memoir might just be the ticket. Set during the seven years between the birth of his son and the death of his father, it is filled with ruminations on everything from pilates (because he’s lazy) to terrorism (because he’s anxious). But he always comes back to a sense of love and humor that is unflappable. Keret is an immediately likable writer. To read him is to want to have a beer with him. 


Modern Romance Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594206276
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - June 16th, 2015

Comic Ansari could have just written a funny little book on trying to find love in the age of social media, and it would have been a bestseller. I mean, is anything more rife with humorous material than the pitfalls of dating? Yet, while MODERN ROMANCE is hilarious, Ansari also brought in bona fide social scientists to help ground his comedy in actual research. So, now you can bust a gut laughing and learn something at the same time. Bonus!  


Dispatch From the Buyer

In May: warrior women usher Japan into the modern era; intimate missives from the radical vanguard of the American family; orphans, acrobats and lunatic asylums on Coney Island; when your body is made of paper, you can become art; yes, that Special Agent Dale Cooper; the comedy of romance amid the gender wars.

Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393077995
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 4th, 2015

Three young Japanese girls are chosen by their empress to learn the strange ways of a foreign land, only to return after ten years to a home they no longer know—“other to everyone except each other.” Such are the incredible lives of Sutematsu, Shige and Ume, lived on the cusp of modernity, witnessing the collision of East and West, tradition and progress, history and the future.

The Argonauts Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977078
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Graywolf Press - May 5th, 2015

There is no separation between the personal and the political. So, how do we live outside the oppressive strictures of heteronormative society, truly honestly openly loving beyond the conventions of gender and cultural conservatism? How do we connect with our deepest selves, when identity itself is an endless process of becoming? The journey of Maggie Nelson’s family—through her troubled pregnancy and her partner’s transexuality—provides the perfect example.

Church of Marvels Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062367556
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - May 5th, 2015

No matter the era, lives lived outside the purview of normal society are always the most interesting. Circus performers exist in a realm of fantasy that can nevertheless come crashing down. Orphans born in tenement squalor may yet fulfill their destiny. Those unfortunate souls deemed insane and locked away, might just be the most rational of us all. Still, the most marvelous things occur when such lives intertwine and become part of something bigger than themselves.

The Paper Man Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939419224
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Unnamed Press - May 19th, 2015

If our body is a medium, a surface to reflect the world around us, what does that say about who we are? If we let our world dictate the form we take, how will we ever truly know ourselves? To become an object of art, must we sacrifice our humanity? These are heady questions, especially when considered by a boy made of paper.

The Guild of Saint Cooper Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936873616
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Dzanc Books - May 12th, 2015

Twin Peaks’ beloved Special Agent Dale Cooper is undeniably a cult hero. So, is it surprising that an actual cult should form around his name and image? And is it surprising that this cult springs from the ashes of a post-apocalyptic Seattle, determined to rewrite the history of a doomed city in order to save its own primitive future?

Eat My Heart Out Cover Image
ISBN: 9781558618855
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Feminist Press - May 5th, 2015

Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t. Navigating the terrain of modern romance is never easy. But for a lovelorn, twenty-something “anti-Bridget Jones” type it’s a virtual minefield. Caught between the rom-com illusion, loneliness and militant feminism, is there any way to find that happily ever after we’re all looking for?

Dispatch from the Buyer

Each month, we preview the books we can’t wait for you to read.

In April, the cruelest month: ecstatic suffering on the New Mexican desert; unrequited love warps the space-time continuum; what to say about Tracy K. Smith; poetry--like life like a garden; the evolution of one Thomas Stearns Eliot from reluctant war-time ambulance driver to silent sea scuttler; bare-knuckle lady boxing in Georgian era England.

Night at the Fiestas: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393242980
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 23rd, 2015

There is a moment in every one of Quade’s stories when someone meets the source of her suffering. A sudden realization gives worth--if not meaning or purpose--to a lifetime of pain. And to witness humans persevere against an existence as harsh as the great American desert is undeniably beautiful.

The Lost Boys Symphony Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316323994
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little Brown and Company - March 24th, 2015

Our relationships with friends, lovers, even music define our reality. Upset these, well...then it’s perfectly logical that a slacker college student might lose his tenuous grasp on sanity and find himself held hostage by three versions of himself from the future demanding he win back his ex-girlfriend before it’s too late. But what if she’s already gone?

