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Thrilling and Suspenseful: Thu Interviews Author Nafkote Tamirat

I had the pleasure of interviewing Nafkote Tamirat for her amazing debut novel The Parking Lot Attendant, a suspenseful thriller that takes place on an island where the unnamed narrator and her father are living with a cult. She traces backward to the mysterious circumstances and interactions with enigmatic Ayale, parking lots, and the Ethiopian-American culture in Boston that led them to their current situation.

The Parking Lot Attendant Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781250128508
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt & Company - March 13th, 2018

Let Brazos Bookstore Plan Your Houston Staycation!

Spring Break is officially upon us. For those of you who are planning on taking advantage of all Houston has to offer, allow us to make a few suggestions for the perfect staycation.


1. Go to a movie!

The Shape of Water Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250165343
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - March 6th, 2018

2.Brunch every day!

Houston has so many great dining options featuring such diverse cuisines and culinary flavors that you could eat until you explode. While you’re nursing that post-brunch food coma, why not pick up a copy of THE POTLIKKER PAPERS, a food history of the Modern South. This book explores the impact that slavery and race relations has shaped American culinary identities for generations, and Houston is featured prominently.


The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143111016
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - February 6th, 2018

3. Go to a concert!

Houston’s vibrant rap scene features local talent like Slim Thug and Bun B, kings of rap in the South. Slab cars, chopped-and-screwed beats as pioneered by DJ Screw (R.I.P.), and sippin’ syrup: these are the emblematic elements of H-Town’s music. The repertoire of artists is deep, and there are plenty of options for a great show. The day after, when your ears are still ringing, expand your consciousness with RAW: MY JOURNEY INTO THE WU-TANG by U-God to learn about more rap royalty from a different scene. A founding member, he details the birth and rise of the Clan from the streets of NYC in his signature no-holds-barred voice. (Also, thanks to U-God's recent visit, we've got a few signed copies).


Raw: My Journey Into the Wu-Tang Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781250191168
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - March 6th, 2018

4. Take a day trip down to NASA!

Head just south to the Johnson Space Center to check out NASA’s Mission Control, a massive Saturn V rocket, and touch a moon rock in the adjoining museum. Afterward, be sure to pick up a copy of VIEW FROM ABOVE by Commander Terry Virts. This gorgeous book features photos taken by Virts as he spent 200 days on the International Space Station orbiting the planet, along with diagrams and corresponding stories. We can’t all go to space, but this book makes it possible to imagine that you’ve been.


View from Above: An Astronaut Photographs the World Cover Image
By Terry Virts, Buzz Aldrin (Foreword by)
$40.00
ISBN: 9781426218644
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: National Geographic Society - October 3rd, 2017

5. Cruise the coast with your favorite tunes!

The sun is out and the weather is perfect for a windows-down, radio-up drive to Galveston. No trip to the beach is complete without sand, volleyball, or, of course, Kenny Loggins. Be sure to crank the yacht rock and sing yourself hoarse, and once you’re lounging in the sand wondering, just what the hell is yacht rock?, just break out your fresh copy of THE YACHT ROCK BOOK to find your answers. An oral history of the genre from Greg Prato, this book features interviews from artists like John Oates, Don Felder, and the captain himself, Kenny Loggins. Beach reading at its finest.


The Yacht Rock Book: The Oral History of the Soft, Smooth Sounds of the 70s and 80s Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781911036296
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Jawbone Press - March 6th, 2018

6. End your Spring Break with a weekend getaway!

And if you need help picking a destination, just flip open SPECTACULAR WEEKEND GETAWAYS OF TEXAS by Jolie Berry. Broken up by region, this book features amazing resorts, rentals, inns, and B & B’s that all make for an unforgettable getaway. Gorgeous pictures and brief write-ups will get your imagination firing on all cylinders as you load up the car for a quick trip. Also, plenty of time in the car for more yacht rock!


