Into another month and somehow we’re nearly three-quarters of the way through 2020. Madness. To distract yourself from your own insanity (I’m blaming mine on cabin fever), here are some cool books you should consider adding to your TBR!
World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Fumi Nakamura
As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted–no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape–she was able to turn to our world’s fierce and funny creatures for guidance.
“What the peacock can do,” she tells us, “is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life.” The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts.
Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.
DROPS: September 8, 2020
Floriography by Jessica Roux
Floriography is a full-color guide to the historical uses and secret meanings behind an impressive array of flowers and herbs. The book explores the coded significances associated with various blooms, from flowers for a lover to flowers for an enemy.
The language of flowers was historically used as a means of secret communication. It soared in popularity during the 19th century, especially in Victorian England and the U.S., when proper etiquette discouraged open displays of emotion. Mysterious and playful, the language of flowers has roots in everything from the characteristics of the plant to its presence in folklore and history. Researched and illustrated by popular artist Jessica Roux, this book makes a stunning display piece, conversation-starter, or thoughtful gift.
DROPS: September 15, 2020
Skyhunter by Marie Lu
The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death–transformation into mutant war beasts known as Ghosts, creatures the Federation then sends to attack Mara.
The legendary Strikers, Mara’s elite fighting force, are trained to stop them. But as the number of Ghosts grows and Karensa closes in, defeat seems inevitable. Still, one Striker refuses to give up hope.
Robbed of her voice and home, Talin Kanami knows firsthand the brutality of the Federation. Their cruelty forced her and her mother to seek asylum in a country that considers their people repugnant. She finds comfort only with a handful of fellow Strikers who have pledged their lives to one another and who are determined to push Karensa back at all costs.
But when a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? Or could he be the weapon that will save them all?
DROPS: September 29, 2020
Historically Inaccurate by Shay Bravo
After her mother’s deportation last year, all Soledad “Sol” Gutierrez wants is for her life to go back to normal. Everything’s changed – new apartment, new school, new family dynamic – and Sol desperately wants to fit in. When she joins her community college’s history club, it comes with an odd initiation process: break into Westray’s oldest house and steal … a fork?
There’s just one problem: while the owners of the house aren’t home, their grandson Ethan is, and when he catches Sol with her hand in the kitchen drawer, she barely escapes with the fork intact. This one chance encounter irrevocably alters her life, and Sol soon learns that sometimes fitting in isn’t as important as being yourself – even if that’s the hardest thing she’s ever had to do.
YES to this hook.
DROPS: September 29, 2020
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?
In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
DROPS: September 29, 2020
Plus a little poetry.
Some Are Always Hungry by Jihyun Yun
Winner of the Prarie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry , Some Are Always Hungry chronicles a family’s wartime survival, immigration, and heirloom trauma through the lends of food, or the lack thereof. Through the vehicle of recipe, butchery, and dinner table poems, the collection negotiates the myriad ways diasporic communities comfort and name themselves in other nations, as well as the ways cuisine is inextricably linked to occupation, transmission, and survival. Dwelling on the personal as much as the historical, Some Are Always Hungry traces the lineage of the speaker’s place in history and diaspora through mythmaking and cooking, which is to say, conjuring.
DROPS: September 1, 2020
This month I have a classic in my TBR and soon-to-be-released sort-of classic.
All the Sonnets of Shakespeare edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells
How can we look afresh at Shakespeare as a writer of sonnets? What new light might they shed on his career, personality, and sexuality? Shakespeare wrote sonnets for at least thirty years, not only for himself, for professional reasons, and for those he loved, but also in his plays, as prologues, as epilogues, and as part of their poetic texture. This ground-breaking book assembles all of Shakespeare’s sonnets in their probable order of composition. An inspiring introduction debunks long-established biographical myths about Shakespeare’s sonnets and proposes new insights about how and why he wrote them.
Explanatory notes and modern English paraphrases of every poem and dramatic extract illuminate the meaning of these sometimes challenging but always deeply rewarding witnesses to Shakespeare’s inner life and professional expertise. Beautifully printed and elegantly presented, this volume will be treasured by students, scholars, and every Shakespeare enthusiast.
Because why not try to love the former bane of my existence? That’s growth right?
DROPS: September 30, 2020
Mules and Men by Zora Neale Hurston
Mules and Men is a treasury of Black America’s folklore as collected by a famous storyteller and anthropologist who grew up hearing the songs and sermons, sayings and tall tales that have formed an oral history of the South since the time of slavery. Returning to her hometown of Eatonville, Florida, to gather material, Zora Neale Hurston recalls “a hilarious night with a pinch of everything social mixed with the storytelling.” Set intimately within the social context of black life, the stories, “big old lies,” songs, Vodou customs, and superstitions recorded in these pages capture the imagination and bring back to life the humor and wisdom that is the unique heritage of African Americans.
Photo of All the Sonnets of Shakespeare retrieved from Google Images
Synopsis of All the Sonnets of Shakespeare retrieved from Bookshop
All other photos and synopses were retrieved from Bookshop