Dear First Gen,
April 9-15 is #NationalLibraryWeek! (Thank you Extra-Ordinary Birthdays for telling me.) I am an avid reader, and believe it is key for first-generation professionals seeking to increase their vocabulary, improve their writing skills and feel confident during conversations. Also, when I read different book genres and then share the stories with my family members, it exposes them to new phrases and words that they may use in their own work or social environments. Everyone benefits!
"I have always imagined paradise as a kind of library." - Jorge Luis Borges
The theme for the week is "Libraries Transform" and the suggested books by @lupita.reads certainly meets the challenge. This is her message to you!
Irnande recently asked me to list the top five books that I am looking forward to reading in 2017. First I need to add that the book world (authors and publishing companies) has been killing it lately with some amazing books. It seems to me that every year brings about a set of new books that must be added to bookshelves everywhere. Here is my small list that was no small feat to compile:
1. Difficult Women by Roxane Gay (Published January 3, 2017) The title alone of this short story collection says enough to make you want to pick it up and read it. You may recognize the name Roxane Gay from the New York Times best-selling essay collection Bad Feminist. In addition to Difficult Women, Gay will also release Hunger: A Memoir , which tackles her relationship with “food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.” Do yourself a favor and make it a 2017 goal to read a book by Roxane Gay. Not into non-fiction? She writes fiction as well.
2. Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel by Jesmyn Ward (To be published September 5, 2017) I have waited oh-so-long for a new novel by Jesmyn Ward. She marveled and shocked me with her lyrical storytelling in Salvage the Bones. Not to mentioned she graced the world with The Fire This Time, inspired by James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time. Ward is a powerful writer to be read.
3. Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami (To be published May 9, 2017) What can I say about Murakami that another book lover wouldn't say? Murakami is a Japanese novelist who has had his work translated into 50 languages. He is often a contender for the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature and has written well over 20 books (fiction and non-fiction). He is the "damn Daniel" of books! And he's back at it again with this new story collection. Is it May yet?
4. The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Published February 7, 2017) Given the current state of our country, this one could not possibly be more important to read. The Refugees is a new collection of stories “written over a period of 20 years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family.” I am a new Viet Thanh Nguyen reader, but an eager one, and I absolutely cannot wait to read this one.
5. Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran (Published January 10, 2017) Last but not least and one that I have actually gotten to read this year is Lucky Boy. This is a tale inspired by the true hardships that many undocumented immigrants face living in America and at its core explores motherhood. It is beautifully written and although I finished it weeks ago, the characters and story still linger in my mind.
*BONUS* Any and every reader should do themselves a favor and dip into the Young Adult book world. Every year I like to add a few YA reads to my list of books to read. Here are two 2017 YA releases I am SUPER excited to read:
The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
All links provided direct you to Politics and Prose, one of my favorite local bookstores in the DC area. Do the world a favor and support your local bookstore! They need you as much as you need them, not to mention booksellers make the best book recommendations AND if you are lucky like we are in the DC area, your local bookstores serve wine and beer. ;) Shout out to Politics and Prose AND KramerBooks.
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