The Human Parts Bookstore
Discover new books and help support our publication and its writers
Welcome to the Human Parts bookstore, where we list the books written by many different authors who have appeared on Human Parts, as well as books we love and cherish. By shopping in the store, you’ll be supporting both Human Parts and its authors. If you’re a Human Parts contributor who would like to have your book added, kindly email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short, playful essay-answers to questions like “Why do bands break up?” and “Is monogamy a trick?” The kind of social observation that makes you want to just get out the popcorn and slow-chew. There’s a chapter on how to set up chairs for a reading, which looks perfect for anyone who gets routinely annoyed at sloppy event planning. And another on why computers only last for three years (“The typewriter that lasted for fifty years wasn’t built in a world where the machines we type on become a hundred times more powerful every three years.”) A book for the insatiably curious.
You know it, I know it, everyone knows it… Fear is your constant companion and life-long enemy. It strips your days of meaning, it robs you of opportunities, and undermines your confidence, as it imagines a future you wouldn’t want to step in. Let’s be real about it: It’s also a necessary evil that keeps your ass on this side of the grass. So, the question is: How do you manage Fear? In this collection of essays, Zaron Burnett III offers you his casual and candid, humorously skewed view of the world, one that’s guaranteed to make you laugh, as he hands you new tools and gives you the understanding you need to live like a fearless badass.
Filled with journaling exercises and much-needed motivation, as well as insights from best-selling writers in a variety of genres, A Writer’s Guide to Persistence will help you find the joy and purpose inherent in a writer’s life. Your journey to publication and success may take a lifetime, but you can sow the rewards of writing with every step.
In Make a Scene, author Jordan E. Rosenfeld takes you through the fundamentals of strong scene construction and explains how other essential fiction-writing techniques, such as character, plot, and dramatic tension, must function within the framework of individual scenes in order to provide substance and structure to the overall story.
Equal parts writer’s workshop and spiritual journey, this open-hearted guide will show you how to attain and sustain the creative life you desire. Exploring how we attract the conditions and events in our lives, Write Free is an invaluable aid for writers, creative souls, and others who want to envision and achieve the inspired life of their dreams.
Being a twenty-something is all about devouring, rejecting and (occasionally) giving advice that’s good, bad and/or ugly. In the end, no one’s advice is better than grandma’s.
Grandma’s How-To List for Getting Through Life is part memoir, part self-help guide, part comedy, but 110% about sharing what one girl has learned so far about how to survive and be happy. Relayed in the voice of “grandma” and the perspective of a twenty-something, this advice will resonate, motivate, and satiate. Like chicken noodle soup when you’re sick, this book is just what you need right now.
Whether it’s his story of driving a car that’s on fire, crashing a rental sailboat into a super-tanker, trying to avoid a fight with a racist in a Salt Lake City bar, picking paint colors with a Hollywood star, or getting rescued off a mountaintop by firefighters only to be laughed at by his saviors, you will laugh your ass off reading all the many ways Zaron Burnett III answers the question: How Do I Survive This Sh*t?
This book is like a cross-country road trip with your favorite cousin the first summer you’re old enough to get high with him and he decides to tell you what he knows about life. These essays are as wise as they are laugh-out-loud funny, and as useful as the best advice you ever got about matters of modern love, great sex and the necessity of romance. Reading Zaron Burnett III’s essays is a rare opportunity to experience curiosity about all things expressed without judgment, clarity tempered with compassion, and truth as the most exhilarating aphrodisiac. Within these timely observations and candid confessions, you will find a ton of insight, provocative theories, an equal amount of humor and an unexpected optimism that will not be denied.
Legs Get Led Astray is a provocative collection of essays that vividly rockets the reader through one young woman’s life. Chloe Caldwell beautifully and bluntly escorts you through her childhood dreams, her first loves, her most unguarded sexual exploits, bookstore crushes, babysitting jobs, heartbroken wanderlust, and the suicide of a lost lover.
