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Elisa's Picks

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A Thousand Ships: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063065390
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Harper - January 26th, 2021

In this epic retelling of the Illiad, Natalie Haynes brings the life the stories of the people completely glossed over by Homer: the Women. From the Muses to the Goddesses, Helen to Penelope, Haynes creates a sweeping narrative of the Trojan War and all of those effected by the city that fell. Told in alternating perspectives across the years of the war, Haynes brings new life into the so well-known story by offering voices to the women who are so often forgotten. Absolutely absorbing, this is perfect for fans of Circe and any lover of Mythology.

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The Barnabus Project Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735263260
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tundra Books - September 1st, 2020

Deep underneath the Perfect Pets store, under a perfect glass bell jar lives Barnabus. The half mouse/half elephant is content with his life in his little bell jar with the other Failed Projects, but has always dreamed about the possibility of seeing the outside world. In this beautifully illustrated adventurous tale, The Fan Brothers uniquely capture what it means to be imperfect and why those imperfections are some of the best parts of ourselves. Heartwarmingly told and visually stunning, this is one of those books that you won’t forget.

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The Death of Vivek Oji: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525541608
Availability: Backordered
Published: Riverhead Books - August 4th, 2020

Vivek Oji is dead, you know this from the very beginning of the story. Regardless of that fact, Akwaeke Emezi pulls readers in and completely tears them apart with the power of this story. Set in the middle class towns of Nigeria, Vivek explores the world of the Nigerwives, immigrant women who have married Nigerian men and created their own community(like his own mother), seeking solace in their femininity and finding comfort in their love. As Vivek tries to conform to his families expectations, he begins experiencing strange blackouts and bouts of disorientation from the psychological strain. When he finally begins to allow himself to explore his gender presentation and his own femininity, Vivek starts to get better just in time for his whole world to come crashing down. Told from alternating perspectives, Vivek's tale is that of him discovering his true self, and only when he has finally become the most confident in his true identity does tragedy strike. Heartbreaking in the fact that the majority of his story is told by the people who could never truly see him, Emezi is back and renders a beautiful tale of identity and tragedy, but still manages to leave the reader with at least a glimmer of hope. – Elisa

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Riot Baby Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250214751
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tordotcom - January 21st, 2020

In this timely adult debut, Onyebuchi expertly melds the complexities of growing up black in America and the intrigue of the line between reality and fantasy. From the time she can remember Ella has had her Thing, this inexplicable ability to see parts of the future of some of those around her. Her younger brother Kev wants nothing more than to protect his sister from her power as it grows into something more volatile. Spanning from South Central LA in 1992 to Harlem in the early 2000’s, Onyebuchi captures the anger caused by the hard realities faced by so many, all while still leaving the reader with some hope.

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Real Life: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525538882
Availability: Backordered
Published: Riverhead Books - February 18th, 2020

This was one of those books that I needed to mark up. I flagged pages and highlighted sentences. I put it down multiple times because I needed to let the words fully settle in and absorb what was said. In this incredible debut, Brandon Taylor dives into the fine nuances of microagressions and so much more. Wallace is black, gay, southern, and trying on a daily basis to navigate his daily life as a grad student in the biochem department at a Midwestern University. Wallace's collective inner monologue gives the reader real perspective of what everyday life looks like for him. From the complexities of the relationships with his all-white group of friends to what it's like for him daily as a black student in a white dominated field; Real Life breaks down the bleak truth behind the emotional implications faced by so many like Wallace. It should be read and talked about and shared. It is timely, necessary, and  a complete feat of a debut novel.

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The Deep Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534439870
Availability: Backordered
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - August 4th, 2020

In an adaptation of the eponymous song, Rivers Solomon delivers an incredible underwater mythos in a dreamlike tale.  Memory is always a fickle thing, but it can be even more challenging when it is your job to hold the memories of your entire people. Yetu holds the weight of her peoples' history within herself. From the induction of their species to this moment in time, it is her responsibility to hold their entire generational trauma until The Remembering, the time when she acts as a conduit for an entire community and they all share in the memories. Immersive and heart wrenching, Solomon's adaptation of clippings.'s song has as much depth as it does beauty.

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Pet Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525647072
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Make Me a World - September 10th, 2019

Imagine a world where oppression is a thing of the past. It has been completely irradiated along with racism, sexism, and all of the other monsters in existence. This is the world Jam has grown up in. This is the New Lucille. So when a creature arises from a combination of a drop of Jam’s blood and her mother’s painting claiming to be on the hunt for a monster, Jam isn’t quite sure what to believe. And worse, the monster is supposedly in her best friend Redemption’s house. In their timely young adult debut, Akwaeke Emezi renders an incredible story that deftly takes on the current perils of our world while upending Jam’s. Fighting to save her reality as she has always known it, Jam realizes just how hard it can be to take on a monster in a world where everyone around her refuses to acknowledge that they exist.