This Week’s News You Can Use

Bustle recommended Love War Stories by Ivelisse Rodriguez for fans of HBO’s My Brilliant Friend in an article published on November 28.

An essay by Rosellen Brown, author of The Lake on Fire, was published in Lapham’s Quarterly on December 6.

An excerpt from Hong Kong Noir was published on CrimeReadson December 5.

Popular Photography included 131 Different Things by Zachary Lipez, Nick Zinner, and Stacy Wakefield on a list of “Books that Photographers Will Love” on December 7.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Marrakech Noir
Edited by Yassin Adnan | Akashic Books | 9781617754739 | August 2018

“Thanks to all of this diversity and difference found in just one place, Marrakech supplies everyone with what they’re looking for. The work, as a whole, does a stellar job at showcasing the city’s importance, influence, and cultures . . . Whether you’ve been to Marrakech or not, this anthology promises to take you there.”—Asymptote Magazine

Keywords: The New Language of Capitalism
John Patrick Leary | Haymarket Books | 9781608465446 | January 2019

“As[Leary] explores what our language has looked like, and the ugliness now embedded in it, [he] invites us to imagine what our language could emphasize,what values it might reflect. . . . His book reminds us of the alternatives that persist behind these keywords: our managers may call us as ‘human capital,’but we are also workers. We are also people.”—The Outline

Finding Peace in the Holy Land
Lauren Booth | Kube Publishing | 9781847741202 | December 2018

“An absolutely fascinating read from beginning to end. . . . [A]n extraordinary story and a welcome contribution to our current national dialogue regarding Muslim beliefs and compatibility with western cultural values.”—Midwest Book Review

Permanent Exhibit
Matthew Vollmer | BOA Editions | 9781942683681 | September 2018

“While this brand of meditation might seem disastrously unfocused to the yogis among us, the disaster for readers is a delicious one—Vollmer leaps from thought to thought in an associative mode which is at once intimate and goofy, juxtaposing the warm and familiar against the inconceivably catastrophic. The result is a poignant, rapturous collection that speaks to a new generation of internet addicts—a group for whom attention is wandering and complex, as frustrating as it is beautiful.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

One Dirty Tree
Noah Van Sciver | Uncivilized Books | 9781941250273 | October 2018

“Van Sciver’s art continues to be hugely appealing, and some of the imagery here is among his best.”—The Comics Journal

We Are the Clash: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Last Stand of a Band that Mattered
Mark Anderson and Ralph Heibutzki | Akashic Books | 9781617752933 | July 2018

“One of the most rewarding music books you’ll come across this year . . . Great music books catalyze critical reconsiderations; We Are the Clash does one better, inviting readers to consider what matters to them: the creative commodities that artists produce? Or the ideals, however complexly and clumsily human they may be, that often compel artists to create in the first place.”Johns Hopkins Magazine

The Anarchist Who Shared My Name
Pablo Martín Sánchez, translated by Jeff Diteman | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920718 | December 2018

“Afascinating immersion into historical documentation and imagined history.”—Words Without Borders

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This Week’s News You Can Use

An interview with Sketchtasy author Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore was published on Rookie Magazine on November 29.

Dottir Press publisher Jennifer Baumgardner was interviewed in Shelf Awareness on November 30.

May-Lee Chai, author of Useful Phrases for Immigrants, was interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle on November 27.

Order of the Sacred Earth author Jennifer Bertig Listug was interviewed on Conscious Talk Radio on December 3.

Jill Orr, author of The Good Byline, was interviewed on Four Foxes One Hound on November 30.

The Believer published a new essay by Idiophone author Amy Fusselman on November 30.

BBC Culture’s list of “10 Books to Read in December” included Hong Kong Noir, edited by Jason Y. Ng and Susan Blumberg-Kason.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Weegee: Serial Photographer
Max de Radiguès and Wauter Mannaert | Conundrum Press | 9781772620238 | May 2018

“A fascinating portrayal of a complex individual.”—Broken Frontier

Scenes from a Childhood
Jon Fosse, translated by Damion Searls | Fitzcarraldo Editions | 9781910695531 | November 2018

“Fosse’s style—straightforward, unembellished, but ranging from the concisely spelled out to the more rambling stream-of-(troubled-)consciousness—is crisp and beautifully polished, while the variety of piece here ensures the reader isn’t overwhelmed by the narrow focus of any single narrative.”—The Complete Review

