Read This! Handpicked Favorites from America’s Indie Bookstores

Edited with a preface by Hans Weyandt

“Do yourself a favor. Add Micawber’s Top 50 project to your must-read list.”
—Robert Gray, Shelf Awareness

September 2012
4.4 x 6.4 | 200 pages
Paperback Original

ISBN: 978-1-56689-313-8.



Introduction by Ann Patchett

An ode to the art of traditional bookselling and independent bookstores, this book offers lists of favorites that have flown under the radar, but off of bookstore shelves.  First published on Hans Weyandt’s blog for Micawber’s Books, each check-list style contribution includes a bookseller’s top fifty books, anecdotes, and interviews about the life of being a bookseller, reader, and engaged citizen.  Introduced by Ann Patchett, the book exhibits the range and diversity of these booksellers’ tastes and the stores in which they work.  But it goes beyond a typical book of lists to show how independent bookstores are havens for readers where individual tastes, location, and personality matter and where the staff provide an expertise and wisdom about readers and books often lost in large and online retail spaces. One hundred percent of royalties will go to the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE).

  • Click here to see how the book has impacted ABFFE so far.
  • Booksellers: for more information, click here.
  •  Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, nonfiction pick in the Fall 2012 Great Lakes Great Reads


“There is no greater joy for a bookseller than introducing a reader to a book they will love for the rest of their lives.  Those of us in this business are, after all, matchmakers at heart.  So consider this little book you now hold in your hands as a sort of catalogue of matchmakers.” —Ann Patchett, From the Introduction

“[R]ead This! Compiles … Expertise of booksellers from all over the country into one cheerful red volume.” —Los Angeles Times

“Read This! Is a handy guide . . . Compil[ing] lists of recommendations from booksellers across the country. Along with each list, booksellers offer short essays that give you a sense of their taste and perspective. It’s a smart approach that guides readers through a subjective minefield.  With only so many hours in our lives to read, who wants to waste time on a book that isn’t quite meant for them?” Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal 

“These professionals demonstrate exceptional curatorial care and a discernible passion for the art of bookselling, a craft Weyandt calls a ‘combo platter of bartender/barista and priest.’ [E]ntertaining, informative, satisfying and fun—everything books should be.”—Kirkus

“Not sure which book to buy? Stop in Micawber’s and they’ll tell you. They’re so good at recommending books that co-owner, Hans Weyandt, just released his own book called Read This! Handpicked Favorites From America’s Indie Bookstores. [I]f you really want to be a good gift-giver this season, pair this book with one of your favorites.”—Southwest Journal

“If books are conversations between people through the ages, then our booksellers are those keeping the communication alive. That’s why Read This! is a deceptively powerful book.”—The Rumpus

Read This! . . . will make a perfect curl-up-under-the-covers autumn companion for your favorite bookworm.”—Twin Cities Daily Planet

“If I were still a bookseller, I’d be thrilled to share this wealth with my customers. As a reader, I’m deeply intrigued by the range of selections. . . . Do yourself a favor. Add Micawber’s Top 50 project to your must-read list.” —Robert Gray, Shelf Awareness

“I love this little book, and I think you might, too. . . . I guarantee you’ll come away with a whole slew of things on your ‘to-read’ list and a renewed affection and appreciation for your neighborhood bookslingers.” —Knight Arts Blog 

“Although Weyandt is now often introduced at events as an editor or author, he said (with a generous measure of bookish intensity): ‘First and foremost, forever and always, I will be a bookseller.’”—Shelf Awareness

“Hans nails what I think is the point of this book on the head: let’s talk about how independent bookstores are succeeding, let’s talk about the ways in which they are thriving . . . Let’s celebrate the books, and the people that bring us together over those very same books.”—Hazel & Wren

“Take it with you as a tour guide on your next visit to one of the cities, or use it to figure out which book you’re going to pick up next. A gem among gems.”—Hazel & Wren, “The Liter-nerdy Holiday Gift Guide”

“[A]n INDISPENSABLE book guide.”Books are my Boyfriends


Hans Weyandt’s Top 50

  • A Universal History of the Destruction of Books: From Ancient Sumer to Modern-Day Iraq, Fernando Báez
  • The Ninemile Wolves, Rick Bass
  • You Can’t Win, Jack Black
  • Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America, Stephen G. Bloom
  • On the Yard, Malcolm Braly
  • Running After Antelope, Scott Carrier
  • My Ántonia, Willa Cather
  • George and Rue, George Elliott Clarke
  • Open City, Teju Cole
  • Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing, Ted Conover
  • The Brothers K, David James Duncan
  • Geek Love, Katherine Dunn
  • The Farther Shore, Matthew Eck
  • The Solace of Open Spaces, Gretel Ehrlich
  • Every Man Dies Alone, Hans Fallada
  • Going Blind, Mara Faulkner, OSB
  • Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey, Isabel Fonseca
  • Hell at the Breech, Tom Franklin
  • The Last American Man, Elizabeth Gilbert
  • We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda, Philip Gourevitch
  • A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army, 1941–1945, Vasily Grossman
  • Reasons to Live, Amy Hempel
  • What the Living Do, Marie Howe
  • Seek: Reports from the Edges of America & Beyond, Denis Johnson
  • A Walker in the City, Alfred Kazin
  • Garden, Ashes, Danilo Kis
  • Miniatures, Norah Labiner
  • The Boat, Nam Le
  • With Borges, Alberto Manguel
  • So Long, See You Tomorrow, William Maxwell
  • Letter to an Imaginary Friend, Thomas McGrath
  • The Headmaster, John McPhee
  • Up in the Old Hotel, Joseph Mitchell
  • All the Living, C. E. Morgan
  • The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
  • Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose, Flannery O’Connor
  • In the Skin of a Lion, Michael Ondaatje
  • The Time of Our Singing, Richard Powers
  • Down in My Heart, William Stafford
  • Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War, T. J. Stiles
  • The Gangster We Are All Looking For, le thi diem thúy
  • The Tummy Trilogy, Calvin Trillin
  • Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer, Peter Turchi
  • The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival, John Vaillant
  • The Book of Fathers, Miklós Vámos
  • A Book of Reasons, John Vernon
  • Lone Wolf: Eric Rudolph and the Legacy of American Terror, Maryanne Vollers
  • Essays of E. B. White
  • In the American Grain, William Carlos Williams
Order Read This! Handpicked Favorites from America's Indie Bookstores Trade Paperback Original @ £12.00