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

Geek Reads

There is nothing wrong with being a geek! It’s a term of endearment around here. Geeks can be a bit daunting to shop for because, once they become interested in a subject, they have to know absolutely everything about it. You can bet that, whatever their latest fixation is, the geek has already read through all the basics and are on the lookout for the unusual, the obscure, and the never-before-seen. Don’t panic! We’ve got the goods for geeks of all sorts.

Staff Pick Logo
Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses: Roger Corman: King of the B Movie Cover Image
By Chris Nashawaty, John Landis (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781419706691
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: ABRAMS - September 10th, 2013

This deluxe book details the prolific career of B-movie wizard Roger Corman, as well as the influence he has had on some of America’s most influential contemporary directors. The text is supplemented with full-color stills from Corman’s films, behind-the-scenes snapshots, and emphemera sure to delight the B-movie connoisseur.

1,227 Quite Interesting Facts to Blow Your Socks Off Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393241037
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 9th, 2013

This often-hilarious, always-fascinating book of trivia comes from the creators of the popular BBC quiz show QI: Quite Interesting. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone on your list and might also provide you with sparkling conversational material for those awkward holiday get-togethers!

Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, & Other Typographical Marks Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393064421
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 24th, 2013

It’s easy to take punctuation for granted, especially when it’s used properly. However, the history of these indispensable symbols is as fascinating as the origins of the words that surround them. Let Houston be your tour guide through typographical history!

Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living Cover Image
ISBN: 9780500516768
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Thames & Hudson - May 31st, 2013

Here’s an gorgeous photography book for mechanically-minded people who just can’t stop taking stuff apart. McClellan painstakingly breaks familiar items down to their smallest component parts, arranges the pieces neatly and then photographs them. Finally, as an added bonus, he launches all the parts in the air for a dynamic action shot!

The De-Textbook: The Stuff You Didn't Know about the Stuff You Thought You Knew Cover Image
ISBN: 9780452298200
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Plume Books - October 29th, 2013

Feel like your education has gotten in the way of your education. Turns out that a lot of the things you thought you knew are just plain wrong! Never fear, THE DE-TEXTBOOK will correct all the damage that school has done to your brain, and will keep you laughing along the way to boot.

Where You Are: A Collection of Maps That Will Leave You Completely Lost Cover Image
By Geoff Dyer (Contribution by), Lila Azam Zanganeh (Contribution by), Leanne Shapton (Contribution by)
ISBN: 9780956569240
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Visual Editions - December 31st, 2013

This innovative book, published in conjunction with Google Creative Lab and available online as well as in print, examines a variety of maps both geographical and personal. Writings, photos and drawings from a variety of remarkable contributors ask us to reconsider our definition of a map and what it can do. Limited copies available signed by Peter Turchi.

MaddAddam Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385528788
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Nan A. Talese - September 3rd, 2013

This stunning conclusion to Atwood’s Oryx and Crake trilogy has something for everyone: adventure, romance, humor, and imaginative elements that could only have come from the mind of a contemporary master. Although we recommend that you read the trilogy in order, it’s not necessary for you to do so in order to enjoy this marvelous literary/sci-fi mashup.

Codex Seraphinianus Cover Image
ISBN: 9780847842131
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Rizzoli International Publications - October 29th, 2013

This one must be seen to be believed. Until now, Italian artist Serafini’s surreal, mysterious masterpiece has only been released in limited print runs and at extremely high cost. Serafini created this untranslatable encyclopedia of an alien world in order to reproduce, for adults, the delicious feeling of wonder that young children have upon picking up a richly illustrated book that they cannot not yet read.

Edison and the Rise of Innovation Cover Image
By Leonard DeGraaf, Bill Gates (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781402767364
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Sterling - October 1st, 2013

Our world would likely be unrecognizable without the inventions and innovations of Thomas Alva Edison. This book gathers photographs, notebooks, letters, drawings, and more to tell the story of Edison’s remarkable contributions to science and engineering. Bill Gates, a modern-day Edison in his own right, offers an illuminating foreword to the book.

The Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge?: A Philosophical Conundrum Cover Image
ISBN: 9780761175131
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Workman Publishing - September 10th, 2013

The Trolley Problem is a thought experiment--first posed by British philosopher Phillippa Foot in 1967--meant to force thinkers to interrogate their logical and ethical beliefs. Thomas Cathcart explores the Trolley Problem from a variety of angles as an entertaining way of bringing philosophy to life for the curious beginner.

The Fiction Fanatic

Let’s face it. Real life is pretty overrated. Sometimes it can be hard to swallow all the pain and suffering that we see in the news every day. The only cure is often to escape into the wilds of a brilliant writer’s imagination. No one understands the need for a good story better than your friends at Brazos. Here’s a variety of our favorite new releases that are perfect any fiction fanatic on your shopping list.


Staff Pick Logo
Burial Rites Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316243919
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little Brown and Company - September 10th, 2013

This suspenseful, atmospheric debut follows Agnes, a servant woman sent to an isolated Icelandic farm in 1829 to await execution for killing her former master. The family charged with her imprisonment and the young priest charged with her supernatural guidance first fear her, but soon realize that there is more to Agnes than first meets the eye.

