Bookseller Recommendations: September
This week marks two years since we opened Milkweed Books, our independent bookstore in the Open Book building. On September 20th, 2016, our small crew of booksellers, our publishing team, and hundreds of supporters like you came together to celebrate the grand opening of this place: an outlet for readers, a resource for our neighborhood, a haven for independent presses, a trove of ideas about what bookstores and publishing can be. A shop we hope has something to surprise and delight anyone who comes to visit.
This year, we’re kicking off the store’s anniversary with a rare and exciting public reading with Milkweed Editions poets Ada Limón, William Brewer, and Parneshia Jones. The next day, we’ll host our annual all-day party in the bookstore, featuring a street sale, coffee and treats, the launch of our poetry gumball machine, and special book bundles from some of our favorite authors.
We’re also marking the occasion by sharing with you more of what we do here—what we’re reading, what we’re selling, and who we are. In the coming months, you can expect to see more staff recommendations and other fun literary stuff we specialize in here on the blog. And to keep up with bestsellers, store highlights, and more from our bookselling team, SIGN UP for our ✨NEW bookstore-focused newsletter!✨
Here are this month’s recommendations, in which four real people suggest good books we think you might like, too.
Cheers to two years in and the many more ahead. Read on!
A Key to Treehouse Living
by Elliot Reed
Tin House Books | September 2018 | $19.95
This is a book where you don’t notice the plot unraveling until you are in the thick of it. It follows William, a young boy who is being raised by his uncle, as he tries to find himself and why his parents left him. The book is broken up into an alphabetized glossary of William’s knowledge on subjects ranging from FAULTY WISHING and LETTERS READ IN PRIVATE, to OPERATIC FALSETTO. Once I finished this book I had a small desire to open it up and reread it again. Buy now»
After the Winter
by Guadalupe Nettel, trans. Rosalind Harvey
Coffee House Press | September 2018 | $16.95
This dreamy, globe-trotting novel follows Claudio and Cecilia, both passing their days in mirror versions of loneliness—his strictly enforced to maintain order and detachment, hers brought on by the isolation of living in a new and strange place. The themes are deep (love, solitude, abandonment, death) but Nettel’s sentences are light and crisp, her pages brimming with references to writers and musicians you’ll want to seek out as soon as you finish reading. A sophisticated and contemplative book for the cozy days ahead. Buy now»
Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours:
Adapted to Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Minerology, Anatomy and the Art
by Patrick Syme
Smithsonian Books | February 2018 | $14.95
Originally published in 1814, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours: Adapted to Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Minerology, Anatomy and the Arts is exactly as fantastical as it sounds. It is a taxonomic color guide and a beautiful physical object. You may not know the difference between Buff Orange and Dutch Orange and Orpiment Orange, but it’s fun getting to figure it out. Buy now»
by Banana Yoshimoto
Grove Press | April 2006 | $16.00
This book has So. Much. Charm. I’ve already bought it and loaned it to a friend to read. Any food lover will relate to a main character who lights up at the mere presence of a great dish. The story tracks a young modern Japanese woman in the aftermath of a major loss. The narrator’s sincerity is disarming. The way she navigates the world with self-compassion and a kind of psychological spaciousness may make you re-think how you live your life. Buy now»