Independent Bookstore Day Author's Picks

Today is Independent Bookstore Day! As part of our celebrations, we asked some of our favorite local authors to recommend a book to our customers. Here's what they had to say. 

Carla Shedd  is a professor of sociology and African American studies at Columbia. Her newest book is Unequal City, and her recommendation is Manning Marable's How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America:

I first read How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America while writing my undergraduate honor's thesis on the political economy of the US penal system at Smith College. Marable's prescient theoretical and socio-political analysis of Black America's plight inspired me to become a sociologist whose research examines the intersections of race, place, crime, and (in)justice in formative social institutions (e.g., public schools and juvenile courts) toward informing and reforming public policy. In a trilogy of books on race, crime, and the carceral state, think of How Capitalism as the prequel and Unequal City as the sequel to Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow

 

Tommy Pico is a poet whose newest book, Nature Poem, has just been released by Tin House. He recommends Black Wave, by Michelle Tea:

In Nature Poem I kind of have this open contempt of nature and low key reverence for it all. In Black Wave, nature is quite literally rotting all around the world and is presented almost with nostalgia. It's an interesting juxtaposition!

 

 

 

Chris Grabenstein has written over 20 books for adults and children, most recently Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics. He recommends Grace Lin's Where the Mountain Meets the Moon:

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a wondrous novel with an epic journey and memorable characters in the tradition of The Wizard of Oz. From the beautiful design and the breathtaking full-color illustrations throughout, to the gentle humor and touching prose, this book is truly a gem.


 

 

Kate Zambreno is a novelist and critic whose newest book is Book of Mutter. Her recommendation is Bhanu Kapil's Ban en Banlieue:

What can writing do. What can the book do. What can performance do, the body defiant in public, in protest, in demonstration, that literature fails at.  And how can that disappearance and documentation be then traced in a book. How can a book contain somehow the furious energy of its failure, of its processes, its drafts, its many notebooks. How can a book contain and name a community, in all of its fragments and fractures.

 

 

Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan's newest novel, Sarong Party Girls, has just been released in paperback. She recommends The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga: 

I'm always particularly drawn to voice-driven books and The White Tiger has been one of my favorites for years -- Aravind Adiga's protagonist Balram Halwai truly is like no other in fiction. I love the energy of the prose -- the words really do leap off the page -- as well as the complexity and the bombastic magnetism of this tremendously unreliable and often unlikeable narrator. I often thought about Balram's voice as I was writing Jazzy in Sarong Party Girls.

 

 

Soman Chainani has written three books in his School for Good and Evil series; the most recent is The Last Ever AfterHis recommendation is Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson:

Ms. Bixby's Last Day is a beautiful, heartfelt testament to the power that a teacher can have over so many kids' lives. A gorgeous book for both kids and adults.

 

 

 

 

Sarah Gerard is a novelist and essayist whose most recent book is Sunshine State. She recommends Severo Sarduy's Firefly:

This book pulls the absurdities of adolescence, language, and sexuality from their seats in the body onto the surface of the page. Sarduy's prose is lively and clever, full of double- and triple-meaning, intense sensory descriptions, and self-reference. Likewise, the plot twists and folds back on itself like a Mobius strip, evading any easy attempts to make sense. But that's not the point, anyway; the point is to enjoy it. 

 

 

Lee Child is the author of thrillers; the most recent book in his bestselling Jack Reacher series is Night School. He recommends (his brother) Andrew Grant's False Positive:

I love my brother’s work - but worry a little, because he’s clearly a little dark and twisted compared to me … how did that happen?

 

 

 

 

Carol Weston writes both fiction and non-fiction for young people. Her most recent book is Speed of Life, and she recommends Kate Atkinson's Life After Life

When I visit schools, kids always ask, “What's your favorite book?” and I never know whether to talk up Tolstoy, Greek myths, or Aesop's Fables. Should I tell them how much I loved Charlotte’s Web or tell them about adult masterpieces, like Age of Innocence or One Hundred Years of Solitude or All the Light We Cannot See? Tell you what, Book Culture, I’d be honored if you'd pair Speed of Life with Life After Life. I’ve enjoyed many of Kate Atkinson’s books (starting with Behind the Scenes at the Museum), and am awestruck by her storytelling and inventiveness. I’m afraid I can’t say much more lest I spoil her novel for you. But if you like to think about time itself, and whether or not there can ever be any do-overs, our books make a pair.

 

Susan Bernofsky is a German-English translator whose most recent translation is Yoko Tawada's Memoirs of a Polar BearShe recommends Paul Beatty's Slumberland:

I love how Paul Beatty has imagined Berlin (my favorite city!) through the eyes of “jukebox sommelier” DJ Darky, a transplant from L.A. who’s tearing the city apart in search of a brilliant jazz musician known as the Schwa who’s gone underground there. The book seesaws between introspection and razor-sharp satire. You’ll embarrass yourself by laughing aloud if you read it in public.

 

 

Please come by to celebrate with us today, and pick up some of these great recommendations!

Unequal City: Race, Schools, and Perceptions of Injustice Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780871547965
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Russell Sage Foundation - October 19th, 2015

How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society Cover Image
By Manning Marable, Leith Mullings (Foreword by)
$19.00
ISBN: 9781608465118
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Haymarket Books - October 27th, 2015

Nature Poem Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781941040638
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Tin House Books - May 9th, 2017

Black Wave Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781558619395
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Amethyst Editions - September 13th, 2016

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780553510423
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Yearling Books - April 25th, 2017

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780316038638
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 12th, 2011

Book of Mutter Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781584351962
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Semiotext(e) - March 17th, 2017

Ban En Banlieue Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781937658243
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Nightboat Books - January 6th, 2015

Sarong Party Girls Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062448972
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: William Morrow & Company - April 25th, 2017

The White Tiger Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781416562603
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Free Press - October 14th, 2008

The School for Good and Evil #3: The Last Ever After Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062104960
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: HarperCollins - July 12th, 2016

Ms. Bixby's Last Day Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062338174
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Walden Pond Press - June 21st, 2016

Sunshine State: Essays Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062434876
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Harper Perennial - April 11th, 2017

Firefly Cover Image
By Severo Sarduy, Mark Fried (Translator)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781935744641
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Archipelago Books - March 5th, 2013

Night School Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780804178808
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Delacorte Press - November 7th, 2016

False Positive Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780345540768
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Ballantine Books - June 28th, 2016

Speed of Life Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781492654490
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky - April 4th, 2017

Life After Life Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780316176484
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Reagan Arthur Books - April 2nd, 2013

Staff Pick Logo
Memoirs of a Polar Bear Cover Image
By Yoko Tawada, Susan Bernofsky (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811225786
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - November 8th, 2016

Slumberland Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781596912410
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - August 4th, 2009