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Fiction Recommendations

Book of the Little Axe by Lauren Francis-Sharma

Rosa Rendón is the headstrong yet loyal daughter of a landed Black family in turn of the 19th century in Trinidad. She ends up married to a Black Crow chief near the Bighorn Mountains, and has an inquisitive son who, at the edge of adulthood, is faltering, untethered from his Apsáalooke identity. Her subsequent journey into her past is both her son’s salvation and the reader’s delight. As majestic and adventurous as it is emotional and deeply rooted to family, I loved every moment of being immersed in this novel. — Melinda

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ISBN: 9780802158543
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - May 18th, 2021

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This book is so indicative of our current age of white fragility and racism veiled under white liberalism. Dialogue floats off the page; the characters are people we’ve all met. Reid draws and expands on the history of Black women as caretakers of white women’s children and on the emotion that lies within such a power structure. She has skillfully woven the intersections of race, class, and gender into an immensely readable book. — Celeste

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ISBN: 9780525541912
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 20th, 2021

Future Feeling by Joss Lake

Joss Lake’s debut novel is disarmingly fresh and fun, a page-turner that reflects our (slightly augmented) contemporary reality through its characters, vocabulary, and topics, and whose protagonist is both fearless and vulnerable as he explores life. Penfield R. Henderson has plateaued in Bushwick, falling short of fulfilling his potential and plagued by bitterness over the photogenic transition of Aiden, another trans man, on “the Gram.” When he successfully convinces his roommates to help him hex Aiden, he finds he must expand beyond himself to repair the damage, and the rewards of his journey are many. Future Feeling dazzles with an assured, delightful new voice that both entertains and enriches. — Chorel

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ISBN: 9781593766887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soft Skull - June 1st, 2021

Long Division by Kiese Laymon

From the author of the incredible memoir Heavy, this debut novel is spectacular. Kiese Laymon’s writing is so fast, so smooth, so electrifying; the story he tells so odd and heavy, satirical and raw; the characters so perfectly described. Long Division is poetry in prose form, and it’s also a rich examination of one Black teenager’s encounters with sexuality, racism, bullying, complex family dynamics, friendship, and the surreal. A deeply affecting, tender, and funny read. — Jess

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ISBN: 9781982174828
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - June 1st, 2021

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

This is the perfect paperback to take with you on a vacation in your own backyard or wherever you end up going. Taking place in post-colonial India in the 1950s, this is a love story—love of traditions, love of family, love of self, and a journey of self-worth. Escaping from an arranged and abusive marriage, 17-year-old Lakshmi pursues her dream of an independent life becoming the henna artist and confidante to wealthy women of the upper class. You will gasp at the risks she takes, cheer her on as she perseveres, and weep at her pain and struggle. I didn’t want it to end and can’t wait for the sequel, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, available June 22nd. — Jenny

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ISBN: 9780778331476
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mira Books - April 6th, 2021

Monogamy by Sue Miller

Sometimes the most powerful novels are the quietest. In Monogamy, Sue Miller explores the marriage of one seemingly ill-matched couple—a convivial bookstore owner and his reserved yet pleasant wife. Miller's novel brilliantly explores the range of human emotion that develops over a lifetime of a marriage, how it ebbs and flows to create our sense of family and our sense of self. A beautiful portrait of love, loss, and memory. — Casey

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ISBN: 9780062969668
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - May 4th, 2021

Fresh Water for Flowers by Valérie Perrin

Translated from the French, this genre-bending masterpiece revolves around a lonely cemetery caretaker, Violette, and a local police chief, Julien, whose recently deceased mother asked in her will to have her ashes be left on the gravesite of what is ostensibly a complete stranger. As Violette helps Julien unravel the mystery of why his mother asked for this, she also reflects on the mysteries, tragedies, and hopes of her past. Brilliantly plotted, haunting, unforgettable. — Ksenia

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ISBN: 9781609456764
Availability: Backordered
Published: Europa Editions - May 4th, 2021

Heart and Seoul by Jen Frederick

If you’ve ever wondered what K-drama might be like in book form, look no further than Heart and Seoul. Beautiful people; sweet, complicated romance; plenty of plot twists; and a much- needed escape. But do not be deceived by its simplicity: Jen Frederick addresses interracial adoption and thoughtfully explores its effects on identity and belonging, making this light read a much fuller experience and one I hope continues with a follow-up book! — Melinda

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ISBN: 9780593100141
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - May 25th, 2021

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

Take a deep dive into the slums of India, where this story is told from the perspective of the children who live there. Life is hard but there is a wonder too, and an optimism in Jai, our young protagonist, that causes his friends and him to start investigating when a classmate goes missing. Anappara doesn’t skimp on the sensory details, which makes it hard to put down and impossible to escape. A truly gorgeous and challenging debut. — Jax

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ISBN: 9780593129289
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 11th, 2021

The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama

Redolent with the smells of mango trees, pineapple fields, market fish, and flowing lava, The Color of Air takes place in 1930s Hawaii, where sugarcane and pineapple plantations are owned by privileged white families, managed by Portuguese overseers, and worked by Japanese immigrants seeking a new life and a piece of the American Dream. A son of plantation workers and now a young doctor, Daniel finds himself navigating acceptance and forgiveness. Returning home scared and confused, he is reacquainted with the memories and stories of family and friends and learns how to let go and live. Tsukiyama does an artful job of telling the stories of each character and how they contribute to the heartbeat of the island and its community. — Jenny

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The Color of Air: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062976208
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperVia - May 4th, 2021


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