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New and Noteworthy


We've handpicked some of the best new and noteworthy titles to arrive on our shelf this week for your reading pleasure.


The UnAmericans: Stories By Molly Antopol Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780393241136
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 3rd, 2014

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories By B. J. Novak Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780385351836
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Knopf - February 4th, 2014

Strange Bodies By Marcel Theroux Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374270650
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - February 4th, 2014

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The Castle of Whispers By Carole Martinez Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781609451820
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Europa Editions - February 4th, 2014

Amity & Sorrow: A Novel By Peggy Riley Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316220873
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Back Bay Books - February 4th, 2014

The Woman Upstairs (Vintage Contemporaries) By Claire Messud Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780307743763
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Vintage - February 4th, 2014

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A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel By Anthony Marra Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780770436421
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Hogarth - February 4th, 2014

Karate Chop: Stories By Dorthe Nors, Martin Aitken (Translated by) Cover Image
By Dorthe Nors, Martin Aitken (Translated by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9781555976651
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Graywolf Press - February 4th, 2014

See Now Then: A Novel By Jamaica Kincaid Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780374534363
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 4th, 2014

The Free: A Novel By Willy Vlautin Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062276742
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Harper Perennial - February 4th, 2014

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Southern Cross the Dog By Bill Cheng Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062225023
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Ecco - February 4th, 2014

Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy #1) By Jeff VanderMeer Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374104092
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: FSG Originals - February 4th, 2014

Coolidge By Amity Shlaes Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780061967597
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Harper Perennial - February 4th, 2014

The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend By Glenn Frankel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781620400654
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - February 4th, 2014

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (Mo & Dale Mysteries) By Sheila Turnage Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780803736719
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Kathy Dawson Books - February 4th, 2014

29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy By Lemony Snicket, Lisa Brown (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Lemony Snicket, Lisa Brown (Illustrator)
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9781938073786
Availability: OUT OF PRINT - Not Available for Order
Published: McSweeney's McMullens - February 11th, 2014

Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself By Bob Pflugfelder, Steve Hockensmith Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781594746499
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Quirk Books - February 4th, 2014

Wildwood Imperium (Wildwood Chronicles #3) By Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062024749
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 4th, 2014

Elsewhere (Poets in the World) By Eliot Weinberger (Editor) Cover Image
By Eliot Weinberger (Editor)
$12.95
ISBN: 9781934824856
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Open Letter - March 15th, 2014

Mark's Kids Book Recommendations

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story By Mary Downing Hahn Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780547028644
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Clarion Books - April 21st, 2008

This book is as scary for adults as it is for younger readers! WAIT TILL HELEN COMES has all the ingredients of a great creepy read: ghosts, evil stepsisters, and a house in the country that was once an old church. Molly doesn’t trust her stepsister Heather, who is always getting Molly and her brother Michael into trouble. But when Heather begins talking to a ghost named Helen, warning her step-siblings about certain danger, things get worse. That is, until Helen comes! A truly scary read that’s excellently written to boot.


Fortunately, the Milk By Neil Gaiman, Skottie Young (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Neil Gaiman, Skottie Young (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062224071
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: HarperCollins - September 17th, 2013

FORTUNATELY, THE MILK is an inventive and highly adventurous story that shows kids the endless possibilities of storytelling. An unsuspecting father goes out in search of milk for his children’s cereal and then the hi-jinks ensue! There are aliens, pirates and even dinosaurs in this high-speed thrill ride! Clever black-and-white illustrations by Skottie Young add that little something extra to Gaiman’s rip-roaring text. Gaiman is a deft writer in any genre and this book is no exception. Fun for ALL ages.


Mark Recommends

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Riots I Have Known By Ryan Chapman Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501197314
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 17th, 2020

A brilliant, dark and hilarious novel. Barricaded inside a computer lab amidst a prison riot, this first person narrative is daring, satiric and brave. 


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Milkman: A Novel By Anna Burns Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450000
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - December 4th, 2018

This masterful novel is perfect for fans of Virginia Woolf and Laszlo Krasznahorkai. Winner of 2018's Booker Prize, MILKMAN Is an intense, stream of consciousness novel that takes place during the 'troubles' in Ireland, although no place (or character) is actually named. The narrator, a young woman, is slowly taken over by a strange person known simply as 'milkman'. In a society teeming with poverty and threatened by imminent violence, Anna Burns creates an entire language, showing the subtle ways a person's life can suddenly belong to someone else. Reminiscent of A GIRL IS A HALF FORMED THING, MILKMAN is by turns sly and comical, a book that belongs in its own category altogether.


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Eleanor, Or, the Rejection of the Progress of Love By Anna Moschovakis Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895088
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - August 14th, 2018

Poet Anna Moschovakis' debut novel, ELEANOR OR THE REJECTION OF THE PROGRESS OF LOVE, is an enthralling story (or two stories) of what it's like to be alive now. I can't think of a book I've read that captures the modern feeling of diconnect, overstimulation, information overload and the desire to authentically feel, like this novel. There's a stolen laptop, an endeavor to retrieve the laptop, a digression into communal life as well as the story of the person attempting to write this story and her relationship with a grumbling critic. Deeply moving, authentic, rich with feeling and bursting with intelligence, ELEANOR will astound you.


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Idiophone By Amy Fusselman Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895132
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Coffee House Press - July 3rd, 2018

A stunning, brave and truly unclassifiable essay. Told in different parts IDIOPHONE is both an essay, a poem and a meditation on being creative. Call it a call-to-arms that manages to discuss writing, courage, motherhood and yes, THE NUTCRACKER. Fusselman manages to be both ironic and inspiring, funny and topical. This is a fantastic marvel of a book.


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The Invented Part By Rodrigo Fresán, Will Vanderhyden (Translator) Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781940953564
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter - May 16th, 2017

There are plenty of novels that are innovative and thoughtful as well as beautifully written. Then there are the books that push the boundaries of what literature can do, books that literally change your DNA as a reader. THE INVENTED PART by Rodrigo Fresan is just one of these. It's almost beyond description, but it fouses on a writer, his sister and the divorce of their parents. And yet, this description is surely a disservice. It's really about books (Tender is The Night, Slaughterhouse-Five, Naked Lunch, plus tons more ) and writers (William Burroughs, John Irving, Philip K Dick plus tons more) and music (The Kinks, The Beatles, Pink Floyd plus tons more). Along the way literature, pop culture and history are thrown into a blender but handled with the most capable and deft hands because the writing, the writing, is simply brilliant. Funny, ecstatic, generous and quite literally unlike anything I've ever read before, THE INVENTED PART is a warm-hearted journey through a brilliant imagination and what a novel is capable of doing.


