The Book Table's Best Books of 2018

Staff Pick Logo
Friday Black Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781328911247
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Mariner Books - October 23rd, 2018

All Staff Book of the Year - This has been the most talked about book behind the counter this year. It made the rounds to just about everyone, and all who read it loved it and couldn't stop talking about it--once they picked their jaw up off the floor. Bookseller Patrick writes: "An explosive collection that opens with a provocative bang and drags you gasping and laughing through bizarre tales that shine an absurdist light on Black identity with assured inventiveness. This is Black Mirror meets Atlanta - surrealist satire that gives way to outstanding social commentary, complete with an entry that will give cause to those with retail experience to grin in solidarity. A seriously impressive debut." 


Staff Pick Logo
Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World Cover Image
$21.56
ISBN: 9780451493248
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Knopf - August 28th, 2018

Jason's Book of the Year - This book is for those of us that are skeptical that billionaires and their philanthropic activities are as altruistic as they seem. It does a fantastic job of pointing out the endless hypocrisies of the 1% lobbying against changes that would help society as a whole while promoting their pet projects that would be paid for 100,000 times over if they would stop lobbying for their own self-interest. It exposes the myth that philanthropic capitalism can cure sociey's ails.


Staff Pick Logo
Art Deco Chicago: Designing Modern America Cover Image
By Robert Bruegmann (Editor), Jonathan Mekinda (Contributions by), Teri J. Edelstein (Contributions by), Lisa D. Schrenk (Contributions by), Neil Harris (Contributions by)
$59.99
ISBN: 9780300229936
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Chicago Art Deco Society - October 2nd, 2018

Rachel's Book of the Year - Design nerds rejoice! This lavish cloth-bound production will look great on anyone's coffee table, but it is also the definitive, and long-awaited only (!) book-length examination of Chicago's many contributions to the Art Deco movement, covering architecture, graphic design, and product design. This volume's beauty will be sure to please the aesthete, but it is also academically rigorous enough to satisfy the scholar--a serious work that was worth waiting for.


Staff Pick Logo
Wasteland: The Great War and the Origins of Modern Horror Cover Image
$20.80
ISBN: 9781640090934
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Counterpoint LLC - October 16th, 2018

Bethany's Book of the Year - Poole's book is as breathtaking as it is sensitive. The backdrop of bloodshed that is the Great War is almost its own character in Poole's writing. The format with the early lives and war experiences of each man lends itself so well to the dissection of the works produced by those who returned but never really came back. The hunger for horror, the almost compulsive need to relive and re-experience the trauma, and the irrevocable mark on the landscape of our psychology and pop culture: Poole is dead-on with sharp analysis and drinkable prose. 


Staff Pick Logo
Butch Heroes Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780262038973
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Mit Press - August 17th, 2018

Bianca's Book of the Year - Butch Heroes is a book of portraits in the style of Catholic holy cards, accompanied by a concise history of the person depicted. Brodell, as they note in the introduction, tells the stories of people who, “were assigned female at birth, had documented relationships with women, and whose gender presentation was more masculine than feminine.” Holy cards have historically served as tangible gateways to past struggles, to remember and rely on humans whose trials both lift them to divinity and ground them in humanity.

Despite every effort to burn the roots of our family tree, queer people exist and we study and make art and love each other. Always have. In Butch Heroes there is proof, in that proof is validation.  

ATTN ALL QUEER FAM: BEST GIFT FOR THE BOOKISH BUTCH BABES IN YOUR LIFE


Staff Pick Logo
A Key to Treehouse Living Cover Image
$15.96
ISBN: 9781947793040
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Tin House Books - September 4th, 2018

Christian's Book of the Year - Brilliant in form and content, this is a coming of age story that uses the format of an alphabetical index to illustrate the way that our adolescent and young adult minds try to make sense of the world: we categorize and define, put feelings and inanimate objects on equal footing, and do our best to make sense of the chaos around us the way that text books and encyclopedias have taught. References from one entry to another mimic the links between our memories that seem to make our lives a continuum, rather than a series of isolated incidents. Life doesn't occur in alphabetical order, but there's no reason your story can't be told that way. This is a book that trusts you to connect the dots yourself, because really that's half the fun, isn't it? 


Staff Pick Logo
Northwood: A Novella Cover Image
$15.16
ISBN: 9781948226011
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Black Balloon Publishing - November 6th, 2018

Eddy's Book of the Year - Maryse Meijer's Northwood is incredible. It's a gorgeous object with white text on black pages all the way through. It appears at first as strong poetry-- and if broken up, the individual pieces do stand on their own as potent poems-- but as I read through the novella I saw that it was a cohesive story. The whole thing throws its middle fingers up at form, flirting with elements of fairy tale, poetry, and novella. A gorgeous horror about lust, violence, attachment, and love. The most horrifying part of the book is how relatable it is. Chances are you've had a relationship like the one in Northwood, and chances are you find it a difficult place to revisit. With Northwood breaking convention as well feeling like a modern myth, Maryse Meijer sits with greats like Anne Carson and Maggie Nelson with this one.


Staff Pick Logo
The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9781937512750
Availability: Backordered
Published: Two Dollar Radio - September 18th, 2018

Javier's Book of the Year - This is one of those books that will ruin the fate of whatever's next on your to-be-read pile. The structure, well drawn characters, style and writing (oh the writing!) combine to make this a singular reading experience you'll want to hold onto long after the you've turned the last page. Telling the story through the eyes of multiple narrators creates a pastiche of voices that give it a fevered momentum, holding the reader like grim death throughout. Good luck attempting not to read this in one sitting.


Staff Pick Logo
Heartbreaker: A Novel Cover Image
$20.80
ISBN: 9780525511731
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Random House - August 21st, 2018

Patrick's Book of the Year - An eerie, melancholy tale of an insulated, seemingly retrograded community and the elusive outsider who settles into, and eventually abandons it. Through a trio of unique accounts that detail life in "the territory", we piece together the puzzle that is Billie Jean Fontaine, a figure with a curious presence that harbors many secrets, and whose abrupt departure teases consequential revelations. Ill-fated bonds, familial twists and a setting saturated in a bizarre tapestry of 1980s nostalgia make this an odd, though incredibly magnetic story of love, belonging, and self-actualization. 


Staff Pick Logo
There There: A novel Cover Image
$20.76
ISBN: 9780525520375
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Knopf - June 5th, 2018

Honorable Mention: All Staff Book of the Year - Another oft-discussed, much loved book by the staff this year--and by the literary world at large. This stunning debut novel-in-stories is the rare Native American novel to leave the reservation--quite literally--by telling the story of 12 unforgettable urban Indians living in Oakland, California. We feel we would be remiss if we didn't mention this book on our list of favorites for 2018. 


New Arrivals 12/4/18

Staff Pick Logo
Milkman: A Novel Cover Image
$12.80
ISBN: 9781644450000
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Graywolf Press - December 4th, 2018

Winner of the Man Booker Prize

“Everything about this novel rings true. . . . Original, funny, disarmingly oblique and unique.”—The Guardian


You Are a Badass Every Day: How to Keep Your Motivation Strong, Your Vibe High, and Your Quest for Transformation Unstoppable Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525561644
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Viking - December 4th, 2018

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, pocket-size inspiration and guidance to keep your transformation on track—the perfect gift for the holiday season


Theater of the World: The Maps that Made History Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780316450768
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Little, Brown and Company - December 4th, 2018

A beautifully illustrated full-color history of mapmaking across centuries-- a must-read for history buffs and armchair travelers.

Theater of the World offers a fascinating history of mapmaking, using the visual representation of the world through time to tell a new story about world history and the men who made it.


What the Qur'an Meant: And Why It Matters Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9781101981047
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Penguin Books - December 4th, 2018

America’s leading religious scholar and public intellectual introduces lay readers to the Qur’an with a measured, powerful reading of the ancient text


The Great British Bake Off: Get Baking for Friends and Family Cover Image
$23.19
ISBN: 9780751574647
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Sphere - December 4th, 2018

THE BRAND-NEW OFFICIAL GBBO BOOK, FEATURING RECIPES FROM THE NEW SERIES


How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9781612197531
Availability: Not in Stock. Estimated Order Time 1-5 days.
Published: Melville House - December 4th, 2018

A lifetime of activist experience informs this playbook for building and conducting nonviolent direct action campaigns

Beginning as a trainer in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, George Lakey has been on the front lines of social change for decades. 


Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art Cover Image
$12.79
ISBN: 9781328508003
Availability: In Stock (but it is always wise to call ahead to confirm!)
Published: Eamon Dolan/Mariner Books - December 4th, 2018

A finalist for the 2017 George Freedley Memorial Award
 
“A compelling, absolutely unputdownable story . . . And, in case you’re wondering, yes, the book is funny. In places, very funny.


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