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  • Kat Sarfas 1:52 am on 2020/05/05 Permalink
    Tags: , colson whitehead, pulitzer prize fiction,   

    The Pulitzer Prize Winners for 2020 

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    There are literary awards, and then there’s the Pulitzer Prize. Those winners are the books that open your eyes and shake you around a bit – stories by American authors that will forever linger in a reader’s subconscious. Recent winners for fiction include The Goldfinch, by Donna Tart, All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, Less, by Andrew Sean Greer, and The Overstory, by Richard Powers – must read, heavy hitters that cut to the heart of humanity and American life. This year’s winners are:

    In the category of Fiction – The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead.

    “Colson Whitehead continues to make a classic American genre his own… with gravity and care, the steward of painful, suppressed histories; his choices on the page can feel as much ethical as aesthetic…” – The New York Times

    This is the second Pulitzer for author, Colson Whitehead in 4 years – he also won the prize for Fiction back in 2017 for The Underground Railroad. This brilliant and blistering story of two boys in Jim Crow-era Florida was a BN Book Club pick last July – we also had the good fortune to sit down with Colson to talk imagination, courage, and The Nickel Boys on our B&N Podcast.

    Fiction finalists include The Topeka School, by Ben Lerner (“Ben Lerner has redefined what it means for a writer to inhabit an American present by showing how a family reckons with its past… The Topeka School is brave, furious, and, finally, a work of love.” – Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous), and The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett, both fresh takes on classic coming-of-age stories. No one writes about sibling relationships as well as Ann Patchett; The New York Times goes further: “Expect miracles when you read Ann Patchett’s fiction.”

    In the category of History – Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, by W. Caleb McDaniel, which Tony Horwitz, author of Spying on the South, called “A chilling, inspiring, and timely examination of both the necessity and complexity of redressing historical crimes.”

    In the category of Biography – Sontag, by Benjamin Moser. “Don’t be fooled by the length. This book is compulsive reading: moving, maddening, ridiculous and beautiful scenes from the life of Susan Sontag… Moser has a true and deep love for his subject, and it shows,” says Rachel Kushner, author of The Flamethrowers.

    In the category of Poetry – The Tradition, by Jericho Brown. “These astounding poems…don’t merely hold a lens up to the world and watch from a safe distance; they run or roll or stomp their way into what matters… This is one of the most luminous and courageous voices I have read in a long, long time.” – U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith

    This year, the Pulitzer for General Nonfiction is shared by two books: The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care, by Anne Boyer, “a profound and unforgettable document on the experience of life itself,” says Sally Rooney, author of Normal People, and The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America, by Greg Grandin, which Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Twilight of the American Century, says is “written with insight, passion, and uncompromising moral clarity.”

    And while tie-in books may not be available, we have to still give a big shoutout to the impressive works in the category of Music – The Central Park Five, by Anthony Davis which premiered last year at the Long Beach Opera, and in the category of Drama – A Strange Loop, by Michael R. Jackson, an original musical.


    The post The Pulitzer Prize Winners for 2020 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • BN Editors 2:30 pm on 2019/11/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , , colson whitehead, , food of sichuan, fuchsia dunlop, greta thurnberg, , mythos, no one is too small to make a difference, , , superlatives, , , ,   

    Announcing the Finalists for Barnes & Noble’s Book of the Year 

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    What is the book that defined 2019? This year, for the first time, Barnes & Noble has turned to its thousands of booksellers to answer that question.

    We asked our booksellers to tell us what books moved them, inspired them, challenged them, and charmed them—to name the book that was, to them, the book of the year. We were delighted—in fact, blown away—by the wide range of nominations we received, and the passion with which they were delivered. Out of thousands of nominations, a selection committee assembled the following shortlist of eight finalists. From this list, our booksellers will vote to select our first-ever Barnes & Noble Book of the Year.

