Emiliana is a bookseller and lover of indie bookstores and shopping small. She primarily reads poetry, fiction, and memoirs. After spending four years obtaining an English degree, Emiliana is getting back into the practice of reading for pleasure and loves a story that envelopes you into its world. A few of her favorite books are Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and Supper Club by Lara Williams. Emiliana also loves returning to old favorites and finding new favorites in children's literature - from picture books to middle readers to graphic novels.
Tsing offers a history of the matsutake mushroom as an alternative form of knowing and learning that is described as a “dance” between the mushrooms, the people who forage them, and the forest they forage in. Tsing exposes how entangled we are with the natural world and the assemblages to which we all belong.
For lovers of all things literary, spooky, and ridiculous. When Boston’s most eccentric millionaire dies a very dramatic death, Tuesday puts together an equally eccentric crew to solve the treasure hunt he left behind. Accompanying them are ghosts, family secrets, wealth, corruption, and the knowledge that nothing is ever what it seems.
The photographs in this book are equally as compelling as the stories of the awe-inspiring women who fill the pages. Situated and addressing the reader from their own spaces, these makers, artists, and entrepreneurs reveal all the practical and inspirational advice a person could hope for.
You may have learned what a potato or an apple was in a kitchen, a tulip in a garden, and marijuana...well… Pollan combines that botanical knowledge of these four plants with their social and psychological histories, linking them each to a human desire -- control, sweetness, beauty, and intoxication -- in an exploration of mutuality, evolution, and the links between things that live.
Raised in the Southwest by an immigrant mother, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. Documenting his struggle to separate person, story, and statistic, Cantú leaves the BP only to experience all the more personally the devastation of the border through the story of an undocumented friend. Cantú’s story reveals the irreparable pain and violence that both those who detain and are detained face as a result of inhumane border practices.
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo’s memoir is both beautifully written and painful to contend with. His story of migration and (in)visibility enters powerfully into a gap in our collective consciousness, one we are often unaware of or choose to ignore. Personal, intimate, and timely.
The result of over a decade’s worth of research, this account, which unveils details of a prison uprising where inmates attempted to negotiate for better conditions, gives insight into the violent, and often silent, history of prisons in the US.
We’ve heard of the stages of grief. Exploring ideas of the irrationality that plagues logic after loss, the physical and psychological effects of trauma, and that need for hope insisted upon in every card offering condolences, Didion writes through those stages and the deconstruction of them with a distance and eloquence only understood by those who have been through similar losses.
Life imitates art, art complicates life -- does the saying go something like that? Kushner’s central character, Reno, attempts to find the answer as she travels the US and Italy on her Moto Valera motorbike. Using the wheels to draw shapes across the salt flats, she catches the eye of the estranged heir to the Moto Valera fortune and well...life and art complicate each other from there.
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Marion Palm is realllly good at being a part of the PTA at her children’s school. So good that she manages to move $180,000 of the school’s money into her own account. Threatened with exposure, Marion goes into hiding and Emily Culliton crafts a story from the multiple perspectives of a family who belongs together about what happens when everything falls apart.
Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing is a feat, an example of the perfect marriage between content and form. Gyasi takes lovers of historical fiction on a journey that is both incredibly expansive and incredibly intimate, following two lineages from eighteenth century Ghana to the twentieth century United States. The book's form mirrors the experiences of its characters as it moves through their two-pronged ancestry and across a vast expanse of time and space in this seven generation, diasporic project.
If you're looking for a novel about good food, young adulthood, transgressive friendships between women, and the occasional breaking and entering, Supper Club is for you. During college, Roberta keeps to herself and her cooking, struggling with her relationship to her body and to pretty much anyone else. Flash forward a few years and Roberta and her friend Stevie have started a supper club that transgresses all the boundaries: women who feast and feed their bodies, break into buildings to host their club, go dumpster diving for the menu. A story about how we relate -- to one another, to ourselves, to our bodies.