Ordinary Light: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307962669
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 31st, 2015

Knocked the breath out of me in five pages.

Deep Lane: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393070231
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 6th, 2015

These are poems only an older poet could write. Doty, now in his 60s, reflects on his past, on memory itself. He confronts his ghosts. He says goodbye to them. There is much hurt here. There is also reconciliation and acceptance, joy and love. As with the metaphor of the garden running through the entire collection, we find growth and decay inseparable.

Young Eliot: From St. Louis to the Waste Land Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374279448
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - April 7th, 2015

You might feel shortchanged by a biography ending when its subject is only thirty-four. But if it’s about TS Eliot, those first three decades include World War I, Ezra Pound, The Waste Land, and the birth of little thing called ‘Modernism.’ What is it about youth that makes you think you can change the world? What happens when you actually do?

The Fair Fight Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594633294
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Riverhead Books - April 14th, 2015

The best fighters come from nothing. They have nothing to lose. And when you’re a plug-ugly orphan girl raised in a 1700s English brothel, you don’t have much choice in the matter anyway. The women in this violent yet elegant debut novel, fighting each other, men and themselves, are all searching for one thing: a place in a world that has no place for them.

Dispatch from the Buyer

Each month, we preview the books we can’t wait for you to read.

This March: Puppets and Morse code redeem humanity; Moshin Hamid: Citizen of the World; the troublesome vice of keeping a diary; what the Lusitania can teach us about modern warfare; girls’ basketball, abortion and the apocalypse in Texas; the perils of boredom for an American expatriate housewife

I Am Radar Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594206160
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Press - February 24th, 2015

Somewhere in the middle of I AM RADAR’s 600+ pages, everything clicked into place for me. All of the seemingly disparate storylines, the multitude of quirky characters, the graphs, illustrations, footnotes, particle physics, puppet theater, ethnic cleansing, communication, identity, the interplay of war and art, linked together like dots and dashes making up some vital Morse code transmission I suddenly remembered how to decipher. Only now, I was unsure of what was real and what was not. I have never read another novel that so thoroughly imbeds itself in reality for the sole purpose of instilling uncertainty in the reader. The effect is a work of artifice that becomes more real than real. And, in this hyperreality, I AM RADAR hones in on the myriad fictions underlying our perceptions of truth, illuminating the best and worst humanity has to offer.

Discontent and Its Civilizations: Dispatches from Lahore, New York, and London Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594633652
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Riverhead Books - February 24th, 2015

Mohsin Hamid wants you to collaborate in DISCONTENT AND ITS CIVILIZATIONS, his first nonfiction collection. For him, we are all foreign correspondents, enriching the world’s life, art and politics with our various points of view. The writer/reader relationship is no different. Living in three major cities on three continents over the past fifteen years has given Hamid a unique, global perspective on the 21st century. Yet, it’s striking--a testament to his emphasis on inclusivity, really--how easy it is to identity with his experiences, far as they are from the Western norm. This is reportage that makes the world smaller in the best possible way.

Ongoingness: The End of a Diary Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977030
Availability: Backordered
Published: Graywolf Press - March 3rd, 2015

Is writing a vice? Sarah Manguso thinks so, considering her twenty-five-year, 800,000+ page diary. But her composition is also based in fear, rumination, and anxiety. If we don’t record the events of our lives, if we forget all about them, then did they ever happen? Why did Manguso not publish her magnum opus, instead opting for this brief collection of aphoristic statements orbiting the abandonment of her life’s work? What can we really say about time, mortality, the sheer ongoing flow of life constantly slipping through our fingers? Anything? Nothing?

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307408860
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - March 10th, 2015

Erik Larson’s newest historical blockbuster has everything you’ve come to expect from him: a total immersion in a bygone era, a Ken Burns-esque ability to weave numerous primary sources into one seamless, suspenseful narrative. Yet what seized me the most about DEAD WAKE is just how much the events surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania have in common with our own war-torn times. Like a pre-9/11 America, nobody in 1915 thought a disastrous enemy attack of that magnitude was possible. The atmosphere of terror engendered by the new technology of World War I--the submarine, especially--seems to directly parallel the unease brought on by terrorism and drone warfare. As with the best historical writing, Larson cuts through the skein of myth that accrues with time and makes the past relevant to the present.

