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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.
97,196 Words: Essays

97,196 Words: Essays

Carrere, Emmanuel
$28.00

A selection of the best short work by France's greatest living nonfiction writer

No one writes nonfiction like Emmanuel Carrère. Although he takes cues from such literary heroes as Truman Capote and Janet Malcolm, Carrère has, over the course of his career, reinvented the form in a search for truth in all its guises. Dispensing with the rules of genre, he takes what he needs from every available form or discipline--be it theology, historiography, fiction, reportage, or memoir--and fuses it under the pressure of an inimitable combination of passion, curiosity, intellect, and wit. With an oeuvre unique in world literature for its blend of empathy and playfulness, Carrère stands as one of our most distinctive and important literary voices.

97,196 Words introduces Carrère's shorter works to an English-language audience. Featuring more than thirty extraordinary essays written over an illustrious twenty-five-year period of Carrère's creative life, this collection shows an exceptional mind at work. Spanning continents, histories, and personal relationships, and treating everything from American heroin addicts to the writing of In Cold Blood, from the philosophy of Philip K. Dick to a single haunting sentence in a minor story by H. P. Lovecraft, from Carrère's own botched interview with Catherine Deneuve to the week he spent following the future French president Emmanuel Macron, 97,196 Words considers the divides between truth, reality, and our shared humanity as it explores remarkable events and eccentric lives, including Carrère's own.

Coventry

Coventry

Cusk, Rachel
$27.00

NPR's Favorite Books of 2019

Rachel Cusk redrew the boundaries of fiction with the Outline Trilogy, three "literary masterpieces" (The Washington Post) whose narrator, Faye, perceives the world with a glinting, unsparing intelligence while remaining opaque to the reader. Lauded for the precision of her prose and the quality of her insight, Cusk is a writer of uncommon brilliance. Now, in Coventry, she gathers a selection of her nonfiction writings that both offers new insights on the themes at the heart of her fiction and forges a startling critical voice on some of our most urgent personal, social, and artistic questions.

Coventry encompasses memoir, cultural criticism, and writing about literature, with pieces on family life, gender, and politics, and on D. H. Lawrence, Françoise Sagan, and Kazuo Ishiguro. Named for an essay Cusk published in Granta ("Every so often, for offences actual or hypothetical, my mother and father stop speaking to me. There's a funny phrase for this phenomenon in England: it's called being sent to Coventry"), this collection is pure Cusk and essential reading for our age: fearless, unrepentantly erudite, and dazzling to behold.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Didion, Joan
$16.00

Beautifully repackaged as part of the Picador Modern Classics Series, this special edition is small enough to fit in your pocket and bold enough to stand out on your bookshelf.

Celebrated, iconic, and indispensable, Joan Didion's first work of nonfiction,
Slouching Towards Bethlehem, is considered a watershed moment in American writing. First published in 1968, the collection was critically praised as one of the "best prose written in this country."

More than perhaps any other book, this collection by one of the most distinctive prose stylists of our era captures the unique time and place of Joan Didion's focus, exploring subjects such as John Wayne and Howard Hughes, growing up in California and the nature of good and evil in a Death Valley motel room, and, especially, the essence of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, the heart of the counterculture. As Joyce Carol Oates remarked: "[Didion] has been an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time, a memorable voice, partly eulogistic, partly despairing; always in control."

Same Gate: A Collection of Writings in the Spirit of Rumi (None)

Same Gate: A Collection of Writings in the Spirit of Rumi (None)

Durovicova, Natasa
$15.00
Featuring 17 poets and writers from around the world in a setting devoted to the contemplation of Rumi's long-standing importance, this collection offers a series of dynamic essay-reflections from the US, Iran, Mexico, Afghanistan, Syria, Sweden, France, Turkey, and Pakistan.
Sunshine State: Essays

Sunshine State: Essays

Gerard, Sarah
$15.99

Longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

A New York Times Critics' Best Books of the Year - An NPR Best Book of the Year - A NYLON Best Nonfiction Book of the Year - A Buzzfeed Best Nonfiction Book of the Year - An Entrophy Magazine Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year - A Brooklyn Rail Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year - A Baltimore Beat Best Book of the Year

