Bookstore / Roundup

Bookseller Recommendations: November

Milkweed Staff — 11/01/2019

This month we’re recommending books hot off the press as well as ones we’ve loved for years, and we’ve really covered the field in terms of genre: we’ve got novels, short stories, nonfiction, poetry, and even an incredible new YA series. Come visit us in the bookstore and stock up on these essential titles—before it gets too cold to get outside!


Bookseller Recommendations: November


Night Angler: Poems
by Geffrey Davis

BoA Editions Ltd. | April 2019 | $17.00

Okay, full disclosure: Geffrey Davis was my teacher, so you could say I’m a little bit biased … or you could say this recommendation is informed by a knowledge including but not limited to this writer’s presence on the page. I’m going with the latter. What I admire most about this collection is its simultaneity, its effort to cast its subjects in lights that both flatter and condemn. The father that “[snaps] the neck of that twice-broken bird / before his child’s eyes” also “[hums] you are my sun- / shine each dark step of the way home.” The self that, at thirteen, was “lethal with a pellet gun” also shakes, weeps, and prays in the simple gift of changing his newborn’s diaper. Davis’s multivalence allows those that occupy his poems—father, self, son, beloved—to be human. To be “beautiful and resilient.” These poems are heavy with both pain and love; but above all, love. Read if you are a parent. Read if you are not (I’m not). Read, read, read; it is a necessary thing.


We the Animals: A Novel
by Justin Torres

Mariner Books | December 2012 | $13.99

This is Torres’s first novel, and it’s one of my favorite books of all time. It’s a fantastic coming of age story and the prose is beautiful; I had that rare feeling of wanting to re-read the book as soon as I finished.


Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel
by Bernardine Evaristo

Grove Press | November 2019 | $17.00

I’m choosing to look at the Booker Prize jury’s decision to split the award as glass half-full, if only for the fact that many people will now hear Bernardine Evaristo’s name in the same sentence as Margaret Atwood’s. Evaristo’s novel is a polyphonic and structurally singular epic. She manages to hit historical and contemporary notes on race and sexuality and gender. It is a novel about art without any sense of snobbery or elitism. It is funny and wonderful. Margaret Atwood is lucky to be in her company.


Bookseller Recommendations: November


Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
by Kwame Mbalia

Rick Riordan Presents | October 2019 | $17.99

The first in a new series, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky is a wire-to-wire thrill ride through African diasporic mythology! If you, like me, are 26, this is the book you’ve been waiting for since you were 10—it’s YA but still a great read for all ages! This book is magical and singularly brilliant.


In the Dream House: A Memoir
by Carmen Maria Machado

Greywolf Press | November 2019 | $26.00

Footnotes, queer relationships, folklore studies, Star Trek, Aimee Mann, domestic abuse—what do all of these things have in common? They’re all in Carmen Maria Machado’s dream house. This innovative memoir is told through a series of vignettes that jumps around in time and reflects the complicated memory recall associated with trauma and abuse. Machado digs into the scar tissue of the deepest wounds—be warned. She uses sleight of hand to draw attention to vivid, particular moments that ripple through the entire memoir. It isn’t often that I can wholeheartedly recommend a book. The hype is completely deserved.


Evening in Paradise: Stories
by Lucia Berlin

Farrar, Straus and Giroux | November 2018 | $17.00

I like reading stories that feel like you’re sitting across the table from the person telling them, and Lucia Berlin’s writing style embodies that in spades. With a gift for rendering the atmospheric sense of a place, Lucia Berlin traces her own remarkable path through mining towns, pre-revolutionary Chile, beatnik-era New York City, Paris, Mexico, and the American southwest. Berlin transforms herself into a character, at turns wide-eyed or cowgirl tough, tumbling through the turbulence of her own life. Read if you like traveling alone, serially dating artistic types, tequila sunrises, and hearing someone you love retell a story you’ve already heard a million times.


How to Date Men When You Hate Men
by Blythe Roberson

Flatiron Press | November 2019 | $19.99

I don’t actually hate men, categorically…and neither does Blythe Roberson, I don’t think. However! Dating men—as Roberson explores in this book’s deeply entertaining chapters—requires a certain … critical approach. The many obvious and not-so-obvious ways patriarchy infiltrates our relationships with men can create a veritable landmine for even the most astute daters among us. Thankfully, Roberson is here to help heal our psychic wounds, interpret male communication—chapter title: “Using My Four-Year College English Degree to Close-Read Texts From Men”—and become the person we want to date (it saves a lot of time). You will laugh-cry! Good gift for friends who also need a good laugh-cry.


If any of these books sound interesting to you, swing by the bookstore to pick up a copy; they’re all in stock! Mention our November recommendation list to get 10% off any one of the above titles. (One coupon per visit, please. Not valid with other offers.)

Thanks for reading, y’all! See you around.

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