Criticism

There’s a Mystery There

Staff Pick Logo
There's a Mystery There: The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780385540438
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - May 16th, 2017

Highly recommended for anyone interested in children's literature, illustration, or storytelling. In each chapter, Cott speaks with a different expert on Sendak's masterpiece Outside Over There, examining the book through different lenses. Cott did a number of interviews with Sendak and his quotes fill the pages. The result is readable, compelling, and inspiring. (Really, I stayed up late in bed reading because I couldn't put it down.)

 

Marika


The Art of Death

Staff Pick Logo
The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781555977771
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - July 11th, 2017

Though this is billed as a book about writing, Danticat turns the topic into something so much more. This about how we talk and write about death, but also how we talk and write about life and how we understand what it means to have life and what it means to lose it. Definitely a great book for writers or readers who also want insight into the writing process, but also a powerful book for everyone.

Josh


The Nemirovsky Question

Staff Pick Logo
The Nemirovsky Question: The Life, Death, and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in Twentieth-Century France Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780300171969
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yale University Press - November 22nd, 2016

Since the discovery and success of her final novel Suite Française, Irène Némirovsky has had a resurgence in popularity and there is much interest in her life. Suleiman’s book skillfully traces Némirovsky’s rise as a writer of great talent and fame to her death in Auschwitz in 1942.  Nathan

 

Nathan


Against Everything

Staff Pick Logo
Against Everything: Essays Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781101871157
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Pantheon Books - September 6th, 2016

I seldom encounter academic cultural criticism. If the purpose of cultural criticism is inform/outrage/irritate/excite us, and academia's function too often seems to bewilder one with jargon, the two are uneasily conflated. Greif resists such a division, and his essays give us the rare treat of clear writing--a sign of clear thinking--probing deeply into issues about which there is much talk, but rarely enough thought. Clever, articulate, and insightful: the kind of voice you wish appeared in every social conversation.

Matthew


Pretentiousness: Why It Matters

Staff Pick Logo
Pretentiousness: Why It Matters Cover Image
By Dan Fox
$15.95
ISBN: 9781566894289
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - April 5th, 2016

This is a smart and elegantly argued essay about the necessity of failure, experimentation, and pretending in art and life. Reading Fox is like watching a gymnast perform a floor routine. He lofts ideas and arguments through the air, seamlessly incorporating art criticism, pop culture, and personal narrative into the somersaults, and sticks landing after landing. A celebration of the weird, the challenging, the ambitious, and everything that makes art, music, pop culture, and life interesting.

 

Josh

 


Slaughterhouse 90210

Staff Pick Logo
Slaughterhouse 90210 Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250061102
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Flatiron Books - October 6th, 2015

What does Leo Tolstoy have to do with Orange is the New Black? Or Sylvia Plath with The Bachelor? Maris Kreizman's juxtapositions of great literature with pop culture icons are funny and clever, but also intuitively true on a deeper level the stories told through "high" and "low" culture may not be that different at their core. A great gift for the film, TV, and book lovers on your list.

Katie

 


What We See When We Read

Staff Pick Logo
What We See When We Read Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780804171632
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Vintage Books - August 5th, 2014

An entertaining and fascinating look under the hood of the experience of reading. What, exactly, happens when we look at words on a page? How do words become images in our minds? Do we all see the same images when we read the same words? With images, quotes from other sources, and brilliant insights, Mendelsund reveals everything about reading we normally take for granted.

Josh

 


WILD THINGS: ACTS OF MISCHIEF IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

Staff Pick Logo
Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780763651503
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - August 5th, 2014

This hilarious book is chock full of all sorts of juicy tidbits on writers, illustrators, editors, and even librarians. With language and content that's R-rated, this is the ultimate beach read for children's lit lovers.

MARIKA

 


THE ART OF FLIGHT

Staff Pick Logo
The Art of Flight Cover Image
By Sergio Pitol, George Henson (Translator), Enrique Vila-Matas (Introduction by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941920060
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - March 17th, 2015

A meditation on travel, literature, writing, politics and culture, The Art of Flight is the long overdue introduction of one of the great living Mexican writers to American readers. Part memoir, part travelogue, part something else, this book is a must for writers and others interested in creativity or thoughtful considerations of ways of being. Also great for fans of The Empathy Exams, The Argonauts, and, oddly, Knaussgaard's My Struggle.

Josh

 


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Criticism