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Old Rendering Plant By Wolfgang Hilbig, Isabel Fargo Cole (Translator) Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781931883672
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Two Lines Press - November 7th, 2017

A highly evocative and poetic novella that speaks to the burdens of history. In sinuous and lyrical prose, an unnamed narrator reflects on the woods outside the small German town where he grew up, later focusing on an old rendering plant. I'll admit it, this book has almost no plot and yet it's my favorite book of the year because it's so beautifully written, so transportive. It begs to be read aloud.I lost myself inside this book, in its ineffable sense of nature and the dense, unsettling prose. A small universe sits within its one hundred brief pages.​


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In the Distance By Hernan Diaz Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566894883
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - October 10th, 2017

What can I say about this magnificent novel? A young Swedish immigrant is separated from his older brother on their way to America. Thus begins an epic journey from California to New York – an anti-Western. Set amidst the Gold rush – this book is amazing.


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Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets By Svetlana Alexievich, Bela Shayevich (Translator) Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780399588808
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Random House - May 24th, 2016

A stunning book by Nobel winner Svetlana Alexievitch. Hundreds of first-hand accounts by Russians who lived through the fall of Communism to the rough-and-tumble birth of Capitalism. A penetrating look into the Russian psyche.


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Our Dead World (Bolivian Literature) By Liliana Colanzi, Jessica Sequeira (Translator) Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781943150113
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - May 26th, 2017

A blend of the fantastic with the every day, Colanzi's first story collection is a dark and mesmerizing set of eight stories that mix realism with altered states of consciousness. Animals, meteorites, even stories set on Mars, this is a highly original collection highlighting a new voice from Bolivia.​


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On Imagination (Quarternote Chapbook) By Mary Ruefle Cover Image
$9.95
ISBN: 9781941411476
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Sarabande Books - July 25th, 2017

This brief essay by the inimitable essayist Mary Ruefle is a profound and witty meditation on the imagination. Invoking history, the Bible, and an unmistakeable wit, Ruefle explains why the imagination is so valuable.


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My Heart Hemmed in By Marie Ndiaye, Jordan Stump (Translator) Cover Image
By Marie Ndiaye, Jordan Stump (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781931883627
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Two Lines Press - July 11th, 2017

A haunting parable for our times. A married couple in a small French town begin to feel ostracized by everyone. A devastating tale of paranoia, nationalism, and mob mentality.


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Compass By Mathias Énard, Charlotte Mandell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Mathias Énard, Charlotte Mandell (Translated by)
$26.95
ISBN: 9780811226622
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: New Directions - March 28th, 2017

In a single night, amidst a haze of opium smoke, musicologist Franz Ritter reflects on memory and dreams and his lifelong fascination with the Middle East. As beautiful as it is intellectual, this powerful narrative manages to blend the East and the West, focusing on cultural figures from the past two hundred years amidst myriad other subjects. Enard's novel has been shortlisted for the Booker International Prize and for obvious reason. An ideal novel for fans of W.G. Sebald and Laszlo Krasznahorkai.


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The Rings of Saturn By W. G. Sebald, Michael Hulse (Translated by) Cover Image
By W. G. Sebald, Michael Hulse (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811226158
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: New Directions - November 8th, 2016

Although I had already read a couple of books by W.G. Sebald, I had yet to read THE RINGS OF SATURN, a novel many claim to be his best. W.G. Sebald was a German author who spent the latter half of his life in England as an author and lecturer. His books defy description but are testaments to the possibilities of literature.His novels often deal with nature, memory, decay and deftly mix fact and fiction - they are curiously scattered with photographs detailing the works of art or nature he is writing about. THE RINGS OF SATURN - merely an account of a walking tour through Suffolk - creates an astonishing web of history, nature, philisophy, the rise and fall of civilizations and a lot more. Although he largely eschews plot, his books are immensely readable. Put simply, there is nothing in the world like Sebald's work.


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The Magician of Vienna By Sergio Pitol, George Henson (Translator), Mario Bellatin (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Sergio Pitol, George Henson (Translator), Mario Bellatin (Introduction by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941920480
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - April 25th, 2017

Mexican master Sergio Pitol returns with the third book in his 'Trilogy of Memory'. A mix of travelogue, memoir and fiction, THE MAGICIAN OF VIENNA infects the reader with Pitol's knowledge and passion for a life filled with travel and literature. These books do not have to be read in order and I can't recommend Sergio Pitol highly enough. You will see the world and find yourself emersed in gorgeous and profound writing.


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Chronicle of the Murdered House By Lúcio Cardoso, Margaret Jull Costa (Translator), Robin Patterson (Translator) Cover Image
By Lúcio Cardoso, Margaret Jull Costa (Translator), Robin Patterson (Translator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781940953502
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Open Letter - December 13th, 2016

Have you ever read a book and felt that you were holding in your hands a classic, something indipsensable to a language and a culture? Chronicle of the Murdered House is such an example. This book has hints of Dostoyevsky, Garcia Marquez and Antonio Lobo Antunes. Already a classic in Brazil - this book is not only beautifully written and profound, but a joy to read. The dysfunction of a prestigious family in a provincial Brazilian jungle, complete with gossip, backstabbing, cross-dressing and suicide attempts.There's a fully-formed universe taking place in a run-down mansion rotting away in the jungle. Despite having the weight and breadth of a classic, its 600 pages fly by. I dare anyone to read it and not appreciate its artistry and breadth.


