Major New Release Alert: this week’s titles are (what do the kids say again?) FIRE! New reads from Rebecca Solnit, Jason Reynolds, and Glennon Doyle you say? YES. We’ve also got plenty of titles from author’s we’ll be hosting this month as well as a few non-fiction standouts that that look at Hollywood and the economic systems that drive the world. There’s sure to be plenty to chew on in March. Read on for more!
Recollections of My Nonexistence by Rebecca Solnit
We’re thrilled, and absolutely overjoyed, to finally have the new Rebecca Solnit title on our shelves today! Her latest is a bit of a departure as she looks inward to formulate the story that unfolds before us…
In Recollections of My Nonexistence, Rebecca Solnit describes her formation as a writer and as a feminist in 1980s San Francisco, in an atmosphere of gender violence on the street and throughout society and the exclusion of women from cultural arenas. She tells of being poor, hopeful, and adrift in the city that became her great teacher, and of the small apartment that, when she was nineteen, became the home in which she transformed herself. She explores the forces that liberated her as a person and as a writer—books themselves; the gay community that presented a new model of what else gender, family, and joy could mean; and her eventual arrival in the spacious landscapes and overlooked conflicts of the American West.
Beyond being a memoir, Solnit’s book is also a passionate argument: that women are not just impacted by personal experience, but by membership in a society where violence against women pervades. Looking back, she describes how she came to recognize that her own experiences of harassment and menace were inseparable from the systemic problem of who has a voice, or rather who is heard and respected and who is silenced—and how she was galvanized to use her own voice for change.
Grab a book from us today and secure your signing line tickets to meet Rebecca Solnit on April 22nd at 7PM — she’ll be coming to BookPeople for an un-missable discussion with Wendy Davis and a signing of Recollections of My Nonexistence!
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
It’s been nearly three years since Glennon Doyle dazzled us with Love Warrior. But now we get to relish in the glory of Untamed, Doyle’s soulful, uproarious, forceful and tender memoir.
It offers a piercing, electrifying examination of the restrictive expectations women are issued from birth; shows how hustling to meet those expectations leaves women feeling dissatisfied and lost; and reveals that when we quit abandoning ourselves and instead abandon the world’s expectations of us, we become women who can finally look at our lives and recognize: There She Is.
Doyle believes that there is a voice of longing inside every woman; it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives, relationships, and world, and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? But underneath, she knows, is a voice that’s been silenced by cultural conditioning, numbing addictions and institutional allegiances. After finding that other voice herself, Doyle vowed to never again abandon it. She decided to build a life of her own—one based on her individual desire, intuition, and imagination. She would reclaim her true, untamed self.
The result of this journey is this book. Untamed shows us how to be brave. As Glennon insists: The braver we are, the luckier we get.
Stamped by Jason Reynolds
This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.
The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.
Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas–and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.
Our event with the Jason Reynolds at the Central Presbyterian Church may be sold out, but that shouldn’t stop you from picking up this stellar read!
Privilege by Mary Adkins
From Mary Adkins, the beloved author of When You Read This, comes a smart, sharply observed novel about gender and class set at Carter University (“The Harvard of the South”), written in the spirit of The Female Persuasion and Prep.
At the heart of this book we encounter Annie Stoddard — formerly the smartest girl in her small public high school, getting an unexpected reality check; Bea Powers, a biracial student in Carter’s Justice Scholars program with misgivings about everyone else’s idea of what justice is; and Stayja York, who goes to Carter every day, too, but she isn’t a student. She works at the Coffee Bean, doling out almond milk lattes to entitled co-eds, while trying to put out fires on the home front and save for her own education.
Their three lives intersect unexpectedly when Annie accuses fourth-year student Tyler Brand of sexual assault. Once Bea is assigned as Tyler’s student advocate, the girls find themselves on opposite sides as battle lines are drawn across the picture-perfect campus—and Stayja finds herself invested in the case’s outcome, too.
Told through the viewpoints of Annie, Bea, and Stayja, Privilege is a bracingly clear-eyed look at today’s campus politics, and a riveting story of three young women making their way in a world not built for them.
The Firsts by Jennifer Steinhauer
The Firsts gives us a lively, behind-the-scenes look at the historic cohort of diverse, young, and groundbreaking women newly elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 as they arrive in Washington, D.C., and start working for change, by a New York Times reporter with sharp insight and deep knowledge of the Hill.
In November 2018, the greatest number of women in American history entered Congress. From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and “the Squad” to “the Badasses” with national security backgrounds, from the first two Native Americans in Congress to the first two Muslim women, all were swept into office on a wave of grassroots support, diverse in background, age, professional experience, and ideology.
In The Firsts, New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer follows these women’s first year in the 116th Congress, chronicling their transition from running trailblazing campaigns to the daily work of governance. In committee rooms, offices, and conversations on the run through the halls of the Capitol, she probed the question: Would Washington, with its hidebound traditions, change the changemakers, or would this Congress, which looked a little more like today’s America, truly be the start of something new?