Staff Pick Logo
The Luminaries (Man Booker Prize for Fiction) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316074315
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - October 15th, 2013

With this epic novel of intrigue set in nineteenth-century New Zealand, Catton became the youngest-ever Booker Prize winner with the longest-ever winning novel. Walter Moody arrives at the New Zealand goldmines prepared to make his fortune, only to uncover a maddening mystery that, if solved, would lead to the discovery of an enormous fortune.

Staff Pick Logo
The Goldfinch Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316055437
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - October 22nd, 2013

This contemporary coming-of-age novel with shades of Charles Dickens follows a young man who tragically loses his mother in a terrorist attack on the Museum of Modern Art. This transfiguring event sets Theo Decker on a course that will lead him into the deepest reaches of the art underground, making this novel the perfect read for fans of suspense and art connoisseurs alike.

How to Read a Novelist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374173265
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Fsg Originals - October 8th, 2013

Freeman, an enormously influential literary critic and the editor-in-chief of GRANTA, has been writing profiles on influential and talented novelists for many years. This book gathers together a variety of his best work. The pieces contained in this book are short, snappy, and surprising, which makes this the perfect bathroom or waiting-room book for avid readers and aspiring writers alike.

Dirty Love Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393064650
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 7th, 2013

This collection of linked novellas from one of America’s finest prose stylists tells the tales of men and women on the northern Massachusetts coast for whom love has become ‘dirty’, or entangled with greed, desire, and fear. This book makes a powerful case for the reexamination of the novella, a form that marries the expansive reach of a novel to the hard-hitting concision of short fiction.

Xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths Cover Image
By Kate Bernheimer (Editor)
ISBN: 9780143122425
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - September 24th, 2013

Ancient myths continue to enthrall contemporary readers because of something universal in their structures that resonates with us even now. Bernheimer brings together acclaimed authors’ reworkings of beloved legends from all over the world in this unique anthology.

The Last Animal Cover Image
ISBN: 9781619021822
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - October 15th, 2013

This stunning, cohesive debut collection examines the hearts and minds of protagonists who use their relationships with the natural world in order to understand hard truths about life, love, and humanity. A young boy witnessing his parents’ dissolving marriage on an Arizona ostrich farm and a troubled young woman charged with the care of a super-intelligent octopus are just two of the colorful characters you will encounter in this powerful book.

Dissident Gardens Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385534932
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Doubleday Books - September 10th, 2013

Lethem’s latest is an intimate look at several generations of a politically radical Brooklyn family. The novel centers on two incredible women, Rose and Miriam Zimmer, whose unabashed progressive views cast spells over the men in their lives. From 30s Communism to 60s Greenwich Village counterculture to the recent Occupy Wall Street movement, this novel brings the Left to life.

Longbourn Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385351232
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 8th, 2013

Baker’s latest is a clever and sophisticated take on PRIDE AND PREJUDICE; the Bennet family and their estate is given the Upstairs Downstairs treatment! Austen’s classic love story is deepened and complicated by Baker’s choice to shift the perspective onto the Bennet family’s servants, who are hardly seen in the original novel but seem to know more about each member of the Bennet family than Austen herself did.

A Little History of Literature Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9780300186857
Availability: Out of Print - Not Available for Order
Published: Yale University Press - November 5th, 2013

Whether you’re brushing up on your cultural history or discovering all Western literature has to offer for the very first time, This LITTLE HISTORY is a great place to start. Sutherland is a friendly and idiosyncratic tour guide through a couple thousand years of literary history, providing readers with a breathless crash course in literature’s evolution that is sure to lead to more focused exploration.

The Culture Vulture

The culture vulture is always perched on the cutting edge and can always tell you what the next big thing will be. The newsworthy and unusual is always on their radar, which makes them wonderful to invite to dinner and terrible to shop for. You don’t want to offer them something that’s--God forbid!--out of date. Here’s an eclectic list of books that are hot off the presses and sure to distract even the most stubborn trendsetters from their smartphones, at least for a little while.

The Wes Anderson Collection Cover Image
ISBN: 9780810997417
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - October 8th, 2013

An introduction by Michael Chabon and critic Matt Zoller Seitz’s insightful interviews with the director provide the backbone for this collection of photos, storyboards, and ephemera from each of Anderson’s iconic films. Wes Anderson has used locations in Houston, including his alma mater, the St. John’s School, in several of his films, which gives this deluxe volume added Texas appeal. Limited copies signed by Matt Seitz.

How Not to Be a Dick: An Everyday Etiquette Guide Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936976027
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Zest Books - October 1st, 2013

Here’s an etiquette book that you can give a friend...without feeling like a dick! Snarky illustrations in the Dick and Jane vein will keep even the rudest readers giggling as they painlessly absorb common-sense, practical ways to avoid being a jerk.

