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PREMIUM

My Life as a Villainess: Essays

Fans of Lippman’s novels (The Lady in the Lake) and her Twitter followers will gobble up this short collection and beg for more nonfiction from this gifted storyteller. [See Prepub Alert, 11/11/19.]
PREMIUM

The Equivalents: A Story of Art, Female Friendship, and Liberation in the 1960s

Doherty’s overall galvanizing look at a little-explored conjunction of critical feminist voices should incite provocative historical context to current-day discussions around the need for more support of women’s intellectual work.
PREMIUM

Square Haunting: Five Writers in London Between the Wars

Literary historians, as well as general readers up on the major events in recent British history, will be well served by this valiant debut about bold women whose struggles continue to resonate today.

The Beauty of Living: E.E. Cummings in the Great War

Placing Cummings in the context of the “War Poets,” Rosenblitt breathes new life back into poems too often anthologized and too little read. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See the Natural World

As a succinct introduction to women nature writers, this elegant compilation should have a broad reach and inspire readers to seek out more about the authors featured.
PREMIUM

An Apartment on Uranus: Chronicles on the Crossing

Preciado engages complex ideas from a number of ancient and modern-day philosophers and theorists, which might challenge the uninitiated, but the dreamlike quality of the work is sure to resonate with readers of the great French writers Jean Genet and Albert Camus. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

African American Literature: An Encyclopedia for Students

Overall, a useful option for its target audience: students. The entries will be accessible to high schoolers, and possibly younger students, as well as college-level readers, who will learn much from the coverage of varied genres, from mystery, romance, and horror, influenced by African American writers.
PREMIUM

Private Investigations: Mystery Writers on the Secrets, Riddles, and Wonders in Their Lives

Genre fans are sure to be curious about this rare window into the lives of their favorite authors, as will anyone who enjoys compelling, candid tales.

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

Toss out your old editions, this is the one you’ll want to own.

Detectives in the Shadows: A Hard-Boiled History

One can say many things about crime fiction, and throughout this thoughtful, well-crafted piece of literary history, Lee succeeds in telling the story straight.

Mark Twain, the World, and Me: Following the Equator, Then and Now

A can’t-miss title for those interested in Twain’s life and especially his views on religion and imperialism.
PREMIUM

Aesop’s Fables: The Cruelty of the Gods

While there’s little comfort to be found in these tales that ruthlessly dissect human nature, this anthology is not without its charms, especially as found in the whimsical illustrations and witty, honest prose.

Wow, No Thank You: Essays

A sheer delight for Irby’s legions of fans. For those new to her work, or who enjoy Jenny Lawson, Roxane Gay, Jenny Slate, or Nora Ephron, this should be obtained immediately.
PREMIUM

This Is Shakespeare

Smith wears her learning lightly and writes in an accessible, conversational style, making this an excellent work for those eager to brush up their Shakespeare, forsooth.
PREMIUM

Kerouac: The Last Quarter Century

Nicosia provides a detailed, well-documented account of what is loosely referred to in Kerouac circles as “The Kerouac Estate Controversy.” While a fascinating read, this will not win everyone over to Nicosia’s viewpoint. Sampas’s death in 2017 perhaps offered some hope that the controversy would smolder, but this publication promises to fan the flames.

PREMIUM

The Life of William Faulkner: Vol. 1: The Past Is Never Dead 1897–1934

Rollyson’s astute analysis makes not only for a good story but also a welcome addition to Faulkner studies.
PREMIUM

The Dolphin Letters, 1970–1979: Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Lowell, and Their Circle

Replete with editor Hamilton’s masterly and well-researched footnotes, this will be an indispensable gloss to the reading and interpretation of The Dolphin.

Ferrante Fever | Literature, Feb. 2020

PREMIUM

The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism

A truly innovative approach to understanding the author-reader connection made all the more compelling for having one of the 20th century’s ­greatest literary works at its core.­
PREMIUM

Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can’t Live Without Them

Raphel’s approach is reminiscent of Mary Roach’s work, and even cruciverbalists well versed in their hobby’s history will discover something illuminating here. Nonpuzzling readers may discover a new hobby.
PREMIUM

Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel

This practical guide to technique and intimate look into George’s writing life wisely reminds readers and students that writing is a job and should be scheduled as such. The anecdotal material and reading lists offer penetrating looks into the author’s sensibilities.
PREMIUM

What Is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life

Despite its flaws, this important and very personal take on Whitman’s lasting influence as “America’s Poet” should be a worthwhile addition to libraries with strong poetry or LGBTQ collections.
PREMIUM

