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LOOKING TO 2020: Staff's Most Anticipated Titles for the New Year!

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Creatures: A Novel Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9781616208592
Availability: OUT OF PRINT - Not Available for Order
Published: Algonquin Books - January 7th, 2020

LAURA G'S LOOKING TO 2020 PICK

Creatures is an ocean tide, enticing the reader then begging them to give chase. Van Meter explores the depths of human pain; the sharp sting of grief and burning despair of loneliness. Inextricably tied to place, this book uncovers a darkly glittering world both above and beneath the waves. Winter Island is a fog coated land unto itself populated by humans who can't help but betray each others' love. Driven by emotion, Van Meter has written a stunning, tactile book. I half expected to taste the sea salt on the page.


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The Regrets Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316516167
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - February 4th, 2020

LAURA M'S LOOKING TO 2020 PICK

This is possibly one of the weirdest books I've ever read. It starts as a magical-realism meet-cute where a woman falls in love with a ghost, and morphs into a swirling, poignant tale about relationships, loss, and the limits (and freedoms) of desire. What's more, I found myself laughing out loud, sometimes at the absurdity, and sometimes while shaking my head at some sentence Bonnaffons had the gall to write. Bonnaffons pulls off that delicate alchemy between strangeness and truth, and I will be forever be in awe of her work. If you like strange fiction that packs a punch, don't miss this book!


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The Bear Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781942658702
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Bellevue Literary Press - February 11th, 2020

LAURA M'S LOOKING TO 2020 PICK

In this spare, delicate fable, a father and daughter live an ancient hunter/gatherer lifestyle in a post-human world. While reading, I felt the pace of the modern world slow down, and my reality became the same as the characters': following mountain streams, traveling under the stars, the daily tasks of hunting and fishing. This book's quiet beauty will stay with me for a long time, and finishing it felt like waking from a long, beautiful dream. Read THE BEAR to be transformed. 


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Deacon King Kong: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735216723
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 3rd, 2020

KEATON'S LOOKING TO 2020 PICK

James McBride is a national treasure. One of our greatest living writers, his ability to swing between out-loud belly laugh humor, biting cultural satire and intensely felt pathos puts him in a league of his own when it comes to American letters. And his latest novel, DEACON KING KONG, might just be his greatest literary achievement yet in an already glittering career. Taking place in a Brooklyn housing project during the 1960s, the story follows a drunken elderly fool and the aftermath of his decision to shoot the most dangerous drug dealer in the neighborhood. What follows is a Quixote-level misadventure that could very well become another modern American classic. I can't wait for you to read this book! 


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Hurricane Season Cover Image
By Fernanda Melchor, Sophie Hughes (Translated by)
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9780811228039
Availability: OUT OF PRINT - Not Available for Order
Published: New Directions - March 31st, 2020

MARK'S LOOKING TO 2020 PICK

The witch is dead, discovered by a group of children playing near the irrigation canals. Who is the witch? Let Melchor escort you into the insidious, violent world of a provincial Mexican village. A stunning English-language debut about depravity, violence and the fear all of us live with. Reminiscent of Bolano's 2666 but with glimmers of hope and humanity slipping through. 

Coming March 31st from New Directions!


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The List of Things That Will Not Change Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781101938096
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Wendy Lamb Books - April 7th, 2020

JOY'S LOOKING TO 2020 PICK

The List of Things That Will Not Change is an exquisite gem of a middle grade novel. Spare, moving,  filled with real pain and real joy, this is a book that will be read and treasured and re-read many times. Bea is a delight of a character-- real and nuanced and heartwarmingly imperfect.  As she slowly reveals her fullest truths, I loved her more and more with each turn of the page. This is Rebecca Stead at the very top of her already prodigious game. Brilliant and deeply true.


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Sword in the Stars: A Once & Future Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316449298
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Jimmy Patterson - April 7th, 2020

CASSIE'S LOOKING TO 2020 PICK

Filling in the mythological gaps left by centuries of retellings, the anticipated sequel to ONCE & FUTURE was everything I wanted and more. Completely full of love for the original Arthurian legend while fearlessly adding their own twists and turns, SWORD IN THE STARS is not just the perfect end to this duology; it’s one of my most anticipated books of 2020. Ari and her diverse Knights return to end the Arthurian cycle once and for all, but all final quests come with the most terrible costs. Between the gut-wrenching emotional beats and the meta jokes that make you laugh so much your face aches, SWORD IN THE STARS is a triumph.


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The Hidden Girl and Other Stories Cover Image
By Ken Liu
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982134037
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - February 25th, 2020

SONIA'S LOOKING TO 2020 PICK

Time-travelling assasins, cryptocurriencies and blockchains, cyber trolls and other digital hobgonlins populate this much-anticipated second collection from sci-fi scion Ken Liu. The book includes collected stories, a previously-unpublished novellette, and an excerpt from the third book of Liu's Dandelion Dynasty series, The Veiled Throne. With a pub date in late February of 2020, this book has lovers of expertly written, future-facing fiction giddy with anticipation.