A Paris Review Staff Pick - A Chicago Tribune Exciting Book for 2017 - A Rolling Stone Culture Index Reccomendation - A Buzzfeed Most Exciting Book for 2017 - A The Millions Great 2017 Book Preview Pick - A Huffington Post 2017 Preview Pick - A NYLON Best 10 Books of the Month - A Lit Hub 15 Books to Read This Month A Poets & Writers New and Noteworth Selection - A PW Top 10 Spring Pick in Essays & Literary Criticism- An Emma Straub Reccomendation on PBS

"One of the themes of 'Sunshine State, ' Sarah Gerard's striking book of essays, is how Florida can unmoor you and make you reach for shoddy, off-the-shelf solutions to your psychic unease.... The first essay is a knockout, a lurid red heart wrapped in barbed wire.... This essay draws blood." -- Dwight Garner, New York Times

"Unflinchingly candid memoir bolstered by thoughtfully researched history.... A nuanced and subtly intimate mosaic... her writing, lucid yet atmospheric, takes on a timeless ebb and flow." -- Jason Heller, NPR.org

"Stunning." -- Rolling Stone

"These large-hearted, meticulous essays offer an uncanny x-ray of our national psyche... showing us both the grand beauty of our American dreams and the heartbreaking devastation they wreak." -- Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

Sarah Gerard follows her breakout novel, Binary Star, with the dynamic essay collection Sunshine State, which explores Florida as a microcosm of the most pressing economic and environmental perils haunting our society.

In the collection's title essay, Gerard volunteers at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, a world renowned bird refuge. There she meets its founder, who once modeled with a pelican on his arm for a Dewar's Scotch campaign but has since declined into a pit of fraud and madness. He becomes our embezzling protagonist whose tales about the birds he "rescues" never quite add up. Gerard's personal stories are no less eerie or poignant: An essay that begins as a look at Gerard's first relationship becomes a heart-wrenching exploration of acquaintance rape and consent. An account of intimate female friendship pivots midway through, morphing into a meditation on jealousy and class.

With the personal insight of The Empathy Exams, the societal exposal of Nickel and Dimed, and the stylistic innovation and intensity of her own break-out debut novel Binary Star, Sarah Gerard's Sunshine State uses the intimately personal to unearth the deep reservoirs of humanity buried in the corners of our world often hardest to face.

 

 

Roxanne says: Fascinating, amazed Gerard lived to tell it. A product of dysfunction absorbed but recreated her on life. Florida history as well!

Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault

Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault

Guisewite, Cathy
$17.00
A National Bestseller

From the creator of the iconic Cathy comic strip comes her first collection of funny, wise, poignant, and incredibly honest essays about being a woman in what she lovingly calls "the panini generation."

As the creator of Cathy, Cathy Guisewite found her way into the hearts of readers more than forty years ago, and has been there ever since. Her hilarious and deeply relatable look at the challenges of womanhood in a changing world became a cultural touchstone for women everywhere. Now Guisewite returns with her signature wit and warmth in this essay collection about another time of big transition, when everything starts changing and disappearing without permission: aging parents, aging children, aging self stuck in the middle.

With her uniquely wry and funny admissions and insights, Guisewite unearths the humor and horror of everything from the mundane (trying to introduce her parents to TiVo and facing four decades' worth of unorganized photos) to the profound (finding a purpose post-retirement, helping parents downsize their lives, and declaring freedom from all those things that hold us back). No longer confined to the limits of four cosmic panels, Guisewite holds out her hand in prose form and becomes a reassuring companion for those on the threshold of "what happens next." Heartfelt and humane and always cathartic, Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault is ideal reading for mothers, daughters, and anyone who is caught somewhere in between.

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.
I Might Regret This

I Might Regret This

Jacobson, Abbi
$16.99
From the co-creator and co-star of the hit series Broad City, a "poignant, funny, and beautifully unabashed" (Cheryl Strayed) essay collection about love, loss, work, comedy, and figuring out who you really are when you thought you already knew.