Writing on the Wall: Social Media - The First 2,000 Years Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620402832
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - October 15th, 2013

Although we usually think of social media as a 21st-century phenomenon, Standage argues that fast, spontaneous communication has existed for centuries in a variety of formats: papyri, pamphlets, tracts, newspapers, radio, and television, to name a few. Standage also outlines the most common questions users have about privacy, bullying, politics, and self-promotion on outlets like Twitter and Facebook.

Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525954217
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books - October 1st, 2013

Offerman, who plays manly-man Ron Swanson on TV’s hit show Parks and Recreation, offers this hilarious and intimate look at all his real-life favorite subjects: woodworking, the great outdoors, his rural Midwestern upbringing, and his wife, comedienne Megan Mullally.

Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! on PBS Cover Image
ISBN: 9780670015351
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Viking - October 29th, 2013

Eaton, the Emmy-award winning producer of Masterpiece Theater, reveals behind-the-scenes secrets about all the long-running series’ greatest hits, including Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs, Poirot and Miss Marple, as well as countless adaptations of classic novels. Alongside these tidbits, Eaton also includes details about her own life, as well as interviews with writers, directors, actors and crew members about their experiences on the set of her show.

It Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143124832
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - October 29th, 2013

You may not have heard of Alexa Chung. However, we’re willing to bet you’ve seen her before, especially if you spend any time flipping through fashion magazines. Chung is a style icon, television personality, and inspiration to Karl Lagerfeld and Marc Jacobs, so it’s no surprise that her exquisite taste is front and center in her latest book on style, beauty, and the good life. Limited signed copies available.

The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594205163
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Press - September 26th, 2013

This ingenious book from two experienced British bibliotherapists working at Alain de Botton’s famed School of Life matches a variety of classic and contemporary literature with a list of common ailments, both physical and emotional. Just pinpoint your mood and flip to a book recommendation or three that will guide you safely through it! It’s certainly no substitute for your friendly Brazos bookseller, but it truly is the next best thing!

Staff Pick Logo
White Girls Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936365814
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: McSweeney's - November 12th, 2013

You don’t have to be a white girl to enjoy this book. In fact, several of the ‘white girls’ Als examines in this collection of essays on culture both high and low aren’t white, or female, at all! You’ll have to pick this book up in order to understand Als’ precise yet capacious definition of the White Girl, but suffice it to say that you’ll be wowed by his bold, insightful commentaries on identity politics and history.

Cartwheel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812995862
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Random House - September 24th, 2013

Lily Hayes is a seemingly ordinary college girl who, while studying abroad in Argentina, is accused of the murder of her squeaky-clean roommate. Whether you were glued to the news during the Amanda Knox case or you never bothered to pay much attention, you’ll love this smart, beautifully-written thriller based on the case that examines the nature of guilt, perception, character, and privilege.

Rosebud Sleds and Horses' Heads: 50 of Film's Most Evocative Objects - An Illustrated Journey Cover Image
ISBN: 9781783200405
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Intellect (UK) - August 15th, 2013

Harris, a prominent film critic and BBC broadcaster, presents fifty famous objects from film history--including Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Marilyn Monroe’s billowy white dress, and Indiana Jones’s hat--and examines their importance in both their movies of origin and in our culture at large. This gorgeous volume is fully illustrated and perfect for the film buffs on your list.

The Aesthete

They say to never judge a book by its cover, but c’mon; everybody does it. No one understands the importance of appearances better than the aesthete, who can’t help but be drawn by the eyeballs toward the most elegant, striking books we have on offer. It can be intimidating to buy a gift for someone with such a good eye, but never fear! We have solutions galore!

Shake Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062242648
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Design - October 22nd, 2013

Here’s a fun dog book with a difference: now you can catch all your favorite breeds mid-shake! Davidson’s brilliant fast-motion photography gives readers a whole new way of looking at man’s best friend.

Staff Pick Logo
Asunder Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544003460
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - September 1st, 2013

This thought-provoking puzzle-box of a novel tells the story of two guards at the National Portrait Gallery in London--a modern woman named Marie and her great-grandfather Ted--who each experience a disorienting blurring of the lines between life and art.

The Architect's Home Cover Image
ISBN: 9783836544870
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Taschen - April 15th, 2013

Want to truly understand the inner lives of your favorite architects? Look no further than their ‘autobiographical homes’: the dwellings they designed down to the last detail just for themselves. This lushly-illustrated book uses blueprints, photos, drawings, and interviews to recreate each home for readers.

Roy G Biv Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608196135
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Adams Media Corporation - September 17th, 2013

This one-of-a-kind miscellany is packed with quotes, facts, and figures about every color of the rainbow. We especially love this book’s innovative graphic design, which makes it the perfect gift for designers, decorators, artists and illustrators of all sorts.

Henry Darger, Throw Away Boy: The Tragic Life of an Outsider Artist Cover Image
ISBN: 9781590208557
Availability: Backordered
Published: Overlook Press - September 12th, 2013

To his few acquaintances in life, Henry Darger seemed to be nothing more than a reclusive janitor living on Chicago’s North Side. However, when he died, thousands of illustrated pages and hundreds of canvasses were discovered in his apartment, each covered in Darger’s eerie, unmistakable art. Was Darger a pervert, a psychotic, or a misunderstood genius? Elledge examines the life and work of America’s most famous outsider artist in this groundbreaking biography.