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True Love: A Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062937438
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Harper - July 7th, 2020

TRACI'S LOOKING TO 2020 PICK:

Dubbed as the novel version of the TV show FLEABAG-- TRUE LOVE is a dark comedy about modern romance from one of today's most provocative literary voices and a book that I can not wait to read. Striking and evocative cover design as well! 


Sonia's Ten Books I’d Like to Grab a Beer With

My friends are fond of saying that I talk about books as if they’re people. “That’s ridiculous,” I always tell them. “Now sit down, there’s this hilarious new release in YA I want you to meet.” People or not, books have personalities. Some are classy. You dress up, take them out to dinner, maybe head to a gallery opening or the symphony. Others are outdoorsy--always up for a hike or a trip down to the beach. And then there are some books, a few of my all-time favorites among them, that you just want to meet up with after work for a quick pick-me-up. So, let’s say books were people.

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Honored Guest (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781400095520
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Vintage - November 8th, 2005

One of my favorite story collections from one of my favorite writers, Honored Guest combines the best of Williams’s dark, quirky sensibility with highly original plotlines, settings, and characters. Taxidermists and neurotic gardners, frustrated teenagers and budding gun nuts all make an appearance in this stunning exploration of life, death, and the consequences of obsession. 


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Whip Smart: The True Story of a Secret Life Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780312583781
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - July 19th, 2011

Whip Smart is the amazing first memoir from the NY-based writer/low-key goddess Melissa Febos which chronicles both her struggles with addiction and her time as a professional dominatrix. Funny, smart, and deeply felt, Febos offers a measured and compassionate view of sex work in this stunning, vulnerable portrait of her youth.


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Soft Science Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781938584992
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Alice James Books - April 2nd, 2019

Franny Choi ‘yr weird gay aunt’ goes above and beyond with her second collection. Anchored by a series of Turing-test poems, the book explores the interstices of sexuality, race, gender, and technology. Choi innovates not only with content, but also with form, pressing language to its limits in this beautiful book.


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In the Dream House: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781644450031
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Graywolf Press - November 5th, 2019

We all loved Machado’s debut story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, but her much-anticipated first memoir is a beer-book in its own right. Haunting and innovative, this beautifully written book details the abuse Machado suffered at the hands of her first girlfriend through the lens of a diverse range of cultural tropes.


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Severance: A Novel Cover Image
By Ling Ma
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250214997
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - May 7th, 2019

I wouldn’t feel right without working some sci-fi into this list. But Ling Ma’s 2018 novel Severance isn’t about your garden-variety zombie apocalypse. Set in a reimagined version of the recent past, Ma’s novel explores office culture, consumer capitalism and intimacy as the world around her Bible-designing protagonist descends into chaos after the outbreak of a mind-obliterating illness known as Shen Fever. A fun and refreshing read for sci-fi newbies and old hats alike.


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Virgin: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571315007
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Milkweed Editions - February 20th, 2018

Funny, tender, and wholly original, Sotelo uses an array of innovative linguistic tools and images in order to explore race, gender, truma, sex, and how goshdarn hard it can be to write decent poetry. Regardless of the difficulty, however, Sotelo’s poems go above and beyond, making for a stunning debut collection one of out very own UH CWP grads.


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My Year of Rest and Relaxation: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525522133
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 25th, 2019

If you told me you were going to write a novel about a woman who sleeps for a year, I’d call you crazy. That Moshfegh not only pulls it off, but pulls it off so amazingly well is a testament to her skill as a fiction writer. By turns hilarious, vicious, and heartbreaking, this voice-driven novel about the vicissitudes of privileged youth is impossible to put down.


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Bad Feminist: Essays Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780062282712
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Harper Perennial - August 5th, 2014

At this point, Gay’s remarkable 2014 essay collection has become a classic of contemporary nonfiction.Gay’s wit and sincerity pulls her readers into her confidence, investigating the complexities of popular media, life’s realities, and modern gender politics. Reading this book is like sitting down and dishing with a best friend. After all, who doesn’t feel like a bad feminist sometimes?


Staff Pick Badge
You Da One Cover Image
By Tamayo
$18.00
ISBN: 9781934819678
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Noemi Press - July 15th, 2017

Named for Rihanna’s hit song, Tamayo’s daring multidisciplinary collection circles around her return to her native Colombia after leaving the country behind as a young child. Smart and provocative, YOU DA ONE reassembles and reappropriates the language and tropes of the Internet in order to reckon with self, past, heritage, and the long shadow of injustice.


