Featured Books for May 2021
On May 5, we're so excited to share our Book Club episode focusing on Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. We'll have a Book Club chat on IG about the novel on May 17 at 8:00 PM EST.
Here are the synopses from the publishers:
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
"On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one's own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.
"With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years."
Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
"Alaine Beauparlant has heard about Haiti all her life…
"But the stories were always passed down from her dad―and her mom, when she wasn’t too busy with her high-profile newscaster gig. But when Alaine’s life goes a bit sideways, it’s time to finally visit Haiti herself.
"What she learns about Haiti’s proud history as the world’s first Black republic (with its even prouder people) is one thing, but what she learns about her own family is another. Suddenly, the secrets Alaine’s mom has been keeping, including a family curse that has spanned generations, can no longer be avoided.
"It’s a lot to handle, without even mentioning that Alaine is also working for her aunt’s nonprofit, which sends underprivileged kids to school and boasts one annoyingly charming intern.
"But if anyone can do it all…it’s Alaine.."
On June 2, we'll release our Book Club episode focusing on Laura Taylor Namey's A Cuban Girl's Gide to Tea and Tomorrow. Since this is also our Buddy Read pick, we'll have two chat dates on IG. Stay tuned @unabridgedpod for announcements and updates.
Here is the synopsis from the publisher:
A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow
"For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.
"Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila. Until she meets Orion Maxwell.
"A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind."
If you missed our April picks, be sure to check out episode 172, in which we discuss Eric Gansworth's Apple: Skin to the Core. We had some amazing chats about Jennifer Mathieu's Moxie, an amazing YA novel, and discussed the Netflix adaptation, as well!
(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)
Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.
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