Thirty Days
Annelies Verbeke, translated by Liz Waters | World Editions | 9781642860054 | November 2018

“While the novel Thirty Days, by Annelies Verbeke deals with these very contemporary, divisive themes of immigration, displacement, racism, and the rise of hate groups, it is not an overtly political novel, but an artful examination of the rich, interior life of one Senegalese immigrant, living in Belgium.” —The Literary Review

Mephisto’s Waltz
Sergio Pitol, translated by George Henson | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920831 | January 2019

“This collection spans decades in PItol’s career, and the stories found within it are set in numerous countries, giving a fantastic sense of the dizzying life of their author. Pitol’s storytelling often takes storytelling itself as the subject, and the winding and complex tales here fantastically evoke different modes of memory and narrative.”—Words Without Borders

Fame: The Hijacking of Reality
Justine Bateman | Akashic Books |
9781617756603 | October 2018

“Walking through the familiar trappings of stardom—false friendships, abusive management, trust issues—Bateman underlines with grit the misconceptions of being a luminary which oft lead many to its pursuit.”—Women’s Review of Books

Cruel Fiction
Wendy Trevino | AK Press/Commune Editions |
9781934639252 | September 2018

“Wendy Trevino’s Cruel Fiction tells the truth about life as we know and endure it, restlessly picking at the hangnails of both history and heartbreak.”—ARTFORUM

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This Week’s News You Can Use

Jim Kempton, author of First We Surf, Then We Eat, was interviewed by Cooking with Amy on November 25.

An excerpt from Vancouver Noir, edited by Sam Wiebe, was published on CrimeReads on November 27.

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of Sketchtasy, was interviewed by Jezebel on November 20.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Revolutionary Threads: Rastafari, Social Justice, and Cooperative Economics
Bobby Sullivan | Akashic Books | 9781617756559 | December 2018

“Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, Revolutionary Threads: Rastafari, Social Justice, and Cooperative Economics is a groundbreaking study.”—Midwest Book Review

Liza Jane & The Dragon
Laura Lippman, illustrated by Kate Samworth | Akashic Books | 9781617756610 | October 2018

“Written with an impressive originality by Laura Lippman and illustrated with the exceptional artwork of Kate Samworth, Liza Jane & the Dragon is unreservedly recommended.”—Midwest Book Review

The Eye: An Insider’s Memoir of Masterpieces, Money, and the Magnetism of Art
Philippe Costamagna, translated by Frank Wynne | New Vessel Press | 9781939931580 | August 2018

“An insider’s look at the dramatic world of attributing and dating art. . . . Delightful.”—Introspective Magazine

A Shameful Life: Ningen Shikkaku
Osamu Dazai, translated by Mark Gibeau | Stone Bridge Press | 9781611720440 | November 2018

“Powerful. . . a fascinating psychological portrait, of someone trying (or rather, constantly failing) to come to terms with a self they find unbearable.”—The Complete Review

The Buddhist Swastika and Hitler’s Cross: Rescuing a Symbol of Peace from the Forces of Hate
T.K. Nakagaki | Stone Bridge Press | 9781611720457 | September 2018

“I’m fascinated by Buddhist priest T.K. Nakagaki’s reflections on why symbols hold such power; how the swastika has been used for good across the globe; including as a motif in synagogues; and why Hitler adopted it to symbolize his own hateful philosophy.”—Lion’s Roar

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Best Books of 2018

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2018:

World Literature Today 75 Notable Translations of 2018:

A.V. Club 10 Favorite Books of 2018:

  • Comemadre by Roque Larraquy, translated by Heather Cleary

Library Journal Best Books 2018:

School Library Journal Best Books 2018:

Entropy Best of 2018:



LitHub Best Books of 2018:

Autostraddle Best LGBT Books of 2018:

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2018:


  • The Right Intention by Andrés Barba, translated by Lisa Dillman
  • Mourning by Eduardo Halfon, translated by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn
  • Fox by Dubravka Ugresic, translated by Ellen Elias-Bursac and David Williams
  • The Lake on Fire by Rosellen Brown

Picture Books:

Middle Grade:

Young Adult:


Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2018:

