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Welcome to our Reading List! Find new recommended reads here every month, find spotlights and recommendations for our book world friends, and shop with us!

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September 2022 Reading Recommendations 
Bookshop List 

From highly anticipated book releases to Banned Books Week to World Kidlit Month, September is full of important literary moments. This list is the ultimate compilation, combining relevant works from underrepresented voices everywhere into one exciting resource to cover all your reading needs for the month.

*use the links to buy via The Word's Bookshop - proceeds from each sale will be donated to support our cultural equity programs!

See and purchase all the books HERE!

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The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh

Genre: Domestic Fiction

Blurb: A multi-narrative novel brimming with levity and candor, The Fortunes of Jaded Women is about mourning, meddling, celebrating, and healing together as a family. It shows how Vietnamese women emerge victorious, even if the world is against them. – Bookshop.org

 

Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Blurb: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights and Our Violent Ends comes the first book in a captivating new duology following an ill-matched pair of spies posing as a married couple to investigate a series of brutal murders in 1930s Shanghai. – Bookshop.org

 

How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz

Genre: Literary Fiction

Blurb: Structurally inventive and emotionally kaleidoscopic, How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water is Angie Cruz's most ambitious and moving novel yet, and Cara is a heroine for the ages. – Bookshop.org

 

Abuela, Don’t Forget Me by Rex Ogle

Genre: Verse Memoir

Blurb: Abuela, Don't Forget Me is a lyrical portrait of the transformative and towering woman who believed in Rex even when he didn't yet know how to believe in himself. – Bookshop.org

 

The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas

Genre: YA Fantasy

Blurb: Welcome to The Sunbearer Trials, where teen semidioses compete in a series of challenges with the highest of stakes, in this electric new Mexican-inspired fantasy from Aiden Thomas, the New York Times bestselling author of Cemetery Boys. – Bookshop.org

 

As Long as the Lemon Tree Grows by Zoulfa Katouh

Genre: Speculative Fiction

Blurb: A love letter to Syria and its people, As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow is a speculative novel set amid the Syrian Revolution, burning with the fires of hope, love, and possibility. Perfect for fans of The Book Thief and Salt to the Sea. – Bookshop.org

 

Self-Made Boys by Anna-Marie Lacmore

Genre: YA Fiction

Blurb: Stonewall Honor recipient and two-time National Book Award Longlist selectee Anna-Marie McLemore weaves an intoxicating tale of glamor and heartache in Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix, part of the Remixed Classics series. – Bookshop.org

 

Hear Me by Kerry O’Malley Cerra

Genre: MG Fiction

Blurb: From a Deaf author comes this book about Rayne, a young girl who must decide whether she wants surgery after being diagnosed with severe hearing loss. - Bookshop.org

 

Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution by Sherri Winston

Genre: MG Fiction

Blurb: From the beloved author of President of the Whole Fifth Grade, a story about a young Black girl who summons the courage to fight against a discriminatory dress code--and stand up for herself.  – Bookshop.org

 

Amazona by Canizales

Genre: YA Graphic Novel

Blurb: This socially conscious thriller from graphic novelist Canizales examines the injustices of his home country in a stark, distinctive style. – Bookshop.org

 

It Must Be a Misunderstanding by Coral Bracho, translated by Forrest Gander

Genre: Poetry collection

Blurb: It Must Be a Misunderstanding is the acclaimed Mexican poet Coral Bracho's most personal and emotive collection to date, dedicated to her mother who died of complications from Alzheimer's. – Bookshop.org

 

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Genre: Memoir

Blurb: Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity—what it means and how to think about it--for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere. – Bookshop.org

 

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez

Genre: Historical Fiction

Blurb: Race, romance, and family converge in this riveting novel that transplants Romeo and Juliet to a bitterly segregated Texas town.  – Bookshop.org

 

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

Genre: Memoir-Manifesto

Blurb: In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. – Bookshop.org

LIZA'S HEALING

SELECTIONS

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The Healing Reads List is a reading list that goes beyond anti-racism books. This list is all about healing and uplifting within and across communities. The books shared on this list have been sources of healing for us throughout this year. This is a rolling list so stay tuned for new healing reads being added!

Liza Michelle Bevams is a writer and multimedia artist exploring life in the Rocky Mountains. She is currently working on her first novel.

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American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

by Terrance Hayes

Poetry

Overwhelming in every sense. Overwhelming in its brilliance, yes, but also overwhelming in its pacing, its style . . . The book, despite its breadth and clever turns, is a confrontation . . . His poems are like the slow and steady picking of a lock, until the door handle clicks."

Hanif Abdurraqib, Poets and Writers

Grab a copy here

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Questions for Ada
by Ijeoma Umebinyuo 

Poetry

“These poems trace a path of healing full of power and vulnerability that resonates long after reading them."

—Liza

Grab a copy here

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The New Testament

by Jericho Brown

Poetry

“To read Jericho Brown's poems is to encounter devastating genius."

