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  • Jen Harper 3:00 pm on 2019/08/07 Permalink
    Tags: , , , china men, citizen: an american lyric, claudia rankine, , ernest j. gaines, , friday black, , , if beale street could talk, james baldwin, 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.

     
  • Ross Johnson 9:00 pm on 2019/02/08 Permalink
    Tags: , , , andre aciman, , , , , diana gabaladon, fingersmith, flavor of love, giovanni's room, helen simonson, james baldwin, , , , , , major pettigrew's last stand, , , one day, , , , , , the age of light, the proposal, , valentine's day books, whitney scharer   

    15 Love Stories to Match Your Valentine’s Day Mood 


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    It’s almost Valentine’s Day—and the perfect time to year to read a love story. But our tastes in romantic tales vary as much as our dating profiles: sometimes we want our literary lovers to make us laugh, and just as often, we need a really good cry. Whether your tastes tend toward the lighthearted or the tragic, there is assuredly a romantic novel out there for everyone.

    Here are our suggestions for 15 different types of love stories to match your Valentine’s Day mood.

    Unforgettable

    Call Me By Your Name, by André Aciman
    This tender love story, the basis for the award-winning film, is a pure delight in terms of character and storytelling, chronicling the burgeoning attraction between the curious, precocious 17-year old Elio and 24-year old Oliver in the Italian Riviera of the 1980s and its reverberations through their lives over the course of two succeeding decades. The setting is almost as sumptuous as the romance, as the two live out a travel agent’s dream, lounging around the gorgeous Italian countryside and coming to rest in picturesque villas. It’s a perfectly sun-kissed love story for this dreary mid-winter month.

    Magical

    A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
    For readers who like their romance with a bit of dark magic on the side. When factions of supernatural creatures set their sights on a document that could give them the upper hand in a war, a reluctant witch must seek the protection of an equally reluctant vampire, her supposed mortal enemy. Witch tales have a tendency to emphasize the importance of family… but in this case, it could the witch’s own family that wants her dead. Will true love prevail between these two warring beings?

    Unrequited

    The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro
    This Booker Prize–winning novel tells the powerful, poignant story of a devoted English butler who takes a road trip to reflect upon his life, which mainly revolved around a 30-year career of service to his lordship. For much of that time, he harbors feelings for Darlington Hall’s housekeeper Miss Kenton—affections Mr. Stevens’ deeply ingrained sense of duty makes it inconceivable that he would ever express, or even fully acknowledge to himself. There is nothing that wounds the heart quite like an unrequited love affair, and this is a novel that will leave a scar upon every reader.

    Heartbreaking

    An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
    Newlyweds Roy and Celestial find their marriage tested after a cruel twist of fate sends Roy to prison in another state for a crime he didn’t commit. As the years of separation drag on, Celestial turns to her friend since childhood, Andre, for comfort, and Andre’s perspective provides new insight into her painful situation. Letters sent between husband and wife further illuminate this incredible, contemporary study of marriage, loyalty, and racial injustice.

    Saucy

    Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters
    Sarah Waters’ tale of Dickensian skulduggery is so twisty and deceptive, we can promise you’ll nearly drop the book in shock not once, not twice, but three times while reading it. The story begins with the low-born Sue, an orphan trained in deception by a Fagin-like mentor named Mrs. Sucksby, accompanying a master thief and con artist known as the Gentleman on his latest scheme. She’s taken on the guise of a lady’s maid, playing a supporting role as he seduces a wealthy heiress with an eye toward having the poor woman committed to an asylum as soon as they are wed so he can claim her fortune. It’s just another job for Sue—until she makes the mistake of falling in love with the Maud, the plot’s intended victim.

    Delightful

    The Proposal, by Jasmine Guillory
    Nikole Paterson has just experienced a bit of embarrassment: her ridiculous boyfriend of five months proposed to her via scoreboard at a baseball game—and spelled her name wrong doing so. Understandably, she’s not exactly feeling the ’til-death vibes, so she decides to hightail it out of the stadium, fleeing the nosy camera crews and 45,000 fans. Her exit is made more swift via the unexpected aide of one Dr. Carlos Ibarra, who even sticks around after she gets trolled via social media for hightailing it. (Dear trolls of the world—Get a life!) Nikole and Carlos tentatively embark on a quiet romance. She thinks she’ll be fine with just a fling to help her get over her embarrassment, but oon realizes that Carlos just might be the real deal.