Incidental Inventions

In prose that provokes and transforms, evoking wonder and tension in the most gratifying sense, these fragments of Ferrante ultimately cohere into a full, absorbing portrait of an enduring author.
PREMIUM

Child of Light: A Biography of Robert Stone

For anyone who appreciates great literature (especially the wonderful fiction of Stone), this is required reading.
PREMIUM

Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives

Though long overdue, this satisfying offering comes at a time when women are working harder than ever to secure their rightful place in the literary canon. Recommended enthusiasts of lit crit, feminist studies, and publishing.
PREMIUM

Elena Ferrante’s Key Words

An exceptional companion to the source material, particularly for the lit-crit crowd looking to affirm Ferrante’s reinvention of the future of the novel. [Note: Beginning in Feb. 2020, HBO continues its popular miniseries adapting the “Neapolitan Novels,” now in its second season.
PREMIUM

A Is for Archive: Warhol’s World from A to Z

For archivists, students, and fans of Warhol’s life and art.
PREMIUM

Serious Noticing: Selected Essays 1997–2019

Recommended for nonscholarly but informed readers who appreciate the discovery of authors worth knowing. For all public library collections.

PREMIUM

Why I Write: The Early Prose from 1945 to 1952

While the translation is intermittently turgid and labored, this nonetheless mostly fluid and serviceable volume from a writer little known to American readers is sure to enhance collections of Eastern European literature.

Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life After Which Everything Was Different

Palahniuk readers--and writers at any career level--likely will devour this vivid and instructive behind-the-scenes tour.

The Criminal Child: Selected Essays

Essential for followers of Genet, inquisitive general readers, and enthusiasts of 20th-century avant-garde French writing.

Pushcart Prize XLIV: Best of the Small Presses

 Each work shines in its own way throughout this new compilation, which upholds the standards set by preceding volumes in the series beautifully. Required reading for students, writers, and seekers of fine literature.

Coleridge, the Wordsworths, and Their Year of Marvels: The Making of Poetry

Nicolson’s gifts, both as a writer and a scholar, shine brightly, offering readers a thrilling glimpse into the marvelous work that is the “making of poetry.” Interspersed throughout are beautiful and simple woodcuts by artist Tom Hammick that may inspire readers to take up a pen and do a little making of their own. Highly recommended for all libraries.

PREMIUM

These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson

The compelling, eminently readable, novel-like style of Ackmann’s writing makes this new take on the poet’s artistic and personal growth highly recommended for both scholars and casual readers long captivated by the “Belle of Amherst.”
PREMIUM

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers

A fine narrative of how the best writers express the deepest secrets of the heart.

Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space

Leduc persuasively illustrates the power of stories to affect reality in this painstakingly researched and provocative study that invites us to consider our favorite folktales from another angle.

Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-Reader

A delightful entry for lovers of literature and literary criticism.

The Toni Morrison Book Club

All who pick up this book, from Morrison devotees to newcomers, will discover lessons in the literature to apply to their own lives. They will also feel inspired and wish to be part of a Toni Morrison Book Club of their own.

Will: A Memoir

Readers of William S. Burroughs and Beat literature, as well as experiential journals from Djuna Barnes, Paul Bowles, and Hunter S. Thompson will find here much to endure and enjoy.
PREMIUM

Dante

While not for beginners, Took’s biography is deeply enriching for those who have some grounding in Dante, for whom this is an essential resource.
PREMIUM

Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us About Our Past and Future

Chock-full of approachable and engaging critical analyses, this work will pique the curiosity of both Shakespeareans and anyone interested in American culture.

Best Arts Books 2019

PREMIUM

James Baldwin: Living in Fire

A clear, incisive writer, Mullen succeeds with providing a fresh perspective on an author he so obviously admires. Recommended for readers seeking a broader understanding of the opinions of one of the great writers of the 20th century.
PREMIUM

Literary Geography: An Encyclopedia of Real and Imagined Settings

High school and college students will find excellent examples of how to study the geographical components of literature, while book clubs will discover fresh approaches to old and new classics.
PREMIUM

Some of Us Are Very Hungry Now: Essays

The strong writing, creative genre use, and authentic voice add up to some high-impact essays.
PREMIUM

Little Weirds

This volume mixes the oddball self-examination of Jenny Lawson with moments of poetic insight. Recommended for lovers of fizzy memoirs.

Love Unknown: The Life and Worlds of Elizabeth Bishop

This definitive account of Bishop’s contributions to American letters will attract both casual readers of her poetry as well as academics with more specialized knowledge of her work.