Heart of Darkness Cover Image
By Joseph Conrad, Matt Kish (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781935639664
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Tin House Books - November 12th, 2013

Matt Kish, who wowed us two years ago with his illustrations for each page of MOBY DICK, is back with a stunning illumination of Joseph Conrad’s classic tale of adventure, imperialism, and greed. An index in the back of the book details which sentences on each page of the novella Kish chose to illustrate, making this a perfect companion to the original text.

Art Deco Cover Image
ISBN: 9783791347646
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Prestel Publishing - October 25th, 2013

Art Deco’s organic, sinuous, graphic aesthetic appeared between the first and second world wars in response to cultural sea changes like industrialization, modern art, and modern archaeology. This deluxe slipcased volume serves as a comprehensive introduction to the architecture, art, and design of the 1920s and 1930s.

On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307266422
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 15th, 2013

Put your e-reader down! Basbanes takes readers on a whirlwind tour across the world and through the ages to illustrate the importance of paper to human history. From its invention two thousand years ago in China to its uses in packing, publishing, currency and hygiene today, paper has shaped our culture in innumerable surprising ways.

Stay, Illusion: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307962027
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 15th, 2013

You may not know Brock-Broido’s name just yet, but you should. This groundbreaking, award-winning poet’s third book is intricate, strange, and startling, and will serve as a welcome addition to any poetry enthusiast’s bookshelf.

The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti Cover Image
By Rafael Schacter, John Fekner (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780300199420
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Yale University Press - September 3rd, 2013

Despite its underground nature and its sometimes secretive stars, street art is a school of art just as developed and complex as any other. This incomparable guide to the worldwide street art and graffiti scenes groups influential works and artists by geographical region and provides readers with a detailed sense of the movement’s tumultuous history.

The Connoisseur

Some call them snobs; we call them connoisseurs! How do you identify a connoisseur in the wild? They’re the kind of exacting, serious-minded folks who simply want the best of everything. After all, as long as they’re going to do something, they might as well do it right! And who can blame them, really? We feel exactly the same way.

The Last Banquet Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609451387
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Europa Editions - October 1st, 2013

Jean-Marie d’Aumout, a French Revolution-era chef, is so fascinated by flavors both delicious and disgusting that he is driven by a madness to experience them all. Along the way, d’Aumout becomes involved in a series of picaresque adventures that revivify his turbulent historical moment.

Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393082432
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 14th, 2013

Attention carb-addicts! We all love a good bowl of pasta, but is your spaghetti or farfalle the very best it could be? Oretta Zanini de Vita, Italian pasta expert, is here to teach you a thing or two about how to prepare the perfect pasta & sauce, down to the very last authentic detail. You’ll be amazed by the difference it makes in your dinner!

Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307718341
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Clarkson Potter Publishers - October 22nd, 2013

Barr, M.F.K. Fisher’s great-nephew, pinpoints the winter of 1970 as the dawn of what we consider to be contemporary American cuisine. During that season, a group of proto-foodies, including Julia Child and James Beard, gathered together in the South of France to cook, eat, and discuss the future of food. Each left Provence with a renewed sense of culinary purpose, and went on to influence the way we think about food.

To the Letter: A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing Cover Image
ISBN: 9781592408351
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Gotham Books - November 14th, 2013

This book presents a passionate case for the revival of traditional letter writing. Garfield examines the letter from a variety of perspectives, including its various forms and fashions, its famous historical aficionados, and the use of letter-writing in literature.

Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938 Cover Image
By Rene Magritte (Artist), Anne Umland (Editor), Stephanie D'Alessandro (Text by (Art/Photo Books))
ISBN: 9780870708657
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Museum of Modern Art - September 30th, 2013

This monograph, produced in conjunction with a major exhibition staged by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, examines surrealist Rene Magritte’s most productive artistic period. The exhibition was curated with the cooperation of Houston’s own Menil Collection, which boasts one of the largest permanent holdings of Magritte’s work in the world.

Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385534574
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Doubleday Books - October 22nd, 2013

This surprising history of Amsterdam takes readers beyond the familiar canals, brick architecture, strip clubs and hash bars of the modern city in order to explain how the world’s most intellectually, culturally, economically, and politically free metropolis got to be the way it is today.

Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations Cover Image
ISBN: 9780871407160
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - September 9th, 2013

Award-winning historian Mary Beard brings the world of antiquity to life. She not only retells the tales of emperors, philosophers, gods and queens in new, fresh ways; she also examines the habits, occupations, concerns and interests of common people living in ancient Greece and Rome.

