A chicken soup for the serious reader, Akashic Books is a Brooklyn-based small press dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction by authors ineligible for the faddish ranks of the best-seller list. With a stable of titles refreshingly free of diet plans, self-help schemes or get-rich-quick kits, Akashic’s editorial and production values formulate an un-stuffy and accessible literary brand that politely refuses to pander to the lowest common denominator. At Akashic Books, Cuban socialist crime novels share the shelf with cartoon immigrant epics and an in-depth treatise on the political economy of black music. Mind you, these aren’t crank books for a niche market of contrarian snobs preaching to their own choir. They’re books — great books — written, edited and sold by steady hands to discerning readers who’d rather peruse a diverse sampling of what people are writing instead of shilling out their dough to cliché bestsellers. Drop by and explore the range of thought outside of the box.