{New Release} Week 29 (July 10-16)

God and Starbucks by:Vin Baker
Sixteen years ago, Vin Baker was an NBA All-Star, an Olympic Gold medalist, and a multimillionaire. While he excelled on the court, Vin harbored a dark secret: a dependency on drugs and alcohol that began after the clean-cut preacher’s son turned pro. Eventually becoming a full-blown yet functional alcoholic, Vin convinced himself he played better under the influence—until his addiction cost him his basketball career, his fortune, and his health.

But Vin’s story isn’t a tragic fall from grace. It is a joyous tale of salvation. For Vin, hitting rock bottom was a difficult yet transformative experience that led him to renew his relationship with God and embrace life in a rich and fulfilling new way. Today the manager of a Starbucks and a youth minister, Vin has found more security and happiness in his ordinary working life than in all of his years in the glamourous world of professional basketball.

God and Starbucks is a wise and unflinching look at the real dangers of addiction and the importance of taking charge of your life with meaning and purpose. It’s a powerful memoir about reaching the top and beginning again from the bottom—an inspiring personal tale of humility and grace that reminds us what is truly important in our lives.
Release: 7/11/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Hardcover)

Bed-Stuy Is Burning by:Brian Platzer
Do the Right Thing meets The Bonfire of the Vanities, in this “thrilling debut novel about marriage, gentrification, parenthood, race, and the dangerous bargains we make with ourselves” (Ann Packer, New York Times bestselling author) set over the course of one cataclysmic day when riots erupt in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood.
Aaron, a disgraced rabbi turned Wall Street banker, and Amelia, his journalist girlfriend, live with their newborn in Bedford-Stuyvesant, one of the most dynamic and historically volatile neighborhoods in New York City. The infusion of upwardly mobile professionals into Bed-Stuy’s historic brownstones belies the tension simmering on the streets below. But after a cop shoots a boy in a nearby park, conflict escalates to rioting—with Aaron and his family at its center.

Pulled into the riot’s vortex are Antoinette, devout nanny to Aaron and Amelia’s son; Jupiter, the single father who lives on their block with his son, Derek; Daniel, Aaron’s unhinged tenant in their basement unit; and Sara, a smart local girl, broiling with confusion and rage. As the day unfolds, these diverse characters are forced to reckon with who they are and what truly matters to them.

With “the mordant wit of Franzen, the dazzling smarts of Roth, and the compassion of Tolstoy” (Rafael Yglesias, author of A Happy Marriage), Platzer conjures a sharp-eyed, fast-paced, and empathetically rendered narrative about a changing neighborhood and its residents, as they struggle to raise children, establish careers, and find love, fulfillment, and meaning. Bed-Stuy Is Burning offers a window into an array of complex lives and deftly wrestles with the most pressing issues of our time with unflinching focus, wisdom, and hope.
Release: 7/11/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Hardcover)

Policing the Black Man by:Angela J. Davis
A comprehensive, readable analysis of the key issues of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, this thought-provoking and compelling anthology features essays by some of the nation’s most influential and respected criminal justice experts and legal scholars. Contributing authors include Bryan Stevenson (Director of the Equal Justice Institute, NYU Law Professor, and author of New York Times bestseller Just Mercy), Sherrilyn Ifill (President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), Jeremy Travis (President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice), and many others.

Policing the Black Man explores and critiques the many ways the criminal justice system impacts the lives of African American boys and men at every stage of the criminal process from arrest through sentencing. Essays range from an explication of the historical roots of racism in the criminal justice system to an examination of modern-day police killings of unarmed black men. The co-authors discuss and explain racial profiling, the power and discretion of police and prosecutors, the role of implicit bias, the racial impact of police and prosecutorial decisions, the disproportionate imprisonment of black men, the collateral consequences of mass incarceration, and the Supreme Court’s failure to provide meaningful remedies for the injustices in the criminal justice system. Policing the Black Man is an enlightening must-read for anyone interested in the critical issues of race and justice in America.
Release: 7/11/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Hardcover)

Moving Kings by:Joshua Cohen
A propulsive, incendiary novel about faith, race, class, and what it means to have a home, from Joshua Cohen, “a major American writer” (The New York Times).

This is a novel about two young Israeli soldiers who travel to New York after fighting in the Gaza War and find work as eviction movers. It’s a story of the housing and eviction crisis in poor Black and Hispanic neighborhoods that also shines new light on the world’s oldest conflict in the Middle East. The year is 2015, and 21-year-olds Yoav and Uri have just completed their compulsory military service in the IDF. In keeping with national tradition, they take time off for R&R: a gap-year spent abroad. They come to America and begin working for Yoav’s distant cousin, David King—a proud American patriot, Republican, and Jew, and the owner and operator of King’s Moving Inc., a heavyweight in the Tri-State area’s moving and storage industries. Yoav and Uri now must struggle to become reacquainted with civilian life, but it’s not easy to move past their militarized selves when their days are spent kicking down doors, working as eviction-movers in the nongentrified corners of Brooklyn and Queens, dispossessing delinquent tenants and homeowners who’ve defaulted on their mortgages. And what starts off as a profitable if eerily familiar job quickly turns violent, when they encounter one homeowner who refuses to leave.
Release: 7/11/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Hardcover)

Killing Poetry: Blackness and the Making of Slam and Spoken Word Communities by:Javon Johnson
In recent decades, poetry slams and the spoken word artists who compete in them have sparked a resurgent fascination with the world of poetry. However, there is little critical dialogue that fully engages with the cultural complexities present in slam and spoken word poetry communities, as well as their ramifications.

