I was riding a subway when I started this collection. The first story was so incredible I completely missed my stop and didn't even care. Brillant speculative fiction truly doesn't get any better than this. With themes such as systemic racism, it will hurt to process the words of this mirror turned on society, but you will never stop thinking about the important messages between these pages.
Yes!!! So real and honest on topics like sex, relationships, being black, how a slightly picky list of must-haves in a partner has changed over the years, did I mention sex? Normalizing conversations about pleasure, normalizing not being partnered at a certain age, all from the female perspective, really brought things to the forefront and I enjoyed how fun she could be while still taking it seriously. I know she wouldn't make me dinner but I'd love to be there when she had leftovers.
WOW! This blew my mind. This story is so unexpected, I literally didn't know what was going to happen until it did. If you crave conceptual time travel narratives along the lines of This is How You Lose the Time War, please, please, read For All Time.
Tamar and Fayard suddenly begin having strange dreams and visions, set in different centuries and places. It's as if they spent other lives meeting and falling in love, as if their souls seek each other in every era and continent. But it couldn't possibly be real because Tamar is really sick and Fayard should be figuring out college.
There's so much to this story and I wish I could tell you more, but then I'd spoil it for you.
Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night kept me up at night! in a good way! because I had to finish it in one sitting! This is a reissue of her first poetry collection printed from the Portland small press, Tin House. Parker's words dance amidst pain and reality television, Gwendolyn Brooks and Jay-Z. My favorite: "The World Is Beautiful but You Are Not in It"
Brandon Taylor is fast becoming one of my favorite writers. I will read anything he puts out. This collection on interconnecting stories will stay with you for a long time. A true gem in the literary world.
Powerful, honest, and sharp. Ford tells her story on her terms, refusing to compromise or shy away from how the absence of her incarcerated father and tense relationship with her mother defined her formative years. Her work is a gift that allows us to glimpse her fraught journey through hardship and loss towards love and self-acceptance. Simply beautiful.
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!
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.
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.
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.