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His Only Son: with Dona Berta By Leopoldo Alas, Margaret Jull Costa (Translated by) Cover Image
By Leopoldo Alas, Margaret Jull Costa (Translated by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781681370187
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: NYRB Classics - October 4th, 2016

A comedy of manners and a classic of Spanish literature, Leopoldo Alas' book focuses on Bonifacio, a timid and a failed clerk, a man who is frightened of everything, including his wife. Bonifacio falls in love with a second-rate opera singer who believes him to be a wealthy patron. Part satire, part heartfelt snapshot of provincial Spain, HIS ONLY SON, is a tender and often hilarious novel.


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Fever Dream: A Novel By Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell (Translated by)
$25.00
ISBN: 9780399184598
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Riverhead Books - January 10th, 2017

Already a hot commodity in Latin America, Samanta Schweblin's
English-language debut, FEVER DREAM is exactly that. A haunting, sparse,
undefinable book that whispers in the ear, imparting a quiet sense of
existential dread. Simply a conversation between a woman in her hospital
bed and a young boy named David, who kneels beside her and demands she
recount a series of recent events. What transpires is a short, creepy tale
that is hard to define but impossible to put down. One of the books I'm
most excited about this year!


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Iza's Ballad By Magda Szabo, George Szirtes (Introduction by), George Szirtes (Translated by) Cover Image
By Magda Szabo, George Szirtes (Introduction by), George Szirtes (Translated by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781681370347
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: NYRB Classics - October 18th, 2016

Magda Szabó, the brilliant author of THE DOOR, returns with another psychologically complex story about family and the rifts between generations. Ettie has just been widowed and her daughter, Iza, urges her to move to Budapest where she practices medicine. However hard the mother and daughter try to accomodate the other, rifts seem inevitable. Szabó has a keen eye and a masterful sense of the motives that drive us. Behind the backdrop of Communist Hungary, IZA'S BALLAD is another unforgettable tale of family and the unseen destruction of good intentions.


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A Whole Life: A Novel By Robert Seethaler, Charlotte Collins (Translated by) Cover Image
By Robert Seethaler, Charlotte Collins (Translated by)
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9780374289867
Availability: OUT OF PRINT - Not Available for Order
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 13th, 2016

The title of this quiet and remarkable book perfectly sums up the beauty that's inside. A WHOLE LIFE by Austrian author Robert Seethaler, tells the entire life of Andreas Egger, an unremarkable man living in a remarkable century. In its brief 150 pages, the reader experiences the simple but eventful life of Eggers, from a young mountain climber to a widower to a prisoner of war in World War II. Fans of STONER and TRAIN DREAMS will find much to love in this elegant and universal story, as a man sees the world around him transform. A book of astounding restraint and quiet beauty, A WHOLE LIFE is illuminating, reminding all of us of the fleeting time we're given on this planet. Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and translated beautifully by Charlotte Collins, A WHOLE LIFE is brilliant.


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Angel of Oblivion By Maja Haderlap, Tess Lewis (Translated by) Cover Image
By Maja Haderlap, Tess Lewis (Translated by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780914671466
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Archipelago - August 30th, 2016

This poetic and haunting novel, translated from the German by Tess Lewis, centers around a young girl coming to terms with the history of her family—a Slovenian-speaking minority in Austria. By telling her grandmother's story of war and oppression, the narrator finds her own voice. The prose is gorgeous and endlessly quotable. ANGEL OF OBLIVION delves fearlessly into the nature of identity, language and tolerance, speaking to the power of resistance and the courage required in not forgetting.


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A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories By Lucia Berlin Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250094735
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Picador - August 2nd, 2016

Underappreciated in her lifetime, Lucia Berlin's selected stories, A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN, displays the lucid eye of an American original. From blue collar settings in the American Southwest to her grandfather's dentist's office, Berlin seemingly tosses off words and sentences that serious readers will relish. An astonishing collection that introduces (or reminds) us of an important voice in American fiction.


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The Fox Was Ever the Hunter: A Novel By Herta Müller, Philip Boehm (Translated by) Cover Image
By Herta Müller, Philip Boehm (Translated by)
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9780805093025
Availability: OUT OF PRINT - Not Available for Order
Published: Metropolitan Books - May 10th, 2016

An early novel by Nobel Prize winner Herta Muller and in English for the first time, this hypnotic novel delves into the relationships of two young couples in Romania during the Ceausescu regime. Paranoia quickly sets in when one of them is suspected of being in the secret police. Taut, precise and morally complex, this novel is a literary page-turner of the highest order. Deftly translated by Philp Boehm.


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Bad Light By Carlos Castan, Mike McDevitt (Translator) Cover Image
By Carlos Castan, Mike McDevitt (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9788494365850
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Hispabooks - July 12th, 2016

This debut novel by acclaimed short story writer Carlos Castán is a deeply moving and darkly rewarding novel, reminiscent of Javier Marías. A middle-aged man, fighting depression, seeks solace in the friendship of Jacobo. Both men discuss books, movies and lost relationships deep into the night, that is until Jacobo is found stabbed to death. More introspective and probing than thriller, the voice of the protagonist burrows deep into the reader's mind, not releasing its grip until the final page. Dense, literary and philosophical, BAD LIGHT is sentence by sentence, one of the strongest, best-written novels of the year.


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The Clouds By Juan José Saer, Hilary Vaughn Dobel (Translator) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781940953342
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Open Letter - May 10th, 2016

Another excursion into the great mind of Argentina's Juan José Saer. Faux history merges with absurdist humor in sublime language; THE CLOUDS follows a doctor as he takes five mental patients to a recently constructed asylum. Notorious for his sentences (nay, paragraphs) that meander like the best of Proust, this novel does not disappoint. Beautifully excessive and wonderfully astute, THE CLOUDS will leave the reader breathless. A meditation on madness, exile and the process of writing.


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A Little Lumpen Novelita By Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer (Translated by) Cover Image
By Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer (Translated by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780811225151
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: New Directions - March 21st, 2016

LIke a fine-cut gem, this short novel tells the story of a brother and sister in Rome who are suddenly orphaned. Beautiful, tragic, surreal, A LITTLE LUMPEN NOVELITA is a great introduction to Bolaño.


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The Time of the Doves By Mercè Rodoreda, David H. Rosenthal (Translated by), David H. Rosenthal (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Mercè Rodoreda, David H. Rosenthal (Translated by), David H. Rosenthal (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780915308750
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Graywolf Press - October 1st, 1986

A timeless masterpiece about a young shopgirl and her experiences during the Spanish Civil War. Vivid. Heartbreaking. Utterly essential.


