Dispatch from the Buyer

Article by keaton

A monthly report of book miscellany and a look ahead at the titles we can’t wait for you to read.

The Miscellany

“What makes a book great?”

Forget awards hype and the endless arguments over wins and snubs. It gets us nowhere. Forget bestseller lists. They’ve never been reliable indicators of quality writing anyway.

No, the true measure of literary greatness is much more personal than any of that.

Great books become a part of you. They are empathy machines, causing emotional, even visceral responses. They take you somewhere else. You get drunk on the language, whether the prose is lyrical and flowing, or sparse and unadorned. You feel the author’s love for words.

And you can’t help but share in that love.

Of course, different people, even when reading the same book, have wholly unique experiences. However, when you do find that next life-changing novel or work of nonfiction, you know it. That’s one thing all readers have in common.

Still, you have to get that book in your hands first--no easy task with the seemingly endless array of choices before readers.

That’s where we come in.

As the book buyer for Brazos, I have the privilege of seeing upcoming new releases well before anyone else. In the process, I wade through thousands of titles in every conceivable genre, from huge publishing houses to the smallest indie micropresses, on the lookout for those particular books that strive toward the ideals listed above.

On top of that, our booksellers are constantly listening to what you, the reader, want--even if you’re not quite sure what that is exactly.

We do this because it is our responsibility as booksellers to help you find that next great book.

And we love our job.


The Preview

Not sure where to begin your reading in 2015? Here are some of our early favorites coming out this January. Keep an eye out for these titles next time you visit!

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385352956
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - January 27th, 2015

A bestseller overseas, this uproarious French satire follows the exploits of an incorrigible rapscallion from rural India on a jaunt across Europe that begins--you guessed it--when he’s inadvertently locked inside an IKEA Wardrobe.

For fans of Candide, A Confederacy of Dunces, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, and other comic novels with absurdly long titles.

Staff Pick Badge
The Just City (Thessaly #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765332660
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: Tor Books - January 13th, 2015

In this ingenious blend of sci-fi, mythology, and philosophy, Pallas Athene collects children and teachers from throughout human history to populate the titular city--her version of the utopia from Plato’s Republic. It’s perfect until Sokrates starts asking troublesome questions.

For fans of The Bone Clocks, Gods Without Men, The Golem and the Jinni, American Gods, Station Eleven

Leaving Before the Rains Come Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594205866
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: Penguin Press - January 22nd, 2015

Memoir master Fuller finds strength and confidence in her African roots after a painful divorce throws her life into a tailspin. Retreating to her homeland and delving into her past, she comes to terms with her present and finds hope in an uncertain future.

For fans of Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, The Year of Magical Thinking, Wild, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393244076
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 19th, 2015

A noted Civil War expert turns his focus to the hidden story behind the Underground Railroad. Drawing on newly discovered information, Foner goes beyond the myth and reveals the intricate network of determined individuals who help spirit thousands to freedom.

For fans of The Fiery Trial, Rebel Yell, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, A People’s History of the United States

One Thousand Things Worth Knowing: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374227128
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - January 13th, 2015

A new, wide-ranging collection from one of the most respected and inventive of contemporary poets, filled with Muldoon’s trademark wit and enigmatic wordplay.

For fans of Seamus Heaney, Lewis Carroll, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery

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