Bookseller at Lake Forest Park
Kelly is a goof from California who thoroughly enjoys a well-made mug of hot cocoa. She likes to read pretty much any genre, but usually returns to literary fiction and short stories. In her spare time, Kelly tells bad jokes and slowly kills her houseplants with her overenthusiasm.
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.
In a time when being queer meant (at best) imprisonment under a brutal dictatorship, five women band together in the beginnings of friendship. They create a safe haven in a beach hut along the coast, where they are free to be who they are and love who they want. A triumph, a celebration, and a mourning all in one.
The rage in Roisin's poetry collection slashes through to your heart, then the tenderness sews you back together again. This work explores accepting one's intersectional self and the weight of shame, ancestral trauma, and oppression. A book about survival, dedicated to survivors.
It is 1979, and the Islamic Revolution is at the doorstep of one family's fruit orchard in Northeastern Iran. The simplicity of family life becomes more difficult to maintain as each character's path becomes more complex by the risk of losing love, duty, traditions, and their safety. Not necessarily a light read, but a rich, lyrical story.
I could not put this book down. Marisol's spirit visits her nephew Ramon in modern-day New Jersey and prompts him to unearth painful family history and discover what happened to her after she disappeared during the Cuban Revolution. This story is many things - funny, heart-warming, captivating - and it is one of the few books that can make me laugh and cry while reading the same page.
If you have seen Paris is Burning or Netflix's Pose, you should read this book. This story is a fictionalized telling of the real House of Xtravaganza family members as they navigate 1980's New York, from walking in balls to walking the piers. Cassara shows us the dangers that can come with finding one's way in a bigoted society and shines a light on the strength, determination, and humor of these characters who ache to be seen.
This is my favorite, favorite book. Murray spins a dazzling web between his rich array of characters, creating a mystery that is funny, weird, and heart-wrenching. Skippy may die in the prologue, but the novel backtracks to show how desperately full of life he was. Every time I revisit this book, I always hope that the act of my reading will save him ... but it never does.