Staff Picks by Tag

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Deacon King Kong: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735216723
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - March 3rd, 2020

It's September, 1969, int he Brooklyn projects, The Cause, where poverty consumes the residents and rarely spits them out. Five Ends Baptist Church is a strong force within this community. One of its deacons, a kindhearted by drunken 71 year-old known as Sportcoat, shoots a young drug dealer in broad daylight before many witnesses. Stumbling off toward the rest of his day, Sportcoat eludes the law and claims not to remember a thing about shooting Deems. From this point on the spicy dialogues swirl before the reader, as people react to this unexpected act of violence. Sportcoat's reputation weighs in heavily, making clear the loyalty that poverty generates. McBride's brilliant portrait of these connected souls underline the power of words!


Review by Jane

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Everywhere You Don't Belong Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781616208790
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
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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The Nickel Boys: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780345804341
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor - June 30th, 2020

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 Mercy Seat Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802129611
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press - April 16th, 2019

Under the canopy of oppressive heat and humidity, small town Louisiana residents in 1943 brace for an exciting (for some) and horrific (for others) event. Willie Jones, 18, will be executed at midnight for the rape of a white girl. Tensions mount as the narrative moves quietly from one burdened character to another, each playing a role in the condemning of a young man who loved Grace. Resigned to his fate, Willie spends his last month anticipating his death, while his parents, Frank and Elma do the same, knowing their son's innocence will not matter. Heartsick with his options, the prosecuting attorney is forced by Klan members to choose life for his own son, Gabe, or that of Willie Jones. Simply told, this complex web of humanity explodes when the evening takes the worst possible turn!


Review by Jane