Friday, February 15, 2019

New Books Coming Your Way, Feb. 19, 2019

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
224 p.; Fiction/African-American

The Butler family has had their share of trials—as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest—but nothing prepared them for the literal trial that will upend their lives.

Althea, the eldest sister and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband Proctor are arrested, and in a heartbeat the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is, not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened.

As Althea awaits her fate, Lillian and Viola must come together in the house they grew up in to care for their sister’s teenage daughters. What unfolds is a stunning portrait of the heart and core of an American family in a story that is as page-turning as it is important.

The Object of Your Affections by Falguni Kothari
368 p.; Fiction/Indian American

A young widow agrees to be the surrogate for her workaholic best friend, whose husband is pressuring her to finally start the family she’s promised him. As the pregnancy progresses, the dynamic between the couple and the widow changes in both surprising and unsurprising ways, forcing each to confront truths about themselves and their relationships with each other.

Negrophobia: An Urban Parable by Darius James
208 p.; Satire/African-American

Darius James’s scabrous, unapologetically raunchy, truly hilarious, and deeply scary Negrophobia is a wild-eyed reckoning with the mutating insanity of American racism. A screenplay for the mind, a performance on the page, a work of poetry, a mad mix of genres and styles, a novel in the tradition of William S. Burroughs and Ishmael Reed that is like no other novel,

Negrophobia begins with the blonde bombshell Bubbles Brazil succumbing to a voodoo spell and entering the inner darkness of her own shiny being. Here crackheads parade in the guise of Muppets, Muslims beat conga drums, Negroes have numbers for names, and H. Rap Remus demands the total and instantaneous extermination of the white race through spontaneous combustion. By the end of it all, after going on a weird trip for the ages, Bubbles herself is strangely transformed.

Note: First published in 1992, out of print since 1993.

The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect on America, edited by Nikesh Shukla & Chimene Suleyman
336; Essays

From Trump's proposed border wall and travel ban to the marching of White Supremacists in Charlottesville, America is consumed by tensions over immigration and the question of which bodies are welcome. In this much-anticipated follow-up to the bestselling UK edition, hailed by Zadie Smith as "lively and vital," editors Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman hand the microphone to an incredible range of writers whose humanity and right to be here is under attack.

  • Chigozie Obioma unpacks an Igbo proverb that helped him navigate his journey to America from Nigeria.
  • Jenny Zhang analyzes cultural appropriation in 90s fashion, recalling her own pain and confusion as a teenager trying to fit in.
  • Fatimah Asghar describes the flood of memory and emotion triggered by an encounter with an Uber driver from Kashmir.
  • Alexander Chee writes of a visit to Korea that changed his relationship to his heritage.

These writers, and the many others in this singular collection, share powerful personal stories of living between cultures and languages while struggling to figure out who they are and where they belong. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, troubling and uplifting, the essays in The Good Immigrant come together to create a provocative, conversation-sparking, multivocal portrait of America now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

#BookReview: SECOND TIME AROUND by D.L. White

Synopsis: Potter Lake, GA is a small town filled with life and love, where the hustle and bustle slows down just enough to notice what— and who is around you.

For recent transplants Sage Owens and Bennett Alexander, their greatest losses marked the end of to have and to hold. While time marches on, it doesn’t move in reverse; it doesn’t bring back the love of your life.

These two souls are drawn together in this quaint town and discover that their meeting is not so accidental but fated. What time may bring this holiday season is a second chance at love.

Review: I love, love, LOVE romances with seasoned characters. Seasoned being my kind way of saying older characters. I love that the characters have lived so there's no falling in love at the drop of a hat. They've seen some things and they know some things and their romances or, in some instances their situationships, seem to be more realistic than the typical knight in white armor riding in to save some damsel in distress.

Sage and Bennett are such a cute couple and even though we only meet them in the initial stages of their new romance, I feel like they're going to be a successful couple. Sage's relationship with her daughter is also adorable and I'm hoping (from my fingers to the author's eyes) that she stars in her own Potter Lake romance soon.

D.L. White's Potter Lake romances are quickly becoming some of my favorites. They rank right up there with Farrah Rochon's Moments in Maplesville and Beverly Jenkins' Blessings series, set in Henry Adams, KS. It's obvious I love a good, small town romance, right? I can't wait to see what happens in Potter Lake next.