The Unraveling of Mercy Louis Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062319098
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - March 10th, 2015

Joan Didion once wrote of “a realm of miseries peculiar to women.” For Mercy Louis and the other teenage girls of Port Sabine, Texas, this peculiarity squarely falls within the purview of apocalyptic religion and refinery town corporatocracy. In a setting all-too-familiar for anyone who grew up in Port Arthur, Texas City, Laporte, or Pasadena, THE UNRAVELING OF MERCY LOUIS exposes how easily the sexuality of young women can become the scapegoat of a community’s own iniquity. Hypocracy, suspicion, greed, high school sports: these are the makings of tragedy in smalltown Texas.

Hausfrau Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812997538
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Random House - March 17th, 2015

Can misery be erotic? Anna, the protagonist of Austin-based poet/author Jill Alexander Essbaum’s debut novel, is undeniably miserable. She is also drawn to illicit sexual encounters like a moth to the flame. It is only as an object of desire that she finds respite from the boredom, loneliness and alienation of her married, expatriate life. It provides the only heat in her snow-filled Swiss existence. There is no romance here, save the unreciprocated kind for which you destroy yourself. What remains is the psychological turmoil of a woman unable to find her own agency in an impassive world. Like Nora Helmer or Anna Karenina, the Anna of HAUSFRAU is at the mercy of the choices she makes, and especially those she doesn’t.

Green Eggs and Spam

When I was in preschool, I was promised green eggs and ham. Our class had just read Dr. Seuss’s classic, and I couldn’t wait to get my little paws on some green victuals. We lined up at a long table, and the teachers set down Styrofoam plates heaped with scrambled eggs and little bits of Spam splotched with green food dye. My disappointment was crushing.

This column will attempt to right that wrong. Every time I read a delectable description of food, I wish I had the ability to reach into the pages and pull out that delicious pie or that steaming pot of coffee. In this column, I will attempt to approximate that as closely as the laws of physics will allow. Each column will feature a fantastic book and a restaurant, bar, food truck, or gas station snack that complements that book. I hope this column makes you hungry.

Staff Pick Logo
Prayers for the Stolen Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804138802
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Hogarth Press - November 4th, 2014

The Book:
Think Barbara Kingsolver meets Sandra Cisneros with a pinch of Breaking Bad. Jennifer Clement’s PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN has lots of hot desert scenery, a bunch of drugs and some very bad men.

Meet LadyDi Garcia Martinez, named after Princess Diana by her alcoholic, gun-toting, TV-loving mother. LadyDi lives with her mother in Guerrero, Mexico where drug lords steal girls right out of their living rooms in the middle of the afternoon.

Now, I hear what you’re about to say. Why is modern fiction so depressing? THE ROAD, anyone? And I hate to say it, but Marilynne Robinson is not always a barrel of laughs. But I am here to tell you that a book about drugs, kidnappings, cheating husbands and a grandma who gets killed crossing the road to buy milk is hilarious.

PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN gets off to a rollicking start as LadyDi shares her first memory: her mother saying, “Now we make you ugly,” and breathing beer breath all over her. In LadyDi’s world a pretty girl is a liability. You might as well have a big red target on your chest that says Shoot Me. Various methods are employed to uglify the ladies, but taking a yellow or brown marker to the teeth was pretty standard. Hope Crayola was not lying when they claimed their products to be Non-Toxic.

I haven’t read a book with this much fantastic world-building since Karen Russell’s SWAMPLANDIA! about a clan of alligator wrestlers in the Florida Everglades. Clements has created a world where the houses have dirt floors and big TV’s and the women refrigerate their pillows during the day so they are cool by bedtime. There is only one place where there is cell-service so it is always choked with women waving their phones in the air, hoping to hear from their husbands and sons. “Some sat there for days that became weeks, months and years, and their cellphones never rang.”

The women of Guerrero are funny, resourceful and resilient. When one of LadyDi’s friends runs away with her mother to escape Guerrero, LadyDi and her own mother explore the abandoned house. The TV was still on, as though the residents had just stepped out. As they are leaving, LadyDi notices that her mother has taken a pair of flip-flops, a bag of chips and a bottle of tequila with her.

The hardy heroines and poetic language make PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN an unforgettable read. You’ll almost wish you could visit Guerrero yourself, provided you could get a guarantee that no one would shoot you and/or kidnap you while you sight-seeing.

