This is for anything that is a standalone page. (example: Our Staff, Contact, ect.)

Holiday Catalog: Fiction

The Dictionary of Animal Languages Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947534520
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Scribe Us - September 4th, 2018

A stunning novel with quiet, prayerful prose to take your breath away. A woman, modeled after cult icon Leonara Carrington, moves between looking back on the drama of her youth and documenting the natural world in her old age. Sopinka flawlessly inhabits the rich inner world of her characters. Perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See.

Lake Success: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812997415
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Random House - September 4th, 2018

Lake Success is a marvel. Easily Mr. Shteyngart's strongest and most serious novel to date (don't worry, it's hilarious). A biting and satiric, yet lucid glimpse at the America we live in today, both heartbraking and heartwarming. A millionaire Wall Street banker leaves his current life to track down his college sweetheart, by Greyhound bus - hilarity and heartbreak ensue. A road trip and a life gone awry. Shteyngart excels at the human comedy all of us are in, whether we like it or not.

Washington Black: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525521426
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Knopf - September 18th, 2018

Escaping the horrors of slavery on a Caribbean sugar plantation, young Washington Black is swept up on a globe-trotting, whirlwind adventure. On the run with the brother of his master, this rollicking literary journey brings into stark relief the pervasive ignorance of racism even during the so-called age of invention. Already one of the best reviewed books of the year, this terrific novel would be great for fans of Colson Whitehead and George Saunders.

Transcription: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316176637
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 25th, 2018

Looking for a spy novel that feels utterly realistic? Kate Atkinson brings us a tale of espionage and intrigue that follows one girl’s journey from spy in the 1940s to a woman haunted by her past wrongs. An intricate puzzle of a novel - the perfect gift for those book lovers you’re not sure how to buy for!

The Shape of the Ruins: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735211148
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Riverhead Books - September 25th, 2018

A literary thriller by one of Latin America's most exciting writers. A break-in at a museum leads a man to look into Colombia's violent past. A highly readable novel and an exploration into history, politics and presidential assassinations. An incredible ride.

Gone So Long: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393244106
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 2nd, 2018

Dubus's first novel in more than a decade, GONE SO LONG is a heartwrenching tale about family, loss and trying to correct the past. Taking place in a small New England town and Florida, Dubus III shows us once again a novel crossing generations and packed with tension and empathy.

Killing Commendatore: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525520047
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Knopf - October 9th, 2018

An essential for any Murakami fan and also a great introduction to the incredibly amazing Japanese writer. Filled with his quintessential surrealism and musings on the mundane, we follow a Great Gatsby-esque story of a portrait painter recently abandoned by his wife and his new life in a mysterious artist’s home. He meets a wealthy man in the mansion across from him, and an interesting relationship begins when he asks the artist to paint his portrait, but all is not how it appears—as usual with any great Murakami story. Killing Commendatore is a musing on things lost, loneliness, and the things we never really had to begin with.

The Witch Elm: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735224629
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Viking - October 9th, 2018

French is one of the undisputed masters of the contemporary detective story, but she's also highly literary, with dense plots and fascinating characters. THE WITCH ELM continues her trend of intense fiction, telling the story of an injured runaway confronting his past as detectives close in--a past that may not be what it seems. Absolutely gripping.

Bitter Orange Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947793156
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Tin House Books - October 9th, 2018

In this page-turning novel of belonging, obsession, and the lengths people go to maintain their false fronts, a lonely woman strikes up a friendship with the bohemian couple who live downstairs. But as their relationship intensifies, a hidden ferocity slowly rises to the surface. A tremendous psychological thriller for readers of Highsmith and French.

The Waiter Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501197529
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - October 9th, 2018

Not going to lie, this book has all the charm of a Wes Anderson (think Grand Budapest Hotel). THE WAITER shows that books needn't be sweeping to be great-- Faldbakken’s writing glows when describing detail and place. Whimsical but smart; great for folks who identify similarly.

Unsheltered: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062684561
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Harper - October 16th, 2018

In this sprawling family drama, acclaimed novelist Barbara Kingsolver tackles themes of home, poverty, family, and connection in a divided world. Told in two parallel storylines, one in modern day and one in the 1870s, Unsheltered charts the ways in which we’ve changed as a country and the ways we so obviously haven’t. Fans of Kingsolver will be wrapped up in her familiar prose, while newcomers will find a story to to get lost in.

