Blog

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...

Posted in: Front Table
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 25th, 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 semcoop.com.



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
(Scribner)
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 semcoop.com.


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

In ...

Posted in: Front Table
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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July 21st, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, transport yourself with dazzling fiction and poetry from two major authors; survey modern Korea's complex divides and commonalities; and delight in new knowledge about two of our planet's most elusive animals.


Time Is a Mother
(Penguin Books)
Ocean Vuong

How else do we return to ourselves but to fold
The page so it points to the good part

 
In this deeply intimate second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of personal and social loss, embodying the paradox of sitting in grief while being determined to survive...

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July 14th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, explore complexities of identity and connection, from reimagining Western art through the lens of Black subjects to the experiences of asylum seekers at the U.S. border; dive into histories of environmental and human nature; and soak up summer with some award-winning fiction. 


Rediscovering Black Portraiture
(Getty Publications)
Peter Brathwaite

Join Peter Brathwaite on an extraordinary journey through representations of Black subjects in Western art, from medieval Europe through the present day. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peter Brathwaite has...

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July 7th, 2023

On This Week's Front Table, find an epic tale about a neighborhood that refused to be erased, a portrait of incarceration and addiction in America, and a riveting account of rebuilding after devastation. Alongside these, find reflections on the digital economy, ethnic democracy, unpublished manuscripts and more captivating stories at semcoop.com.

Built from the Fire: The Epic Story of Tulsa's Greenwood District, America's Black Wall Street
(Random House)
Victor Luckerson

When Ed Goodwin moved with his parents to Greenwood...

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