Staff Picks by Tag

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Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam By Thien Pham Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250809728
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: First Second - June 20th, 2023

 

Family Style tells the story of Thien Pham's immigration to the United States from Vietnam using memories of food to tell his personal story. Each of the eight chapters in the book are titled after foods that Pham and his family ate during their migration and American assimilation. This beautiful all-ages graphic memoir proves the emotional power of the link both food and memory have over us. 


Review by Kalani

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Sigh, Gone: A Misfit's Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In By Phuc Tran Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250826619
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Flatiron Books - April 5th, 2022

This is a story of finding. Of wanting. Of belonging. Of family, both found and chosen. Most of all, it is a funny, endearing, and touching. With a background of literary nods, and a skater punk "who gives a damn" aesthetic, I , a 40 something year old women, still found myself in these pages.


Review by Alex

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Dispatches from Puerto Nowhere: An American Story of Assimilation and Erasure By Robert Lopez Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781953387240
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Two Dollar Radio - March 14th, 2023

Perhaps the best, and certainly funniest, personal account of American assimilation and cultural erasure I've ever read, this book is about losing one's language but finding meaning behind it. Throughout this book author Robert Lopez ruminates on his grandfather's immigration to the United States in the 1920s. Lopez makes some connections but finds little shared commonality between his and his grandfather's lives because there are no familial memories to speak of. This is such an inventive memoir full of deep thoughts and incredibly hilarious lines.


Review by Kalani

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Wandering Souls: A Novel By Cecile Pin Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250863485
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Holt Paperbacks - March 26th, 2024

Taking its title from the real "Operation Wandering Soul" American propaganda campaign during the Vietnam War, this beautiful novel tells the story of a family of three young refugees from Vietnam moving to England after the war. What follows is a haunting story of survival and generational grief over the span of 60 years. Wonderfully crafted using interweaving perspectives, this brisk 200+ page powerhouse of a novel is one that can be read in a single sitting but can have characters that stay with you forever. 


Review by Kalani

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Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story) By Daniel Nayeri Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781646142729
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Levine Querido - August 8th, 2023

If "every story is the sound of a storyteller begging to stay alive..." as Daniel says, then he and his family deserve to live forever. Part crackling musings on truth and memory, part memoir of a young immigrant trying to find his place in midwest America, this book will captivate and resonate with a wide variety of readers.  

To anyone who has ever wondered about their history, struggled to understand their family, or been a victim of bureaucracy; to the children of strong mothers, the parents of observant children, and the family members of angry adults that should know better; to lovers of poetry and folklore and far off places; to anyone (so everyone!) with flaws--you will find a kindred spirit here.


Review by Katelynn

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How to Love a Country: Poems By Richard Blanco Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780807043073
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Beacon Press - March 24th, 2020

Blanco was the first openly gay, Latino, immigrant, as well as the youngest person to be the US inaugural poet when he read for Obama's second term. He brings this energy with him in this collection, his beautiful language depicting such heartbreak toward America's tendency for gun violence, racism, and LGBTQ oppression. Throughout, you can see him struggling with the idea of nationhood, digging his way closer to the answer of how to truly love a country.  

 


Review by Emily

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Sanctuary By Paola Mendoza, Abby Sher Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781984815736
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - August 31st, 2021

A dystopian YA novel that tackles immigration and what it means to seek refuge in a country that does not want you. Very original storytelling that left my heart racing till the very end. 


Review by Rosa

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Fiebre Tropical By Julián Delgado Lopera Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781936932757
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Amethyst Editions - March 4th, 2020

One of the best queer stories I've read in a long time. A young Colombian girl is uprooted from her home and moves to Miami with her family. Her mom becomes a member of a local Evangelical church and pushes her reluctant daughter to join her. Things begin to really unfold when our main character begins to fall for the pastor's daughter. I can't recommend this novel enough! 


Review by Rosa

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The Undocumented Americans By Karla Cornejo Villavicencio Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780399592706
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: One World - April 6th, 2021

This book will be making my best of 2020 list for sure. If you read the novel American Dirt and enjoyed it, then I dare you to pick this up. This explores the real lives of undocumented Americans and what they have contributed to this country. You may find yourself surprised to find what they have done for all of us. 


Review by Rosa