Annalia recommends...

Only the Road / Solo El Camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry By Margaret Randall (Editor), Margaret Randall (Translator) Cover Image
By Margaret Randall (Editor), Margaret Randall (Translator)
ISBN: 9780822362296
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Duke University Press - October 17th, 2016

Published through Duke University Press, ONLY THE ROAD is eight decades of Cuban poetry, including Afro-Cuban and LGBTQ poets. With almost half the poems written by women and the original Spanish beside the translation by poet Margaret Randall, this collection is as diverse as it is comprehensive!

Little Bot and Sparrow By Jake Parker, Jake Parker (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jake Parker, Jake Parker (Illustrator)
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9781626723672
Availability: OUT OF PRINT - Not Available for Order
Published: Roaring Brook Press - September 27th, 2016

Beep boop bop! Little Bot has a lot to learn when he is dropped on earth. Sparrow shows him how to survive in the forest then flies south for the winter. LITTLE BOT & SPARROW is a good book for teaching children that not all friendships last—& that's ok! Goodbyes are hard

The Art of Memoir By Mary Karr Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062223074
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Harper Perennial - September 6th, 2016

If you only read one "how to" genre book in your life, this is a good one. As always, Mary Karr is her brash, quippy, frank self. In THE ART OF MEMOIR, Karr shares tales from the field, including the nightmare of self-doubt, the dangers of indulgence, and all the not so fun parts of writing. A great read for anyone who is interested in writing creative nonfiction, or learning more about Karr's approach to craft.

Odes By Sharon Olds Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451493620
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Knopf - September 20th, 2016

Four years after the devastation that is STAG'S LEAP, behold ODES, a collection that celebrates everything from fellow poet Stanley Kunitz to withered cleavage to dirt. What else is there to say? Sharon Olds examines the world from the abstract to the minutiae, always singing.

Sharon Olds will be at Christ Church Cathedral on November 15. Tickets on sale now!

The Things We Don't Do By Andrés Neuman, Nick Caistor (Translator), Lorenza Garcia (Translator) Cover Image
By Andrés Neuman, Nick Caistor (Translator), Lorenza Garcia (Translator)
ISBN: 9781940953182
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter - August 25th, 2015

John Keats once wrote that people tend to want to marry books and confuse them with their authors. Andrés Neuman is an exception: both the man & this book are nothing less than lovely. THE THINGS WE DON'T DO is a story collection to savor.

Umami By Laia Jufresa, Sophie Hughes (Translator) Cover Image
By Laia Jufresa, Sophie Hughes (Translator)
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9781780748917
Availability: OUT OF PRINT - Not Available for Order
Published: ONEWorld Publications - September 13th, 2016

UMAMI is my favorite novel of 2016! Five years, five houses—a mother leaves, a wife dies, a daughter drowns. How do the residents of this courtyard in Mexico City cope? By scraping the barnacles one day at a time. Translated from the Spanish by the amazing Sophie Hughes, Laia Jufresa's debut is a gorgeous tale of grief, identity, and lasting love.

Stag's Leap: Poems By Sharon Olds Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375712258
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Knopf - September 4th, 2012

Don't count out Sharon Olds just because she's already a household name! I read STAG'S LEAP in one night & wept buckets. In less than one hundred pages, Olds mourns the death of her thirty year marriage, from her husband's declaration that he is leaving her until their reunion years later when he is married to another woman. Brutal but without sentimentality, Olds depicts grief as what it is: wild.

A Bestiary By Lily Hoang Cover Image
ISBN: 9780996316743
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Cleveland State University Poetry Center - April 15th, 2016

If the cover alone isn't enough to make you pick this baby up, here's the skinny: Lily Hoang is a badass you should know. In this amazing collection of personal essays, A BESTIARY restores my faith in genre-bending nonfiction. A first generation Vietnamese-American, Hoang embodies my hope that one story is not the only story. Lovely, quirky, tragic—my favorite book of 2016!

