Staff Picks by Tag

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Black Buck Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780358380887
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - January 5th, 2021

No wonder our black salesman that breaks the fourth wall has been widely likened to Sorry to Bother You and The Wolf of Wall Street what with Askaripour's regimen of two hours of movie trailers and music videos before writing. A very well-balanced satire that makes you laugh and cringe at our very own world he holds a mirror to. A very hard one to put down!


Review by Emily

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A Master of Djinn (Dead Djinn Universe #1) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250267689
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tordotcom - May 11th, 2021

Thank you, P. Djeli Clark, for writing this Victorian Egyptian steampunk novel just for me!  "A Master of Djinn" melds the mysterious adventures of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody archaeological mysteries with the snarky steampunk vibe of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series.  Along with a dash of the inclusive romance that I've been devouring lately and a cast of multicultural characters, the result is the most entertaining book I've read this year from the most original voice I could hope to find.


Review by Deborah

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Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781580059510
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Seal Press - December 1st, 2020

Mediocre is anything but mediocre. Oluo lays out how we have perpetuated white supremacy and racism by celebrating the simple mediocrity of white maleness. With a seat at the table, she elbows room for other women and people of color, the biggest victims of this mediocrity, and unpacks the dangers of societal expectations. Well-researched and still accessible, this book will make you really angry but in a good way. 


Review by Emily

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The Tradition Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781556594861
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Copper Canyon Press - April 2nd, 2019

There's a reason why he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2020! These poems are lovely and devastating. Beautiful and heartbreaking, of course, with titles like "Bullet Points" as a black man in America and lines like "I love a man I know I could die" as an openly gay, HIV-positive man. Read this if you want something solid and good.


Review by Emily

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Chlorine Sky Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593176399
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - January 12th, 2021

I'm a sucker for a novel in verse! For fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Jacqueline Woodson, Mahogany L. Browne writes the story of a teenage girl just trying to play basketball without getting too cold in her best friend's shadow. Her words bite but her voice is delicate, letting me relish in that dichotomy of girlhood. Chlorine Sky feels like the chemicals from the community pool and the sun setting orange, your fingers are pruny but it's just so beautiful. Five more minutes


Review by Emily

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Brown Girl Dreaming Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780147515827
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Puffin Books - October 11th, 2016

A perfect example of a book for children and adults alike; give this to everyone you know! Woodson writes in verse, beautifully combining prose and poetry, to tell the autobiographical story of a brown girl coming of age at the tailend of Jim Crow. She grapples with identity and the idea of home, growing up in South Carolina and New York, while still trying to be a kid with dreams of becoming a writer. It's powerful, it's beautiful, it's no wonder it was a Newbery Award nominee.


Review by Emily

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Red at the Bone: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525535287
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - September 1st, 2020

Told in sparse paragraphs but with full language, like only the best bits you underline in a book. Woodson weaves together the many stories of a multi-generational black family as, across time, everyone navigates their own relationship with identity, gentrification, parenthood, class, and that red-to-the-bone feeling that comes with love.


Review by Emily

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Survival of the Thickest: Essays Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982122584
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Gallery Books - December 8th, 2020

Listening to the audiobook felt like, hilarious comedian, Michelle Buteau was my best friend sitting in my passenger seat. What I liked was that, like everyone, she has insecurities (especially as a mixed race plus size woman in our society) but she doesn't dwell and then fully embodies confidence, not cockiness and not in a ra-ra-bumper-sticker way. Essays range from her early years in comedy to bumbling hookups that led to her Dutch husband to 9/11 and trying to get pregnant via IVF. If that didn't convince you, watch her minute-long scene in Someone Great on Youtube then read this book.


Review by Emily

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Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062248572
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ecco - July 28th, 2020

Trethewey comes at writing a memoir like the poet that she is. Her words will break your heart almost as much as her story does, told from a daughter's perspective of her mother suffering through domestic violence. She really shows the thin line between love and hate, passion and anger, especially in the bone-chilling recorded phone calls between her mother and ex-husband. Through her efforts to learn more about the woman she lost when she was 19, Trethewey will take your breath away.


Review by Emily

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Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802156983
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - November 5th, 2019

This novel is both the stories of twelve women and a sweeping history of the Black British experience. With poetic prose, dazzling characters, and intricate details, it is impossible not to get lost in Evaristo's work.


Review by Kelly

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