Staff Picks by Tag

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Everywhere You Don't Belong Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616208790
Availability: Coming soon - available for pre-order now
Published: Algonquin Books - February 4th, 2020

Bump writes from his own childhood experience on the South Side of Chicago. It’s a heartfelt story with familiar themes of family, love, and growing up, but from a completely unique voice – one that will endear you to main character Claude McKay and one that needs to be heard.

 Pair it with Margo Jefferson’s Negroland a memoir, also about growing up, decades earlier and in another part of Chicago, as an affluent African-American. Two illuminating and unforgettable portrayals of race in the U.S.

Review by Elisabeth

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Not So Pure and Simple Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062349194
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Quill Tree Books - January 21st, 2020

What The Hate U Give did for opening up a conversation about police brutality and racial profiling, Not So Pure and Simple does for toxic masculinity. Giles is able to paint the normalcy of toxic masculinity in all its minute idiosyncrasies without it feeling like a beat-you-over-the-head-I’m-trying-to-teach-you-something story. It's hilarious, honest, and more necessary than I know how to put into words. If this book is any indication of what 2020 look like, we have every reason to be excited about the future. 

Review by Claire

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The Nickel Boys: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385537070
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Doubleday - July 16th, 2019

Whitehead lined up the plot of this novel as meticulously as dominos and then with a flick tore everything down in moments.

I sobbed at the end. Read it read it read it.

Review by Allie

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The Travelers: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525576198
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Hogarth - June 18th, 2019

Be prepared to glide across time, distance, and families in Regina Porter’s debut novel.  Her writing has rightly been described as “effortless” and is a joy to read.  You come to know well two families, one black and one white, and how related they (and we all) are.  As I marveled at her ability to portray each family member so deftly, I wondered– what would happen if she spent a week with my extended family?!

Review by Elisabeth

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Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060838676
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Amistad - March 19th, 2013

Reading this book was like watering my soul during a time when life had become rough and intellectually uninspired. The protagonist, Janie Crawford, is strong, passionate, and constantly evolving in her search for a fulfilling emotional life. Janie Crawford and Elizabeth Bennett, if they ever meet in book heaven, will have a good long chat about love, independence, and trueness to self in a world that often denies women all three.

Review by Nata