Year of the Goose By Carly J. Hallman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939419514
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Unnamed Press - December 22nd, 2015

C.J. Hallman is my favorite debut author of 2015! YEAR OF THE GOOSE is a frenzied tour of contemporary China through its wildest characters: the heiress to the (in)famous Bashful Goose Snack Company, an ex-organic hair farmer, a talking turtle with the soul of a monk—even the (not so) bashful goose himself! Crazy and laugh out loud funny, I adore this novel.

Frites: Over 30 Gourmet Recipes for all kinds of Fries, Chips and Dips By Anne de la Forest Cover Image
ISBN: 9781909342606
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Jacqui Small - August 12th, 2014

If you’ve been looking for a fry bible, try FRITES! For beginners, there’s info about what to fry (hint: not just potatoes! Carrots, parsnips, and bananas, too!), oils to use, plus a 10-page technical dude on all things cleaning, peeling, and cutting. However, if you’re ready to get your hands dirty, don’t worry: there are four types of potato frites, sweet and savory sweet potato frites, plus over 20 recipes for more adventurous frites (including fruit frites!). A dipper like me? Anne de la Forest has a chapter dedicated especially to sauces. Comprehensive with craving-enducing photos, FRITES gets the foodie and fry-fiend stamp of approval.

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction; Introduction by John Leonard (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics Series) By Joan Didion, John Leonard (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Joan Didion, John Leonard (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780307264879
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Everyman's Library - October 17th, 2006

The queen! Joan Didion was writing “creative nonfiction” decades before it became a recognized genre. Her sharp eyes and open heart will not only change you you read, but how you experience the world around you. I’m not kidding.

Night at the Fiestas: Stories By Kirstin Valdez Quade Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393352214
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 7th, 2016

Kirstin Valdez Quade took ten years to craft these ten stories and you can tell. Her characters are precious — she notes their deepest thoughts with respect and compassion. NIGHT AT THE FIESTAS is a collection about families, New Mexico, and all the ways we wound each other.

Some Ether: Poems By Nick Flynn Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555973032
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Graywolf Press - May 1st, 2000

This collection taught me more about reading and writing poetry than any class I ever took. Initially published in 2000, SOME ETHER is Nick Flynn’s stunning debut, a rumination on his mother’s suicide, his father living on the streets, and Flynn’s own misadventures with intimacy. It’s the only book I’ve ever read that bleeds. (Just read it.)

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Get in Trouble: Stories By Kelly Link Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812986495
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 9th, 2016

There are short stories, and then there's Kelly Link. In GET IN TROUBLE, she dares her characters (and readers!) to cough up the deep stuff. And I'm not talking about your long-lost love. I'm talking about lust, shame--you know, the things you hide from your Facebook feed. Take this one: a fifteen-year-old girl pretends to be her older sister so she can go on a blind date with a man old enough to be her father. But rather than expose characters to persecute them, Link reminds us that we all have secrets--and that's okay. As bold as it is all-embracing, this collection deserves your attention.

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Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain By Alan Light Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476776750
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Atria Books - October 6th, 2015

Alan Light's profile of Prince and Purple Rain's place in the strange tapestry of the 1980s is fascinating as it is multi-faceted. LET'S GO CRAZY is not a love letter to "the purple one" as much as an examination of eccentricity and exploration of celebrity. But for readers who do want to know more about Prince, the most rewarding thing about this book is that his words are in here, too. Sure, there are also thoughts from key players like fellow former bandmates Lisa and Wendy, but Light understands that no manifesto on Purple Rain would be complete without the man himself. If you want a VIP pass to what it was like to make the record and the movie, from their synthesis to their bombastic 30 year legacy, this is your ticket.

Hustle By David Tomas Martinez Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936747771
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Sarabande Books - May 13th, 2014

If you hate poetry because it’s boring and weird, buy this book. Before giving up chasing skirts for writing poems, David Tomas Martinez grew up in San Diego, running with a gang and enlisting in the Navy. Honest, present, and open, HUSTLE is a collection of poems full of stories you go to bars to hear. From “The Only Mexican” to “Midterm Answers for English B,” Martinez reminds me that those weird, dirty teen years are always worth revisiting.

