As part of a personal and work related goal, I have been setting aside my typical chick lit and psychological thrillers and exploring genres I would likely never read. The Sisters Brothers, for example, is a Western! Since I would much rather watch a film instead, I did not know how I would feel about this genre in book format. As soon as I read the first chapter however, I knew I was going to enjoy it. Set in the Gold Rush era, Charlie and Eli Sisters are contract killers hired by a man known as the Commodore. Told from the perspective of the younger Sisters brother, Eli hopes that this job will be his last; as he would much rather retire from his life as a paid assassin. I really liked the tone of the novel, the writing style, and the insight into Eli as a character. This was my first Western, but it won’t be my last!
Author Jacqueline Woodson is best known for her award-winning books for children, including her memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, which was a Newbery Honor book in 2015. Her latest release shares a setting with that book, and may also be inspired by some of Woodson’s childhood memories, but Another Brooklyn is fiction for adults.
August has returned home for her father’s funeral when she catches a glimpse of a face from the past on the subway. The sighting transports her memory to 1970s Brooklyn, a time and place when she and her girls–Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi–were walking the fine line between childhood and womanhood. Brooklyn is a city also in the midst of change: August doesn’t know the names of the white people moving out of her Bushwick neighborhood, but she knows their moving vans. Where the four best friends once jumped double dutch and cavorted in the spray of a fire hydrant on a hot day, they now see strung out veterans and men whose eyes linger just a little too long on their young bodies. Having moved to the city from Tennessee with her father and brother, August is waiting for mother to join them, “tomorrow and tomorrow…”
On Goodreads, no less an author than Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist) called Another Brooklyn a “love letter to black girlhood”. Though this novel is a short read, it is a powerful one that will stay with you after you turn the last page. The writing is poetic, as befits a writer named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. If, like me, you enjoy well-written novels that examine female friendship, even if they break your heart, you will love Another Brooklyn.
My quest to immerse myself in romance novels continues! Last time, I focused on historical/Regency romances. Today, I bring you paranormal romance: vampires, werewolves, gods, and so much more!
I’ve got to be honest, I’ve had a hard time finding paranormal romances I could get into. It’s not that I’m not interested in this stuff – I am a diehard Buffy fan, after all, and I did enjoy the whole Twilight saga, almost despite myself (100% team Jacob, by the way). The thing I have learned about paranormal romance is that it very often takes place in large, complicated worlds that make it hard to just step into as a casual reader. I don’t want to get invested in a whole series, because that’s just not what I’m looking for in romance – I want worlds that I can dip into when I feel like it, without having to remember too much politicking. Continue reading