Did you hear? Jazmina Barrera’s On Lighthouses , translated from Spanish by Christina MacSweeney, is a May 2020 Indie Next Pick ! This is huge, and we owe it all to our friends in the indie bookselling community.

As you’ve heard by now, many bookstores have been forced to close their physical stores for the indefinite future. Booksellers have provided support to our communities for years. Now they need ours.

Normally in an email like this one, we’d link you to our website for purchase. Today, we’d like to encourage you to shop local. Pre-order On Lighthouses (out 5/12) through an independent bookstore and we'll send you our limited edition On Lighthouses tote bag for FREE (additional details below).

Here is a list (with links) of some of our favorite bookstores you can order On Lighthouses from RIGHT NOW:

To receive your tote, simply purchase On Lighthouses from an indie bookstore and email Chad ( a screenshot or photo of your receipt, as well as the address where you'd like to receive your tote bag.

Please use the subject line INDIE SUPPORT. In the event that your store of choice does not offer online orders, consider ordering through Bookshop .

Thanks for your support, and thanks for reading!

“In On Lighthouses , author Jazmina Barrera escapes her dreary New York apartment and sets off on a personal quest to collect lighthouses. This is a lovely book, beautifully translated by Christina MacSweeney.” 
—Caitlin L. Baker, Island Books (Mercer Island, WA)

“This is one of those small but powerful books. We talk about memoir and the essay but this is just beautiful prose.  On Lighthouses is Barrera’s gift to us. Her homage to literature, nature, and of course lighthouses is beautiful and touching. I could read this book a thousand times.”
—Nick Buzanski, Books are Magic (Brooklyn, NY)

“Yes, it’s very much about actual lighthouses—the history, the buildings, the people, the tchotchkes, everything. But it’s also about the lighthouse as a personal totem of something complex and sometimes difficult. It’s a perfect little book.”
—Christie Olson Day, Gallery Bookshop (Mendocino, CA)

“This wonderful collection of essays takes a look at lighthouses, venturing into history, literature, and so much more. Each essay focuses on a specific lighthouse but veers into uncharted territory, whether it’s birds, books, relationships, or vacations. A moving book written in a generous voice.”
—Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore (Houston, TX)

“A charming collection of how lighthouses are both mysterious solitary structures and places where people gather. Through Barrera’s journey around the world’s lighthouses, we see how personal and literary history has shaped each shore.”
—Katie Kenney, Bank Square Books (Mystic, CT)

“At once tour guide and tale spinner, Barrera leads the reader safely down a rocky path toward some weathered and charming stone structure. Her characters, whether literary, historical, or personal, all share a fascination with lighthouses, and readers will find themselves swept up in her enthusiasm for the dreamy idea of lighthouses as well as the physical bodies themselves. This little book should be shelved with those other books that seem more like friends. Books too can be beacons, sharing light in times of darkness, offering safe passage for troubled minds and heavy hearts.”
—Mara Lynn Luther, Chapter One Book Store (Hamilton, MT)

“This perfect little book contemplates lighthouses in a symbolic, metaphorical, and literal sense. What are they for? What do they represent? What do they mean? Barrera’s personal experience mixes with her obsessive research on the subject in a deeply philosophical yet utterly approachable volume.”
—Annie Metcalf, Magers & Quinn (Minneapolis, MN)

On Lighthouses  is less of a book, and more of an ongoing conversation between the author and the reader. Part memoir, part history, part meditation; Jazmina Barrera has written a book that belongs in every proper study, tucked away on a bookshelf, waiting to be discovered by the next reader. This is a beautiful gift book that will be a pleasure to hand sell.”
—Mary O'Malley, Anderson’s Bookshop (Naperville, IL)

“Jazmina Barrera’s deceptively quiet book  On Lighthouses  guides the reader through little histories of various lighthouses, both real and literary, while offering a deeply satisfying look at what it means to indulge an obsession, to follow our fascinations down whatever rabbit hole they wish to take us.”
—Emma Ramadan, riffraff (Providence, RI)

“Vivid in its literary, historical, and visual references,  On Lighthouses  is not reducible to a single category but exists across multiple genres. Intertwining compassionate ruminations on isolation, selfhood, and the different facets of lighthouses, the book is a beautiful expression of how we grow into a life. Jazmina Barrera has crafted a work that reaches a new level of profundity.”
—Cristina Rodriguez, Deep Vellum Books (Dallas, TX)

“The author’s lifelong fascination with lighthouses bears rich fruit in this extended meditation on solitude, the collector’s urge, and the lure of the beacon keeper’s life. For Barrera, lighthouses are a source of solace against life’s vicissitudes, and  On Lighthouses  is itself a balm, a book to keep near and return to. Beautifully done!”
—Peter Sherman, Wellesley Books (Wellesley, MA)

“Lighthouses are an object of perennial fascination, complex symbols that are too often reduced to kitsch. Jazmina Barrera’s study of her obsession with these beacons beautifully avoids cliche in favor of a fresh approach that blends memoir, nautical history, and remarkable insight into just why so many of us are drawn to the lights.”
—Stephen Sparks, Point Reyes Books (Point Reyes, CA)

“Jazmina Barrera’s musings on lighthouses take the reader on a journey into her obsession, but also into the comfort that comes from a thing so familiar, so comforting, yet so very ethereal and spectral. This is a book to be read, then read again and again.”
—Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop (Southern Pines, NC)

“Jazmina Barrera’s  On Lighthouses  is the book I’ve been waiting for since the summer of 2019 when I visited the Hooper Strait Lighthouse at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in Saint Michaels, Maryland. Ever since this visit, lighthouses have been at the back of my mind. Who would live in one? What is it about the image of a lighthouse that seems to linger? Barrera explores this and so much more in her beautiful book. Its wonderfully simple title invites you in but then Barrera sets you adrift within lighthouse history, culture, and her own musings. An extraordinary work that I read slowly because I didn’t want it to end.”
—Michael Triebwasser, Politics & Prose (Washington, DC)

“In On Lighthouses , Jazmina Barrera considers vistas and crannies, collections and keepsakes, en route to a deeply personal reckoning with these often whimsical and frequently foreboding seaside beacons. From the Oregon coast to the pages of Edgar Allen Poe, it becomes apparent that each of these structures, whether real or imagined, are just as fascinating and complex as the individuals who inhabit them. With a tender and thoughtful translation from Christina MacSweeney, On Lighthouses is a delightful book awash with inspiration.”
—Justin Walls, Powell’s Books (Portland, OR)

Some folks say that thanks to Barrera’s book, they’ll never look at lighthouses the same—for me, thanks to Barrera’s book, I’ll never look at my obsessions, major or minor, the same ever again.”
—Anna Weber, White Whale Bookstore (Pittsburgh, PA)

“Jazmina Barrera’s  On Lighthouses  is a thoughtful, lovely meditation on isolation and connection. Barrera travels the world, meeting friends and kin and strangers and historical figures, all while seeking out lonely lighthouses and digging deep into her solitary “collecting” process. The book is as liminal as its subject—separate from others, but in service to them; not urgent, but just possibly the single slight thing needed to keep a reader from the rocks.”
—Helen Zuckerman, Community Bookstore (Brooklyn, NY)
Two Lines Press | Center for the Art of Translation