General blog posts

Dancers More Akin to Gladiators: An Interview with Leila Guerriero and Frances Riddle

To think that one of the most moving books I would read this year would be about a dance contest—an obscure, Argentine, dance contest, no less—is very surprising. But A SIMPLE STORY, written by celebrated Argentinean journalist Leila Guerriero is just that: an incredible book about a little-known dance, the Malambo, and the contest that occurs every year in a small, provincial town in Argentina. It is brief, stunning, and powerful, a book that deals with obsession, humility, social class, and the physical challenges of mastering a dance that can quite literally destroy a person’s body.

A Simple Story: The Last Malambo Cover Image
By Leila Guerriero, Frances Riddle (Translator)
ISBN: 9780811226004
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - February 7th, 2017

Explore the World at Brazos!

No need to leave Houston for spring break—you can travel the world at your neighborhood bookstore! Join us for a week of family programming dedicated to exploring the globe. We’ll have a new in-store activity each day of the week, and also some special events, all celebrating the diversity of Houston!

Subscribe to Brazos Best

Join our all new #BrazosBest subscription service! Sign up for 6 months or 12 months of new paperback titles, hand-picked by the Brazos staff, from major publishers AND indie presses, from established writers AND exciting newcomers, from American authors AND translation sensations! All delivered direct to your home every month! Never miss a book!

(Note: subscription begins the month AFTER you sign up.)

SKU: BrazosBest6

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Annalia Gives Good Gifts

Little Bot and Sparrow Cover Image
By Jake Parker, Jake Parker (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781626723672
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Roaring Brook Press - September 27th, 2016

Absolutely on Music: Conversations Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385354349
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - November 15th, 2016

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

An evening with Mary Beard at Christ Church Cathedral

"The beginning of empire and the beginning of literature were two sides of the same coin.”



Join us for an evening with renowned historian and author Mary Beard on September 18 at 7:30pm. With her signature wit and immense knowledge, Beard will discuss her work as a classical scholar and her newest book, S.P.Q.R.: A HISTORY OF ANCIENT ROME. We hope to see you there!

A Debut Author Raises a Glass!

Let’s set the scene:

You’re a debut author. It’s the magic hour—that time in the afternoon when the sun has set but light still dusts the sky. After years of struggle, your first book is forthcoming, about to enter the world. Tomorrow, there will be time for more stress—for interviews, for readings, for sleeping on couches as you tour the country and share your work with the world…but for now, take a deep breath, put on some music, and grab yourself a drink. It’s time to relax. It’s time to reflect. It’s time for #debooze.

In #debooze, we ask a debut author to reflect on his/her road to publication, and to also recommend some booze.

The Debut: Will Chancellor's A BRAVE MAN SEVEN STOREYS TALL

The Booze: Margaritas


This book began 18 years ago on my first day of college. I was seated at a conference table with a dozen other nervous freshmen in our Grand Survey of Civilization! seminar. The professor puts up a slide of a bronze statue, tells us it's Poseidon, and asks what we think. Everyone looks down and starts picking at their denim. Except this one guy, this six-eight blonde water polo player raises his arm and says,

—I don't think it's very accurate.

The professor looks puzzled and says,

—That's an interesting choice of words. It's a statue of a god, what do you mean it's not 'accurate'?

—Well, I always thought Poseidon would look like me.

Some part of me registered how radically other this psychology was. I kept circling back to the question, 'Who the hell says something like that?'

After college, I tried to become an environmental lawyer. I worked at Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund, but was dispirited by how decades of hard-won battles can be undone with an executive order. Then I thought that I would approach global environmental policy through the more translatable fields of epidemiology, chemistry and physics—the coolest work at Earthjustice was done by the scientists. So I moved to Austin to finish some prerequisite courses for an MPH/MD.

But that comment kept coming back to me. And at this point I was more interested in translating Homer, talking ideas with friends at Spiderhouse, Mojo's and Dolce Vita, and learning Russian—chiefly to help me better understand the Slavic novels I was buying by the armful at Half Price Books.

Fucking Half Price Books. Very frequently, I decided to buy books rather than food. If I caught sight of the turquoise spine of a Penguin Twentieth Century Classic, I was done. I remember spending my last penny on THE RAZOR’S EDGE, looking at the calendar and realizing I was ten days away from a paycheck, which meant I would have to scrounge for food in the house.

As it turned out, the only 'food' that was mine was a half-dozen leftover canisters of Minute Maid Limeade. For a syrupy week, I ate frozen limeade concentrate with a spoon. And read Somerset Maugham.

How did those Limeade canisters get there in the first place? Glad you asked. Turns out that the perfect margarita calls for concentrate.

Perfect Margarita (cheap):
-one canister limeade
-six ounces of rail tequila
-splash of triple sec

Blend high until slushy

Salt the hell out of the rim

Perfect Margarita (fancy)*:
-2 oz Single Estate Ocho Silver (Tequila)
-3/4 oz Luxardo Triplum (Triple Sec)
-3/4 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice
-1/4 oz Del Maguey Iberico (Mezcal)

Shaken with fresh ice and strained into a rocks glass

*Thanks to KJ for the secret recipe

Go Local

Eight Great Reasons to Shop at Locally-Owned Businesses

  1. Significantly more money re-circulates in your community when purchases are made at locally owned, rather than nationally owned businesses. Locally owned businesses help keep more money in your community because local business owners spend more of the profits of their business where they live and locally owned businesses purchase from other local businesses.
  2. Most new jobs are provided by locally owned businesses: Small, local businesses are the largest employer nationally.
  3. Local business owners invest in community: Local businesses are owned by people who live locally and are more invested in your community's future.
  4. Customer service is better: Local businesses often hire people with more specific expertise for better customer service.
  5. Reduced environmental impact: Shopping at locally owned businesses is more energy efficient. Locally owned businesses make more local purchases, thus reducing their transportation costs (and environmental impact).
  6. Public benefits far outweigh public costs: Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
  7. Encourages investment in your community: A growing body of economic research shows that entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.
  8. Non-profits receive greater support: Non-profit organizations receive an average of 350% greater support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses. 

Brazos LOVES this article about "Keeping It Local"