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February 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
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Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, by Roxane Gay (Harper)
“The story of [Gay’s] body is, understandably, linked to the story of her life; she tells both, and discusses victims of sexual violence and people whose bodies don’t adhere to the ideal of thinness. In 88 short, lucid chapters, Gay powerfully takes readers through realities that pain her, vex her, guide her, and inform her work. The result is a generous and empathic consideration of what it’s like to be someone else: in itself something of a miracle.” —Annie Bostrom
Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan (Scribner)
“Like Dennis Lehane, Egan has combined insightful historical fiction with emotionally rich crime fiction to create a riveting and provocative investigation into the human condition. For all her keen attunement to social metamorphosis, what is most engrossing is Egan’s charting of the psychological eddies and storms that shape her irresistibly stubborn, risk-seeking characters. . . . This propulsive, surprising, ravishing, and revelatory saga . . . casts us all as divers in the deep, searching for answers, hope, and ascension.” —Donna Seaman
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, by Sherman Alexie. Read by the author (Hachette)
“Alexie quickly bowls listeners over with his down-to-earth, honest, and authentic voice, in all its idiosyncrasies. When replicating speech patterns of family members or others, he uses what he calls ‘a heavy-duty reservation accent,’ raising his pitch at the end of sentences and emphasizing certain syllables. He sings and chants a few passages and repeats such refrains as ‘I should have done more,’ regarding his mother’s illness and subsequent death. . . . Alexie fans and newcomers alike will rejoice in this mesmerizing audio that will ring in their ears long after the final words.” —Sue-Ellen Beauregard
Grand Canyon, by Jason Chin. Illus. by the author (Roaring Brook/Neal Porter)
“Dazzling, detailed artwork steals the show in this gorgeously illustrated book about the grand canyon. Chin’s meticulous paintings feature wildlife, plants, and geology at every level of the canyon, and clever die-cuts reveal glimpses of the region as it appeared at different prehistoric moments. Chin’s crystal clear text and stunning visuals do ample justice to a majestic place.” –Sarah Hunter
American Street, by Ibi Zoboi (HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray)
“Zoboi’s stunning debut intertwines mysticism and love with grit and violence to tell the story of Fabiola Toussaint, a Haitian teen adjusting to her new life in Detroit. Fabiola’s dream of a better life with her aunt and cousins in America snags when her mother is detained at the U.S. border. Forced to continue alone, she must also confront the reality that her new neighborhood is every bit as dangerous as the one she left behind in Port-au-Prince. Zoboi pulls no punches when describing the dangerous realities of the girls’ lives, but tender moments are carefully tucked into the plot as well. . . . Fierce and beautiful.” —Julia Smith
Youth Picture Book
Before She Was Harriet, by Lesa Cline-Ransome. Illus. by James E. Ransome (Holiday)
“In reverse chronological order, Cline-Ransome’s pithy, lyrical lines lay out the prolific achievements of Harriet Tubman, from her campaign for women’s suffrage to her role as a spy during the civil war to her iconic work as a conductor on the underground railroad, all the way back to her childhood. James Ransome’s evocative, arresting watercolor paintings focus intently on Tubman’s dignified face at every step of the way in this illuminating, moving picture book.” –Sarah Hunter
The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. Read by Bahni Turpin (Harper)
“Bahni Turpin portrays the anguish, confusion, and anger of 16-year-old Starr, who finds herself caught between two very different worlds after she’s the only witness to the unprovoked police shooting of her friend. Listeners will not want to miss Turpin’s masterful performance of Angie Thomas’ acclaimed novel, which examines injustice and the complexities of race in America.” —Annie Bostrom
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