The Collector’s Apprentice: A Novel Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9781616203580
Availability: OUT OF PRINT - Not Available for Order
Published: Algonquin Books - October 16th, 2018

1920's Paris and America. Vengeful, badass young female protagonist. Art thievery. Romance with Matisse (count me in). BA Shapiro, author of The Art Forger and The Muralist, is at it again with a remarkable historical page-turning thriller.

Trinity: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062851963
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Ecco - October 16th, 2018

This is a powerful novel about power, guilt, and tragedy, by the acclaimed author of SPEAK. TRINITY focuses on Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, through seven other fictionalized characters, but also pulls back to encapsulate the complexities their lives. Anyone who wants a new viewpoint of a rough point in our history will love this eloquent and poetic story.

Little: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525534327
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Riverhead Books - October 23rd, 2018

Eccentric and unpredictable, Little will steal your heart. The story of Madame Tussauds is wonderfully subversive - a fantastical plot told in a matter-of-fact tone. This book is special, and definitely one to keep on your shelf.

The Reckoning: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385544153
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Doubleday - October 23rd, 2018

Classic Grisham legal suspense with Southern Gothic atmosphere and a 1946 Mississippi setting, but also eerily timely, as one horrible day, returned WWII war hero Pete Banning walks into the town church and calmly guns down the pastor, who happens also to be his best friend. What follows is Grisham at his finest, with twists and turns and secrets and of course, lots of courtroom drama. Plus there’s an insane asylum. What's not to love?

The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition (Earthsea Cycle) Cover Image
By Ursula K. Le Guin, Charles Vess (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781481465588
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - October 30th, 2018

Ursula K. LeGuin is an acclaimed, beloved author who unfortunately just passed earlier this year. Her writing merges fantasy and speculation with universal themes, all tied together with a sharp, literary voice. Commemorate her life with this INCREDIBLE illustrated 50th Anniversary version of a beloved cycle, The Books of Earthsea — including over 50 illustrations by beloved Charles Vess, early short stories, and a new never-before-printed Earthsea tale. Great for fantasy lovers and fiction collectors.

Elevation Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982102319
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Scribner - October 30th, 2018

Say it with me: it's Stephen King. How can you go wrong? In this book, he riffs on his classic Thinner by telling the story of a man who cannot seem to actually lose weight, no matter how thin he gets. Added to this, he lives in a small town where prejudice abounds. King--in a rare novella (it's short!)--crafts the best kind of horror: the sort that shines a light on ills of our present day.

The Feral Detective: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062859068
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Ecco - November 6th, 2018

Almost 20 years after Motherless Brooklyn, Jonathan Lethem returns to the detective genre. The Feral Detective is rollicking, satirical, and angry –– a perfect Trump-era spin on classic L.A. noir. For fans of Inherent Vice, The Big Lebowski, femmes fatales, and pet opossums.

Fox 8: A Story Cover Image
By George Saunders, Chelsea Cardinal (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781984818027
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Random House - November 13th, 2018

It may not be a stretch anymore to call Saunders the greatest living American writer. Though shorter than most of his works, Fox 8 is whimsical, sad, and filled with pathos. It's a parable about a daydreaming fox who saves his pack through the power of language. Perfect for the eternal dreamer in your life.

Holiday Catalog: Literary Picks

Staff Pick Badge
Evolution Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802128508
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Grove Press - September 11th, 2018

Eileen Myles has done so much. They’ve won a Guggenheim Fellowship, received grants left and right, and written over twenty books of poetry and nonfiction… and their work still gets at something special about everyday life. Accessible and undeniably thoughtful at the same time. Perfect for poetry lovers, people struggling to find their place... even perfect for people who “don’t like poetry.”

Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany (Book for Writers, Book Lovers Miscellany with Booklist) Cover Image
By Jane Mount (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781452167237
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Chronicle Books - September 11th, 2018

An interactive love letter to all things literary. Peruse Jane Mount's adorable illustrations, take quizzes, learn more about your favorite bookstores, and peek at the workspaces of your favorite authors. This is a book-themed read that doesn't take itself too seriously, but brings a lot to the table. Your whole book club needs this one.

