Book Lists

This category is for lists of books (example: Top 10 Books for Summer Reading)

Brazos Bestsellers

Here's a list of the top selling books at Brazos Bookstore this week!

Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501197628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 5th, 2019

Secret Houston: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure Cover Image
ISBN: 9781681062099
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Reedy Press - October 15th, 2019

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor Cover Image
By Layla Saad, Robin Diangelo (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781728209807
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now
Published: Sourcebooks - January 28th, 2020

Voyage of the Templar Guardians: Book Two of the Temple Chronicles Cover Image
ISBN: 9781684706815
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Lulu Publishing Services - July 11th, 2019

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250209764
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - January 21st, 2020

Where the Crawdads Sing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735219090
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - August 14th, 2018

Homie: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644450109
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - January 21st, 2020

A History of the Cat in Nine Chapters or Less Cover Image
By Fu Shivani, Anis Shivani (As Told by)
ISBN: 9781936196968
Availability: Backordered
Published: C&r Press - November 1st, 2019

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In the Dream House: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644450031
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - November 5th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas Cover Image
ISBN: 9780292759510
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Texas Press - October 1st, 2019

Brazos Staff Share Their Favorite Books from Childhood

Look at these photos! We were all undeniably adorable and we were also all incredible bookworms! Here are some of our all-time favorite books from when we were kids. Take a look, relive those golden days of childhood, and check out our picks in-store on the green cube outside the kid's room! Feeling nostalgic? Come on in and tell us about your most beloved stories!

Redwall: A Tale from Redwall Cover Image
By Brian Jacques, Gary Chalk (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780142302378
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Firebird - September 30th, 2002


High fantasy and talking animals? Yes, please! The once and future Sonia will always have a soft spot for the lovely little critters that populate Brian Jacques's Redwall series. The first book in particular, propelled by the threat posed to the picturesque Redwall Abbey by Cluny the Scourge and the unlikely heroism of the mouse Matthias, holds a special place in my heart. A great read for adventurers of all sizes and species!

Hitty Her First Hundred Years Cover Image
By Rachel Field, Dorothy P. Lathrop (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780689822841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Aladdin - September 1st, 1998


1. This is an almost forgotten children's book written long before my actual childhood, but it was one of my favorites growing up. In the vein of Edward Tulane, this is the tale of a little wooden doll and her many adventures, from her first home in a small New England town to her voyage across the ocean all the way to India. Loved the gorgeous woodcut illustrations and imagining the secret lives of my own toys.

The Fledgling Cover Image
ISBN: 9780064401210
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - January 22nd, 2002

2. This book and the movie Fly Away Home inspired my OBSESSION with geese as a kid. This is the charming story of a girl growing up on the shores of Walden Pond, who one night is visited by a Canada goose who teaches her how to fly. A beautiful, poignant book about the power of imagination, generosity, and the quiet kind of strength.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia #2) Cover Image
By C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780064404990
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - January 2nd, 2008


*note: Mark did not provide a baby photo, so this was chosen for him. It is still an accurate depiction of him as a child.

A Picture of Freedom (Dear America) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545242530
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - January 1st, 2011


I compulsively read and re-read the Dear America books when I was in middle school in 2001. At the time there were dozens, now there are only 5 available to order. You should be able to find the rest at your local library, as I did all those years ago. I recently revisited A PICTURE OF FREEDOM, and it handled difficult, complex subjects beautifully, while remaining true to historical reality. The series were just some of the many books that instilled in me a love of reading and writing and imagining!

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142408810
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - April 5th, 2007


*note: This is the photo Keaton provided. Any issues with accuracy must be taken up with Keaton.

I don't know what is was about this book. Maybe it just found me at the right time, but TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING is the first book I ever read that really resonated with me as a reader--even if I didn't know what that meant at the time! The feelings of being overlooked and overwhelmed as a child trying to build a sense of individuality, the horrors of a younger sibling, the earliest twinge of social awkwardness developing at school. What can I say? Judy Blume just GOT 9-10 year old Keaton! It's one of my earliest memories of feeling seen in a work of fiction, and I still love TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING to this day.

