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

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 Cover Image
By Herman Melville, Andrew Delbanco (Introduction by), Tom Quirk (Commentaries by)
ISBN: 9780142437247
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - 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
ISBN: 9780060934347
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - 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: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385490818
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - March 16th, 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
ISBN: 9780679772873
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
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
ISBN: 9780156907392
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner 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*

The Devil's Snake Curve: A Fan's Notes from Left Field Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566893459
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Coffee House Press - April 15th, 2014

Lost Ballparks Cover Image
ISBN: 9781911216490
Availability: Backordered
Published: Pavilion - 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: A Novel Cover Image
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: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594632334
Availability: Backordered
Published: Riverhead Books - March 4th, 2014

Staff Chat: To Football, or Not To Football

The Topic: Football, The Super Bowl, and specifically The Super Bowl in Houston
The Chatters: Annalia Luna (Shipping and Returns Manager), Augusta Bartis (Inventory Manager), and Ülrika Moats (Merchandiser and Gift Buyer)

AL: Welcome to our staff chat! This is the Girl Cave here, (Annalia, Augusta, and Ulrika), who work in the back of the store. We’re talking about football because the Super Bowl is this weekend and it’s kind of everywhere.
So, what is your first memory of watching football?

Friday Night Lights, 25th Anniversary Edition: A Town, a Team, and a Dream Cover Image
ISBN: 9780306824203
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Da Capo Press - August 11th, 2015

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape Cover Image
ISBN: 9781617754913
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Edge of Sports - September 6th, 2016

Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612194912
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Melville House - August 18th, 2015

The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501116193
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Scribner - September 20th, 2016

The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393330472
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 17th, 2007

The Perfection of Short: Mary Miller and Chanelle Benz


Two anguished cries often heard in pseudo-literary circles, both usually experienced as something approximating all caps: INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES ARE FAILING (they’re not—but you already know that, reader), and LITERARY FICTION IS DEAD. That second cry is heard so often that not only has it become a cliché, the response to it—to point toward exciting new novels, young authors, book sales, etc.—now feels like its own kind of cliché.

The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062490759
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - January 17th, 2017

Always Happy Hour: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631492181
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Liveright - January 10th, 2017

I Dream About a Lot of Things, Man: On Angel Otero, CAMH, and Neuroses

Generally speaking, I try to practice a nonthreatening demeanor (for this, you’re welcome). The first time I meet you, I will stand as far away from you as possible. I will go out of my way to not squeeze by you in an airplane-tight place, fearing I’ll accidentally touch you and you’ll find this invasive.

This Time Machine Works Damn Fine: On Carolyn Hembree

Carolyn Hembree “know[s] how to fuck with the future” and the present and the past. In Hembree's second book of poems, RIGGING A CHEVY INTO A TIME MACHINE AND OTHER WAYS TO ESCAPE A PLAGUE, she writes a verse novel as a fractured multiverse set in Tennessee.

Wartime, History, and Scottish Insults: An Interview with Caroline Leech

I am so incredibly excited for the arrival of Caroline Leech’s YA historical romance debut, WAIT FOR ME. (Okay in full disclosure, I have not only read it already—bookseller perk!—but was honored to have been asked by her publisher Harper Collins to blurb it as well. You’ll see my praise somewhere on the finished copy). It’s a lovely, moving novel, set in WWII Scotland, and we are thrilled to be hosting the WAIT FOR ME release party on 2/7 at 7 PM right here in store. We hope you’ll join us!

Wait for Me Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062459886
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - January 31st, 2017

Buyer Spotlight: Bullet Journals

January: it’s a perfect time of year to start getting your life organized, whether with planners and journals, or with calendar alerts on your phone. But myself? I’m always trying to stay organized. In fact, over the summer, I fell down a rabbit hole of bullet journal blogs, posts, and videos—and, like any good friend (or enabler?), I took a few other people down the rabbit hole with me. We made plans to start our own bullet journals, which included multiple ones for different needs.