Features

General blog posts

Staycation in the Bayou City: Spring Break for the Whole Family!

Mark your calendars for a Brazos Bookstore Kids’ Treehouse weeklong family-friendly extravaganza of all things Houston! From stories to crafts to yummy themed-snacks, special guests, and a few surprises, this is going to be one fantastic Houston Proud Spring Break week of fun (events all-ages unless otherwise noted). Click on each date below to go to the event page.

Saturday, March 10 @10:30am

To Not Be Afraid of Negative Emotions: Analicia Sotelo’s VIRGIN

The speakers in Analicia Sotelo’s poems want, need, to tell you who they are. “I am a Mexican American fascinator,” one speaker says.

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
The Story of My Teeth Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566894098
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - September 15th, 2015

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin Poets) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143133186
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 19th, 2018

When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (A. Poulin) Cover Image
By Chen Chen, Jericho Brown (Foreword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781942683339
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: BOA Editions - April 11th, 2017


What Joanna Demkiewicz Is Reading:  


Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class Cover Image
By Michelle Tea (Editor)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781580056663
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now
Published: Seal Press (CA) - February 27th, 2018

Property: Stories Between Two Novellas Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062697936
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now
Published: Harper - April 24th, 2018

Future Home of the Living God Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062694058
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - November 14th, 2017

An Incredible Era: Mark Interviews Daniel Peña

Houston-based writer Daniel Peña's debut Bang! is a thrilling novel involving drug cartels, a plane crash and the fate of being born on one side (or the other) of the border. I had the chance to ask Daniel some questions about his exciting novel, from inspiration to translated writers to books a writer reads while writing their own book.


Mark: Were there certain writers or books that inspired you when writing Bang?

A Black History Month Book List

February is Black HIstory Month –– as well as the anniversary month of Trayvon Martin's death. Below, find a list of a few of our favorite books regarding our country's relationship to race and color. From poetry to essays to history, this list is only a start. Don't see anything you're looking for? Swing by the store and ask for more recommendations!

A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780807075876
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beacon Press - January 30th, 2018

In A More Beautiful and Terrible History award-winning historian Jeanne Theoharis dissects this national myth-making, teasing apart the accepted stories to show them in a strikingly different light. We see Rosa Parks not simply as a bus lady but a lifelong criminal justice activist and radical; Martin Luther King, Jr. as not only challenging Southern sheriffs but Northern liberals, too; and Coretta Scott King not only as a "helpmate" but a lifelong economic justice and peace activist who pushed her husband's activism in these directions.

By showing us the complex reality of the movement, the power of its organizing, and the beauty and scope of the vision, Theoharis proves that there was nothing natural or inevitable about the progress that occurred. A More Beautiful and Terrible History will change our historical frame, revealing the richness of our civil rights legacy, the uncomfortable mirror it holds to the nation, and the crucial work that remains to be done.


100 Amazing Facts about the Negro Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9780307908711
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon Books - October 24th, 2017

For African Americans of the Jim Crow era, Rogers's was their first black history teacher. But Rogers was not always shy about embellishing the "facts" and minimizing ambiguity; neither was he above shock journalism now and then.

With elan and erudition--and with winning enthusiasm--Henry Louis Gates, Jr. gives us a corrective yet loving homage to Roger's work. Relying on the latest scholarship, Gates leads us on a romp through African, diasporic, and African-American history in question-and-answer format. Among the one hundred questions: Who were Africa's first ambassadors to Europe? Who was the first black president in North America? Did Lincoln really free the slaves? Who was history's wealthiest person? What percentage of white Americans have recent African ancestry? Why did free black people living in the South before the end of the Civil War stay there? Who was the first black head of state in modern Western history? Where was the first Underground Railroad? Who was the first black American woman to be a self-made millionaire? Which black man made many of our favorite household products better?


The New Jim Crow Cover Image
By Michelle Alexander, Cornel West (Introduction by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781595586438
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Press - January 16th, 2012

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control--relegating millions to a permanent second-class status--even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action."

Called "stunning" by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Levering Lewis, "invaluable" by the Daily Kos, "explosive" by Kirkus, and "profoundly necessary" by the Miami Herald, this updated and revised paperback edition of The New Jim Crow, now with a foreword by Cornel West, is a must-read for all people of conscience.


When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250171085
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 16th, 2018

From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors' story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.


The Souls of Black Folk (Restless Classics) Cover Image
By W. E. B. Du Bois, Vann Newkirk (Introduction by), Steve Prince (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781632060976
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Restless Books - February 14th, 2017

Restless Classics presents The Souls of Black Folk W. E. B. Du Bois's seminal work of sociology, with searing insights into our complex, corrosive relationship with race and the African-American consciousness. Reconsidered for the era of Obama, Trump, and Black Lives Matter, the new edition includes an incisive introduction from rising cultural critic Vann R. Newkirk II and stunning illustrations by the artist Steve Prince.