The New Age Camp depicts the clumsy awkwardness and fragile self-discovery that being a teenager is all about. When Chloe, a young woman from New York State, takes a summer job working at camp for teens in Upstate New York, she has no idea what she’s in for. And maybe that’s a good thing. With a humor that is by turns self-deprecating and candidly critical of the world around her, Chloe describes a summer of Reiki healing, menstrual moon cycle charts, trance dances, junk food, borrowed clothes, teen girl angst, and ultimately emotional growth. Not just for the teens in her charge, but for Chloe herself.
Being a lesbian doesn’t come natural to everyone. That’s what Erika Kleinman learned during her sexual awakening in 1990s Seattle, when she began dating a host of butch women who were all too willing to show her the ropes. My Life as a Dyke recounts Kleinmans’ relationships with candor and humor while making one thing clear: no matter who you’re interested in, dating can be a nightmare.
A collection of personal essays from a young girl, who may have been called normal, but was anything but. Growing up with an Autistic younger brother and a bulimic mother, Abby Norman left home at age twelve and became emancipated at age sixteen. Her freedom sent her on a journey of self-discovery that would take her to the streets of New York City, an alcove above a stairwell in Maine, to a doctor’s office and operating rooms in several states, and finally, Abby found her home in the very hospital walls where her appendix tried to passively murder her. Living by the adage, “someday this pain will be useful to you,” these essays encapsulate the story of a girl who survived by realizing that home is something inside all of us; a place of peace and prosperity.
Milk and Ink: A Mosaic of Motherhood is an anthology comprised of writing mothers who have gathered their words to celebrate the duality and intensity of being both mother and writer; it aims to appeal to mothers of all stripes, whether they write or not.
Always unpredictable, Harris Sockel’s essays will make you feel like your head’s been cut off and sliced into ten equal pieces. You will fall in love with bedbugs, audition for The Voice, and hug someone until you begin to gain muscle mass via the hug. This book may cause you to develop a kind of weird relationship with your body. In a good way, though. Who knows.
Because isn’t that where we find things? The Most Unlikely Places is a book of thoughts, speculation, and the occasional tacky pop culture reference. We are always looking for answers, always seeking meaning in the remote corners of the human experience. But in the end, we find the things that matter most in the moments we may never have suspected would bear significance. We eventually find what we are looking for in the most unlikely places.
Sarah Ruhl, if you’re not aware, is a kickass playwright and all-around weirdo-genius. Probably the MVP of American contemporary playwrighting, she wrote Melancholy Play, in which one of the characters is so depressed she turns into an almond.
This book is a catalog of Ruhl’s ideas on writing, theater, motherhood, creativity, and sundry randomness. Each of these mini-essays asks a question, or several questions, and takes a stab at some answers. They are bite-size (~400–500 words each) and they leave you with that wonderful “I’ve always wondered about this too, I just couldn’t say it” feeling.
What would the war cry of a mostly introverted, mentally ill, autistic, genderqueer, physically disabled, feminist, atheist, polyamorous woman sound like? A lot like this. Using a combination of essay and free-form poetry, R.K. confronts the status quo and dissects it, inspecting its parts and discarding the bad bits.
In spite of tackling some obviously serious and controversial topics, such as abortion and the anti-vaccination movement, she approaches her subjects with humour and then slaughters them with equal parts derision and kindness.
As a 22-year-old teacher with Teach For America — a program that puts college grads in front of the country’s poorest children — Harris Sockel grew up in the same room as his students. From spending exorbitant amounts of money on neon-colored card stock to watching parents pull their kids from his class because he looked too young to teach, he saw the baffling, bleak, and very human side of the way we approach poverty in school.
The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance is an honest story about class, premature adulthood, and pretending to know the right answers.
An epic novel about life and art in a post-apocalyptic world. I loved the first twenty pages — it begins with the death of an actor playing King Lear during a live performance. He dies on the eve of a global flu that kills nearly all of humanity within a few weeks — intimidating, I know, but the writing is as light and realistic as good journalism. This book was pulling me in by my feet and I could feel myself sinking into book-dreams. Then I got a text and had to get back to my life, but I hope to actually finish this book soon (or whenever I take a two-week vacation, because it is thick). It also just came out in paperback.
Women is a novella about falling in love with a woman, about loving women, about being a woman. It is a novella about a mother and a daughter. A novella about female friendships that blur the line of romance. A novella about a woman who, after having her first sexual relationship with a woman, goes on a series of (comical) OK Cupid dates with other women. A novella about a woman in her twenties who doesn’t know if she’s gay or straight or bi. A novella about falling in love and having your heart broken and figuring out what to do next. The book is an urgent recall of heartbreak, of a stark identity in crisis.
Ivy League meets the streets in this vivid work of hip-hop fiction. As a senior at prestigious Columbia University and the girlfriend of a drug dealer, India Maldonado is living two seemingly opposite lives. As India tries to gain control over her relationship and navigate cultural and class boundaries, she is drawn down a dangerous path. India quickly learns that every action brings an unexpectedly brutal reaction and realizes that the perilous nature of her decisions could cost her her soul. A smattering of easily-understood Spanish terms and slang add a distinctly Latina flavor.
Grace Jensen survived a horrific fire at age 15. The flames changed her: badly scarred in body and mind, Grace developed an ability to feel other people’s pain. Unable to bear human touch, she has made a small life for herself in Northern California, living with her hoarder mother, tending wounded animals, and falling a little in love with her former doctor. Her safe world explodes when the magnetic Marly Kennet reappears in town; Grace falls right back into the dynamic of their complicated friendship. Marly is the holder of many secrets, including one that has haunted Grace for over a decade: what really happened the night of the fire?
Nan Troy’s dreams come true, but she sure as hell wishes they wouldn’t; they’re destroying her chances at love and the lives of those around her. Cal Banks hates to close his eyes; that’s when the night terrors come, leaving him breathless and hollow as his past tries to catch up. Falling for each other is not in either of their plans. But neither is the sudden death of Cal’s former fling, which casts suspicion on Nan, nor the orphaned child with a claim to Nan’s past. As they spiral toward love, their attempts to untangle Nan’s dreams unleash a chain of events that imperils the child and Nan’s freedom. Nan will have to rely on a man she’s drawn to but barely knows, and the unpredictable oracle of her dreams, to save them all in this sexy novel of romantic suspense.
A woman born without legs spends her days swimming with manatees. Two artists, separated by centuries, guide each other’s hands. And a child of the Florida frontier sits on the graves of her siblings. These are some of the women who live along the banks of a river where water billows from caverns of silent lakes. None of them are famous. None have children. Instead, their stories exist in a mosaic of time and shadowed history, and the things of the river — clay and water, trees and bone — carry their memories forward.
Set in Montreal, New Tab spans a year in the life of a 26-year-old video game designer as he attempts to reset his life. Touching on modern social anxieties, the novel explores our obsession with social media while chronicling with humor his thoughts on Facebook chats, Concordia University, bilingualism, good parties, bad parties, a backyard cinema, running a possibly illegal DIY venue, and the disillusion, boredom, self-destruction of daily life. Written in a simple yet bold and astonishing style, New Tab is a profoundly intimate tale of self-reinvention and ambiguous relationships.
Blending dark humor and folklore from all over the world, Kaijin re-imagines fairy tales as modern feminist narratives. From demon queen co-eds to scorned banshees, each story is a darkly satisfying twist on traditional tropes with beautiful full-color illustrations accompanying each story.
Debut novelist Miles Klee takes a landscape of drugs, decay, loss and, perhaps, hope, and manages to make the ensemble wryly funny: something only a few notable contemporaries such as Jeff Vandermeer and Michael Chabon have been able to do. Post-urban New Jersey is instantly recognizable in this interlinked series of short vignettes.
The Demon Room tells the story of the debauched and troubled artist Amedeo Modigliani through the eyes of Leo, his art dealer, friend, and rival. Consumed by the thought of his own demise, Modigliani throttles through life–and women–hoping to escape the demons that plague him. But when he stumbles into the arms of Jeanne, a young and struggling artist, his salvation might also be his undoing. From the absinthe-soaked streets of 1920s Paris to the salons of the rich and famous, with an astounding voice, The Demon Room depicts a world where obsession, lust, and art go hand in hand, and where your downfall might also be your lasting achievement. Fiction writer J.E. Reich’s lyrical, moving, and riveting debut is sure to grip you long after the last turn of the page.
Heidi James’s novella, The Mesmerist’s Daughter, is the hypnotic tale of a child with a wolf for a mother. The narrative of this haunting story hovers somewhere between memory and delusion, as a woman closeted in a psychiatric facility recounts the tale of a particularly difficult time in her childhood. James’s writing is highly-detailed and immediate, each page bursting with details so fresh that they’re almost tangible. From the opening sentence The Mesmerist’s Daughter is as unsettling as it is magical, as arresting as it is darkly evocative.
Cora has everything a woman is supposed to want — a career, a caring husband, children, and a stylish home. Desperate for release and burdened with guilt she falls into a pattern of ever increasing violence and sexual degradation till a one night stand tips her over the edge. Wounding explores a woman’s search for redemption, identity and truth.
From mourning the finale of a beloved television series to accidentally attending a pole dancing class intended for professional strippers, this collection captures life’s absurdities through the perspective of an every-woman. Alena Dillon invites readers to laugh along with her as she reflects on universal experiences including diet frustration, as well as situations uniquely Dillon’s own, such as pounding on the side of a moving Mister Softee truck. Her widely recognizable stories of love, rejection, body image, snarky baristas, bargain hunting, ill-timed snorting, and, of course, public urination, will leave you reeling.
Dry, offbeat, and mostly profane, this debut collection of humorous nonfiction glorifies all things inappropriate and TMI. A compendia of probing essays, lists, profiles, barstool rants, queries, pedantic footnotes, play scripts, commonplace miscellany, and overly revealing memoir, How to Be Inappropriate adds up to the portrait of an artist who bumbles through life obsessed with one thing: extreme impropriety.
A memoir about meditating while writing and running. (Murakami: “No matter how mundane some actions might appear, keep at it long enough and it becomes a contemplative, even meditative act.”) Murakami trains for the New York City marathon and weaves his training into his past and his writing. I run, too, and two friends have recommended this to me. Instead of reading it, I think about reading it while I run.
This is one of those books that never happens. The kind of story that makes you look down at your shoelaces. Wave, by Sonali Deraniyagala, is about the 2004 tsunami. It took her family — her husband, her two sons, her parents. She lost them all in less than a second. It’s graphic, and there’s not much more to say about it. The style is unpretentious and unliterary and just very real. I’m amazed she was able to write this down. It’s the most concentrated portrayal of grief. Read it when you have time to take breaks.
An excerpt: All that they were missing, I desperately shut out. I was terrified of everything because everything was from that life. Anything that excited them, I wanted destroyed. I panicked if I saw a flower.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it has to be a good fit. A venue for the spiraling energy inside of you, the stuff that sometimes seems out of control. For Michelle Tea, it’s fashion — then writing. In How To Grow Up, Michelle writes about her years as a poor aspiring writer in San Francisco — shopping in bargain bins, drinking, and trying not to open that one kitchen cabinet that might be home to generations of mice. Forever scrappy, Michelle slowly gains traction, and teaches herself how to live along the way. How to have nice things. How to reign it in, to be sober. How to stop “feeling like a dirtbag impostor, someone more suited to a block of government cheese than a round of fromage aged in a French cave and packed in volcanic ash.” How to find a lifestyle that fits you, and to be comfortable inside of that. Alternate title: How To Get Over Your Impostor Syndrome.
