Articles

This is for any kind of written article like a blog post about a certain topic.

Gift Buyer Spotlight: Ethereal Confections Chocolates

It’s always great to find a new company that will fit with the store, especially one that is a small business. There are those times as a buyer that a company will reach out to you in the hopes that they will be a good fit. This was the case with our new chocolate vendor Ethereal Confections out of Woodstock, IL. It started with an email and a link to their company’s site, as well as the offer of sending samples. Like a small child anticipating a present in the mail, I waited to taste the samples that they were sending.

Intern Laura Talks Reading YA as An Adult

Observation of the Week: Reticent (YA) Readers

Yes, I see you, not even touching the YA section with a ten foot pole. And I’ll admit, I used to be guilty of this too. Sometimes the only way I bought YA novels was if they were hidden subtly between some hefty classics. I had a literary reputation to uphold, after all!

Buyer's Corner: The Denim Edition!

I'm a Texan. So, of course I love a good Western. In fact, the running gag at Brazos is that I will read anything with a horse on the cover. This is mostly true. The rest is legend. Like Westerns. But the Western genre is more than broncos, denim, six shooters, and great hats. The locale and the conceits of this school of fiction allows to the author and reader to observe the heart of the American saga laid bare.

Train Dreams: A Novella Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250007650
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - May 22nd, 2012

This magnificent novella from the recently passed Johnson is an epic in miniature and proof that a literary masterpiece need not break 100 pages. It's the story of an ordinary man who lives through the quickening changes of early 20th century America. Sounds simple, but Johnson turns this premise into a stunning portrait of a nation in flux. Out of the three finalists for the Pulitzer for fiction that was not awarded in 2012, this is the one that should have won.


The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (Vintage International) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780679767862
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 19th, 1996

The first novel from the great Ondaatje is a tremendous hybrid genre feat of imagination, centering on the timeless tale of Billy the Kid and his nemesis, Pat Garrett. Like any legend, this work is part fact, part fiction. Blending a captivating experimental prose style, actual historical accounts, pseudo diary entries, poetic stream-of-consciousness narration, as well as paintings and photographs, this slight book creates a haunting, mesmerizing death song for an iconic American anti-hero.


Close Range: Wyoming Stories Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780684852225
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - February 10th, 2000

And Westerns aren't only for men or male writers. This amazing collection of "Wyoming Stories" from Pulitzer and National Book Award winner, Annie Proulx, are some of the most vivid and engrossing portrayals of cowboy life, both past and present. And there is no overstating the heartwrenching beauty of her classic novella, "Brokeback Mountain," contained herein. It is quite simply one of the most moving and tragic love stories I've ever read. The movie--with a screenplay co-written by Texas legend, Larry McMurtry--ain't too shabby either.


Ema the Captive Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Chris Andrews (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811219105
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - December 6th, 2016

And Westerns aren't only for Americans. Prolific Argentine storyteller, Aira, has put out several novels over his long career that can be classified as Westerns of the Southern hemisphere. Set in the 19th century, as horrific atrocities are commited by and against both soldiers and natives in the surreal landscape of the Pampas, this curious novel follows the travels of Ema, a woman who has lived as a captive of the local tribes for many years, as she is returned to a civilization that proves to be even more brutal than the life from which she's been "rescued."


Country of the Bad Wolfes Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781935955030
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Cinco Puntos Press - January 31st, 2012

This first installment in Blake's international Western saga that straddles the border between Texas and Mexico charts the rise of an amoral familial clan with a nefarious impact on the histories of both countries. It's a raw, violent take on the manifest destiny of individuals and nations. A rollicking adventure ride and a powerful indictment of the legacy of corruption and greed plaguing the borderlands. Subsequent volumes in the series follow the Wolfes as their power continues to grow through the decades, eventually becoming entangled with the drug cartels of today.


June #BrazosBest: César Aira

To read any one of Argentine writer César Aira’s highly imaginative and compact novels is to subject oneself to the whims of an authentic mind, a writer who appears to make it up as he goes along. Indeed, I’ve often described Aira as a children’s writer for adults. And that’s no criticism.

The Little Buddhist Monk & the Proof Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Nick Caistor (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811221122
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - May 30th, 2017

Ema the Captive Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Chris Andrews (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811219105
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - December 6th, 2016

The Musical Brain: And Other Stories Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Chris Andrews (Translator)
$29.95
ISBN: 9780811220293
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - March 3rd, 2015

Shantytown Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Chris Andrews (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780811219112
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - November 20th, 2013

Ghosts (New Directions Paperbook #1133) Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Chris Andrews (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780811217422
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - February 1st, 2009

An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Chris Andrews (Translator), Roberto Bolano (Preface by)
$12.95
ISBN: 9780811216302
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - May 25th, 2006

Conversations (New Directions Paperbook #1294) Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Katherine Silver (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780811221108
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - June 26th, 2014

Superhero Summer Reading List for Kids

With classic favorites, award-winners, anthologies, brand new titles, and hidden gems that might have slipped under your radar, our summer reading list has something for everyone! (Some books are out now; others will release throughout the summer, so our display will stay fresh and new!)