The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062661920
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Ecco - September 11th, 2018

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is one of the most beloved and notorious novels of all time. And yet very few of its readers know that the subject of the novel was inspired by a real-life case: the 1948 abduction of eleven-year-old Sally Horner. Seamlessly weaving suspenseful crime narrative, cultural and social history, and literary investigation, The Real Lolita tells Sally Horner's full story for the very first time.

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List Cover Image
ISBN: 9781523504459
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Workman Publishing Company - October 2nd, 2018

The perfect book for any bibliophile in your life! Not just your normal list book, this is a meticulous reference guide to momentous literature. Pick it up, flip to any page, and lose yourself in copious amounts of literary history and trivia.

The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons: A Semi-serious A-to-Z Archive Cover Image
By David Remnick (Foreword by), Bob Mankoff (Editor)
ISBN: 9780316436670
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal - October 2nd, 2018

For when you need a laugh, a "Huh?", or an "Ohhh, I get it" hours after the fact, turn to any page in this collection of New Yorker cartoons, divided up by subject and theme. (You can bet that "Therapy" has quite a few entries.) My favorite sections have to do with cats, dogs, and the afterlife.

Author: The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan Cover Image
By Beowulf Sheehan, Salman Rushdie (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780316515153
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal - October 9th, 2018

Sheehan is a visionary photographer and portrait artist. You can probably guess what his subject is in this volume: portraits of authors we know and love. From Zadie Smith to George Saunders, the subjects of his portraits are captured with warmth and insight. Perfect for the book lover in your life. Plus, with an intro by Salman Rushdie? We suggest buying this book and taking it straight to your coffee table.

The Library Book Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476740188
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 16th, 2018

Quirky true crime by way of literary history as only Susan Orlean could do! When the LA Public Library burned down hundreds of thousands of books were lost to the flames. It is still an unsolved incident. Using this catastrophy as her point of departure, Orlean plots out an entire cultural history of libraries and their importance to society. A stunning story in a terrific package.

The End of the End of the Earth: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374147938
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 13th, 2018

Franzen's essays are refreshing and insightful, calling the reader to reflect on the true power of the essay in our lives and intellects. He asserts that we find ourselves more while in the act of writing and even reading essays, making his collection a perfect find for those who desire to do the hard work of puzzling themselves out--something we're all in need of doing, probably more than once. Overall cerebral and satisfying, this collection doesn't disappoint.

Buyer's Corner: 2018 Review/Preview

Man! Is this year flying by or what? Here we are at the end of August already, and it seems like just yesterday that we were letting y’all know about all we had coming up in 2018. There have been so many great books already this year, but, as publishers and booksellers ramp up for the Fall and holiday seasons, there will be even more amazing reading to look forward to!

The New Inheritors Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802128171
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Grove Press - July 10th, 2018

Now, y’all are probably tired of me talking your ears off about the third novel from Kent Wascom, but it can’t be said enough how innovative and even revolutionary The New Inheritors is for the genre of literary historical fiction. It is a vivid continuation of a Southern epic, and one of the first novels of the 21st century to consider and even give full sway to the natural world throughout the plot as a character in and of itself. Quite simply, this is a stunning artistic exploration of how we are shaped continuously and at once by our families, our histories, and our environments.

An Untouched House Cover Image
By Willem Frederik Hermans, David Colmer (Translated by), Cees Nooteboom (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781939810069
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Archipelago - October 23rd, 2018

A disillusioned WWII partisan deserts and finds an abandoned house where he decides to stay. What unfolds is a strange and taut psychological tale of how individuals might choose to ignore the horrors of the outside world until they inevitably come crashing down around them. Ending in an explosion of violence that illuminates the true savagery of the human heart, An Untouched House is a little stick of dynamite. Less than 100 pages and damn near perfect.

The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316259613
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 3rd, 2018

The recovery memoir to end all recovery memories--mostly because Jamison abandons all the cliches of the genre to tell an all-encompassing story of literary torment and social insanity. Yes, she drank, and quit, but the story is powerful because of how far outside herself she can see.

Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385542869
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Doubleday - September 18th, 2018

Saslow's harrowing account of Derek Black and his journey out of white nationalism, which shines a vital light on a segment of our population we need to pay start paying more attention to--seemingly polite white racists--because, y'know, they seem to be running our country.