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No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780743299411
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Scribner - May 6th, 2008

This debut story collection from the hideously multi-talented Miranda July will forever be my bar-buddy for its unique combination of wit, quirk, and devastating sincerity. July’s distinctive voice and sensibility breathes life into the strange worlds of her protagonists, following them through surreal encounters with peep-shows, secret crushes, and, in one remarkable story, beloved author Madeleine L’Engle.


You Don’t Have to Be Jewish to Read (and Love) Joy’s Top Ten #ownvoices Jewish Books

Growing up, finding a young adult novel with authentic, nuanced Jewish rep that wasn’t about the Holocaust or anti-Semitism was a difficult task. Which let’s face it, is problematic. The Holocaust is not the only Jewish narrative.

Well, times have thankfully changed! Here’s my top ten list of contemporary #ownvoices YA novels with varied and authentic Jewish representation. In some, the character’s Jewishness is a minor but clearly present factor; in others it’s a more major presence. All are fabulous reads! 

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Color Me In Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525578239
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Delacorte Press - August 20th, 2019

Sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom's family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time.


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It's a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories Cover Image
By Katherine Locke (Editor), Laura Silverman (Editor), Mayim Bialik (Foreword by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525646167
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 17th, 2019

For sheer variety of Jewishness, this is my top pick of the list. Plus it’s short stories, so you can dip in and dip out. It's a Whole Spiel features one story after another that says yes, we are Jewish, but we are also queer, and disabled, and creative, and political, and adventurous, and anything we want to be.


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Hope and Other Punch Lines Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781524766771
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Delacorte Press - May 7th, 2019

Abbi Hope Goldstein has lived most of her life in the shadow of iconic ‘Baby Hope’ photo of her wearing a birthday crown and carrying a red balloon as behind her, the South Tower of the WTC collapses. This summer she hopes for anonymity as a camp counselor a few towns away from her suburb. But when Noah Stern, whose world was also shattered that day, convinces her to team up to find answers about the other people in the photo, their summer takes a very different direction.


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Kissing in America Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062322388
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: HarperCollins - May 24th, 2016

Still grieving from the death of her father, sixteen-year-old Eva ends up on a road trip across the country with her best friend, and learns about love and life.


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Our Year of Maybe Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781481497763
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - January 15th, 2019

A powerful contemporary about the complicated aftermath of a kidney transplant between friends.


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You Asked for Perfect Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781492658276
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Sourcebooks Fire - March 5th, 2019

Senior Ariel Stone has spent his life in search of perfect....until a failed calculus quiz puts his future on the line, forcing Ariel to enlist his classmate, Amir, as a tutor. But can Ariel let go of his quest for perfect to add a relationship to his life?


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Sick Kids In Love Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781640637320
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Entangled: Teen - November 5th, 2019

Chronically ill Isabel has one firm rule: No dating. But then she meets another sick kid...It’s complicated. It’s dangerous. He’s gorgeous and fun. But is he worth breaking the rules for?


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Little & Lion Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780316349017
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - July 3rd, 2018

When Suzette returns to LA from boarding school to support her step-brother with his recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder, she doesn’t plan on meeting someone and falling in love.


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The Upside of Unrequited Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780062348715
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - January 30th, 2018

From the award-winning author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (which became the HBO movie LOVE SIMON), comes this tale of seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso, who knows all about unrequited love, even as her twin sister Cassie tells her to get over herself and get that first kiss. But neither of them anticipate that Molly just might fall for her Tolkein-superfan co-worker Reid.


2019 Holiday Open House Photo Album

 

A HUGE thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us for our annual Holiday Open House on Sunday! It was so fun to pack the store with all of our book-loving friends! Special shout out to Pat Greer's Kitchen for the delicious food! Such a wonderful night for Brazos Bookstore!

 


 

Cassie's 10 Books That Made Her Brain Produce One (1) Serotonin Molecule This Year

Let’s be honest: 2019 has been rough. It feels like at any given time, three seperate things are on fire and you only have one bucket of water. Our newspapers could double as horror stories. There is a horse loose in the hospital. With all this chaotic evil running rampant in our lives, it’s hard to find escape. Thankfully, books are an amazing escape. Many of them are even happy! Here are some books I read this year* that made my brain produce happy chemicals for longer than .5 seconds.

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Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250316776
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - May 14th, 2019

If you’ve stopped by the bookstore any time after May this year, you have heard me talk about this book. I’ve probably tried to sell it to you. This unapologetically queer escapist political rom-com is EVERYTHING I didn’t know I needed. Dive into an alternate universe where the son of the first female president of the United States, Alex, falls in love with his media rival, Henry, a.k.a. The Prince of Whales. Some of my favorite rom-com tropes are present (animal shenanigans, fake dating, enemies to lovers, a gratuitous karaoke moment) without shying away from politics. There’s a gerrymandering subplot! When I finished reading this book, I found myself crying from pure, unadulterated joy. You will not regret reading this book.

Intrigued? Check out the interview Joy and I had with author Casey McQuiston (https://www.brazosbookstore.com/casey-mcquiston-qa-joy-cassie). You’re welcome.


