From the publisher: "In this startling group memoir, four friends—black and white, gay and straight, immigrant and American-born—use Toni Morrison's novels as a springboard for intimate and revealing conversations about the problems of everyday racism and living whole in times of uncertainty. Tackling everything from first love and Soul Train to police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, the authors take up what it means to read challenging literature collaboratively and to learn in public as an act of individual reckoning and social resistance. Framing their book club around collective secrets, the group bears witness to how Morrison's works and words can propel us forward while we sit with uncomfortable questions about race, gender, and identity. This slim and brilliant confessional offers a radical vision for book clubs as sites of self-discovery and communal healing."
From the publisher: "In 1925, Barnard student Zora Neale Hurston—the sole black student at the college—was living in New York, 'desperately striving for a toe-hold on the world.' During this period, she began writing short works that captured the zeitgeist of African American life and transformed her into one of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Nearly a century later, this singular talent is recognized as one of the most influential and revered American artists of the modern period. Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is an outstanding collection of stories about love and migration, gender and class, racism and sexism that proudly reflect African American folk culture. Brought together for the first time in one volume, they include eight of Hurston’s 'lost' Harlem stories, which were found in forgotten periodicals and archives. All are timeless classics that enrich our understanding and appreciation of this exceptional writer’s voice and her contributions to America’s literary traditions."
From the publisher: "For anyone who has ever loved a Jane Austen novel, a warm and witty look at the passionate, thriving world of Austen fandom. Who are these obsessed admirers, whose passion has transformed Austen from classic novelist to pop-culture phenomenon? Deborah Yaffe, journalist and Janeite, sets out to answer this question, exploring the remarkable endurance of Austen's stories, the unusual zeal that their author inspires, and the striking cross-section of lives she has touched. Along the way, Yaffe meets a Florida lawyer with a byzantine theory about hidden subtexts in the novels, a writer of Austen fan fiction who found her own Mr. Darcy while reimagining Pride and Prejudice, and a lit professor whose roller-derby nom de skate is Stone Cold Jane Austen. Yaffe goes where Janeites gather, joining a pilgrimage to historic sites in Britain, chatting online with fellow fans, and attending the annual ball of the Jane Austen Society of North America—in period costume."
I heard great things about this book, though the "Gothic horror" label made me a little afraid to dive in, as I stay away from the scary stuff. But I needn't have feared: this novel is deliciously creepy, but not frightening. Moreno-Garcia situates her novel firmly in the tradition of Gothic country house classics like Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, and even references some of these titles in her novel. When Noemí's father appoints her to see to some business on his behalf, the beautiful, intelligent young socialite agrees to do her duty for the family. Her recently married cousin Catalina has sent an odd, urgent letter to the family, pleading for someone to save her—but from what? When Noemí visits her new marital home High Place, a remote and lavish estate built by ill-treated mine workers, she discovers her cousin's predicament is worse than she feared: her husband is a brute, her father-in-law a terror, the staff deeply hostile, and even the house itself seems set against her—and worse, determined to entrap her. No spoilers here, but if you like the sound of a deeply strange and spine-tingling read about a smart heroine who saves herself, this is the book for you. Excellent on audio.
- by Bess Kalb
From the publisher: "Bess Kalb, Emmy-nominated TV writer and New Yorker contributor, saved every voicemail her grandmother Bobby Bell ever left her. Bobby was a force—irrepressible, glamorous, unapologetically opinionated. Bobby doted on Bess; Bess adored Bobby. Then, at ninety, Bobby died. But in this debut memoir, Bobby is speaking to Bess once more, in a voice as passionate as it ever was in life. Her grandma Bobby was with her all the way—she was the light of Bess's childhood and her fiercest supporter, giving Bess unequivocal love, even if sometimes of the toughest kind. In Nobody Will Tell You This But Me, Bobby reminds Bess of the experiences they shared, and she delivers—in phone calls, texts, and unforgettable heart-to-hearts brought vividly to the page—her signature wisdom: If the earth is cracking behind you, you put one foot in front of the other. Never. Buy. Fake. Anything. I swear on your life every word of this is true."