PREMIUM

Essays One: Reading and Writing

Those familiar with Davis’s work, and even new readers, will find much to ponder—even love
PREMIUM

South American Journals: January–July 1960

Copious and valuable source material provide students and scholars with noteworthy and new information about the poet. Those interested in the relationship between Eros and Thanatos in Ginsberg’s life and work will be especially rewarded.

The Collector of Leftover Souls: Field Notes on Brazil’s Everyday Insurrections

Beautifully translated from Portuguese by Whitty, these accounts make up an unforgettable compilation documenting the lives of those largely underrepresented in literature. While the stories are specifically Brazilian, the insights they reveal are universal.

Top 20 Best-Selling Literary Criticism Titles | Academic Best Sellers

PREMIUM

Critical Insights: Censored & Banned Literature

Most readers will home in on a specific essay or section, but they will likely find something useful in this wide-ranging text.
PREMIUM

97,196 Words: Essays

A compelling collection, best suited for sophisticated readers up-to-date on their current affairs, and academic audiences.
PREMIUM

Me & Other Writings

An admirable translation that will enthrall fans of French literature as well as 20th-century history buffs.
PREMIUM

Inventing Tomorrow: H.G. Wells in the Twentieth Century

Extensive references and footnotes make this a good choice for readers comfortable with analysis steeped in research. Recommended for larger academic holdings.
PREMIUM

The Best American Essays 2019

A worthwhile series installment that should not only interest contemporary readers but also hold a place in the historical record.
PREMIUM

Virginia Woolf: And the Women Who Shaped Her World

Despite the occasionally gossipy tone and casual language that detracts from the work’s overall scholarly perspective, this volume will be welcomed by readers and students curious about the cultural aspects of Woolf’s development as a writer.

Goodness and the Literary Imagination

Interestingly, the essayists here, rather than literary experts, specialize in religion, history, theology, and ethics, which provides a refreshing analysis and perspective on Morrison’s work and a valuable contribution to Morrison scholarship.
PREMIUM

Critical Insights: Richard Wright

High school and college students will get a strong sense of Wright’s life, motivations, and creative output. Readers new to the author, as well as devotees, will take away valuable insights.

PREMIUM

With Child: Lee Child and the Readers of Jack Reacher

A good stopgap read for fans who anxiously await the next Reacher feature, and an amusing look behind the scenes at an author’s creative process.

PREMIUM

Savage Gods

Kingsnorth wrote his brilliant first novel, The Wake, in a language he created. This book provides a startling and instructive account of an uncommonly creative consciousness in a state of profound doubt.
PREMIUM

Good Things Out of Nazareth: The Uncollected Letters of Flannery O’Connor & Friends

Of interest to students of O’Connor and American, especially Southern, mid-20th-century literature.

The Peanuts Papers: Writers and Cartoonists on Charlie Brown, Snoopy & the Gang, and the Meaning of Life

To be dipped into rather than read through, this volume will appeal to many readers. Anyone who enjoyed the comics or TV specials will recognize their experiences in these pages and have their appreciation of Schulz’s genius renewed.
PREMIUM

The American Canon: Literary Genius from Emerson to Le Guin

Because of the esoteric nature of this book, it is primarily geared toward collections with Bloom’s other works and his most ardent readers.
PREMIUM

The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison

An invaluable volume for Ellison scholars and recommended for all readers interested in American literature.

PREMIUM

Gilgamesh: The Life of a Poem

Schmidt’s book deeply enriches our appreciation of a work already rich. A solid addition to all collections.
PREMIUM

Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald enthusiasts will find these revealing letters sad but insightful

Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl’s Love Letter to the Power of Fashion

A winning look at black girl fashion and a solid addition for all collections
PREMIUM

A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion

Scholars and devoted readers of political history, notably of the Middle East, will turn to Segev’s majestic analysis of this pivotal leader for decades to come
PREMIUM

Think Black: A Memoir

Recommended for readers interested in histories of computing and business, and black history, especially regarding STEM

Vanity Fair’s Women on Women

A perfect book for dipping into when something longer and more involved would be too much. There are plenty of “I didn’t know that” moments in spite of how well known many of these talented women will be to readers.

PREMIUM

Write On, Sisters! Voice, Courage, and Claiming Your Place at the Table

Despite its tendency toward repetition, this is an overall welcome addition to larger literature and writing collections.

PREMIUM

The O. Henry Prize Stories 2019: The Best Short Stories of the Year

A solid inclusion for libraries with strong contemporary fiction collections.

Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America

Austin’s experiences, both positive and negative, are recounted in this fast-paced, heartwarming memoir of motherhood and adoption told through an African American lens. ­Essential for all libraries.

