An American Memoir
“Telling the truth has always been a radical and political act, but Kiese Laymon writes in Heavy with a rare, vulnerable unity of personal urgency and political clarity. This is a story about how our country’s lies and thefts weigh heavily on the hearts and souls of its black mothers and sons. About how dishonesty about white supremacy, money, sex, and violence threads through our most intimate relationships and causes us to become strangers to ourselves. If Heavy is about lies, it is also fundamentally about the redemptive power of truth, stories, language, and joy. If there’s a way out of the loneliness of being human in a country that does not value or support humanity, Laymon suggests, it is in the connection we find in the words we toss to one another, like lifelines, like laughter.”E.R. Anderson, Charis Books & More
When No One Is Watching
“This is a must-read thriller rooted deeply in Brooklyn and its racist past. As the neighborhood makes plans for the annual block party, Sydney ends up battling more than the microaggressions from her new white neighbors. When her best friends go missing, her mom's prized garden is threatened, and a fake meter reader breaks into her home, she will put everything on the line to get out alive. At least she's got a semi-charming, well-meaning Theo by her side.”Christy, Avid Bookshop
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning
“I really enjoyed this audiobook, and was lucky enough to meet Jason Reynolds at Winter Institute 2020, and he said he hopes this book helps all of us have a full knowledge and a frank discussion about race in America. Reynolds is an engaging narrator, and he deftly reads this remix of Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award winning Stamped From the Beginning. I learned a great deal from this book, and I have been studying American history my whole life. Reynolds' book will allow adults to educate middle readers -- and all of us -- about the true legacy of America's past, and where we go from here. An absolutely essential book. I can't recommend it highly enough, and am grateful to Kendi and Reynolds for providing an accessible telling of the great irony of the premise on the American truth that all men are created equal.”John, Main Point Books
The Poet X
“The Poet X is written and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo. It is a novel made up of poems by a teenager, Xiomara Batista, growing up in Harlem. Acevedo's narration is wonderful and brings the story to life. Xiomara's dad is MIA even though he lives at home; her mother is extremely religious and pushes her faith onto her daughter; her twin brother is quiet and also working through his own feelings; she starts her first relationship with a guy; and all the time Xiomara is told what she can and cannot do, gets accosted by men, has to defend herself because no one else will, is questioning God and has no one to open up to. She releases her pent of feelings in a notebook. It isn't until her new English teacher introduces her to spoken poetry that she realizes that is what she is meant to be: a poet. This is a lovely story of a young, misunderstood girl, coming of age and showing the world that she is worth it. Great for adults who enjoyed Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and extremely relevant literature for the #metoo movement.”Kelly, M. Judson Booksellers
The Undocumented Americans
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.
“Karla’s book sheds light on people’s personal experiences and allows their stories to be told and their voices to be... Read more »
The Warmth of Other Suns
The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
“I'm sorry I hadn't gotten to this sooner. Wilkerson pulls together so much of what I already knew about the US but not necessarily why... a great audiobook, too.”Jamie, Flyleaf Books
An Asian American Reckoning
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • ONE OF TIME’S 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE • A ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original exploration of Asian American consciousness
“Brilliant . . . To read this book is to become more human.”—Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen
In... Read more »
The Fifth Season
The Broken Earth: Book #1
If you enjoyed The City We Became, then you’ll love The Fifth Season.
“Maybe one of the best science fiction/fantasy novels I've ever read! No wonder the entire trilogy won three consecutive Hugo Awards. I loved: the masterfully crafted nonlinear storytelling that kept me guessing til the very end, the unparalleled world building, the strong characterization, the high stakes action/adventure, the diversity of relationship dynamics, the provocative depictions of the sexuality and gender, and the commentary on how otherness is so feared in society it leads to brutality and in some cases catastrophic ends. AMAZING! COMPLEX! and ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!”Zinna, A Great Good Place for Books
All Boys Aren't Blue
This program is read by the author.
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first...
