Milkweed Books: Our Favorite Books to Give in 2016

Bookstore / Roundup

Milkweed Books: Our Favorite Books to Give in 2016

Hans Weyandt — 12/08/2016

Most bookstores do year-end lists and highlight the titles their booksellers have enjoyed selling over the past year. But given the fact that we (as Milkweed Books booksellers) have only been here for the past ten or so weeks, we've taken a slightly different approach. I'm happy to present this baker's dozen of books as a fair offering from us as a brand-new bookselling team. We have a shared love of quirky and well-done YA and science fiction. We're into food and plants as both filling and illuminating. A mix of fiction and nonfiction and poetry.

As our stock grows and we continue to gel as a team of booksellers, our goal is the same as any small, good bookstore's: to be a friendly and helpful staff that reads widely and deeply, locally and globally. What books have you discovered and loved this year? We love to hear from our readers, and we hope to see you in the store soon.

—Hans Weyandt
Bookstore Manager
Milkweed Books

PS: Milkweed Books is a small store—just six hundred square feet—which means we may not always have exactly what you're looking for. (In that case, we hope you'll find exactly what you didn't know you needed!) But if you're set on a certain title, we're always happy to fulfill special orders (in person, or over the phone), and can rush delivery to your door or ours. Our gift certificates also make excellent—well, gifts.

 

Shakespeare and Company: A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart 
(Shakespeare and Company Paris, 2016) 
edited by Krista Halverson

"Shakespeare and Company has been one of my favorite places since I first visited when I was thirteen, and I have made many pilgrimages back in the years since. Nowhere else has so clearly modeled for me the world of books as one of radical love and acceptance, where weirdness and otherness are treasured and protected. All of that is tenderly depicted here, with photographs and handwritten letters from writers, artists, and travelers who have made it their own shop of the heart over its sixty-five-year history."
—Daley, Bookseller & Events Coordinator

Bestiary ​(Graywolf Press, 2016) 
by Donika Kelly

"'What kind of bird is she? Foul.' Donika Kelly’s Bestiary is the kind of collection you’ll want to read and reread in the same sitting. Centering around animals both real and fantastic, her poems are smart and pretty without being delicate. It’s an incredible debut about survival, isolation, and the strangeness of the wild."
—Celia, Bookseller & Warehouse Manager

The Story of My Heart (Torrey House Press, 2014)
by Richard Jefferies as rediscovered by Brooke Williams and Terry Tempest Williams

"Brooke and Terry Tempest Williams republished this forgotten gem of nature writing after they came across the original printing in a dusty Maine bookstore. Richard Jefferies's original sections are an ecstatic, radically lyrical series of reflections on nature and the self, expressed with unmatched passion and vitality. Terry Tempest Williams's introduction and Brooke Williams's essays throughout are honest explorations of their own lives spent in the natural world, and of Jefferies as a prescient predecessor."
—Daley, Bookseller & Events Coordinator

The Defiant (McSweeney's, 2015) 
by M. Quint

"I am jealous of any kid who gets The Defiant by M. Quint this holiday season. When an unspecified disaster strikes the mainland, a diverse group of six misfit students is faced with learning how to sail and survive on the legendary recovered ship, The Defiant. On their voyage they learn how to fish and make fires, fight off sharks and seals, and attempt to get along with each other and the mysterious strangers they encounter. Lily Padula’s exciting and energetic illustrations make M. Quint's tale a great gift for middle school age children who like adventure—even those who are skeptical of books."
—Celia, Bookseller & Warehouse Manager

Into the Sun (Milkweed Editions, 2016)
by Deni Ellis Béchard

"We read this book together as interns when I first started at Milkweed. We finished it at the same time and spent the following morning gushing about it. Into the Sun subverts the conventions of the dashing imperial adventurer narrative but employs its vigorous pacing to build this smart pageturner. After a car explosion in Kabul leaves three expats dead, a journalist attempts to solve the mysteries of their deaths, pasts, and relationships."
—Daley, Bookseller & Events Coordinator & Celia, Bookseller & Warehouse Manager

 

We have also greatly enjoyed:

The Adventures of Joe Harper (Outpost19, 2016) 
by Phong Nguyen

—Hans, Bookstore Manager

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants (Milkweed Editions, 2014) 
by Robin Wall Kimmerer

—Lars, Bookseller

The Mortifications (Tim Duggan Books, 2016) 
by Derek Palacio

—Hans, Bookstore Manager

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (Riverhead, 2016) 
by Helen Oyeyemi

—Berit, Bookseller

Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation (Tor Books, 2016)
edited and translated by Ken Liu

—Lars, Bookseller

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days (Grove Press, 2016) 
by Jeanette Winterson

—Berit, Bookseller

Herbarium (Thames & Hudson, 2016)
by Caz Hildebrand

—Hans, Bookstore Manager

Lucky Peach Presents Power Vegetables: Turbocharged Recipes for Vegetables with Guts (Clarkson Potter, 2016)
by Peter Meehan

—Berit, Bookseller

 

Hans Weyandt is the Manager at Milkweed Books, an independent bookstore located in Open Book and operated by Milkweed Editions. With over twenty years of bookselling experience, including as co-owner of Micawbers Books in St. Paul, Hans is also the editor of Read This: Handpicked Favorites from America's Indie Bookstores—essential reading for any bibliophiles looking to round out their collections.