You’re riding your bike, a few days after 9/11, under an open sky. You get home. Drop your bike on the ground. Time kind of wraps around you, like an afghan, and you cross a seam from past to future so slowly you can feel one foot on either side. This is how Son of a Gun by Justin St. Germain begins. Justin — 20 years old, in college — learns just a few sentences later that his mom is dead. Shot by her husband, Justin’s stepdad.
Justin mourns with his grandfather, father, and brother. He drives through Tombstone, Arizona — where he grew up — and remembers. Saguaros, cloudless skies, and church parking lots. It’s a book-length eulogy. Reading it reminds you how important it is to be able to, when something terrible happens, go into an apartment in your head. Be angry, pound the walls, lose hope, and get it back when you’re ready.
“Dating in New York” is a paradoxical combination of words that, according to the laws of time and space, should not exist. When you type it, the words should disappear like a line of jelly beans in Candy Crush. Instead, somehow, against all piss-smelling odds, we believe in it. Isaac Oliver, in Intimacy Idiot — a self-deprecating and LOLful collection of essays — tells us how it is. No meet-cutes, just meet-blinds. An Australian flight attendant from Dubai has a thing for outie belly buttons. A tall drink of water makes eye contact with Isaac across a crowded room; Isaac feels life-partner vibes. Failed OKCupid dates and a lifetime of masturbation. You will want to read parts of this book out loud; it’s funny.
And if you get to know someone well enough, the first thing you’ll find is an insecurity. It’s like panning for gold. In My Salinger Year, Joanna Rakoff works as the assistant to J.D. Salinger’s agent, a woman who smokes long skinny cigarettes and wears whiskey minks. Joanna is a recent college grad, an aspiring writer living in Williamsburg with her novelist boyfriend. One of her assistant-ish duties is to respond to Salinger’s fan mail. She is supposed to use a form reply (“Thank you, blah Salinger blah kind blah Regards”) but she personalizes the responses, writing in Salinger’s fuck-all voice. She befriends the other agents and assistants. She grows into a young literary agent herself, beginning to see through her boss’s whiskey minks and cigarettes. She even meets Salinger, learning what scares him, what angers him, what makes him him. She Learns Things, and grows up. It’s The Devil Wears Prada, but with Salinger stories instead of cerulean military jackets.
Here’s what it’s like to be adopted, according to Jeanette Winterson: “an absence, a void, a question mark at the very beginning of our lives. A crucial part of our story is gone, and violently, like a bomb in the womb.”
Hence her memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? It’s a book about storytelling. Jeanette’s adoptive mother is an evangelical Christian who thinks fiction is the devil. She bans fiction from the house, and runs regular Apocalypse drills in the basement — mother and children hiding in the dark long enough for Jesus to come and save them, or something. Jeanette tries to read, hiding paperbacks under her mattress. Her mom finds them, hurls them out the window, dowses them in paraffin, and lights a match. Jeanette stares down at the burning books and thinks, “Fuck it. I can write my own.” She runs away from home at sixteen, lives in a car, and writes. This book that will take your heart, squish it between two sentences, and barrel-age it for twenty years.
Everything from their mother’s one nice dress to the smell of the heat in winter. Or at least that’s what Bruce Eric Kaplan remembers in I Was a Child, an illustrated memoir with endearingly boxy line drawings of Bruce’s childhood memories. A picture book for adults. The son of a stay-at-home mom and an editor of math textbooks, Bruce writes about the idiosyncrasies of 1970s suburbia: dusty candy stores, denture commercials, oak tag, and Barbara Streisand’s nose. It’s quiet humor; each illustration is a punchline. You’ll find sex, hamsters devouring their babies, and elementary teachers who take smoke breaks. Bruce’s family was always a little strange: I remember being in a gas station and looking at other families parked at the other pumps, studying them. They seemed like real families and we seemed like we were pretending to be a real family. They were always in a station wagon.
This hilarious part-memoir, part-manifesto reveals what sets apart the latest generation of young people coming of age in an all-wired, overeducated, and underemployed world.