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The Gilded Wolves: A Novel Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250144546
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Wednesday Books - January 15th, 2019

I read THE GILDED WOLVES way back in January, and I’m still talking about it. This heist novel with witty banter, magical mystery, decadent settings, and nerve wracking stakes is such a fantastic escape. Roshani Chokshi is an incredible writer (if you’re a middle grade fan, check out her ARU SHAH series, too) and I cannot get enough of her. Plus, I think this book series would make an amazing anime style TV series. If you’ve already read THE GILDED WOLVES, just know that the sequel, THE SILVERED SERPENTS, comes out September 2020 and I think it’s possibly better than the first.


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Once & Future Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316449274
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Jimmy Patterson - March 26th, 2019

There have been so many King Arthur retellings in film and literature this past year. Even the new “Aquaman” movie was a King Arthur story. I wonder what could possibly be causing this trend. It’s almost like we live in a dark and unstable political climate that could be changed for the better with a nice, good ol’ fashioned societal upheaval led by someone who actually cares about humanity as a whole…

Anyway.

ONCE & FUTURE is my absolute favorite of the King Arthur retellings. Honestly, it’s everything I’ve always wanted. Featuring a funny and heartfelt cast of characters (with queer, nonbinary, and ace rep - just the tip of this inclusive iceberg), a charismatic chosen one, OUTER SPACE AND MAGIC, you won’t want to put this book down. The last book in this duology, SWORD IN THE STARS, comes out in April, and it is just as amazing. You’ll love it.


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When Dimple Met Rishi Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781481478694
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - May 22nd, 2018

I cannot believe that it took me until 2019 to read something by Sandhya Menon. It felt impossible to choose between one of her books for this list, because I love every single one. WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI is what started it all, though, so I have to gush about it. Very rarely do I read a straight romance and enjoy myself. My complete adoration of Dimple and Rishi speaks to how incredible Sandhya Menon is at her craft.

When Dimple’s parents pay for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers, she thinks that her mother must have finally given it a rest with the whole “find a perfect Indian husband” thing. That’s when she meets Rishi. He’s also attending the summer program, and their parents know each other. It takes very little time for them to realize they’ve been set up. Opposites clash, rom-com tropes explode, and I could not stop smiling the entire time.


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Spellhacker Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062657701
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: HarperTeen - January 21st, 2020

This book. This book!!! It comes out in January, and I cannot wait for you to read it. I loved it so much. In our YA world of #ownvoices works and growing availability of LGBTQIA+ stories, SPELLHACKER is a must read. The female/nonbinary romance, found family, unique magic system, and heart of this novel left me completely spellbound. SPELLHACKER packs a fantastic one-two punch of comedic and emotional complexity that will grab you by page one.

Honorary shout out to MK England’s debut novel that came out this year, THE DISASTERS. It’s also excellent. Keep an eye out on our website for my interview with them closer to the SPELLHACKER release date!


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I Miss You When I Blink: Essays Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982102807
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Atria Books - April 2nd, 2019

I know what you’re thinking. “Cassie reads things besides Young Adult Lit??” Yes, I do, hush. There’s an essay for everyone in this collection. Philpott’s relatable voice makes the reader ask who she’s actually writing about: herself, or you? Bonus if you listen to the audiobook, available through our Libro.FM partnership (https://libro.fm/brazosbookstore), because it’s read by the author herself!


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Full Disclosure Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781984829955
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 29th, 2019

FULL DISCLOSURE is a roller coaster of a debut that makes my thespian heart soar. When the book begins, Simone is expertly navigating life at her new high school when the unthinkable happens - someone threatens to tell the whole school she is HIV+. This coming-of-age story features LGBTQ+ representation, the stress that comes with navigating new friendships and budding romance, and enough musical theater to get Rent stuck in your head for days to come.

Check out my interview with author Camryn Garrett! https://www.brazosbookstore.com/articles/kids-article/cassie-interviews-camryn-garrett-author-full-disclosure


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Frankly in Love Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781984812209
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - September 10th, 2019

It took me until 2019 to discover my love for sprayed edges on books, and I will never go back! The book itself is also incredible, which is just the cherry on top. One of my absolute favorite tropes is faking dating, and this book delivers. It’s also one of those novels that makes you rock yourself and cry, makes you laugh until your stomach hurts, makes you smile until your face aches. David Yoon uses this debut to ask questions about identity, first love, cultural and generational gaps, and more. It’s perfect.

Oh, and Bryan Washington loved this book, too. Do I need to say more?


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Loki: Where Mischief Lies Cover Image
By Mackenzi Lee, Stephanie Hans (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781368022262
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Marvel Press - September 3rd, 2019

The story is set between Asgard and gritty 19th century London with a cast of characters both familiar and new. Follow our genderfluid God of Mischief as he learns the true potential of his powers, battling between who he wants to be and who fate says he must become.

