Wrap yourself in a warm towel fresh from the dryer and you'll get a sense of how you'll feel reading this book. In this sequel to A Psalm for the Wild-Built, we reunite with Dex and Mosscap on their journey to learn what humans need in a future where people seemingly lack nothing. Chambers had me laughing aloud and feeling seen in this hopeful novella that will do your spirit good.
A charming novel that demonstrates well that there are countless ways to build a meaningful life and it's okay to break the mold. Throw in an old flame, laughs, intrigue, sincere reflection, and a small-town heist, and you're sure to be delighted.
You might not expect to laugh much when reading a grief guide, but that's what I did reading Welcome to the Grief Club. In this compact and accessible book, Kwoh skips the platitudes and deftly addresses elements of grief--from grief triggers to normalizing all manners of feelings to marking deathiversaries--with wit, wisdom, and empathy. Paired with adorable, effective illustrations, Kwoh's book will resonate and make you feel less alone, whether your loss is recent or years old.
Do you need a good cry? Want a reminder of how beautiful mundane moments can be? In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss has you covered. Amy Bloom's memoir about loving and supporting her husband through early-onset Alzheimer's and his decision to use medical aid in dying is absolutely gutting and beautiful. I devoured this book in one sitting and was left weepy and awestruck by Bloom's honest portrayal of life with her beloved Brian. This book stays with you, and trust me when I say that is a gift.
A gorgeous graphic novel that follows death after she loses her job and is sent to live as a mortal. You'll appreciate the art and the ways the story has you examining and appreciating the simple, beautiful elements of your own life.
A life-long Kentuckian, Charles Booker deftly connects his personal story to issues facing communities across the state with compassion and honesty in his compelling memoir. From The Hood To The Holler will leave you feeling seen and hopeful about what is possible for the future of politics.
If you've somehow made it this far in life without understanding that the U.S. legal system is unjust, have I got the book for you!
REVIEW FOR 2019 EDITION: While Roe v. Wade being overturned seems unfathomable for some, there are many activists and organizations who have been preparing for this possibility for decades. Robin Marty's book provides a thorough guide for how people can act now to protect abortion access and what people can do to navigate a possible future without legal abortion. Alongside crucial information, Marty also provides history and context to how we got here. It's a book I hope we never need, but I'm sure grateful it exists. (To learn how you can support reproductive justice work in Kentucky, visit https://www.kentuckyhealthjusticenetwork.org/).
While Roe v. Wade being overturned seems unfathomable for some, there are many activists and organizations who have been preparing for this possibility for decades. Robin Marty's book provides a thorough guide for how people can act now to protect abortion access and what people can do to navigate a possible future without legal abortion. Alongside crucial information, Marty also provides history and context to how we got here. It's a book I hope we never need, but I'm sure grateful it exists. (To learn how you can support reproductive justice work in Kentucky, visit https://www.kentuckyhealthjusticenetwork.org/).
NOTE: There is now an updated version of this book that can be found here: https://www.carmichaelsbookstore.com/book/9781644210581
Michael Schur, creator of the show The Good Place, brings that same insight and humor to How to Be Perfect. Focusing on what it takes to be a good person, Schur gives us a Philosophy 101 course that is as entertaining as it is accessible. A thought-provoking and fun read.
"We Belong to Each Other" is a regular mantra for one of my friends, and it perfectly gets at what Keegan's stirring novella is all about. Set in a small Irish town in 1985, this story explores complicity and asks who we really are when faced with a chance to help others.
What began as a college project exploring gender morphed into a decade of work that culminated in this illuminating graphic memoir. Rhea Ewing interviewed dozens of people across the gender spectrum in the Midwest U.S. and has distilled those conversations into this book. Featuring voices from a wide range of perspectives across gender, race, age, and class, FINE covers many topics integral to gender and many others that intersect, such as healthcare and housing. Interspersed with these voices is Ewing’s own voice as they take you along on their personal journey to better understand their own identity. A solid read that will have you better appreciating others’ experiences and encourage you to explore how gender impacts your own life.
You had me at cat in space. This great graphic novel about a cat and a toenail-clipping robot on a mission to save the moon from rats is filled with unexpected and delightful twists and turns. Reminiscent of the beloved animated TV show ADVENTURE TIME, this book is filled with whimsy, adventure, and clever humor that kids and adults alike will enjoy.
Another compelling collaboration between author Jason Reynolds and illustrator Jason Griffin, Ain't Burned All the Bright is beautiful and timely. Without shying away from the harsh realities of racial injustice and COVID, this book still leaves you with a sense of hope. Reynolds' words paired with Griffin's incredible mixed-media art make for an incredible work that will be on your mind well after finishing it.
John Koenig’s The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows captures the human experience as well as any great novel. Starting in 2009, Koenig has been creating and sharing new words to describe emotions we feel but lack language for. I wish I could easily upload all these words into my brain, à la The Matrix, and that these words were part of everyday language. A tremendous work.
You see the term "body positivity" thrown around a lot these days when what people really mean is "self love." How utterly refreshing it was to read Feder's picture book that accurately presents body positivity--acceptance of ALL bodies, especially lifting up those that are marginalized. Beautiful illustrations of so many different types of bodies in everyday and celebratory settings, paired with joyful text, makes Bodies are Cool a perfect addition to anyone's library and a great resource to discuss acceptance and self-image with children.
Kate Baer’s erasure poems pull beauty, truth, and humor from unexpected places. From weight loss solicitation emails to comments of appreciation to emails deriding her politics and her body, Baer uses these sources to create poems that pack a punch. A solid collection worth revisiting regularly.
Prescient and eerie, Alam's novel takes you from vacation to mysterious disaster and forces you to examine what kind of person you might be when the world shifts in ways not yet clearly known. This was a slow burn with some shocking moments as well as beautiful scenes that are now etched into my brain. Not a post-apocalyptic novel, rather, a story that places you just at the end of before.
I loved this beautiful picture book. The imaginative, stunning, Afrofuturist photos of children by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt paired with a poetic, affirming essay by Natasha Tarpley make for an exquisite book that both kids and their grown-ups can enjoy.
This reimagining of Sleeping Beauty features Harrow’s signature elements that I love: strong & smart female characters, wit that makes you audibly laugh, and prose that leaves you in awe of the magic of words. While a delightful read, this novella also doesn’t shy away from the darkness that is found in both our world and the fairytale world, and it is all the more powerful for it.
This book captured me immediately. Aisato's illustrations are absolutely stunning; so many pages in this book could be stand-alone art pieces. While words are used sparingly, they join the art so well in conveying the beauty and struggle of the stages of life. I found solace in the beauty of this book and imagine many others would, too.
I absolutely adored this book. Chambers places us centuries into the future, and it is a bright, lush world. We follow a traveling tea monk who is joined along the way by a robot they meet in the wild, a robot who is seeking to learn what humans need. This was a comforting book that balanced warmth, humor, and existential questions (without the navel-gazing). I'm eager to see where this series leads.
Smith's second collection of poetry is stirring and devastating and absolutely beautiful. It's been a long time since a book of poetry stuck with me in the ways this one has, and I am so grateful to have encountered this work.
A gripping history of the Black Panther Party and its wide-ranging impact and influence. Illustrated in a crisp, beautiful fashion, this book covers the Black Panthers' origins, major events, key players, bold actions, and enduring & complicated legacy.
Aubrey Gordon has been writing powerful essays about her experience as a fat person under the pseudonym Your Fat Friend for several years. Now, she stands out with this work that effectively weaves research with personal storytelling and cultural critique. Gordon shares about the hostility she faces in moving through the world in a fat body while also highlighting the many ways anti-fat bias shows up in our society, from denial of healthcare to legal discrimination, and plenty more. This book will challenge you and cause you to examine your own internalized bias, and you'll be all the better for it.
This collection of personal essays by disabled writers should be required reading for all nondisabled people. Edited by disabled activist, Alice Wong, Disability Visibility addresses topics as wide-ranging as the disability community: from the isolation of being deaf in prison to the need for fashion that accommodates medical devices to facing harassment just moving through the world, and plenty more.
A gorgeous novel set in the late 1890s that is still too relevant today with characters fighting to live just as they are and using magic to further their cause. I adored this beautiful story and was sad to say good-bye to the Eastwood sisters at the end. This book lifts up the power of women, of resistance, and will have you wanting to learn some spells.
Picture this: You've stopped to pick-up coffee on your way to work when suddenly you, and everyone around you, begin to float. In this world created by Nick Taplansky and beautifully illustrated by Kate Glasheen, we follow Noah, a journalist and father, who grapples with the ways gravity shifts have forever altered his life and humanity as a whole. Figuring out how to live a good life during times of vast uncertainty is something we all face, and this book portrays this in an effective and moving way.
If you can't imagine your life without your close friends, this book will be deeply validating and rewarding. Friendship doesn't tend to be discussed at the same level as romantic relationships or familal relationships, but Sow and Friedman do a great job lifting up its importance--the joy and growth friendships bring and why they're worth the hard work. You'll want to talk to your people after reading this.
Hannah Drake is a Louisville treasure, having been the unofficial poet laureate of the 2020 uprising over the police killing of Breonna Taylor. Beyond her poetry and activism in the streets, she has written blogs and essays for several years that capture strong, straight-forward commentaries on race. This collection challenges white readers to engage as allies for racial justice, providing concrete actions people can take that go beyond social media shares.
An excellent primer on the history of fascist movements and of the resistance movements that rose up to fight them. Seeing history repeat itself again and again on these pages was startling—I’m a little ashamed of just how ignorant I was to much of what’s discussed. This was a really good overview that will make you want to dig deeper.
Throw the concept of It's A Wonderful Life into a 21st century multiverse, add some Brené Brown TED Talk vibes, and you get The Midnight Library. While I do wish some suicide prevention resources were included somewhere (story emerges from a suicide attempt), the book made for an easy read and was effective in reminding the reader how the small things in life aren't so small afterall.
If you've read Hillbilly Elegy (or even if you haven't), read this book for a more nuanced and honest take on the Central Appalachian region. Catte packs a lot into these pages, including history of radical union organizing among coal miners to how the region has become "othered" and used as a scape goat for our country's ills. This is a must read for anyone living outside the region to better understand the history and complexity of Appalachia.
Death can be hard to cope with and discuss at any age, even more so for young children who have yet to experience the death of a loved one. This book serves as a solid comprehensive, succinct guide for children to understand death and normalize their experience and feelings.
Painful and moving memoir that shows how quickly an illness can devastate a family. Moss provides a beautiful and intimate portrayal of her struggle to make a normal life for her young children while caring for her husband who is diagnosed with Bulbar ALS and dies just seven months later. Deeply affecting and filled with raw truth, LAST THINGS will shatter you and make you grateful for it.
This is the first book I read when I was young that showed me what a book can be. Roy's writing still astounds on every re-read.