staff picks

Bread and Circus

Bread and Circus
$26.00

by Airea D Matthews - Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Creative Writing

Author's website: www.aireadee.com


Drawing upon economics, theology, and psychology, Bread and Circus explores the lived experiences of those impacted by poverty and racial injustice. This poetry collection is innovative not only in its dissection of established ideals but also in its experimentation with poetic form, with a highlight being blackout poems made by subverting key words in economic texts. The final section of the collection is an especially moving series on collective grief and hope. 

-Alyssa S., GSSWSR '24


 
"Discerning and significant." --Poetry Foundation
"A sharp memoir in verse." --LitHub

This powerful and timely collection of autobiographical poems from Yale Young Poets Award Winner and Philadelphia's former Poet Laureate Airea D. Matthews about the economics of class is a brilliant intellectual and artistic contribution to the ongoing conversation about American inequality.

As a former student of economics, Airea D. Matthews was fascinated and disturbed by 18th-century Scottish economist Adam Smith's magnum opus The Wealth of Nations. Now, she presents a direct challenge to Smith's theory of the invisible hand, which claims self-interest is the key to optimal economic outcomes. By juxtaposing redacted texts by Smith and the French Marxist Guy Debord with autobiographical prose and poems, Bread and Circus personally offers how self-interest fails when it reduces people to commodity and spectacle.

A layered collection to be read and reread, with poems that range from tragic to humorous, in forms as varied and nuanced as the ideas the book considers, Bread and Circus asks what it is to have survived, indeed to have flourished, and at what cost. "Full of humane wisdom, this powerful volume forces readers to acknowledge systemic inequity" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) and is ideal for fans of Elizabeth Alexander, Natalie Diaz, Eve Ewing, and Gregory Pardlo.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781668011454
Publication Date: 
May 30, 2023
Author: 
Publisher: 

Lost World of the Old Ones

Lost World of the Old Ones
$17.95

David Roberts continues to recount his adventures through time and the American Southwest in this 2015 book. He continues to reveal hidden archaeological sites throughout the Four Corners region, as well as discuss modern issues surrounding said sites. This book is perfect for learning about the Ancestral Pueblo and American Southwest alike. If you enjoy outdoors books in the vein of Jon Krakaur, you are bound to like this narrative. 

-- Mira O, BMC '24


 

In this thrilling story of intellectual and archaeological discovery, David Roberts recounts his last twenty years of far-flung exploits in search of spectacular prehistoric ruins and rock art panels known to very few modern travelers. His adventures range across Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado, and illuminate the mysteries of the Ancestral Puebloans and their contemporary neighbors the Mogollon and Fremont, as well as of the more recent Navajo and Comanche.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780393352337
Publication Date: 
April 25, 2016
Author: 
Publisher: 

Deaf Republic

DEAF REPUBLIC
$13.00
$6.00
$6.00 - $13.00

by Ilya Kaminsky


At the trial of God, we will ask: why did you allow all this?
And the answer will be an echo: why did you allow all this?

Deaf Republic is an intimate confrontation of violence towards the vulnerable, balancing sign language and deaf culture with lyrical reckoning. Kaminsky's attention to moments of tenderness and power in times of oppression is a galvanizing call to care for others. A must-read. 

- Alyssa S., GSSWSR '24


 

Finalist for the National Book Award - Finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Award - Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award - Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize - Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award - Winner of the National Jewish Book Award - Finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award - Finalist for the T. S. Eliot Prize - Finalist for the Forward Prize for Best Collection

Ilya Kaminsky's astonishing parable in poems asks us, What is silence?

Deaf Republic

opens in an occupied country in a time of political unrest. When soldiers breaking up a protest kill a deaf boy, Petya, the gunshot becomes the last thing the citizens hear--they all have gone deaf, and their dissent becomes coordinated by sign language. The story follows the private lives of townspeople encircled by public violence: a newly married couple, Alfonso and Sonya, expecting a child; the brash Momma Galya, instigating the insurgency from her puppet theater; and Galya's girls, heroically teaching signing by day and by night luring soldiers one by one to their deaths behind the curtain. At once a love story, an elegy, and an urgent plea, Ilya Kaminsky's long-awaited Deaf Republic confronts our time's vicious atrocities and our collective silence in the face of them.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781555978310
Publication Date: 
March 5, 2019
Author: 
Publisher: 

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters
$16.95

This anthology features heroines from all across the world. It is a refreshing break from folklore that focuses heavily on male narratives. If you enjoy mythology and folklore, this book is a great addition to the collection, as well as a preview of stories outside the fairytails of the Brothers Grimm. 

-- Mira O, BMC '24



Dismayed by the predominance of male protagonists in her daughters' books, Kathleen Ragan set out to collect the stories of our forgotten heroines. Gathered from around the world, from regions as diverse as sub-Saharan Africa and Western Europe, from North and South American Indian cultures and New World settlers, from Asia and the Middle East, these 100 folktales celebrate strong female heroines.

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters is for all women who are searching to define who they are, to redefine the world and shape their collective sensibility. It is for men who want to know more about what it means to be a woman. It is for our daughters and our sons, so that they can learn to value all kinds of courage, courage in battle and the courage of love. It is for all of us to help build a more just vision of woman.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780393320466
Publication Date: 
May 17, 2000
Publisher: 

House of Leaves

House of Leaves
$29.00

by Mark Z. Danielewski

 


House of Leaves is an incredible experimental horror novel that accomplishes something that many readers crave when they pick up a horror story: utter immersion. With storylines that nest within one another and a wonderfully disorienting mystery at the center of the plot, this book takes your attention and keeps it in a death grip. As one delves deeper into the story, the author's writing style and structure begin to replicate the serpentine descent into dread, madness, and paranoia that befall his characters. This is one of my favorite books, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a story that defies horror norms. 