People are obsessed with Ryan O’Connell’s blogs. With tens of thousands reading his pieces on Thought Catalog and Vice, watching his videos on YouTube, and hanging on to each and every #dark tweet, Ryan has established himself as a unique young voice who’s not afraid to dole out some real talk. Sharp and entertaining, I’m Special will educate twentysomethings (or other adolescents-at-heart) on what NOT to do if they ever want to become happy fully functioning grown ups with a 401k and a dog.
What if there were a world bigger than the one you can touch? Leigh Alexander recounts a stormy adolescence alongside the mysterious early internet. From the surrealism of early video games to raw connections made over primitive newsgroups, from sex bots to Sailor Moon, Alexander intimately captures a dark frontier age.
Raising five children would be challenging enough for most parents, but when one of them has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, life becomes a bit more chaotic, a lot more emotional, and full of fascinating glimpses into a unique child’s different way of thinking. In this moving memoir, Carrie Cariello invites us to take a peek into exactly what it takes to get through each day juggling the needs of her whole family. Through hilarious mishaps, honest insights, and heartfelt letters addressed to her children, she shows us the beauty and wonder of raising a child who views the world through a different lens, and how ultimately autism changed her family for the better.
The Cariello children — first introduced to us in the heartwarming memoir What Color is Monday? — are growing up. And while their parents struggle with the same things all parents struggle with, Carrie and Joe have an added challenge: When and how do they tell their kids, including Jack, that Jack has autism? In this brilliant sequel, Carrie Cariello shares with us how she and her husband show Jack that he is not alone, that there are others who know, understand, and love him for exactly who he is.
A raw, smart, and darkly funny memoir, My Heart Is An Autumn Garage unapologetically chronicles a lifelong struggle with clinical depression. Anne Thériault neatly lays bare her heart, unsparingly detailing the naked self-loathing and self-destructive behaviors that led to her breakdown and subsequent hospitalization at the age of twenty one. Both an examination of the frightening and deeply dehumanizing treatment of psychiatric patients and a wry coming-of-age story, this book deftly explores the knife’s edge between despair and hope.
From celebrity and news magazines to TV programs to Facebook pages and mommy blogs, family-building successes are routinely and glowingly shared and celebrated. But where are the voices of those who are unable to have children? In relating what happens when nature and science find their limits, the award-winning memoir Silent Sorority examines a seldom acknowledged outcome and raises provocative, often uncomfortable questions usually reserved for late night reflection or anonymous blogging. Outside of the physical reckoning there lies the challenge of moving forward in a society that doesn’t know how to handle the awkwardness of infertility.
As a rejected child model, failed telemarketer, and pet-sitter to a dying bird, Stephanie Georgopulos has never refused an unconventional job — which is good, because graduating into the 2008 recession ensured those were the only ones she qualified for. Equal parts comical and cringe-inducing, Some Things I Did for Money is an honest reflection on the way we define work and what it means to be rich.
At 16, Ella Ceron was date-raped at a party. Until now, she’s never revealed the details of that night to anyone because of fear, shame, and feelings of utter confusion. This is a story of how, eventually, Ella began to realize that this one horrible event did not define her and even in spite of her unwillingness to deal with it, she found that she had moved past it.
Virgin is just one story, but it doesn’t belong to Ella Ceron. It belongs to every survivor who has learned to cope, every survivor who is still coping, and every person who did not deserve to have something as terrible as rape in their lives.
In his first book, author Jason Smith explores the depravity and desperation required to maintain an opiate addiction so fierce, he finds himself jumping continents to avoid jail time and learns the hard way that some demons cannot be outrun.
The Bitter Taste of Dying paints a portrait of the modern day drug addict with clarity and refreshing honesty. With a gritty mixture of self-deprecation and light-hearted confessional, Smith’s memoir deftly describes the journey into the harrowing depths of addiction and demonstrates the experience of finally being released from it.