The Meal: Beef Fajitas at Ninfa’s on Navigation
Houston is filled with great Mexican food. Sure, I could send you to a greasy little taqueria you’ve never heard of with the best tacos in the world but, frankly, I’m not cool enough to know where that is. So I’m going to send you to Mama Ninfa. But you have to go to the original Ninfa’s on Navigation. What better way to pay tribute to the ladies of Guerrero than by knocking back a few cold ones and stuffing your face with sizzling fajitas? Mama Ninfa herself was a hard-working widow who turned her taco stand into a bona fide Houston institution.

Translation Anticipation: Latin-American Edition

Being the reader of a single language can be a sad and unenviable predicament for someone in love with the literature of another language. Patience is not only a warranted attribute, it’s downright necessary. You hear that a book has come out by a beloved author, and then you hunker down for the long, often interminable wait. Have the translation rights been sold? Has the translation even started? Who is translating it?—all questions an obsessive asks as the months sometimes stretch into years. What follows is a short, highly-abbreviated list of books translated from the Spanish coming out this year that I’m highly (highly) excited about and think you should be, too.

Sudden Death
Álvaro Enrigue
When I read HYPOTHERMIA by Álvaro Enrigue, I was overwhelmed with the desire to read everything by this author. His stories displayed a deep understanding of literary tradition. And what does a serious writer do when they’ve read the books, learned the rules, and know the hard truths? Turn around and ignore them. There is a fine intelligence at work in Enrigue’s stories, as well as a sense of humor and, yes, even danger.

The Story of My Teeth
Valeria Luiselli, Christina MacSweeney
Auctioneer Gustavo ‘Highway’ Sanchez plans to replace every single one of his hideous teeth. To do this, he will sell the jewels of his collection, mainly the pearly whites of Plato, Petrarch, Virginia Woolf, and more. If you think you understand Luiselli’s quiet and philosophical style, dive into this bold and exhilarating story that examines the idea of worth and value, and that’s never wanting in imagination. APRIL 2

My Documents Cover Image
By Alejandro Zambra, Megan McDowell (Translator)
ISBN: 9781940450520
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: McSweeney's - April 14th, 2015

Zambra has already proven himself to be one of Latin America’s most exciting young writers. BONSAI and WAYS OF GOING HOME were brilliant, disembodied works, dealing with first love and life during and after a dictatorship. MY DOCUMENTS, his first collection of stories, contains a world of young lovers, liars, ghosts and armed bandits. FEBRUARY 10

The Body Where I Was Born Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609805265
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Seven Stories Press - June 16th, 2015

My favorite discovery of last year was Mexican author Guadalupe Nettel, whose short story collection, NATURAL HISTORIES, was a magnificent example of mixing the quiet and the strange. THE BODY WHERE I WAS BORN discusses Nettel’s unconventional childhood in 1970s Mexico. From a psychoanalyst's couch, the narrator looks back on her bizarre childhood. Guaranteed to be stunning. JUNE 2

The Art of Flight Cover Image
By Sergio Pitol, George Henson (Translator), Enrique Vila-Matas (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781941920060
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - March 17th, 2015

Winner of the prestigious Cervantes Prize, THE ART OF FLIGHT is Sergio Pitol’s first book to appear in English. I know very little about this literary memoir, only that my Spanish-speaking friends use words like “a treasure” and “indispensable” to describe Pitol. The excitement these readers display when describing his books is hard to contain. Additionally, his second book in English, THE JOURNEY, is scheduled to be released later in 2015. MARCH 17

The Musical Brain: And Other Stories Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Chris Andrews (Translator)
ISBN: 9780811220293
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - March 3rd, 2015

The word “prolific” was coined for writers like César Aira, whose books, in Spanish, number over sixty. Of course, his novels (or novellas, or micro-novels) aren’t very long but are always a great treat. They’re often whimsical, philosophical, and a touch delirious. At his best, Aira manages to create a world slightly off-kilter but not very different from our own. This is Aira’s first collection of stories in English: a perfect introduction for the novice, or another gem for longtime fans. MARCH 3

Dispatch from the Buyer

A monthly report of book miscellany and a look ahead at the titles we can’t wait for you to read.

The Miscellany

“What makes a book great?”

