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Thu and Katie Talk Graphic Novels

It's no secret that we love graphic novels at Brazos. Thu and Katie have chosen a few favorites, so take a look below. Whether they display a timely political struggle or the everlasting communal struggle of just growing up and being yourself, these books combine fantastic illustration work with interesting plot and beautiful text. What more could you want?


THU: 

All Summer Long Cover Image
By Hope Larson, Hope Larson (Illustrator)
$21.99
ISBN: 9780374304850
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - May 1st, 2018

I was totally struck by Hope Larson's All Summer Long after I picked it up as a quick time-passing read. It's about two inseparable best friends entering that weird and now, totally foreign, stage of pre-teen/teen adolescence. It's the first summer that Bina and her best friend Austin are spending their summer apart and Austin is throwing some real shade. Maybe he think he's hot shit now? Puberty? Trifling? Who knows. But that doesn't make Bina feel less confused or awkward. Overall, it's a wonderful story about friendship, identity, and growing up.


Spinning Cover Image
By Tillie Walden, Tillie Walden (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781626729407
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - September 12th, 2017

I had the honor to accompany the talented, effervescent, and wise Tillie Walden last year at local area high schools for her graphic memoir, Spinning. Hearing her speak to a younger audience about her experience of moving to Texas, the world of competitive figure skating, and growing into her queer identity, along with seeing her beautiful art, made me so hopeful. It also made me wonder what I could do to reach out and be a more understanding human. Spinning is a deep and powerful reflection of all these things, and the tone reminds me of contemporary Japanese writing that is constantly searching in a sea of subtleness. Another thing to add, we will be hosting Tillie Walden on 10/3 for her upcoming graphic novel On a Sunbeam!


The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir Cover Image
By Thi Bui
$17.99
ISBN: 9781419718786
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams ComicArts - April 17th, 2018

As a child and younger sibling to Vietnamese refugees, my parents escaped with two children by foot through the jungles in Laos, spent time in a refugee camp, and were sponsored all together by, as my mom says, "the most wonderful and generous woman" here in Houston who taught her how to sew, open a shop, and even co-signed their first home. My parents have never gone into any detail about their journey besides a few stories here and there, so I've always searched for writing that might help me piece together and give me a better understanding about how their lives were shaped. The Best We Could Do is a beautiful and intense portrayal about her family's journey, and while I have a personal interest, I think it portrays many terrifying and discomforting things about the refugee/immigrant experience and what happens to our humanity. And what is terrifying isn't necessarily the story, but that it's true and happening to others presently.


Sanpaku Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781684152100
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now
Published: Archaia - August 21st, 2018

Native Houstonian and cartoonist Kate Gavino's forthcoming (publishing date 7/21) graphic novel Sanpaku is one that I am extremely excited about. Sanpaku is a coming-of-age story about a Filipino-American girl that is growing up in Houston. First of all, if it's set in Houston, I'll give it a shot. This is the Houston I grew up in with Asian markets, a blinding devotion to Selena, and many contradictions. Overall, this is a smart, charming, and heartwarming story and, like a baby seeing everything for the first time, the main character of this story Marcine, rationalizes new emotions and feelings for the first time, and that's all a part of growing up. We are hosting Kate Gavino on 8/25 for Sanpaku so please come out for this special event!


KATIE:


Blankets: A Graphic Novel Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781770462182
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Drawn & Quarterly - October 13th, 2015

A perfect introduction to the genre of Graphic Novels. Blankets is a biography of the artist as a teenager growing up in a religious home in Wisconsin and his first love. The setting of a chilly dead winter creates an opposing backdrop for young blossoming love, coming-of-age, and the joys (and pains) of life and growing up. A deep and often times hilarious graphic novel with some of the most enchanting illustrations.


Frida Kahlo: The Story of Her Life Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9783791383880
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Prestel Publishing - November 7th, 2017

My favorite artist! The famous Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo’s life is told in beautiful full color illustrations. Via a conversation between Frida and Death through the re-telling of her life, we get insight into not only Frida’s artwork, but also her personal life and the pain that lead her to become one of the most famous artists of all time. There are glimpses into her tumultuous marriage to the artist Diego Rivera, as well as her bisexuality, which is overlooked in most biographies. You will go back just to look at this gorgeous novel’s illustrations!