Spectacular Weekend Getaways of Texas: A Collection of Lakeside, Ocean Front, Hill Country and City Hotels, Resorts and Rentals for the Modern Day Exp Cover Image
$45.00
ISBN: 9780996424035
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Signature Boutique Books - February 1st, 2018

Weird and Wondrous: Books that Defy Genre

Weird, wondrous, and walking the border between genres: here are a few books that defy categorization and push the status quo on how we think about literature. Whether it’s a beautifully-written book that blends poetry and prose or a title that blurs the line between fact and fiction, each of the below is sure to offer a unique reading experience unlike anything you’ve encountered before. Is it a novel? Is it poetry? By the time you get to the back cover you still won’t know what to call it, but you won’t care because it’s just that good.


 

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

First published in 1970, THE COLLECTED WORKS OF BILLY THE KID marks the beginning of Ondaatje’s forays into fiction. This novel-in-verse collects period photos, poems, and short journal-like prose entries to create a version of the legendary gunslinger that goes beyond rote historical account or a romanticized nostalgia. Every page is dreamlike and rooted in memory, blurring the line between fact and fiction and opening the consciousness of the story from one man to that of an entire landscape. (Psst, have you heard we’re hosting Michael Ondaatje on May 23rd to celebrate his new novel, WARLIGHT? Find the details here.)


Unbearable Splendor Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781566894517
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Coffee House Press - October 11th, 2016

UNBEARABLE SPLENDOR is a wonderful, weird, uncategorized collection of sparse poems that sprawl across the page, charts and graphs, and story-essays that interrogate our most intimate dichotomies like host/guest, child/orphan, and light/dark. The book is full of black holes, singularities, and cyborgs, but at its heart of the subject matter is Shin’s identity as a Korean American immigrant that fled a military dictatorship. The book moves through concepts and ideas as easily as it moves through genres, coalescing into a reading experience with its own gravitational pull. As stated in one of the opening epigraphs, “a black hole is anything but empty space,” and this is one singularity you’ll enjoy getting sucked into.


The Way of Florida Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780995705203
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Island Press - September 21st, 2017

Persson’s debut novel blends historical account, personal narrative, and poetic prose into a story that reads almost like an incantation to the past. Based on a real, historical event, the Narváez Expedition, a failed attempt to establish Spanish colonies along the Gulf Coast, the narrator of THE WAY OF FLORIDA describes the minutiae of the journey in language that is intensely lyric and visceral. The novel is broken into chapters that are broken into half-page chunks, and each entry swirls with an almost-mystic sense of place and the creatures that occupy it. Fans of Cormac McCarthy’s earlier novels will find themselves right at home in these pages.


Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780375701290
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - July 27th, 1999

There is perhaps no one writing today that is more intellectual, intense, and committed to her own conceits as Anne Carson, and AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RED is one of her greatest achievements. At once a poem and a novel, a myth and a contemporary coming-of-age story, the book follows Geryon, at once a young boy and a monstrous mythical creature, chronicling the events of his life. As he escapes a household of abuse and falls for a drifter named Herakles, Geryon begins to find himself as an artist and photography. Geryon faces devastation when Herakles leaves him, and when the drifter resurfaces years later Geryon is forced to confront his own griefs, pains, and desires. A moving love story that is steeped in literary craft and deconstruction.


$15.00
SKU: 9781933959337

One of two books published by Roberto Harrison in 2017, BRIDGE OF THE WORLD is a collection of poems and prose poetry interrupted by an essay on poetics in the middle of the text. However, describing Harrison’s work as two genres put together in the same book is an oversimplification. The essay, titled “snake vision,” is as much an exploration of psychology, mental illness, and human interaction as it is a statement of poetic philosophy. The poems are lyric and experiment with form, with a focus on light, color, and sound. Throughout the book language is being interrogated, and the way that we make meaning, or if meaning is possible at all, the bridge of the world both a geographic phenomenon and a linguistic conceit.


Citizen: An American Lyric Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781555976903
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 7th, 2014

Continuing in the style of DON’T LET ME BE LONELY, Claudia Rankine turns her attention toward race in America. Prose poems and micro-essays share pages with visual art and photographs, and subject matter ranges from daily micro-aggressions to Serena Williams to police brutality to Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt. In turns critical, analytical, heartbreaking, and hopeful, CITIZEN is a collection reflective of a country in a moment of crisis, a book that is as necessary as it is timely, unfortunately. As Rankine writes, “because white men can’t / police their imagination / black people are dying.” Read this book. If you already have, read it again, and then gift it to a friend.