Forget awards hype and the endless arguments over wins and snubs. It gets us nowhere. Forget bestseller lists. They’ve never been reliable indicators of quality writing anyway.

No, the true measure of literary greatness is much more personal than any of that.

Great books become a part of you. They are empathy machines, causing emotional, even visceral responses. They take you somewhere else. You get drunk on the language, whether the prose is lyrical and flowing, or sparse and unadorned. You feel the author’s love for words.

And you can’t help but share in that love.

Of course, different people, even when reading the same book, have wholly unique experiences. However, when you do find that next life-changing novel or work of nonfiction, you know it. That’s one thing all readers have in common.

Still, you have to get that book in your hands first--no easy task with the seemingly endless array of choices before readers.

That’s where we come in.

As the book buyer for Brazos, I have the privilege of seeing upcoming new releases well before anyone else. In the process, I wade through thousands of titles in every conceivable genre, from huge publishing houses to the smallest indie micropresses, on the lookout for those particular books that strive toward the ideals listed above.

On top of that, our booksellers are constantly listening to what you, the reader, want--even if you’re not quite sure what that is exactly.

We do this because it is our responsibility as booksellers to help you find that next great book.

And we love our job.


The Preview

Not sure where to begin your reading in 2015? Here are some of our early favorites coming out this January. Keep an eye out for these titles next time you visit!

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385352956
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - January 27th, 2015

A bestseller overseas, this uproarious French satire follows the exploits of an incorrigible rapscallion from rural India on a jaunt across Europe that begins--you guessed it--when he’s inadvertently locked inside an IKEA Wardrobe.

For fans of Candide, A Confederacy of Dunces, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, and other comic novels with absurdly long titles.

Staff Pick Logo
The Just City Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765332660
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - January 13th, 2015

In this ingenious blend of sci-fi, mythology, and philosophy, Pallas Athene collects children and teachers from throughout human history to populate the titular city--her version of the utopia from Plato’s Republic. It’s perfect until Sokrates starts asking troublesome questions.

For fans of The Bone Clocks, Gods Without Men, The Golem and the Jinni, American Gods, Station Eleven

Leaving Before the Rains Come Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594205866
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - January 22nd, 2015

Memoir master Fuller finds strength and confidence in her African roots after a painful divorce throws her life into a tailspin. Retreating to her homeland and delving into her past, she comes to terms with her present and finds hope in an uncertain future.

For fans of Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, The Year of Magical Thinking, Wild, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393244076
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 19th, 2015

A noted Civil War expert turns his focus to the hidden story behind the Underground Railroad. Drawing on newly discovered information, Foner goes beyond the myth and reveals the intricate network of determined individuals who help spirit thousands to freedom.

For fans of The Fiery Trial, Rebel Yell, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, A People’s History of the United States

One Thousand Things Worth Knowing: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374227128
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - January 13th, 2015

A new, wide-ranging collection from one of the most respected and inventive of contemporary poets, filled with Muldoon’s trademark wit and enigmatic wordplay.

For fans of Seamus Heaney, Lewis Carroll, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery

Best of the Best

For the past five weeks, we’ve counted down our individual staff picks for the year’s best books. But many of those titles appeared on multiple lists. As the year comes to a close, here is yet another list: the best books of 2014, as agreed upon by the Brazos staff. 

Faces in the Crowd Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566893541
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - May 13th, 2014

“FACES IN THE CROWD focuses on a young mother living in New York who, while working on her novel, inadvertently begins blending with her own story the life of Gilberto Owen, a dead Mexican poet who haunts her. The past mixes with the future, and the book the young author is working on becomes the book you, the reader, are reading. It’s difficult to explain her novel—which, of course, is a good thing. It’s literary and original, and the prose leaves fingerprints on your mind.” -- Mark

Sidewalks Cover Image
By Valeria Luiselli, Christina Macsweeney (Translator), Cees Nooteboom (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781566893565
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Coffee House Press - May 13th, 2014

“SIDEWALKS is like a lovely flâneur’s stroll through Mexico City. Luiselli brilliantly weaves together travel, architecture, literary criticism, and voyeurism. I found myself dog-earing pages throughout to go back and make notes on…until I realized I was marking pretty much every single page. She’s the kind of writer I have a lady crush on—intellectual, well read, well traveled, with the ability for making laser sharp observations and powerful one-liners that make my jaw drop.” -- Augusta

