Books

Staff Favorites Maple Street Book Club Used Books Online Ordering Local Spotlight

There’s nothing more fun than introducing new readers to books we love. We’ve organized some of our favorites here for you, and we hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we have.

Staff Favorites back to top

Maple Street Book Club back to top

November Maple Street Book Club: Outline – Cusk
The tenth meeting of the Maple Street Book Shop is Thursday, November 10, at 6 PM at the Maple Street Book Shop.

This month we will have local author and teacher, Geoff Wyss as guest facilitator. He’s picked Outline, a novel by Rachel Cusk.

The book club choice will be available at 10% off at the store. Refreshments will be served. No sign-up is necessary to attend the club.

Geoff Wyss’s first novel, TINY CLUBS, was published in 2007 by Livingston Press. His first book of short stories, HOW, won the Ohio State University Award for Short Fiction and was published in 2012. His stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, Tin House, Image, New Stories from the South, and others. He lives in New Orleans.

Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and lucid, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing over an oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her neighbor from the plane. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves: their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face a great loss.

October Maple Street Book Club: The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
The ninth meeting of the Maple Street Book Shop is Thursday, October 13, at 6 PM at the Maple Street Book Shop.

This month we will have local author Morgan Babst as guest facilitator, and she’s picked The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, a novel by Rainer Maria Rilke.

The book club choice will be available at 10% off at the store. Refreshments will be served. No sign-up is necessary to attend the club.

Morgan’s novel, The Floating World, about a family’s struggle to rebuild their lives following Hurricane Katrina, is forthcoming from Algonquin in the Spring of 2017. She’s a graduate of NOCCA and Yale, and received her MFA from New York University, where she was a Goldwater fellow. Her work has appeared in The Butter/The Toast, Guernica, the New Orleans Review, the Harvard Review, jmww, and Revolution John. She blogs about food, homesickness, books, and art at NOLA in Exile .

In the only novel by one of the German language’s greatest poets, a young man named Malte Laurids Brigge lives in a cheap room in Paris while his belongings rot in storage. Every person he sees seems to carry their death with them, and with little but a library card to distinguish him from the city’s untouchables, he thinks of the deaths, and ghosts, of his aristocratic family, of which he is the sole living descendant. Suffused with passages of lyrical brilliance, Rilke’s semi-autobiographical novel is a moving and powerful coming-of-age story.

September Maple Street Book Club: A Swarm of Bees in High Court
The eighth meeting of the Maple Street Book Shop is Thursday, September 8, at 6 PM at the Maple Street Book Shop.

This month we will have local poet Brad Richard as guest facilitator, and he’s picked A Swarm of Bees in High Court, a book of poetry by Tonya Foster.

The book club choice will be available at 10% off at the store. Refreshments will be served. No sign-up is necessary to attend the club.

Brad Richard is founder and chairman of Lusher’s Creative Writing Department and co-director of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards/Southeast Louisiana Writing Region. He has published three collections of poetry and was the winner of the 2010 Washington Prize. His work has been featured in numerous prestigious anthologies and journals. Richard has received many grants and awards, including the Century Swept Brutal/Black Ocean Award in Excellence; a Louisiana Division of the Arts Artist Fellowship in Literature; the Poets & Writers, Inc., Writers Exchange Award in Poetry; and a Surdna Foundation Artist Teacher Fellowship. Mr. Richard is also a co-founder of the New Writers Literary Festival (LitFest) and The Waves Reading Series.

A SWARM OF BEES IN HIGH COURT is, among other things, Tonya Foster’s attempt to create biography of a place, specifically Harlem in the 21st century, where certain dreams are indefinitely deferred. Foster’s work is a poem of womanhood reminiscent of Gwendolyn Brooks unassuming heroines Annie and Maud, Ntozake Shange declaring, I Usedta Live in the World, or Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn singing “Rocks in My Bed”. A sleepless woman with plenty of worrying thoughts to keep her up at night, not to mention chronic street corner noise, lies at the heart of this work. From bedroom intimacies behind closed blinds to public displays of affection and disaffection, Foster’s poetry contemplates unspoken bonds of culture, geography, and race that bring couples and communities together, along with the terrible strains that can tear them apart: “this poem is the city of faces deserted by the hope of we.” Infused with a weary and wary blues, Tonya Foster’s innovative variations on haiku are terse verses, tautly turned and tuned to cycles and rhythms of urban insomniacs.

-Harryette Mullen

August Maple Street Book Club: The Argonauts – Maggie Nelson
The seventh meeting of the Maple Street Book Shop is Thursday, August 11, at 6 PM at the Maple Street Book Shop.

This month we will have local author Elizabeth Gross as guest facilitator, and she’s picked “The Argonauts” by Maggie Nelson.