FOR READERS AGE 6 AND UP

1. LOUISE TRAPEZE WILL NOT LOSE A TOOTH by Micol Ostow

Intern Laura Judges Books by Their Covers

Observation of the Week: Judging Books by Their Colors

I’ve given a lot of thought as to what I want my career to be. It has evolved quite a bit over the years (I’ve come a long way since my space pirate days) and while I’m thrilled with my current goals to own and operate a bookstore, there will always be dream careers that catch my fancy. This week it’s graphic design, specifically for book covers.

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735211025
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - April 4th, 2017

Rich People Problems Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780385542234
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Books - May 23rd, 2017

Modern Lovers Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594634680
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 30th, 2017

The Essay State/The State of the Essay: An Interview with Ander Monson and Craig Reinbold

How We Speak to One Another is the new Essay Daily reader from Coffee House Press. Don’t know Essay Daily? I’ve got your back. As Essay Daily is the pituitary gland of creative nonfiction, it makes sense that this anthology of essayistics abounds with some of the genre’s heavy-hitters. Philip Lopate, John D’Agata, Albert Goldbarth, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Robin Hemley, Joni Tevis, Nicole Walker, Elena Passarello… they’re all here. 

World Masterpieces: Mark's Book List

What makes a masterpiece a masterpiece? Who can say? But surely books that have survived, no, thrived through the ages, created different outlooks and/or discussions and shown new ways of seeing the world must be a prerequisite. Often a literature is created simply out of the book itself; studies and dissertations and so on. But what about the book itself? Here are just a few books that we consider masterpieces of the world, books we've been highlighting this past month at the store. Don’t see Kafka or Garcia Marquez, Baldwin or Tolstoy?

Moby-Dick: Or, the Whale (Penguin Classics) Cover Image
By Herman Melville, Andrew Delbanco (Introduction by), Tom Quirk (Commentaries by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780142437247
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - December 31st, 2002

Although I spent my younger years resenting this book, if one reads it at the proper age (anytime after 30) it will usually click. It's strange, biblical and postmodern in every way. You want a modern book? Pick up MOBY DICK. The trials of a sea captain, Ishmael and a cast of others are really just vehicles in this philosophical whirlwind that dissects humanity, religion and the color white. And that's just for starters. Years later it is still one of the greatest reading experiences of my life.


Don Quixote Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060934347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - April 26th, 2005

What many consider to be the very first novel. It is funny, charming and self-aware. A book about books and reading and the madness of imagination. There are lots of translations, but Esther Allen's is lucid, heartfelt and moves at a quick pace. Don't be intimidated by its size; the small, episodic chapters make the book swim by.


The Handmaid's Tale Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780385490818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - March 13th, 1998

Prophetic and, sadly, very timely, Atwood's dystopian world is fully formed and haunting. It boldly discusses women in subjugation and the fight for individualism in a world under totalitarianism. Read the book for the incredible writing and haunting moral questions. Read it to become aware.


The Magic Mountain (Vintage International) Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780679772873
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - October 1st, 1996

Largely considered to be one of the most influential works of 20th century German literature, THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN is a large, breathtaking and surprisingly funny read. Don't get me wrong, it has its heavy themes - war, illness, time - but it's also highly readable. Largely taking place in a sanatorium, the novel mixes realistic elements with symbolism, leaving it for the reader to discern the meaning (and humor) behind the action (or inaction) taking place. This novel is a major achievement.


To the Lighthouse Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9780156907392
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harvest Books - December 27th, 1989

Not all masterpieces come in 500-page plus tomes. Some are able to sneak in and grab the reader in just 100 pages, changing their lives forever. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE is a slim, modernist novel that takes place over two periods of time, and is divided into three sections. It largely eschews dialogue and action, but is packed with internal, philosophical introspection. The stream-of-consciousness style is difficult for some readers, but Woolf is a genius and her words fairly glow from the page. A book that deals with time, memory and human experience; it accomplishes more in less than 200 pages than most books approaching 1,000.


Staff Chat: Keaton and Kevin Talk Baseball

Keaton Patterson: Hey, how you doin’. It’s Keaton and Kevin, Brazos Beard Bros, in the store today to talk about the great, wonderful national pastime (sorry football) game of baseball. I know people have feelings bout baseball. Some people hate it, some people love it, some people think it’s torture, some people think it’s boring, some think it’s life. Well. All are correct.

Kevin Mathis: *laughs*

Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062490223
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - April 25th, 2017

The Devil's Snake Curve: A Fan's Notes from Left Field Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781566893459
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Coffee House Press - April 15th, 2014

Lost Ballparks Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781911216490
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Pavilion Books - April 1st, 2017

Every Human Being Migrates Through Time: An Interview With Mohsin Hamid

We strongly believe in uplifting voices that need to be heard. This month, we're highlighting literary works by immigrants and refugees. These books defy national boundaries and provide a lens through which we can examine power, empathy, and community.

In conjunction with today's release of Exit West, we interviewed author Mohsin Hamid. 

Exit West Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735212176
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 7th, 2017

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594632334
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - March 4th, 2014

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