Staff Pick Badge
The Invented Part Cover Image
ISBN: 9781940953564
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Open Letter - May 16th, 2017

Although it was published in 2017 I didn't have the chance to read The Invented Part until earlier this year. It's a book of such generosity, inventiveness and sheer originality it doesn't even seem fair. Obsessed with pop culture, language and even a bit of science fiction, The Invented Part is big in every way: ideas, size and good humor. It really has everything going: great prose, strange, unforgettable passages and a flawless translation. I won't try summarizing except to say that it's both brilliant and funny. If the novel as a form, as some suggest, is exhausted, Fresan's book is a salvo, set down with a pat on the back and wink of the eye.

After the Winter Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566895255
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - September 4th, 2018

I was already a fan of Guadalupe Nettel before I read her newest book, After the Winter. Now I could be accused of being a Nettel fanatic. A love story in the sense that love stories are not inherently happy stories. Focusing on two relationships, traveling between Cuba, Paris, New York and Mexico, After the Winter shows the reader, with marvelous prose, that we never truly know one another, no matter how close we get. And that no matter what, at the end of the day, we're almost always in relationships for self-serving reasons. Beautiful, melancholic and universal, I am very excited to share this book at the store. (She'll be in conversation with Rodrigo Hasbun on September 18th)

These Rebel Waves Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062471505
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - August 7th, 2018

A complex and layered world, a knock-out cast of characters, and an ever increasing descent into chaos the left me breathless - this book has everything. The world is a unique blend of magic, piracy, and politics. The characters are wonderfully dimensional and the plot is fast paced. There are no good options, only the choices that will do the least harm. Absolutely incredible!

The Dictionary of Animal Languages Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947534520
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Scribe Us - September 4th, 2018

A stunning novel with quiet, prayerful prose to take your breath away. Sopinka flawlessly inhabits the rich inner world of her characters as if she could shed her own skin and become another person. Softly powerful, like the static electricity before a storm. This book is an enchantment!

Staff Pick Badge
Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455563920
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 14th, 2017

Although it was published in 2017, I didn't get to PACHINKO until this year and once I did, I couldn't put it down. It's everything I want in a story: epic scope, historic setting that I knew little to nothing about, compelling, layered characters, forbidden love, tragedy, and family dynasty and drama. Stretching over many decades, the novel begins early in the 20th century in Korea under Japanese rule. Sunja, the beloved daughter of a poor couple, falls for middle-aged gangster Koh Hansu, finds herself pregnant, and the story barrels on from there. The title is both literal -- Pachinko parlors are both a way for the characters to rise from poverty--but also a metaphor for the bouncing whims of fate and life. PACHINKO is bold, and ambitious, delightfully readable and never pretentious, but also juicy and complex. It has something for everyone.

Damsel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062742322
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 2nd, 2018

I reviewed DAMSEL by Elana K. Arnold for Indie Next and while it's marketed as upper YA, it's this dark and timely crossover adult feminist read, an anti- fairy tale that turns the damsel in distress trope inside out while dealing unflinchingly with violence, sexual assault and more. If you're a fan of titles like Margo Lanagan's disturbing but brilliant Tender Morsels (which definitely isn't for everyone), then DAMSEL is for you.

Chemistry: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525432227
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Vintage - April 3rd, 2018

Weike Wang's CHEMISTRY is a brilliant debut that's best described as an anti-coming-of-age story that combines humor, science, and depression. It's my go-to recommendation for a read that's fast paced, sharp, and above all hilarious. CHEMISTRY enters the brilliant, albeit missing a few pivotal synapses, mind of our narrator who is a Ph.D. student of chemistry struggling with family pressures, relationship issues, and identity. Don't let this pop of yellow fool you, this book will take you on an emotional rollercoaster: you'll cry in laughter, quiver in a bulgy-eyed frustration at the ones you love (think chihuahuas), and exit contented.

A Winter's Promise: Book One of the Mirror Visitor Quartet Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609454838
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2018

Europa Edition's breakthrough into YA, A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos, is one of the books I am highly anticipating this fall. Translated from French and the first of the bestselling series The Mirror Visitor, A Winter's Promise, is set after the Rupture where the world has split apart and each "ark" is ruled by an omnipotent spirit. Perfect for lovers of Philip Pullman's Dark Materials and Hayao Miyazaki films.

