"The scandalous truth about me is that I am an unruly reader. I don't keep a methodical list, I often have more than one copy of the same book in piles I forget about, and I read somewhat randomly, and can be motivated by a book cover or how it smells alone. I gravitate towards books by or about disenfranchised folk everywhere: literary fiction that takes me somewhere I could never otherwise go, literary nonfiction--memoir and essays especially-- noir and thinking person's mysteries, poetry, and the occasional straight-up book of history. But my first requirement is almost always good writing."
Sally Field's poignant and well-written memoir so far transcend the genre of celebrity tell-all as to stand in a class of its own. It is deeply personal and self-reflective, yet not afraid to speak truth to the very flawed power of the world in which she grew up and makes her living. In Pieces is a moving and deeply satisfying read. - Kris
Powerful memoir about loving and being loved, about obsession and the ways in which we damage and use the ones we love, but most importantly told from an indigenous woman's perspective in a white man's world. Mailhot writes with a searing honesty that almost hurts to read sometimes. Beautiful, at times heart-breaking, a necessary read. - Kris
Each story in this debut collection is more astonishing than the last. I was utterly riveted by Carmen's quirky, masterful and unique approach to story-telling. Every story stayed with me, and sometimes I had to just put the book down and catch my breath after finishing one. I absolutely loved this book and want more. - Kris
I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reading this gorgeous, hopeful, inspiring book. The author is an indigenous woman, a poet and a botanist. Her eclectic wisdom filled my heart. Readers of Barbara Kingsolver and Wendell Berry will find much to savor in this beautiful meditation on what once was and could be again. - Kris
I loved this book! I could read Megan discussing paint drying. Wait, I think I DID read her discussing paint drying! Honestly, I have come late to her work and I am so impressed with her smart, big-hearted, personal, ironic, politically-engaged, messy, funny, surprising, unorthodox but always oddly comforting approach to the art of the essay. When I heard her speak about the book, I was moved to tears. I did, in fact, introduce myself to her afterwards and promptly burst into tears. Her words are just, well, timely and hopeful.
The complexities of the lives of girls and their mothers are explored through a Nigerian lens in this remarkable debut collection. Strains of magical realism enlarge some of the stories to modern folktale. Yet throughout, Lesley Nneka Arimah delivers a sharp observations on the frought relationships between mothers and the young women they must mentor as they all navigate what is still a very patriarchal world. - Kris
I don't know what took me so long to get around to reading Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist. What a gorgeous, urgent, appeal to love and justice, disguised as a passionately rendered story about the fates of 5 people on the day Seattle activists shut down the WTO's opening meeting in 1999. I cannot remember when I have ever read a novel of this length in one sitting, almost breathless from the drumbeat pacing, like a heartbeat for our time. Timeless, timely. Read this if you march for justice. Read this if you don't. It is all here.
This is a beautifully written, brutally honest memoir that will do one or more of the following things: break your heart; speak to your soul; change the way you look at America; confirm what you already knew about America; and show you just how complicated living in these times is. There is so much love in this book.