The First Horror (Fear Street #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780671885625
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - August 1st, 1994


Fear Street. I specifically remember checking out The Prom Queen. The girl on the cover was wearing a very 80s/early 90s puffy sleeved dress and her reflection in the window/mirror WAS A SKULL. Trippy. So someone is murdering all the prom queen candidates at Shadyside High. Teen hijinks and murder ensue. I'm not sure why 11 year old Alana liked reading spooky things, but here we are.

Catwings Cover Image
ISBN: 9780439551892
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orchard Books - May 1st, 2003


This book is all about a group of kittens who were born with wings. They decide to escape the danger of city life and fly away. Country life, however, is not as easy as they expect. I remember being completely spellbound by the illustrations, and my mom could get me to read anything if it was about a cat.

Half Magic (Tales of Magic #1) Cover Image
By Edward Eager, Alice Hoffman (Introduction by), N. M. Bodecker (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780544671720
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - May 24th, 2016


When I was eight I discovered Edward Eager's HALF MAGIC, which is about British siblings who, one boring summer, find a magic amulet on the ground which allows all sorts of amazing wishes to come true... but only half way. I adored this book. I read it over and over, scouring our Chicago neighborhood, hoping to stumble on a magic amulet and make my own boring summer with my younger brother become magical. I mean, who doesn't want to transform into a quippy British kid who finds magic? I'm still waiting, only slightly bitter.

Feelings Cover Image
By Aliki, Aliki (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780688065188
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 21st, 2019


I've always had a lot of them. Feelings. 

The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet (The Secrets of Droon #1): The Hidden Stairs And The Magic Carpet Cover Image
By Tony Abbott, Tim Jessell (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780590108393
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - June 1st, 1999


1. I have never once met anyone else who's read THE SECRETS OF DROON, but everyone should know about it! This chapter book series has magic, adventure, llamas with six legs, and talking pillows called Lumpys! If that doesn't strike your fancy I don't know what will!

The Girl Who Could Fly (Piper McCloud #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250072467
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - October 27th, 2015

2. Piper McCloud can fly. Just like that. Easy as pie! This is a soaring tale of a farm girl who's just a little bit different. It's odd, it's sweet, it's one of my all-time favorites! Just read the first page and tell me you're not in love! You just can't keep a good girl down!

The 2019 Kids' Holiday Catalogue is Here!

We are so very excited to introduce our Holiday Kids’ List! There’s something here for everyone, for all tastes and interests – from our youngest readers to teens and beyond – because we all know that a good book is a good book and that crosses all age lines! As we do all year long, our hope for our Holiday list is that we are bringing our customers a thoughtfully-curated collection of the best of what is new in children’s and young adult literature, both fiction and non-fiction.

Spring Has Spring: Books That Celebrate Springtime, Revival, and Nature

Spring has sprung and we’re excited to share a list of our favorite reads representing springtime, revival, and nature!

Laura G Recommends

Staff Pick Badge
Pond Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399575907
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - July 11th, 2017

This is a complete and utter escape en par with a certain other Irish writer's stream-of-consciousness masterpiece. Contemplative, rich, and an absolute delight - pure natural aesthetic pleasure!

Nightlights Cover Image
ISBN: 9781910620571
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Nobrow - March 5th, 2019

Filled with rich, jewel-toned comic pages as well as luscious, dizzyingly detailed spreads, Alvarez brings the imagination to life in her latest graphic novel! Filled with nature-inspired imagery, this book is a gorgeous work of art for people of all ages!

Keaton Recommends

The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things --- Stories from Science and Observation Cover Image
ISBN: 9781771643887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Books - March 5th, 2019

Everyone's favorite German tree whisperer rounds out his groundbreaking nature trilogy with his latest insightful deep dive into the world around us.

Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393635065
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 12th, 2019

This book by primatologist, atheist and philosopher De Waal will break your heart and fill it with wonder. Using the life of chimpanzee matriarch Mama as a case study, his ever empathetic and brilliant mind explores the complex emotional life of our animal cousins.

Laura M Recommends

The Overstory: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393356687
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 2nd, 2019

Out in paperback 4/2! A masterpiece. This dizzying tale draws together several strangers and the natural world that is fading around them in an epic struggle for the future of American forests. Engaging and timely without being didactic, THE OVERSTORY is Powers at his best.

Richard Powers will be with Tayari Jones for an event with Inprint on 4/22!

Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143125372
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - May 27th, 2014

Mooallem dives deep into our conflicted relationship with animals, and the extreme lengths we will go to save endangered species. A beautiful, tender book that reveals much more about us than it does about the creatures we are trying to save.

The Oldest Living Things in the World Cover Image
By Rachel Sussman, Carl Zimmer (Memoir by), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Memoir by)
ISBN: 9780226057507
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Chicago Press - April 14th, 2014

Artist and scientist Rachel Sussman set out to photograph the old living things in the world. This stunning coffee table book reminds us how fleeting and precious a single human life is against the backdrop of mosses, lichen, and tree systems that have lived for centuries.

Joy Recommends

Where the Crawdads Sing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735219090
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - August 14th, 2018

This latest pick for Reese Witherspoon's Book Club is part coming of age story and part murder mystery, set against the backdrop of the lonely North Carolina marsh lands, so vividly depicted they serve as their own sort of fully-realized and mesmerizing character.

Angel Thieves Cover Image
ISBN: 9781442421097
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - March 12th, 2019

Set in Houston both past and present, ANGEL THIEVES intertwines the stories of a father and son eeking out a living stealing cemetery angels, an escaped slave and her daughters, an ocelot, a marble carver, a teenage girl, and the ever-present, ever-moving Buffalo Bayou, which sees them all in Newbery Award winner and National Book Award nominee Appelt's lyrical, gorgeous new YA novel. We are hosting Kathi Appelt on 4/24! Join us!

Katie Recommends

The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish Cover Image
ISBN: 9781937512750
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Two Dollar Radio - September 18th, 2018

Each character in this novel are extremely flawed, facts become blurred as the Louisiana humidity and swamps take over a mother with mental illness and her two daughters are left to understand what has happened. A story of family and the dark cloud our past and the choices our family make that effect our past present and future.

A City Inside: Hardcover Edition Cover Image
ISBN: 9781910395417
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Avery Hill Publishing - October 15th, 2018

A story that shifts between the surreal and the everyday as a woman looks back on her childhood and growing up, ultimately about discovering who we are and want to be in life while not having just one coming-of-age, but multiple in a lifetime. A beautiful reminder that who we are in this moment does not define who we can become.

Aesthetica Botanica: A Life with Plants Cover Image
By Sandu Publications (Editor)
ISBN: 9781584236863
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Gingko Press - September 15th, 2018

Green thumb or not this book will inspire you to create a garden of your own no matter where you live. Full of gorgeous photos and inspiration for all types of spaces.

Sara Recommends

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Reinhardt's Garden Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566895620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - October 1st, 2019

Our very own Habes has the jungle down pat in his exploratory, lucid adventure story. Life, death, renewal, past, present — all is represented in this obsessive and philosophically driven novella. Out this fall. Sorry, you'll have to wait for this one!

Spring Garden (Japanese Novellas #2) Cover Image
By TOMOKA SHIBASAKI, Polly Barton (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781782272700
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Pushkin Press - November 7th, 2017

Taro is one of the last residents in a 12-apartment complex slated for demolition, each home named after a zodiac symbol. He becomes friends with a woman in his complex who is obsessed with the beautiful and unusual house next door. This book beautifully encompasses themes of growth, rebirth, and nostalgia.

Binstead's Safari Cover Image
ISBN: 9780811228466
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions - February 26th, 2019

This incredible feminist writer just passed away, and her works have been woefully under-worshipped. In BINSTEAD’S SAFARI, a woman finds agency during a trip to Africa with her husband. As they travel, she transforms from a rather bland woman to a fabulous social butterfly who is able to find satisfaction wholly separately from her self-indulgent husband. Tongue-in-cheek and utterly pleasing, this book engages the mystique of the local fauna (it is Rachel Ingalls, after all... hint, hint).

Alana Recommends

The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea Cover Image
ISBN: 9780871408662
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Liveright - March 14th, 2017

Take a deep dive into the Gulf of Mexico with this Pulitzer Prize-winning work of ecological history. Davis weaves a rich narrative that looks closely at the people, industries, and wildlife that call this sea home.

Lyric Recommends

The Color Purple Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156028356
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Mariner Books - May 28th, 2003

Celie's story is like a blooming flower: out of traumas imposed by men, and the violence of the Jim Crow South, she comes into the love that can exist between people who care for one another. All of this pivots on her lover Shug's theology of nature, rooted in the sensuality of fields of flowers, rain, wind and the sky.

