Sept 6th, 2022



On August days, when I feel beads of sweat on my back as I wait for the A train, I sometimes think that I will never be cold again. I think that the trees will never “reveal their structures”, as Ali Smith describes in Autumn, that there will never be a “catch of fire in the air.” But one morning recently I felt something that was not quite a chill, but a freshness that promised Fall was on its way.

Like most people, that feeling makes me think about school supplies, and the line in You’ve Got Mail where Tom Hanks says that if he knew Meg Ryan’s name and address he’d buy her “a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.” And so, consider the recommendations below a virtual bouquet; there's a selection of school-related books from our staff, some events to get you into the back-to school-spirit, and, we hope, a sense of promise for all the good things to come. You could also swing by our stationary stores, Goods For The Study, and put together a real bouquet of school supplies, if you were feeling so inclined. As Helen Hunt Jackson wrote in her poem, September: September days are here/With summer's best of weather/ And autumn's best of cheer.

Mikaela, Director of Programming





by Mona Awad

I love a good Shakespeare retelling and this book has two! Mona Awad has a gift of writing the surreal, which blends so well with reinterpreting Shakespearean works. I love the take of dark academia from a teacher’s perspective rather than the student's. This book is a dark delight. It also is an amazing allegory for women’s pain and how people try to dismiss it and the women themselves.

— Amber, Bookseller



by Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda is one of the best literary critics in the biz, and this list of his personal favorites is the best ‘book list’ I know of. Discover books you’ve never heard of, and rediscover books you’ve taken for granted and didn’t think were actually worth adding to your queue. It’s like a big book of staff picks!

— Jimmy, Bookseller


by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

This book expands on what you may have already learned in school but it also brings up topics that you may not have learned: like the colonization of Hawai'i, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Samoa, the Caribbean & other islands that are often left out of the conversation, yet still deserve visibility. I appreciate the inclusion of Black, Mexican, and Chinese people because our histories were very much intertwined and that's not always considered. It also tackled the idea of manifest destiny & pointed out how harmful it was/is.

— Asia, Bookseller


by Philip Guston

Collected here are lectures Philip Guston gave to students and conversations with with the few artists who understood what he was doing in the later era of his life, detailing why he left abstract painting, his love of Renaissance artists, and what drove him to create at all. Guston passion is so clear, unmarred by pretension or heady theory, presented here as some of the best writing I've ever read on what it means to make art.

— David, Bookseller




Reading the latest issue of POPEYE magazine, which features a short graphic representation of our Prince Street Store (which is, incidentally, where you can pick up a copy): "all details are so right except the question, 'do you guys have bathroom?' is not there." — Mitsu, Magazine Buyer

Considering the idea that P.G. Woodhouse novels might be "the Seinfeld of books". The tastemakers over at Blackbird Splayplane think they are: "powerful stuff" — Sam, General Manager, Williamsburg

A sunrise walk on the Brooklyn Bridge: "The weather was great, it wasn’t busy and it was so beautiful!!!" — Asia, Bookseller

Checking out the Ulysses exhibition at the Morgan Library: "Do you want to spend an afternoon pouring over James Joyce's manuscripts and notes? Do you want to see a fireplace that is double your height? Do you want to snoop around J.P. Morgan's personal library? Of course you do!" — Mikaela, Director of Programming

Taking in a play: "The Kite Runner on Broadway is a really energetic and creative adaptation of the book" — Ning, Bookseller



Tonight! Amit Chaudhuri Presents Sojourn, in convesation with Charles BernsteinTonight! Betty Gilpin Presents All The Women in My Brain, in conversation with Lisa TaddeoDipo Faloyin Presents Africa Is Not a Country in conversation with Abdi IftinSusan Coll Presents Bookish People, in conversation with Julie Klam Sale! ★ Register for early access to our Annual Art Book Sale ★ Kids Event! Susie Jaramillo Presents Skeletina and the In-Between WorldBook Club! International Book Club: Mona: A Novel by Pola OloixaracCandice Carty-Williams Presents People PersonVirtual! Valeria Luiselli Presents The Best Short Stories 2022 with Jenny Minton Quigley, Megan McDowell, Lorrie Moore, and Alejandro ZambraStacey D'Erasmo Presents The Complicities, in conversation with Eyal PressVirtual! McNally Jackson Presents Best Debut Short Stories 2022: The PEN America Dau PrizeA.M Homes and Jill Bialosky Present The Unfolding and The DeceptionsStephanie LaCava Presents I Fear My Pain Interests You, in conversation with Legacy RussellAlexandra Kleeman and Mona Awad, in conversationDouble Book Launch: Kyra Simone Presents Palace of Rubble, Emmalea Russo presents Confetti, both in conversation with Daniel PoppickSeminar! Kate Bolick teaches Inseparable by Simone de Beauvoir


Sir Ian McKellan reads a letter that Kurt Vonnegut wrote to a group of high school students in 2006.