PositiveBooklistThe novel answers its primary question, \'Is doing good even possible?\', with significant emotional honesty, and Lichtman’s clear and accessible writing allows readers to explore its complex topics at many levels. Jonas is a bundle of shifting emotions, needs, and coping mechanisms, and rather than doing good, easing the discomfort of being human is at times all he can manage.
Khaled Khalifa Trans. by Leri Price
RaveBooklist[A] powerhouse novel ... clear-eyed in its presentation of living in a war zone ... Khalifa reaches readers with a style that is straightforward, true, and profound.
PositiveBooklistSoloway...writes with self-awareness about their jealousy of more successful peers; their messy divorce; the integration of their life into the show’s story lines; and their mistakes and triumphs ... This is an honest look at Soloway’s mind-opening journey, which allowed for deeper understanding of Hollywood’s patriarchy as well as of the author’s own gender, art, and self.
Lacy M. Johnson
PositiveBooklistThese essays attempt to parcel out several knotted problems and suggest forms of meaningful justice ... She implicates herself, offering her personal life up for examination, modeling what we all must do to achieve anything close to justice. Johnson’s questions and answers are hard but necessary.
PositiveBooklist\"At the moment a seagull drops on Ray Eccles’ head, his eyes open to a woman’s face. He paints that face, over and over, for years: first in foodstuffs on the wall of his rented bungalow, and later in sought-after paintings as part of the outsider-art movement. Paige invites us to spend time in the life of Eccles’ unknown muse, a young mother who runs a dress shop and who eventually discovers her fame ... The small moment with the seagull ripples into large impacts across many lives in untidy ways that are nonetheless compelling and honest.
PositiveBooklistQuestions of queerness, race, and social position intersect in important ways in Donkor’s debut ... Donkor’s nuanced world view allows readers to see the layers of life that intelligent, burdened Belinda discovers.
RaveBooklist\"Bauer’s amazing book examines one of slavery’s toxic legacies, using convicted people to make profit, through a dual approach ... In short, he observes an acutely dangerous and out-of-control environment created by CCA’s profit-driven underpaying of staff and understaffing of prisons. Bauer’s historical and journalistic work should be required reading.\
PositiveBooklist OnlineThe premise of Mattson’s debut could have overtaken his story, but doesn’t. The novel contains 80 film reviews written by critic Noah Body, who lives in a future where water usage is monitored and those who live in the Zone have microchips. Body’s reviews are the cynical underpinning for the novel’s primary story of his own life ... Writing reviews that no one reads of films he doesn’t respect has worn Body down to the point that making art is a matter of survival: he must make his own film. Is it enough to redeem him? Mattson’s intelligence, in the form of...observations and acrobatic language, takes the novel’s center stage.
Michael Scott Moore
RaveBooklist Online\"Moore’s account of his captivity in Somalia is a fascinating page-turner ... Moore’s honest writing will speak to readers; he is candid about his feelings, his mistakes, Somalia, his conditions, and his pirates. He walks the tightrope of inviting readers to have empathy for pirates whose national history includes brutal colonialism while demonstrating the pirates’ capacity for torture ... Having faced an experience no one ever should, Moore constructs a narrative that makes readers’ hearts beat faster and with purpose.\
PositiveBooklist Online\"In this debut story collection from Arthurs, winner of the 2017 Plimpton Award, readers meet Jamaicans in a wide spectrum of life moments ... Jamaican realities contemplated through many engaged and interesting eyes.\
PositiveBooklist\"Bullwinkel’s strength lies in her realistic portrayals of the human emotions these surreal situations amplify ... Readers will enjoy contemplating Bullwinkel’s launching points, but the strength of her writing and the nuanced views will stay with them long after.\
RaveBooklistMiles’ account of the founding and rise of Detroit is an outstanding contribution that seeks to integrate the entirety of U.S. history, admirable and ugly, to offer a more holistic understanding of the country ... Miles sets a standard for thoroughness. With scant historical documentation available, she details personal accounts of the lives of the 'unfree' and the political ideologies and actions that affected them.
RaveBooklistHansen’s must-read book makes the argument that Americans, specifically white Americans, are decades overdue in examining and accepting their country’s imperial identity ... Hansen’s argument goes beyond the factual assertion that Americans are ignorant of the country’s long, complicated, invasive histories with many other countries around the world. She makes the paradigm-breaking claim that what Americans are taught about their national and personal identities disallows the very acquisition of this knowledge ... Hansen builds her winning argument by combining personal examination and observation with geopolitical history lessons. She is a fearless patriot, and this is a book for the brave.