Poolside Drink and Nonfiction Pairings

Article by Danielle

When you think about summer, what image pops into your head? A beautiful, sunny travel destination? A lazy day with the family? A big, white beach umbrella? At Brazos, summer means two things: a delicious drink and a great book. We know a great deal about both, so allow us to recommend some fun pairings that are sure to enhance your warm-weather relaxation all summer long. -Danielle

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393081572
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 1st, 2013


If you’ve never read a Mary Roach book, we think it’s time. She is without doubt the funniest science writer out there, and in her latest, GULP, she’ll serve up every gross detail you’d ever want to know about your alimentary canal and then some. You’ll want a cold glass of water on hand to quell occasional nausea, and perhaps also because this book will inspire you to take better care of your health!

Mumbai New York Scranton: A Memoir Cover Image
By Tamara Shopsin, Jason Fulford (Photographer)
ISBN: 9781451687415
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Scribner Book Company - March 12th, 2013


Here’s a creative, charming portrait of several turbulent months in an extraordinary young woman’s life that would go perfectly with a sweet, nostalgic drink. Artist and illustrator Shopsin travels to Mumbai with her husband and suffers what she thinks is food poisoning, until she returns to the States and discovers that she has a brain tumor. Thankfully, she approaches it with good humor, survives, and fully recovers to write this book, which is part travelogue, part memoir, and part miscellany. Despite the occasionally harrowing subject matter, this book is never maudlin. In fact, I found myself smiling the whole way through.

Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9781610391924
Availability: Out of Print - Not Available for Order
Published: PublicAffairs - April 23rd, 2013


Let’s face it, there are a lot of Lone Star State naysayers. It’s rare to find a perspective on our state that’s not polarizing. However, here’s a book about the genius of Texas that’s being lauded by pundits and personalities on both sides of the aisle, written by a brilliant Texas Monthly senior editor who knows her stuff. If, in this unrelenting heat, you need to be reminded why Texas is one of the greatest and fastest-growing states in our nation, crack open a local brew and sit a spell with this one! It just might change the way you think about home!

Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393239324
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 10th, 2013


So, okay, we can’t make transatlantic journeys to far-flung destinations every summer. However, let us recommend the next best thing: Tim Parks’s travel writing on Italy. Parks’s latest puts the culture and history of his favorite country in the context of its extensive rail system, which Parks uses to crisscross the country in search of stories and adventure. With the eye of a novelist and the ear of a poet, Parks delivers a brilliant, pitch-perfect travelogue that’s sure to keep you cool by the pool (as long as you keep a well-chilled glass of vino at your side).

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The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374102418
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 21st, 2013


Okay, we admit it. This last one is NOT a beach book. However, we’ve heard so much about George Packer’s latest, which is being heralded as a non-fiction masterpiece by basically everyone who’s anyone, that we had to include it on this list. However, we must warn you: you’ll want something stiff to throw back every few chapters. Packer’s autopsy of an America on the decline will likely leave you fretting if you’re anything like us. Packer’s genius is in telling this huge, complex story through the lives of ordinary Americans who are feeling the seismic shifts in our country’s economy, culture, and political climate.

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