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The Guilty: Stories By Juan Villoro, Kimi Traube (Translated by) Cover Image
By Juan Villoro, Kimi Traube (Translated by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780807600139
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: George Braziller Inc. - June 15th, 2015

Juan Villoro is a prolific and celebrated author in Latin America, though, shockingly, THE GUILTY is his first book to be translated into English. And what a revelation! Villoro’s stories are funny, contemporary and not afraid of the darker sides of Mexican culture. While mocking every absurdity in modern life, Villoro cunningly reveals the deep dissatisfaction in Mexico and its inhabitants. Some of the most razor-sharp stories I’ve read in a long time, packed with mariachi singers, illegal migrants and much more.


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The Door (NYRB Classics) By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (Translated by), Ali Smith (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (Translated by), Ali Smith (Introduction by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781590177716
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: NYRB Classics - January 27th, 2015

Have you ever begun a book and immediately felt you were in the hands of a classic? That's what Magda Szabo's THE DOOR is like. THE DOOR has the simplest premise, but the moral complexity of a great tragedy. Magda, a successful author, decides to hire Emerence, a peasant housekeeper well known in the village. What follows is a psychological portrait of two very different women over a period of decades, replete with the passions and barbs inherent in complex friendships. Beautifully translated from the Hungarian by Len Rix, THE DOOR will leave you speechless with admiration.


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H Is for Hawk By Helen MacDonald Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802123411
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Grove Press - March 3rd, 2015

There’s hardly a subject more universal than the loss of a loved one. One of the biggest challenges of literature is finding an approach that feels vital and new, a way of examining such a monumental topic without falling into the tired and the trite. Helen Macdonald’s incredible memoir, H IS FOR HAWK, feels like something new and important, and without even trying to be.

After the unexpected death of her father, Macdonald falls into a depression. She picks up falconry, a lifelong passion, is picked up again when she adopts Mabel, a young goshawk. Her own story is set against that of TH White (a falconer and author of THE SWORD IN THE STONE).  I have little if any interest in hawks and falconry: the magic of this book is that it doesn’t matter. The language and intelligence of Macdonald’s writing sweeps the reader away. H IS FOR HAWK contains some of the most beautiful writing about nature I’ve ever read. It also describes depression, the English countryside, history and the unspoken relationship between human beings and nature. It is both an elegy and a celebration. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. 


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The Art of Flight By Sergio Pitol, George Henson (Translator), Enrique Vila-Matas (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Sergio Pitol, George Henson (Translator), Enrique Vila-Matas (Introduction by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941920060
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - March 17th, 2015

Sergio Pitol is a celebrated name in his native Mexico, a winner of the prestigious Cervantes Prize. He has lived in Warsaw, Rome, Barcelona, Beijing, Paris and Moscow, both as a translator and a diplomat but, I think most importantly, as a reader. I emphasize reader, because THE ART OF FLIGHT is a book about reading. It is a multi-genre hybrid, described as a memoir on a “life lived through reading.” It is a memoir and yet, it is so much more. An entire library is contained within its pages. Reflections on the architecture of Venice can lead to a chapter on translating the Hungarian great Gombrowicz. Meditations on Joseph Conrad to Anton Chekhov to Jorge Luis Borges. The heady politics of 1960’s Mexico crop up, as does the construction of the Berlin Wall. The simultaneous existence of living and reading in the 20th century cohabitate brilliantly in this book.

If you are one of those who believes the experience must be lived to be true, that Alice and the Cheshire Cat are merely words on a page, that Ahab’s biblical diatribes are just hyperbole from the brow of Melville, and that these in themselves do not count as experience—if you are one who does not believe in the transportive and life-affirming nature of literature, than this book is not for you.

That said, this book is for everyone else. Dallas-based publisher Deep Vellum has the bragging rights for being the first publisher to bring Pitol into English, with more Pitol books on the way.Translator George Henson does an incredible job translating Pitol’s style into beautifully rendered English.  A few years ago, author Valeria Luiselli was asked which writer should be translated into English that hadn’t yet been, and her unequivocal answer was Sergio Pitol. Lucky for us, that is no longer true. The art of flight, indeed.


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Bartleby & Co. By Enrique Vila-Matas, Jonathan Dunne (Translated by) Cover Image
By Enrique Vila-Matas, Jonathan Dunne (Translated by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780811216982
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: New Directions - May 23rd, 2007

BARTLEBY & CO. is Spanish author Enrique Vila-Matas’ strange and unconventional novel about writers who can’t (or don’t) write, tackling silence in literature. In a series of footnotes (part anecdote, part philosophical) he explores the history of writers who were “artists of refusal,” that is, writers who refused to write, or writers who wrote once and stopped--or perhaps wrote, but only for themselves. Erudite, wistful and immensely readable, BARTLEBY & CO. explores phantom books and invisible texts; it ponders projects abandoned and confidence usurped. Vila-Matas’ protagonist writes that a book knocks at our door, and “when we go receive them, they disappear; we open the door and they are no longer there. It was undoubtedly a great book, the great book that was inside us, the one we were really destined to write, our book, the very book we shall never be able to write or read now. But that book, let it be clear, exists.” What do Franz Kafka, J.D. Salinger, Arthur Rimbaud and more have in common? Mainly they were all “writers of the no” - authors who by choice or chance, bad luck or the times in which they lived, resolved to stop writing. The novel’s namesake has much in common with his creator, for Herman Melville, as in Bartleby’s famous line, ‘I would prefer not to,’ spent the second half of his life in almost total publishing silence. For anyone interested in the writers who existed between the margins or didn’t find (or chase) success or were abandoned by fate, this is the book for you. As our narrator tells is, “there are as many writers as ways of abandoning literature.”


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A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes: A Son's Memoir of Gabriel García Márquez and Mercedes Barcha By Rodrigo Garcia Cover Image
$23.99
ISBN: 9780063158337
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: HarperVia - July 27th, 2021

A tender, revealing love letter to Gabriel García Márquez and his wife Mercedes by their son. Required reading for fans of Gabo.