The Signature of All Things Cover Image
ISBN: 9780670024858
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - October 1st, 2013

This novel follows the fortune and fate of Alma Whittaker, the brilliant, strong-willed daughter of James Whittaker, one of the richest men in late 18th-century Philadelphia. Alma’s two great loves are botany and artist Ambrose Pike, who teaches her to use her passion for the natural world to understand spiritual truths. Alma’s long, accomplished life provides readers with an incomparable perspective on a swath of American history that stretches from the Age of Enlightenment to the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

The Art of Lying Down: A Guide to Horizontal Living Cover Image
By Bernd Brunner, Lori Lantz (Translator)
ISBN: 9781612193090
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Melville House Publishing - November 26th, 2013

We spend, on average, a third of our lives lying down, but most of us wish we could do so even more! This odd little book explores how living horizontally can change your perspective on life, often for the better. Brunner’s passionate defense of the lazy life is essential reading for anyone who really just needs to relax.

The Color Master Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385534895
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Doubleday Books - August 13th, 2013

This hilarious, heartbreaking, wondrous collection of short fiction will appeal even to those readers who rarely gravitate toward stories. Bender’s lush, off-kilter and magical prose lends her stories a quality that is usually only found in the very best fairy tales.

Great Books for the Happy Homebody

It often seems like the world revolves around business, but it’s important to remember that the domestic sphere is where lots of people find the most joy. The domestic gods and goddesses in your life are the glue that keeps the people you love together, not just by caring for them physically but by making a warm and welcoming environment for them to enjoy. Celebrate the unsung heroes of your home this holiday by choosing a book for them to snuggle up with.


A Reader's Book of Days: True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writers for Every Day of the Year Cover Image
By Tom Nissley, Joanna Neborsky (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780393239621
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 4th, 2013

This is the perfect literary companion for every day of the year! Nissley compiles famous dates from both the lives of celebrated authors and their most famous literary works, as well as a variety of book reviews and recommendations that will keep you well-read all year long.

Someone Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374281090
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - September 10th, 2013

McDermott’s latest proves that a novel doesn’t have to be small just because it’s quiet. This is the beautifully rendered story of one ordinary Irish-American woman’s life, defined by her place within her close-knit Brooklyn neighborhood and her compromised eyesight, which makes it difficult for her to see the world, both literally and figuratively, for what it truly is.

Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679644057
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - October 22nd, 2013

This two-time Poet Laureate of the United States is one of our most accessible versifiers, but that fortunately doesn’t mean his poetry is simplistic or unserious. Whether you’re a poetry aficionado or a first-time reader of verse, you’ll delight in the surprising, conversational, and ingenious poems collected here.

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062236678
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - November 5th, 2013

Patchett, celebrated author of novels like STATE OF WONDER and BEL CANTO, has been writing nonfiction for decades. This is a collection of her best essays, speeches, and articles, including pieces on her tumultuous love life, the joys and pains of writing, the perils of bookstore ownership, and her relationships with her friends, both human and canine.

Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393241099
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 18th, 2013

As anyone who’s seen an episode of Downton Abbey can attest, British history looks very different when it’s viewed from the perspective of the servant classes. Lethbridge uses letters, interviews, and memoirs from servants employed by all sorts of British households in order to understand a crucial part of British history that has been often overlooked.

Living Well Is the Best Revenge Cover Image
ISBN: 9780870708978
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Museum of Modern Art - December 31st, 2013

Originally published in 1971, this stylish biography examines the lives of Gerald and Sara Murphy, an influential American expatriate couple. Between living the Bohemian life in 1920s Paris and Antibes and hosting lavish house parties for the likes of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso, Gerald Murphy also cultivated his own artistic side, enjoying a short-lived but influential career as a cubist painter.

The Flower Recipe Book Cover Image
ISBN: 9781579655303
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Artisan Publishers - April 2nd, 2013

This innovative book from the founders of Studio Choo, San Francisco’s most sought-after floral design studio, shows readers how to make stunning, professional-quality flower arrangements using simple, step-by-step instructions and readily available blooms.

Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307958341
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 1st, 2013

Jane Franklin was smart, curious, and unusually bookish, just like her celebrated brother Benjamin. However, instead of becoming a famous politician, Jane was the poor mother of twelve children. By bringing Jane’s unique perspective to light, Lepore has created a new way of looking at early American history, as well as the project of history itself. A 2013 National Book Award Finalist.

The Breakfast Bible Cover Image
ISBN: 9781408804810
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 28th, 2013

If you have a breakfast fanatic on your gift list, search no further. This book examines the cultural history of breakfast and includes a miscellany of little-known breakfast facts and figures, as well as recipes for morning meals from all over the world.

The Taste of America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780714865829
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Phaidon Press - October 14th, 2013

This one-of-a-kind guide to American cuisine is a comprehensive collection of the best regional food products made and enjoyed in the USA. Whether you’re looking for the finest grits, the best Wisconsin cheese, or the hottest hot sauce in Texas, Colman Andrews will show you how and where it’s made, and, better yet, how you can get your hands on some of your own.

Books to Inspire the History Buff

There’s a whole subset of our customers who consistently make a beeline straight from our front door to the history and biography nook. If you’ve got someone on your list whose bedside table is stacked with thick biographies of statesmen, postmortems of famous battles, and historical epics, we can recommend a few recent releases that are sure to surprise and delight.


