Best Books of 2018

As 2018 wraps up, we are pleased to see our titles landing on Best of the Year lists.

Fred Moten’s trilogy, consent not to be a single being, ended up on two of Bookforum‘s best of 2018 contributors’ lists.  Maggie Nelson says, “You could say they’re essays about art, philosophy, blackness, and the refusal of social death, but I think of them more as a fractal universe forever inviting immersion and exploration, a living force now inhabiting my bookshelf.” And Jess Row writes, “This trilogy is one of the great intellectual adventures of our era.”

Quill & Quire put Dionne Brand’s The Blue Clerk on their year’s best list. “The Blue Clerk is The Blue Clerknothing less than a reckoning with the entirety of Brand’s poetic outlook and philosophy,” says editor Steven W. Beattie. (We have U.S. rights to The Blue Clerk; it is published by McClelland and Stewart in the rest of the world.)

In her 2018 gift ideas list, Andrea Kirsh of The Art Blog suggests Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool. Originally published in 2008, this catalog for Hendricks’s solo show at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University was recently brought back into print. Kirsh says the book is “as cool and classy as its subject.”

978-1-4780-0022-8Keith Harris writes about his favorite music books of the year in City Pages and selects Robert Christgau’s Is It Still Good to Ya? “Do you write about music? Read about music? Think about the stuff even a little?,” he writes. “Well even if you’ve never read a word Christgau has written—or, really, even if you’ve disagreed with every word of his you’ve read—he’s had an effect on how you write or read or think. . . . Buy two copies—one to throw angrily across the room, one as a reference.” Ken Tucker of NPR’s Fresh Air also puts Is It Still Good to Ya in his year’s best list, calling it “a treasure trove of the most incisive, witty pop music reviews and commentary ever committed to print.”  No Depression also listed Christgau’s book in their end of year round up.

Jezebel‘s Julianne Escobedo Shepherd chooses Imani Perry’s Vexy Thing.jpgVexy Thing as her favorite book of the year: “Vexy Thing recontextualizes feminism and patriarchy in an era when both terms have been systemically emptied by market forces; she reminds us that the patriarch is an institutional concept and reminds us of its insidiousness in our everyday life through a devastatingly sharp historical critique, necessarily centering black women as the locus of her conversation.”

Although the New York Times didn’t select any university press titles for it’s 100 Notable Books list, we were pleased to see editor Parul Sehgal mention reading one of our 2016 titles this year. She writes, “My most valuable discovery was the work of Christina Sharpe, a scholar of breathtaking range whose most recent book is In the Wake, about the aftershocks of chattel slavery in the Americas.”

We were also pleased to see our collaboration with MoMA, Modern Art in the Arab World, edited by Anneka Lenssen, Sarah Rogers and Nada Shabout, on Ursula Lindsey’s Notable Books of 2018 from and about the Arab World, in Al-Fanar Media. She says, “The book is a unique reference for students of modern Arab art and a fascinating window into cultural debates in the region.”

978-0-938989-42-4Another art book, Pop América, 1965–1975, edited by Esther Gabara, was chosen by Remezcla as one of the best Latino and Latin American history books of 2018. The bilingual catalogue for a traveling exhibition that will open at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University this winter, Pop América, 1965–1975 reveals the skill with which Latin American and Latino/a artists adapted familiar languages of mass media, fashion, and advertising to create experimental art in a startling range of mediums. Remezcla also selects Sounds of Crossing by Alex E. Chávez as a top book of 2018. Alejandra Oliva writes, ” He pulls in both history and current situations – and best of all, his own experiences as a Mexican academic and musician – to create a multidimensional, gorgeous book.”

The Advocate put three of our titles on their list of the best queer history and memoirs of 2018. They featured The Rest of It by Martin Duberman, My Butch Career by Esther Newton, and Me and My House: James Baldwin’s Last Decade in France by Magdalena J. Zaborowska.

McNally Jackson bookstore announced its 2018 staff favorites on Twitter. Staffer Gleb chose the tenth anniversary edition of Jasbir Puar’s classic Terrorist Assemblages as well as Alexander G. Weheliye’s 2014 book Habeas Viscus. Staffer Cam chose Fred Moten’s Black and Blur for his top ten of 2018. Chicago’s Seminary Co-op bookstore puts Now that the audience is assembled by David Grubbs on their Notable Books of 2018 list, as well as Imani Perry’s Vexy Thing and Me and My House: James Baldwin’s Last Decade in France by Magdalena J. Zaborowska.

Thanks to all these writers for including our titles on your year’s best lists!



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