Staff Picks by Tag

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Honey and Spice: A Reese's Book Club Pick By Bolu Babalola Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063141513
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - July 4th, 2023

Let me be honest: I am not a romance reader. I find it difficult to read when my eyes are rolling across the floor at some of the dialogue or character descriptions. I am, however, a MASSIVE fan of rom coms (embrace your contradictions!), and this book delivers. Two characters with chemistry and emotional barricades that need to be torn down during a fake relationship on an English university campus, genuine and beautiful female friendships, and enough song references to build a reading soundtrack? Honey and Spice deserves a handful of popcorn with every turn of the page. 

Review by Sarah C.

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The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer By Janelle Monáe Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063070875
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Harper Voyager - April 19th, 2022

I adore Janelle Monae's musical career but I didn't know what to expect in her first novel. I enjoyed The Memory Librarian immensely. Her vision is speculative, rooted in science fiction, but it is also hopeful. 

The beating heart of The Memory Librarian is an exploration of technology and artificial intelligence as limitations on individual bodies and as liberation from governmental bodies. Co-written with celebrated and emerging black novelists, in the titular story as well as the four other connected tales that follow, Monae challenges the notion of "dirty" and "deviance" and "abnormal". She gives space to the "othered" and offers a vision of found family--places that are built by community and dreams alike, full of artists and creators and healers and humans who need space to be, just as they are. 


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The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You: Stories By Maurice Carlos Ruffin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593133415
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: One World - June 21st, 2022

These stories are a beautiful and haunting peak into life in New Orleans. These are mostly character driven stories with some exceptional flash fiction pieces. So many of these characters have stuck with me. A must read if you love short stories. 

Review by Rosa

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A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance By Hanif Abdurraqib Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984801203
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - March 8th, 2022

Abdurraqib masterly balances the informational and the personal in this exploration of black performance from the vaudevillian-turned-spy Josephine Baker to the vulnerability of Wu-Tang Clan to poem-like entries "On Times I Have Forced Myself to Dance." (Did you know, even after singing about wanting to dance with somebody, Whitney Houston couldn't really dance? Check out the 1988 Grammy's.) Anyway, check this out if you want a beautifully entertaining book on entertainment. 

Review by Emily

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Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (American Music Series) By Hanif Abdurraqib Cover Image
ISBN: 9781477316481
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: University of Texas Press - February 1st, 2019

I'll admit, before this book, I couldn't name one song by A Tribe Called Quest. Abdurraqib writes something and I read it, simple as that. Just like with his other work, he comes at Go Ahead in the Rain (a song by A Tribe Called Quest) wanting to geek out and back it up with a well-researched history. My favorite parts were, varied within the timeline of their illustrious career, Abdurraqib's personal letters to Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and Ali that read equally like letters to friends and to great influences. The cover really says it all.

Review by Emily