The Third Hotel: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374168353
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 7th, 2018

This book is for anyone who loves surreal writing, horror films, philosophical questioning, and Alfred Hitchcock films, especially Vertigo! The setting of a Latin American Film Festival in Havana, Cuba creates the perfect sweltering backdrop to this grief driven mystery and completely transports the reader walking alongside the widowed protagonist Clare as she processes the events of her husband’s death that have led her to the film festival. Clare begins seeing her “husband” around Havana which leads her on a mysterious journey where more questions appear than are solved. When you finally put this book down you will continue to draw questions about what it truly means to be married to someone.

The Reckonings: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501159008
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Scribner - October 9th, 2018

The Reckonings is a fantastic continuation or introduction to Johnson’s works concerning the subject of her own sexual assault which she writes about in her memoir The Other Side. Through the twelve essays Johnson draws from art, history, philosophy, mythology and many other subjects to discuss our current era of sexual assault, harassment, police brutality, school shootings, and issues with incarceration. This collection focuses on what is wrong and how we should try to fix where society has fallen short. Johnson does not suggest pointing the finger or demanding vengeance, rather embracing honesty and the acknowledgement of all people and the pain they have experienced at the hands of others, society, and the law.

The Emissary Cover Image
By Yoko Tawada, Margaret Mitsutani (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780811227629
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: New Directions - April 24th, 2018

My favorite book by Yoko Tawada. Though I read it in 2017, it came out in spring of 2018, which meant I got to spend months talking it up! Japan has cut itself off from a mysterious disaster, and everything (everything!) is affected. Tawada examines so many details of everyday life, twists them slightly, but describes them so lovingly, I felt as connected to the world of THE EMISSARY as much as I feel connected to my own. It's a smart, complicated book that interrogates language, community, and cultural trauma but still drew me in marvelously.

Revolution Sunday Cover Image
By Wendy Guerra, Achy Obejas (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781612196619
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Melville House - December 4th, 2018

I am sorry to recommend something so fantastic that we have to wait so LONG for –– REVOLUTION SUNDAY doesn't come out until December! On the other hand, it might just be my favorite book of the year (and that's saying something; I had to laboriously narrow down from a top ten to choose it). Wendy Guerra is one of those remarkable writers who's able to write about her homeland in a way that is very close and loving and subtle, but also sweeping enough to be legible to outsiders. If you want to read about a writer, surveillance, family spies, Cuba, Mexico City, femininity, relationships, drinking with Sting, poem-memorizing housekeepers, parties with the intellectual elite, and more, look out for this one.

Thu Interviews Vanessa Hua, Author of A RIVER OF STARS

Vanessa Hua is a mother, journalist, and author based in San Francisco. Her debut novel, A RIVER OF STARS, was just published (8/14). I had the opportunity to interview her and talk to her about her amazing book which covers topics like motherhood, immigration, and identity through the story of two intelligent and resilient women Scarlett and Daisy. Read the interview to learn more about A RIVER OF STARS and then order a copy!

A River of Stars: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399178788
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Ballantine Books - August 14th, 2018

A Book List by Mimi Swartz

Mimi Swartz is an executive editor at Texas Monthly. She is also the author, with Sharon Watkins, of Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron, along with her brand new book Ticker: The Quest to Create an Artificial Heart. The Houston Public Library hosts Mimi Swartz on August 7th (find more information about the event here). In the meantime, we asked Swartz what her favorite books are, and she graciously responded. Take a look below!

Blood and Money Cover Image
ISBN: 9780786709472
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Running Press - September 1st, 2001

Crime, oil, big money in River Oaks, by an author who knew what he had and knew exactly what to do with it. The best book about Houston, hands down.

Except for...

All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631493577
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - May 29th, 2018

No one has captured Houston better than Larry McMurtry in the Houston trilogy; the heat, the humidity, the way we all treat one another. Read it and know you are home.

Lonesome Dove: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439195260
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 15th, 2010

And then there's Lonesome Dove. It isn’t that he captures the West so brilliantly—which he does— but that his characters are indelible. You can finish the book, but Gus and Call and Lorena will live forever.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374531386
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 28th, 2008

It’s more than a collection of essays; reporting, profiles and personal stories that impeccably capture their time and place. It’s my writing primer that I return to again and again.

All The King's Men Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156004800
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Mariner Books - September 1st, 1996

The best political novel ever written, because it's about so much more than politics. How love, truth, and honor, used wrongly, can destroy us.