Insignificance By James Clammer Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781552454343
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coach House Books - September 7th, 2021

A brilliant look at family, mental health, and mid-life, Insignificance is a marvel. Tender, moving, and written with subtle humor, Clammer's novel takes the reader through a single day in the life of Joe Forbes, reluctant plumber and anguished father. A superb novel that hits all the rright notes. I couldn't put it down.


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The Breaks By Julietta Singh Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566896160
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Coffee House Press - September 7th, 2021

A gorgeous and stunning essay told as a letter to the author's little girl. A book about the burden of history as well as the urgent future: race, climate, and our own responsability to each other.


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Jawbone By Mónica Ojeda, Sarah Booker (Translator) Cover Image
By Mónica Ojeda, Sarah Booker (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566896214
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - February 8th, 2022

A terrifying, visceral novel about a group of high school girls who create their own myths and sacrifices. Blending with pop culture, psychology, and ecstatic writing, Jawbone feels like an instant cult classic.


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Cold Enough for Snow By Jessica Au Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811231558
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions - February 15th, 2022

A young woman and her mother take a trip abroad to Tokyo. This short stay turns into a gorgeous meditation on memory, family, nature, and life. A quiet, haunting work that lingers. Brilliant!


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Paradais By Fernanda Melchor, Sophie Hughes (Translated by) Cover Image
By Fernanda Melchor, Sophie Hughes (Translated by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9780811231329
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions - May 10th, 2022

Mexican master Fernanda Melchor returns with her second novel, an indictment on violence, wealth disparity, and a culture of misogyny. An exclusive community, gated from the threats of the outside world, is shattered when two young boys decide to execute a monstrous plan. With visceral writing and a breakneck pace, Paradais hurdles to a conclusion as violent as it is inevitable.


Meet Mark, Operations Manager

For as long as I can remember I’ve been in love with books. Reading them, obviously, but looking at the covers, the different editions and just generally being around them. To me, books show the possibility of the human mind and, at their best, can even change us. In high school I discovered satire and devoured everything by Kurt Vonnegut. Kurt Vonnegut introduced me to Céline who, in a sense, introduced me to the importance of translation. How could something as visceral as DEATH ON THE INSTALLMENT PLAN, I wondered, be rendered so beautifully from French into English? I spent my twenties obsessed by the 19th Century Russians, mostly Dostoevsky, but also Tolstoy, Chekhov and Lermontov. 

My obsession is still books, and a large amount of those have been translated into English. I am in love with Latin American and Spanish language writers especially, from Javier Marias to Cesar Aira, from Garcia Marquez to Alvaro Mutis. Contemporaries like Valeria Luiselli, Yuri Herrera and Guadalupe Nettel are incredible and display some of the most vibrant minds of the Spanish language bending and shifting genre. I’m also a fan of Enrique Vila-Matas, Sergio Pitol, Mario Bellatin, Santiago Gamboa as well as the underappreciated books of Reinaldo Arenas. I’m also an enormous fan of the Portuguese writers Fernando Pessoa and Antonio Lobo Antunes. I love English language writers too, Herman Melville, Virginia Woolf, Raymond Carver, Thomas Wolfe, John Steinbeck, Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy to name a few. There’s a lot more from many languages but those stand out. In 2008 I had a collection of short stories, Deathbed Conversions, published. In 2015 I was a juror for the 2016 BTBA (Best Translated Book Award). That same year I was also a recipient of the James Patterson Holiday Bonus for booksellers. 

One of the best aspects of working in a bookstore is having wonderful conversations about books with the customers and (selfishly) having great books introduced to me as well. I hope to see you in Brazos Bookstore!


Mark's book recommendations
Mark's Kids book recommendations

Keaton's Kids Book Recommendations

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The Butter Battle Book: (New York Times Notable Book of the Year) (Classic Seuss) By Dr. Seuss Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780394865805
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - January 12th, 1984

This lesser-known work by Theodor S. Geisel is an incredible, thought-provoking children's book and the perfect introduction to socially-engaged fiction for kids. Written during the Cold War, THE BUTTER BATTLE BOOK is an anti-war parable about an arms race between two countries that can't agree over how to properly butter their bread. Yes, it's a trivial difference, and that's the point. No other children's book is better at highlighting the absurdity of war. Along with THE SNEETCHES (about discrimination) and THE LORAX (about environmentalism), this is a book I recommend to all parents starting a child's library.


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In the Night Kitchen By Maurice Sendak, Maurice Sendak (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Maurice Sendak, Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9780060266684
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: HarperCollins - January 19th, 1996

IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN is my all-time favorite title by the late, great Maurice Sendak. And now I'm happy to say it's my son's favorite too! This whimsical dream tale is an incredibly fun bedtime story to share with your little one and is full of Sendak's beautiful, endearing illustrations. It's also a companion piece in the three-book cycle, including WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and OUTSIDE OVER THERE. A classic!


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Instructions By Neil Gaiman, Charles Vess (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Neil Gaiman, Charles Vess (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780061960307
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: HarperCollins - April 27th, 2010

Neil Gaiman's INSTRUCTIONS is a delightful little fairy tale adventure that parents can enjoy along with their kids! Written in the second person as a set of instructions for a journey to the farthest reaches of an imaginary realm, INSTRUCTIONS also doubles as a list of helpful hints on how to lead a kind, bold and fulfilling life. It's fun and touching in equal amounts, and Charles Vess' wonderful illustrations will capture your heart as well as your imagination! On a personal note, ever since I got my one-year-old son INSTRUCTIONS for Christmas, it's become an indispensable addition to our bedtime story rotation! The perfect read for adventurers of all ages!


Jumanji 30th Anniversary Edition By Chris Van Allsburg Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780547608389
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Clarion Books - October 4th, 2011

Chris Van Allsburg’s JUMANJI was a personal favorite of mine growing up. And its beautifully detailed drawings and imaginative adventure story are still captivating even after all these years! JUMANJI is the perfect bridge for young readers who want more of a story than a typical picture book can provide, but who aren’t quite ready for chapter books yet. Full of adventure, JUMANJI is great for read-alongs, and this anniversary edition comes with a CD narration by Robin Williams!


