Staff Pick

Funny, spirited, touching—this is vintage Donald Hall. His outlook is signaled in the first essay, where being old is described as a state in which “you learn” about the world in new ways—even if it’s just that “you learn it’s May by noticing that daffodils erupt outside your window.”  Being old does not mean that you just hang around passively, and “when an essay of reminiscence takes eighty-four drafts,” Hall is being anything but passive.  He’s also as honest as he is humorous; yes, being old also means naps and a compulsion to notice how and at what age people die. It means easy things are now hard and hard things are impossible. It means younger people stop seeing you.  But most of all, it means there are more memories to draw on. This collection chronicles people and places that will be familiar from Hall’s earlier poems and essays, and if he reiterates themes, he offers fresh observations—he’s never seen things from a nonagenarian’s perspective, after all—and tells new stories. These mostly brief anecdotes, profiles, and impressions are as sharply observed and wittily reported as ever, whether from Hall’s childhood, his marriages, or last week. Since writing is exhausting, he makes the most of every sentence, capturing writers as varied as Bellow, Pound, Dickey, and Faulkner at a glance. Hall had a long and rich life, and these essays splendidly curate the treasures, giving the title’s “losses” a distinctly bittersweet edge.

A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328826343
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - July 10th, 2018

Staff Pick

This book questions the boundaries between the real and the unreal in social media, intimacy, embodiedness, and ways deep diving into ourselves often leads us to increasingly strange and distant places. Beautifully written and incredibly nuanced, this debut collection is eerie, uncomfortable, and dreamy all at once. Ultimately Hodson’s project is an astonishing chronicle of intensity which reads as a wonderfully strange and rewarding experience. 

Tonight I'm Someone Else: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250170194
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Holt Paperbacks - June 5th, 2018

Staff Pick

Alexander Chee’s essay collection is a gift. Some of these essays have been published before, but taken together they offer an incredibly honest inward look, not just into Chee's life, but frequently into my own. They hold up a mirror to my own worries and anger and fear, despite often describing a life not at all like mine. Encouraging readers to examine their own lives is one of the best gifts a writer can give, and I feel honored and lucky to have read this incredible collection.

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328764522
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Mariner Books - April 17th, 2018