Music & Literature Comes to Houston!

There are countless reasons I feel fortunate to call Houston home; the cost of living, the warmth of its residents, the seemingly endless restaurant (and coffee house) choices, but no more fortunate than when I consider the art and cultural events that increase each year. Case in point; one of my favorite literary journals, Music & Literature, has recently relocated to Houston. On Friday March 23rd they will present their inaugural Houston event at Brazos.

Staycation in the Bayou City: Spring Break for the Whole Family!

Mark your calendars for a Brazos Bookstore Kids’ Treehouse weeklong family-friendly extravaganza of all things Houston! From stories to crafts to yummy themed-snacks, special guests, and a few surprises, this is going to be one fantastic Houston Proud Spring Break week of fun (events all-ages unless otherwise noted). Click on each date below to go to the event page.

Saturday, March 10 @10:30am

To Not Be Afraid of Negative Emotions: Analicia Sotelo’s VIRGIN

The speakers in Analicia Sotelo’s poems want, need, to tell you who they are. “I am a Mexican American fascinator,” one speaker says.

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
The Story of My Teeth Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566894098
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - September 15th, 2015

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin Poets) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143133186
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 19th, 2018

When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (A. Poulin) Cover Image
By Chen Chen, Jericho Brown (Foreword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781942683339
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: BOA Editions - April 11th, 2017


What Joanna Demkiewicz Is Reading:  


Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class Cover Image
By Michelle Tea (Editor)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781580056663
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Seal Press (CA) - February 27th, 2018

Property: Stories Between Two Novellas Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062697936
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - April 24th, 2018

Future Home of the Living God: A Novel Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062694058
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - November 14th, 2017

An Incredible Era: Mark Interviews Daniel Peña

Houston-based writer Daniel Peña's debut Bang! is a thrilling novel involving drug cartels, a plane crash and the fate of being born on one side (or the other) of the border. I had the chance to ask Daniel some questions about his exciting novel, from inspiration to translated writers to books a writer reads while writing their own book.


Mark: Were there certain writers or books that inspired you when writing Bang?

A Black History Month Book List

February is Black HIstory Month –– as well as the anniversary month of Trayvon Martin's death. Below, find a list of a few of our favorite books regarding our country's relationship to race and color. From poetry to essays to history, this list is only a start. Don't see anything you're looking for? Swing by the store and ask for more recommendations!

A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780807075876
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beacon Press - January 30th, 2018

In A More Beautiful and Terrible History award-winning historian Jeanne Theoharis dissects this national myth-making, teasing apart the accepted stories to show them in a strikingly different light. We see Rosa Parks not simply as a bus lady but a lifelong criminal justice activist and radical; Martin Luther King, Jr. as not only challenging Southern sheriffs but Northern liberals, too; and Coretta Scott King not only as a "helpmate" but a lifelong economic justice and peace activist who pushed her husband's activism in these directions.

By showing us the complex reality of the movement, the power of its organizing, and the beauty and scope of the vision, Theoharis proves that there was nothing natural or inevitable about the progress that occurred. A More Beautiful and Terrible History will change our historical frame, revealing the richness of our civil rights legacy, the uncomfortable mirror it holds to the nation, and the crucial work that remains to be done.


100 Amazing Facts about the Negro Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9780307908711
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon Books - October 24th, 2017

For African Americans of the Jim Crow era, Rogers's was their first black history teacher. But Rogers was not always shy about embellishing the "facts" and minimizing ambiguity; neither was he above shock journalism now and then.

With elan and erudition--and with winning enthusiasm--Henry Louis Gates, Jr. gives us a corrective yet loving homage to Roger's work. Relying on the latest scholarship, Gates leads us on a romp through African, diasporic, and African-American history in question-and-answer format. Among the one hundred questions: Who were Africa's first ambassadors to Europe? Who was the first black president in North America? Did Lincoln really free the slaves? Who was history's wealthiest person? What percentage of white Americans have recent African ancestry? Why did free black people living in the South before the end of the Civil War stay there? Who was the first black head of state in modern Western history? Where was the first Underground Railroad? Who was the first black American woman to be a self-made millionaire? Which black man made many of our favorite household products better?


