Cameron is First Draft Book Bar's beer buyer and resident sci-fi geek. When they aren't slinging craft beer and coffee behind the bar, they can be found futzing with old typewriters, recording podcasts with their wife, cooking delicious vegan meals, and spoiling their cat with lots of love.
Just as Brandon Taylor's debut before it, Filthy Animals left my jaw on the floor. The beauty in Brandon Taylor's writing comes not just in his beautiful prose and voice, but also in how true to life every interaction feels. His characters are so completely realized that even weeks after finishing this collection, I find myself wondering where they are now. If you enjoyed Raven Leilani's Luster or Bryan Washington's Lot, this is your next must-read.
My only wish for this short and sweet piece of solarpunk is that was longer! Luckily, it's only the beginning of a beautiful new series from sci-fi standout Becky Chambers. A tea monk (how can I become one? Anyone?) journeys into the wilds of their world to seek the sounds of crickets. A simple enough premise, but the struggles they go through, the characters they meet, and the realizations they arrive at make this the literary equivalent of a hug and a cup of warm tea. Drink up!
Brian Sonia-Wallace is not a name I'd heard before. To be honest, I picked this book up because I'm typewriter geek, but this book is much more than traveling America with a typewriter. From creating personal art for shoppers at the Mall of America, to spending time with a coven in New England, Sonia-Wallace shows us so many sides of America, and the people who call it home.
Bryan Washington once again proves his strength as a storyteller in this vivid and masterfully crafted tale of relationships teetering at the brink of destruction. His characters escape from the page, invite you into their homes, and ask questions that I'm still thinking about weeks after putting the book down. For fans of Real Life or Luster, this is your next book.
Who says every vegan meal needs to be healthy to be good for the planet? In VEGAN COMFORT CLASSICS, Lauren Toyota creates new versions of old favorites that are absolutely impossible to put down. Looking for that nacho "cheese" dip to knock the socks off your omni friends? Or a stellar seitan? Or phenomenal philly cheesesteak (oh yes, everything can be made vegan)? Toyota covers the sweets, the savories, the sauces, and wraps it all up in a collection of 101 cruelty-free recipes that you'll be referencing for years to come.
Bamforth provides a well-informed look at beer for the beer consumer, rather than the homebrewer. If you've ever struggled with distinguishing styles, learning the history of this golden liquid delight, or wonder how to get that perfect pour, this is a must-read. Not only will you learn about the history of brewing, but you'll also come to learn more about the business side of things and have a greater appreciation for a well-made, consistent brew.
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Though you may know him from his run on Top Chef, Chef Kwame Onwuachi's journey is far more interesting than what aired on TV. A perfect next step for those who enjoyed Anthony Bourdain's KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL, this unique memoir chronicles Onwuachi's childhood, split between the Bronx and Nigeria, through his time serving the crew of an oil spill cleanup vessel, and his navigation of the world of fine dining. Chef Onwuachi offers a fresh perspective not often seen in fine dining, that of a young black man, that lends itself to an incredible voice and a valuable read in the arena of food writing.
Put yourself in this position: The basement of a bookstore, your back straight, arms up, fingers centered, and type. This collection reveals the humor, humanity, and struggle of patrons in Literati, a small bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Poetic devastation, humorous observations, violin monsters, and a little bit of history collide for a thoroughly entertaining read for booksellers and readers alike. This little book has a permanent place on my coffee table.
From the novice typewriter enthusiast to the seasoned repairperson, this book has a little something for everyone. Stories on the origin of typewriters and its cultural impact in the 21st century will keep you hooked. I learned so much about what is, arguably, the finest tool at the writer's disposal. If you have even a passing interest in typewriters, I heartily recommend picking this book up and diving deep into this inky, mechanical world.
Tales from the Loop will take you into the suburbs of 1980s Sweden, but with a bit of a twist. Simon Stålenhag melds nostalgia with futurism in this art book of gorgeous landscapes, adventures of kids finding massive robots and hoverships, and dinosaurs from another time. All the way through, the art is accompanied by stories as large as government cover-ups and as small and personal as dealing with bullies. For the fans of Stranger Things or The X-Files, this makes a wonderful read and an essential addition to the sci-fi fan's coffee table collection.
Jonathan Sun's exploration of living in the world as a visitor is one of the saddest, funniest, and most beautiful books I have read in the past few years, and it is completely filled with misspellings. Optimism and pessimism have parts in equal measure in this graphic novel tackling identity, love, first contact, and global warming. It will make you cheer and tear up as you follow Jomny the Alien as he meets eggs, frogs, trees, bears, and all other sorts of life that inhabit this world. A wonderful book for artists and the young at heart.
Becky Chambers continues to impress in this follow-up. While the previous novel will add to the experience, it is by no means required reading to enjoy this deep space romp. Her ability to create small, personal stories in the backdrop of a massive universe of aliens and AI kept me hooked the whole way through. I consumed this book with fervor. Part of the book follows an artificial intelligence being reborn and facing persecution, while the other half puts you in the shoes of a young escaped clone, as she lives among the toxic wastes of an alien planet. Fans of Firefly, Titan A.E., or Mad Max: Fury Road will all find something both fresh and familiar from this second novel in the Wayfarers saga. This book is thought-provoking, full of heart, and always engrossing.