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A Rule Is to Break: A Child's Guide to Anarchy (Wee Rebel) By John Seven, Jana Christy Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781933149257
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Manic D Press - November 20th, 2012

This is the perfect book for the little radical in your life! It's a cool, playful and heartfelt manifesto that empowers kids to be themselves, even (and especially) when society tells you to do the opposite. While more conservative parents may have an initially adverse reaction to some of the advice given (i.e., staying up all night!), more than anything A RULE IS TO BREAK teaches children the importance of self-education, self-determination, self-expression, and democratic justice. You won't find another children's book like it!


Jeremy Recommends

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The Insides By Jeremy P. Bushnell Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781612195469
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Melville House - June 14th, 2016

This noir novel features some of the best drawn characters I've read in years. A Norwegian woman and a violent man called Pig pursue the owner of a very special knife. When that knife falls into the hands of a tough butcher and her pastry chef friend, things get weird. And by weird, I mean magical. And by magical, I mean warlocks and sorcery. But, you have to go with me on this, because the journey is fun and cool as hell. THE INSIDES is beautifully written, unexpected, and funny; smart escapism for the steamy summer months.


Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel By Helen Oyeyemi Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594633409
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 3rd, 2015

The question "Who's the fairest of them all?" takes on new and unexpected meanings in this exceptional novel. Author Helen Oyeyemi uses the plot points of the Snow White fairy as tent posts to frame her story about desire, love, and race, set in 1950s Vermont. Intriguing and unexpected, BOY, SNOW, BIRD is a smart summer read.


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The Story of My Teeth By Valeria Luiselli, Christina Macsweeney (Translator) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566894098
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - September 15th, 2015

The story of THE STORY OF MY TEETH fascinates me: an emerging writer collaborates anonymously with a group of juice factory workers to write a story about art, identity, and who can own either. Wonderful and strange, THE STORY OF MY TEETH transgresses against straightforward storytelling by witnessing and remixing to make something so fresh and new that it defies easy description. Just know that it dazzles on every page. I love this book.


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Go Set a Watchman: A Novel By Harper Lee Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062409850
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Harper - July 14th, 2015

The wait is finally over for Harper Lee's sophomore effort. Of course, the story actually suggests that Go Set a Watchman was the manuscript that became To Kill a Mockingbird. Watchman is neither a prequel or sequel to Mockingbird. Both novels struggle to negotiate and understand the legacy of racism in the Deep South, although they do so in very different ways. In Mockingbird, Atticus is a noble saint, standing against the social tide. In Watchman, he's a bitter racist who resents the Civil Rights movement and the changing landscape in which he lives. But they are not the same character. They are parallel stories that seem to touch from time to time, but those touches are illusory.

It's worth it to read Go Set a Watchman to examine how a novel can develop over time. Creative writing students and those interested in the writing process will be fascinated. Fans of To Kill a Mockingbird eager to see how the characters they love end up will likely be disappointed. Best to read these as stories from parallel universes where the familiar is ever so slightly strange.


Up in Here: Jailing Kids on Chicago's Other Side By Mark Dostert Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781609382704
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: University Of Iowa Press - September 1st, 2014

Young Mark Dostert was an idealist. On a church mission trip, he visited with inmates at a Chicago juvenile detention facility and felt as if he made a positive impact. After college, he returned to the prison as a guard hoping to help again. This experience was far more complicated. Smart and passionate, Dostert approaches this complicated story with humility and discovers the limitations and possibilities of his ideals.


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Faces in the Crowd By Valeria Luiselli, Christina Macsweeney (Translator) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566893541
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Coffee House Press - May 13th, 2014

Valeria Luiselli's extraordinary debut signals the arrival of a major talent. The novel's fragmented, poetic narrative engages and slowly reveals its secrets. Is this a story about a woman discovering a forgotten Latin-American poet of the Harlem Renaissance? Is the woman imagined by the poet? Are they both ghosts in search of some way back to the real? Written in Spanish and exquisitely translated by Christina MacSweeney, FACES IN THE CROWD is a fresh and essential voice for the new Latin-American canon.


The Other Typist: A Novel By Suzanne Rindell Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780425268421
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 1st, 2014

Our prudish, old-fashioned narrator, a typist in a prohibition-era New York police station, becomes obsessed by the beautiful and mysterious 'other' typist, Odalie. She thrills as her life becomes a fantasy of speakeasies, bathtub gin and bootleggers. But the excitement comes at a price, and our narrator may not be telling the whole story. Now in paperback, this fast-paced and cleverly plotted novel is a perfect summer read.


By Blood: A Novel By Ellen Ullman Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781250023964
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - December 24th, 2012

Our narrator is a creep who has done something...bad. He takes an office in a divey part of 1970s San Francisco and begins to listen obsessively to a therapy patient through the wall. Her mysterious past intrigues him and he begins to insinuate himself into her search for who she is.

This unexpected page-turner has been a sleeper hit for Brazos Bookstore readers.


Canada By Richard Ford Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780061692031
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Ecco - January 22nd, 2013

One of the most breathtaking novels I have ever read. CANADA remains as present in my mind as the day I read it. I think this is Ford's best book. While the first line declares the direction of this tale, Ford moves deliberately revealing deep truths about his characters and their desperate circumstances.


Lucian Freud Portraits By Sarah Howgate, Michael Auping (Contributions by), John Richardson (Contributions by) Cover Image
By Sarah Howgate, Michael Auping (Contributions by), John Richardson (Contributions by)
$75.00
ISBN: 9780300182552
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Yale University Press - April 17th, 2012

Lucian Freud was one of the most remarkable portraitist to ever live. His work amazes me. This beautiful catalog has wonderful details and an exceptional essay on the life and work of the painter.


Let the People In: The Life and Times of Ann Richards By Jan Reid Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9780292719644
Availability: OUT OF PRINT - Not Available for Order
Published: University of Texas Press - October 3rd, 2012

I knew Ann Richards (a little) when I lived in Austin. She was exactly what you would expect: sharp, smart, with a razor wit. When she passed away in 2006 she left a gap that would be hard to fill. Jan Reid was a close friend to Ann and his writing demonstrates their relationship. But Reid also pulls no punches when discussing her faults and failings. This is an exceptional biography of a major Texas woman.