Mackenzi Lee is one of my favorite writers, and I was lucky enough to interview her about LOKI and her other 2019 projects. Check it out! https://www.brazosbookstore.com/articles/features/cassie-interviews-mackenzi-lee-author-loki


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The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781335937803
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Hanover Square Press - March 5th, 2019

The last book on my list is an odd pick. It did the fun thing to my brain where it made me ANGRY, and then that anger turned into something more productive, which then led to joy. Mallory O’Meara was a teenager when she discovered that her favorite movie monster was created by a woman, NOT a man. After spending years wondering about Milicent Patrick’s story, O’Meara decided to find out for herself. This book is part biography, part narrative about the research process, and fully a manifesto on sexism in the film industry. This book will reignite the fire inside to use your voice and speak out. Everyone has a story, and they won’t be silenced.


Lyric's Top Ten Books by Bayou City Writers, 2019

Houston's Literary Year


I've heard people ask, "Why hasn't Houston produced any writers?” I’m always baffled by the idea that H-town isn’t as literary as other cities. So, in answer to the absurd question, I give you A List Of Ten Books (Plus One Honorary Mention) that Bayou City writers have released in 2019.


 

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Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525510543
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Random House - August 6th, 2019

Jia Tolentino probes the depths of American experience with this observant collection of essays.


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Lot: Stories Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780525533672
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 19th, 2019

Bryan Washington’s short stories are a love letter to Houston’s widespread neighborhoods and its vital diversity.


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This Is My Body: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781940596327
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Lookout Books - October 22nd, 2019

Cameron Dezen Hammon is a New Yorker who has made Houston her home, and this year debuted a moving memoir about spirituality, feminism, failure and acceptance.


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Heaven, My Home (A Highway 59 Novel #2) Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316363402
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Mulholland Books - September 17th, 2019

Attica Locke’s new novel, #2 in her Highway 59 series, is set in a vivid East Texas landscape, and populated by strong characters.


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In an Invisible Glass Case Which Is Also a Frame (Stahlecker Selections) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781945588372
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Four Way Books - September 3rd, 2019

The poems in Guez’s collection are quiet, thoughtful, and open to misery and the joy of the world.


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The Lampblack Blue of Memory: My Mother Echoes Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781948800235
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Tolsun Books - June 18th, 2019

Adleman’s poetic memoir is more than a memoir, it is a meditation on time, forgiveness, mourning, and remembrance.


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Levee Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781945588419
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Four Way Books - September 3rd, 2019

The late poet Paul Otremba left us with one more beautiful, thoughtful collection of poems that reflect on Houston’s floods, the city’s practices of oil extraction, and suburb expansion, as well as the nature of time, vulnerability, and change.


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Scorpionic Sun Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781880834381
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Cleveland State University Poetry Center - September 10th, 2019

Conor Bracken, a former resident of Houston and a UH alumnus, has produced a rigorous translation of Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine’s poetry born of the colonial conflict of French North Africa, bringing this important collection of language as political resistance to English readers.


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Houston Noir (Akashic Noir) Cover Image
By Gwendolyn Zepeda (Editor), Tom Abrahams (Contribution by), Robert Boswell (Contribution by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781617757068
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Akashic Books - May 7th, 2019

This collection of mystery, murder, and thriller short stories, edited by Houston’s first poet laureate Gwendolyn Zepeda, features the work of a variety of authors, many of whom are Houstonians, including Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton and Reyes Ramirez.


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Reinhardt's Garden Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - October 1st, 2019

Called “an innovative piece of fiction” by the Houston Chronicle, REINHARDT’S GARDEN-- irreverent, absurd, and funny-- was penned by Brazos Bookstore’s own Mark Haber.


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King of the Mississippi: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525573784
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Hogarth - July 9th, 2019

Mike Freedman’s debut novel has the name of another Southern state in the title, but the story is firmly set in Texas, and he is most definitely a Houston writer.


Laura G Judges Ten Books by Their Covers

Of all the lessons my mother continues to try to teach her twenty-something daughter, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is usually highest on the list. This is mostly in regards to dating (and by mostly I mean entirely), but it’s applicable to many other parts of my life, namely, my job.

As the book buyer for kids and teens, I physically cannot read every book on the shelf. So it is with a small amount of shame that I admit I do judge books by their covers in my decision making process for what to bring into the store and what to leave out. 

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Wilder Girls Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780525645580
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Delacorte Press - July 9th, 2019

We begin with one of my favorite covers (and books) of the year. WILDER GIRLS a raw, speculative debut filled with stunning prose and a brutally fierce story. It absolutely devoured me, which is why I was so thrilled when the cover design was revealed. 