The Great Gatsby: The Only Authorized Edition Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743273565
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Scribner - September 30th, 2004

This is, to me, the Great American Novel in the slimmest of volumes. The stunning descriptions, the hypnotic power of wealth and dreams; the dangers of throwing in with "careless people." I reread it almost every year.

Mystery Ride Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060975852
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: PerfectBound - January 1st, 1994

A flawless, unforgettable story of an American family. The portrait of daughter Dulcie’s coming of age will make every woman regret how mean she was to her mother.

Earthly Measures: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679765660
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Knopf - February 27th, 1996

The last poem in this outstanding collection gets me every time. In just a few short lines of "Earthly Light," Hirsch perfectly describes what it means to suddenly come upon your younger self and feel the passage of time.

The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400030842
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Vintage - August 21st, 2007

Wright is, to me, the perfect journalist. A great reporter, a great storyteller, and a great thinker. His history of the events leading up to 9-11 is as ambitious as it is inevitable.

The Liars' Club: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143035749
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Penguin Books - May 31st, 2005

As is obvious from the list above, I favor books about Texas, since I spend so much time writing about it. Karr’s first memoir is a brilliant rendering of the Golden Triangle area—you can see it and smell it— but also evokes all the ambivalence of parental love, and of growing away from home, literally and metaphorically.

Preorder Bryan Washington's LOT Today!

Are you excited for Houston author Bryan Washington’s new book, Lot? Pre-order today and reserve a copy that will be ready for you on release day!

Simply place the book below into your shopping cart and check out with a credit card. Pre-orders must be paid in advance. 

In the city of Houston – a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America – the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He’s working at his family’s restaurant, weathering his brother’s blows, resenting his older sister’s absence. And discovering he likes boys.

SKU: x1002

Preorder Chris Cander's THE WEIGHT OF A PIANO Today!

Are you excited for Houston author Chris Cander's new novel? Pre-order today and reserve a copy that will be ready for you on release day!

Simply place the book below into your shopping cart and check out with a credit card. Pre-orders must be paid in advance. 

For fans of Ann Patchett's Bel Canto, Amanda Coplin's The Orchardist, and Annie Proulx's Accordion Crimes. A tour-de-force about two women and the piano that inexorably ties their lives together through time and across continents, for better and for worse.

Upcoming Events at Brazos: A Book List

Spring is officially upon us, and here at Brazos that means a ton of excellent author events and readings. So come on out, brave the Houston traffic, nonstop pollen, and flash-downpours to meet some incredible authors and read the best in new fiction and nonfiction. Below are some of the events in the very-near-future that we’re most looking forward to:

Out in the Open: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594634369
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Riverhead Books - July 4th, 2017

As this novel begins a young boy is fleeing a group of pursuers, hiding in a hole in the ground, and his fortunes don’t improve much from there on. To find his freedom the boy must cross a desert landscape, an open plain with little means of escape, survival, or hiding places.

A searing novel about violence, survival, and the possibility of change, OUT IN THE OPEN is high-stakes, and Margaret Jull Costa’s translation maintains all of the urgency and punch of the prose. Featuring a memorable cast of characters, including a villain whose depravity is reminiscent of Judge Holden of BLOOD MERIDIAN.

We’re hosting Jesús Carrasco in-store on Friday, March 30. Find more details and reserve your copy of the book here.

The House of Broken Angels Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316154888
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Little, Brown and Company - March 6th, 2018

Urrea is a modern master, and his latest book is a sweeping narrative that spans several generations of family members reuniting for a single weekend. The de la Cruz family gathers in San Diego to celebrate the lives of Big Angel, the patriarch in ill health, and his mother, recently passed.

Each member of the family is well-developed and fully realized, and somehow the stakes feel at once intimate and tender while also larger-than-life. This uplifting novel perfectly depicts the American Dream and an America made stronger because of its diversity, and the unconquerable power of love and family. This book is a triumph.

We’re hosting Luis Alberto Urrea in-store on Saturday, March 31. Find more details and reserve your copy of the book here.

Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501189043
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Atria Books - March 27th, 2018

Bob Honey is a man out of touch with the contemporary world, a world of social media and targeted advertising that he views with contempt. Maybe that’s why he moonlights as a part-time assassin.

Sean Penn’s debut novel is as dark as it is funny, with wild sentences and incendiary rants that cause the titular antihero to find himself in some pretty absurd situations. The book is full of government conspiracies, neighborhood squabbles, and loves found and lost, and ultimately serves to lambast the post-9/11 American climate in which we focus more on our differences and what sets us apart.