Women's History Month: What's the Staff Reading Right Now?

The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II Cover Image
By Svetlana Alexievich, Richard Pevear (Translated by), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780399588747
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - April 3rd, 2018

Winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature, Ukrainian author Svetlana Alexievich is an utterly original voice in modern writing. Her books are described as "oral histories" where Alexievich interviews people from every facet of society: farmers to government officials to soldiers. Her books look bravely into the abyss of the 20th and 21st century, seeing the brutal reality of events like the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, war and its aftermath. There's very little in modern writing as visceral and urgent as her books; they're as important as they are moving.

- Mark

Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World Cover Image
By Katherine Halligan, Sarah Walsh (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534436640
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 11th, 2018

Written and Illustrated by two women this picture book is not only beautiful but full of amazing powerful women from around the world. From artists to activists, this book guarantees to teach you about an important woman in history you maybe don't know.

- Katie

Staff Pick Badge
The Changeling Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941040898
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - April 10th, 2018

A drunken heroine meets a dark and mysterious stranger, who whisks her away to an isolated island estate overrun with near-feral children. What unfolds is a haunting and utterly odd take on the modern fairy tale from one of America's greatest living writers.

- Keaton

Staff Pick Badge
Madame Victoria Cover Image
ISBN: 9781771962070
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Biblioasis - November 13th, 2018

This translated book cuts to the heart of what it is to occupy a female body - the fear, the joy, and the rage. Twelve speculative stories demonstrate a vast range of emotion - at times they are uplifting and peaceful before diving back into the narrative's constantly present, violent underbelly. Haunting, visceral, and so important.

- Laura

Recitation Cover Image
By Suah Bae, Deborah Smith (Translator)
ISBN: 9781941920466
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - January 24th, 2017

RECITATION charts the travels of a mysterious traveler and voice actress after she arrives at an empty train station in Europe. As the book’s pages creep by, the lone woman’s narrative becomes ever more tangled in her personal identity, family past, and the imagined collective past of city dwellers in general. Bae Suah weaves a lyrical exploration of self-discovery through the eyes of what could be any number of female identities. This is a remarkable book that manages both experimentation and nonlinearity and thoughtful, deliberate plot.


LitHaus: A Goethe Pop-Up Houston Reading List

Brazos Bookstore is excited to partner with the Goethe-Institut's Houston pop-up for a year of cultural events in our city.

The Goethe Pop Up Houston presents LitHAUS, a monthly reading series for contemporary German literature. Each month’s selection will be accompanied by a talk or discussion around the work and its wider themes. Reading the work is encouraged but not required. Everyone is welcome to join in! Find more information about Goethe Pop Up Houston here.

Memoirs of a Polar Bear Cover Image
By Yoko Tawada, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780811225786
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions - November 8th, 2016

Memoirs of a Polar Bear stars three generations of talented writers and performers. Famous stars of the literary world, the circus, and the zoo, they happen to be polar bears who move human society. In part one, the matriarch, enjoying “the intimacy of being alone with my pen,” accidentally writes a bestselling autobiography in the Soviet Union. In part two, her daughter Tosca moves to East Germany and pioneers a thrilling circus act. And Tosca’s son—the last of their line—is Knut, born in part three and raised by a human keeper in relatively happy circumstances in the Berlin zoo.

Staff Pick Badge
Before the Feast Cover Image
By Sasa Stanisic, Anthea Bell (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781941040393
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Tin House Books - June 14th, 2016

It’s the evening before the feast in the village of Fürstenfelde. The village is asleep. Except for the ferryman—he’s dead. And Mrs. Kranz, the night-blind painter, who wants to depict her village for the first time at night. A bell-ringer and his apprentice want to ring the bells—the only problem is that the bells have gone. A vixen is looking for eggs for her young, and Mr. Schramm is discovering more reasons to quit life than to quit smoking. Someone has opened the doors to the Village Archive, but what drives the sleepless out of their houses is not that which was stolen, but that which has escaped. Old stories, myths, and fairy tales are wandering about the streets with the people. They come together in a novel about a long night, a mosaic of village life, in which the long-established and newcomers, the dead and the living, craftsmen, pensioners, and noble robbers in football jerseys bump into one another. They all want to bring something to a close, on this night before the feast.