When Abbi Jacobson announced to friends and acquaintances that she planned to drive across the country alone, she was met with lots of questions and opinions: Why wasn't she going with friends? Wouldn't it be incredibly lonely? The North route is better! Was it safe for a woman? The Southern route is the way to go! You should bring mace! And a common one... why? But Abbi had always found comfort in solitude, and needed space to step back and hit the reset button. As she spent time in each city and town on her way to Los Angeles, she mulled over the big questions-- What do I really want? What is the worst possible scenario in which I could run into my ex? How has the decision to wear my shirts tucked in been pivotal in my adulthood?

In this collection of anecdotes, observations and reflections--all told in the sharp, wildly funny, and relatable voice that has endeared Abbi to critics and fans alike--readers will feel like they're in the passenger seat on a fun and, ultimately, inspiring journey. With some original illustrations by the author.

Do You Mind If I Cancel?

Do You Mind If I Cancel?

Janetti, Gary
$27.99

The Instant New York Times Bestseller

"From "Family Guy" to his own Instagram account, Janetti has been behind some of his generation's greatest comedy. This book of essays is no exception."
-- The New York Times

Fans of David Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, and Tina Fey... meet your new friend Gary Janetti.

Gary Janetti, the writer and producer for some of the most popular television comedies of all time, and creator of one of the most wickedly funny Instagram accounts there is, now turns his skills to the page in a hilarious, and poignant book chronicling the pains and indignities of everyday life.

Gary spends his twenties in New York, dreaming of starring on soap operas while in reality working at a hotel where he lusts after an unattainable colleague and battles a bellman who despises it when people actually use a bell to call him. He chronicles the torture of finding a job before the internet when you had to talk on the phone all the time, and fantasizes, as we all do, about who to tell off when he finally wins an Oscar. As Gary himself says, "These are essays from my childhood and young adulthood about things that still annoy me."

Original, brazen, and laugh out loud funny, Do You Mind If I Cancel? is something not to be missed.

Bad Side of Books

Bad Side of Books

Lawrence, D.H.
$19.95
You could describe D.H. Lawrence as the great multi-instrumentalist among the great writers of the twentieth century. He was a brilliant, endlessly controversial novelist who transformed, for better and for worse, the way we write about sex and emotions; he was a wonderful poet; he was an essayist of burning curiosity, expansive lyricism, odd humor, and radical intelligence, equaled, perhaps, only by Virginia Woolf. Here Geoff Dyer, one of the finest essayists of our day, draws on the whole range of Lawrence's published essays to reintroduce him to a new generation of readers for whom the essay has become an important genre. We get Lawrence the book reviewer, writing about Death in Venice and welcoming Ernest Hemingway; Lawrence the travel writer, in Mexico and New Mexico and Italy; Lawrence the memoirist, depicting his strange sometime-friend Maurice Magnus; Lawrence the restless inquirer into the possibilities of the novel, writing about the novel and morality and addressing the question of why the novel matters; and, finally, the Lawrence who meditates on birdsong or the death of a porcupine in the Rocky Mountains. Dyer's selection of Lawrence's essays is a wonderful introduction to a fundamental, dazzling writer.
Words Are My Matter

Words Are My Matter

Le Guin, Ursula K.
$15.99
A collection of essays on life and literature, from one of the most iconic authors and astute critics in contemporary letters.

Words Are My Matter is essential reading: a collection of talks, essays, and criticism by Ursula K. Le Guin, a literary legend and unparalleled voice of our social conscience. Here she investigates the depth and breadth of contemporary fiction--and, through the lens of literature, gives us a way of exploring the world around us.

In "Freedom," Le Guin notes: "Hard times are coming, when we'll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now ... to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We'll need writers who can remember freedom--poets, visionaries--realists of a larger reality."

Le Guin was one of those authors and in Words Are My Matter she gives us just that: a vision of a better reality, fueled by the power and might and hope of language and literature.

Words and Worlds

Words and Worlds

Lurie, Alison
$16.00
In this candid and bluntly humorous collection of essays on a wide range of topics, Lurie begins with a candid portrait of her life at Radcliffe during World War II when the smartest women in the country were treated like second-class citizens, the most scholarly among them expected to work in factories to support the war effort. She moves on to her unheralded, clumsy attempts and near failure to be a writer, and finally having reached a level of recognition, the great good fortune of forming close relationships with other writers and editors and great thinkers, including Robert Silver of the New York Review of Books, the poet James Merrill and the illustrator, Edward Gorey. On this fascinating journey, we are amused by her insightful, often delightfully funny meditations on topics like "deconstruction" and beloved children's literature series such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Harry Potter, and Barbar. A crowning reminiscence from a much beloved and celebrated writer.--Boston Globe
Source of Self-Regard

Source of Self-Regard

Morrison, Toni
$16.95
Here is Toni Morrison in her own words: a rich gathering of her most important essays and speeches, spanning four decades.