The book club choice will be available at 10% off at the store. Refreshments will be served. No sign-up is necessary to attend the club.

Elizabeth Gross is a local poet and translator. Her poems have recently appeared in the Fairy Tale Review, TENDERLOIN, Painted Bride Quarterly, and LEVELER. She co-translated and produced a new adaptation of Euripides’ Bakkhai at the Marigny Opera House in June 2015.

From the publisher:

“Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of “autotheory” offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author’s relationship with artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes the author’s account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, offers a firsthand account of the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making.

Writing in the spirit of public intellectuals like Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes, Nelson binds her personal experience to a rigorous exploration of what iconic theorists have said about sexuality, gender, and the vexed institutions of marriage and childrearing. Nelson’s insistence on radical individual freedom and the value of caretaking becomes the rallying cry for this thoughtful, unabashed, uncompromising book.”

July Maple Street Book Club: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter – Carson McCullers
The sixth meeting of the Maple Street Book Shop is Thursday, July 14, at 6 PM at the Maple Street Book Shop.

This month we will have local author Rien Fertel as guest facilitator, and he’s picked “The Heart is a Lonely Hunte““ by Carson McCullers.

The book club choice will be available at 10% off at the store. Refreshments will be served.

Rien Fertel is a Louisiana-born and based writer, historian, and teacher. He grew up in his family’s chain of restaurants across the country, and, after graduating from college, ran a grocery-deli in downtown New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina exiled him to New York, where he started writing about food. His work has appeared in “Oxford American”, “Garden & Gun”, “Southern Living”, “Spirit”, “Saveur”, “The Local Palate”, and many other publications. He holds a PhD in History, teaches in New Orleans, and divides his time between the banks of the Mississippi River and a 100-plus year old church in St. Martinville, Louisiana. He is the author of the new book. “The One True Barbecue: Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook the Whole Hog”.

From the publisher:

“With the publication of her first novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters’ inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers’ finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer’s mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book’s heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated—and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.

Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability “to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness.” She writes “with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming,” said the New York Times. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best.”

June Maple Street Book Club: There Once Lived a Mother… – Petrushevskaya
The fifth meeting of the Maple Street Book Shop is Thursday, June 9, at 6 PM at the Maple Street Book Shop.

This month we will have local author Ann Glaviano as guest facilitator, and she’s picked There Once Lived a Woman Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In, a collection of three novellas by Russian author Ludmilla Petrushevskaya.

The book club choice will be available at 10% off at the store. Refreshments will be served.

Ann Glaviano is a multidisciplinary artist and a born-and-raised New Orleanian. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Ninth Letter, Fairy Tale Review, The Atlas Review, descant (Frank O’Connor Award), Gravy, VIDA’s Reports from the Field, Antigravity, and the anthology Please Forward: How Blogging Reconnected New Orleans After Katrina. Her novella, titled Dickbeer, was published as a Kindle Single by Amazon’s Day One. She DJs the biweekly HEATWAVE! Dance Party and directs a music-and-dance project called Known Mass. Recently you might have seen her onstage at the Orpheum with New Orleans Ballet Theatre or in the NOMA Sculpture Garden with The NOLA Project. Ann is an alumna of Louisiana State University and the MFA program at Ohio State.

From the publisher:

The masterly novellas that established Ludmilla Petrushevskaya as one of the greatest living Russian writers including a new translation of the modern classic The Time Is Night.

Love them, they’ll torture you; don’t love them, they’ll leave you anyway.

After her work was suppressed for many years, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya won wide recognition for capturing the experiences of everyday Russians with profound pathos and mordant wit. Among her most famous and controversial works, these three novellas The Time Is Night, Chocolates with Liqueur (inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado), and _Among Friends_ are modern classics that breathe new life into Tolstoy s famous dictum, All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Together they confirm the genius of an author with a gift for turning adversity into art.

May Maple Street Book Club: Blackass – A. Ignoni Barrett
The fourth meeting of the Maple Street Book Shop is Thursday, May 12, at 6 PM at the Maple Street Book Shop.

This month we will have local author Peyton Burgess as guest facilitator, and he’s picked Blackass, by A. Ignoni Barrett.

Peyton Burgess is the author of the upcoming short-story collection The Fry Pans Aren’t Sufficing. He has received an MFA degree in fiction from New York University. While at NYU, he taught undergraduate creative writing, curated the KBG Emerging Writers Reading Series, and worked as fiction editor for Washington Square Review. He teaches creative writing and composition at Loyola, where he has served as fiction editor of New Orleans Review. His writing has appeared in Salon, Exquisite Corpse, Fiction Southeast, Xavier Review, La Fovea, Otis Nebula, Chicago Quarterly Review, and the anthology Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet.