In The Last of the Live Nude Girls, Sheila McClear pulls back the curtain back on the little-documented world of the peep shows and their history. A late bloomer from the Midwest, McClear became a stripper in the peeps after finding herself adrift in New York. But after-dark Times Square seeped into her blood, and she ended up staying much longer than she imagined. The story she tells is not just of her own coming-of-age — nor is it one of sex and vice and salaciousness. Rather, it is a redemptive narrative of modern life on the fringes of society in New York City.
Despite a rough and tumble youth, Chaplain Turner found spirituality and made the decision to practice faith amid a flock of the suffering. For that reason, he chose to be an Army chaplain on the front lines of The Iraq War. But Chaplain Turner’s war would unfold on many fronts: as a soldier on the battlefield, as a counselor behind closed doors, as a minister at the altar, as a friend, as a father. He would become the backbone of an infantry battalion on its third deployment in Iraq. As the sole chaplain for a thousand men and women, he would absorb all that befell them. He would share in absolute joy — and tragedy.
Americans have long identified themselves with material goods. In this study, Paul Mullins sifts through this continent’s historical archaeological record to trace the evolution of North American consumer culture. He explores the social and economic dynamics that have shaped American capitalism from the rise of mass production techniques of the eighteenth century to the unparalleled dominance of twentieth-century mass consumer culture.
Chasing the Rising Sun is the story of an American musical journey. The story traces the song “House of the Rising Sun” — largely known via the British Invasion group the Animals — from its origins in rural Kentucky to the planet’s furthest corners. Today, hundreds of artists have recorded “House of the Rising Sun,” and it can be heard in the most diverse of places — Chinese karaoke bars, Gatorade ads, and as a ring tone on cell phones.
While we live in a technologically and scientifically advanced age, superstition is as widespread as ever. Not limited to just athletes and actors, superstitious beliefs are common among people of all occupations, educational backgrounds, and income levels.
In this fully updated edition of Believing in Magic, renowned superstition expert Stuart Vyse investigates our tendency towards these irrational beliefs. Superstitions, he writes, are the natural result of several psychological processes, including our human sensitivity to coincidence, a penchant for developing rituals to fill time (to battle nerves, impatience, or both), our efforts to cope with uncertainty, the need for control, and more.
Wildlives is a scrapbook of poems and of short stories, of nightmares and of daydreams, of love letters and of prayer cards. In her debut collection, Sarah Jean Alexander asks (and answers) the hardest questions about love and loneliness and 21st century human survival. Wildlives excavates the depths of heartbreak, hope, and helplessness that can exist between two people in a small, human world.
The Title Of This Book Is An Inside Joke isn’t quite a collection of poems, a novella or a diary, but something in between. Sophia Katz’s debut collection unfolds in a kind of real-time intimacy, through contemporary narratives that are at times funny, at times heart-breaking, and filled with interesting observations, brutal honesty and quick wit. A wonderful and totally engrossing reading experience.
This is Mira Gonzalez’s debut poetry collection.
“Mira Gonzalez’s i will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together brings experimental poetry into the internet age with dark, distinctly female riffs on ambition, depression and love.” — Lena Dunham
On Sorry House
Hawaiian Shirts In The Electric Chair is the debut book of poetry by Scott Laudati, published by Kuboa Press. Recurring themes in these poems are poverty, love, longing, disappointment, Catholicism, heroin and death. Laudati is a regular contributor to Thought Catalog, Medium and Trebuchet-Magazine. His poetry has appeared in Fjords Review, Shabby Doll House and many others.
In her first collection of poetry, Fortesa explores love, loss, cultural identity, and change. With her gift for compassion and insight, Fortesa’s poems are at once both gentle and cutting.
Read more from Fortesa Latifi here.
Titled after the poem that burned up on Tumblr and has inspired wedding vows, paintings, songs, YouTube videos, and even tattoos among its fans, Mouthful of Forevers brings the first substantial collection of this gifted young poet’s work to the public. Clementine von Radics writes of love, loss, and the uncertainties and beauties of life with a ravishing poetic voice and piercing bravura that speak directly not only to the sensibility of her generation, but to anyone who has ever been young.