Once I Was You
A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America
NPR’s Best Books of 2020
BookPage’s Best Books of 2020
Real Simple’s Best Books of 2020
Boston.com readers voted one of Best Books of 2020
“Anyone striving to understand and improve this country should read her story.” —Gloria Steinem, author of My Life on the Road
The Emmy Award–winning journalist and anchor of NPR’s Latino USA tells the story... Read more »
America Is Not the Heart
Named one of the best books of 2018 by NPR, Real Simple, Lit Hub, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Post, Kirkus Reviews, and The New York Public Library
"A saga rich with origin myths, national and personal . . . Castillo is part of a younger generation of American writers instilling literature with a layered sense of... Read more »
In the Dream House
“A masterful look at the complexity of the queer experience. Machado employs a kaleidoscope approach to examine her relationship with an old partner, a woman who verbally, physically and emotionally assaulted her, her own personal experiences that led her to stay “in the dream house” of abuse, and society’s role in the oppression and devaluation of women, especially queer women and women of color. Through a mix of long and super short chapters, examples of old folk tales and pop culture, and more realistic narrative, Machado digs deep into the confusing, distorted and contradictory aspects of a toxic relationship, in which the victim begins to doubt her own reactions and motives. It’s a #fivestarreview for us, and #requiredreading! And the @librofm #audiobook features Machado reading! Amazing amazing amazing. ”Jhoanna, Bel Canto Books
From the Desk of Zoe Washington
“Zoe loves to bake. She wants to be a professional pastry chef when she grows up, and her mom landed her an internship at a local bakery this summer! But when she receives a letter from her birth father in prison on her 12th birthday, everything changes. Marcus sounds very nice in his letter, but he's in jail for murder. Zoe's not sure at first, but as she writes back and forth with Marcus (secretly—her mom would never allow it), she sees that he's really a good person. Could innocent people go to prison? With friendship challenges, cupcake creations, and a fight for justice—not to mention Bahni Turpin's peppy narration—From the Desk of Zoe Washington is an absolute delight to listen to.”Mary, Raven Book Store
These Ghosts are Family
PEN/Hemingway Award For Debut Novel Finalist
Shortlisted for the 2020 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
A “rich, ambitious debut novel” (The New York Times Book Review) that reveals the ways in which a Jamaican family forms and fractures over generations, in the tradition of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.
Stanford Solomon’s shocking,... Read more »
“My goodness, I love the quartet of flawed and wonderful characters Aja Gabel brings to life. I felt the heartbreak and triumph each time the ensemble performed. The Ensemble captures everything from the relentless rehearsals to the particular hand injuries musicians worry over to the conflict within the group. Henry, Daniel, Jana, and Britt are each characters unto themselves, but together they create a fifth character: the quartet itself. An inventive novel about the lives of musicians and the world they inhabit, full of tension, ambition, confusion, and loyalty. The Ensemble is a remarkable achievement.”Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books
“If one had to identify the single most influential shaping force in modern Black literary history, one would probably have to point to Wright and the publication of Native Son.” – Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and...Read more »
Sabrina & Corina
Latinas of Indigenous descent living in the American West take center stage in this haunting debut story collection—a powerful meditation on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands.
Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Indigenous Latina characters and the land they... Read more »
A Pride & Prejudice Remix
“Elizabeth Acevedo was the perfect choice for the reader of this sensational retelling of Pride & Prejudice. Zuri Benitez absolutely comes to life through her performance. Zoboi's Pride is a fresh yet faithful adaptation of the timeless classic, sure to speak to fans of Austen's original book and introduce a whole new generation to the wit and wisdom of her works. ”Michael Leali, Anderson's Bookshop
The Greek Myths Reimagined
In this sequel to the bestselling Mythos, legendary author and actor Stephen Fry moves from the exploits of the Olympian gods to the deeds of mortal heroes.
Perseus. Jason. Atalanta. Theseus. Heracles. Rediscover the thrills, grandeur, and unabashed fun of the Greek myths. Whether recounting a tender love affair or a heroic triumph, Fry deftly... Read more »
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
The Brown Sisters: Book #1
“I loved everything about this book. A romantic comedy with a heroine of color who also suffers from fibromyalgia? Sign me up. It's raunchy and hysterical and I loved every minute of it. The one down side was that I couldn't listen to it with my kids in the car, so it took me longer than I would've liked to finish it. ”Anna, Katy Budget Books