Best of 2015: Augusta

Article by Augusta

Fates and Furies: A Novel By Lauren Groff Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594634475
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Riverhead Books - September 15th, 2015

There are always three sides to every story—yours, mine, and the truth. This notion serves as the crux for Lauren Groff’s latest work, but to say it’s merely a relationship novel is to be dismissive of the greater truths uncovered in the course of this book. Lotto and Mathilde get married at a young age and live a seemingly idyllic life together while Mathilde supports Lotto in his playwriting career. Of course, things are deeper and more complex than initially meets the eye, and I raced to the end of this book, blown back by the transformation in tone when the other side of the story is revealed. Can we ever really know someone? Truth is more complicated than that.

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The Door (NYRB Classics) By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (Translated by), Ali Smith (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (Translated by), Ali Smith (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781590177716
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: NYRB Classics - January 27th, 2015

Here at Brazos, we have a Cult of Mark phenomenon happening: anything that floor manager Mark Haber reads and raves about becomes an instant classic. THE DOOR is no exception. We can’t keep this book in stock! To say it’s about the relationship between two women would be an understatement; the complexity of their emotions and inner lives is unlike anything that I’ve read before. There is an eeriness that pervades the whole book, and the feeling will stick with you long after the last page. This is one you don’t want to miss.

Our Souls at Night: A novel By Kent Haruf Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101875896
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Knopf - May 26th, 2015

In order to find a place on the year end top ten list, most books need to be explosive, to stand out in a memorable way. This quiet, beautiful book is unassuming—brief enough to read in one or two sittings, but it will knock you back emotionally. Told in sparse, clear-cut prose, the simple tale of love between two elderly people is captivating and heartbreaking. And yes, I cried at work while reading it—don’t judge me.

The Indian By Jón Gnarr, Lytton Smith (Translator) Cover Image
By Jón Gnarr, Lytton Smith (Translator)
ISBN: 9781941920121
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - May 5th, 2015

Jon Gnarr, former mayor of Reykjavik, had an unusual childhood. Diagnosed with a severe intellectual disability as a child, he spent years institutionalized in a psychiatry ward to treat ADHD and dyslexia. THE INDIAN is the first part of a memoir trilogy being published by Deep Vellum, and it is a wildly hilarious but sensitive look at the difficulties of childhood, fitting in, and ultimate perseverance over adversity.

Speak: A Novel By Louisa Hall Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062391193
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Ecco - July 7th, 2015

Told entirely in the form of primary source materials, SPEAK looks deeply into the relationship that we have with technology. Communicating is crucial to our species, and with the rising influence of technology, the ways in which we interact change over time. The five interconnected narratives in this novel are all shaped by previous technological advances and how those advances ultimately affect the outcomes of relationships. A poignant look on an increasingly urgent topic.

On the Move: A Life By Oliver Sacks Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385352543
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Knopf - April 28th, 2015

I studied cognitive science in college, and the reason I became interested in the topic in the first place is because I read a book called AN ANTHROPOLOGIST ON MARS by Oliver Sacks. The way he mixes science and narrative to create a story of people’s life experience was so fascinating to me, I had to know more. I’ve read all of his books over the years, and ON THE MOVE is one of the last books published before he passed away from cancer earlier this year, which makes it even more special to me. This title is more personally revealing than his previous memoirs, and I enjoyed walking through his rich, interesting life one last time, appreciating all the scientific advancements he instituted, lives he affected, people he knew. He will truly be missed.

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science By J. Kenji López-Alt Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393081084
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 21st, 2015

Food science nerds rejoice! For fans of Harold McGee and all of you who want to know the science behind making your food more delicious comes this no-nonsense, straightforward book from Lopez-Alt. Chock full of scientific charts and photos, you can learn how to become a better cook with basic ingredients and equipment simply by using the food’s innate properties and chemical processes to extract the best flavors. THE FOOD LAB has become a new staple in my kitchen—get it for all the food lovers on your list today!

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg By Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062415837
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Dey Street Books - October 27th, 2015

Tribute should be paid where it is due, and I can’t think of a more deserving candidate. This funny, fresh look at Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her rise to the Supreme Court is full of photos, handwritten letters, important court cases, and other awesome ephemera from your favorite lady of justice. The perfect gift for feminists, young and old.

Hausfrau: A Novel By Jill Alexander Essbaum Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812987294
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - August 4th, 2015

Jill Alexander Essbaum’s background as a poet is evident in this modern day ANNA KARENINA retelling. Beautiful, cutting prose set the anxiety laden tone of Anna’s simple little life in Switzerland as a housewife who is cheating on her husband. Well paced and claustrophobic, I found myself emotionally wrapped up in Anna’s interior world as it spun out of control until the bitter end, after which I needed a hot bath and a hug.

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