This short story collection was unlike anything I've ever read. I've never seen women and queerness so front and center in this way and Machado does it all with a breezy air of magical realism. From a retold fable with parenthetical asides to reimagined Law & Order plotlines to an inventory of lovers set against a global virus (which may hit close to home, eesh). I hope it sticks with you like it has stuck with me.
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
I love fairytale/mythology retellings, so from the beginning I expected to enjoy this reimagining of Homer's Iliad, as told from Patroclus' perspective. I didn't expect to fall in love with this quiet and gentle story about legacy and how we choose to honor the ones we love. If you're on the fence about it, jump off and pick it up!
Amari's adventure begins when she receives a package from her missing brother. Before he went missing, he nominated her for an elite summer camp with the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. She has a lot of catching up to do if she wants to fit in with her supernatural peers and solve her brother's disappearance!
Equal parts creepy ghost tale, social commentary, grief study, and pure poetry. Man Evie Wyld does not disappoint. She is the master of eerie and bone chilling. In Bass Rock, it's not the suggestion of ghosts that frightens but the specter of generations of violence against women that truly terrifies. I appreciate her ability to write all types of women. The honesty her characters exude is something I find very rarely in fiction. Evie Wyld is not writing to please anyone but herself and ultimately, you.
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.
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.
Essential for Palahniuk fans as well as writers wanting to learn from a seasoned pro. He gives you behind-the-scenes insight into his infamous story, Guts, his eventful book tours, and, of course, Fight Club. He also tells you how to write a damn good story, he should know. You don't have to take his word as God but you are guaranteed, regardless, to be entertained.
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.
Have you ever wanted to know what Dave Eggers read when he was a kid? What is Louise Erdrich reading right now? Book nerds Nancy Pearl and Jeff Schwager (librarian/author and playwright, respectively) pick the brains of other book nerds (famous writers) about the books that made them who they are. If you want some good recommendations from authors you trust as well as insight into their writing and reading lives, this is the book for you!