Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick
Stories from the Harlem Renaissance
“Zora Neale Hurston’s (Their Eyes Were Watching God, Barracoon) body of work continues to grow and impress. In Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, 21 short stories, including several “lost” pieces depicting the Great Migration to northern cities and Harlem’s educated New Negro middle class, offer an updated perspective of Hurston’s Harlem Renaissance-era cultural commentary. These stories, written in the 1920s and 30s, explore toxic masculinity and women’s agency, urban vs. rural class representations, colorism/shadeism, identity politics, and the intersectionality of race, class, age, and gender in a way that remains relevant today. And, by using humor, folklore, and her unique combination of delicate prose and vernacular speech, Hurston also has written thoroughly engaging slices-of-life, always centering Black characters, from a very specific time period. To fully appreciate Hurston’s stories, Tayari Jones (An American Marriage) recommends in her foreword, “reading this work aloud, enjoying the feel of the words in your mouth, and the sound of English tightened and strummed like the strings of a banjo.””BrocheAroe, River Dog Book Co.
Nothing to See Here
If you enjoyed Mostly Dead Things, then you’ll love Nothing to See Here.
“When Lillian and Madison first meet at a fancy boarding school, one is the wealthy heir of a department store fortune, the other a white trash scholarship kid. After an incident at the school breaks them apart, they don't see each other for many years until the magnetic Madison, now the wife and strategist for a powerful Tennessee politician, unexpectedly asks Lillian for a favor and offers her a job: become a nanny for her ten-year-old twin stepchildren. Stepchildren who have the politically inconvenient habit of literally bursting into flames. Lillian immediately finds herself caught again under Madison's spell, but as she begins to grow closer to the children, she increasingly finds that she's the only one on the childrens' side. And she also finds something she's always craved: a sense of family and belonging. Nothing to See Here is a hilarious and poignant comedy of manners and spontaneous combustion, and you'll find yourself rooting for Lillian and the kids like they're your favorite team playing in the World Series. This book falls in that perfect little sweet spot: well-written, moving, funny, and most difficult of all: not depressing.”Rachel, The Book Table
“Brief and brilliant, Jenny Offill’s Weather doesn’t need page after page to trap us inside. Tearing through precision-crafted paragraphs, we willingly follow a Brooklyn librarian down a doomsday rabbit hole as she tries to limit the world’s damage to those she loves. On the express bus to the demise of civilization, find a seat next to Lizzie for a wild and witty ride through the storm raging across America. An astute and satisfying read.”Ann Woodbeck, Excelsior Bay Books
Such a Fun Age
“When I attempted to write a review for Such a Fun Age, I was at a loss for words. How could I encapsulate how Kiley Reid’s startling debut perfectly captured what it means to be a woman? The societal pressure, the self-doubt, the perseverance, the constant comparison — all of it was perfectly represented through Reid’s two wonderfully flawed and captivating leads. Follow Emira and Alix, two women on seemingly incongruous paths who find themselves searching for purpose and an authentic sense of self. Such a Fun Age tackles complex issues — race, gender, economic status, and the intersection of them all — yet remains accessible. You will not want to put this book down; when you do, you’ll be itching to pick it back up again.”Gennifer Eccles, Flyleaf Books
Deacon King Kong
“An amazing cast of characters and compelling storyline coupled with fantastic dialogue delivers a dynamic novel. One one level this is a great story, but on so many other levels it touches on the Great Migration and class and society - and also how regular folks cross many divides to simply just support each other through life. A great audiobook as well.”Jamie, Flyleaf Books
Writers & Lovers
“Casey is the brilliant and vulnerable protagonist in this well-written novel. She is a writer and is striving to have her novel published. When not writing, Casey is waiting tables in Cambridge. She finds herself torn between two lovers. One prospect is a famous writer who is a widower with two children. The other is Silas, who is a teacher and the less stable of the two suitors. He shows up whenever he feels like it. Through the book, Casey suffers a health scare which enables her to focus on what she really wants and needs in her life. The writing is spectacular. As I listened to this book, I wanted to take notes of the extraordinary language. The narrator was up to the task and did an exemplary job.”Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
How to Hide an Empire
A History of the Greater United States
“Daniel Immerwahr dives into a more thorough history of the United States -- filling those holes glossed over by history books. Extending beyond the Mainland or "50 States" map, he brings many lost or shadowed histories into the light. Very good listen!”Emma, Content