    Olive, Again, by Elizabeth Strout
    These thirteen interconnected tales continue the story of prickly yet empathetic heroine Olive Kitteridge, whom we first met in Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge. Now a septuagenarian being romanced by widowed Jack Kennison in Crosby, Maine, Olive will spend the next decade struggling with love, loss, unexpected friendships, and the pain of aging. Strout is a master at finding the universal within the very specific. You don’t need to read her earlier books to appreciate Olive’s universal story, but there are unexpected rewards here for her longtime fans as well. Listen to Elizabeth Strout discuss the novel on the B&N Podcast.

    What our booksellers are saying: “Elizabeth Strout, master storyteller, does not disappoint in this second installment in the continuing story of Olive Kitteridge. Olive returns alongside a cast of characters that are both diverse and fascinating to read about.” – Ellie Zur, Store #2358 (Mishawaka, IN)

    The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy
    When the illustrator Charles Mackesy first put together his  scenes of a boy talking with three animal friends, he didn’t predict the deep resonance they would have with people all over the world. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is an instant classic, a timeless fable matching Mackesy’s beautiful drawings with a voice that delivers wisdom and inspiration on every page.

    What our booksellers are saying:The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse is a beautiful story about friendship, never giving up, and being true and kind to yourself and others around you. You’ll fall in love with Charlie Mackesy’s gorgeous illustrations and incredible words. Words we all need to hear.” – Erin Lynn, Store #2968 (Souix Falls, SD)

    The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
    The Nickel Boys is Colson Whitehead’s followup to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Underground Railroad, and it is every bit as provoking and praise-worthy. Set in the Jim Crow South of the 1960s,  it follows two philosophically opposed black students at a notorious reform school known as the Nickel Academy. Though the school claims to turn delinquents into “honorable and honest men” via “physical, intellectual and moral training,” in truth it’s a hotbed of corruption and abuse. Elwood Curtis tries to emulate his hero, Dr. Martin Luther King, during his hellish interment there, but his friend Turner is more cynical about the world. The boys’ disparate survival techniques culminate in a plan that will impact the rest of their lives. Listen to Colson Whitehead discuss the novel on the B&N Podcast.

    What our booksellers are saying:The Nickel Boys is a gut punch of a book. Whitehead is a master of words, and this novel hits hard on tough themes. An important read in today’s America.” – Ryan Quinn, Store #2606 (Fargo, ND)

    The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides
    Alex Michaelides’ potent psychological thriller begins with a jolt: Alicia Berenson, a successful artist living in well-to-do London, welcomes her fashion photographer husband home from a late night on the job with five bullets to the face, and never speaks another word. She spends the next six years as a silent patient at the Grove, a secure forensic facility in North London. Theo Faber is a gifted psychotherapist obsessed with the case, and he convinces Alicia’s doctors to allow him to coax her to speak. Theo’s sessions are interspersed with excerpts of Alicia’s diary leading up to the day of Gabriel’s murder. As the clues about what truly happened begin to fall into place, Theo’s personal and professional worlds begin to blur, leading to a shocking ending.

    What our booksellers are saying: “This can’t-put-it-down thriller stuns you as it throws a dark twist in just when you’re sure you have everything figured out.” – Cathy Schultz, Store #2778 (Peoria, IL)

    The Food of Sichuan, by Fuchsia Dunlop
    Some cookbooks are landmarks not merely because of their recipes, but because of the window they open onto a culture via its cuisine. Award-winning author Fuchsia Dunlop first published Land of Plenty—a definitive, gorgeously illustrated guide to Sichuan cooking for the English-speaking world—almost two decades ago, and in this glorious new edition, she adds dozens of fresh recipes and more, making The Food of Sichuan a must-read in its own right.

    What our booksellers are saying: “This book is a culinary tour guide to one of the most flavorful parts of the world, including recipes for those who are new to the kitchen and others that require some more expert techniques. Beautifully photographed, with great writing that really gets to the heart of what makes this cuisine unique and special.” – Sarah Kane, Store #2236 (Evanston, IL)

    Mythos, by Stephen Fry
    Mythos is a collection of Greek myths retold by writer, comedian, and celebrated wit Stephen Fry. His lively, refreshing take on classic stories—from Prometheus to Pandora—will enchant mythology enthusiasts, as well as readers who are less familiar with these tales. Brimming with humor, as well as a deep affection and respect for the original stories, these adventures perfectly capture the colorful feats and foibles of the gods and mortals of ancient Greece. 

