September 22nd, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, question the border between fantasy and reality with a quartet of electric fiction including Zadie Smith's new historical novel, Adam Levin on a Chicago apocalypse, and short story collections from Ling Ma and Yiyun Li; also trace the long arc of American antisemitism, investigate the political intrigue behind the critical 1968 election, and contemplate the lives and careers of four prominent 20th-century philosophers, all women, as they navigate the maelstrom of the Second World War. 

The Fraud
(Penguin Press)
Zadie Smith

It is 1873. Mrs. Eliza Touchet is the Scottish housekeeper—and cousin by marriage—of a once-famous...

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September 17th, 2023

Trey Moody discusses his latest collection of poems, Autoblivion (Conduit Books, 2023).

Trey Moody was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Moody is the author of Autoblivion (Conduit Books, October 1, 2023). Praised by Ocean Vuong and Mary Ruefle, Autoblivion is the winner of Conduit Books’s 2022 Minds on Fire Open Book Prize. In these pages, Moody writes a love letter to his daughter set against the background of environmental and existential dread, and an elegy for his father who died when he was young. His first book, Thought That Nature...

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September 15th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, meditate on love, memory, and power with dynamic fiction and poetry: a new novel by renowned author Ann Patchett, Sandra Cisneros's first new poetry collection in twenty-eight years, and a new translation of an early work by the Italian master Luigi Pirandello. Also, revel in the strangeness and wonder of the natural world, explore the connections between ancient and contemporary empires, and join a Renaissance polymath on everything from Christian martyrdom to the death of a pet. Discover these titles and more at semcoop....

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September 7th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, we delve into the spiritual essence of art, embark on soul-enriching quests for personal and collective growth, and heed the urgent calls to community-based action: A look at a Manhattan street which was once the vibrant epicenter of the art world, tracing the evolution of literary criticism, envisioning the future of bookselling, and an immersion of a sweeping collection of poems that intricately narrate the complex history of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Additionally, a critical exploration of the Supreme Court, a captivating epic narrative of a mother driven to perilous extremes, and a thought-provoking collection of essays showcasing the lesser-known non-fiction contributions of the influential late Randall Kenan. Discover these titles and more at...

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September 1st, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, we explore striking, bold, and imaginative texts that scrutinize personal and systemic histories under a microscope. These texts range from the disturbing yet profoundly poetic redaction of the Department of Justice's official report on Michael Brown's murder, to the cultural imperative of teaching disobedience as pedagogy in the classroom, to a deliciously rich novel that delves into the meaning of participating in the story of one's own death and the secrets that are revealed in the process. Discover all this and more at ...

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August 24th, 2023

On this week's Front Table, journey through political satire, explore poignant stories crossing borders, delve into Aristotle's guide to flourishing, and witness narratives driving racial justice. From dismantling dictatorships to self-discovery, examining feminism, capitalism, and ecology, embracing ancient wisdom and diverse voices, our selection resonates with innovation. Discover these titles and more at

Dictatorship: It's Easier Than You Think!
(First Second)
Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chulupa 

From the podcast Gaslit Nation, Sarah Kendior and Andrea Chulupa write...

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August 18th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, examine the interplay of past, present, and future from the desert to the city, and settle into the last weeks of summer with dynamic fiction focused on family, friendship, and the buried past. 

Facing the Sea of Sand: The Sahara and the Peoples of Northern Africa
(Oxford University Press)
Barry Cunliffe

Northern Africa is dominated by the Sahara Desert, stretching across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. But the Sahara has not always been a desert.

From about 9000 BC the region began to enjoy a warm, humid period allowing vegetation to flourish and wild animals to move in....

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August 11th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, unveil long-lost Shakespearean secrets, dive into the lives of prominent artists, and dig into two riveting works of translated fiction. 

Stalking Shakespeare: A Memoir of Madness, Murder, and My Search for the Poet Beneath the Paint
Lee Durkee

Following his divorce, down-and-out writer and Mississippi exile Lee Durkee holed himself up in a Vermont fishing shack and fell prey to a decades-long obsession with Shakespearian portraiture. It began with a simple premise: despite the prevalence of popular portraits, no one really knows what Shakespeare looked like. Whisking us backward in...

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August 3rd, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, explore the compelling intersection of environmental justice and prose, immerse yourself in a unique blend of magic and social realism, and embark on a colorful journey through art and history. Browse our Front Table at the store and virtually at

Soil: The Story of a Black Mother's Garden
(Simon & Schuster)
Camille T Dungy 

In ...

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July 28th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, delve into a daring new work of sociology exploring disability, marvel at a literary classic in a newly available translation, and probe life on our planet from the microscopic to an epochal world map.

Crip Negativity
(University of Minnesota Press)
J. Logan Smilges

In the thirty years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, the lives of disabled people have not improved nearly as much as activists and politicians had hoped. In Crip Negativity, J. Logan Smilges shows us what’s gone wrong and what we can do to fix it. Leveling a strong critique of the category of disability and...

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