PREMIUM

The Wisdom of the Renaissance

Montaigne wrote that reading is “the best provision I have found for this human journey.” Kellogg’s book is well worth taking along.

PREMIUM

What We Talk About When We Talk About Books: The History and Future of Reading

This clear-eyed exploration of the attitudes and trends around reading and books will likely provoke lively discussion. Recommended for anyone with an interest in these favorite forms of entertainment.

PREMIUM

Talking to Strangers: Selected Essays, Prefaces, and Other Writings 1967–2017

Despite the padding of several slight and flimsy items, this compilation will gratify Auster readers and grace most library shelves.

PREMIUM

Reading Behind Bars: A Memoir of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian

Recommended for those studying library and information science or who are interested in America’s prison system.

PREMIUM

Make It Scream, Make It Burn: Essays

Jamison’s observational skills, genuine empathy, and lack of sentimentality create an intelligent blending of journalism, scholarship (she directs the graduate nonfiction program at Columbia Univ.), and memoir.

Sontag: Her Life and Work

This excellent portrait of a complicated, brilliant individual will appeal to those interested in late 20th-century culture, LGBTQ studies, and literary scholarship.

PREMIUM

Lisbon Tales

A slice of Lisbon to form a tantalizing tart of tales.

PREMIUM

Gertrude Stein Has Arrived: The Homecoming of a Literary Legend

Accessible and engaging, this fresh look at Stein’s life is especially recommended for those interested in modernist literature.

PREMIUM

Coventry: Essays

These 17 essays are sassy, honest, and memorable. Readers will come away with numerous “aha” moments.

White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination

For readers fascinated by race and reparative writing, now and in American history, and the transformative potential of literature to change minds and emphasize our common humanity. [See Prepub Alert, 2/4/19.]
PREMIUM

Magill’s Literary Annual, 2019

A good starting point for research into current literature or as a readers’ advisory tool.

PREMIUM

New Russian Drama: An Anthology

Extensive coverage of controversial topics such as sex, drug use, and violence could offend those with a general interest in drama. Moreover, the experimental nature of some of these works will be an obstacle for many readers. Recommended for scholars, theater makers, and readers with a serious interest in world theater.

PREMIUM

March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women

Recommended for readers seeking a new look at this much-loved classic, the source of Alcott’s inspiration, and how contemporary authors have seen themselves evolve over time.

PREMIUM

Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian

Grant’s readable work both illuminates Bagehot’s life and places his writings in the conservative gold standard context of his time. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/19.]
PREMIUM

George Marshall: Defender of the Republic

Recommended for those interested in the latest World War II biographies. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/19.]

The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington

All readers will value this vivid account that corrects Mary’s record and reveals the dilemmas and distorted sensibility of Virginian slave-holding white women, along with the devastation caused by the Revolutionary War
PREMIUM

For the Love of Books: Stories of Literary Lives, Banned Books, Author Feuds, Extraordinary Characters, and More

The By the Book podcast meets Andre Bernard’s Now All We Need Is a Title, in this compulsively readable collection that may appeal to bibliophiles.

Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers

It’s not hard to imagine this work as a staple of creative writing course syllabi for years to come. A must for any library.

Don’t Read Poetry: A Book About How To Read Poems

A wonderful guide to a misunderstood art. Essential for all libraries.

I’m Telling the Truth, but I’m Lying: Essays

Visceral and unsettling, these essays will not easily be forgotten. A must-read.

PREMIUM

You Don’t Know Me: The Incarcerated Women of York Prison Voice Their Truths

The writing is polished and the stories compelling and often heartbreaking, but what this volume does best is change the women from faceless criminals into human beings deserving of dignity and compassion. For literary and sociology collections.

PREMIUM

Kathleen Hale Is a Crazy Stalker: Six Essays

Recommended for readers interested in creative nonfiction, especially the essay genre.

PREMIUM

Magical Realism for Non-Believers

A solid choice for large collections, especially where memoirs are popular.

PREMIUM

Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas

This earnest memoir is somewhat overstuffed with discussions of religion and Hollywood; the greatest appreciation will likely come from readers interested in a heartfelt look at self-acceptance as well as the complexities of family or personal stories about mending divides between liberal and conservative
PREMIUM

Notes from the Field

Creative and highly thought-provoking, this work should be read not only by those who wish to perform the monologs but by anyone seeking to understand an increasingly frightening and pervasive social ill.

Words and Worlds: From Autobiography to Zippers

Highly recommended for Lurie's fans and admirers of the essay genre.
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