The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
“I’m only a chapter in, but I can already tell this book is IMPORTANT. Alexander lucidly traces the history of slavery and Jim Crow down to the mass incarceration of young black men today, and describes a civil and human rights crisis that has been shockingly ignored in our time. Everyone should read this book – it is the most game-changing portrayal of the hideous consequences of Reagan’s War on Drugs since Gary Webb told the world about the CIA’s role in the crack-cocaine epidemic in Dark Alliance.” You can find copies of The New Jim Crow on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
The Vegetarian by Han Kang
I’ve just started my second reading of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian. (I also just finished my initial reading, so it’s one of those titles that begs your constant attention). This book is about transformation: birthmarks bloom into flowers, trees alight with flames, a bird speaks with a mother’s voice. Kim Yeong-hye internalizes the aggressions and microagressions in her life until her dreams become unbearably violent. She stops consuming meat, then all food, attention, love, and ideas until she becomes more plantlike than animal to the people around her. Kim In-hye cuts all ties to everyone in her life (except her young son) in her refusal to abandon Yeong-hye. This book is about the violence that women hold onto inside themselves, and the only way to let go is to let go of the entire world. It reminds me much of Young-ha Kim’s I Have The Right To Destroy Myself. Lyrically translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith, The Vegetarian is scheduled to come out in February. Expect me to talk about it nonstop until then. The Vegetarian comes out in February of 2016. Pre-order now!
Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyundar
“It’s not just a book on yoga – it’s about a way of living that frees you from life’s rollercoaster of emotions. Light on Yoga describes a way of living that heals others, and brings peace. It describes the physical practice of yoga as a means to achieve an entire lifestyle. The title could just as easily be “shining light on yoga” – the author successfully takes an esoteric philosophy out of the realm of mystery and into the public mind.” You can find copies of Light on Yoga on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Snow and Shadow by Dorothy Tse
“In Snow and Shadow, Dorothy Tse dives into the deepest emotions of Hong Kong. These tales involving fish women, head transplants, sex work bartered for severed limbs, and whatever loch ness monster pizza is, Tse proves herself worthy of Gogol. This is one of the most imaginative writers I’ve ever encountered and I soon won’t forget.”You can find copies of Snow and Shadow on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.