RaveBooklistMaster storyteller Mosley has created a beautiful collection about Black men who are, indeed, awkward in their poignant humanity ... Mosley’s is an essential American voice and his portraits of Black men will have profound resonance.
PositiveBooklistWhile this fascinating book doesn’t ease the pain and anxiety of witnessing the elevated battle between Trump and reporters, it does provide an essential historical perspective.
RaveBooklistRandall draws on a real-life Ziggy Johnson, using his charisma and connections to reveal untold stories of Detroit and to celebrate an incredible network of artists and influences and the many ways of building community through church and club work but also through entertainment venues. This is an exuberant celebration of the arts, including the arts of living well and caring for others.
RaveBooklistDonoghue...offers vivid characters and a gripping portrait of a world beset by a pandemic and political uncertainty. A fascinating read in these difficult times ... Readers ardently pursue every book by Donoghue, but the prescient pandemic theme and valiant nurse protagonist in her powerful latest will increase interest exponentially.
RaveBooklist... powerful ... For a nation in the throes of a pandemic and wracked by four years of polarized politics, this is an important and timely book
PositiveBooklistFrancis-Sharma...offers fascinating characters across the broad sweep of the American continent at a time of great tumult, warring colonial powers, the spread of slavery, and expansion West. This is a compelling saga of family bonds, ambitions, and desires, all subject to the vagaries of powerful historical forces.
RaveBooklistHistorical sources on Agnes (aka Anne) Hathaway Shakespeare are few, so O’Farrell’s imagination freely ranges in this tale of deepest love and loss. Flashbacks document the Shakespeares’ marriage; O’Farrell offering a gentler rendering than the traditional view ... While O’Farrell encapsulates atmosphere through small sensory details ,she is laser-focused on human connections, their ebb and flow, and how they can drown a person. This striking, painfully lovely novel captures the very nature of grief.
Zora Neale Hurston
PositiveBooklistThroughout, Hurston draws insightful and humorous contrasts between southern and northern cultures, small-town and big-city life, and the ties and disconnects between country and urban folk. With biting wit, Hurston gets to the heart of the human condition, including racism, sexism, and classism, through the circuitous path of her characters, that is, the straight lick with a crooked stick ... Kicked off with a foreword by Tayari Jones, Hurston’s rediscovered stories will electrify book media and draw in readers.
PositiveBooklistBump’s first novel is a clipped and penetrating look at adolescent hope in the face of powerful social forces ... YAs will embrace the coming-of-age hero in Bump\'s Chicago-set novel about facing racial injustice.
RaveBooklistThese parallel internal and external journeys explore threats to freedom when truth is commodified. Man Booker–winner Okri’s modern allegory specifies and beautifully renders the impact on the human spirit when people are deprived of history and truth. Written with a striking simplicity that belies the significance of its message, Okri’s tale is especially resonant in our current post-truth environment.
PositiveBooklistStevenson details changes in victims’ rights, incarceration of juveniles, death penalty reforms, inflexible sentencing laws, and the continued practices of injustice that see too many juveniles, minorities, and mentally ill people imprisoned in a frenzy of mass incarceration in the U.S. A passionate account of the ways our nation thwarts justice and inhumanely punishes the poor and disadvantaged.
PositiveBooklistMengestu...offers a...languid yet emotionally charged unwinding of relationships amid the turmoil of immigration and cultural adjustment.
RaveBooklist[Coates] brings his considerable talent for racial and social analysis to his debut novel, which captures the brutality of slavery and explores the underlying truth that slaveholders could not dehumanize the enslaved without also dehumanizing themselves ... Beautifully written, this is a deeply and soulfully imagined look at slavery and human aspirations.
RaveBooklist... a broad and penetrating look at the Great Migration ... Wilkerson intersperses historical detail of the broader movement and the sparks that set off the civil rights era; challenging racial restrictions in the North and South; and the changing dynamics of race, class, geography, politics, and economics. A sweeping and stunning look at a watershed event in U.S. history.
PositiveBooklistKing draws on court documents and FBI archives to offer a compelling chronicle of the accusation, which led to a paroxysm of violence against the black community in Groveland, reminiscent of the destruction of Rosewood, in 1923; brutal beatings that led to forced confessions; and the dramatic trial.
PositiveBooklistFascinating in their own rights as major literary figures, Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston are also fascinating for their complicated relationship, which ended in a spectacular clash ... Taylor has created an intimate portrait of two luminaries of American literature against a backdrop of the cultural, political, and economic forces that influenced them.
PositiveBooklist...steeped in sharp intelligence and imagination ... This collection of essays and speeches covers a wide variety of topics that resonate with current issues ... starting with a touching eulogy of James Baldwin, Morrison takes a close look at her own work and that of writers and artists.
Dorothy Butler Gilliam
RaveBooklistIn her compelling memoir, [Gilliam] recounts her trailblazing career during the turbulence of the Vietnam War, the civil rights and women’s movements, and Watergate and looks beyond her personal journey to examine efforts to diversify the staffs of news organizations and other challenges currently facing the press.
Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, Minyon Moore, and Veronica Chambers
PositiveBooklistIn this intimate portrait of their careers, the Colored Girls detail their separate but overlapping journeys ... They describe the behind-the-scene feel of political campaigning, conventions, deal making, policy shaping, and voter courting ... Told with obvious deep respect and affection, this is a spirited look at the politics and personal lives of four iconic women.
RaveBooklistAcker brings keen observation of black culture, the lives of black women, and the city of Washington, D.C., to her first short story collection ... Beautifully rendered characters struggle to find a sense of themselves in their complex lives.
RaveBooklist Online\"Even as the nation celebrates the triumph of gay marriage rights, inequalities continue, particularly for LGBTQ youth, overwhelmingly minorities, who are part of the foster care system. Berg was a caseworker in a New York group home for young people in foster care ... Through their compelling stories, Berg looks at inequalities suffered by LGBTQ youth in housing, public safety, health care, prison, immigration, employment, poverty, and homelessness.\
RaveBooklistYoung presents a rogue’s gallery, including Grey Owl, Bernie Madoff, and Lance Armstrong, paying particular attention to the especially heinous frauds of journalists, including Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair. Young closes with an examination of today’s constant bombardment of intertwined facts and factoids and the need for each of us to try to suss out the truth. Compelling and eye-opening.
RaveBooklist\"As he charts social changes, Coates also offers a fascinating look at his own transformation as a black man and a writer. Before each essay, Coates provides context in light of recent political developments and concludes with an epilogue on the post-Obama era, noting that the Obama presidency aligned with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, \'America’s preeminent existential crisis.\' Coates’ always sharp commentary is particularly insightful as each day brings a new upset to the cultural and political landscape laid during the term of the nation’s first black president.\
PositiveBooklistWard alternates perspectives to tell the story of a family in rural Mississippi struggling mightily to hold themselves together as they are assailed by ghosts reflecting all the ways humans create cruelty and suffering. In her first novel since the National Book Award–winning Salvage the Bones (2011), Ward renders richly drawn characters, a strong sense of place, and a distinctive style that is at once down-to-earth and magical.