-Alyssa S., GSSWSR '24


 
THE MIND-BENDING CULT CLASSIC ABOUT A HOUSE THAT'S LARGER ON THE INSIDE THAN ON THE OUTSIDE - A masterpiece of horror and an astonishingly immersive, maze-like reading experience that redefines the boundaries of a novel.

''Simultaneously reads like a thriller and like a strange, dreamlike excursion into the subconscious." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Thrillingly alive, sublimely creepy, distressingly scary, breathtakingly intelligent--it renders most other fiction meaningless." --Bret Easton Ellis, bestselling author of American Psycho

"This demonically brilliant book is impossible to ignore." --Jonathan Lethem, award-winning author of Motherless Brooklyn

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth--musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies--the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and second and third appendices, the story remains unchanged. Similarly, the cultural fascination with House of Leaves remains as fervent and as imaginative as ever. The novel has gone on to inspire doctorate-level courses and masters theses, cultural phenomena like the online urban legend of "the backrooms," and incredible works of art in entirely unrealted mediums from music to video games.

Neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of the impossibility of their new home, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story--of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780375703768
Publication Date: 
March 7, 2000
Author: 
Publisher: 

Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
$19.99

The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet is a fresh and uplifting approach to the sci-fi genre. By following the diverse crew of the Wayfarer, we are introduced to a thoughtful and character driven story where you can’t help but fall in love with the created found family. After putting it down, I remember looking up at the stars and rethinking my place in the universe.

-- Grace R, BMC '25



National Bestseller!

The acclaimed modern science fiction masterpiece, Hugo Award winner for Best Series!

Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space--and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe--in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.

Rosemary Harper doesn't expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she's never met anyone remotely like the ship's diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy--exactly what Rosemary wants. It's also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn't part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary's got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs--an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn't necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780062444134
Publication Date: 
July 1, 2016
Author: 
Publisher: 

Pachinko

Pachinko
$19.99

Pachinko is so soapy! I went through it so quickly and cried my eyes out toward the end. It is the book I recommend to anyone and everyone!

- Angelica C., Book Associate

 



A New York Times Top Ten Book of the Year and National Book Award finalist, Pachinko is an extraordinary epic of four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family as they fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan (San Francisco Chronicle).

NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017 * A USA TODAY TOP TEN OF 2017 * JULY PICK FOR THE PBS NEWSHOUR-NEW YORK TIMES BOOK CLUB NOW READ THIS * FINALIST FOR THE 2018DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE* WINNER OF THE MEDICI BOOK CLUB PRIZE

Roxane Gay's Favorite Book of 2017, Washington Post

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * #1 BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER * USA TODAY BESTSELLER * WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER * WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER

There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones.

In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.

Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters--strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis--survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.

*Includes reading group guide*

ISBN/SKU: 
9781455563920
Publication Date: 
November 14, 2017
Author: 

Thus Was Adonis Murdered

Thus Was Adonis Murdered
$7.99

Not, strictly speaking, a campus crime novel, but it's hard to imagine a more academic investigation: the principle narrator is an Oxford don who is explict about applying the tools of scholarship to crime solving.  This is the first of four thoroughly delightful mysteries by Sarah Caudwell featuring "a decorative little group" of lawyers in London.  Mawrters will find the series irresistable.

- Jim Huang, Bookshop Director


 

A young woman accused of murder while on holiday in Venice enlists a friend to come help her--but once they begin unraveling clues, there's no telling what else will come to light.

"Sarah Caudwell is one of my very favorite mystery writers."--A. J. Finn, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

His was a body to die for . . .

Set to have a vacation away from her home life and the tax man, young barrister Julia Larwood takes a trip to Italy with her art-loving boyfriend. But when her personal copy of the current Finance Act is found a few meters away from a dead body, Julia finds herself caught up in a complex fight against the Inland Revenue.

Fortunately, she's able to call on her fellow colleagues who enlist the help of their friend Oxford professor Hilary Tamar. However, all is not what it seems. Could Julia's boyfriend in fact be an employee of the establishment she has been trying to escape from? And how did her romantic luxurious holiday end in murder?

Don't miss any of Sarah Caudwell's riveting Hilary Tamar mysteries:
THUS WAS ADONIS MURDERED - THE SHORTEST WAY TO HADES - THE SIRENS SANG OF MURDER - THE SIBYL IN HER GRAVE

ISBN/SKU: 
9780440212317
Publication Date: 
June 1, 1994
Author: 
Publisher: 

Murder Is Academic

Murder Is Academic
$16.00

P.M. Carlson's campus crime novels are populated by lively, intelligent, good-humored students and grown-ups, just like the people whom we find on real campuses.  Carlson also gets how colleges work.  Her mysteries feel real, but they're also the best version of real: we wish we could be on Carlson's campuses, hanging out with her people.  Murder Is Academic is Carlson's second Maggie Ryan mystery -- a more conventional whodunit than the series opener, Audition for Murder, and a litlte darker.  Set in the late '60s and early '70s, they are terrific mysteries and engaging explorations of recent history.  Highly recommend, so highly that when the original publishers Avon and Bantam let them go, I brought all eight books back into print so that readers could get them all.

- Jim Huang, Bookshop Director



Vietnam, assassinations and riots. In the spring semester of 1968, a series of brutal attacks draws campus women together to study self-defense and the psychology of rape. Graduate student Mary Beth Nelson struggles to keep the Lords of Death at bay by immersing herself in researching Mayan languages. Her new housemate, Maggie Ryan, has her own secrets. When murder strikes close to home, Maggie investigates with a little help from her friends.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781932325232
Publication Date: 
October 1, 2012
Author: 
Publisher: