Blog

November 10th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, consider forms of ancient and modern power: a revisionist look at the lives of the Roman emperors, a close reading of the narratives surrounding the American health care system, and the rise and fall of a modern-day robber baron; seek wisdom in a philosophical work that asks questions about the nature of hope, trust, and forgiveness; indulge in a sumptuous facsimile of Shakespeare's First Folio; and we round out our week's selections with two stunning works of fiction by contemporary masters Olga Ravn and George Saunders. 


Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World
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November 3rd, 2023

 

On This Week's Front Table, delve into stories of the every-day along with narratives of unchartered territory; whether that's through essays about every-day life from one of the masterminds of the genre, to a study of how ordinary friendships in low income communities create support networks of care,  to the often unthought of dream life of animals and it's subsequent moral implications, to combining both elements of the known and the unknown in creating an abolitionist world based on the principles of adaptation, transformation, and interdependence. Explore these titles and more at ...

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October 27th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, find fresh voices that write a road map towards repair - whether it's through the unique lens of horror cinema to grapple with alienation, reframing consent as an ally of pleasure, tracing back the devastating effects of educational reform, or rewriting what it means to be Black and disabled. Explore these titles and more at semcoop.com.
Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal
(St. Martin's Press) ...
Posted in: Front Table
October 20th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, savor four remarkable works of fiction, including a new novel from Jon Fosse, winner of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature; new work from award-winning author Bryan Washington that focuses on loss, love, and friendship; a hidden gem of 20th-century literature by Elsa Morante that explores the lives of three generations of Sicilian women; and a Co-op staff recommended collection of stories from the great Nelson Algren. In our non-fiction selections, delve into the annus horribilus of Germany 1923, unlock the secrets of visual thinkers, and find fresh perspectives on that protean philosopher of power, Niccoló Machiavelli. 



A Shining
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October 14th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, revel in radical boundary-breaking art, cutting edge research about the effect of climate change on our species and natural world; explore a collection of original behind the scenes materials from legendary filmmaker John Waters and a meditation on the mysteries and intricacies of the writing life from poet Carl Phillips. Explore these titles and more at semcoop.com.


John Waters: Pope of Trash...

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October 6th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, sift through complex histories of Black queer history makers Bayard Rustin and iconic jazz musician Billy Strayhorn, to a memoir rich in psychological research and moving detail about the connection to a person's native language and what it means to learn a language later in life, to a comprehensive history and defense of the essential food assistance program SNAP, to a queer and feminist retelling of the famous story of Hercules. 


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September 29th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, excavate the past with new fiction encompassing ghostly revelations in 1930s Japan, family secrets in 1970s Puerto Rico, artistic inspiration in 1917 Paris, and a provocative short story collection set in our own times. Additionally, experience WWII from inside a notorious Nazi fortress prison, consider how storytelling impacts our environmental future, and find inspiration from a new biography of a modern-day Da Vinci. 



The End of August
(Riverhead Books)
Yu Miri, tr. Morgan Giles

In 1930s Japanese-occupied Korea, Lee Woo-cheol was a running prodigy and a contender for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. But...

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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....

Posted in: Front Table