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Slow Motion: A Memoir of a Life Rescued by Tragedy By Dani Shapiro Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061826696
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Harper Perennial - January 26th, 2010

Dani Shapiro is a twenty-something aspiring actress taking a rest in California when she hears: her parents have been in a car accident. It’s bad enough that her aunt and uncle refuse to give her details until she is back on the east coast. It’s bad enough she already knows this will be the moment that “divides [her] life into before and after.” But the first person Shapiro calls is not her best friend or her nonexistent siblings. It’s the married lawyer she’s been dating for the past four years. He arranges her trip back to New York and so begins Shapiro’s winding journey back home, to herself, and into a new life as a writer.


The Palace of Illusions: Stories By Kim Addonizio Cover Image
ISBN: 9781593765422
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Soft Skull - September 9th, 2014

Kim Addonizio's second short story collection, THE PALACE OF ILLUSIONS, does not tread lightly. In the opening tale, young Annabelle has just finished first grade and is running out of things to keep her sane. Her stuffed lion and trusted sidekick Simba is not there for her the way he used to be. On top of that, she's murdered two fish and her pet bird, and then her mother abandons her at her grandfather's so she can go on a date with a new man. Annabelle usually likes seeing grandpa because it means she gets to eat chocolate, but things have been weird lately. On the night of the date, grandpa has had more whiskeys than it usually takes for him to fall asleep. He asks Annabelle to dance for him but this time she says no, running into the forest and leaving him too many steps away from his oxygen tank. Filled with tension and humanity, these strange, sexy stories with fringe narrators surprise and intrigue. A good start for readers who tend to shy away from short fiction.


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God is an Astronaut By Alyson Foster Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9781620403587
Availability: OUT OF PRINT - Not Available for Order
Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 3rd, 2016

Botanist Dr. Jess Frobisher has finally started to build her dream greenhouse. It’s spring in Michigan and her family is doing fine–until March 11, when her husband tells her there’s been an accident. Earlier that evening, Liam’s Tuscon-based space tourism company Spaceco launched a shuttle that exploded 12 seconds after liftoff.


Four days later, Jess sends an email to her colleague Arthur who is doing soil analysis in Canada. It’s an impulse thing: she’s alone in Michigan on kid duty while Liam tries to do damage control in Arizona. As the news crews descend upon the driveway and the phone becomes a drone, her daily emails to Arthur become a necessary outlet.


A suspenseful tale of family, friendship, and fear, God Is An Astronaut explores the relationships we cling to in crisis and the ones we keep out of habit. Jess’s missives are candid, neurotic, and charming. A modern love story guaranteed to please.

The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel By Amy Hempel, Rick Moody (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Amy Hempel, Rick Moody (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780743291637
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Scribner - September 18th, 2007

Though you can read this any time of year, I like to pore over it in summer when there's no hurry. Queen of sentences, Amy Hempel is precise, personal, and punchy. Active readers will enjoy this collection because characters tend to speak for themselves. One story (“Memoir”) is a single sentence while “Tumble Home” is its own novella. I read this for the first time as part of a freshman year seminar and have not seen fiction the same way since.

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel By Neil Gaiman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062255662
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 3rd, 2014

I read this in one night, in hours. It's always hard for me to get into stories with fantastical elements but THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is an exception. Neil Gaiman takes me back to when I was a kid, before I knew what to do with my secrets and that reality has rules, the days that promises come easily. For all ages, especially the world-weary.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics) By Joan Didion Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374531386
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 28th, 2008

Joan Didion shows why she is the master of the portrait in this collection of essays about the 1960s. She writes about John Wayne, why she keeps a notebook, and the “real” California but the highlight of SLOUCHING TOWARD BETHLEHEM for me is the title story where she spends two weeks rolling with some hippie youths.

The Sun Also Rises: The Authorized Edition By Ernest Hemingway Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743297332
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Scribner - October 17th, 2006

Can't afford to travel anywhere this summer? Never fear: the running of the bulls, street cafés, and ex-pat ennui in THE SUN ALSO RISES will provide the pull you need. With stark gorgeous prose and his signature piercing dialogue, I want everyone to read this book – fiction fanatics, non-fiction mongers, canon preachers, hipsters, beach readers, everyone.