Rebekah is a jack of all trades, a lightning bolt, a quicksilver image at the edge of perception. When she reads, it's like a wildfire on the prairie. She's worked in the bookstore since 2004.
Here's what Rebekah is reading right now. To see what she's read in the recent past, click here.
Yaa Gyasi's new book is so great! A deeply personal story of immigration and racism, of the tradition of religion and pursuit of science, of mental illness and addiction, and of mothers and daughters.
Brit Bennett has done it again! This story of twin sisters who go out on separate paths to find their own place in the era of fighting for Civil Rights is so beautifully written. What happens when one disavows everything she's been and leaves forever, and the other returns home again?
James Baldwin was such a genius! His novels, written in the 1950s-1970s read as through they could have been written yesterday. In this book, Eddie Glaude examines Baldwin's works through the lens of our current crisis.
Mikki Kendall is a powerhouse! She reminds us of the women of color that were left behind in the Women's Rights movement, and how we still have SO much more work to do. Why doesn't the current Women's Movement focus on hunger and health care, and other issues that are so important and affect millions of women everyday.
At once an historical look into the outbreak of the AIDS crisis in Chicago, and a tale of a mother’s desperate quest to find her estranged daughter, The Great Believers is, at heart, a story of friendship – how it evolves over time, adjusts over loss, and strengthens over turmoil. In Rebecca Makkai’s greatest work yet, we get entwined with a circle of friends, ostensibly being picked off one by one by the new disease; all while little sister of the first victim adopts a mission as group caretaker. Thirty years later, we see how her devotion to these men affected her relationship with her own family, when her daughter has cut all ties (joining a cult, and fleeing to Paris). With a soupcon of the avant-garde art scene, and a smidgeon of the dating over 50 scene, this novel pulls us into a sweeping tale with brilliantly-drawn characters and a remarkable story. -Rebekah Rine
I love Valeria Luiselli! From her debut duo Sidewalks/Faces in the Crowd to her inventive novel The Story of My Teeth, she is constantly playing with form, and the writing in her newest book (due out in February) is just as great. In Lost Children Archive, Luiselli takes the bones of a family road trip adventure, adds in a dose of the border crisis, and blends it all with her unique style to give us one excellent story.
A new Haruki Murakami novel is always a cause for celebration (shout out to Ms. Moon and Ms. Dalhaus for helping us do just that), and this one does not disappoint. Entwining all the usual suspects: a dissolved marriage and a quest to begin anew, a precocious young girl, a smidge of the mystic; plus adding in a great Renaissance painting and a Nazi assassination attempt makes this one a real treat. --Rebekah Rine
Such a great Wichita story, as well as a great memoir overall. Overcoming a cycle of teenage pregnancy, leaning on education to boost herself to success… We’re so proud of Sarah Smarsh and all of her success with this book – getting selected as a finalist for the National Book Award is, indeed, a Big Deal.
I was reminded about how much I loved this book a few weeks ago, upon reading the cover story in the New York Times Style Magazine. The Sellout was the first book by an American writer to win the Man Booker Prize back in 2016, and I picked it back up for a reread, and it’s just as good as I remembered: a true satire of genius proportions.
Looking back twenty years ago to her college days, Francesca (Chess) recounts her dreams and expectations of what late 80s New York City life would be like. Those dreams are fulfilled when she falls in with blue-haired, pill-popping, philosophy-quoting Kendra, and her decadent family that seems like literary royalty, despite their extreme dysfunction. When she takes a job for Kendra’s mother, and falls in love with Kendra’s brother, Chess is introduced to all the glamour and excitement she had hoped for, but also encounters the lowest low of 80s NYC. Now in 2008 Chess is encountering a different side of New York, in the midst of the financial crisis, and contemplates time and change and what became of her old friend Kendra.
Eleanor Oliphant has a life that is just fine. She works in an office. She eats pasta every night. On Fridays she treats herself to a frozen pizza. She talks to her mother every Wednesday. She doesn’t shop, she doesn’t cut her hair, and she certainly doesn’t socialize…until an old man stumbles in the street and she stumbles into an unlikely friendship with a colleague. Trying to navigate entering society with no arsenal of social norms is tough for Eleanor, especially while also beginning to finally deal with the childhood horror that left those scars all over her face. But when Eleanor’s completely fine life takes a turn for the worst, at least she has the support of a new friend to lean on.
The Nix takes a sardonic sweep over the last 70 years, nipping at education, politics, family, and even online gaming. Set firmly in the midwest, Nathan Hill's characters are somber and conflicted, but also funny and heartwarming. This was everything I want in a novel.
Brit Bennett takes a different view of the loving, doting mother in her new novel. Told from alternating perspectives: a pregnant teen trying to take control of her own life, to that teen's mother who committed suicide, to the gossiping church mothers intent on digging up secrets, this is a story of how even the most caring people can cause so much damage in others' lives. Bennett also using an interesting device of writing the church mothers in a collective voice - sort of a Greek chorus propelling the story. The Mothers is a great read, and compelling look at family and community.
So beautifully written, and such a great story. And those food descriptions!
This is an interesting look at classical music through conversations Murakami recorded with Seiji Ozawa, former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. They are both so passionate about music, I was compelled to spend a weekend listening to all my classical records.
This is such a fun tie-in to the show. Told in sort of a novel format, but also includes copies of journal entries and maps and photos from the evidence file. I can’t wait for the reboot next year.
This book is so great! A cerebral thriller for the literary set. In a world where words are weapons, is there anyone who can't be compromised? Great.
Four girls kept locked in a cellar for years, tortured physically and psychologically... Three come out. Ten years later they band together to seek the truth that will keep their captor behind bars, but what they find is even more horrifying than what they imagined. Author Koethi Zan will be at Watermark on July 18th.
A triple dose of classic Murakami, this new mega-novel takes us out of 1984 and into the parallel world our hero dubs 1?84. A mysterious woman, a plagiarizing writer, and a beautiful dyslexic drive this tale of dystopian intrigue. Originally published in Japan as 3 books, it’s combined here into one behemoth. But, even though it takes a while to get through the tome, Murakami’s spectacular prose and fantastic imagination makes it 100% worth the journey.
We are not kidding with the subtitle of this one (A Book of Raunch). Oh, it's raunchy...hilariously filthy.
Just check out these book trailers to get an idea of what you're in for with Nicholson Baker's latest novel:
My favorite is the Simon & Schuster staff trying to keep it together while reading a list of vocabulary from the book. Bruce Jacobs told me that Nicholson Baker loves words (and sex). And here's the proof.
This read isn't for everyone (or even many). But if you're in the mood for a smut-filled romp of magical realism, then pick up this guy.