Books

WITH THE TAGLINE, “Reading Material for the Homies,” Noname Book Club is putting its mission of connecting Black and Brown people with radical books front and center. The project was founded in 2019, after Chicago rapper Noname, now 30, tweeted, “Tryna see something: Retweet this if you would be a member of Noname’s Book Club.” After receiving over 5,000 retweets, she saw it was a project people would get behind, and she got to work.   BOOKS OF THE MONTH✨✨✨Rifqa by @m7mdkurd, and Anarchism And The Black...
Believe it or not, the American Library Association has recorded over 155 attempts at book censorship in the U.S. since June 2021. And this number is vastly underreported, since it doesn’t account for the types of censorship that happen quietly—like when a book is pulled from a library or never included in a library collection because it might become a target to censors. Intellectual freedom—or the right to access any information you desire—is baked into our First Amendment. But to ensure that freedom, it’s vital...
BODY WORK: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative By Melissa Febos (Catapult) For her latest book, acclaimed memoirist Melissa Febos offers a master class for would-be writers looking to find their voice. The text is divided into four parts, each of which tackles one specific area of memoir writing, focusing in particular on the sort of raw and intensely personal writing that Febos is known for. The first part of the book starts off with powerful words of encouragement as Febos discusses the importance of sharing one’s story,...
Diane di Prima’s posthumous book Spring and Autumn Annals (City Lights), is filled with all the curiosity, tragedy, desire, and insight that di Prima carried her entire life and was revered for. A rare female voice in the iconic Beat poetry movement of the ’60s, di Prima blazed a path for more women who wanted to become unabashed feminists, thinkers, and change makers through art. She was one of the first to show that being daring, angry, dangerous, and even ugly on the page was...
ONE OF THE MOST influential designers working today, Debbie Millman is the host of Design Matters, one of the world’s longest-running podcasts; she co-owns Print, the oldest design magazine in America; and she co-founded the Masters in Branding program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. She’s also the author of seven books, including How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer, Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits, and her new anthology, Why Design Matters: Conversations With the World’s Most Creative People, which came out in February. Here, Millman shares how she organizes her...
Before I started reading Ghanian author Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah’s The Sex Lives of African Women, I was prepared to read titillating stories of women having clandestine meetings with random sexual partners and having wildly passionate liberated sex. But that's not what this book is about. Instead, in the preface, Sekyiamah shares how she conducted countless interviews from 2015 to 2020, with African women between the ages of 21 to 71, from 31 countries around the globe, about their sexual experiences, in the hope of eradicating some...
This spring, check out these new books about powerful and women from today and yesterday.    The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer By Janelle Monáe (Harper Voyager) Janelle Monáe is a creative superstar who has tackled everything from music to fashion to film. And with The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer, she enters the literary world, proving that there’s truly nothing she can’t do.  The Afrofuturistic collection expands on her hit 2018 album-turned-“emotion picture,” Dirty Computer, which dealt with themes of sexuality and self-expression. Collaborating...
In this essay I use a word some might find offensive; fat. I choose to use this word not as an insult, but as a neutral descriptor, actively choosing to separate it from its typically negative connotations, as a fat person myself.  I encourage you to be curious about your feelings around this word and what it evokes.  The conversation about the need for diverse, non-stereotypical representation of characters with marginalized identities has become increasingly and rightfully widespread within children’s literature spheres. And while fat representation...
  Libraries have always been a paradise for bookworms. But as public life emerges once again, it’s important to remember that reading material is far from the only free resource your local branch has to offer. “Libraries are truly a treasure trove,” explains Kate Patterson, Director of Communications at the San Francisco Public Library. “No matter what one is interested in, we have it.” Here are some of the services you won’t want to miss out on, and they won’t cost you a penny. CLASSES If you’ve been...
You Truly Assumed By Laila Sabreen  (Inkyard Press)  In this gripping YA novel by up-and-coming author Laila Sabreen, a terrorist attack rocks Washington, D.C., causing three Black Muslim girls—ballerina Sabriya, painter Zakat, and coder Farah—to become accidental teen activists. It starts with a blog post Sabriya never intended to make public. “You truly assumed,” she writes in response to early speculation that the terrorist was Muslim. He’s not, but that doesn’t stop anti-Islamic fervor from spreading across the country, impacting the girls’ lives in profound ways. With each chapter,...