Bookseller at Seward Park
Elijah is a defunct microbiologist who now applies his understanding of yeasts and bacteria to home fermenting. Ask him about his cat or, more topically, books involving cooking, criticism, pronounced sadness, or strange monomanias
Featured in this collection is an essay from 2018 that, in passing, mentions the increasing likelihood of a pandemic and the return of fascism. Which is to say, Gabbert writes with an eerie prescience suggesting that, if one reads enough, and from disparate enough sources, they can predict the future. Of course, this is a big ask for most people--so I recommend they read this book instead.
I don't believe in a book that can save the world; however, after How To Do Nothing, I do believe in one that can remind us to love it again. This book, more manifesto than self-help, recommends a reclamation of attention, informed by art and philosophy, that aims to anchor us in our social and ecological communities. These are small rebellions that you can carry out every day. What do you have to lose?
Cancer is less a discrete ailment than a spectrum of intimate betrayals, a reality both experienced and made metaphor in Boyer's methodical and excruciating memoir. Boyer extends her critical acumen and poetic precision to cancer through the microscope-lenses of biology, capitalism, gender, and art, revealing a disease inherent to, and fashioned by, us.
Whatever your level of familiarity with poetry, Abdurraqib is a joy to read. His ampersandic verse explores the transactions of love and power and joy that comprise our world. In a book ranging topically from police brutality to heartbreak to Afrofuturism, Abdurraqib asks us to pay attention, to bear witness, to feel.