The book club choice will be available at 10% off at the store. Refreshments will be served.

Furo Wariboko, a young Nigerian, awakes the morning before a job interview to find that he’s been transformed into a white man. In this condition he plunges into the bustle of Lagos to make his fortune. With his red hair, green eyes, and pale skin, it seems he’s been completely changed. Well, almost. There is the matter of his family, his accent, his name. Oh, and his black ass. Furo must quickly learn to navigate a world made unfamiliar and deal with those who would use him for their own purposes. Taken in by a young woman called Syreeta and pursued by a writer named Igoni, Furo lands his first-ever job, adopts a new name, and soon finds himself evolving in unanticipated ways.

A. Igoni Barrett’s Blackass is a fierce comic satire that touches on everything from race to social media while at the same time questioning the values society places on us simply by virtue of the way we look. As he did in Love Is Power, or Something Like That, Barrett brilliantly depicts life in contemporary Nigeria and details the double-dealing and code-switching that are implicit in everyday business.

April Maple Street Book Club: On Immunity – Eula Biss
The third meeting of the Maple Street Book Shop is Thursday, April 14th, at 6 PM at the Maple Street Book Shop.

This month we will have local author Anya Groner as guest facilitator, and she’s picked On Immunity: An Innoculation, a non fiction book by Eula Biss.

Anya Groner’s essays, stories, and poems have appeared in journals including Guernica, The New York Times, Gigantic, The Oxford American, The Rumpus, and The Atlantic. A resident of New Orleans, Groner teaches writing at Loyola University and is a fiction editor for Terrain.org and the book review editor for the New Orleans Review.

The book club choice will be available at 10% off at the store. Refreshments will be served.

On becoming a new mother, Eula Biss addresses a chronic condition of fear-fear of the government, the medical establishment, what is in your child’s air, food, mattress, medicine, and vaccines. She finds that you cannot immunize your child, or yourself, from the world.

In this bold, fascinating book, Biss investigates the metaphors and myths surrounding our conception of immunity and its implications for the individual and the social body. As she hears more and more fears about vaccines, Biss researches what they mean for her own child, her immediate community, America and the world, historically and in the present moment. She extends a conversation with other mothers to meditations on Voltaire’s Candide, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Susan Sontag’s AIDS and Its Metaphors, and beyond. On Immunity is a moving account of how we are all interconnected-our bodies and our fates.

Used Books back to top

Looking for a particular title? Access our growing inventory on ABE. Stop by the store itself for gently used copies of new and old titles.

We also buy used books. What we can take and what we can offer (store credit always, cash sometimes) varies, so be sure to call in advance, especially to make sure we’ve got the space and budget to take new things!

Frequently Asked Questions:
When is a good time to come by with my books?
If you wish to sell used books, please call (504-866-4916) and ask to speak with the used book buyer. We have a buyer present all day at least five days a week, but the schedule is susceptible to change. Walk in appointments are accepted on the condition that the buyer is present. If not however, we will advise another time for you return with your books.

Can I leave my books for the buyer and come back at a later date?
No. Space behind our counter is limited, so we politely request that you just hang tight for a few minutes while your buy is processed. It’s painless, we promise.

How much do you pay for books?
There is no set formula for what we pay out, though the amount will always be significantly higher in trade than cash. Each book is quickly assessed individually. Concessions in terms of condition, demand, and the current stock are made differently on a daily basis.

What do you buy?
Literary fiction sells well at our shop. Additionally, being close to Tulane and Loyola, we do well with philosophy, history, and sociology. That said, our shop is a generalist store and is happy to take a look at whatever you may have.

What is important to know is that we do not buy:
-Serial romances
-Reader’s Digest condensed books
-Books that are significantly underlined or highlighted
-Books that are water-damaged
-Books that are out of date (older computer books, out-of-date travel guides, fad diet -books no longer in demand, older business books, etc.)
-Textbooks
-Hardcover mysteries older than 2 years

Furthermore we are especially selective when it comes to hardcover genre fiction that has since come in to print in paperback.

Do you accept donations?
Yes! Happily! Still, we do filter what we accept. If a title is not something that we believe we can immediately sell we will return it to you. There are a number of charities in town that take books of any sort though, The Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Friends of the New Orleans Public Library are all great places to start!

Online Ordering back to top


eBooks
Interested in purchasing eBooks locally? Google’s eBook program is being discontinued this January, but the American Booksellers Association has recently partnered with Kobo to enable independent booksellers to offer customers a full line of eBooks and eReaders.

Book Books
You can also place orders online for physical books (as opposed to eBooks) to be picked up in-store or to be mailed out to you by following this link to our indiebound site.

Local Spotlight back to top

There’s nothing more fun than introducing new readers to books we love. We’ve organized some of our favorites here for you, and we hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we have.