Brazos Best 2016

Article by staff

Yep, you got us: we love books here.

Throughout 2016, we picked a book each month that multiple staff members adored, and we labeled it “Brazos Best,” featuring it on the front counter for weeks. This was a way for us to give a quick taste of Brazos to new customers, and to make great recommendations to all our regulars. This year, we featured books translated from many different languages (Spanish, Russian, Korean); books from exciting small publishers (New Directions, Pushkin Press, Catapult, Unnamed Press, Two Dollar Radio); books from young authors (Danielle Dutton) and established masters (Svetlana Alexievich); and even the debut novel by our own marketing director, Ben (ahem, nepotism anyone?).

To feature these books on our website, we engineered a series of original features, from reviews to staff chats to interviews with the authors. Find the list of 2016 Brazos Best books and features below, and stop into the store this holiday season to pick up a box set of the whole collection. It makes a great gift for somebody who doesn’t know about your neighborhood bookstore!

Get all ten of the 2016 Brazos Best featured titles for 20% off. Tax is included in the $140 price.

The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse (Pushkin Collection) Cover Image
By Ivan Repila, Sophie Hughes (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781782271017
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Pushkin Collection - November 24th, 2015

January: Ben and Mark, Down in the Well…

“It’s part fable, part allegory. There are two boys in the well, Big and Small. We don’t know why they’re there, but they can’t get out. It becomes a myth-like story of love, humanity, and the struggle to survive. With customers, I’ve called it ‘haunting and beautiful.’” —Mark

The Vegetarian: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101906118
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Hogarth - August 23rd, 2016

February: Lose Weight! Lose Your Mind

“Her dreams start off the whole thing of her becoming a vegetarian. And it’s creepy to watch her slip into madness and how her family reacts to that.”

Staff Pick Badge
Margaret the First Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936787357
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - March 15th, 2016

March: Intangible Consciousness: A Q&A with Danielle Dutton

“Dutton’s novel, almost a fictionalized diary, alternately in Margaret’s own voice or that of a detached observer watching this brilliant woman work, gives a gorgeous realism and immediacy to Margaret’s longings, cravings, and intellectual agonizing.”

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312425845
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Picador USA - April 18th, 2006

April: Painting with Water on the Walls

“Well, there was no one Chernobyl experience. That’s what comes through. [This book seems] to capture the essence more than the historical structure of the event.”

Night Prayers Cover Image
By Santiago Gamboa, Howard Curtis (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781609453114
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Europa Editions - March 1st, 2016

May: See the World with Santiago Gamboa's NIGHT PRAYERS

“For all the conversational tone, it’s a dense, complex novel, with a lot of points. And there’s always that sinister backdrop behind things. Things can get a lot worse really quickly.”

The Sadness Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939419705
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Unnamed Press - June 14th, 2016

June: In Pursuit of the Real Benjamin Rybeck

“In my book, yes, a character named Max is obsessed with cinema to the point where it’s all he sees when he looks out into the world. I used to be that bad, but I’m not that bad anymore (I don’t think, though I do still sometimes imagine a camera tracking in front of me when I walk through the grocery store).”

Grief Is the Thing with Feathers: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977412
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - June 7th, 2016

July: Brazos Best is the Thing with Feathers

“It’s a polyvocal novel. It has a lot of different voices speaking in it. It’s also a very human story, and its universality lets you connect with it in the intense way you often connect with lyrical books. GRIEF IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS made me think a lot of poetry, especially whenever the boys speak—they seem to be in a Greek chorus. And the verbal acrobatics of the crow: very poetic.”

A Bestiary Cover Image
ISBN: 9780996316743
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Cleveland State University Poetry Center - April 15th, 2016

August: Lily Hoang Does Not Sleep

“When I call Hoang, she knows that I have read her book, which means I know what kind of sex she likes (rough), the name of her best best friend (Dorothy), all of her hate (and love) for her Vietnamese parents. I know about her abusive ex-husband and her abusive on-again, off-again boyfriend, the fling she had in Albuquerque; I know that she masturbates every day. In other words, I already know everything I want to know, more than I deserve to know.”

Vampire in Love Cover Image
ISBN: 9780811223461
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions - September 27th, 2016

September: Vila-Matas Stories Translated at Last

“Vila-Matas is one of the most celebrated writers in Europe. His work has been translated into over thirty languages. His novels, artful and experimental and mixed with a strong tradition of storytelling, are ideal for anyone who’s a fan of Paul Auster, J.M. Coetzee, or Roberto Bolaño.”

The Gloaming Cover Image
ISBN: 9781937512477
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Two Dollar Radio - September 20th, 2016

October: A Rock-n-Roll Indie Press

“It’s definitely a psychological thriller, all wrapped up in how people punish themselves, mentally as well as physically. And I love how the book occupies the sweet spot between intellectual heft and also just page-turning thrills.”

Article Type Terms: