The Brazos Book Club
Brazos Bookstore store manager Mark Haber leads a freestyle conversation about a wide variety of books, fiction and non-. Attending group members choose the book for the next month at the end of each meeting. No need to worry if you haven't read this month's book. All are welcome!
Click below to purchase or hold a copy of this month's book to pick up at the bookstore.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18 -- 7 PM
“I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also a man of two minds. I am not some misunderstood mutant from a comic book or a horror movie, although some have treated me as such. I am simply able to see any issue from both sides.”
The Sympathizer is the debut novel by Vietnamese American author and professor Viet Than Nguyen, about a South Vietnamese spy during the fall of Saigon in 1975 and the Government’s subsequent exile to Los Angeles. The unnamed narrator’s story, told as a confession in a political prison, attempts to make sense of his duplicitous lifestyle, the horrors he witnessed during his “work,” and his attempt to reconcile them within his own mind. A spy novel, a war novel, an immigrant novel, and a political novel, The Sympathizer gives American audiences a chance to gain a new perspective on the war, one that is in contrast to the one provided by Hollywood myth makers.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22 -- 7 PM
Marigold Green calls herself 'hideous, quaint and barmy'. Other people calle her Bilgewater, a corruption of Bill's daughter. Growing up in a boys' school where her father is housemaster, she is convinced of her own plainness and peculiarity. Groomed by the wise and loving Paula, upstaged by bad, beautiful Grace and ripe for seduction by the wrong sort of boy, she suffers extravagantly and comically in her pilgrimage through the turbulent, twilight world of alarming adolescence. Part campus novel, part coming-of-age, BILGEWATER, an early work by Jane Gardam, is a wonderful story and a promise of what's to come.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15 - 7 PM
"Luiselli follows in the imaginative tradition of writers like Borges and Marquez, but her style and concerns are unmistakably her own. This deeply playful novel is about the passion and obsession of collecting, the nature of storytelling, the value of objects, and the complicated bonds of family. . . Luiselli has become a writer to watch, in part because it's truly hard to know (but exciting to wonder about) where she will go next." —The New York Times
I was born in Pachuca, the Beautiful Windy City, with four premature teeth and my body completely covered in a very fine coat of fuzz. But I'm grateful for that inauspicious start because ugliness, as my other uncle, Euripides Lopez Sanchez, was given to saying, is character forming.
Highway is a late-in-life world traveler, yarn spinner, collector, and legendary auctioneer. His most precious possessions are the teeth of the "notorious infamous" like Plato, Petrarch, and Virginia Woolf. Written in collaboration with the workers at a Jumex juice factory, Teeth is an elegant, witty, exhilarating romp through the industrial suburbs of Mexico City and Luiselli's own literary influences.
Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983 and grew up in South Africa. Her work has been translated into many languages and has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Granta, and McSweeney's. Her novel, The Story of My Teeth is the Winner of the LA Times Book Prize in Fiction.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18 -- 7 PM
Fate, memory and the inevitability of chance make up this brilliant novel. Told in five books, each story leads to a different death of the same unnamed woman protagonist. Ultimately, a brilliant and subversive novel about the infinite paths a single life can take, asking questions as eternal as, 'what if a life took another direction?' Award winning author Jenny Erpenbeck delivers a profound novel that mirrors the trials of 20th century Europe.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16TH -- 7 PM
Mohsin Hamid's third novel, HOW TO GET FILTHY RICH IN RISING ASIA, is an immensely readable book that wears its heart on its sleeve. Told in the second person, the reader learns the rags-to-riches story of the protagonist in a structure that mimics the genre of self-help books. Yet, this tactic is no cheap gimmick, but a window into the world. Playful and inventive, wickedly smart and immensely contemporary, Hamid shows the massive role money and status plays in contemporary life, like it or not.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19TH -- 7 PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 -- 7 PM
A work of perfect symmetry, PALE FIRE, Vladimir Nabokov's second best-known work, is part poem, part prose. A wickedly funny and sly indictment of academia, Dr. Charles Kinbote 'saves' the great poet, John Shade's final poem from oblivion. But has he saved it? Is the poem saying what Kinbote claims? One of the most original and strange works from a master prose stylist, as well as an examination of literary idolatry, PALE FIRE is simply a masterpiece of invention.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17 -- 7 PM
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20 -- 7 PM
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15 -- 7 PM
Our Big Summer Book Club begins! Read pages 1-349 for this meeting.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 18 -- 7 PM
A timeless masterpiece about a young shopgirl in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. Vivid, stream-of-conscious and utterly essential, THE TIME OF THE DOVES shines light on the indirect and psychological scars inherited from war. Gabriel Garcia Marquez learned Catalan specifically to read this book in its original language.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13 -- 7 PM
Written with the style and verve of a seasoned author, Rachel Kushner's second novel, THE FLAMETHROWERS is a sensual and savage work by an important voice in American fiction. Reno, the young motorcycle-obsessed narrator, heads to New York City in the 1970's to pursue art. From there I won't give any more away, except to say this book dazzles. From the Salt Flats of Utah to Italy, it's part coming-of-age, part revolution and all doused with an obsession for language. THE FLAMETHROWERS is a motorcycle in complete control of its destination, no matter how close it veers towards the abyss. It's a literary marvel.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16 -- 7PM
Winner of the Man Booker Prize, THE SENSE OF AN ENDING tells the story of Tony Webster, a middle-aged man content in his life, until a friend from his past arrives unannounced. Riveting, emotionally charged and unforgettable, this compact novel deals with friendship, family and one’s own sense of their place in the world. THE SENSE OF AN ENDING displays Julian Barnes at his magnificent best.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 -- 7 PM
Flaubert's masterwork, SENTIMENTAL EDUCATION, tells the story of Frederic Moreau and his passion for Mme Arnoux. Based partly on Flaubert's youthful infatuation with an older married woman, the novel is a portrayal of a society, at which the author looks deeply and thoroughly--and does not flinch. Blending love story, historical authenticity, and satire, SENTIMENTAL EDUCATION is one of the great French novels of the nineteenth century.