Meet Danielle, Store Buyer

As the buyer at Brazos, I turn my attention to at least a thousand books a day. I’m certainly not complaining, but when I sit down to do my own reading at night, I find that it takes something really special to grab my attention. Since I write it, my first love is and always has been literary fiction, and lately I’ve been gravitating toward works in translation and novels that are formally experimental or inventive. Of course all of that can sometimes seem a bit daunting at the end of a long day, so when I need to unwind I pick up one of our graphic novels, a new art or fashion monograph, or even one of our deluxe cookbooks to give my eyes a feast. My taste in nonfiction is pretty catholic: I love to read memoirs and biographies, especially of artists and writers, as well as books about music, film, culture, Eastern religion, and history. As the Brazos curator, I can say that if it’s on our shelves, I probably want to read it. My biggest reading problem these days is simply that there’s not enough time in a day to get it all done!

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Book List
ISBN-13: 9780812993806
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House, 1/2013

This ingenious collection challenged my preconceived notions about humor’s purpose in literature. Saunders’ stories elicit laughs that deepen readers’ empathy for and understanding of pressing social problems. I also love Saunders because he’s a great gateway drug for reluctant readers, especially the most difficult of customers: the teenaged boy.

Equilateral (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781620400067
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA, 4/2013

Haven’t you always wished there was a Joseph Conrad novel about a mad genius attempting to contact creatures on Mars? Kalfus can write just like a nineteenth-century master, but his focus is thoroughly modern. This very odd cautionary tale about hubris, the Sahara Desert, aliens, and, of course, triangles is a one-sitting read that will stick with you.

ISBN-13: 9780670026630
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Viking Adult, 3/2013

I’ve recommended this powerful novel to countless friends and family members, and I have yet to hear a word of complaint from any of them. Ozeki’s intertwined stories of a teenaged Japanese girl dealing with bullying and a rocky home life and the Canadian author who discovers her story are fresh, philosophically challenging, and emotionally raw.

ISBN-13: 9781594487958
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 5/2013

Ausubel’s story collection examines how the female body and its natural changes affect the way women think about themselves. Ausubel’s characters become pregnant with zoo animals, grow extra arms when they fall in love, and find friendly ghosts behind their houses, but despite all that strangeness, their concerns are rooted in the basic questions we all have about what it means to be human.

ISBN-13: 9781608195213
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA, 9/2013

Ward’s searing memoir examines the legacy of rural poverty and racial inequality in her small Mississippi hometown. Alternating chapters explore Ward’s own early life and the tragic deaths of a small crowd of men she lost--to drugs, suicide, murder, and plain bad luck--during a short period of her early adulthood. One of the finest memoirs I’ve ever read.

The Flamethrowers (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781439142004
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Scribner, 4/2013

This National Book Award-nominated novel follows tough, open-hearted heroine Reno across the Nevada salt flats on a motorcycle, up and down the streets of gritty 1970s New York, and, finally, all the way to Rome on the brink of a peoples’ revolution. I’ve never read anything quite like this mesmerizing meditation on class, speed, and the power of art.

The Faraway Nearby (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780670025961
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Adult, 6/2013

This meticulously-crafted collection of linked essays investigates how the stories we tell ourselves determine who we are. Solnit draws on her personal experiences--a stint at a writer’s retreat in Iceland, a long period of caring for her ailing mother, a traumatic illness--to examine how the empathy and imagination fostered by storytelling can connect us with one another and with the world in which we live.

The Color Master (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780307744197
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Anchor, 4/2014

Bender’s short stories have the lush, dream-like quality of modern fairy tales, but there’s more than a little menace lurking beneath their exquisitely-crafted surfaces. From the first story--the brutal, bite-sized “Apples”--to the last--the kaleidoscopic, heartbreaking titular story--you’ll remain quite happily under Bender’s linguistic spell.

ISBN-13: 9780062236678
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper, 11/2013

Patchett is best-known for bestselling novels like STATE OF WONDER and BEL CANTO, but she is also responsible for a stunning body of nonfiction work that she has published in magazines, journals, and online publications across the span of her career. This collection gathers the best of these, each on a subject dear to Patchett’s heart: her friends, her husband, her writing, her bookstore, and of course, her beloved dog.

Burial Rites (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780316243919
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company, 9/2013

This wrenching, gorgeous novel concerns the last woman to be executed in Iceland: a servant woman named Agnes Magnusdottir accused in 1829 of the murder of her master and one other man. An upstanding farm family and an inexperienced parish priest are charged with keeping Agnes for a few months prior to her execution and are forced as a result to reexamine their long-held prejudices about class, guilt, morality, and love.