These pages give us her searing prayer for the dead of 9/11, her Nobel lecture on the power of language, her searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr., her heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin. She looks deeply into the fault lines of culture and freedom: the foreigner, female empowerment, the press, money, "black matter(s)," human rights, the artist in society, the Afro-American presence in American literature. And she turns her incisive critical eye to her own work (The Bluest Eye, Sula, Tar Baby, Jazz, Beloved, Paradise) and that of others.

An essential collection from an essential writer, The Source of Self-Regard shines with the literary elegance, intellectual prowess, spiritual depth, and moral compass that have made Toni Morrison our most cherished and enduring voice.

"Profoundly insightful. . . . Speaks to today's social and political moment as directly as this morning's headlines." --NPR

World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

Nezhukumatathil, Aimee
$25.00

From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction--a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.
As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted--no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape--she was able to turn to our world's fierce and funny creatures for guidance.
"What the peacock can do," she tells us, "is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life." The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world's gifts.
Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.

Poetry Handbook

Poetry Handbook

Oliver, Mary
$14.99
With passion, wit, and good common sense, the celebrated poet Mary Oliver tells of the basic ways a poem is built-meter and rhyme, form and diction, sound and sense. Drawing on poems from Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and others, Oliver imparts an extraordinary amount of information in a remarkably short space. "Stunning" (Los Angeles Times). Index.
Little Weirds

Little Weirds

Slate, Jenny
$27.00
One of Vanity Fair's Great Quarantine Reads: Step into Jenny Slate's wild imagination in this "magical" (Mindy Kaling), "delicious" (Amy Sedaris), and "poignant" (John Mulaney) New York Times bestseller about love, heartbreak, and being alive -- "this book is something new and wonderful" (George Saunders).You may "know" Jenny Slate from her new Netflix special, "Stage Fright," or as the creator of Marcel the Shell, or as the star of "Obvious Child." But you don't really know Jenny Slate until you get bonked on the head by her absolutely singular writing style. To see the world through Jenny's eyes is to see it as though for the first time, shimmering with strangeness and possibility.As she will remind you, we live on an ancient ball that rotates around a bigger ball made up of lights and gasses that are science gasses, not farts (don't be immature). Heartbreak, confusion, and misogyny stalk this blue-green sphere, yes, but it is also a place of wild delight and unconstrained vitality, a place where we can start living as soon as we are born, and we can be born at any time. In her dazzling, impossible-to-categorize debut, Jenny channels the pain and beauty of life in writing so fresh, so new, and so burstingly alive, we catch her vision like a fever and bring it back out into the bright day with us, and everything has changed.

Intimations: Six Essays

Intimations: Six Essays

Smith, Zadie
$10.95

"Intimations captures the uneasiness of our modern moment as Smith reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic and relates it to issues of privilege and inequity. Her urgent voice tackles everything from what becomes important during isolation to the global response to George Floyd's killing. The author asks questions, both timely and timeless, about how we respond to crisis and suffering." --TIME, Best New Books of July

 

Deeply personal and powerfully moving, a short and timely series of reflective essays by one of the most clear-sighted and essential writers of our time

 

Written during the early months of lockdown, Intimationsexplores ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation. What does it mean to submit to a new reality--or to resist it? How do we compare relative sufferings? What is the relationship between time and work? In our isolation, what do other people mean to us? How do we think about them? What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis? When an unfamiliar world arrives, what does it reveal about the world that came before it?

 

Suffused with a profound intimacy and tenderness in response to these extraordinary times, Intimationsis a slim, suggestive volume with a wide scope, in which Zadie Smith clears a generous space for thought, open enough for each reader to reflect on what has happened--and what should come next.

 

The author will donate her royalties from the sale of Intimations to charity.