Jeremy Recommends

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The Insides Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612195469
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
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 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594633409
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 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.

Don't Suck, Don't Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt (American Music) Cover Image
By Kristin Hersh, Amanda Petrusich (Foreword by)
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9780292759473
Availability: Out of Print - Not Available for Order
Published: University of Texas Press - October 2015

When Vic Chesnutt's suicide finally took in 2009, no one was really surprised. Brilliant stars burn bright, then out. But the shock of absence leaves a mark. His friend and tour mate Kristin Hersh (of Throwing Muses) remembers her friend in the devastating memoir, DON'T SUCK, DON'T DIE. She looks back to their time on the road, searching for metaphors that might explain the sweetness and sorrows of a joyous journey with an unhappy end--the poetry of truly knowing someone, but never truly understanding. DON'T SUCK, DON'T DIE wanders into the beautiful darkness to find the ugly light. Spare, honest, and unflinching, this slim book will leave a lasting impact.

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The Story of My Teeth Cover Image
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 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062409850
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
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 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609382704
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: University Of Iowa Press - September 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 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566893541
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425268421
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 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 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250023964
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
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 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061692031
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 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 Cover Image
By Sarah Howgate, Michael Auping (Contributions by), John Richardson (Contributions by)
ISBN: 9780300182552
Availability: Backordered
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.

Alif the Unseen Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802120205
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Grove Press - June 19th, 2012

A contemporary computer hacker's 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS, this thrilling tale, replete with genies, is a fast, fun ride through an imagined city experiencing its own Arab Spring. Fast and fun, ALIF should not be missed.

The Starboard Sea Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312642808
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 28th, 2012

A great customer suggested that THE STARBOARD SEA might replace A SEPARATE PEACE by John Knowles as the next great coming-of-age novel. I don't think she's wrong. The sailing scenes throughout are especially well-drawn. This is a strong start from an emerging author, who joined the Rice English department in the Fall of 2013.

Let the People in: The Life and Times of Ann Richards 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.

A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9781594203435
Availability: Out of Print - Not Available for Order
Published: Penguin Press - September 4th, 2012

Errol Morris takes on one of the most controversial murder trials of all time, exposing a horrible miscarriage of justice that has yet-to-be resolved. The filmmaker, turned author, approaches his subject with rigor and clarity and makes a vigorous case against the prosecution.

Beautiful Ruins: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061928123
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
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.

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