Washington Post Best Books of 2018:

NPR’s Book Concierge: Best Books of 2018:

A.V. Club Best Comics of 2018:

VICE/Broadly 10 Best Books We Read in 2018:

Shelf Awareness 2018 Best Children’s and Teen Books of the Year:

Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2018:

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Beginnings: The Homeward Journey of Donovan Manypenny
Thomas D. Peacock | Holy Cow! Press | 9780998601052 | November 2018

“Peacock delves into Donovan’s process of learning about how the great migration created the Ojibwe people and how it allows him to re-create himself as an Ojibwe person, along with the help, intentional and unintentional, of many along the way.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

Tamayo: The New York Years
Carmen Ramos | D GILES | 9781911282150 | November 2017

“Engagingly written and richly illustrated, this exhibition catalogue is a prime example of what this genre of publication can offer readers—a sophisticated analysis of a key period in Tamayo’s career that is informative for scholars while remaining accessible and interesting to students and general audiences.”—Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art

Death of a Rainmaker: A Dust Bowl Mystery
Laurie Loewenstein | Akashic Books/Kaylie Jones Books | 9781617756658 | October 2018

“The plot is solid in Death of a Rainmaker, but what makes Loewenstein’s novel so outstanding is the cast of characters she has assembled . . . Death of a Rainmaker is a superb book, one that sets the reader right down amid some of the hardest times our country has faced, and lets us feel those hopeful farmers’ despair as they witness their dreams turning to dust.”—Mystery Scene Magazine

In Country
Hugh Martin | BOA Editions | 9781942683704 | November 2018

“Hugh Martin’s second poetry collection In Country delves into the war in Iraq from the American soldier’s perspective. The language and listing quality of his memories are plain and simple, but the stories they tell are not. Readers see the complicated relationship that the American militia, both as individuals and as a collective, have with Iraqi civilians.”—Arkansas International Review

Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky
David Bowles | Cinco Puntos Press | 9781941026717 | May 2018

“While certainly a treasure trove for storytellers, this is also highly valuable as a classroom resource for units on Mesoamerican history or examinations of how a place’s myths are inherently linked to its history.”—Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books Review

The Naked Woman
Armonía Somers, translated by Kit Maude | The Feminist Press at CUNY | 9781936932436 | November 2018

“Somers’ carefully-crafted novel reveals the effects that living in a society in which women are repressed has on both women and men.”—Asymptote

Something Like Breathing
Angela Readman | And Other Stories | 9781911508304 | January 2019

“This painstakingly rendered, gorgeous novel is pervaded by a sense of tense mystery . . . a skilled & beautiful portrait of a wonderful gift masked as darkness.”—Foreword Reviews

First We Surf, Then We Eat
Jim Kempton | Prospect Park Books | 9781945551338 | August 2018

First We Surf, Then We Eat isn’t just a killer cookery book, but reads as an incredibly personal, near biographical look at surfing and some of it’s most celebrated personalities over the years.”—Mad to Live

The Vagabond Valise
Siris | Conundrum Press | 9781772620276 | October 2018

“The crackpot visual humour Siris is known for shines on each page, making any new reader an instant fan.”—Vue Weekly

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This Week’s News You Can Use

An excerpt from Amy Irvine’s Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness was published in High Country News on November 12.

The November 16 issue of Shelf Awareness included an interview with K.D. Miller, author of Late Breaking.

Amy Chavez was interviewed by Japan Today on November 19 about Amy’s Guide to Best Behavior in Japan: Do It Right and Be Polite!

Order of the Sacred Earth author Skylar Wilson was interviewed on the Wiki Politiki Radio Show on November 13.

Charles Phoenix, author of Addicted to Americana, was a guest on KPCC’s Air Talk on November 19.

Spine magazine interviewed Justine Bateman about her book Fame on November 19.

Beautiful Music author Michael Zadoorian was a guest on the Neil Haley Show on November 14.

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This Week’s News You Can Use

Book Page interviewed Octavio Solis, author of Retablos, on November 12.

Gala Mukomolova, author of Without Protection, was interviewed in the Michigan Quarterly on November 9.

A new poem by Ashley Toliver, author of Spectra, was published by LitHub on November 7.

An interview with Nick Zinner, photographer behind 131 Different Things, was published on Popular Photography on November 7.

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