    Timeless

    Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
    “A timeless love story” is a discriptor to be taken rather literally in the case of Gabaldon’s beloved novel, the first in a series that mixes rich historical detail with a romance that stretches across centuries. Former combat nurse Ruth Randall, just reunited with her husband after World War II, walks through a stone circle in 1945 to find herself in war-torn Scotland in the year 1743. There, she meets the fiery Jamie Fraser, beginning a passionate, deeply sexy love triangle as she finds herself torn between two different men, two different centuries, and two vastly different lives.

    Unconditional

    Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
    If you’re looking for love story that will break your heart open, most any Jojo Moyes book is a safe bet. Each one of them is filled with heart and characters you can’t help caring about, and none more so than Me Before You, which tells the story of Louisa, a sheltered girl whose life changes when she takes a job caring for Will, a suicidal man who resents that he must use a wheelchair following a terrible accident. Their love grows and endures through any number of challenges, but may not be able to overcome all. This book will definitely make you cry buckets—but it will also make you laugh, and nod your head in recognition, and flip back to the first page to read it again.

    Hilarious

    Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan
    In this novel and its sequels, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People ProblemsKevin Kwan dives into the funny, soapy world of super-wealthy Asian and Asian-American characters, centering on the relationship between New Yorker Rachel Chu and her boyfriend Nicholas Young. When the two head off to Singapore for the summer, Rachel thinks she’ll be meeting Nick’s family and staying in their humble family home. But Nick failed to tell her that his family is rich. And not just a little rich—crazy rich. Thus Rachel becomes our eyes and ears on a journey into the decadent lives of some of Asia’s richest families. Much of the fun of Kwan’s trilogy comes from reveling in sordid stories of unimaginable excess, but the true magic is the way it makes you can about the love story at its center. Romance abounds, even if the books’ many relationships never quite play out as you might expect.

    Scandalous

    Love and Ruin, by Paula McLain
    The past can certainly feel more romantic than the present, as in this thrilling tale of novelist and travel writer Martha Gellhorn, the third wife of Ernest Hemingway. Already famous for her journalistic work during the 1930s, Gellhorn meets the older Hemingway and their romance sizzles from the start—for a time. McLain masterfully brings these historical figures to life, depicting Hemingway’s neediness and instability, traits that slowly ruin an ideal marriage. Gellhorn makes her break from Hemingway in dramatic fashion, stowing away on a hospital ship bound for Normandy on D-Day, and subsequently becoming the first journalist of either gender to report back from the massive invasion of Fortress Europe. The story’s twists and turns wouldn’t be believable if they weren’t based on real events.

    Intense

    The Age of Light, by Whitney Scharer
    Whitney Scharer’s historical fiction hit focuses on Lee Miller, a larger-than-life figure who worked as a fashion model in 1920s New York before traveling to Paris and apprenticing herself to famed photographer Man Ray. She eventually became his collaborator, lover, and muse as she develops her art and starts her own photography studio. During World War II, she serves as a war correspondent and photojournalist for Vogue—and somehow that’s only a handful of the twists and turns this dynamic woman’s life will take. Scharer not only brings to life the tempestuous and passionate love affair between Miller and Ray, but illustrates how they pushed and prodded one another to even greater creative heights in their work.

    Charming

    Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson
    The retired and entirely proper Major Ernest Pettigrew lives in the tiny English village of Edgecombe St. Mary, enjoying tea and all the other sorts of things that retired Englishmen are meant to appreciate. Then his brother’s death brings him into the orbit of the recently widowed Mrs. Jasmina Ali, a Pakistani shopkeeper with whom he develops first a friendship and then a romance. Polite society frowns on such a match, complicating matters for the Major in a novel that playfully explores a love that defies obstacles of race and class.

    Illuminating

    Giovanni’s Room, by James Baldwin
    Tender but intense, Baldwin’s 1956 novel is a foundational work of 20th century gay literature. It tells the story of an American named David who is abandoned left in Paris by his girlfriend, and the Italian man, Giovanni, whom he meets at a gay bar and unexpectedly goes home with. Baldwin explores issues of masculinity and alienation as he plays out the lovely, forbidden, and ultimately doomed romance between the two men.