Staff Pick Logo
This One Summer Cover Image
By Jillian Tamaki (Illustrator), Mariko Tamaki
$18.99
ISBN: 9781596437746
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - May 6th, 2014

A perfect summer read! We follow Rose and her friend Windy, two girls spending a typical summer swimming, playing games and going to the movies. While Rose is trying to hold onto the child she still is, she is forced to begin dealing with adult issues and enter into her teenage years. A beautiful and often times heart-wrenching story of two friends’ final summer as young girls.


A City Inside Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9781910395202
Availability: Backordered
Published: Avery Hill Publishing - May 7th, 2016

Don’t let the small number of pages fool you, this is one of the most beautifully illustrated graphic novels from Tillie Walden, a graphic novelist barely in her twenties with an impressive body of work. It’s 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.


The New Inheritors: Keaton Interviews Kent Wascom

Keaton: In your two previous novels, THE BLOOD OF HEAVEN and SECESSIA, you immersed us in the dark, convoluted history of the Gulf Coast. But those works hewed closely to the human story of the region--its wars and unruly frontier, the stain of slavery. In THE NEW INHERITORS, you expand your perspective way beyond and put the natural history of the Gulf front and center to the point that it at times even supersedes the human narrative. How did you come to approach such an expansion of time and scope?

Not-So-Young Adults: An Argument for YA at Any Age

It’s a question that has followed me ever since I started working in bookstores: Why don’t more adults read Young Adult Novels? Anyone who’s come in to the store and talked to me knows I love YA books. They defy genre. They can be sci-fi, literary, fantastical. And I know there are stories that many of our customers would absolutely adore. Are you interested in other cultures and race relations? I can name about five books right now that delve into these topics. What about prose that you have to re-read because it's just that beautiful?

Staff Chat: Thea Lim's AN OCEAN OF MINUTES

Thu: We are here to talk about Thea Lim’s new novel! Thea Lim is a fiction author who got her MFA the Creative Writing Program at UH. We’re here to talk about her debut novel, AN OCEAN OF MINUTES, which comes out today! We have an event for her on Friday the 13th of July.

Sara: Oooh, spooky!

Fantasy, Place, and History: Sara Interviews Bethany Morrow, Author of MEM

Sara: Thanks for chatting today! I’m really excited to talk about your new book!

Bethany Morrow: Me too!

SB: I just want to start off with a kind of overview question. Can you talk about the experience you’ve had thus far as a debut novelist? You were at Winter Institute, and our manager Ben met you there (and loves the book, as I do), so I think it’d be really cool to hear a bit about the experience from the author’s end.

Mem Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781944700553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Unnamed Press - May 22nd, 2018

July Brazos Best: COMEMADRE

We have been waiting for MONTHS to share this book! Comemadre has been a store favorite since March, when we got a single Advance Copy into the store and circulated it around the staff like a black market substance. Since the love for this book is so strong, we couldn't decide whose review to include. So take a look below at all our descriptions, then swing by the store to pick up a copy of this weird little gem from Coffee House Press.

Comemadre Cover Image
By Roque Larraquy, Heather Cleary (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895156
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - July 10th, 2018

Book Drive to Support Houston-Area Unaccompanied Minors

“Salvation is certainly among the reasons I read. Reading and writing have always pulled me out of the darkest experiences in my life. Stories have given me a place in which to lose myself. They have allowed me to remember. They have allowed me to forget. They have allowed me to imagine different endings and better possible worlds.” – Roxane Gay

Dia de Los Muertos Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780807515662
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Albert Whitman & Company - September 1st, 2015

The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred Cover Image
By Samantha R. Vamos, Rafael Lopez (Illustrator)
$8.95
ISBN: 9781580892438
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Charlesbridge Publishing - August 1st, 2013

My Big Barefoot Book of Spanish and English Words Cover Image
By Sophie Fatus (With)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781782852865
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Barefoot Books - April 30th, 2016

Abecedarios: Mexican Folk Art ABCs in English and Spanish (First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art) Cover Image
By Cynthia Weill, K. B. Basseches (Photographer), Armando Jimenez (Artist)
$9.95
ISBN: 9781941026663
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Cinco Puntos Press - April 11th, 2017

Where's Waldo? 30th Anniversary Edition Cover Image
By Martin Handford, Martin Handford (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780763695798
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - May 16th, 2017

Juliana Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781432702533
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Outskirts Press - March 23rd, 2008

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano Cover Image
By Margarita Engle, Sean Qualls (Illustrator)
$10.99
ISBN: 9780312659288
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Square Fish - March 15th, 2011

Popol Vuj Cover Image
By Victor Montejo, Luis Garay (Illustrator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780888993625
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Libros Tigrillo - September 14th, 1999

Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del Arcoiris Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780892393749
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Children's Book Press (CA) - October 15th, 2016

Somos Como Las Nubes / We Are Like the Clouds Cover Image
By Jorge Argueta, Alfonso Ruano (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781554988495
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Groundwood Books - October 11th, 2016

La Senorita Nelson Ha Desaparecido Cover Image
By Harry G. Allard, James Marshall (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780395900086
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - March 30th, 1998

Call Me Tree: Llamame Arbol Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780892392940
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Children's Book Press (CA) - November 1st, 2014

Siesta Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780060560614
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - March 29th, 2005

Esperanza Rising Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780439120425
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - May 1st, 2002

Esperanza Renace = Esperanza Rising Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780439398855
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic en Espanol - August 1st, 2002

I Am a Big Sister! / Isoy Una Hermana Mayor! Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780545847186
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic en Espanol - August 25th, 2015

Devolver Al Remitente (Return to Sender Spanish Edition) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780375851247
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Yearling Books - September 14th, 2010

El Camioncito Azul Abre El Camino (Little Blue Truck Leads the Way Spanish Board Book) Cover Image
By Alice Schertle, Jill McElmurry (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780544708976
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - April 5th, 2016

La Verdadera Historia de Los Tres Cerditos Cover Image
By Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (Illustrator), Maria Negroni (Translator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9780140557589
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Puffin Books - March 1st, 1996

El Principito (Spanish) (Harvest Book) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780156013925
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - September 4th, 2001

¡la Paloma Encuentra Un Perro Caliente! Cover Image
By Mo Willems, Mo Willems (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781423140511
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - May 24th, 2011

El gran día de Lily: Lily's Big Day (Spanish edition) Cover Image
By Kevin Henkes, Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780061363160
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins Espanol - March 18th, 2008

La Princesa and the Pea Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780399251566
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - September 5th, 2017

La Lección de August: Wonder (Spanish-Language Edition) Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9780804171120
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Espanol - April 1st, 2014

Thu Interviews Lillian Li, Author of NUMBER ONE CHINESE RESTAURANT

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li meets our shelves today! I had the honor to interview her. We talked about many things, but mostly this gem of a book, so check it out and get a copy!

A Juneteenth Reading List by Local Authors You Need to Know

Happy Juneteenth! When we first thought of compiling a reading list for the holiday, we ran into two problems. First, not everyone knows what Juneteenth is or what it represents. Second, there’s no way we’re even close to being the leading experts on what it means to celebrate black history and identity. To make a long story short, we asked local authors, whose work we admire and who engage the community, to share their favorite books that celebrate everything that goes into Juneteenth.

In the Language of My Captor Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780819577115
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wesleyan - February 7th, 2017

"These poems fork an oppressive tongue into jig and meaning. Read carefully before speaking on the surface of each line."


American Happiness Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9781588383273
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: NewSouth Books - October 1st, 2016

"This is poetry as ointment for the American condition. Read for what ails your past and future history."


My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781608467679
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Haymarket Books - May 30th, 2017

"Mothers leave daughters maps into the world and deeper into self. This collection is a hymn of survival."


The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic Cover Image
By Jamila Woods (Editor), Mahogany L. Browne (Editor), Idrissa Simmonds (Editor)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781608468577
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Haymarket Books - March 13th, 2018

"Black women writing unapologetically free. Read this and get your life!"


Jonathan Moody

 Author of Olympic Butter Gold and The Doomy Poems. His poetry has appeared in African American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Borderlands, The Common, among other publications, and is forthcoming in Harvard Review Online


My Bondage and My Freedom (Penguin Classics) Cover Image
By Frederick Douglass, John David Smith (Introduction by), John David Smith (Notes by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780140439182
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - February 4th, 2003

"When I was sixteen, I encountered My Bondage And My Freedom and took note of how Douglass decimated the patronizing myth/oxymoron of the “benevolent” slave master. Twenty-three years later, the scene of a young Douglass tricking his slave master’s son into teaching him how to read still lingers as a testament to how reading is a subversive act that can liberate minds."


Liara Tamani

Author of Calling My Name. She holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College and a BA from Duke University.


The Collected Works of Phillis Wheatley (Schomburg Library of Nineteenth-Century Black Women Writers) Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780195060850
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - December 1st, 1989

"It’s hard to talk about the beauty and importance of this book in a few sentences. For those who may not know, Phillis Wheatley was the first African-American to publish a book. Although she was a slave, her poetry was famous. Through her poems and letters, we get a glimpse of her life…of her dreams…of her struggle for freedom for herself and others."


The Souls of Black Folk (Restless Classics) Cover Image
By W. E. B. Du Bois, Vann Newkirk (Introduction by), Steve Prince (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781632060976
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Restless Books - February 14th, 2017

"There is so much history and wisdom in this book of essays. Although written at the beginning of the twentieth century, the double consciousness that DuBois explores in this book is still the experience of many black Americans today. It’s a classic."


The Bluest Eye (Vintage International) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780307278449
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - May 8th, 2007

"This is the novel that made me fall in love with writing as a teen. It was the first book I saw myself in. I was drawn to the beauty of the language and the exploration of a young black girl’s internalization of the white beauty standard."


Cane Cover Image
By Jean Toomer, Rudolph P. Byrd (Afterword by), Henry Louis Gates (Afterword by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780871402103
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - June 13th, 2011

"I love the structure of this book—songs, poems, stories, and sketches beautifully woven together in celebration of black culture. It’s so rich and soulful."


Calling My Name Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062656865
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - October 24th, 2017

"Yes, it’s my own book but I’m not just shamelessly plugging it. :) Calling My Name has a whole chapter that takes place at a Juneteenth Festival, so it’s fitting for this list. And it explores the interior life of a young black girl growing up in the suburbs in the South, a very common African-American experience but one not explored a lot in literature."


Ebony Stewart

Author of Home, Girl, Hood. Stewart is a touring performance artist and slam poet who has been active in the central Texas slam poetry scene and theater community for over a decade.


Liliane: Resurrection of the Daughter Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9780312644109
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martins Press-3pl - October 11th, 2011

"Let's be honest, anything this woman writes is gold. This particular body of work explores mental health and childhood memories within the black culture (more specifically black womyn) as a way to discourage the negative stereotype."


God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (Penguin Classics) Cover Image
By James Weldon Johnson, Maya Angelou (Introduction by), Henry Louis Gates (Editor)
$14.00
ISBN: 9780143105411
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 1st, 2008

"The short book of poems reads like a prayer, hymnal, and praise. These sermons of poetry are moving and speak to the tradition of surviving."


Between the World and Me Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780812993547
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - July 14th, 2015

"Say or feel how you want about the author... but you can not deny the way he bends and folds the complexity of the black man and the way America romanticizes their death. The book really exist as a way to humanize and have compassion for black men. The book itself reminded me a lot of James Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk."


Home. Girl. Hood. Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780989009263
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Timber Mouse - February 17th, 2018

"Many authors write from a place of knowing. In Home.Girl.Hood, [I] strive to 'figure it out' with the reader. An honest young girl growing woman as a vulnerable & transparent poet."


Bryan Washington

Author of Lot, coming out from Riverhead in 2019. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, BuzzFeed, New York Magazine, The Paris Review, Boston Review, Tin House, One Story, Bon Appétit, MUNCHIES, American Short Fiction, GQ, FADER, The Awl, Hazlitt, and Catapult, where he writes a column called “Bayou Diaries”.


Life on Mars Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555975845
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - May 10th, 2011

"Smith sees between the cracks, beyond the stars, and through the seams; her third collection has been a marvel and a light since 2011."


Black Deutschland Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250117977
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - February 7th, 2017

"Pinckney's opus of a young gay guy volleys between life in Chicago, and his travails in Berlin –– consequently, the novel is a wonder and a force. There's hardly anything else like it."


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