Publication Date: July 7, 2015
From the eponymous star of the most popular reality show in Fuse TV’s history, this no-holds-barred memoir tells the story of a gay, self-proclaimed mama’s boy who exploded onto the formerly underground Bounce music scene—a hip-hop subgenre—and found acceptance, healing, self-expression, and stardom!
As the “undisputed ambassador” of the energetic, New Orleans-based Bounce movement, Big Freedia isn’t afraid to twerk, wiggle, and shake her way to self-confidence, and is encouraging her fans to do the same. In her engrossing memoir, Big Freedia tells the inside story of her path to fame, the peaks and valleys of her personal life, and the liberation that Bounce music brings to herself and every one of her fans who is searching for freedom.
Big Freedia immediately pulls us into the relationship between her personal life and her career as an artist; being a “twerking sissy” is not just a job, she says, but a salvation. A place to find solace. To escape from the battles she faced growing up in the worst neighborhood in New Orleans. To deal with losing loved ones to the violence on the streets, drug overdoses, and jail. To survive hurricane Katrina by living on her roof for two days with three adults and a child. To grapple with the difficulties and celebrate the joys of living.
In this eye-opening memoir that bursts with energy, you’ll learn the history of the Bounce movement and meet all of the colorful characters that pepper its music scene. With her own unique voice and unabashed enthusiasm, Big Freedia tells how she arrived at this defining moment in music, and how Bounce ultimately has allowed her to become her own version of diva, one booty-pop at a time.
Side note: I fell in LOVE with Big Freedia & her no holds barred attitude after watching her show on Fuse. Below is a promo from last season's show.
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
A scrap of silk will reach across a century to reveal a forgotten woman's tragedy and threaten a powerful family.
In 1886, Mei Lien is washed up on Orcas Island, the lone survivor of a cruel purge of the Chinese from Seattle.She is determined to tell her heartbreaking story the onlyway she knows how: through needle and thread. A century later Inara Erickson, enlisting the help of a local professor, uncovers details in Mei Lien's delicate stitching that could have far-reaching repercussions for her own life. Should she bring shame to her family and risk everything by telling the truth, or tell no one and dishonor Mei Lien's memory? This brilliant debut is atmospheric and beautifully written, and serves as a poignant tale of the importance of our own stories.
The Way Things Were by Aatish Taseer
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
An absorbing family saga set amid the commotion of the last forty years of Indian history.
The Way Things Were opens with the death of Toby, the Maharaja of Kalasuryaketu, a Sanskritist who has not set foot in India for two decades. Moving back and forth across three sections, between today's Delhi and the 1970s, '80s, and '90s in turn, the novel tells the story of a family held at the mercy of the times. A masterful interrogation of the relationships between past and present and among individual lives, events, and culture, Aatish Taseer's The Way Things Were takes its title from the Sanskrit word for history, itihasa, whose literal translation is "the way things indeed were." Told in prose that is at once intimate and panoramic, and threaded through with Sanskrit as central metaphor and chorus, this is a hugely ambitious and important book, alive to all the commotion of the last forty years but never losing its brilliant grasp on the current moment.
Confession of the Lioness by Mia Couto
Publication Date: July 14, 2015
A dark, poetic mystery about the women of the remote village of Kulumani and the lionesses that hunt them.
Told through two haunting, interwoven diaries, Mia Couto's Confession of the Lioness reveals the mysterious world of Kulumani, an isolated village in Mozambique whose traditions and beliefs are threatened when ghostlike lionesses begin hunting the women who live there.
Mariamar, a woman whose sister was killed in a lioness attack, finds her life thrown into chaos when the outsider Archangel Bullseye, the marksman hired to kill the lionesses, arrives at the request of the village elders. Mariamar's father imprisons her in her home, where she relives painful memories of past abuse and hopes to be rescued by Archangel. Meanwhile, Archangel tracks the lionesses in the wilderness, but when he begins to suspect there is more to them than meets the eye, he starts to lose control of his hands. The hunt grows more dangerous, until it's no safer inside Kulumani than outside it. As the men of Kulumani feel increasingly threatened by the outsider, the forces of modernity upon their traditional culture, and the danger of their animal predators closing in, it becomes clear the lionesses might not be real lionesses at all but spirits conjured by the ancient witchcraft of the women themselves.
Both a riveting mystery and a poignant examination of women's oppression, Confession of the Lioness explores the confrontation between the modern world and ancient traditions to produce an atmospheric, gripping novel.
When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi
Publication Date: July 21, 2015
From the author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, an unforgettable story of terror, survival, perseverance, and hope that chronicles one extraordinarily brave Afghan woman’s odyssey to save her family and find asylum in the West—a tale of a daring escape, a perilous trek across Europe, and the courage and tenacity of one defiant woman.
Mahmoud’s passion for his wife Fereiba, a schoolteacher, is greater than any love she’s ever known. But their happy, middle-class world—a life of education, work, and comfort—implodes when their country is engulfed in war, and the Taliban rises to power.
Mahmoud, a civil engineer, becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime and is murdered. Forced to flee Kabul with her three children, Fereiba has one hope to survive: she must find a way to cross Europe and reach her sister’s family in England. With forged papers and help from kind strangers they meet along the way, Fereiba make a dangerous crossing into Iran under cover of darkness. Exhausted and brokenhearted but undefeated, Fereiba manages to smuggle them as far as Greece. But in a busy market square, their fate takes a frightening turn when her teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family.
Faced with an impossible choice, Fereiba pushes on with her daughter and baby, while Saleem falls into the shadowy underground network of undocumented Afghans who haunt the streets of Europe’s capitals. Across the continent Fereiba and Saleem struggle to reunite, and ultimately find a place where they can begin to reconstruct their lives.
Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League by Dan-el Padilla Peralta
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
An undocumented immigrant’s journey from a New York City homeless shelter to the top of his Princeton class.
Dan-el Padilla Peralta has lived the American dream. As a boy, he came here legally with his family. Together they left Santo Domingo behind, but life in New York City was harder than they imagined. Their visas lapsed, and Dan-el’s father returned home. But Dan-el’s courageous mother was determined to make a better life for her bright sons.
Without papers, she faced tremendous obstacles. While Dan-el was only in grade school, the family joined the ranks of the city’s homeless. Dan-el, his mother, and brother lived in a downtown shelter where Dan-el’s only refuge was the meager library. There he met Jeff, a young volunteer from a wealthy family. Jeff was immediately struck by Dan-el’s passion for books and learning. With Jeff’s help, Dan-el was accepted on scholarship to Collegiate, the oldest private school in the country.
There, Dan-el thrived. Throughout his youth, Dan-el navigated these two worlds: the rough streets of East Harlem, where he lived with his brother and his mother and tried to make friends, and the ultra-elite halls of a Manhattan private school, where he could immerse himself in a world of books and where he soon rose to the top of his class.
From Collegiate, Dan-el went to Princeton, where he thrived, and where he made the momentous decision to come out as an undocumented student in a Wall Street Journal profile a few months before he gave the salutatorian’s traditional address in Latin at his commencement.
Undocumented is a classic story of the triumph of the human spirit. It also is the perfect cri de coeur for the debate on comprehensive immigration reform.