Bookstore / Roundup

Bookseller Recommendations: August

Milkweed Staff — 07/24/2019

Our bookseller picks this month all come directly from shelf-talkers that we have in the Milkweed Books store. Shelf-talkers can, and do, take a lot of different forms in both our store and others across the country. The main point is to show a kind of enthusiasm and support for specific titles. They are short and not meant to be a review of the book per se but an idea, be it very specific or more general, of what a bookseller found compelling about that title. I remember being scared, early in my career, of how to do a seemingly simple thing and make it appear both witty and smart. We have hundreds of them on the shelves and tables and displays of our store—and hundreds more waiting to be re-ordered. What I love about these notes is that they show some character about the book and the author and the bookseller. We are lucky enough to have a small staff that reads across all genres and periods of time. These are some recent favorites.

Mostly Dead Things: A Novel
by Kristen Arnett
Tin House Books | June 2019 | $24.95

Believe the hype! This book is queer (in every sense of the word), funny, sad, and full of love. Buy now»​


The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race

by Neda Maghbouleh
Stanford University Press | September 2017 | $25.00

An eye-opening study of a demographic overlooked and demonized in the U.S. Maghbouleh pulls every thread to uncover why Iranian-Americans are othered while simultaneously in the “white” racial category on the census. This book couldn’t be more timely, yet has been relevant since the foundation of our country. Buy now»​


The Idiot: A Novel
by Elif Batuman

Penguin Books | February 2018 | $17.00

An impossibly witty book about a love and fascination with writing and language told through an unrequited love story. Finishing this book felt like saying goodbye to a friend. Buy now»​

Gold Boy, Emerald Girl: Stories

by Yiyun Li
Random House | September 2011 | $17.00

What I appreciated most were the deeply imagined characters, many of whom I totally disagreed with! I was totally sucked into their interior worlds and when I emerged again, was better for the journey. Set in a modern-day China undergoing massive change, these stories will transport you! Buy now»​


The Book of Delights: Essays

by Ross Gay
Algonquin Books | February 2019 | $23.95

Dare I say…delightful?! Before I was familiar with Ross Gay, this book struck me as self-help-y or nonfiction ‘lite.’ Then I read it, IT’S NOT. Don’t get me wrong—it is fun, lovely, joyful, but also biting and hilarious—even risque at times! Gay is deeply observant and entertaining. He is unafraid to delight in the wanderings of his own mind. It’s contagious! Buy now»​


Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping and Risking it All with the Greatest Chef in the World
by Jeff Gordinier

Tim Duggan Books | July 2019 | $26.00

After awhile a lot of food writing can seem the same, and even when interesting it can seem at best indulgent and, at worst, much worse than that. But Gordinier shows how Rene Redzepi fell in love with Mexico and its vast history and types of moles. It’s an engaging look at food and travel and people constantly pushing to learn and see more. Buy now»​

To see more reading suggestions from bookstore staff and from some of the bookstore’s favorite authors, click here.

To get bookseller recommendations and more fun literary stuff sent directly to your inbox, sign up for our bookstore newsletter.