The New Jim Crow Cover Image
By Michelle Alexander, Cornel West (Introduction by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781595586438
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Press - January 16th, 2012

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control--relegating millions to a permanent second-class status--even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action."

Called "stunning" by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Levering Lewis, "invaluable" by the Daily Kos, "explosive" by Kirkus, and "profoundly necessary" by the Miami Herald, this updated and revised paperback edition of The New Jim Crow, now with a foreword by Cornel West, is a must-read for all people of conscience.


When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250171085
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 16th, 2018

From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors' story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.


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

Restless Classics presents The Souls of Black Folk W. E. B. Du Bois's seminal work of sociology, with searing insights into our complex, corrosive relationship with race and the African-American consciousness. Reconsidered for the era of Obama, Trump, and Black Lives Matter, the new edition includes an incisive introduction from rising cultural critic Vann R. Newkirk II and stunning illustrations by the artist Steve Prince.


The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501126352
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - June 20th, 2017

In this bestselling, widely lauded collection, Jesmyn Ward gathers our most original thinkers and writers to speak on contemporary racism and race, including Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Edwidge Danticat, Kevin Young, Claudia Rankine, and Honoree Jeffers. "An absolutely indispensable anthology" (Booklist, starred review), The Fire This Timeshines a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestles with our current predicament, and imagines a better future.


Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment Cover Image
By Angela J. Davis (Editor)
$27.95
ISBN: 9781101871270
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon Books - July 11th, 2017

A comprehensive, readable analysis of the key issues of the Black Lives Matter movement, this thought-provoking and compelling anthology features essays by some of the nation's most influential and respected criminal justice experts and legal scholars.

Policing the Black Man explores and critiques the many ways the criminal justice system impacts the lives of African American boys and men at every stage of the criminal process, from arrest through sentencing. Essays range from an explication of the historical roots of racism in the criminal justice system to an examination of modern-day police killings of unarmed black men. 


The Underground Railroad Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780345804327
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - January 30th, 2018

As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman's will to escape the horrors of bondage--and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.


They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781937512651
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Dollar Radio - November 7th, 2017

In an age of confusion, fear, and loss, Hanif Abdurraqib's is a voice that matters. Whether he's attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown's grave, or discussing public displays of affection at a Carly Rae Jepsen show, he writes with a poignancy and magnetism that resonates profoundly.


Staff Pick Logo
The Sellout Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250083258
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - March 1st, 2016

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality--the black Chinese restaurant.


Sing, Unburied, Sing Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501126062
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - September 5th, 2017

In Jesmyn Ward's first novel since her National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi's past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power--and limitations--of family bonds.


Silencer Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781328715548
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - September 5th, 2017

A suburban park, church, a good job, a cocktail party for the literati: to many, these sound like safe places, but for a young black man these insular spaces don't keep out the news--and the actual threat--of gun violence and police brutality, or the biases that keeps body, property, and hope in the crosshairs. Continuing conversations begun by Citizenand Between the World and MeSilencer sings out the dangers of unspoken taboos present on quiet Midwestern cul-de-sacs and in stifling professional settings, the dangers in closing the window on "a rainbow coalition of cops doing calisthenics around/a six-foot, three-hundred-fifty-pound man, choked back into the earth for what/looked a lot, to me, like sport." 


Olio Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781940696201
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wave Books - April 5th, 2016

Part fact, part fiction, Tyehimba Jess's much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them.


Keaton's February Buyer's Corner

 

Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days in August Cover Image
By Oliver Hilmes, Jefferson Chase (Translator)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781590519295
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Other Press (NY) - February 6th, 2018

Essays on World Literature: Aeschylus - Dante - Shakespeare Cover Image
By Ismail Kadare, Ani Kokobobo (Translator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781632061744
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Restless Books - February 20th, 2018

The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780385542760
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - February 20th, 2018

Only Killers and Thieves: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062690968
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - February 6th, 2018

Where the Dead Sit Talking Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781616958879
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Press - February 20th, 2018

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