Bricks and Mortar Cover Image
By Clemens Meyer, Katy Derbyshire (Translator)
ISBN: 9781910695197
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Fitzcarraldo Editions - May 8th, 2018

Bricks and Mortar is the story of the sex trade in a big city in the former GDR, from just before 1989 to the present day, charting the development of the industry from absolute prohibition to full legality in the twenty years following the reunification of Germany. The focus is on the rise and fall of one man from football hooligan to large-scale landlord and service- provider for prostitutes to, ultimately, a man persecuted by those he once trusted. But we also hear other voices: many different women who work in prostitution, their clients, small-time gangsters, an ex-jockey searching for his drug-addict daughter, a businessman from the West, a girl forced into child prostitution, a detective, a pirate radio presenter…

The Fox and Dr. Shimamura Cover Image
By Christine Wunnicke, Philip Boehm (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780811226240
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions - April 30th, 2019

The Fox and Dr. Shimamura toothsomely encompasses Japan and Europe, memory and actuality, fox-possession myths and psychiatric mythmaking. The novel begins near the story’s end, in Dr. Shimamura’s retirement. A feverish invalid, he’s watched over by four women: his wife, his mother, his mother-in- law, and a nurse (originally one of his psychiatric patients). As an outstanding young Japanese medical student at the end of the nineteenth century, Dr. Shimamura is sent—to his dismay—to the provinces: he is asked to cure scores of young women of an epidemic of fox possession. He considers the assignment a joke, believing it’s all a hoax, until he sees a fox moving under the skin of a beauty. He comes to believe not just in fox possession, but also that he in fact “cured” the young woman with a kiss, by breathing in the fox demon (the root of his lifelong fever). Next he travels to Europe and works with such luminaries as Charcot, Breuer and (briefly) Freud himself.

All Russians Love Birch Trees: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781590515846
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Other Press - January 7th, 2014

Set in Frankfurt, All Russians Love Birch Trees follows a young immigrant named Masha. Fluent in five languages and able to get by in several others, Masha lives with her boyfriend, Elias. Her best friends are Muslims struggling to obtain residence permits, and her parents rarely leave the house except to compare gas prices. Masha has nearly completed her studies to become an interpreter, when suddenly Elias is hospitalized after a serious soccer injury and dies, forcing her to question a past that has haunted her for years. With cool irony, Grjasnowa’s debut novel tells the story of a headstrong young woman for whom the issue of origin and nationality is immaterial—her Jewish background has taught her she can survive anywhere. Yet Masha isn’t equipped to deal with grief, and this all-too-normal shortcoming gives a particularly bittersweet quality to her adventures.

River Cover Image
By Esther Kinsky, Iain Galbraith (Translator)
ISBN: 9781945492174
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Transit Books - September 4th, 2018

A woman moves to a London suburb near the River Lea, without knowing quite why or for how long. Over a series of long, solitary walks she reminisces about the rivers she has encountered during her life, from the Rhine, her childhood river, to the Saint Lawrence, and a stream in Tel Aviv. Filled with poignancy and poetic observation, River is an ode to nature, edgelands, and the transience of all things human.

Sand Cover Image
By Wolfgang Herrndorf, Tim Mohr (Translated by), Michael Maar (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781681372013
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: NYRB Classics - June 12th, 2018

North Africa, 1972. While the world is reeling from the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, a series of mysterious events is playing out in the Sahara. Four people are murdered in a hippie commune, a suitcase full of money disappears, and a pair of unenthusiastic detectives are assigned to investigate. In the midst of it all, a man with no memory tries to evade his armed pursuers. Who are they? What do they want from him? If he could just recall his own identity he might have a chance of working it out. . . .

I Called Him Necktie Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939931146
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: New Vessel Press - September 9th, 2014

Twenty-year-old Taguchi Hiro has spent the last two years of his life living as a hikikomori—a shut-in who never leaves his room and has no human interaction—in his parents’ home in Tokyo. As Hiro tentatively decides to reenter the world, he spends his days observing life around him from a park bench. Gradually he makes friends with Ohara Tetsu, a middle-aged salaryman who has lost his job but can’t bring himself to tell his wife, and shows up every day in a suit and tie to pass the time on a nearby bench. As Hiro and Tetsu cautiously open up to each other, they discover in their sadness a common bond. Regrets and disappointments, as well as hopes and dreams, come to the surface until both find the strength to somehow give a new start to their lives.

