Staff Pick
By all rights, this should be 2017’s Between the World and Me, a book of slim appearance and world-shaking power, from one of today’s best Mexican expat authors. It’s a bracing snapshot of the thoughts and feelings aroused in her while working as a translator for legal services in New York, aiding undocumented children from Central America. There’s anger at the lack of understanding that surrounds this situation, heartrending compassion for the children she has met, and conflicted emotions about her past and present home countries. Most profoundly, it conveys the urgent need for the U.S. to account for its political role in what is really a refugee crisis and not mere immigration.
Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions Cover Image
By Valeria Luiselli, Jon Lee Anderson (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781566894951
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Coffee House Press - April 4th, 2017

Staff Pick

Will Schwalbe wrote a beautiful memoir, an ode of sorts, titled The End of Your Life Book Club about a son and his dying mother learning to appreciate reading together again before they are no longer able. Now, in Books for Living, it is clear that his spark for finding meaningful connection through reading was reignited after his mother's passing. Schwalbe proves to be one of the greatest readers of our time, with his insights into the importance books bring to our lives. You will be delighted to find books on the list that you have read, and also be grateful for new titles to add to your must-reads.

Books for Living Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385353540
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - December 27th, 2016

Books for Living: Some Thoughts on Reading, Reflecting, and Embracing Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804172752
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - September 5th, 2017

Staff Pick

Anderson's marvelous book starts where Western civilization started, in Plato's cave. But unlike the Ancient, Anderson stays there. He celebrates the shadows, and in so doing, charts the many roads not quite taken. His inspired book is a brilliant, unrelenting survey of cities in legend, in films, in ruins, in novels, in ideology, in the sky, in the future, and beyond. It has an itinerary, if not an explicit argument, and Anderson probes each vision for its implicit definition of humanity and its solutions to problems of how to live, and especially how to live together. His comments are brief, but incisive, and often as irresistible as aphorisms. (“The idea of the city as a state of mind must factor in that minds and cities are by no means stable things.”) Thrilling as these comments are (nowhere else would King Kong and his ilk be characterized as “fervent architectural critics”), much of the book is descriptive, and perhaps the most amazing feat Anderson performs in this prodigious collection of places glimpsed by few and actually seen by fewer, is to bring each to vivid life using only the imagery of words. This fantasia of an essay, as it goes from Marco Polo’s half-remembered/half-invented East to the various Utopias of More, Francis Bacon, Campanella, and Léonidov, from the lost lands of Atlantis, Uruk, and Ji to Gaudí’s unrealized buildings for the site later occupied by the Twin Towers, from the visions of Italian Futurists to space-age Googie architecture—and more!—is truly a map of the imagination, that most teeming, sprawling, revelatory city of all.

Imaginary Cities: A Tour of Dream Cities, Nightmare Cities, and Everywhere in Between Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226470306
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Chicago Press - April 6th, 2017