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General blog posts

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.


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.

Lying to Children: A Meditation on Banned YA Fiction

At the end of the day, censorship of children’s books is almost always about one--or all--of four things: Sex. Religion. Language. Violence. That’s basically what it comes down to. (Note that I put violence last. That’s because people complain about the least, which is its own story for another day). For librarians and teachers, it can be a complex issue to keep books on shelves, to support and encourage free speech and sharing of ideas while at the same time respecting the standards of the community, whatever that means to those who use the phrase.

#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: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
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

Not Conjectures but Delusions: A Q&A with Mauro Javier Cardenas

There are certain novels that announce their significance in simple and subtle ways: the style, the language, the sense of entering a space you haven’t been before. When starting THE REVOLUTIONARIES TRY AGAIN, the debut novel by Mauro Javier Cardenas, I found myself returning to the first few pages over and over again, mostly to grasp what was taking place and to keep my footing. Important books demand this. Important books insist that you adjust your thinking, sometimes even your reading habits, because the space you’re entering is something wholly new. Think THE AUTUMN OF THE PATRIARCH.

The Revolutionaries Try Again Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566894463
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - September 6th, 2016

THE REVOLUTIONARIES TRY AGAIN goes on sale September 6, 2016.


Gifts Spotlight : Introducing poppin and Elum

I love September. It’s my birthday month, and also the time that everyone goes back to school—which means NEW OFFICE SUPPLIES! As a buyer, there is nothing more exciting to me than when a box from a new vendor arrives at the store and the rest of the staff crowds around to see what's inside.

$14.00
SKU: 846680028220

$11.00
SKU: 846680056117


With Elum, I like that their products are quirky but still beautiful. The large square memo pad stands out because of its size and its abstract pansy background. On the top in copper foil, it says, “This is the bucket list, at least for today.” It's functional and fun, which is what I think desk items should be. Like the memo pad, the notebook is large and funky but it lays flat so it's not fussy.


$10.00
SKU: x3062

$10.00
SKU: x3063

Basically, there will always be things that need to get done. Why not make it less stressful by having office supplies that reward you for finishing things?


Prior to her position as the gift buyer at Brazos Bookstore, Ülrika Moats spent eight years working as a corporate visual merchandiser and district manager.


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