We the Animals - Justin Torres

Justin Torres’s slender, spare debut novel is the story of three mixed-race brothers growing up amid the chaos of their dysfunctional family in New York. The prose is clean, evocative, and purposeful, recounting the boys’ coming-of-age experiences in a series of vignettes. We The Animals (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $18) manages to tackle the underside of family life, the complexities of sibling relationships, and a few other social taboos with emotion at once raw and deeply touching. I loved this book and am excited to have been introduced to Justin Torres, an exciting and talented new addition to the literary scene.

We The Animals By Justin Torres Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547844190
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - September 11th, 2012

Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff - Calvin Trillin

Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff (Random House, $27) by Calvin Trillin draws from two-score years of Trillin’s incomparably written humor and satire in The New Yorker, the Nation, and his many books. It runs the gamut, touching (of course) on food, economics, the media, science and technology, the literary world, and family matters, among others. All classics, these pieces can be read over and over and always elicit a chuckle. The political poems offer eternal mirth, perhaps best exemplified in the ode to Sarah Palin entitled, “On a Clear Day I Can See Vladivostok.”  The book is sure to provide the levity we will all be craving as the 2012 election season wears on.

Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff By Calvin Trillin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812982213
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - December 4th, 2012

Thoughts Without Cigarettes - Oscar Hijuelos

This memoir from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Oscar Hijuelos tells the story of his Cuban-American upbringing in New York City as his immigrant parents charted their own path in a new country. One fascinating subtext of Thoughts Without Cigarettes (Gotham, $27.50) deals with a serious illness Hijuelos experienced as a child and the pressures his condition exerted on a family already under strain. Hijuelos is best when describing how, trapped for years in a stifling job at an advertising agency, he latched onto his passion for writing, along with a few mentors who shepherded him along. I loved the honesty of the book, and the vivid and unvarnished memories Hijuelos shares even if, at times, I felt there were holes in the story.

Thoughts without Cigarettes: A Memoir By Oscar Hijuelos Cover Image
ISBN: 9781592407187
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Avery - June 5th, 2012