The Other Side Cover Image
ISBN: 9781935639831
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Tin House Books - July 15th, 2014

“It took me at least a month to write a shelf-talker for this book, and when I did, this is what it said: ‘the most important book you will read this year. pinkie promise.’ That’s still how I feel, but it’s hard to explain why. Most every synopsis available about THE OTHER SIDE will mention rape, kidnapping, and/or intention to kill. I cannot stress this enough: like the tip of the iceberg, that is only a fraction of Lacy Johnson’s story and what it means for her to tell it. This memoir is for anyone who has ever loved.” -- Annalia

Station Eleven Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385353304
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - September 9th, 2014

“Everybody just…read this book. Don’t argue with me. I don’t have time to tell you why; they told me I could only put ten books on this list and I’m pushing my luck throwing on my eleventh ELEVEN here. Just take it home and read it. I’ll give you your money back if you don’t like it. But you will.” –- Liz

The Book of Strange New Things Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553418842
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Hogarth - October 28th, 2014

“The long awaited new novel from Michel Faber could have gone off the rails so easily. I mean, it’s a sci-fi novel about teaching the gospel to the strange, inhuman inhabitants of an alien planet, right? Yet, in the hands of this master, such a premise becomes a somber, philosophical treatise on the power of love and faith against unimaginable circumstances. THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS is an incredibly human novel of ideas masquerading as high science fiction, and it hoists Faber up to the level of Ursula K. LeGuin and Octavia Butler. Utterly strange and fascinating!” –- Keaton

Inside Madeleine Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616953096
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Press - May 13th, 2014

“Normally I don’t recommend books based on their ability to induce vomiting, but in this case, I feel it’s apt. Paula Bomer’s new short story collection is not for the faint of heart. These gut-wrenching stories about girls at work, in school, or at loose ends will make you laugh out loud and possibly throw up as her characters share the gritty, strange, and poignant details of their lives. Bomer writes with equal power about the tough girl, the quiet girl, and the wild child. The title novella is a heartbreaker about the eating-disordered and lonely Madeleine, whose story loops right around to the opening short story. A stunning collection that you won’t forget anytime soon.” -- Brooke

On Such a Full Sea Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594632891
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - December 2nd, 2014

“In Chang-Rae Lee’s dystopic landscape, China has spread across the world to create order in the unruled landscape. When Fan’s lover goes missing, she abandons that order to seek him out and in the process becomes a folk hero for a generation. The people that Fan encounters on her journey are some of the most memorable for me, particularly Miss Cathy’s ‘Girls’ and their history mural.” -- Jeremy

Thrown Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936747924
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Sarabande Books - October 14th, 2014

“In this work of nonfiction, a philosophy student—not so much Kerry Howley as “Kerry Howley”—finds herself drawn to the spectacle of mixed martial arts and two fighters in particular, one up-and-coming, the other battling obscurity. THROWN manages to do many different things with envy-inducing skill. A sports story; a portrait of a subculture; a philosophical inquiry; a journalistic study of two men; a satire of academic pretension: where to begin? Howley doesn’t see these different styles/narratives as disparate; instead, she sees them all as part of the same spectacle. Like the fights she portrays with a mix of blood and poetry, Howley’s THROWN overwhelms.” -- Ben

We Were Liars Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385741262
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Delacorte Press - May 13th, 2014

“There are a lot of ends in this book. I won’t tell you about them, though—you have to read it for yourself. After that, you’ll need a friend to talk about it with, and I’ll be here. Waiting. Waiting for that moment when you burst through the Brazos door, exclaiming “How? What? I didn’t—! She didn’t—! How could—? I…we…they…agh this book!” Then I’ll pat you on the shoulder and make you a cup of hot cocoa and we’ll work our way through this emotional journey together.” –- Mary-Catherine

The 2014 Holiday Catalog

We all agree that books make excellent gifts, but choosing the perfect book can be a trick. It's hard to keep up with the best new books across everyone's interests, but that's what you come to us for. We like to make it easy and fun to find the perfect book for the ones you love. To that end, we've broken down our featured titles by the kinds of readers we know you'll be buying for. 


All these books are available in the store and on display now. If you see anything you love here, add it to your cart and checkout using Pay In Store and Pick Up In Store. We'll pull your stack aside to be waiting when you arrive.