An epic poem, meant to be read aloud — a story about two half-brothers who grow up in London, an illustrator and a criminal. Read it to yourself — or to a group of people — and you’ll start to feel the feels around page 40. This is the first long, narrative poem I’ve read since I was forced to read The Fairie Queene in high school or whatever, and the words just pile on each other until there’s that spoken word momentum that’s so rare and so right. There are so many tiny moments, elevated by rhyme and line breaks, that remind you why poetry is such a great storytelling medium. The characters are vivid, the plot is cinematic. You’ll want to memorize a few stanzas for the next time you’re uninspired.
Gahhhh, these poems are so honest and clear and kind. Every poem’s intent comes straight through, and you know you’re feeling what Sarah wants you to feel. Sarah grew up in New York City, and many of these poems are about her youth. Preschool and subway grates and summers in Montauk. No tricks, nothing flashy or ~experimental~. Just honest reflection on growing up. Those moments when you’re alone on a Sunday night and you start to think about your family, your dinosaur costume in the Kindergarten play, and all the things you should’ve said to your brother but never did. These poems will make you fall in love with the poet and want to meet her and give her a hug.
What does it mean to be a woman and an artist? We are friends, lovers, mothers and children; but above all we are ourselves. “I Am Not These Things” gives insight into the world from a poet’s perspective through humour and clever turn-of-phrase, and for the most part, affection.
This is Lucy K. Shaw’s debut collection of short prose.
“There were so many layers of art upon art, everywhere. I was trying my best to ignore every one of them for a little while. But it never worked. I was always analysing from too many points of view. Always identifying intention when it didn’t have to matter.”
Concise, intriguing, surprising, the fifty 50-word stories in this collection can be read quickly and with ease, at home or on the go. Why 50 words? Why not 49 or 51 or 50,000? Well, why not? A good story can be told in just a few words. Whether you’re a short story lover or just want to try a new flavor of fiction, these stories will surprise you in many ways. Read them now!
There is a small town in all of our hearts; regardless of our birthplace, it exists there. The satisfying angst of first love, the bittersweet pain of dashed hopes, the persistence of cast-iron aspirations — they all reside in that non-physical interior location. This one is called Applewood. And in Applewood, the most poignant moments of life can also be the most hilarious: pools will explode, cakes will be made from breasts, kisses spring forth unexpectedly, and teenagers won’t stop running.
Say what you want about angsty male narrators who think in long curmudgeonly sentences, but this one is very funny. These stories are offensive, angry, hilarious and sad. Inhibitions are killed and left to rot. All of these stories are told by the same character, a thirty-year-old named Alby whose mother recently died of cancer. The callous jokes only make the poignant moments — Alby alone with his mother, in the hospital at home, emptying her piss bag or doing her nails — more heartfelt. Think: vulgar family jokes that are funny and sad at the same time.
Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series meets the cult classic film Fargo in this gripping, dark comedy by debut author Kathleen Hale. A quiet town like Friendship, Wisconsin, keeps most of its secrets buried . . . but when local teen Ruth Fried is found murdered in a cornfield, her best friend, Kippy Bushman, decides she must uncover the truth and catch the killer. In this riveting young adult novel, Kathleen Hale creates a quirky murder mystery that is intricately plotted and sure to keep readers guessing, laughing, and cringing until the surprising final pages. “Can a murder mystery be funny? You betcha!” raved Kirkus Reviews in a starred review.
Paige Sheridan has the perfect life. She’s pretty, rich, and popular, and her spot on the homecoming court is practically guaranteed. But when a night of partying ends in an it-could-have-been-so-much worse crash, everything changes. In this arresting and witty debut, a girl who was once high-school royalty must face a truth that money and status can’t fix, and choose between living the privileged life of a princess, or owning up to her mistakes and giving up everything she once held dear.