In Killing Poetry, renowned slam poet, Javon Johnson unpacks some of the complicated issues that comprise performance poetry spaces. He argues that the truly radical potential in slam and spoken word communities lies not just in proving literary worth, speaking back to power, or even in altering power structures, but instead in imagining and working towards altogether different social relationships. His illuminating ethnography provides a critical history of the slam, contextualizes contemporary black poets in larger black literary traditions, and does away with the notion that poetry slams are inherently radically democratic and utopic.

Killing Poetry—at times autobiographical, poetic, and journalistic—analyzes the masculine posturing in the Southern California community in particular, the sexual assault in the national community, and the ways in which related social media inadvertently replicate many of the same white supremacist, patriarchal, and mainstream logics so many spoken word poets seem to be working against. Throughout, Johnson examines the promises and problems within slam and spoken word, while illustrating how community is made and remade in hopes of eventually creating the radical spaces so many of these poets strive to achieve.
Release: 7/15/17
Click to purchase: (Paperback)(Hardcover)(Kindle)

Queen of Bebop by:Elaine M. Haynes
Sarah Vaughan, ,a pivotal figure in the formation of bebop, influenced a broad array of singers who followed in her wake, yet the breadth and depth of her impact—not just as an artist, but also as an African-American woman—remain overlooked.

Drawing from a wealth of sources as well as on exclusive interviews with Vaughan’s friends and former colleagues, Queen of Bebop unravels the many myths and misunderstandings that have surrounded Vaughan while offering insights into this notoriously private woman, her creative process, and, ultimately, her genius. Hayes deftly traces the influence that Vaughan’s singing had on the perception and appreciation of vocalists—not to mention women—in jazz. She reveals how, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Vaughan helped desegregate American airwaves, opening doors for future African-American artists seeking mainstream success, while also setting the stage for the civil rights activism of the 1960s and 1970s. She follows Vaughan from her hometown of Newark, New Jersey, and her first performances at the Apollo, to the Waldorf Astoria and on to the world stage, breathing life into a thrilling time in American music nearly lost to us today.

Equal parts biography, criticism, and good old-fashioned American success story, Queen of Bebop is the definitive biography of a hugely influential artist. This absorbing and sensitive treatment of a singular personality updates and corrects the historical record on Vaughan and elevates her status as a jazz great.
Release: 7/11/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle)(Hardcover)(Audio CD)

Vanishing New York by:Jeremiah Moss
An unflinching chronicle of gentrification in the twenty-first century and a love letter to lost New York by the creator of the popular and incendiary blog Vanishing New York.

For generations, New York City has been a mecca for artists, writers, and other hopefuls longing to be part of its rich cultural exchange and unique social fabric. But today, modern gentrification is transforming the city from an exceptional, iconoclastic metropolis into a suburbanized luxury zone with a price tag only the one percent can afford.

A Jane Jacobs for the digital age, blogger and cultural commentator Jeremiah Moss has emerged as one of the most outspoken and celebrated critics of this dramatic shift. In Vanishing New York, he reports on the city’s development in the twenty-first century, a period of “hyper-gentrification” that has resulted in the shocking transformation of beloved neighborhoods and the loss of treasured unofficial landmarks. In prose that the Village Voice has called a “mixture of snark, sorrow, poeticism, and lyric wit,” Moss leads us on a colorful guided tour of the most changed parts of town—from the Lower East Side and Chelsea to Harlem and Williamsburg—lovingly eulogizing iconic institutions as they’re replaced with soulless upscale boutiques, luxury condo towers, and suburban chains.

Propelled by Moss’ hard-hitting, cantankerous style, Vanishing New York is a staggering examination of contemporary “urban renewal” and its repercussions—not only for New Yorkers, but for all of America and the world.
Release: 7/11/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Hardcover)

Like a Fly on the Wall by:Simone Kelly
From talented debut author Simone Kelly comes this suspenseful novel that crackles with intrigue, sex, and plenty of surprises—perfect for fans of Eric Jerome Dickey and Carl Weber.

Meet Jacques Berradi. Moroccan-born and Manhattan-raised, his genuine, sexy-smooth allure goes hand in hand with a unique gift. Since Jacques was young, he has had the ability to read peoples’ energies, communicate with spirit guides, and even catch glimpses of people’s futures. Now a professional “intuitive counselor,” Jacques’s clients pay him handsomely for his insight. Unfortunately, Jacques’s psychic abilities don’t come with an off switch to tune out the world’s noise, nor do they always provide him with easy answers; recently Jacques has begun having dark, alarming dreams about his beloved father, a Moroccan immigrant who died when he was a boy.

