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One of the many pleasures of a bookstore is that you can come in without knowing what you want to read and find new titles that catch your eye. At Literati, you can come back several times in one week and each time see completely different titles on our front table, where we highlight the best new releases. We closed our doors on March 13, which means our front table hasn’t really changed since then, but books have continued releasing, even as their author events and tours have been cancelled or moved online. We know many of you miss browsing through the shelves and discovering what’s new in the book world, so we’ve put together a virtual front table where you can e-browse and continue to support these authors’ new books.
In the first twenty years of marriage to Don Galvin, his wife Mimi bore twelve children, and six of them were diagnosed in their lifetime with schizophrenia. All of these births were too late to have prompted pregnancy counseling.This Colorado family became both the best hope for finding a genetic link and a cure to our most feared mental illness, and the reality check for how difficult it would be. From Freud's theory about the destruction of the ego, to nurture theories of "refrigerator mothers," and the as yet unfulfilled promise of psychotropic drugs and genome sequencing, the author shows us how far we've come. He also manages to paint memorable portraits of each of the family members (nine of the children are still living) and the researchers who have followed them for decades. – Carla
Obit is a difficult book, and I mean difficult in the best sense. Rather than feel around the vague edges of grief, these poems drive right through its center. They are unafraid to linger in the ache. Victoria Chang adopts the form of newspaper obituaries, naming and exploring many losses: her mother, “memory”, “ambition”, “appetite”... Here grief is a character, a presence, and an absence. Grief is language. Lack of language. Faulty language. The poems are both elegant and unruly. They’re also visually striking—each is a near-perfect rectangle lying quietly on the page, like a headstone or a grave. This pristine structure invokes a beautiful contrast: while the neatly-boxed poems appear serene and passive at first glance, their insides surge and swell with powerful emotion. In reading them, I was thankful to experience so much of Chang’s heart and mind. –Stephanie
Although I’m from Nebraska and the descendent of farmers, I’ve never worked or lived on a farm and know little about them. Mockett’s outsider’s perspective appealed to me, and I enjoyed traveling through the “wheat belt” with her and the custom harvesters she joins. This book isn’t just about farming—it’s also about the different realities we come from and what happens when they collide. Mockett is a person of color, from a city, and not traditionally religious, whereas the farmers are white, from the country, and have very conservative faiths. You could characterize this book as another city-versus-rural narrative, but I think it’s ultimately a book about trying to connect. –Kaitlyn
I give a resounding Yes! to "The List of Things That Will Not Change." Our heroine Bea is dealing with her parents divorce, her own anger and therapy, her Mom's depression, and the forthcoming wedding of her Dad to another man. There is also a would-be stepsister who is staying distant, even though Bea wants her to be the sister she never had. Warm and reassuring, at a time we need it, and likely to inspire reflection in readers both young and not so young. –Carla
This book is the perfect quarantine escape. Both the narrator and the story itself are quirky and lighthearted, even as the story turns to corporate despair or encounters with the antichrist. With the snark of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, this book still manages to build a sweet and heartfelt tale of found family and unexpected love. Follow Linus on his trip to a peculiar orphanage on a mysterious island, and you’ll be in for a lovely escapist treat! –Julia
C. Pam Zhang's How Much of These Hills is Gold has the power of a river current, pulling any hapless reader into its bracing grip. A family epic, a tale of sheer adventure, a genre-bending Western, a hard-talking meditation on power and tenderness, this book confidently twists and turns, refusing to be defined. Lucy and Sam, Chinese American siblings in the 1800s have lost their father, and whatever home their family managed to scrape up in the cruel and prejudiced West. In search of something they cannot articulate--another home? belonging? a living tiger? a palmful of gold?-- the siblings travel across the plains and hills of California, through salt flats and towns with names like Sweetwater. A book full of wonder and pain, gold and dust. Do yourself a favor, and take a drink out of this mighty river. —Lillian
This book sends you careening down a rabbit hole of virtual reality, espionage, and danger—both online and IRL. Matt Ruff pulls off a tricky feat with this novel; I was swept along for the wild ride without feeling lost or left behind in the flashy, ever-shifting video game ecosystems. 88 Names is endlessly weird and surprising, with edge-of-seat intrigue, enigmatic characters, and deft and playful writing. If I had even 60 seconds to spare in my day, I spent them furiously trying to finish a chapter. Highly entertaining and so much fun! –Stephanie