The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501126352
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - June 20th, 2017

In this bestselling, widely lauded collection, Jesmyn Ward gathers our most original thinkers and writers to speak on contemporary racism and race, including Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Edwidge Danticat, Kevin Young, Claudia Rankine, and Honoree Jeffers. "An absolutely indispensable anthology" (Booklist, starred review), The Fire This Timeshines a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestles with our current predicament, and imagines a better future.


Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment Cover Image
By Angela J. Davis (Editor)
$27.95
ISBN: 9781101871270
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon Books - July 11th, 2017

A comprehensive, readable analysis of the key issues of the Black Lives Matter movement, this thought-provoking and compelling anthology features essays by some of the nation's most influential and respected criminal justice experts and legal scholars.

Policing the Black Man explores and critiques the many ways the criminal justice system impacts the lives of African American boys and men at every stage of the criminal process, from arrest through sentencing. Essays range from an explication of the historical roots of racism in the criminal justice system to an examination of modern-day police killings of unarmed black men. 


The Underground Railroad Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780345804327
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - January 30th, 2018

As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman's will to escape the horrors of bondage--and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.


They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781937512651
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Dollar Radio - November 7th, 2017

In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Hanif Abdurraqib's is a voice that matters. Whether he's attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown's grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly.


Staff Pick Logo
The Sellout Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250083258
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - March 1st, 2016

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality--the black Chinese restaurant.


Sing, Unburied, Sing Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501126062
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - September 5th, 2017

In Jesmyn Ward's first novel since her National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi's past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power--and limitations--of family bonds.


Silencer Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781328715548
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - September 5th, 2017

A suburban park, church, a good job, a cocktail party for the literati: to many, these sound like safe places, but for a young black man these insular spaces don't keep out the news--and the actual threat--of gun violence and police brutality, or the biases that keeps body, property, and hope in the crosshairs. Continuing conversations begun by Citizenand Between the World and MeSilencer sings out the dangers of unspoken taboos present on quiet Midwestern cul-de-sacs and in stifling professional settings, the dangers in closing the window on "a rainbow coalition of cops doing calisthenics around/a six-foot, three-hundred-fifty-pound man, choked back into the earth for what/looked a lot, to me, like sport." 


Olio Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781940696201
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wave Books - April 5th, 2016

Part fact, part fiction, Tyehimba Jess's much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them.


Keaton's February Buyer's Corner

 

Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days in August Cover Image
By Oliver Hilmes, Jefferson Chase (Translator)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781590519295
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Other Press (NY) - February 6th, 2018

Essays on World Literature: Aeschylus - Dante - Shakespeare Cover Image
By Ismail Kadare, Ani Kokobobo (Translator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781632061744
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Restless Books - February 20th, 2018

The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780385542760
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - February 20th, 2018

Only Killers and Thieves Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062690968
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - February 6th, 2018

Where the Dead Sit Talking Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781616958879
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Press - February 20th, 2018

No Urge to Look Away: Sara Interviews Author Francisco Cantú

In preparation for Francisco Cantú's visit to Brazos Bookstore on February 7, we sat down for an interview about his new book, THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER. Cantú's artful, human look at the border between the US and Mexico comes out next week. We can't wait to share it with everyone! 


Sara: When did you get the sense that this project would become a book? When did you start writing?

The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735217713
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - February 6th, 2018

One Year Later: An Inauguration Book List

It has been 12 months since the inauguration of Donald Trump as president. And really, what a year it's been, for the United States, for the book world, and for Houston in particular. We've put together a list of the books that have gotten us through the year as staff members and as a store. Take a look!

The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781594634536
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - October 3rd, 2017

Winner of the National Book Award in nonfiction, Gessen's THE FUTURE IS HISTORY follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each of them came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own--as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers, sexual and social beings.

Powerful and urgent, this book is a cautionary tale for our time and for all time.


Women & Power: A Manifesto Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781631494758
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - December 12th, 2017

Beard’s primary subject is female silence; she hopes to take a “long view on the culturally awkward relationship between the voice of women and the public sphere of speech-making, debate and comment”, the better to get beyond “the simple diagnosis of misogyny that we tend a bit lazily to fall back on." Calling out misogyny isn’t, she understands, the same thing as explaining it, and it’s only by doing the latter that we’re likely ever to find an effective means of combating it.