As a principle, I dislike books that have faces on the cover. I’m not quite sure why this is, perhaps I’m a bit of a snob (it just seems like a lazy choice for many YA titles). But this face. This cover. The artwork is done by one of my favorite digital artists, Aykut Aydoğdu. It’s eerie, and enigmatic, and incorporates small nods to the plot. Basically, it does everything a cover should do: draws in the reader and makes them pick up the book.


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Dig Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781101994917
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - March 26th, 2019

A.S. King is a fairly divisive author. You either love her ground-breaking stories or find her just a touch too avant-garde for the average palette. DIG is a powerful story about white teens coming to terms with their family’s racist history. 

Now, you can’t tell all that by looking at the cover, but it sure is aesthetically pleasing. The sketched out roots give it a natural, historic feel while the bright red and blue palette add a hint of modernity. This cover is perfect for what we call “crossover titles,” or YA books that can be sold to adults who don’t care for YA. As a case and point, when I brought out the ARC for this, many of my coworkers who don’t typically enjoy YA were immediately grabbing for the book (yes, we are impolite heathens behind the scenes).


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Days by Moonlight Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781552453797
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Coach House Books - April 2nd, 2019

Lyrical, existential, and above all accessible, Alexis’ latest novel is filled with enchanted pastoral scenes juxtaposed by violence and death. DAYS BY MOONLIGHT is a joy to read, perfect for lovers of Saša Stanišic’s rich provincial worlds or Claire-Louise Bennett’s poetic prose. 

The cover works perfectly for this. It’s got a hazy filter, like an afternoon laying in a hot sun. I also love the mystery of the letters disappearing into the foliage. It’s just the slightest bit sinister, all accomplished by some skilled and subtle layering.


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Crown of Feathers Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534424623
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - February 12th, 2019

We now come to one of the two books on this list for which I didn’t like the covers. Trust me, it breaks my heart. CROWN OF FEATHERS is a fierce and fiery tale of sisterhood and betrayal set in a world rich in magic and deception. I actually finished it in one day because I couldn’t put it down!

But the cover! It just doesn’t draw me in. Maybe this is more of my snobbery, but it looks like the cover of a mass-market fantasy novel.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a well-worn paperback fantasy (and have many on my shelves at home), but there’s a time and place for those. It gives the book a dated, nostalgic feel, and this is a fresh story in need of a sleek, epic cover. 

The art itself is beautiful, and the color scheme is bright and eye-catching, but I wouldn’t personally use it as a cover. Our customers generally aren’t looking for the type of book this cover evokes, so it takes a lot of leg work to convince someone how incredible this book truly is. I hope you give it a chance, though! (You can always take the dust jacket off when you read it).


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Wicked Saints: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250195661
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Wednesday Books - April 2nd, 2019

WICKED SAINTS is lush and darkly romantic, filled with blood and bones. Perfect for fans of Maggie Stiefvater and Leigh Bardugo, Duncan's thrilling debut explores the ecstasy and heart-breaking tragedy of what it is to love a monster.

The cover takes this gothic feel and runs with it! I adore the blue and black toned artwork (and as a bonus, the blue is metallic! We all know how I feel about shiny things…). The splotch of red adds an understated sinister touch while aesthetically balancing the entire composition. Absolutely phenomenal!


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Paper Houses Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781552453926
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coach House Books - October 29th, 2019

PAPER HOUSES is a spinning coin of vulnerability, showing the fear and desire for human connection one moment and flipping to create boundaries the next. Fortier's vision of Emily Dickinson is luminous and loving and her understanding of the poet's soul shines through each page. This is a fearless exploration of self, isolation, and the painful hope and hunger for love.

The cover matches the book in both beauty and simplicity. And nothing says Emily Dickinson like pressed flowers; joyful and yet tinged with sadness. No one does simply beautiful covers like Coach House (the publisher of DAYS BY MOONLIGHT as well). This book may not grab your attention on the shelf, but once you find it, you won’t want to stop looking at it.


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salt slow Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250224774
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Flatiron Books - October 8th, 2019

Perfect for fans of Daisy Johnson, Samantha Hunt, and Carmen Maria Machado, SALT SLOW is beautiful, poetic, and dizzying. Once again, the cover does a great job of evoking the book. The cool color scheme is calming while the warm speckles of metallic gold and trippy peacock feather pattern throws the viewer off-kilter. 

There are certainly things I would change about the cover, namely the white border with the zig-zag edge. To me it’s a little too distracting from the overall effect. The white accent color is a great choice, but if there were just a half-inch less of it around the border, I would be very happy. Overall, though, this is a fantastic cover that I’d definitely pick up.


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The Cold Is in Her Bones Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781481488440
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - January 22nd, 2019

This is the only other book on the list for which I didn’t like the cover. It’s got a face on it, and while it’s a bit more artistically done than a photograph, and there are fascinating details hidden in the grass, it’s still not entirely pleasing to me.