Meet Kylie Collins, an adventurous, Miami twentysomething who is trying to find her footing after being laid off from a cushy music industry job. When a mishap brings them together, Kylie is instantly mesmerized by Jacques’s cool demeanor and intuitive abilities, and he’s captivated by her outgoing charm and breezy good looks. Seeking to learn more about her family history—including the identity of the father she’s never known—Kylie visits Jacques’s office to gain some insight about her future, and about her free-spirited and headstrong Jamaican mother, True.

But on the night that they meet, a rolling blackout cuts off power throughout Miami. Kylie and Jacques, and a few of his clients, head to the only place in the neighborhood with enough light to see: Like a Fly on the Wall Detective Agency. There, Kylie serendipitously lands herself the perfect new job as an apprentice private eye.

As partners, Jacques and Kylie are an unstoppable duo. Can Jacques’s intuition reveal the scandalous history of Kylie’s mother and father? Will Kylie’s newfound detective skills uncover evidence about the death of Jacques’s father? And will the chemistry that charges their friendship bubble over into something much, much hotter…?
Release: 7/11/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Paperback)

It All Comes Down To This by:Karen English
It’s 1965, Los Angeles. All twelve-year-old Sophie wants to do is write her book, star in the community play, and hang out with her friend Jennifer. But she’s the new black kid in a nearly all-white neighborhood; her beloved sister, Lily, is going away to college soon; and her parents’ marriage is rocky. There’s also her family’s new, disapproving housekeeper to deal with. When riots erupt in nearby Watts and a friend is unfairly arrested, Sophie learns that life—and her own place in it—is even more complicated than she’d once thought.
Release: 7/11/17
Ages: 10 to 12, Grades: 5 to 7
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Hardcover)

Chester B. Himes by:Lawrence P. Jackson
The definitive biography of the groundbreaking African American author who had an extraordinary legacy on black writers globally.

In his Chester B. Himes (1909–1984), Lawrence P. Jackson depicts the improbable life of the controversial writer whose novels confront sexuality, racism, and social injustice. In absorbing detail, Jackson explores Chester Himes’s middle-class origins, eight years in prison, painful odyssey as a black World War II–era artist, and escape to Europe, where Himes became internationally famous for his Harlem detective series. Praised by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., as “one of the towering figures of the black literary tradition,” Himes, author of the bestsellers If He Hollers, Let Him Go and Cotton Comes to Harlem, published twenty literary works over a long career, enhanced by friendships with Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, and Carl Van Vechtern.

Chester B. Himes relies on exclusive interviews and unrestricted access to Himes’s full archives. Jackson restores the legacy of a fascinating maverick determined to etch disturbing portraits of American urban life that remain vivid and contemporary.
Release: 7/11/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Hardcover)

The Spider’s Curse (The Hidden World of Changers Book 7) by:H.K. Varian
It’s up to the Changers to rescue their friend Mack from the enemy—but in order to do that, they must first break an ancient curse—in the seventh action-packed novel of The Hidden World of Changers series!

Fiona, Mack, Gabriella, and Darren are Changers, a magical line of shapeshifters that can transform into mythological creatures, from werewolves and selkies to lightning birds and spirit foxes.

Mack has abandoned his friends to join their enemy, the Shadow Fox. Gabriella wants to find Mack as soon as possible, but it’s too dangerous. The Changers need magical protection before they confront the Shadow Fox again.

Luckily, the First Four have found a protection spell that will guard Darren against the Shadow Fox’s dark powers. There’s only one problem: The spell won’t work. Darren’s ancestors were cursed long ago during an ancient war, and the only way to enact the protection spell is to break the curse. To do that, Darren will have to find a descendent of the one who cursed his ancestor. Will Darren be able to find someone to break the curse…or will he and his family suffer the Spider’s Curse for all time?
Release: 7/11/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle)(Hardcover)(Paperback)

The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story by:Edwidge Danticat
A moving reflection on a subject that touches us all, by the bestselling author of Claire of the Sea Light

Edwidge Danticat’s The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story is at once a personal account of her mother dying from cancer and a deeply considered reckoning with the ways that other writers have approached death in their own work. “Writing has been the primary way I have tried to make sense of my losses,” Danticat notes in her introduction. “I have been writing about death for as long as I have been writing.” The book moves outward from the shock of her mother’s diagnosis and sifts through Danticat’s writing life and personal history, all the while shifting fluidly from examples that range from Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude to Toni Morrison’s Sula. The narrative, which continually circles the many incarnations of death from individual to large-scale catastrophes, culminates in a beautiful, heartrending prayer in the voice of Danticat’s mother. A moving tribute and a work of astute criticism, The Art of Death is a book that will profoundly alter all who encounter it.
Release: 7/11/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle)(Paperback)(Audiobook)

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