AF WKLY SUMMER READS

MOST RECOMMENDED

  Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.  "A rare multi-generational page-turner with indelible characters and settings." "It’s been a minute since I felt such love and pain on a page." "Prejudice, success, tradition and the long hope we all have to be judged as we are - this book is the kind that stays with you."  Recommended by six people!

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. "A rare multi-generational page-turner with indelible characters and settings." "It’s been a minute since I felt such love and pain on a page." "Prejudice, success, tradition and the long hope we all have to be judged as we are - this book is the kind that stays with you." Recommended by six people!

  Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi.  "From a Western perspective, this book is about a young woman struggling with mental illness. But, if you can shift your perspective and align to Emezi’s center, the book is about a woman/ogbanje struggling with embodiment. Immersive and beautifully written."

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. "From a Western perspective, this book is about a young woman struggling with mental illness. But, if you can shift your perspective and align to Emezi’s center, the book is about a woman/ogbanje struggling with embodiment. Immersive and beautifully written."

  Circe by Madeline Miller.  "Boning Odyssues, getting banished to Aiaia for being too awesome, boning Daedalus, being the Minotaur's coolest aunt, boning Telemachus, spending all her time gardening and turning sailors to pigs because they are, uh, pigs ... Circe is the lady icon we never knew we needed."

Circe by Madeline Miller. "Boning Odyssues, getting banished to Aiaia for being too awesome, boning Daedalus, being the Minotaur's coolest aunt, boning Telemachus, spending all her time gardening and turning sailors to pigs because they are, uh, pigs ... Circe is the lady icon we never knew we needed."

  An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. " I read it in one day, I could not put it down and it's been a long time since I've been able to say that about a book." "An honest, heartbreaking look into how the injustices placed upon black Americans in the south by the criminal justice system impact relationships. I was blown away."

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. "I read it in one day, I could not put it down and it's been a long time since I've been able to say that about a book." "An honest, heartbreaking look into how the injustices placed upon black Americans in the south by the criminal justice system impact relationships. I was blown away."

  Educated by Tara Westover.  "It's a truly wild story about a woman raised in a Mormon suvivalist family in Utah. Her family doesn't trust the government to the point that she doesn't even have a birth certificate. She's an autodidact who goes from no formal education to Cambridge."

Educated by Tara Westover. "It's a truly wild story about a woman raised in a Mormon suvivalist family in Utah. Her family doesn't trust the government to the point that she doesn't even have a birth certificate. She's an autodidact who goes from no formal education to Cambridge."

  Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.  "Incredibly engrossing and entertaining but beyond that this book made me confront a lot of uncomfortable ideas about power and insurgency. Not just for teens!" "Wonderful Nigerian influenced world building with complex characterizations.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. "Incredibly engrossing and entertaining but beyond that this book made me confront a lot of uncomfortable ideas about power and insurgency. Not just for teens!" "Wonderful Nigerian influenced world building with complex characterizations.

NONFICTION

Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties by Karen L. Ishizuka. "As an Asian-American, this was crucial history for me to learn and to be empowered by."

A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story About Schizophrenia by Sandra Allen. "It's one of those books that you're like "ooh this looks cool" and then you look at the clock several hours later and you have no idea where the time went! It's a story about Sandy's uncle who was diagnosed with schizophrenia told with SO much compassion for him while also low-key debunking the trash that is the mental health system in the US."

Into the Raging Sea: Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm, and the Sinking of El Faro by Rachel Slade. "How corporate greed, global warming, and toxic masculinity helped bring about the worst U.S. maritime disaster in 35 years."

MEMOIR AND ESSAY

Destined to Witness by Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi. "Compelling memoir about his life growing up black in Nazi Germany. "

The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard. "All I can say is that I've read a lot of books, and this was immediately, undoubtedly the best book of narrative nonfiction/memoir I have ever read."

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin. "Charming, deceptively simple essays from an awesome lady plus love for her kitty."

Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose. "Reading these essays was like being drunk with all your best friends and having the best conversation of your life. That feeling lasted the whole collection, I didn't want it to end."

FICTION 

There There by Tommy Orange. "Just read the prologue and your soul will be hooked. This is piece of America we almost never read, if not hear, about." 

Sadness Is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher. "It was beautifully written, political, complex, insightful, heartwrenching, a page turner."

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruíz Zafón. "A thrilling, masterful, well-written read —in both English and Spanish — that honors the love of literature, a good adventure and the streets of Barcelona."

Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett. "Beautifully written book set in early 20th century southern United States. Stars a queer black woman who forges a career as a journalist and fights for justice for the black community. It's wonderful."

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin. "Inspired by the Monica Lewinsky saga, this is the reexamination we need now, told through the eyes of five women the affair affected."

American War by Omar El Akkad. "Spectacular novel about a near-future U.S. ravaged by a second civil war over the use of fossil fuels; I read it last year and am still thinking about the author's take on American politics."

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas. "Whales, witches, abortion, Oregon! Spooky-fun-sad dystopian novel narrated by ladies living in a time when women can't get abortions, adopt if unmarried or get IVF."

The Windfall by Diksha Basu. "About a middle-class Indian family that suddenly acquires wealth, and how they navigate the transition. It's a delightful comedy of manners, with a bit of culture clash and romance thrown in."

The Idiot by Elif Batuman. "For me, it felt so evocative of being 18: the thinly masked anxiety of starting college and meeting new people and trying to do what you want while being aware of how everything you do is being judged as cool or not cool. Oh, and having an inconvenient, all-consuming crush!"

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. "because we live in a society that wants to tear women to pieces for their private lives, and Evelyn Hugo is having none of that." "unexpected queer themes!"

True by Riikka Pulkkinen. "Beautiful prose. Amazing character development!"

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney. "This one's a partly a crime novel, partly a coming of age story, partly an addiction novel, and a little bit of a family drama. The result? Completely enthralling."

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee. "It's easy to lose yourself in this work of historical fiction, to be absorbed completely by the romance, sex, opera, tragedy and court intrigue."