We’re hosting Sean Penn at the Ballroom at Bayou Place on Wednesday, April 4. Find more details and tickets here.

Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead--My Life Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501187599
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Gallery Books - April 3rd, 2018

Cecile Richards has spent practically her entire life as an activist impacting meaningful change, and in her new memoir, MAKE TROUBLE, she pulls back the curtain to reveal the private details behind her very public life. Richards details her time as a student protesting the Vietnam War, to fighting for better wages and conditions for garment workers, hotel workers, and nursing home aides, to working under her mother Governor Ann Richards and Nancy Pelosi, to her time as Planned Parenthood’s President, and the book reads as part memoir, part activist handbook. Richards also discusses finding balance in life and the specific challenges that women face, from motherhood to sexism and misogyny in the workplace.

We’re hosting Cecile Richards at the Ballroom at Bayou Place on Sunday, April 8. Find more details and tickets here.

Exit West: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735212206
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Riverhead Books - February 27th, 2018

A contemporary love story set within a backdrop of war, civil unrest, and nationalism and with hint of magical realism, EXIT WEST questions our commonly accepted definitions of ‘home’ and asks what it means to be a refugee. Nadia and Saeed begin a new love affair as their home country dangerously nears civil war, and as the violence escalate they are forced to flee. Together they find a magical door that can transport them to another place in the world and walk through, but once they arrive as refugees they face a new set of unforeseen and complex challenges.

We’re hosting Mohsin Hamid at Christ Church Cathedral on Tuesday, April 10. Find more details and tickets here.

No Immediate Danger: Volume One of Carbon Ideologies Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399563492
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Viking - April 10th, 2018

William T. Vollmann is a bit of a maniac, and his nonfiction proves it. From shadowing a group of mujahideen on the frontlines of war in 1982 to traversing the world’s most polluted river in a rubber boat, Vollmann often lives the experiences he’s writing about. His newest book, NO IMMEDIATE DANGER, Volume 1 of a trilogy on mankind’s contributions to global warming and climate change titled CARBON IDEOLOGIES, explores the consequences of nuclear proliferation and the Fukushima reactor leak, which he visits several times with his own dosimeter. Like all of Vollmann’s writing, NO IMMEDIATE DANGER is encyclopedic in scope and scale.

We’re hosting William T. Vollmann at Houston United Way on Saturday, April 14. Find more details and tickets here.

Joy Interviews the Magnificent Crystal Allen

I’ve known Houston author Crystal Allen for a while now, and she is not only one of my favorite humans but also incredibly talented, funny, generous, and all-around wonderful. Her books -- award-winning (including the Bluebonnet Award) middle grade and young reader fiction-- are hugely popular and her school visits are a thing of wonder. Ben and I had the good fortune to accompany her on a day of school events recently. Crystal teaches her student audience the basics of telling a story and does so with humor and wit and an infectious enthusiasm.

How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061992735
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Balzer + Bray - August 14th, 2012

The Laura Line Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062490216
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Balzer + Bray - June 7th, 2016

The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Mya in the Middle Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062839398
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 16th, 2018

Keaton's Top 10 Books You Didn't Read in 2017

As the buyer, I tend to get excited about new releases waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before they ever hit our shelves. We’re talking 1000s of titles every year, not that I read all of them. But I do my best. Some, like LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, are no brainers. Titles that spark rabid reader anticipation as soon as they are announced and need very little help finding their way into your hands. Others become cult house favs, leading one or more Brazos bookseller on a personal quest to bring a lesser known gem to your attention.

To Name Those Lost: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609453497
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Europa Editions - February 7th, 2017

The first book I read this year, and still one of the best books I read this year! This heartbreaking and violent tale life in the Tasmanian frontier is at its foundation a story about parents and children--especially the hard choices we make to give the ones we love a better life. A taut page-turner and a slow-burning potboiler all at once, TO NAME THOSE LOST is an immersive adventure from one of the young shining lights of literature down under.

theMystery.doc Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802124913
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Grove Press - October 3rd, 2017

The most unique book I read this year, THEMYSTERY.DOC is an attempt to capture the essence of living in the internet era in the form of a novel. Replete with photos and screenshots, symbols, transcriptions of real-life conversations, and no fewer than three intertwining storylines, this is the most avant garde American fiction of 2017. Imagine Danielewski but with much more substance. A weighty tome that is a breeze to read, you won’t find another book like this.

