Bookseller at Ravenna
Nata is the newest addition to the staff at Third Place Books Ravenna. A lover of poetry, graphic novels, memoirs, and cultural studies, Nata feels grateful every day to live and work immersed in the world of books.
To Survive On This Shore is a book that has impacted a number of people in my life very deeply, a book full of wisdom and humanity. It shares from the experiences of older transgender adults across the United States, told in their own words and with vivid full-page portraits that draw you into each person's narrative.
Open up to the first poem in this collection, "to the fig tree on 9th & christian". With just the right mix of details-- smells, textures, sounds-- Ross Gay places you there beneath the fig tree with him, stuffing his pockets with ripening fruit from a neighbor's tree, reaching to pick the choicest fruits for passers-by. This book over-brims with beautifully glimpsed reflections on community life: neighbors sharing with neighbors, old friends sharing a meal together, the poet's experiences as a queer black man in relation to his city and his past. Read these poems and feel them create a warm, sacred space within you.
I was surprised to learn so much from this book-- about the life of Araminta Ross, who would later be known as Harriet Tubman; about the history of the Underground Railroad and its conductors; and about the many ways that Black folks have always resisted slavery and inequity. Nathan Hale's deeply expressive illustrations draw the reader into the odyssey of Tubman's life and offer an informative, age-appropriate look at the institution of slavery here in the United States.
Flotsam is a feast for the eyes, a window into the beautiful, imaginative vision of its illustrator. David Wiesner captures a kind of magic-- the wonder, hope, and possibilities of childhood-- in these wordless, meditative images.
This book made me laugh aloud with its sweet humor and visual cleverness. Tiny the T. Rex wants to cheer up his friend Pointy the Stegosaurus with a good hug, but his arms are so little that it seems like an impossible goal. Maybe the trick is to practice... Whatever it takes, Tiny will try to be there for his friend in a time of need.
Wild is a wonderful, vibrantly illustrated children's book that balances a deep message-- that the human spirit is stronger than any efforts to tame it, or break it-- with clever humor and whimsical visual beauty. I felt empowered and inspired by the reminder, relevant at any age, that we each have a right to seek happiness and belonging on our own terms. Share this book with the wild child (or adult!) in your life.
Reading this book was like watering my soul during a time when life had become rough and intellectually uninspired. The protagonist, Janie Crawford, is strong, passionate, and constantly evolving in her search for a fulfilling emotional life. Janie Crawford and Elizabeth Bennett, if they ever meet in book heaven, will have a good long chat about love, independence, and trueness to self in a world that often denies women all three.