    Classic

    A Walk to Remember, by Nicholas Sparks
    Oh, the tears that have fallen over the pages of this love-against-all-odds romance. Bad boy Landon meets Jamie after he is forced to participate in the school play—it’s that or expulsion. Over time, he finds himself drawn to the girl, who warns him it is in his best interests not to fall in love with her. By then, of course, it’s already too late for them both: Landon leaves his old life and friends behind to be with her, and when Jamie reveals a devastating secret to him, they cling to one another, even when it seems that all hope is lost.

    Tragic

    One Day, by David Nicholls
    Dexter and Emma spend the night together in 1988 following their graduation from Edinburgh University, speculating about the future course of their lives. Each subsequent year, on July 15, Nicholls’ novel revisits the friends and sometimes lovers to chart the course of their lives, loves, careers, and romances. Before it’s over, we circle back to that first night in order to better understand the significance of the date, and of the long relationship between the two, and of the journeys they’ve taken as they’ve moved in and out of each other’s lives.

    What’s your Valentine’s Day romance of choice this year?

    The post 15 Love Stories to Match Your Valentine’s Day Mood appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 6:00 pm on 2018/05/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , first impressions are everything, , james baldwin, , virginia wolfe,   

    The Ideal First Novel for 10 “Must Read” Authors 


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    The list of “must read” authors is long, and differs depending on who you ask. But usually, the authors on these lists are (or were) pretty prolific, and like a pool of frigid water, you may be nervous about diving into their backlists; better to dip your toe in first. Here are 10 ideal “starter novels” for authors guaranteed to be on many, if not most, lists of can’t miss writers.

    Author: William Faulkner. Start Here: The Reivers

    Experts will insist you must read The Sound and the Fury, a real bear of a book. A brilliant novel, sure, but also one that drops you into the deep end on page one and then proceeds to hold your head under water for 300 pages. Instead of tackling what can be a frustrating and difficult read, start with Faulkner’s final novel, The Reivers, which discards most of his heavier literary gambits to tell one of the most straightforward stories of his career, a lightly comedic picaresque about three unlikely car thieves in a small Mississippi town. That doesn’t mean it’s not a brilliant novel—it was award the Pulitzer Prize, after all—but it does mean you’ll get an intro to Faulkner’s sensibility and obsessions without having to parse his peculiarly Southern style.

    Author: William Shakespeare. Start Here: Much Ado About Nothing

    Just about everyone is assigned Shakespeare at some point in their high school or college careers, usually one of the major plays: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth. Aside from the challenge of reading works designed to be performed, his major works can be dense with allusion, reference, and, of course, wordplay (and in archaic language, no less). What makes Much Ado About Nothing a good choice for a first attempt at the Bard is its sense of fun—it’s a comedy, so the wordplay is less about historical and political references and more about, well, making off-color jokes. Even on the page, it’s hilarious and playful, which takes away some of the anxiety and difficulty.

    Author: Stephen King. Start here: Misery

    King might seem a surprising inclusion here, but as his career has gone on, his literary cred has gone up by orders of magnitude; it could be argued that anyone seeking an understanding of modern literary culture has to be familiar with the man once crowned the Master of Horror. The problem, of course, is that King’s best-known books (the ones most likely to be recommended to a newcomer) are long, and often dense with references to other works written in his uniquely wordy style. Instead of diving into the infinite pages of The Stand, start with Misery, one of the tightest, most-focused books King has ever written. It has the fluid prose and creeping dread of his longer, much-beloved books, minus the over-arching mythology that clutters much of his work, and the supernatural aspects that might turn some folks off.

    Author: Leo Tolstoy. Start Here: The Death of Ivan Ilyich

    The words “Russian novel,” with their connotations of length, complexity, and dour atmosphere, might scare you off of Tolstoy and his contemporaries altogether. Still, some of the greatest works of fiction come from this literary tradition, and Tolstoy’s name is always on the list of challenging must-read authors. Before dedicating a year of your life to War and Peace, pick up the relatively short and uncomplicated The Death of Ivan Ilyich. It’s a powerful story that touches on the themes and techniques the author uses to incredible effect in his major works, but it’s accessible in a way that those other novels aren’t—and deals in universal themes you can appreciate even if you’re not a Russian living in the 19th century. It’s the perfect introduction to Tolstoy’s genius.

    Author: Charles Dickens. Start Here: Great Expectations

    Dickens is one of those oddball literary greats who is also much maligned. Bring up Dickens, and half the room will complain that he was paid by the word and thus wrote sloppy, structureless stories merely designed to entertain, with no greater artistic merit. The other half will ask what, exactly, is the problem with that? Dickens had a way with words, and his storytelling techniques revolutionized literature, but his books are a bit lengthy, and they do get quite complicated. Start with Great Expectations; it’s the novel that would result if you poured all of Dickens’ other works into a computer and had it gin up a more concise, sharply-organized version of the ideal Dickens story.

    Author: Haruki Murakami. Start Here: A Wild Sheep Chase

    Murakami is another mainstay on the list of challenging contemporary authors, and it’s usually because people recommend his most famous works first—dense bricks like The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle1Q84 or Kafka on the Shore. These books are brilliant, but they are also difficult to parse, unique in both style and structure, not to mention imagery. To ease into Murakami, start with A Wild Sheep Chase—it’s got all the trademark weirdness, but within a much more straightforward story. It will help you feel like you “get” Murakami, even the parts you don’t, so by the time you read one of his “must-read” books, your head (probably) won’t explode. Some might argue for Norwegian Wood, which has more in common with traditional Western literature, but that one is an outlier in his bibliography, and won’t prepare you for the epic strangeness of his major works.

    Author: Ernest Hemingway. Start Here: The Sun Also Rises

    Anyone seeking to pad out their reading resume will be eventually directed to Hemingway; love him or hate him, there’s no arguing that his style and approach to fiction—both very consciously honed and developed—changed everything. His influence is immense, so you simply have to read him, if only to decide for yourself if his reputation is deserved. You might be advised to start with The Old Man and the Sea because of its relative simplicity and slim page count, but don’t—it’s an outlier, his final major work, and doesn’t represent what made Hemingway Hemingway. The Sun Also Rises is the ideal starting point—the story is engaging in ways that some of his other novels aren’t, yet it also features the Hemingway “style” at its most controlled.

    Author: Virginia Woolf. Start Here: A Room of One’s Own

    Virginia Woolf’s contributions to modern literature are everywhere—subtle, often hidden or downplayed, but there nonetheless. But reading her major works of fiction if you’re not a student of literature can be daunting, so instead, start with her excellent, book-length essay, which implements a fictional narrator and story, and yet is nonetheless considered non-fiction. If you think it takes great talent to pull something like off, you’d be right. The benefit of starting here is that you’ll get a much clearer idea of Woolf’s literary sensibility and thematic focus before diving into her fiction.

    Author: Toni Morrison. Start Here: The Bluest Eye

    Morrison is one of the most important writers of the 20th century; her work is consistently beautiful and poetic. But you shouldn’t just dive into Beloved—as incredible as that book is, it is one of the densest popular literary novels ever written, a book in which Morrison’s prose resonates, where an unexpected structure and layered allusions to myth and history form something greater than the sum of its parts. Instead, dip your toe in with The Bluest Eye, Morrison’s first novel, and which shows the beginnings of her style while keeping the number of characters and the branches of the plot more limited than her later work, which will allow you to pay closer attention to the smart things Morrison is doing on the edges (and to listen to that prose sing).

    Author: James Baldwin. Start Here: Giovanni’s Room

    If you’re looking to master 20th century American literature, you’re going to have to tackle Baldwin at some point. His work is beautiful, but it also focuses on social commentary and criticism; Baldwin was a writer who was part of the world instead of removed from it. This can make his novels challenging, because they are all doing three things at once—telling a story, teaching a lesson, and shining a light on some of society’s worst aspects. Giovanni’s Room is an early novel that has all of that, but the central love story—concerning a man who falls in love with another man while on honeymoon with his new wife—is primal and tortured, compelling and universal. When you consider how ahead of its time this book is, it’s essential reading—and the perfect intro to Baldwin’s body of work.

    The post The Ideal First Novel for 10 “Must Read” Authors appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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