—Claudia Rankine

Grab a copy here

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Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi 

Fiction

“An extraordinarily powerful and very different kind of physical and psychological migration story."

—Edwidge Danticat, The New Yorker

Grab a copy here

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 The Sentences That Create Us: Crafting a Writer’s Life in Prison

Edited by Caits Meissner, Pen America

Nonfiction

“This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read.” —Liza

Grab a copy here »

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Teahouse of the Almighty by Patricia Smith

Poetry

“This book took my breath away.” —Liza

Grab a copy here »

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Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams.

"I could not put this book down!"

—Liza

Grab a copy here »

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Craft in the Real World by Matthew Salesses

Nonfiction

"A real eye opener . . . It unpacks the seemingly 'universal' lessons we learn about what makes fiction good to reveal how whiteness and maleness have shaped those values." -Kumari Devarajan, Code Switch, NPR

Grab a copy here »

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The Book of Delights by Ross Gay

Nonfiction Essays

"The delights he extols here (music, laughter, generosity, poetry, lots of nature) are bulwarks against casual cruelties. As such they feel purposeful and imperative as well as contagious in their joy." -The New York Times Book Review

Grab a copy here »

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Wounds of Passions: A Writing Life by bell hooks

Nonfiction

“This book speaks to the heart.” -Liza Bevams

Grab a copy here »

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Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Sci-fi/Fantasy

“A prophetic and transformative novel.”

-Liza Bevams

Grab a copy here »

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Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde

Autobiographical Novel

“This book is a gift of radical love that keeps unfolding and unfolding.” -Liza Bevams

Grab a copy here »

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The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor

Nonfiction

"This book took my breath away. It's an unexpected and urgent embrace of truth." --Brené Brown, Ph.D., author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, Dare to Lead

Grab a copy here »

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The Magic My Body Becomes: Poems by Jess Rizkallah

Poetry

"The Magic My Body Becomes is an extraordinary collection that captures the beauty and complexities of identity." —Liza

Grab a copy here »

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George M. Johnson- All Boys Aren't Blue

YA Nonfiction

"An absolute necessity . . . the personal stories and the healing and reconciliation of self in this title are all undeniably honest and relatable--a reminder of our shared imperfection and humanity." -Booklist

Grab a copy here »

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Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought- Briona Simone Jones (Editor)

Nonfiction

 "This collection of multi-generational writing is a demonstration of how radical and transformative love, self-love, can be." —Liza

Grab a copy here »

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Bernardine Evaristo- Girl, Woman, Other

Fiction

 "Girl, Woman, Other, the intermingling stories of generations of black British women told in a gloriously rich and readable free verse, will surely be seen as a landmark in British fiction."

-The Guardian

Grab a copy here »

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Natalie Diaz- Postcolonial Love Poem

Poetry

"Diaz's collection is no doubt one of the most important poetry releases in years, one to applaud for its considerable demonstration of skill, its resistance to dominant perspectives and its light wrought of desire."- The New York Times Book Review

Grab a copy here »

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Leslie Marmon Silko- Storyteller

Fiction and Poetry

"A source of healing, inspiration, and community." -Liza

Grab a copy here »

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Kiese Laymon- Heavy: An American Memoir

Nonfiction

"Reading this book gave me a new perspective on writing, love, forgiveness, and facing things that are difficult and uncomfortable to acknowledge. Kiese Laymon is a brilliant wordsmith." -Liza

Grab a copy here »

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Toi Derricotte- The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey

Nonfiction

"This is an insightful, courageous, and vibrant book. Derricotte's words linger and touch your soul." -Liza

Grab a copy here »

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Key Ballah- Preparing My Daughter For Rain

Poetry

"There is so much forgiveness and freedom in this book."- Liza

Grab a copy here »

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Toni Morrison- The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations

Nonfiction

"Morrison is more than the standard bearer of American literature. She is our greatest singer. And this book is perhaps her most important song" -The New York Times

Grab a copy here »

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Ibi Zoboi- My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich

Middle Grade

"Highlights the importance of imagination and learning to celebrate what it means to be different in a world that demands conformity."- Horn Book

Grab a copy here »

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Upile Chisala- Nectar

Poetry

These poems celebrate, encourage, and offer the reader a new perspective on hope and self-love. 

Grab a copy here »

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Black Imagination - Curated by Natasha Marin

Anthology

"(D)on't think for one minute that Black Imagination is easy. As you will read here, it is hard-earned and sometimes dangerous, but it's necessary, and radical, to claim and work towards. Listening to my people in this book gave me so much life, and I'm pretty sure, dear reader, you're in for the same."- from the Foreword by Steven Dunn

Grab a copy here »

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Yrsa Daley-Ward- bone

Poetry

Yrsa Daley-Ward's collection bone captures desire, vulnerability, and joy beautifully. This book is a place to find solace..

Grab a copy here »