(from the review in The Guardian)


Courage Is Contagious: And Other Reasons to Be Grateful for Michelle Obama Cover Image
By Nick Haramis (Editor), Lena Dunham (Foreword by), Jenni Konner (Foreword by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780399592614
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Lenny - October 24th, 2017

Mrs. Obama was not only our first black first lady; she was President Obama's equal partner in marriage and parenthood and a tireless advocate for women's rights, education, healthy eating, and exercise. COURAGE IS CONTAGIOUS features original testimonials from Gloria Steinem, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Alice Waters, and Charlamagne tha God, among others.


Citizen: An American Lyric Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781555976903
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 7th, 2014

In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary society. From oft-heard claims of "post-racial society" to the rise in race-based hate crimes, Rankine book chronicles racial aggressions in our country and continues to be a necessary read.


On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780804190114
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tim Duggan Books - February 28th, 2017

The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century.

We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.


Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781555977917
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - November 14th, 2017

Award-winning poet and critic Kevin Young tours us through a rogue's gallery of hoaxers, plagiarists, forgers, and fakers--from the humbug of P. T. Barnum and Edgar Allan Poe to the unrepentant bunk of JT LeRoy and Donald J. Trump. Disturbingly, Young finds that fakery is woven from stereotype and suspicion, race being the most insidious American hoax of all.


When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250171085
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 16th, 2018

From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors' story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love.


The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735217713
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - February 6th, 2018

For Francisco Cantu, the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Cantu joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners are posted to remote regions crisscrossed by drug routes and smuggling corridors, where they learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. They haul in the dead and deliver to detention those they find alive. Cantu tries not to think where the stories go from there.

Searing and unforgettable, The Line Becomes a River makes urgent and personal the violence our border wreaks on both sides of the line.

Plus, we can't wait to host Francisco Cantu on February 7. Preorder your book now and join us for this free in-store event!


We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399590566
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - October 3rd, 2017

"We were eight years in power" was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South.

In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America's "first white president."


March, Women, March: How Women Won the Vote Cover Image
By Lucinda Hawksley, Helen Pankhurst (Foreword by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9780233005256
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Andre Deutsch - January 2nd, 2018

March, Women, March explores the women's movement in Britain, and the courageous rebels who refused to accept their exclusion from political life. Beginning with the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women in 1792 and moving to the suffragettes of the early twentieth century and beyond, Lucinda Hawksley traces the fight for equal rights. Her fascinating narrative incorporates diary extracts and letters that bring the movement's main protagonists back to life, and examines how suffragettes were portrayed in literature, art, and the contemporary media.


Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780465094684
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Basic Books - April 25th, 2017

In this new book from Rice Professor and eminent scholar of the South, we meet Jefferson the politician and political thinker –– as well as Jefferson the architect, scientist, bibliophile, paleontologist, musician, and gourmet. We witness him drafting of the Declaration of Independence, negotiating the Louisiana Purchase, and inventing a politics that emphasized the states over the federal government –– a political philosophy that shapes our national life to this day.


The Last of the Tsars: Nicholas II and the Russia Revolution Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781681775012
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pegasus Books - September 5th, 2017

This past year reached the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, so how could we leave Service's book out?

The Last of the Tsars is a masterful study of a man who was almost entirely out of his depth, perhaps even willfully so. It is also a compelling account of the social, economic and political ferment in Russia that followed the February Revolution, the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 and the beginnings of Lenin's Soviet socialist republic.


Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781524733131
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 7th, 2017

A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie's letter of response.

This pocket-sized letter, written as fifteen suggestions, creates a warm and compelling set of directives for women in the 21st century.


Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump's America Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250155504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - October 3rd, 2017

NASTY WOMEN is more than a gift book capitalizing on the zeitgeist; it's a collection of thoughtful and inspiring essays from a diverse group of talented women writers who seek to provide a broad look at how we got here and what we need to do to move forward. Take a look at the incredible essays included, from pieces by Rebecca Solnit and Cheryl Strayed to Samantha Irby and Jill Filipovic.


Homespun Monsters and Bandit Specters: Stefan Merrill Block on Texas Identity

One winter, six years ago, I drove a borrowed car down a rutted path that wound into a cedar valley of the Texas Hill Country. The land around me – with its dusty flats, its hidden meadows of bunch grass and prickly pear, its vultures wheeling in the sky— looked like some Hollywood set of archetypal Texas. This was Paisano Ranch, home to a storied and uniquely isolating fellowship program for writers. For six months at a time, a single Texas author is given the 250-acre property, along with its humble ranch house, which once belonged to the late folklorist J Frank Dobie.

Staff Chat: Ben, Keaton, and Mark Talk Denis Johnson

Ben: Denis Johnson’s posthumous story collection is coming out January 16!

Mark: Which you read and said was amazing.

BR: Which was really really good.

Keaton : LARGESSE OF THE SEA MAIDEN!

Pages