Epilogue Books

The Mexican Witch Lifestyle by Valeria Ruelas

An absolutely stellar guide to modern brujeria. It’s the perfect addition to any young witch/bruja/brujx’s collection. Valeria Rules is such a powerful and authoritative voice in the brujeria world and their guide is all encompassing and inclusive, with careful descriptions of spells, crystals, and terminology as well as cautions against racism and appropriation. In my humble opinion, this is THE guide every one beginning their journey into magic and healing should have on their shelf!

The Mexican Witch Lifestyle by Valeria Ruelas, (List Price: $17.99, Simon Element, 9781982178147, November 2022)

Reviewed by Laney Sheehan, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, NC

Nobody Gets Out Alive : Stories by Leigh Newman

This collection of occasionally-interlinking stories simmers with personalities hardened by the harsh wilderness, by the survival of the everyday and the illusion of escape. Some of the stories connect to follow a character from childhood through adulthood while others follow young women into motherhood, one frenetic event building into the next and illuminating a range of once-peripheral characters alongside them. The effect is absorbing, an abstract portrait of a community shaped by their landscape, remote and reckless, fissured and cruel and coping.

Nobody Gets Out Alive : Stories by Leigh Newman, (List Price: $26.99, Scribner, 9781982180300, April 2022)

Reviewed by Miranda Sanchez, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Alive at the End of the World by Saeed Jones

Alive at the End of the World might not save my life, but it’s perfect company here between the rock and the hard place. Saeed Jones’ poems mold my daily depressive spiral into a crystalline mobius strip, looping endlessly back around to how we are harmed and do harm as this planet slouches towards Bethlehem. By turns grievous and grieving, this collection is a much-needed snapshot of coping mid-apocalypse.

Alive at the End of the World by Saeed Jones, (List Price: $16.95, Coffee House Press, 9781566896511, October 2022)

Reviewed by Terrance Hudson, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

A May 2022 Read This Next! Selection

Y’all, oh my GOD. Akwaeke Emezi has done it again and I love it so much. It is hot and messy and hot-messy and addicting. I thrive on drama and this novel delivers! Forget love triangles, this is a love star, five different points criss-crossing into something bright and beautiful and a little bit hard to look at. As fun and exciting as it is, it also touches on trauma and recovery, self-growth, and love. Utterly heart-wrenching and belly-laughter-inducing.

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi, (List Price: $27, Atria Books, 9781982188702, May 2022)

Reviewed by Laney Sheehan from Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Content Warning: Everything by Akwaeke Emezi

If Akwaeke Emezi is a “silly little god” then I’m about to become their most zealous devotee. Their debut poetry collection, Content Warning: Everything, lives up to its title, fair warning. This is a HEAVY book. Emezi doesn’t shy away from topics like sexual abuse, suicide, vengeance, and long-term trauma. And they’re absolutely gorgeous. They seem to draw divinity from the baseness of the earth, singing of rivers, eyeteeth, and fucking in fresh graves. Content Warning: Everything rallies against boundaries at every turn, shattering expectation like the trumpets did Jericho’s walls. It careens between heart-smashing and “are you allowed to say that about Jesus?” and yet this collection feels as polished and purposeful as any novel! It’s confusing, frequently concerning, and utterly entrancing. Confessional poet Sylvia Plath once wrote “The Moon is not my mother. She is not sweet like Mary.” Content Warning: Everything goes further, making the Virgin Mary a beloved auntie who “moves in with my mother / they are not so lonely now” Not content to stop at confessing, Akwaeke Emezi has sculpted a book of poems that christen, excommunicate, and heal.

Content Warning: Everything by Akwaeke Emezi, (List Price: $16, Copper Canyon Press, 9781556596292,  April 2022)

Reviewed by Terrance Hudson from Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

This is a truly lovely and joyful romance between two women that weaves together conversations of sacrifice, family, and friendship in such a beautiful way. Delilah and Claire are true champions of queer joy, and it was wonderful to read a story where queer women were the only characters. With a focus on second chances in a small town, reckoning with your past, chosen family, and of course, the way falling in love can turn you inside out, folks who enjoy Louise Miller’s novels or Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop will fall in love with Delilah and Claire.

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake, (List Price: $16.00, Berkley, 9780593336403, February 2022)

Reviewed by Gaby Iori from Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, North Carolina


The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.

Lyrical prose, a love story too long untold, and exquisitely rendered characters too long ignored make for a haunting debut. The forbidden love story between Isaiah and Samuel pierces every page, their lives reverberating across the plantation, through the ancestors, and history itself. Infused with agony and love and joy and rage, every character’s story within these testaments acts as a spark, a collection of embers that sets fire to historical record and ignites a more complex history of enslavement and the Deep South.

The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. (List Price: $27.00, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780593085684, 1/5/2021)

Reviewed by Miranda Sanchez, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Red Island House by Andrea Lee

A Winter 2021 Read This Next! Title

Red Island House by Andrea Lee
Scribner, March

Beautiful, evocative writing propels a familial narrative through a journey of self-discovery and identity. The book follows Shay and her complicated relationship with her husband as they build and vacation in a sprawling estate in Madagascar over several decades. It is a novel of betrayal and class and colonialism, of race and culture and the social dynamics that underpin and threaten their marriage (and human society as a whole). As the clash of cultures and identity careens closer to Shay, she can no longer avoid making a choice about who she is and wants to be. With tinges of A Woman Destroyed, this is a story of finding your own foundational dignity in life’s wreckage.

– Miranda Sanchez, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, NC

The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar

Enormous in scope and theme, this book is a force. Weaving past and present into a lyrical world, Joukhadar uses a multi-generational cast to explore what it means to belong to a society, a community, and to oneself. It’s in this narrowing of belonging that the novel truly soars, literal ghosts and the ghosts of self-populating the story of a young trans boy as he sheds the confines of his traditional community-at-large and finds himself in the immigrant, working-class, LGBTQ, artists’ underground of NYC. The characters are imperfectly human. They experience everything from grief to joy, their lives full of loss and love, of heartbreak and the comfort of others, of seeing their world anew, and of being seen for who they are. This isn’t a novel about suffering; this is a novel about being in the world.

The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar
(List Price: $27, Atria Books, November, 2020)

Recommended by Miranda Sanchez, Epilogue Books|Chocolate|Brews, Chapel Hill, NC

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