Staff Pick

Dovey Johnson Roundtree (1914-2018) is not a household name—yet. However, what this absolutely inspiring woman was able to accomplish for civil rights was revolutionary and should make her one. In Mighty Justice: My Life In Civil Rights (Algonquin, $16.95), Roundtree, with co-author Katie McCabe, regales us with hard fought triumphs over gender and color barriers. As a Howard University School of Law graduate, she became one of the few African American female attorneys of the time. With that came many defeats, but she showed her strength with a few powerful victories over Jim Crow laws. And from there, her law practice prospered. She went on to spearhead the female minister movement of the AME Church, combining her ministry with her law degree to fight for disadvantaged children and families. Woven throughout this memoir are Roundtree’s personal stories of struggling with the racism that was eating away at the country she loved and wanted to help. Roundtree is an American hero who makes this country beautiful.

Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616209551
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Algonquin Books - November 5th, 2019

Staff Pick

How We Fight For Our Lives: A Memoir (Simon & Schuster, $26) by Saeed Jones is for the reader on your holiday list that loves a good memoir. Known for his poetry, Jones departs from his usual genre to write about what it was like to grow up as a Black gay boy in the South. He gives us the privilege of reading about the intimate moments of his childhood through his college years without sparing any details. I enjoyed reading about his life and how he and those like him are fi ghting to be themselves in a world that does not invite Black gay men to be their best selves. It is an emotionally charged reading experience where each chapter is engaging and reveals a pivotal moment in Jones’s life. The vulnerability within the pages of this book will make it a memoir you will never forget.

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501132735
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 8th, 2019

Staff Pick

Even if you’re not a fan of personal memoir, don’t count out In the Dream House (Graywolf, $26), by Carmen Maria Machado. The entire genre of non-fiction is brilliantly flipped on its head in this haunting, engrossing book about love, violence, and a woman grappling with who she is and who she can become. Between chapters that recount her volatile relationship with a past partner, Machado infuses essays about the history, stereotypes, and reality of abuse in queer relationships. Form and genre are suggestions rather than limitations for Machado as she offers readers everything from pop culture references like Star Trek and a choose-your-own-ending chapter, to informative footnotes that are often as gripping as the text itself and meditations on feminist and queer theory. While this book delves into the dark places of love (and, ultimately, the end of love), there is surprising hope at the end that is neither predictable nor overly saccharine. Dedicated readers of Machado’s fiction will love this book, but it’s bound to capture a whole new audience, as well, and both groups will walk away stunned, sobered, and sad to put it down. As she says in her dedication, “If you need this book, it is for you,” and as it turns out, we all need this book.

In the Dream House: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644450031
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - November 5th, 2019