Most recent staff pick: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Brit Bennett managed to take on the astounding notion that despite a person's blackness being only a fraction of who they are it can have the largest influence over who they become. The Vanishing Half is a wonderful exploration of identity beyond race, relationships, and the lengths people will go to be seen. Brit Bennett's contributions to the black canon are unwavering!
"Brit Bennett managed to take on the astounding notion that despite a person's blackness being only a fraction of who they are it can have the largest influence over who they become.
The Vanishing Half is a wonderful exploration of identity beyond race, relationships, and the lengths people will go to be seen. Brit Bennett's contributions to the black canon are unwavering!"
"How am I just discovering Bernice McFadden?! Sugar Lacey is a character that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Her resilience, her ability to still be vulnerable after all she's endured, you can't help but hope that she is suddenly granted all the comfort and well-being she deserves. If more people loved and grew together with the way the central characters in this story did, the world would be a much different place."
"All that you touch
All that you Change
The only lasting truth
Is Change." -- Earthseed: The Books of the Living, Lauren Olamina
Octavia Butler wrote a novel to live by, prepare for, and turn to. While her powers to see into the future might seem eerie, she didn't write this story as an inevitable outcome; instead, it serves more as a wary prophecy. What the protagonist, Lauren, is learning and looking to create is something we can build now. The world that she envisions can be our reality today if we choose it. Be Earthseed, shape change, and let change shape you.
"This book is a gem for a multitude of reasons! Kiley Reid undertook so many wide-ranging concepts as this story unfolded and I am in awe of her ability to triumph writing the "awkward". What makes every scene in this novel so cringe-worthy is its unwavering familiarity. So many of the characters represent the way people stifle their bias by hiding behind liberal fronts. Along with that Kiley manages to touch on the feeling of loneliness, navigating relationships where power scales are imbalanced, friendship, class, and so much more. Prepare to be uncomfortable...and maybe get a little angry. "
I felt compelled to write this review before I was even able to get halfway through this exhilarating novel. Oh how I've longed to get my hands on more Caribbean literature and Lauren Francis-Sharma has not disappointed in the slightest. The intricate details she gives to every single aspect of this story is probably the closest I've come to feeling like I've been transported to a different time and space. The characters, the land that surrounds them, the animals...I truly don't want this novel to end. I don't think that I will find myself reading a novel more beautifully written than this in 2020.
"Following the guidance of previous black feminist writers and theorists, Mikki Kendall explores how and why the exclusionary aspects of mainstream feminism still exist today. Each essay highlights the lived experiences of women that occupy the furthest margins of oppressed identities and the consequences of overlooking them in larger feminist conversations. Audre Lorde said, "the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house" and Hood Feminism is here to drive home that message in 2020. A must-read for any self-identified feminist."
"Caribbean literature is moving towards the center of the modern-day storytelling and I am basking in all the glory. Stories like these reveal the reality that when the goal is American life suddenly family, culture and responsibility all become disposable. A family saga wrapped up in generational trauma, secrets, identity and more. Don’t sleep on Maisy!"
"What is a life worth dying to achieve? Or a life that worth dying to escape? Who are the agents and the people that occupy and "protect" our borders? Luis Alberto Urrea, embarks on a valiant attempt to answer these questions and more through this multi-layered account of just one horrific incident at the U.S.-Mexico border. You will walk away from this book wanting to learn and know more about our current crisis and the longstanding traumatic history of poverty, commodification and the interwoven sadistic layers that leave us with we see at the border today."
Frannie is a character that Sara Collins forces you to keep with you long after you finish this book. Collins manages to cover the scope of slavery through bot an international and interdisciplinary lenses that uncovers yet another horrifying aspect to this time period. Not only do we follow Frannie Langton from the plantations of Jamaica to the foggy streets of London, we also learn of the psychological and scientific practices developed to keep people of color in subordinate positions in the most terrible of ways. Frannie Langton's story is one of true survival, but not one of a slave girl who had no autonomy but an enslaved woman who would not let her soul be put to rest without her truth being laid bare however it may be perceived. Though several generations apart, there is too much I could relate to in Frannie Langton and I can not stop talking about her! Anyone who reads her testimony will love her too!
My goodness. Octavia's writing is far too realistic to be science fiction! Too many times I found myself having to close this book because the story became way too vivid for my heart to handle. Dana is a modern woman, who only has what she has learned of slavery to help her survive being transported back to the slave era! Octavia uses Dana's unique circumstances to explore interracial relationships, racism, the effects of slavery and the development of powerlessness for marginalized folks in both antebellum and modern America. YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!
This is one of the most disturbing yet powerful speculative looks at what could become of the world if women suddenly had the power. Naomi Alderman weaves together an inventive transnational exploration of larger institutions of power, religion, and government relations and their impact on gender-based relations.
Every single time that I had to leave this book, I found myself counting down the seconds until I could get back to it! A beautifully-written story of two best friends who are separated by a tragic incident, but endure much more tragedy in the journey to reconnect with one another. Be prepared to be angry, to cry and just want to grab Savitha and Poornima and hold them tight.