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Essays

How To Read and Why

How To Read and Why

Bloom, Harold
$16.00
Information is endlessly available to us; where shall wisdom be found?" is the crucial question with which renowned literary critic Harold Bloom begins this impassioned book on the pleasures and benefits of reading well. For more than forty years, Bloom has transformed college students into lifelong readers with his unrivaled love for literature. Now, at a time when faster and easier electronic media threatens to eclipse the practice of reading, Bloom draws on his experience as critic, teacher, and prolific reader to plumb the great books for their sustaining wisdom.
Shedding all polemic, Bloom addresses the solitary reader, who, he urges, should read for the purest of all reasons: to discover and augment the self. His ultimate faith in the restorative power of literature resonates on every page of this infinitely rewarding and important book.
I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are

I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are

Bloom, Rachel
$17.99
A collection of sidesplitting personal essays, poems, and even amusement park maps on the subjects of insecurity, fame, anxiety, and much more from the charming and wickedly funny co-creator and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Rachel Bloom has felt out of place her whole life, whether in the hallowed halls of Manhattan Beach Middle School or on Twitter. So she's decided to figure out exactly what makes her so different. I WANT TO BE WHERE THE NORMAL PEOPLE ARE is a hilarious exploration of all of Rachel Bloom's formative missteps, mishaps, and misanthropic moments. In a collection of laugh-out-loud funny essays, all told in the unique voice (sometimes singing voice) that made her a star, Rachel writes about everything she thought made her abnormal, from her struggles with mental health, to her love of Disney and Spanx, to the story of how she didn't poop in the toilet until she was four. Her stories are hilarious, smart, and infinitely relatable (except for the pooping thing).
Where I Come From

Where I Come From

Bragg, Rick
$26.95
From the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All Over but the Shoutin' and The Best Cook in the World, a collection of irresistible columns from Southern Living and Garden & Gun

Celebrated author and newspaper columnist Rick Bragg brings us an ode to the stories and history of the Deep South, filled with "eclectic nuggets about places and people he knows well" (USA Today) and written with honesty, wit, and deep affection.

A collection of wide-ranging and endearingly personal columns--from Bragg's love of Tupperware (his mother preferred margarine tubs and thought Tupperware was "just showing off") to the decline of country music, from the legacy of Harper Lee to the metamorphosis of the pickup truck to the best way to kill fire ants--Where I Come From is a book that will be treasured by fans old and new.

Matter of Black Lives: Writing from the New Yorker

Matter of Black Lives: Writing from the New Yorker

Cobb, Jelani
$35.00

A collection of The New Yorker's groundbreaking writing on race in America--including work by James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Hilton Als, Zadie Smith, and more--with a foreword by Jelani Cobb

This anthology from the pages of theNew Yorker provides a bold and complex portrait of Black life in America, told through stories of private triumphs and national tragedies, political vision and artistic inspiration. It reaches back across a century, with Rebecca West's classic account of a 1947 lynching trial and James Baldwin's "Letter from a Region in My Mind" (which later formed the basis of The Fire Next Time), and yet it also explores our current moment, from the classroom to the prison cell and the upheavals of what Jelani Cobb calls "the American Spring." Bringing together reporting, profiles, memoir, and criticism from writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Elizabeth Alexander, Hilton Als, Vinson Cunningham, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Malcolm Gladwell, Jamaica Kincaid, Kelefa Sanneh, Doreen St. Félix, and others, the collection offers startling insights about this country's relationship with race. The Matter of Black Lives reveals the weight of a singular history, and challenges us to envision the future anew.



Coventry

Cusk, Rachel
$17.00

Slouching Towards Bethlehem : Essays

Didion, Joan
$17.00
White Album

White Album

Didion, Joan
$15.00

Nora says: I was prompted to re-read Didion after hearing of her passing, and am once again moved by her intellect, her observations, her style. The White Album is a great place to start if you haven't read her non-fiction yet. Critics have pointed to the pieces on the sixties and James Jones' Hawaii as prime examples of her idiosyncratic style , but for my money, Many Mansions (Ronald Reagan's failed Governor's mansion project) and Quiet Days In Malibu (orchid breeding), are right up there!


 

"Didion is an original journalistic talent who can strike at the heart, or the absurdity, of a matter in our contemporary wasteland with quick, graceful strokes." –San Francisco Chronicle

 

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live . . . We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images . . . Or at least we do for a while."

 

First published in 1979, The White Album is a mosaic—of people, places, events—from the late 1960s and 1970s. Among other artifacts and personalities from those years, it includes the dark journeys and impulses of the Manson family, a Black Panther Party press conference, portraits of Doris Lessing and Georgia O'Keeffe, the romance of water in an arid landscape, and a visit to the disorienting city of Bogota—a varied and vibrant portrait of the times as seen through Joan Didion's clear-eyed perspective. With commanding sureness of mood and language, she exposes the realities and dreams of that age of self discovery whose spiritual center was California.

In the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing

In the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing

Ferrante, Elena
$20.00

Four new and revelatory essays by the author of My Brilliant Friend and The Lost Daughter.

In 2020, Claire Luchette in O, The Oprah Magazine described the beloved Italian novelist Elena Ferrante as "an oracle among authors." Here, in these four crisp essays, Ferrante offers a rare look at the origins of her literary powers. She writes about her influences, her struggles, and her formation as both a reader and a writer; she describes the perils of "bad language" and suggests ways in which it has long excluded women's truth; she proposes a choral fusion of feminine talent as she brilliantly discourses on the work of Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, Ingeborg Bachmann, and many others.

Here is a subtle yet candid book by "one of the great novelists of our time" about adventures in literature, both in and out of the margins.

"Everyone should read everything with Elena Ferrante's name on it."--The Boston Globe

Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick

Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick

Hardwick, Elizabeth; Pinckney,
$19.95
The first-ever collection of essays from across Elizabeth Hardwick's illustrious writing career, including works not seen in print for decades.

A New York Times Notable Book of 2017

Elizabeth Hardwick wrote during the golden age of the American literary essay. For Hardwick, the essay was an imaginative endeavor, a serious form, criticism worthy of the literature in question. In the essays collected here she covers civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s, describes places where she lived and locations she visited, and writes about the foundations of American literature--Melville, James, Wharton--and the changes in American fiction, though her reading is wide and international. She contemplates writers' lives--women writers, rebels, Americans abroad--and the literary afterlife of biographies, letters, and diaries. Selected and with an introduction by Darryl Pinckney, the Collected Essays gathers more than fifty essays for a fifty-year retrospective of Hardwick's work from 1953 to 2003. "For Hardwick," writes Pinckney, "the poetry and novels of America hold the nation's history." Here is an exhilarating chronicle of that history.

Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry

Hirshfield, Jane
$15.99