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Featured Books for November 2020

book cover of Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam's Punching the Air (the image appears twice)

November Double Feature

In November, Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam's Punching the Air will be both our Book Club pick AND our Buddy Read choice. You can join us for our leisurely Facebook discussion at the end of the month or for two, more fast-paced Instagram chats . . . or both! Want to look ahead? Scroll down to see our December picks!

Here's the synopsis from the publisher:

"The story that I thought

was my life

didn’t start on the day

I was born 

"Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. 'Boys just being boys' turns out to be true only when those boys are white. 

"The story that I think

will be my life 

starts today

"Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal’s bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it? 

"With spellbinding lyricism, award-winning author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam tell a moving and deeply profound story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth, in a system designed to strip him of both."


December Picks

In December, we're mixing it up! As is tradition, our Book Club pick is a sweet, seasonal read, Christina Lauren's In a Holidaze. You can join our Facebook Book Club discussion here. And here's a twist: our December Buddy Read is actually a Buddy WATCH. Yes, folks, we're taking on Hamilton, the brilliant musical adaptation of Ron Chernow's biography Alexander Hamilton. Join us on Instagram on December 14 at 8:00 PM EST.

Here are synopses:

In a Holidaze

"It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

"But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

"The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

"Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark 'downright hilarious' (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays."


"“Hamilton” is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, 'Hamilton' has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. Filmed at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016, the film transports its audience into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way."

“Hamilton.” Disney+ Originals, 2016, Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

book covers of Tommy Orange's There There and Brandy Colbert's The Voting Booth

October Books

If you missed our October picks, be sure to check out episode 146, in which we discuss Tommy Orange's There There. Our Buddy Read discussion centered on Brandy Colbert's wonderful YA novel The Voting Booth.

(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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