In her electrifying debut, Julia Armfield explores women’s experiences in contemporary society, mapped through their bodies. As urban dwellers’ sleeps become disassociated from them, like Peter Pan’s shadow, a city turns insomniac. A teenager entering puberty finds her body transforming in ways very different than her classmates’. As a popular band gathers momentum, the fangirls following their tour turn into something monstrous. After their parents remarry, two step-sisters, one a girl and one a wolf, develop a dangerously close bond. And in an apocalyptic landscape, a pregnant woman begins to realize that the creature in her belly is not what she expected. Blending elements of horror, science fiction, mythology, and feminism, salt slow is an utterly original collection of short stories that are sure to dazzle and shock, heralding the arrival of a daring new voice.
Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the breathtaking sequel to Tomi Adeyemi’s ground-breaking West African-inspired fantasy Children of Blood and Bone. After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too. Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But with civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.
A distinguished psychiatrist from Martinique who took part in the Algerian Nationalist Movement, Frantz Fanon was one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history. Fanon’s masterwork is a classic alongside Edward Said’s Orientalism or The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and it is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers. The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in effecting historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of post-independence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. Fanon’s analysis, a veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, has been reflected all too clearly in the corruption and violence that has plagued present-day Africa. The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anti-colonialism, and black consciousness movements around the world, and this bold new translation by Richard Philcox reaffirms it as a landmark.
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.
Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire us—in Strout’s words—“to bear the burden of the mystery with as much grace as we can.”
From New York Times opinion writer Margaret Renkl comes an unusual, captivating portrait of a family—and of the cycles of joy and grief that inscribe human lives within the natural world. Growing up in Alabama, Renkl was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. Here, in brief essays, she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents—her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father—and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child’s transition to caregiver. And here, braided into the overall narrative, Renkl offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. Ringing with rapture and heartache, these essays convey the dignity of bluebirds and rat snakes, monarch butterflies and native bees. As these two threads haunt and harmonize with each other, Renkl suggests that there is astonishment to be found in common things: in what seems ordinary, in what we all share. For in both worlds—the natural one and our own—“the shadow side of love is always loss, and grief is only love’s own twin.” Gorgeously illustrated by the author’s brother, Billy Renkl, Late Migrations is an assured and memorable debut.
The day Anna McDonald’s quiet, respectable life exploded started off like all the days before: Packing up the kids for school, making breakfast, listening to yet another true crime podcast. Then her husband comes downstairs with an announcement, and Anna is suddenly, shockingly alone. Reeling, desperate for distraction, Anna returns to the podcast. Other people’s problems are much better than one’s own — a sunken yacht, a murdered family, a hint of international conspiracy. But this case actually is Anna’s problem. She knows one of the victims from an earlier life, a life she’s taken great pains to leave behind. And she is convinced that she knows what really happened. Then an unexpected visitor arrives on her front stoop, a meddling neighbor intervenes, and life as Anna knows it is well and truly over. The devils of her past are awakened — and in hot pursuit. Convinced she has no other options, she goes on the run, and in pursuit of the truth, with a washed-up musician at her side and the podcast as her guide.
The Testaments is a modern masterpiece, a powerful novel that can be read on its own or as a companion to Margaret Atwood’s classic, The Handmaid’s Tale. More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results. Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third: Aunt Lydia. Her complex past and uncertain future unfold in surprising and pivotal ways. With The Testaments, Margaret Atwood opens up the innermost workings of Gilead, as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.
Amerie’s Book Club
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
“Ultimately, I found this novel to be about power and hope in the face of inhumanity, and while exploring this theme, I discovered one of my favorite characters in a very long time! I still have lots of questions about this world, though, and I’d say that a good 50% of my thoughts about the novel have to do [with] what ISN’T there,” singer and literary influencer Amerie wrote in an Instagram post.
“We are so excited to announce our final #belletristbook of 2019 ✨ SALT SLOW by Julia Armfield and indie bookstore @beachbooks 🌟 link in bio to purchase the book from Beach Books 20% of,” the Belletrist Instagram account posted with a photo of its co-founder, actress Emma Roberts, posing with the book in front of Beach Books.
GMA Book Club
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
“The captivating fantasy, infused with rich West African culture, digs deep past the boundaries of imagination with a strong woman character at the helm,” Robin Roberts, Good Morning America anchor, said. “I could not put down Adeyemi’s debut book and same with the wonderful sequel, ‘Children of Virtue and Vengeance.'”
Hello Sunshine Book Club
Conviction by Denise Mina
“Get cozy because you won’t be able to put this one down!” Reese Witherspoon and her book club wrote in Instagram posts. “Our final @ReesesBookClub pick of 2019 is the thrilling murder-mystery, #Conviction by #DeniseMina. This story combines suspense, international intrigue and the murder of an entire family aboard a ship… following the one woman who may just have all the answers.”
Noname’s book club
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
“LET THE HOMIE PICK. Last month my mom randomly met a club member (@byCRUZIN) on her flight,” rapper Noname wrote in a Twitter post. “He was reading The Wretched of the Earth. I picked Persepolis. You can read 1 or both books.”
Oprah’s Book Club
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
“My latest pick is Elizabeth Strout’s Olive, Again,” Oprah Winfrey said. “Ah, Olive. She teaches us so much about loneliness, judgment, aging, and loss. And empathy, too. I’m in awe of Strout’s ability to convey so much in so few words.”
Read with Jenna – Today Show book club
Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl
“It was a beautiful walk in the woods, you stopped and took in all of these beautiful things about life,” Jenna Bush Hager, former first daughter-turned-Today show correspondent, said, “About relationships, about family, about friendships, about finding who you are.”