Deacon King Kong
“Deacon King Kong is a quintessential New York story. Set in the Brooklyn projects in 1969, a perpetually inebriated deacon called Sportcoat aims a gun at the neighborhood’s main drug dealer in the public plaza and pulls the trigger. Incredibly well-constructed and hilarious at times, McBride’s story entwines a number of storylines that are kickstarted by this central event. The local Italian gangster, the veteran cop, the meddling churchgoers, and the drug pushers all have their own agendas, hopes, and dreams that are affected. And though Sportcoat doesn’t remember his actions and is always under the influence of gut-rot moonshine, I couldn’t help but root for him as I was reading this. His delightful ineptitude and absence of clarity made this book impossible for me to put down. If you’ve never read McBride before, this is a great introduction.”Stuart McCommon, Novel.
The World in the Whale
“This isn't a scientists memoir about their life studying whales; it's really just a rambling of facts that held me and my friends in fascination as we listened to it on libro.fm during a road trip. WHALES ARE SO INTERESTING! Rebecca lives in Australia and became obsessed with whales when a young humpback washed up too high on her local beach and none of their efforts helped save it. The book evaluates what we know about whales and their relationship to us in really fascinating ways, throughout human history. It also offers some running commentary on how humans currently interact with whales, and how they bring hope to our uncertain future with climate change and anthropocene-caused extinction. ”Amy, Bright Side Bookshop
“A Burning tells the all-too-believable story of Javin, a teen-age girl in India who has left school, despite being an excellent student, to get a job and help her struggling family. After a comment against the government on facebook, she is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, largely because she is a Muslim. Her story is the central of three comprising the novel. PT Sir is Javin’s physical education teacher who, largely through chance, becomes involved with the leading nationalist political party. And Lovely is a trans woman aspiring to be a film star whom Jivan is tutoring in English. As Jivan’s arrest and trial unfold, the stories of all three characters develop in alternating chapters told from each of their points of view. This novel is not only a compelling tale of each of the characters’ lives and the impact of PT Sir’s and Lovely’s actions on Jivan’s fate, but it is a critical examination of nationalism in India today – and thus a cautionary tale about nationalist extremism anywhere in the world.”Nancy, Raven Book Store
“A masterful blend of memoir and fiction, this is an unforgettable journey through the lives of a Muslim family finding their place in a post-9/11 America. A searing navigation of the loves we try to reconcile — familial, religious, societal — and the definition of home. Written with wisdom, wit, and unsparing honesty, this an important book that you will continue to contemplate for a very long time. Both intimate and epic, this is a must-read.”Pam Stirling, East Bay Booksellers
A Daughter's Memoir
“When poets write memoirs, I read them. And this shocking coming-of-age reflection on violence, race and motherless daughters evoked a subtle rage that later boiled and then recoiled in me by the end of the book. I am so grateful to witness Threthewey's survival on the page and in her own voice, as read in the audiobook. Unforgettable. ”Nicole, Bookworm of Edwards