I find it very difficult to name all-time favorite books, but I can confidently say this is my absolute favorite collection of poetry. It is a great option for folks who don't typically read or enjoy poetry. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude approaches loss, joy, gratitude, place, and people with soft attentiveness, all the while staring them dead in the eye -- coming in straight and honest to the hurt, the curious lust, the romance, the devastation, the thankfulness. Gay tells the reader of the "little factory in [his] head." He exposes himself to us, writing, "...I love the moment when the poet says / I am trying to do this / or I am trying to do that." In this revelation of poetic construction, I find that Gay lets his readers in on the process through which he manages, seeks outs, avoids, mishandles, and honors the grief of losing friends to disease and murder, the endurance and hardship of familial love, the clamor in loudly proclaiming an appreciation of the everyday -- so that we, too, may begin to understand how better to hold the people and places and events of our lives in acknowledgment and gratitude.
Samin Nosrat is a gifted storyteller who just happens to also be making her stories out of food. Nosrat equips her readers with more than one-time recipes; she introduces concepts and knowledge that can be applied to any dish and which builds one’s cooking repertoire and vocabulary. Also, check out those gorgeous illustrations!
A book for those who believe certain books and certain people are destined to be together. Life in Paris is business as usual for Juliette, until she stumbles across a peculiar library and is assigned the role of passeur and instructed to take books out into the world and match them to the people who need them most.
Charming and quick with a comeback, Séraphin is quite the storyteller and has uproarious tales of adolescence to regale his friends and the reader. But underneath all the bravado and hijinks is a young man trying to situate his many-voiced self on a continent that holds pieces of him in several places -- Rwanda, Namibia, and South Africa -- and at an age when relationships to all -- family, girls, and most of all, the self -- are warped and changing. Séraphin's growing pains are relatable, at times painfully so.
Diane Seuss is simultaneously myth-maker and truth-teller. Straight shooter, profane at times, and also... a tender heart laying itself bare when admitting if "asked...whether I'd wear eyeliner if I was the last person on earth, no, hell no. Eyeliner is war. When I'm alone, I lay my weapons down."
Diane Seuss uses paintings/art as a frame through which to explore issues of rurality, class, and womanhood. Her treatment of ‘low’ subjects married with a ‘high’ art framework is true to her poetry which celebrates its subjects by laying them bare with no pretenses of beauty or heroism in sight -- except for that, of course, of the paintings after which the book is modeled.
A deeply -- sometimes painfully -- intimate, wonderfully lyrical exploration of belief and belonging. WashU alum Aaron Coleman's power, honesty, and tenderness make up a crucial voice in this generation of poets.
Tamiko Beyer’s collection reminds us of the many assemblages to which we belong -- which include us humans, but also birds and ancestors and maybe even the words shared between us -- as a way forward from the last days of empire and into a new way of being.
I'm not usually a sci-fi reader, but the premise of this book caught my attention! A web of women connected by the man who helped their cause are called back together to fight for their lives. There are twists to follow and puzzles to solve without being too creepy, if creepy's not your thing. (It's not mine!)
Molly Lou Melon is very unique. And Ronald Durkin is very foolish. A fun and funny read about being different and proud of it.
Alma spends her days combing the grass and brushing the trees until one day she stumbles across a very strange hairless beast. Alma and the Best com into each other's worlds and understand each other better for it. Plus, those gorgeous illustrations!
I bought this book as an adult. It is one of my favorites ever. I read it to children and other adults and myself frequently. It's just the best.
Featuring a strange cast of characters ranging from the reporter Gabriel to the 'savior of the homeless' Buzzworm to the semi-mythical being Arcangel, Yamashita's magical realist depiction of LA and the US/Mexico border reveal that no line is as steady as it seems.
Superpowers, an all-women spy organization, prophesying oracles -- what more do you need?
This collection is teeming with images of black history and famous figures that "could have been iconic," had they been published. Rich in imagery and history, and thought-provoking.
An argument for the city which prioritizes the social, physical, economic, and communal health of its inhabitants by increasing accessibility, proximity to nature, and common resources to benefit all who live there.