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Books

QueenieBy Candice Carty-Williams(Gallery/Scout Press) A necessary addition to the literary canon, Candice Carty-Williams’ fiction debut Queenie widens the lens of the Black woman’s experience to include an international perspective. The novel tells the story of the titular character, Queenie, a Jamaican-Brit writer in her mid 20s, who completely disregards the notion “when you know better, you do better.” Speaking to the hearts of quirky-yet-messy women everywhere who are trying to find themselves, Queenie is recovering from a “break” from a long-term relationship in the only direction...
  Doxology: A NovelBy Nell Zink(Ecco) Spanning three decades and two generations, Nell Zink’s latest novel opens on New York’s Lower East Side with Pam, Daniel, and Joe, a trio of bandmates struggling to make it in the punk scene circa 1990. As the decade progresses, the band’s dynamic does, too: Pam and Daniel have a baby, and Joe finds success as a solo musician. Then tragedy hits New York on September 11, 2001. Post 9/11, the bulk of Doxology follows Pam and Daniel’s daughter, Flora, as...
Lara Prior-Palmer was surfing the internet when she discovered the Mongol Derby: “a 1,000-kilometer race on twenty-five wild ponies…that mimicked Chinggis Khan’s postal system but seemed from afar more like a perfect hodgepodge of Snakes and Ladders and the Tour de France on unknown bicycles.” A year out of high school and straining for something lifelike to sink her teeth into, she’d been dreaming of going to Kyrgyszstan, anyway—“…long-maned ponies streaming over green steppes, space poured wide and free…”—and here was a way to get...
  The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with MeBy Keah Brown(Atria Books) In her candid memoir, author Keah Brown comes across like an affable seatmate on a long flight. Her writing is comfortable, conversational, and woven with ribbons of hard-earned self-awareness. Brown is young, Black, and disabled, and she writes a great deal about the work she’s done to love herself in a world that tries to tell her, for instance, that essential oils will help cure her...
  Tiny But Mighty HANNAH SHAW, AKA Kitten Lady, was 20 when she rescued a kitten from a tree, nursed it back to health, and found her calling: fostering neonatal cats. Because kittens who are younger than eight weeks require round-the-clock care (like being fed via syringe every two hours), most shelters aren’t equipped to handle them. As a result, hundreds of thousands of kittens are euthanized every year before they can be adopted. But Shaw is hoping to create more second chances for these little ones...
THE APOLOGYBy Eve Ensler(Bloomsbury) Twenty-three years ago, Eve Ensler sought to shed light on sexual violence against women through her groundbreaking play The Vagina Monologues. And now, with The Apology, she tackles similar terrain from a more personal angle by excavating her painful past with a father who abused her. She tells her story through the eyes of her father, imagining him reflecting in the afterlife on his painful misdeeds and offering the reasons behind his unimaginable actions before finally granting his daughter the apology she’s...
We Love Anderson Cooper: Short StoriesBy R.L. Maizes(Celadon Books) The title story in R.L. Maizes’ new collection, We Love Anderson Cooper, is at once modern and timeless. A boy preparing for his Bar Mitzvah decides to come out, to finally let his parents and community know who he really is. But tangled in his need to be seen and accepted is the possibility that his coming out might go viral, that people might be inspired by his bravery, that he could end up on Ellen. In another...
The last time I sat down to read a teen romance novel, I was twelve and the book was Breaking Dawn, the final installment of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. I was so young I could not even imagine queerness for myself, let alone read it in books from the library. It was easier to imagine werewolves at my middle school than the lesbians or trans folk that now surround me. At twelve, I was squarely invested in the whole Edward-Bella soulmate spiel, though vaguely put off by the...

    Ungovernable: The Victorian Parent’s Guide to Raising Flawless ChildrenBy Therese Oneill(Little, Brown and Company) Hey, moms! Did you know that you’ve been feeding your kids too many vegetables? And indeed, it’s likely that you haven’t been dosing them with nearly enough turpentine—four ounces a day should do the trick! If this disturbs you, then you’re probably not a Victorian-era parent. European and American child-rearing practices of this time were vastly different than today’s, in ways that will seem both horrifying and hilarious to the modern reader....
  Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English LanguageBy Amanda Montell(Harper Wave) In Wordslut, journalist and linguist Amanda Montell introduces the subject of sociolinguistics—where the studies of language and human sociology intersect—and invites readers to look at various ways of communicating in the English language through a feminist lens. With humor and passion for the subject, and supplemented by fascinating asides, Montell illuminates the significance of dozens of words and linguistic habits. Some are charged or controversial (catcalls, insults, the infamous vocal fry), while others...