Vengeance Is Mine, All  Others Pay Cash Cover Image
By Eka Kurniawan, Annie Tucker (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780811225649
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: New Directions - August 1st, 2017

The best crime comedy about murder for hire and male impotence you’ll find this year! VENGEANCE IS MINE… follows a traumatized hitman and his near-invincible gangster girlfriend as they just try to live and love on the mean streets, but can they escape the pull of the underworld? All the literary quality you expect from a New Directions title, now with car chases! This book is a blast and a half!

All We Shall Know: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143131045
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Penguin Books - July 4th, 2017

My favorite contemporary Irish author returns! ALL WE SHALL KNOW is the kind of quiet yet emotionally searing domestic literature that gets under your skin for a long time to come. Centering on the collapse of a relationship and its aftermath in a small rural town, this novel is further proof of Ryan’s ability to craft specifically Irish yet universally human drama from everyday life.

The Sarah Book Cover Image
ISBN: 9780988518391
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Tyrant Books - July 11th, 2017

West Virginia madman and indie lit cult hero, McClanahan, turns out a stunning semi-autobiographical novel documenting his divorce and the ensuing psychological tailspin with a truly raw honesty that is hard to forget. Unsettling, hilarious, demented, lyrical, and sad as fuck, THE SARAH BOOK is the work of a true American original.

The Glass Eye: A memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941040775
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Tin House Books - October 3rd, 2017

Somewhere between grief and madness lies THE GLASS EYE. This stunning debut memoir delves deep into young Jeannie Vanasco’s ordeal in overcoming the twin miseries of her beloved father’s death and the severe manic depression she is no longer able to keep in check. A visceral, haunting confessional-style read from an extremely talented and troubled woman that deserves to find a wide audience.

The Good People Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316243964
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 19th, 2017

Psychological thrills, pitch-perfect historical detail, and gothic chills all come together in THE GOOD PEOPLE, Kent’s sophomore novel that shows no signs of a slump. Three women face the suspicion of their neighbors and the disapproval of their priest, when they seek to cure an invalid child by “putting the fairey out” of him in 1800s Ireland. Based on an obscure legal case--much like her debut, BURIAL RITES--THE GOOD PEOPLE is a deft work of fiction that is as literary as it is suspenseful.

Staff Pick Badge
Swallowing Mercury Cover Image
By Wioletta Greg, Eliza Marciniak (Translator)
ISBN: 9781945492044
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Transit Books - September 12th, 2017

Told in brief, episodic chapters, this subtle yet stunning work of autobiographical fiction perfectly distills the universal wonder of childhood while also capturing the particular experience of growing up under Communist rule during the 80s. Wiola is a precocious young girl trying to find her place in rural Poland but often finds herself in trouble – with her family, her teachers, even her entry into an art contest leads to a run-in with the Communist Party. Through it all she remains indomitable, learning about love, loss, sexuality, death, and the myriad forms of ugliness that run rampant in the world. SWALLOWING MERCURY – the third amazing release from nascent Transit Books this year--is a vital contribution to the literature of childhood.

Solar Bones Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616958534
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Soho Press - September 12th, 2017

A lyrical, haunting Irish novel recounting the last moments of a dying man's consciousness. An ordinary civil engineer--who may or may not be a newly minted spirit--sits at the kitchen table and mulls over his life and place in the world, moving back and forth in time at will. Written in a meandering, digressive narrative style that is strangely hypnotic, absolutely beautiful and totally engrossing, SOLAR BONES rightly deserved its Man Booker nomination and should also find its way into your hands!

They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us Cover Image
By Hanif Abdurraqib, Eve L. Ewing (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781937512651
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Two Dollar Radio - November 7th, 2017

OK, so this one just came out. It really hasn’t had a chance to sell yet, but I wanted to make sure I expressed every bit of my excitement for the BEST ESSAY COLLECTION OF 2017! Covering topics as varied as Fall Out Boy, racism and police violence, depression, underground hip hop, and beyond, THEY CAN’T KILL US… is simply brilliant. It is full of heart yet humble, and fully engaged with the political and cultural milieu of today. A book to break your heart and give you strength. I give it my highest recommendation!