One Summer: America, 1927 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780767919401
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Books - October 1st, 2013

One of America’s best-loved nonfiction writers investigates the tumultuous year of 1927, which he defines as the year America truly entered the modern world, and breathes new life into its key players, including Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, Al Jolson, Al Capone, Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge.

Nostalgia Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307908346
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Pantheon Books - October 1st, 2013

In this gripping work of historical fiction, a young Brooklyn man leaves his quiet life behind to join the Union Army in 1864 and takes part in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. When he is hospitalized for what we today would call PTSD, he forges unlikely bonds, both with his fellow soldiers and with an unlikely advocate for his recovery, poet Walt Whitman.

The Daylight Gate Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9780802121639
Availability: Out of Print - Not Available for Order
Published: Grove Press - October 1st, 2013

Alice Nutter, a wealthy and respected Englishwoman who has dabbled in magick, attempts to save the lives of a group of women accused of witchcraft by a local magistrate. Set during the decidedly paranoid reign of James I, Winterson’s perceptive and gripping historical novel brings the 1612 Pendle witch trials to life.

Staff Pick Logo
The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393088809
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 4th, 2013

Just in time for the centennial of the First World War, acclaimed graphic novelist Joe Sacco illustrates the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest clashes in world history, in one 24-foot long, astonishingly detailed panel. A short booklet is included that situates this remarkable work of art in its historical context.

The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594205293
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Penguin Press - October 29th, 2013

This fascinating book examines 101 objects--old and new, large and small--that are part of the Smithsonian’s extensive collection of American artifacts. The book contains full-color photos throughout, but what sets this book apart is its text by Richard Kurin, the Smithsonian’s most sought-after tour guide.

The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9781610391566
Availability: Out of Print - Not Available for Order
Published: PublicAffairs - September 10th, 2013

Capt. Douglas M. Kelley, an ambitious Army psychiatrist, was chosen to monitor the mental health of a group of prominent Nazis, including Hermann Göring, during their imprisonment in Luxembourg after World War II. This book details Kelley’s attempts to find common traits in the imprisoned men that would explain what enabled them to perform such horrific crimes against humanity.

Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385495578
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Nan A. Talese - October 29th, 2013

Cahill’s ambitious book, part of his sprawling Hinges of History series, takes readers through the story of Europe from the Black Death, through the scientific and artistic innovations of the Renaissance, all the way to the religious and cultural upheaval of the Protestant Reformation of the early seventeenth century.

The Discovery of Middle Earth: Mapping the Lost World of the Celts Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393081633
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 4th, 2013

This groundbreaking history of ancient Europe revives the forgotten world of the Celts, whose culture was almost completely annihilated by the Romans. Robb expertly explores the complex sacred geography the Celts used to situate their settlements and holy places.

Alternate Histories of the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399162947
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Perigee Books - October 1st, 2013

This beautiful volume brings together myriad paintings, engravings, maps and photographs that explore humans’ evolving relationship with the idea of monsters and the supernatural. This is a perfect gift for history buffs and science fiction fans alike!

Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385532921
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Doubleday Books - August 6th, 2013

The Arab Revolt against the Turks went largely unnoticed by Westerners caught up in the chaos of World War I, so European efforts to control the Arab world during that time were largely the work of a few adventurous souls, each with his own agenda. This book outlines the fortunes of four such men--including Lawrence of Arabia--and sheds new light on our current stake in the Middle East.

Terrifying Reads Are In Your Future!

This Halloween, we put our psychic abilities to the test in hopes of guessing your new favorite horror book. Below are a few of our best-loved chillers, but never fear! There are plenty more scary stories to choose from at Brazos if you don’t find what you’re looking for here.

The Purple Cloud (Penguin Classics) Cover Image
By M. P. Shiel, John Sutherland (Introduction by), John Sutherland (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780141196428
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - November 27th, 2012

This bleak, macabre post-apocalyptic novel was written in 1899! THE PURPLE CLOUD tells the story of Adam Jeffson, the last man alive on earth. A deadly cloud has devastated the world, not that Jeffson would know; he was on his way to reach the North Pole when the cloud hit. After his crew is lost and the ice breaks, Jeffson heads back to civilization alone, only to realize that the rest of the world is gone. He begins to journey the earth in search of survivors, but it isn’t long before he slips into madness. Part Edgar Allan Poe, part Herman Melville, THE PURPLE CLOUD is a recovered classic. -Mark

Cabal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743417327
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - January 1st, 2001

Cabal is Barker at his best. It oozes imagination and terror. Boone, a troubled mental patient, is framed for murder by his less-than-scrupulous psychiatrist. On the run and suicidal, he is led by hallucinatory visions to Midian, a sprawling cemetery shrouded in myth. It doesn’t take long for Boone to realize that the legends are true. Underground, there exists a sprawling city of monsters, creatures that have been persecuted, killed and driven into hiding over the centuries by humans. After Boone’s arrival, the monsters’ sanctuary is uncovered, and once again the humans come to destroy Midian. As the climactic battle looms, it is left for you to decide who the real monsters are. This is one of the first novels that made me want to be a writer. -Keaton

Me and the Devil Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316120975
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little Brown and Company - December 4th, 2012

Blending memoir and fiction, Tosches takes his readers on a journey through the darkest regions of human desire. What at first seems like a modern day vampire novel, quickly becomes something entirely different and far more frightening. But make no mistake, there will be blood! Me and the Devil brims with depraved, violent sex acts, the most misanthropic (and dare I say funniest) diatribes against consumer culture I have ever read, and numerous cameos by rock and roll luminaries such as Keith Richards. A disturbing, obscene, sacrilegious, and incredibly fun read, Me and the Devil is not for the easily offended! -Keaton

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories: (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions) Cover Image
By H. P. Lovecraft, S. T. Joshi (Introduction by), S. T. Joshi (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780143106487
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - September 27th, 2011

Arguably the most influential work of twentieth century horror, HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu story cycle revolutionized the genre. Eschewing the traditional vampires and ghosts one finds in many horror tomes, Lovecraft instead creates cosmic, interdimensional beings whose incomprehensible existence could shatter the human psyche. Truly frightening and incredibly imaginative, these stories are a must have for any horror aficionado. Of course, you have no choice in the matter anyway. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn! Bow before the destroyer of worlds, and pay tribute to the mighty Cthulhu! You are his slaves! -Keaton

Hangsaman (Penguin Classics) Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Francine Prose (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780143107040
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 25th, 2013

It’s three books in one! Fifty pages of murky father-daughter psychodrama, a hundred pages of deranged all-girls campus novel, &, to top it off, fifty pages of witchy nightmare. Sure, it’s not the most cohesive of novels: HANGSAMAN, like its young, disturbed protagonist, is coming apart at the seams. However, Jackson’s prose is eerie and seductive and her plot has the lurching rhythm of a fever dream. At the center of this book is a yawning void. Enter at your own risk. -Danielle

Reconsidering Norman Mailer

With J. Michael Lennon’s exhaustive new biography, NORMAN MAILER: A DOUBLE LIFE, scheduled to be released October 15th, it seems like the right time to revisit the work and legacy of this polarizing literary icon.

Mailer casts a long shadow over post-WWII American literature. Indeed, beginning with the seminal war classic, THE NAKED AND THE DEAD, in 1948, his career spanned the entire second half of the twentieth century. However, Mailer’s prodigious talent as a writer is often overshadowed in turn by his outrageous---and very public---behavior. Since he came to prominence at almost the exact moment televisions started to appear in homes across America, everything Mailer said and did reached millions. Each of his arrests for political dissent, every incendiary sexist comment he made, every physical altercation he got into (headbutting Gore Vidal or brawling with Rip Torn are personal favorites) was broadcast across the nation, not to mention recorded for posterity.

Norman Mailer: A Double Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439150191
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 15th, 2013

All of this and much more is recounted in A DOUBLE LIFE. And even though he was a close friend, Lennon doesn’t give Mailer a free pass on his shortcomings. But where this biography really shines is in its detailed chronicle of Mailer’s writing and publishing battles. This kind of behind-the-scenes access to the creative process of a genius and the tension Mailer’s public persona brought to his art make A DOUBLE LIFE an absorbing read. So, was Mailer a nice guy? Absolutely not. He is the quintessential example of having to separate the man from the art. But no matter what you think of Norman Mailer, his ability, ingenuity and influence as a writer are undeniable. Here are a few of his best.

The Naked and the Dead: 50th Anniversary Edition, with a New Introduction by the Author Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312265052
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - August 5th, 2000

One of the greatest war novels of all time and still his top selling book, THE NAKED AND THE DEAD propelled a twenty-five year old Mailer to instant celebrity when it debuted at number one on The New York Times bestseller list. Set in the Philippines and based on Mailer’s own wartime experiences, The Naked and the Dead skillfully renders the effects of war on the soldier’s psyche and exposes the arrogance and incompetence of commanding officers. No one comes out looking good in this novel, let alone heroic. It’s unvarnished portrayal of combat life was unparalleled upon its release, simultaneously garnering critical praise and condemnation. But if it wasn’t controversial, it would be Mailer! Any way you look at it, THE NAKED AND THE DEAD, is a classic not to be missed.

The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780452272798
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Plume Books - January 1st, 1995

Earning Mailer his first Pulitzer and a National Book Award, ARMIES OF THE NIGHT is a work of historical as well as literary importance (as the subtitle implies). Along with Truman Capote’s IN COLD BLOOD, it was part of the “new journalism” vanguard that brought novelistic techniques to nonfiction writing in the mid-1960s. Chronicling the 1967 March on the Pentagon, ARMIES OF THE NIGHT is also stylistically avant garde in Mailer’s use of the third-person to describe his own experience as an observer and participant at the protest. While he often gets lambasted for the perceived arrogance of this creative choice, aesthetically it affords Mailer a point-of-view of both immediacy and detachment. The effect is startling and puts the reader right in the middle of the political turmoil that suffused the Vietnam War protests. Simply a great book!