The book itself is a haunting tale of friendship and betrayal. It fearlessly explores the vicious fierceness that lives buried in all dangerous women. If you liked Madeline Miller’s CIRCE, I highly recommend this. And, to be fair, the cover has grown on me. It’s probably due to two redeeming factors; the pearlescent finish and the texture of the cover. It’s a perfect matte that feels wonderful in your hands. Next time you’re in the store, pick it up and take a look!


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Serpent & Dove Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062878021
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: HarperTeen - September 3rd, 2019

Mahurin’s debut is brilliant - filled with dimensional characters, grey morals, and a fantastic romance! Just to show how much I love it, I put it on our holiday list!

Now, there’s something you may have gathered while reading through this list or talking to me at the store: I am a complete and total sucker for metallic accents and spot glossing, and this cover has both, along with a gloriously dark and intricate background. As much as I dislike fantasy mass-market covers on hardback books, I will always fall for a rich, detailed cover design for YA fantasy. And the final nail in my coffin? The cover is embossed, right down to the texture on the snake. I could - and have! - wasted countless minutes just tracing the scales in an infinite loop of pure tactile pleasure.


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Labrador: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555978303
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Graywolf Press - March 5th, 2019

Texture, texture, texture. If there’s one thing I love in painting, it’s impasto, when paint layers up to show dimension and brush strokes (See? I knew that Art History degree would come in handy!). There’s something so tantalizing about the texture, and it got me in trouble at more than one art museum as a kid because, well, how could you not want to touch it?

LABRADOR is a lyrical and haunting exploration of youth and sororal relationships. Davis weaves an unforgettable tale of two sisters: Willie, the stubborn eldest, and Kitty, the enigmatic yet isolated youngest. Their relationship really comes through in the cover (Willie on the couch, Kitty behind her). It’s domestic and artistic and wonderful.


Katie's Top Ten of 2019: Food, Memory, and Mess Making

Food and memory have always gone hand in hand throughout my life. Childhoods spent watching my mom cook an elaborate meal all day. Visiting grandparents in South Texas and watching them make homemade tortillas and refried beans for all the people and family popping in and out all day. I remember sitting at their table, barely seeing above the colorful plastic table cloth and watching them work together to feed and nourish me and everyone who entered their home. I even have food memories of my other grandmother who never cooked.

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Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables Cover Image
By Abra Berens, EE Berger (Photographs by), Lucy Engelman (Illustrator), Francis Lam (Foreword by)
$35.00
ISBN: 9781452169323
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Chronicle Books - April 23rd, 2019

A cookbook that honors and celebrates various vegetables and all the possibilities they present. Part one of the book focuses on building a solid pantry in order to cook anything at almost anytime with limited food in the fridge. Part two focuses on vegetables and how to cook them. Each section looks at one vegetable with a handful of variations including grilling, pan roasting, quick steamed, and more. So many possibilities! Hate broccoli because you’ve only ever had it steamed? Try oven roasted with a chili oil and some gooey melted cheese. I love this cookbook when I need ideas for side dishes, want to focus on seasonal cooking, or just want something easy for dinner. Perfect for veggie lovers and those that just haven’t been enjoying veggies the “right” way.


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Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9780451497017
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - October 22nd, 2019

The second cookbook from New York Times and Bon Appétit columnist Alison Roman. I never have people over besides my parents for dinner, but Alison Roman makes me want to have friends over more often. She takes the fuss and stress out of having people over. We’re not having a “dinner party” or “entertaining”, but rather spending time with friends or family and enjoying a delicious meal. It’s really Nothing Fancy…and maybe someone else will do the dishes. This would make a perfect gift for the host at your next party! 


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Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers: A Cookbook Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780735218017
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Avery - July 2nd, 2019

I’m just beginning to experiment with baking, and while I love a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, I don’t necessarily want to bake that. I love baking with fruit! I love how seasonal and simple fruit dessert dishes can be. DAPPLED is a favorite and offers a huge variety of fruits used in classic desserts and some imaginative modern takes on old favorites. This cookbook is perfect for the apprehensive baker and farmers’ market regular in your life. 


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Breakfast: The Cookbook Cover Image
By Emily Elyse Miller, Reem Kassis (Contributions by)
$49.95
ISBN: 9780714878041
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Phaidon Press - May 29th, 2019

Breakfast is by far the greatest meal of the day. Want a giant fluffy omelette oozing with cheese? Make it! Want a slice of cake for breakfast? Treat yo’ self! I grew up eating breakfast at all hours of the day, often times for dinner. This is the ultimate cookbook on breakfast, but not just the traditional American Breakfast. No, this book takes you on a tour of the entire world, Mexican Chilaquiles, Carrot Cake from Singapore, and a Middle Eastern Omelet from Egypt. Each recipe is accessible and offers cultural context and culinary insight. This is the perfect cookbook for the brunch lover and the person in your life who never skips the most important meal of the day.


