Here at the Standard, we’ve made a list of the best things to give as presents this holiday season and book recommendations have taken up the entire list.
Clay Smith, editor-in-chief of Austin-based Kirkus Reviews has been polling independent booksellers across the state to see which books are bestsellers in their stores right now. Despite reports that bookstores themselves fallen on hard times, Smith says indie bookstores in America are actually on the rise. That’s true in several Texas cities.
Smith says the city’s new Literarity Book Shop does a good job of selling translated literature. He sees this as a nice change, considering that people in America “tend to not read people from other nations,” he says. The shop’s buyers suggest picking up “Texas, the Great Theft” by Carmen Boullosa or “The Last Cigarette on Earth” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
Dallas’ Interabang Books, and San Antonio’s The Twig both recommend “Texas Blood” by native Texan Roger Hodge. “Texas Blood” follows seven generations, covering everything from western outlaws to smugglers of the border lands.
“Texans love reading about Texans. Our fascination with ourselves has not ended,” Smith says.
Also selling well is Lisa Fain’s, “Queso! Regional Recipes For The World’s Favorite Chile-Cheese Dip.”
“Every time that I am told it’s so hard to get a novel published, I just think about Lisa Fain, who’s made this beat out of publishing books about being a homesick Texan.” Smith says.
At Houston’s Brazos Bookstore, “Hometown Texas,” by photographer Peter Brown and Houston Chronicle writer Joe Holley is one of its most popular books.
“They go to small towns around Texas and sort of capture the essence of those places,” Smith says.
Written by Dani Matias.