Beautiful Ruins: A Novel By Jess Walter Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780061928123
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Harper - June 12th, 2012

Brimming with wit and invention, Jess Walters' second novel is an unexpected delight. The story is simple enough: mad, unresolved love affair across the years. But he shifts forwards and backwards in time. He changes style and voice. He is incredibly funny. It all works like a dream.


Welcome to Our Independent Bookstore

Tuneful Reads for the Music Lover

When I reviewed Richard Powers’ brilliant new novel ORFEO--the story of an avant-garde composer who finds himself wanted by Homeland Security--I started thinking about other great novels involving musicians and music. As it turns out, there’s a plethora of stellar music-related fiction out there. read more >>

The Lunar New Year Gallops In

We recommend books for the Year of the Horse

In 2014, we’re celebrating the year of the horse! In American literature, the grace, intelligence and power of the horse is perhaps best celebrated in the Western. Fortunately, at Brazos, we’ve got a great selection of literary westerns... read more >>

Our Ten Favorite Books of 2013

In a completely unscientific way, we've chosen ten favorites to top our store 'Best of 2013' list. How many did you read? read more >>


 

 

Keaton Recommends

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

One of today's most insightful critics and music writers turns his attention to a legendary and beloved hiphop group--A Tribe Called Quest--as a way of understanding not only the golden age of '90s rap, but the shifting sands of American culture at a transitional moment and his own life as well. A stunning, brilliant and heartfelt work from a writer quickly becoming a voice of a generation.


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The Overstory: A Novel By Richard Powers Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780393356687
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 2nd, 2019

Since the 1980s, Powers has quietly established himself as one of America's greatest living writers, with numerous powerful, emotionally complex, ambitious, and expertly crafted novels. The Overstory may be his masterpiece. This dizzying tale draws together several strangers and the natural world that is fading around them in an epic struggle for the future of American forests.Engaging and timely without being didactic, The Overstory is Powers at his best.


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They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us By Hanif Abdurraqib, Eve L. Ewing (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Hanif Abdurraqib, Eve L. Ewing (Foreword by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781937512651
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Dollar Radio - November 7th, 2017

MY FAVORITE ESSAY COLLECTION OF 2017! Covering topics as varied as Fall Out Boy, racism and police violence, depression, underground hiphop, and beyond, this book is simply brilliant. These ruminations are full of heart, humble, expertly written, and totally engaged with the cultural and political milieu of today. A book to break your heart and give you strength. Of-the-moment, fun, and deep.


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Imagine Wanting Only This (Pantheon Graphic Library) By Kristen Radtke Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9781101870839
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Pantheon - April 18th, 2017

Weaving together the early death of her beloved uncle, a fascination with urban decay, and an existential bildungsroman narrative, the managing editor at Sarabande Books delves into ideas of impermanence and our emotional connections to people and places that will all eventually be severed. With mesmerizing images and a perfectly relatable storyline that is nevertheless idiosyncratic and complex enough to stand out among other graphic novels and/or memoirs, Radtke turns out a bravura performance. A terrific work.


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The Outsiders 50th Anniversary Edition By S. E. Hinton Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780425288290
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Penguin Books - November 1st, 2016

When you grow up rough like I did, when violence and scrapes with the law are common occurrences, this book means only one thing--hope. The bestselling young reader novel of all-time gets the deluxe hardcover treatment for its 50th anniversary. And it is beautiful. THE OUTSIDERS is the quintessential story of troubled youth. For every kid who has ever been picked on, pushed aside (or down) by the authority figures who are supposed to protect you, or if you just never fit in with the suburban norm, this is your book. It is a flare into the night sky for lost boys. A glorious ode to the misfits among us, the importance of staying true to yourself, and a love letter to the friends who become our chosen families. Few books have ever meant as much to me as THE OUTSIDERS, and, if you ever need it, I hope it can help you as much as it has helped me. Stay gold.


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The Underground Railroad: A Novel By Colson Whitehead Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780345804327
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - January 30th, 2018

A tremendously imaginative historical novel from one of America's best young authors. THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD is an escaped slave narrative that doubles as a true American epic, the continuing origin story of Africans in America. The major conceit, though, that sets this work apart--a surprisingly obvious twist that allows this novel to transcend and become something else entirely--is that the titular network of slave emancipation, is a literal railroad. Sounds simple, but it is in fact a profound literary device. And, interestingly, as a literal railroad, Whitehead is able to use the UGRR as a much more powerful metaphor for the black American odyssey. The story centers around Cora, a resourceful and determined runaway slave and all the people, both righteous and wicked, whom she encounters on her misadventures toward the North. Despite the fantastical UGRR, the rest of Whitehead's portrayal of Southern slavery is unvarnished, graphically violent that works as a critique of contemporary race relations as well as an indictment of the duplicitous "American imperative" that has allowed for slavery, brutality and genocide in the name of freedom, progress and purity throughout our country's history. This is a perfectly paced, cut-gem of a novel. Nothing is out of place. There are echoes of everything from GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, to INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL, to THE LOTTERY, and more that only serve to heighten the near-mythic quality of this work of fiction. It's astounding how good this book is. I can't say enough about it. So far, the best novel of 2016 that I've read.


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Death in Midsummer: And Other Stories By Yukio Mishima Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780811201179
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions -

This collection is the perfect introduction to Japan's own enfant terrible. A larger than life character, Mishima's obsessions with death and sex found a shocking outlet in his fiction. Be sure to check out the erotic death song, "Patriotism."


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This Thing Between Us: A Novel By Gus Moreno Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780374539238
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - October 12th, 2021

This debut novel feels like the first true 21st century ghost story. A demonic presence invades a young couple's new smart speaker, and the ensuing nightmare tears their lives apart.


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Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel By George Saunders Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812985405
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 6th, 2018

Part divine comedy, part exorcism of the national soul. Recounted in a chorus of voices from beyond the grave, this is an unforgettable American ghost story by one of our most imaginative and daring authors.