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I Can Cook Vegan Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781419732416
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Abrams - October 29th, 2019

Vegan food and cooking is not just for Vegans. Anyone can enjoy a delicious Vegan meal, and, yes, still have delicious cheese. I CAN COOK VEGAN thinks about the home cook with easy to follow directions. Each chapter acts as a building block to slowly build your confidence with Vegan cooking. This book is perfect for both the Vegancurious and the serious Vegan in your life. 


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Tex-Mex Cookbook: Traditions, Innovations, and Comfort Foods from Both Sides of the Border Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780525573869
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Clarkson Potter - April 23rd, 2019

Tex-Mex food and flavors go way beyond your typical nachos and queso— it's complex and full of history. True to its name, Tex-Mex is influenced by Spanish Mexican cuisine colliding with Texas ranchers’ cooking, the ultimate collaboration of flavors both traditional and new. Fry has created an incredibly exciting cookbook with vibrant dishes and images that jump off the page. Each recipe is easy to follow and each ingredient is celebrated. This is the perfect book for that one friend who loves a bowl of queso and a margarita.


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Tu Casa Mi Casa: Mexican Recipes for the Home Cook Cover Image
By Enrique Olvera, Peter Meehan (Contributions by), Daniela Soto-Innes (Contributions by)
$39.95
ISBN: 9780714878058
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Phaidon Press - March 27th, 2019

Traditional Mexican cooking from an exceptional and exciting chef revolutionizing Mexican cooking, in TU CASA MI CASA, Olvera wants the home cook to experience all that Mexican cuisine has to offer. Through easy to follow step by step photo directions, anyone can master the basics of Mexican cooking like tamales and tortillas. I love this book for anyone and everyone!


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The Great British Baking Show: The Big Book of Amazing Cakes Cover Image
By The Baking Show Team, Paul Hollywood (Foreword by), Prue Leith (Foreword by)
$27.99
ISBN: 9780593138397
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Clarkson Potter - October 29th, 2019

I love cake and I absolutely love The Great British Baking Show, so this cookbook is a dream come true, and one I’m definitely adding to my collection. This book is full of amazing “Showstopper” cakes and new recipes from past contestants. The photographs of these cakes are enough to make you run to the kitchen put on your apron, turn on the oven, and BAKE!


Traci's Top Ten of 2019: Cover Re-Design!

In September of this year I started a project on instagram called OLD BOOKS NEW LOOKS where I create new book covers for older publications. Covers of covers, if you will! It's been a lot of fun to re-cover a bunch of old favorites. But seeing as the year's coming to a close and I am literally assigned by Brazos to create a 2019 retrospective top ten list, I decided I'd mash the assignments together and create a limited edition series: NEW BOOKS NEW LOOKS! So here they are-- my favorite books of 2019 and the new cover art I created for each title.

Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River Cover Image
By Jung Young Moon, Yewon Jung (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781941920855
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - December 10th, 2019

The Yellow House: A Memoir (2019 National Book Award Winner) Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802125088
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Grove Press - August 13th, 2019

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Tears of the Trufflepig: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374538330
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - May 14th, 2019

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525562023
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Penguin Press - June 4th, 2019

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Time Is the Thing a Body Moves Through Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895477
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Coffee House Press - June 4th, 2019

The Future of Another Timeline Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780765392107
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Tor Books - September 24th, 2019

The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions Cover Image
By Larry Mitchell, Ned Asta (Illustrator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781643620060
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Nightboat Books - July 2nd, 2019

Honey, I Killed the Cats Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941920824
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - October 15th, 2019

Gender and Our Brains: How New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781524747022
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Pantheon - August 27th, 2019

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The Paper Wasp Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802129413
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Grove Press - June 11th, 2019

The Year in Books According to Keaton!

Another year at Brazos, another year end list. When you’ve been a bookseller as long as I have, it gets hard at times to inject new life into the stale tradition of the top 10 list. I’ve tried several different variations, including a full on award show style presentation last year replete with applause gifs. This year, though, I want to stray a bit further from the typical listicle formula and try to give some insight into how I--as a bookseller--experience a reading year. In short, there are themes that present themselves throughout the book release seasons.

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Lot: Stories Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780525533672
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 19th, 2019

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Reinhardt's Garden Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - October 1st, 2019

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Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (American Music Series) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781477316481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Texas Press - February 1st, 2019

A Fortune for Your Disaster Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781947793439
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Tin House Books - September 3rd, 2019

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Song for the Unraveling of the World Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895484
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Coffee House Press - June 11th, 2019

Die My Love Cover Image
By Ariana Harwicz, Carolina Orloff (Translator), Sarah Moses (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781999722784
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Charco Press - October 15th, 2019

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The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555978273
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - February 5th, 2019

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In the Dream House: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781644450031
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Graywolf Press - November 5th, 2019

Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393608861
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 15th, 2019

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Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas (The Texas Bookshelf) Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780292759510
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: University of Texas Press - October 1st, 2019

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