    What our booksellers are saying: “Stephen Fry’s Mythos is a fascinating and intelligent and an exciting read! Fans of Mr. Fry’s wit, wisdom, and humor will find in his newest book Greek and Roman myths reimagined and reexamined for our modern age.” – Lorien Campbell, Store #2974 (Athens, GA)

    The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood
    A lot has changed in the 35 years since Margaret Atwood’s dystopian classic The Handmaid’s Tale was published, but little that makes her dark vision of the future—one in which an environmental disaster and an idealogical uprising have seen America toppled and replaced by the theocratic state of Gilead, where increasingly rare fertile women are forced to bear children for the wealthy and powerful—seem any less prescient. In The Testaments, an unexpected but vital sequel, Atwood dives deeper into the politics of Gilead—its Aunts, its Marthas—and, in the lives of its younger characters, delivers hope that a better, if hard-won, future might be possible. Listen to Margaret Atwood discuss the novel on the B&N Podcast.

    What our booksellers are saying:The Handmaid’s Tale pulled us in, but The Testaments is the novel that doesn’t let us go. Told from the point of view of three women in a dystopian North America, Atwood’s ultimately hopeful novel is a feminist triumph.” – Ryan Quinn, Store #2606 (Fargo, ND)

    No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greta Thunberg
    In August 2018, the simple decision by a 15-year-old girl to walk out of school to protest the climate crisis sparked a worldwide movement. A year later, Greta Thunberg has given voice to an entire generation of young people facing life in an uncertain future on a planet that seems precariously close to a breaking point. Though Thunberg has rejected the notion that she be viewed as an icon, her message—delivered in speeches to the United Nations, on Capitol Hill, and amid massive street protests—carries undeniable weight. Collected in this volume, her words act as a call to arms—a potent argument that the time for action is yesterday, and that we all have a role to play in saving our tomorrows.

    What our booksellers are saying: “Although her speeches may feel repetitive, her message merits repeating: Greta, a young woman of 16 with Asperger’s syndrome, brings her black-and-white viewpoint to the problem of climate justice. The clarity with which she views the issues is formidable. She speaks from the gut and pulls no punches. From her specialized point of view, she argues that action for climate justice needs to be quick and all-encompassing. There are problems to solve. We know the solutions. The time for action is now.” – Gabriel Jacobson, Store #2701 (Brentwood, TN)

    Barnes & Noble’s Book of the Year will be announced in December.

    The post Announcing the Finalists for Barnes & Noble’s Book of the Year appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 2:45 pm on 2019/09/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , , black light, colson whitehead, , , helen phillips, , kali fajardo-anstine, kimberly king parsons, laila lalami, marlon james, nickel boys, sabrina & corina, , taffy bodesser-akner, the need, the other americans,   

    Announcing the Longlist for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction 

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    Throughout this week, the longlists for the 2019 National Book Awards are being announced, with the selection of finalists in each of five categories—Young People’s LiteratureTranslated LiteraturePoetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction. This morning, we present the final longlist, for the category of Fiction.

    Fleishman Is in Trouble, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
    Toby Fleishman thought he knew what to expect when he and his wife of almost fifteen years separated: weekends and every other holiday with the kids and the occasional moment of tension in their co-parenting negotiations. He could not have predicted that one day, Rachel would just drop their two children off at his place and simply not return. As Toby tries to figure out where Rachel went, his tidy narrative of the spurned husband is his sole consolation. But if Toby ever wants to truly understand what happened to Rachel and what happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen things all that clearly in the first place.

    Trust Exercise, by Susan Choi
    An Indie Next pick named to 11 best book lists in 2018, Trust Exercise is set in the 1980s at a highly competitive suburban performing arts high school, Trust Exercise will incite heated discussions about fiction and truth, friendships and loyalties, and will leave readers with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and the powers and responsibilities of adults.

    Sabrina & Corina: Stories, by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
    Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic debut story collection breathes life into her Indigenous Latina characters and the land they inhabit. Set against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado–a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite–these women navigate the land the way they navigate their own lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force. Sabrina and Corina is a moving exploration of the universal experiences of abandonment, friendships and mother-daughter relationships, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands and the people who inhabit it.

    Black Leopard, Red Wolf, by Marlon James
    Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard. As Tracker follows the boy’s scent—from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers—he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?

    The Other Americans, by Laila Lalami
    Late one spring night, Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan immigrant living in California, is walking across a darkened intersection when he is killed by a speeding car. The repercussions of his death bring together a diverse cast of characters: Guerraoui’s daughter Nora, a jazz composer who returns to the small town in the Mojave she thought she’d left for good; his widow, Maryam, who still pines after her life in the old country; Efraín, an undocumented witness whose fear of deportation prevents him from coming forward; Jeremy, an old friend of Nora’s and an Iraq War veteran; Coleman, a detective who is slowly discovering her son’s secrets; Anderson, a neighbor trying to reconnect with his family; and the murdered man himself. As the characters—deeply divided by race, religion, and class—tell their stories, connections among them emerge, even as Driss’s family confronts its secrets, a town faces its hypocrisies, and love, messy and unpredictable, is born.

    Black Light: Stories, by Kimberly King Parsons
    Celebrated by author Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties) as “grimy and weird, surprising, utterly lush,” the stories in this debut collection burn with feminist fire and passionate anger. Per the publisher, these are stories exploring “ache of first love, the banality of self-loathing, the scourge of addiction, the myth of marriage, and the magic and inevitable disillusionment of childhood.” “Foxes” intertwines the stories of a woman’s divorce and her daughter’s daydreams involving noble knights and their mysterious enemies; one tale soon begins to blend into the other. In “Soft No,” two siblings must grapple with the politics of their neighborhood, but face equal challenges at home from their erratic mother. And in “Black Light,” a woman witnesses a lost lover transform into someone seemingl entirely different, even as she tries to hide her own secrets amid another breakup. These are powerfully intimate stories, precisely told.

    The Need, by Helen Phillips
    Acclaimed as one of the year’s best books by The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, and Lithub, among others, this chilling speculative novel from the author of The Beautiful Bureaucrat is a ornately composed thriller with a surreal edge. It follows scientist Molly Nye in the aftermath of a truly unnerving discovery during a routine fossil dig—she and her colleagues find not only evidence of previously unknown types of plant species, but a host of random, inexplicable objects that seem ripped from another reality: including a strange toy soldier, a Coke bottle with an off-kilter logo, and a Bible that refers to God as a woman. As the discovery draws gawkers to the excavation site, Molly’s life threatens to come off of its hinges, as she is pursued by a figure that seems to know her most intimate secrets. It’s a moving and metafictional exploration of the ways we all are done and undone by time—literary fiction with a science-fictional edge.

    Disappearing Earth, by Julia Phillips
    In this intense, original, must-read debut, two sisters vanish from the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia, and over the course of twelve chapters (each representing a month in the year that follows), readers will come to know the female denizens of the isolated, shoreline community as they respond in very different ways to the crime. From the girls’ mother, to witnesses, detectives, and other possible victims, every character is vividly rendered, as are the locations and histories that wind around the story like vines.

    On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
    This nonlinear roman à clef debut from a critically lauded poet is written as though from a son to his illiterate mother. It depicts a family history of intergenerational abuse mixed with fierce love. The letter writer, known as Little Dog, feels like an outsider in a variety of ways. As a teenager, he emigrated to America from Vietnam with the three women who make up his world: mother, grandmother, and aunt, each traumatized by the Vietnam War. As a young gay man, and the first of his family to attend college, he attempts to reconcile the violence of the past with a future that won’t hold still or accommodate narrative conclusions. In short, it’s like real life: messy, tragic, lovely, and painful all at once.

    The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
    Colson Whitehead won the 2016 National Book Award for Underground Railroad (which also took home the Pulitzer Prize). A difficult act to follow, but Nickel Boys is up to the challenge. It follows two philosophically opposed black students at notorious reform school the Nickel Academy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s. Though the school claims to turn delinquents into “honorable and honest men,” via “physical, intellectual and moral training,” in truth it’s an appalling place, full of corruption and abuse of every type. Elwood Curtis tries to emulate his hero, Dr. King, during the hellish interment, as a means of keeping his own humanity close, but his friend Turner is more cynical about the world. The boys’ disparate survival techniques culminate in a plan that will impact the rest of their lives.

    The 2019 National Book Award winners will be announced on November 20.

    The post Announcing the Longlist for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jen Harper 3:00 pm on 2019/08/07 Permalink
    Tags: , , , china men, citizen: an american lyric, claudia rankine, colson whitehead, ernest j. gaines, , friday black, , , if beale street could talk, , john okada, julie otsuka, , , , nana kwame adjei-brenyah, no-no-boy, , , , the twelve tribes of hattie, , , when the emperor was divine   

    12 Books to Read If You Loved The Nickel Boys, July’s B&N Book Club Selection 

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    The Barnes & Noble Book Club selection for July, Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys, captures the devastating story of two boys snared in the trap of the Jim Crow-era South and sentenced to a horrific reform school more aptly described as a prison run by abusive sadists. Based on the real story of a Florida reformatory that continued to operate for more than 100 years, destroying the lives of thousands of children, Whitehead’s latest book takes a necessary look at parts of America’s history that many would like to conveniently erase.

    But what is a reader to do after finishing such a powerful book and discussing it at your local B&N Book Club meeting on August 13 at 7 p.m.? We’ve rounded up 12 more reads to keep you busy until next month. Check out our readalike picks for The Nickel Boys.

    If Beale Street Could Talk, by James Baldwin
    James Baldwin’s 1974 novel tells a bittersweet story of love and injustice set in early 1970s Harlem. A young black couple—pregnant Tish, 19, and Fonny, 22, the father of her child—are madly in love with plans to marry. But when Fonny is falsely accused and imprisoned for a heinous crime, Tish and Fonny’s lives—as well as the lives of their families—are thrown into a tailspin as they attempt to clear Fonny’s name and reunite him with Tish before the birth of their child. Much like The Nickel Boys, If Beale Street Could Talk deftly explores the harsh realities of racism and inequality.

    A Lesson before Dying, by Ernest J. Gaines
    Set in 1940s Louisiana, A Lesson before Dying is an important and heartbreaking tale—much like The Nickel Boys—about Jefferson, a young black man who sits on death row convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, and Grant, another black man who has just returned to his hometown from the university. Grant’s aunt and Jefferson’s godmother convince him to visit Jefferson in prison to convey some of his own wisdom and perhaps even help Jefferson to face his impending death with dignity. But what does one say to a young man who has faced a lifetime of racism and injustice and whose only crime seems to be being black in rural Louisiana? Their visits lead them both on a path of self-discovery in a story that won’t soon be forgotten.

    Friday Black, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
    Racism and injustice against black men and women isn’t just a thing of the past. It’s very much a part of our country’s present, and—if we’re not vigilant—our future, as imagined in Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s Friday Black, a dystopian story collection that tackles painful subjects in an honest and necessary way. “The Finkelstein Five” offers an unflinching look at the brutality of  prejudice in our justice system, while “Zimmer Land” reimagines racism as a sport in an amusement park. And the title story takes a deeper look at the horrors of consumerism and the viciousness it can breed.

    Speak No Evil, by Uzodinma Iweala
    What does it truly mean to be different in a sea of fundamental sameness? That’s precisely the question Uzodinma Iweala attempts to tackle in the much-anticipated follow-up to the 2005 book Beasts of No Nation. Harvard-bound teenager Niru not only has to deal with being black in a mostly white world and an immigrant in America, but he’s also coming to terms with the fact that he’s gay, which would be the ultimate sin to his Nigerian parents—a sin his father feels he must “cleanse” from his body in order to “cure” him. Like The Nickel Boys, Iweala’s book can be difficult to take in as Niru’s pain is utterly palpable throughout, but it’s also an important and necessary read about the core of our own humanity.