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Frankenstein: The 1818 Text By Mary Shelley, Charlotte Gordon (Introduction by), Charlotte Gordon (Contributions by), Charles E. Robinson (Contributions by) Cover Image
By Mary Shelley, Charlotte Gordon (Introduction by), Charlotte Gordon (Contributions by), Charles E. Robinson (Contributions by)
$10.00
ISBN: 9780143131847
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - January 16th, 2018

MY FAVORITE NOVEL OF ALL TIME! The origin point for all modern horror and science fiction, dreamed up by a teenage goth girl hellbent on scaring her hipster boyfriend and his buds--aka the Romantics. Still terrifying and relevant more than 200 years later.


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Watchmen (2019 Edition) By Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons (Illustrator)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781779501127
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DC Comics - May 20th, 2019

In an alternate 1980s, as the world teeters on the brink of nuclear war, very human masked heroes take to the streets. A gritty, philosophical re-imagining of superhero comics that is arguably the GOAT of all graphic novels. Essential reading.


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A People's History of the United States (Harper Perennial Deluxe Editions) By Howard Zinn Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780061965593
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - June 28th, 2016

There is no overstating the importance of this watershed work of American history. Told from the perspectives of the marginalized and unheard, Zinn's masterwork provides a much more democratic portrait of our nation.


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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics By Carlo Rovelli Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780399184413
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - March 1st, 2016

Page for page, this is one of the most astounding books you will ever read. In clear, direct yet poetic language, Rovelli lays bare our most complete understandings of the workings of reality--from the subatomic to the cosmic scale. Simply fascinating.


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Oraefi: The Wasteland By Ófeigur Sigurðsson, Lytton Smith (Translator) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781941920671
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - October 2nd, 2018

An absurd quest into the volcanic wastes of Iceland brings together toponymy, natural history, Viking sagas, insane veterinarians, and death metal for one of the strangest and funniest stories ever written down.


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Laurus: The International Bestseller By Eugene Vodolazkin Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781780748719
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Oneworld Publications - September 13th, 2016

After the death of his beloved, a 15th century Russian mystic undertakes an epic pilgrimage across plague-ravaged Europe. A profound spiritual quest story steeped in Russian folklore.


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The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs By Greil Marcus Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780300216929
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Yale University Press - September 15th, 2015

Garage rockers, doo-woppers, and even Beyoncé (as Etta James) take the spotlight in this free-flowing nonlinear take on pop music history. But it's the imagined lives of Robert Johnson and Buddy Holly that steal the show. A music writing masterpiece from our greatest living rock critic.


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The Master and Margarita: 50th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) By Mikhail Bulgakov, Richard Pevear (Translated by), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translated by), Boris Fishman (Foreword by), Christopher Conn Askew (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Mikhail Bulgakov, Richard Pevear (Translated by), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translated by), Boris Fishman (Foreword by), Christopher Conn Askew (Illustrator)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143108276
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - May 3rd, 2016

In what may be the Great Soviet Novel, the devil arrives in Moscow (where noone believes in either him or God) and sets off a chain of events involving theater, literature, bureaucracy, religion, and love that will leave the city in flames.


Augusta recommends...

Cabinet 34: Testing By Sina Najafi (Editor), Mark Dery (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), Brian Dillon (Text by (Art/Photo Books)) Cover Image
By Sina Najafi (Editor), Mark Dery (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), Brian Dillon (Text by (Art/Photo Books))
$12.00
ISBN: 9781932698329
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Cabinet - September 30th, 2009

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I Am an Executioner: Love Stories By Rajesh Parameswaran Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307743411
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Vintage - January 22nd, 2013

In these wildly inventive, thoughtful love stories, Parameswaran explores the relationship between love and power. Offering up unusual perspectives, these stories delight and shine in their juxtaposition of emotions. Funny, unforgettable, and unlike anything I've read before, I AM AN EXECUTIONER is a great short story collection to share with someone you love.


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Americanah By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307455925
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - March 4th, 2014

When asked what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s latest novel, AMERICANAH, is about, it’s difficult to give a succinct answer.  What really drew me to this beautifully told tale were the themes woven through the narrative --  race, coming of age, immigration, and romance.  I think almost anyone would be able to find something that speaks to them in this story.  Despite clocking in at almost 500 pages, this book is a page turner that’s easy to breeze through.  This is a great book to take on a long plane flight to your summer destination or to spend lazy days by the pool reading.


The Answer to the Riddle Is Me: A Memoir of Amnesia By David Stuart MacLean Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9780547519272
Availability: OUT OF PRINT - Not Available for Order
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - January 14th, 2014

David MacLean comes to in India. He doesn’t know who he is. He doesn’t know where he is or how he got there. This is the launching point of MacLean’s harrowing memoir, THE ANSWER TO THE RIDDLE IS ME. Told in sparse, beautiful prose, MacLean recounts how he reclaimed his life after having his memory decimated by Larium, an antimalarial, and the inextricable link between identity and memory. MacLean’s story is terrifying and something that will stick with you for months.


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The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) By Donna Tartt Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780316055437
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 22nd, 2013

As a huge fan of Donna Tartt’s THE SECRET HISTORY, I couldn’t wait to pick up her latest novel, THE GOLDFINCH. And I wasn’t disappointed. In the first pages of this brilliant coming-of-age novel, Theo Decker’s mother dies in a terrorist attack on the Met. In the aftermath of the explosion, Theo steals a rare painting of a goldfinch by a little-known 17th century Dutch painter, an act that sets him on an inexorable course toward an adult life of art crime. I was completely transported into the life Theo manages to scrape together after the center of his world disappears. Tartt’s vivid imagery, quirky characters, and surprising plot twists reminded me of of the work of Dickens. Despite the fact that this novel boasts almost 800 pages, I zipped through it in just four days.


The Outcasts: A Novel By Kathleen Kent Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780316206129
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 24th, 2013

Set in the 19th century in the wild and unruly terrain surrounding modern-day Houston, this historical novel follows the lives of a rebellious prostitute-turned-teacher and a morally-upright policeman as they unite in their quest to bring an elusive and dangerous murderer named McGill to justice. This engaging adventure story is full of unexpected twists and turns that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Kent’s evocation of 19th century South Texas alone is worth the price of admission.


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