Vivid and smart, The Firsts delivers fresh details, inside access, historical perspective, and expert analysis as these women—inspiring, controversial, talented, and rebellious—do something truly surprising: make Congress essential again.
Good Citizens Need Not Fear by Maria Reva
A bureaucratic glitch omits an entire building, along with its residents, from municipal records. So begins Reva’s ingeniously intertwined narratives, nine stories that span the chaotic years leading up to and immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union. But even as the benighted denizens of 1933 Ivansk Street weather the official neglect of the increasingly powerless authorities, they devise ingenious ways to survive.
In “Bone Music,” an agoraphobic recluse survives by selling contraband LPs, mapping the vinyl grooves of illegal Western records into stolen X-ray film. A delusional secret service agent in “Letter of Apology” becomes convinced he’s being covertly recruited to guard Lenin’s tomb, just as his parents, not seen since he was a small child, supposedly were. Weaving the narratives together is the unforgettable, chameleon-like Zaya: a cleft-lipped orphan in “Little Rabbit,” a beauty-pageant crasher in “Miss USSR,” a sadist-for-hire to the Eastern Bloc’s newly minted oligarchs in “Homecoming.”
Good Citizens Need Not Fear tacks from moments of intense paranoia to surprising tenderness and back again, exploring what it is to be an individual amid the roiling forces of history. Inspired by her and her family’s own experiences in Ukraine, Reva brings the black absurdism of early Shteyngart and the sly interconnectedness of Anthony Marra’s Tsar of Love and Techno to a collection that is as clever as it is heartfelt.
Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother by Barry Sonnenfeld
Film and television director Barry Sonnenfeld’s outrageous and hilarious memoir traces his idiosyncratic upbringing in New York City, his breaking into film as a cinematographer with the Coen brothers, and his unexpected career as the director behind such huge film franchises as The Addams Family and Men in Black, and beloved work like Get Shorty, Pushing Daises, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Barry Sonnenfeld’s philosophy is, “Regret the Past. Fear the Present. Dread the Future.” Told in his unmistakable voice, Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother is a laugh-out-loud memoir about coming of age. Constantly threatened with suicide by his over-protective mother, disillusioned by the father he worshiped, and abused by a demonic relative, Sonnenfeld somehow went on to become one of Hollywood’s most successful producers and directors.
Written with poignant insight and real-life irony, the book follows Sonnenfeld from childhood as a French horn player through graduate film school at NYU, where he developed his talent for cinematography. His first job after graduating was shooting nine feature length pornos in nine days. From that humble entrée, he went on to form a friendship with the Coen Brothers, launching his career shooting their first three films.
Though Sonnenfeld had no ambition to direct, Scott Rudin convinced him to be the director of The Addams Family. It was a successful career move. He went on to direct many more films and television shows. Will Smith once joked that he wanted to take Sonnenfeld to Philadelphia public schools and say, “If this guy could end up as a successful film director on big budget films, anyone can.” This book is a fascinating and hilarious roadmap for anyone who thinks they can’t succeed in life because of a rough beginning.
Our adult books buyer Joe calls Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother, “THE FUNNIEST BOOK I’VE READ IN YEARS. You don’t even have to be a film fan to enjoy it,” and that “I’ve already got this penciled in as my favorite book of 2020!” Joe’s got great taste, but you should really try this one out for yourself!
Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty
Thomas Piketty’s bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century galvanized global debate about inequality. In this audacious follow-up, Piketty challenges us to revolutionize how we think about politics, ideology, and history. He exposes the ideas that have sustained inequality for the past millennium, reveals why the shallow politics of right and left are failing us today, and outlines the structure of a fairer economic system.
Our economy, Piketty observes, is not a natural fact. Markets, profits, and capital are all historical constructs that depend on choices. Piketty explores the material and ideological interactions of conflicting social groups that have given us slavery, serfdom, colonialism, communism, and hypercapitalism, shaping the lives of billions. He concludes that the great driver of human progress over the centuries has been the struggle for equality and education and not, as often argued, the assertion of property rights or the pursuit of stability. The new era of extreme inequality that has derailed that progress since the 1980s, he shows, is partly a reaction against communism, but it is also the fruit of ignorance, intellectual specialization, and our drift toward the dead-end politics of identity.
Once we understand this, we can begin to envision a more balanced approach to economics and politics. Piketty argues for a new “participatory” socialism, a system founded on an ideology of equality, social property, education, and the sharing of knowledge and power. Capital and Ideology is destined to be one of the indispensable books of our time, a work that will not only help us understand the world, but that will change it.
Simply put, Capital and Ideology is the epic successor to one of the most important books of the century and is not to be missed!
How ’bout that? Enough to hold you over for a week? We hope you’ll visit us in-store soon or shop these amazing titles online today! And be sure to join us back here on the blog for new release updates like this every Tuesday! Until then, happy reading!