    The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Nobel Prize–winning author Toni Morrison has written some truly magnificent books about racism in America, and her first-ever novel, The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is certainly no exception. In it, we meet an 11-year-old black girl named Pecola Breedlove, who believes she is ugly because of her dark skin and eyes. She longs to have blue eyes like the white dolls she is gifted as a child. In 1941, Pecola is living in a temporary foster home after her abusive, alcoholic father burns down her family’s house, but that seems to be one of the lesser horrors young Pecola experiences in her life in this stunning and tragic piece of literature from one of America’s greatest authors.

    No-No Boy, by John Okada
    John Okada’s only novel, which originally came out in 1957, was the first ever published by an American-born Japanese American. The powerful book tells the story of one of the “no-no boys”—Japanese-American men who resisted the draft after having been forced into internment camps during World War II. Ichiro Yamada got two years in a federal prison for refusing to fight for America, and now back home with his family, he faces disappointment from his parents and ostracism from many in his community. Okada’s book is an incredible story of Ichiro attempting to find his way in a world where he feels he doesn’t belong.

    Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine
    Claudia Rankine’s powerful follow-up to Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric offers a thought-provoking look at racism in the 21st century through essay, images, and poetry. Rankine effectively captures what it means to be black in America with anecdotes, observations, quotes, and more that detail mounting racial aggression all around us—at work, at home, at the grocery store, on television, online, on the tennis court with Serena Williams, everywhere. Citizen: An American Lyric is a powerful testament to the power of individuals and an emotional appeal everyone should read. It is a work of art that won’t soon be forgotten.

    China Men, by Maxine Hong Kingston
    Maxine Hong Kingston’s sequel to The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts chronicles Chinese-American history through a collection of 18 stories, both fictional and factual. The title itself offers a portrait of the book as a whole—”Chinaman” was a common racial slur against Chinese-Americans, but the men rejected racism, referring to themselves as “China Men.” Whereas The Woman Warrior gave a powerful perspective on the harsh realities of the female immigrant experience, China Men traces the history of Kingston’s male ancestors through memories, myths, and facts, showing readers what it was like for the men in her family in this strange new land.

    Heavy: An American Memoir, by Kiese Laymon
    For readers who just couldn’t put down The Nickel Boys, Kiese Laymon offers up a powerful, painful, and unforgettable memoir about his own experiences of abuse, violence, and trauma from growing up black. Laymon beautifully and honestly expresses the nuances of his complicated relationships with his mother, grandmother, obesity, anorexia, sex, writing, and gambling. He shines light on secrets and lies he and his mother spent their whole lives trying to avoid in an effort to convey a universal truth about the ability to love responsibly and the desire to be truly free. This Barnes & Noble Discover Award Winner is a must read for those who just can’t stop thinking about The Nickel Boys.

    The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis
    Ayana Mathis’s incredible debut novel follows the life of Hattie Shepherd from the perspectives of her nine children all longing for connection with their mother. Set against the backdrop of the Great Migration, the movement of millions of African Americans out of the South between 1916 and 1970, Hattie’s story begins in 1923 when, at age 15, she flees Georgia and heads to Philadelphia in hopes of a better life. But what she gets is a disappointing marriage and the tragic loss of her firstborn twins to pneumonia. She ends up having nine more children, raising them with strength and courage but without the loving tenderness they need, determined to prepare them for the cruel realities of the world.

    When the Emperor Was Divine, by Julie Otsuka
    In Julie Otsuka’s moving first novel, she captures a shameful and devastating episode in American history from the perspective of one family shattered by prejudice and horrendous wartime injustices against Japanese Americans during World War II. The famliy’s father is arrested for treason and imprisoned in New Mexico, while the mother, daughter, and son are sent to a dusty internment camp out in the desert. Barbed wire fences and filthy, cramped lodgings are the family’s constant companion over the next three years as they are moved from camp to camp. Despite the book’s setting of more than 70 years ago, the themes of racism and freedom feel equally relevant today.

    Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan
    Hillary Jordan’s award-winning debut novel, set in 1946, finds city-bred Laura McAllan being forced to move from her comfortable home in Memphis, Tennessee to a remote cotton farm on the Mississippi Delta with her husband, Henry; their two daughters; and her racist and sadistic father-in-law. There she has no indoor plumbing or electricity, and when the rain waters rise, her family is literally stranded in a sea of mud. The return of two celebrated World War II soldiers to the Delta shakes things up for the family—one is Henry’s brother, who is everything Henry is not, and the other is the eldest son of blacksharecroppers and a newly minted war hero who finds that his bravery in combat counts for very little in the Jim Crow South in this powerful read.

    What would you recommend to readers who liked The Nickel Boys?

    The post 12 Books to Read If You Loved <i>The Nickel Boys</i>, July’s B&N Book Club Selection appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Melissa Albert 1:00 pm on 2016/08/29 Permalink
    Tags: b&n readouts, colson whitehead, , , , ,   

    5 Great Books to Sample on Your NOOK Right Now 

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    To celebrate the launch of our new Samsung Galaxy Tab A NOOK device, and $99.99 offer for upgraders, we’re celebrating some of our favorite things to read on the NOOK. If you haven’t yet discovered B&N Readouts, welcome to your new favorite way to sample great reads—with the Tab A, it’s the closest you’ll get to strolling through Barnes & Noble’s aisles outside of, you know, the nearest Barnes & Noble. Every day we post excerpts from fascinating new books, from thrillers to nonfiction to romance, accessible on your desktop and through the NOOK app. Here’s just a taste of the books we’re sharing this month.

    American Heiress, by Jeffrey Toobin
    Toobin unpacks the fascinating history of Patty Hearst, infamous socialite turned kidnapping victim turned revolutionary (or victim of Stockholm Syndrome, depending who you ask). Everyone remembers the iconic photo of the girl with the beret and the gun, but Toobin’s book reveals the true and complicated story of Hearst’s abduction and its major players—one that verges on a comedy of errors—while giving an illuminating overview of the mid-1970’s media and cultural landscapes. Even without Hearst’s cooperation, Toobin creates a compelling portrait of a woman and an era.
    Start reading on B&N Readouts now.

    Seinfeldia, by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
    Armstrong’s highly entertaining, surprisingly insightful work explores the history of everybody’s favorite TV show about nothing, and the cultural moment it helped define. Seinfeld started out as a four-episode summer filler and grew into a media juggernaut, while maintaining its neurotic, oddball heart. Armstrong fills her book with gossipy details and behind the scenes insights that will send you running to Hulu to binge your favorite episodes.
    Start reading on B&N Readouts now.

    Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson
    Acclaimed author Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming) returns to writing for adults with the elegiac story, told in poetic vignettes, of August, a former Brooklynite returning to her old neighborhood for her father’s funeral. The visit stirs up memories of her often difficult past—the glaring absence of her mother, the burgeoning Black Power movement of the 1970s, and the tight group of girlfriends who defined her days. In her spare, liquid prose, Woodson carries August from present to past and back again.
    Start reading on B&N Readouts now.

    You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott
    Abbott’s novels tend toward the darkhearted and propulsive, and her latest might be her most page-turning yet. It centers on the family of a gymnastics wunderkind, whose enormous talent is propelling her toward the Olympics, and her family into a double-edged position of local renown. Then a beloved member of their athletic community is killed in a hit and run, with implications that threaten to undermine both the trajectory of the Olympics-bound gymnast and the sanity of her protective mother, who’s about to learn how little she really understands about her daughter.
    Start reading on B&N Readouts now.

    The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
    Recently chosen for Oprah’s Book Club, Whitehead’s unmissable novel offers up historical fiction with a speculative twist: slave Cora escapes her plantation with new arrival Caesar, and the two make their way toward the Underground Railroad—only, in this telling, the metaphorical railroad has been transformed into a literal one. With a demonically driven slave catcher on their trail, Cora encounters horrors and wonders on the road, including a reimagined South Carolina that hides dark secrets and a dystopian Tennessee. Add this one to your required reading list.
    Start reading on B&N Readouts now.

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