The Executioner's Song Cover Image
By Norman Mailer, Dave Eggers (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780446584388
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - May 8th, 2012

This mammoth novel (1,086 pages!) further straddles the line between fact and fiction like much of Mailer’s work. THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG is an incredibly nuanced and engrossing portrait of Gary Gilmore, the habitual criminal who became the first person executed in the United States in a decade when he demanded the death penalty for two murders he committed in 1976. In Mailer’s adept hands, however, this book became a major touchstone in the debate over capital punishment in America. Don’t be put off by it’s size! THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG is a furious page-turner and an important historical record you’ll find hard to put down.

The Fight Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812986129
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade - October 15th, 2013

Mailer’s eye witness account (again written in the third person) of “The Rumble in the Jungle”---Muhammad Ali’s historic championship bout against Houston’s own George Foreman---is a classic of sports reportage. Mailer’s celebrity and press access allowed him to capture in THE FIGHT the pensive mood permeating both boxers’ camps, the beauty and poverty of Kinshasa where the fight was held, and the frenetic media storm surrounding this highly publicized sporting event. Every subtle aspect of the spectacle comes through. You will feel like you are there. A new edition of THE FIGHT is set to come out this month!

-- Keaton

Banned Book Staff Favorites

Each year, we celebrate Banned Books in September. It's one of our favorite times of year because it reminds us that we trade in 'dangerous' merchandise from time-to-time.

School and public libraries across the United States continue each year to challenge or ban books for a variety of reasons ranging from the obvious (profanity in CATCHER IN THE RYE, adult situations in THE COLOR PURPLE) to the not-so-obvious (Satanic influence in the HARRY POTTER books, promotion of homosexuality in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK). Fortunately the government has stopped banning books as a matter of policy, but in the 1920s, the U.S. Postal Service regularly burned copies of ULYSSES by James Joyce because it violated obscenity regulations set forth by the Supreme Court.

I love books that challenge the status quo. I want books to challenge my basic notions and force me to reconsider my own ideas about the world. When I browse our Banned Book display table, I see at least a dozen titles that did just that and have made me a better human as a result. 

Our favorite banned books will be displayed through the end of September. We hope you'll come in, take a look, and tell us about your favorite 'dangerous' title.


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Cover Image
By Alvin Schwartz, Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780060835194
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - July 27th, 2010

Many silly rationales have been cited for the censure of this contemporary kid’s classic, violence and glorification of the occult chief among them. However, the real reason that parents have been wary of this collection of ghost tales for more than a decade is that the original Stephen Gammell illustrations were so genuinely terrifying. In 2010 HarperCollins released new editions of each volume of Schwartz’s SCARY STORIES with still-creepy but sanitized drawings by Brett Helquist in an attempt to pacify nervous parents. If you need some great tales to tell around a campfire, I can recommend a copy of the updated SCARY STORIES, but I can’t help but suggest you search out used copies of the originals if you really want a fright! -Danielle

Staff Pick Logo
Tropic of Cancer (Miller) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802131782
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - January 6th, 1994

Sexually explicit, amoral and ingenious, Tropic of Cancer not only broke new ground for American literature with its sui generis mix of fiction and memoir, it also sparked an overturn of US censorship standards and the definition of “obscenity” after being banned for nearly thirty years. Like an American Rimbaud, Henry Miller used his own hedonistic experiences while living in 1930s Paris as the inspiration for this visceral novel. And although his style has often been imitated, nothing is quite like the ribald, insouciant profanity of Miller’s narrative voice. -Keaton

Green Eggs and Ham (I Can Read It All by Myself Beginner Books) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780394800165
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - August 12th, 1960

Dr. Seuss’s evergreen classic GREEN EGGS AND HAM is the first books many kids remember reading. But did you know the book has been banned, both in California for Sam I Am's "homosexual seduction" of his friend and in China for "early Marxism"? I personally think the book is perfect just the way it is, but I wouldn't mind a ban on green eggs and ham itself. Yuck. -Mary

Slaughterhouse-Five: Or the Children's Crusade, a Duty-Dance with Death (Modern Library 100 Best Novels) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385333849
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press - January 11th, 1999

SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE was a revelation to me when I read it in high school. Before then, I didn't know that 'literary' books could be funny and ironic and could even--gasp!--contain drawings. This book has been banned countless times in numerous school districts. When the book was stricken from the public schools of Oakland County, Michigan in 1972, the circuit judge called it “depraved, immoral, psychotic, vulgar, and anti-Christian.” Ironically, SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE makes a powerful argument about how we humans keep repeating the same fatal mistakes over and over. Hmm… -Mark

Naked Lunch: The Restored Text Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802122070
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - July 16th, 2013

Do you enjoy dwelling in a world of heroin-soaked surreality filled with shady characters and foul language? I sure do, which is why I think NAKED LUNCH is a must-read for any banned book "junkie". -Chris