Ikwo is the Store Manager at Greenlight's Prospect Lefferts Gardens location. Here's what she's reading and recommending lately!
Molly--mother of two, paleobotanist--is at her wits end by the time an intruder shows up in her home. What follows is a Twilight Zone episode that burrows and tendrils out into the safe spaces of your mind. No doubt a bona fide thriller, but at its core about grief and love and how far we'll go to recover what's been lost. Eerie and thoughtful and everything you want in a fast-paced novel.
For Helen Oyeyemi/ magical realism fans! This short story collection is lovely, each story more otherworldly than the last. My favourite story is "Butterflies" which is just 2 pages long but packs a mad and chilling punch.
If you like historical fiction, but don't mind a dash of the unreal, read this. It's about the formation of Liberia and starts with three initially unconnected people: Bessa (who can't die), June Dey (possesses unnatural strength), Norman (is able to disappear at will). They meet in Monrovia and their meeting saves and builds a country.
If you read Pride & Prejudice and couldn't get enough, this takes place 6 years after Lizzie and Darcy's happily ever after. What should have been a happy/ peaceful marriage is abruptly interrupted by Lydia and the news that her husband, Wickham, has been murdered. I'm not one for continuations, but P. D. James nails this imagination while paying homage to Austen's genius.
Solid sci-fi book! A boy falls from the sky and a spaceship captain is tasked with protecting him from institutional powers far greater than either of them. Spanning centuries, light years, and multiple worlds, this book is one of the best sci-fi books I've read. Favorite character has to be the thousand-year old psychopath, hands down.
June is 14 years old, precocious, isolated, and grieving the loss of her Uncle Finn who she loved more than anything. Her mother and older sister are cagey to say the least about how he died. Something to do with AIDS, something to do with Toby, Finn's "special friend." When Toby begins reaching out to June (and she responds -- both in an attempt to keep the memory of Finn near -- a questionable, but lovely friendship forms.
Hooked by the first 3 pages, I picked this book up and didn't put it down until I was done. Ana is a young teenager from DR and is married to a man 15 years her senior. This marriage (if you want to call it that) is more of a business transaction, a way for Ana's family to acquire papers and immigrate to the States. Ana often feels trapped by her circumstances, but begins to experience freedom and find herself. This is vibrant and necessary storytelling at its best.
Ali Wong writes a letter to her daughters which is as touching as it sounds, but I strongly recommend not reading this with your young ones; think of this as an extension of her stand up. There are all sorts of anecdotes of her life as a female comedian of color, and also having to answer questions of being a female comedian of color, and hating that question! It's about motherhood, growing up, and reflecting on your crazy actions as a kid.
Reflective and real, this is a book for generations. R. Eric Thomas is able to serve on the same tea tray, thought and humor. Among a host of other topics, he explores having to reconcile his queer sexuality with his identity as a Christian, and also how truly weird the suburbs are. There's a a lot more in this book, and it has the power to speak to all parts of ourselves.
As far as food-memoirs go this is one of the funniest, most earnest ones I've read. It's about a Taiwanese-Chinese-American family planting roots in a country where they're seen as other even though it's a label no one asked for. If you watched Fresh Off the Boat and enjoy his recipes, or like having a good time when reading, you'll get a kick out of this book and hopefully learn something new about yourself in the process.
Behold the perfect marriage of charming and witty. The opening essay is about the state of your apartment the day of your death. So, of course it'll be the day before laundry day or the one day you don't dress your bed. And that dreadful moment of your family having to open your bedside drawer. Littered with relatable and brilliant tales from start to finish, this book encapsulates all we've come to love and expect from a writer like Sloane Crosley.
A few of the chapters: How to Be a Good African, How to Show Love, Tips for the Foreign Journalist Covering Nigerian Elections. Part guide book, part love letter to a resilient and unique country and its people. Best part of this book is Nigerian God, who preforms many wonders and signs, but does not cure corruption.
Irby is the cool older sister you want to be when you grow up. Her latest essay collection is only a few weeks old, but I'm finding myself coming back to. This one is just as grimly relatable as the last but with new anecdotes of ghosts, body negativity, and marriage advice.
There was a prophecy that fated 5 teenagers to save the world from the worst evil known to man. Ten years after defeating the Dark One, the team of five unwilling superheros are left grappling with the trauma of the past. But nothing stays dead and buried for long, not the secrets they keep from each other, and not the evil they sacrificed so much of themselves to. Inventive at every turn, Roth's debut adult novel is not to be missed.
Ward brings the same wisdom and sincerity found in her books to her commencement speech at Tulane University. In this little book (with stunning illustrations by Gina Triplett), we get to see Ward as a young Southern black girl in rural Mississippi, what that means, and where it led her. At times of crisis and uncertainty, a book like this (an author like Ward!) might be enough to still and strengthen the mind.
This book was a slow burn I'm still tending to long after finishing it. Part-family saga, part-love story, part-lessons on living with consequences, I dare your heart not to fall for Kate and Peter, initially two kids then two adults caught in the crossfire of their families' tensions.
In City of Girls, you'll meet the venerable Vivian, who didn't exactly start out as such. This is the tale of a nineteen year old, lost and made in the New York City of the 1940s. A city which, as it turns out, was more booze-soaked, desire-laced, and glamour-tinged that one could have ever imagined.