The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!
I’ve been a W. Kamau Bell fan for a while, so seeing that this book was coming was really exciting! It delivers exactly the combination of smart racial commentary and screwball energy that he brings to his comedy, packaged in endearing cartoons, graphics, and even activities like Mad Libs and crosswords. The informational parts of the book are well-cited with great further reading recommendations and benefit greatly from the conversational form between Bell and co-author Kate Schatz, both of whom are very good at maintaining levity while getting their points across crystal clear. This would be an excellent gift!
Do the Work! by W. Kamau Bell, (List Price: $22.95, Workman Publishing Company, 9781523514281, July 2022)
Reviewed by Akil Guruparan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia
In her lovely memoir, Judy Goldman reflects on what it was like to be a young Jewish girl raised by a Black nanny in the 1940s and 50s south. Mattie Culp became a part of the Kurtz family: sleeping in young Judy’s bedroom, using the family bathroom, celebrating holidays with them—things unheard of in the Jim Crow south. Now in her 80s, Goldman reflects on what Mattie had to give up—including her own child—in order to make the Kurtz family’s life so much easier.
Child by Judy Goldman, (List Price: $28, University of South Carolina Press, 9781643362830, May 2022)
Reviewed by Linda Hodges of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina
Disorientation is a book to be read slowly and with care. Ian Williams best-selling author of my staff favorite novel Reproduction (remember the amazing cover???). I also really loved his collection of poetry Word Problems from last year. Using his formidably flexible writing chops, Williams invites us to an urgent conversation on race and racism in this collection of essays that draw directly from his experience of life as a Black man. He covers all subjects from the merely annoying to the tragically deadly aspects of racism from a worldwide perspective having lived in Trinidad, Canada, and the U. S. This book is approachable for all readers and is intended to be a civil conversation about the ugliest of subjects. It’s illuminating, dizzying, and intensely personal. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Also, exceptional in audio: read by the author.
Disorientation by Ian Williams, (List Price: $19.95, 9781609457396, November 2021)
Reviewed by Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia
In this inviting, direct manifesto, William C. Anderson outlines the influences and differentiating points about Black anarchism, outlines its necessity, and offers rebuttals to naysayers across the political spectrum. The Nation on No Map is concise, yet powerful and perfect reading if one is looking to charter further ideological horizons.
The Nation on No Map by William C. Anderson, (List Price: $15.00, AK Press, 9781849354349, November 2021)
Reviewed by Conor Hultman, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi