Jason Mott's Hell of a Book selected for Rochester Reads 2022

We are thrilled to announce Jason Mott’s 2021 National Book Award‐winning novel, Hell of a Book, as our featured 2022 Rochester Reads selection. The author will visit Rochester on November 1 - 3, culminating a month of community-based events. Stay tuned for program updates.  

Called “brilliant and inventive” by The Sunday Times (UK) and an “unflinching meditation on racism, violence, and navigating life as a Black man in America . . . a surreal and searing triumph” by Shelf Awareness for ReadersHell of a Book is at once about family, love of parents and children, art and money. It also is about the nation’s reckoning with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news.  

“A surrealist feast of imagination that’s brimming with very real horrors, frustrations, and sorrows . . . his is an achievement of American fiction that rises to meet this particular moment with charm, wisdom, and truth." —Bookpage

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About Rochester Reads
Inaugurated in 2001 with Ernest J. Gaines’ award‐winning novel, A Lesson before Dying, Rochester Reads has become a city‐wide tradition. With over 25 community‐based activities delivered during the month of October, Rochester Reads inspires readers to deepen self‐understanding, engage thoughtfully with important issues, and connect with one another through the shared experience of literature. The program culminates with a multi‐day visit from the featured Rochester Reads author.

National Book Award Fiction Longlist 2021

Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel By Anthony Doerr Cover Image
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois: An Oprah's Book Club Novel By Honoree Fanonne Jeffers Cover Image
Matrix: A Novel By Lauren Groff Cover Image
Abundance: A Novel By Jakob Guanzon Cover Image

National Book Award Nonfiction Longlist 2021

National Book Award Poetry Longlist 2021

National Book Award Translated Literature Longlist 2021

National Book Award Young People's Literature Longlist 2021


30 Leaders in Asian American Literature

Ranging from South Asia to the Pacific Islands, the literary achievements of Asian Americans and Asian immigrants, as with the very experiences they chronicle, are varied, rich, and indispensable to the American literary canon. You’re invited to browse some of our favorites -- including the most recent releases from poet Victoria Chang, novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen, and essayist Cathy Park Hong.

Browse the full list 30 Leaders in Asian American Literature 

LOCAL SPOTLIGHTJaw: Poems, by Albert Abonado

Albert Abonado is a poet and essayist based in Rochester, NY. He holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. He has received fellowships for poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and he was a finalist for the Kundiman prize. Albert currently teaches creative writing at SUNY Geneseo and the Rochester Institute for Technology.


This is One Way to Dance: Essays, by Sejal Shah

Sejal Shah's stories and essays have appeared  in The GuardianBrevity, Conjunctions, Guernica, the Kenyon Review Online, Literary Hub, Longreads, and The Rumpus. The recipient of a 2018 NYFA fellowship in fiction, Sejal recently completed a story collection and is at work on a memoir about mental health. She lives in Rochester, New York.


Browse the full list 30 Leaders in Asian American Literature


This Month's Indie Next Picks

Now in Paperback

Black Lives Matter Reading List

5% of sales generated by Ampersand’s Essential Reading: Black Lives Matter is helping build the Readings on Justice collection at Rochester’s Arnett Branch Library. To date, over $200 has been raised. You are encouraged to donate and help grow the fund (select “Other” and write “Arnett Library” in the tribute field). 

Browse our Black Lives Matter reading list


Exile Poems: In the Labyrinth of Homesickness

SKU: 9781946645043CB
List price: $17.95
Price: $17.95

A Safe Distance

SKU: 9781599489032CB
List price: $14.00
Price: $14.00

The Lost Brother Alphabet

SKU: SP9781734580211
List price: $16.00
Price: $16.00

Wild Things: Poems

SKU: CB9781599488912
List price: $12.00
Price: $12.00
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