Go, Went, Gone Cover Image
By Jenny Erpenbeck, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780811225946
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions - September 26th, 2017

Go, Went, Gone tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns into compassion and an inner transformation as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. Go, Went, Gone is a scathing indictment of Western policy toward the European refugee crisis, but also a touching portrait of a man who finds he has more in common with the Africans than he realizes.

My Father Was a Man on Land and a Whale in the Water Cover Image
By Michelle Steinbeck, Jen Calleja (Translator)
ISBN: 9781850773184
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Darf Publishers - October 18th, 2018

A child attacks Loribeth with an iron while she is sleeping. In retaliation Loribeth throws the iron onto the child from an upstairs window, packs the damaged body into a suitcase and sets off on her travels. Thus starts Steinbeck’s unusual, poetic novella about a young woman’s transition from childhood to adulthood. Loribeth and her suitcase begin an odyssey through nightmarish locations in search of her absent father. What ensues is a Freudian adult fairytale.

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine Cover Image
By Alina Bronsky, Tim Mohr (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781609450069
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Europa Editions - April 26th, 2011

Rosa Achmetowna is the outrageously nasty and wily narrator of this rollicking family saga. When she discovers that her seventeen-year-old daughter, “stupid Sulfia,” is pregnant by an unknown man she does everything to thwart the pregnancy, employing a variety of folkloric home remedies. But despite her best efforts the baby, Aminat, is born nine months later at Soviet Birthing Center Number 134. Much to Rosa’s surprise and delight, dark eyed Aminat is a Tartar through and through and instantly becomes the apple of her grandmother’s eye. While her good for nothing husband Kalganow spends his days feeding pigeons and contemplating death at the city park, Rosa wages an epic struggle to wrestle Aminat away from Sulfia, whom she considers a woefully inept mother. When Aminat, now a wild and willful teenager, catches the eye of a sleazy German cookbook writer researching Tartar cuisine, Rosa is quick to broker a deal that will guarantee all three women a passage out of the Soviet Union. But as soon as they are settled in the West, the uproariously dysfunctional ties that bind mother, daughter and grandmother begin to fray.

Playing Around in the Spaces Between: Improvising Poems

In improvising poetry, aka a live-action cento, aka fashioning a poetry jam band, I start with a makeshift canon. Like throwing a party, you put different poets, different styles at play with/in each other, and see if it takes off. Like throwing a party, I try to be well-rested and hydrated before I host. I spend time thinking of who to invite. I light a candle. I open the space up. I have party games ready in case it gets awkward. There is some noise, which starts out steady and comforting, before we trust each other enough to get real weird.

The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 (American Poets Continuum #134) Cover Image
By Lucille Clifton, Toni Morrison (Foreword by), Kevin Young (Editor)
ISBN: 9781934414903
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: BOA Editions - August 28th, 2012

A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)Tics Cover Image
ISBN: 9781933517599
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Wave Books - April 3rd, 2012

Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375701290
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - July 27th, 1999

Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 Complete Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156028615
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - May 17th, 2004

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds Cover Image
ISBN: 9781849352604
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: AK Press - April 18th, 2017

Other recommended texts include Sun Ra's This Planet is Doomed: The Science Fiction Poetry of Sun Ra and CA Conrad's Ecodeviance: (Soma)tics for Future Wilderness.

Elena Gonzales Melinger is a poet and writer. Her work has appeared in the Texas Review, Glass Mountain and Dangerous Constellations. She has performed most recently with Public Poetry and Poetry Fix. Her chapbook, Write What You Know, and zine, Light Skinned Tears, will be available at Brazos Bookstore on February 8th, 2019 for her event.


Books We're Looking Forward To in 2019

We can't wait for the new releases 2019 will bring! There are many undiscovered treasures to be read, but in the meantime, here are a few 2019 books we just can't wait to share!

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524732714
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - January 15th, 2019

This new memoir from Shapiro is part detective novel and part family history. It's all about finding a place where you belong after your life is turned upside down.


The Remainder Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566895507
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Coffee House Press - August 6th, 2019

A road trip of two young friends, Felipe and Iquela, in modern-day Chile that casts light on the past generations and the dictatorship. Darkly comic, sad and profound. With a brilliant translation by Sophie Hughes.


Sweety Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525580003
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Schwartz & Wade - March 26th, 2019

In picture books, I can hardly wait for SWEETY by Andrea Zuill, the quirky and delightfully charming story of an awkward but lovable naked mole rat who is looking for her people and finding out that she is awesome.


Staff Pick Badge
Lost Children Archive: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525520610
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - February 12th, 2019

Two professional archivists/sound recorders -- a documentarist and a documentarian -- set out on a road trip across the US with their two kids. This book is a meditation on loss, family, borders, and human rights that only Valeria Luiselli could accomplish.


Staff Pick Badge
Sea Monsters Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936787869
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - February 5th, 2019

A stunning and lyrical coming-of-age novel Mexico City, the 1980's, a young girl runs away from home with another boy to find a group of Ukrainian dwarves who have escaped a Russian circus. As strange as the plot may sound, this novel is moving and urgent and my favorite of Aridjis' three novels in English. Ideal for fans of Guadalupe Nettel and Roberto Bolaño.


On the Come Up Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062498564
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 5th, 2019

Angie Thomas' second book comes out in February, and I cannot wait to see what she's got in store for us next!


Staff Pick Badge
Lot: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525533672
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - March 19th, 2019

Finally, we have a seminal work of contemporary Houston literature! This is the book I can put into people's hands when they want to know what it's like to live in our city. What's more, it is a stunning story collection heralding a big new talent from Texas.


Figuring Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524748135
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon - February 5th, 2019

I am beyond excited for Figuring by Maria Popova, which comes out in February. With the same boundless curiosity that makes her website and newsletter Brainpickings so fascinating, Popova examines the wildly different lives of several artists, writers, and scientists, from Emily Dickinson to Rachel Carson. From the lives of these fascinating people come questions about the universe, the search for knowledge, and what it means to live a meaningful life.

-Laura M

Song for a Whale Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524770235
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers - February 5th, 2019

I'm really excited for the middle grade novel, SONG FOR A WHALE, by Lynne Kelly, coming on 2/5/19 from Delacorte. It's a luminous and triumphant story of a deaf girl's fascination with Blue 55, the loneliest whale in the world and her journey to find a way to communicate with him.


Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250170996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - December 3rd, 2019

The first book ended on such a cliffhanger; I need to know what happens next!!



I think one of the few things we can all agree on lately is that it’s been a tumultuous year for our fiery and often tragic political and social landscape. This is what kept sticking in my head as I worked to come up with my top ten list, which originally was going to be droll and lighthearted and then, well, wasn’t. The timely and moving YA books below vary in perspective, tone, and genre, but all of them have one thing in common: They are on some level about girls claiming their place, fighting back, speaking up, commanding space, and being heard.

Damsel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062742322
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 2nd, 2018

A powerful and visceral, feminist anti-fairy tale. This one takes no prisoners. As well it shouldn’t. A masterpiece.

Sadie Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250105714
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Wednesday Books - September 4th, 2018

A dead girl. A sister’s revenge. A podcast. A powerhouse and now bestselling novel with two narrative strands from an author you should all be reading.

Hole in the Middle Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616959562
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Teen - September 4th, 2018

Body positivity. Being who you are regardless of the world’s judgments. A sharp feminist read from one of Austin’s newest voices.

The Hate U Give Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062498533
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 28th, 2017

Technically this one came out last year, but the movie arrived a few weeks ago. If you haven’t read it, read it. A girl with a foot in two worlds. A senseless shooting. Our sadly pervasive racial divides. Standing up for the truth. Starr’s story is so much more than a ‘ripped from the headlines’ read.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316310277
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - January 2nd, 2018

Black’s back to her faerie story roots with this tale of Jude, fully human but taken away by her stepfather to grow up in Faerie. The result is a story of political machinations, a girl finding her power among dangerous creature, and a bit of a twisted love story to spice things up. The human girl who would be king. I loved it. And the soon to arrive sequel is even better.

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062795328
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - October 2nd, 2018

Felicity Montague is going to achieve her dream of becoming a physician-- even if it’s the 1700s and the world expects nothing more of her than to be a wife and raise a brood. Adventure. Lady Pirates. Girl power. And organically seamless LGBTQ representation in this companion to last year’s GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE.

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250170972
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 6th, 2018

Black Lives Matter meets Nigerian folklore-based fantasy. Women whose magic has been forcefully repressed and ripped away… until it begins to return. A story of protest, identity and female power. I’d call this one a solid companion piece to Thomas’s Hate U Give. Jimmy Fallon even made it his first book club pick. Plus, it's first in a series.

Moxie: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250104267
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - September 18th, 2018

Another title that’s been out since last year, but which had to be on this list, both for its brilliance and for Houston author Mathieu’s own tireless political advocacy work. A teen girl fights institutional misogyny through her initially anonymous Moxie zine. A feminist primer.

The Belles Cover Image
ISBN: 9781484728499
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Freeform - February 6th, 2018

I’d love to see readers pair this one with Hole in the Middle. But it stands strong on its own. A dark fantasy version of New Orleans setting. And a post-2016 election inspired deep dive into our perceptions of beauty and a confrontation of the effects on women of color of both white feminism and the patriarchy. Clayton’s one of the co-founders of We Need Diverse Books.

A Room Away From the Wolves Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616203733
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - September 4th, 2018

No one writes twisty disturbing , angry girl stories quite like Nova Ren Suma, who like Elana K. Arnold and Margo Lanagan and others goes fearlessly after her themes. This one’s a little Gothic, a lot mysterious, and a willingness to create flawed girls whose determination to break free makes them beautiful.

Ülrika's Top Ten Gifts of 2018: Vendors Who Give Back!

Each year, when asked to compile our 10 top list, I try to narrow down the focus on the items that managed to stand out over the past year. As the gift buyer I wanted to strictly focus on the gift items and, more importantly, the vendors we carry that give back to the community. It’s important for me to buy from smaller companies and companies that focus not only on supporting the communities around them, but on being socially responsible as well.

Calyan Candles were brought to my attention by Thu and Mark while they visiting Fort Worth. Besides the fact these wonderful soy candles fill the room (as well as the entire store, which you will notice if you stop by during the holidays), 10% of their profits help to fight human trafficking. They partner with local nonprofits to provide funding for prevention, prosecution, or restoration.

Each of their scents is amazing and it was difficult to find one for the list; however the lavender & bergamot tumbler ended making it to my #1. Each of their tumblers burns for approximately 45 hours and the glass tumbler can be recycled or used again as a cocktail glass or regular drinking glass.

SKU: 704907495692

Brazos has been carrying Out of Print before I even became the gift buyer. Established in 2010, with every purchase they donate books to support literacy programs around the world. One of my favorite items from Out of Print is their incredible socks. This year they have expanded the line to include kids' sizes! 

Two of my favorites are the adult Book Nerd and kids Library socks. For the kids' socks, the "return dates" on the bottom are actually grips.

SKU: 617353292626

Thu and I discovered Musee while we were in New York for the gift expo NY. I not only fell in love with their amazing line of bath balms, soaps, and candles but also their philosophy regarding helping their community. Musee Bath is a natural bath and candle company in Madison County, Mississippi. Mussee Bath hires women in recovery, individuals with disabilities, and people that haven’t had the opportunities to receive an education. Each of their bath balms features either a fun surprise or a reusable water activated light. The candles come in amazing packages that features a great quote; when burned, the scent fills a room. The soaps are made from essential oils that not only smell great but also leave your skin moisturized.

SKU: 617353291940

SKU: 617353292473

SKU: 810078030157

For years Ooly has created some of our favorite gift items and we’re always excited to see what’s coming out each year. Besides being a woman-owned business, Ooly works on a national level with AdoptAClassroom, which helps to empower teachers in providing supplies and classroom materials. The Radiant Writers Glitter Gel Pens gives anything you're writing a little sparkle, from letters to your journal entries. The Girl Power Journal features 8 lined pocket journals featuring empowering statements that are wonderful for anyone at any age. Fab Fountain Pens are a great everyday fountain pen, as well as a wonderful starter for anyone who has wanted to add fountain pens to their collection.

SKU: 810078030782

SKU: 810078030393

SKU: 689196506413

eeBoo is a woman-owned and -run company that features educational games and gifts. They have 100% original artwork, which means they’re able to commission the artwork from well-known children’s book illustrators! Crazy Kitten Puzzle is by far my favorite item of the holidays for kids. Featuring artwork by Monika Forsberg, this portable puzzle contains 20 jumbo pieces –– a perfect size for little hands. The cord handle makes it easy to take anywhere, anytime.