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Holly V.'s Reviews

Inciting Joy: Essays by Ross Gay

In this new collection of essays, Ross Gay invites us to interrogate the joy that exists in all facets of our lives—to coax it out from grief, from mundanity, even from the irritation of an invasive weed in our garden. In his signature candid and circuitous prose, Gay reminds us that leaning into joy is not only a privilege, but a form of survival.


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Inciting Joy: Essays By Ross Gay Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643753041
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - October 25th, 2022

The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On by Franny Choi

This world simply does not deserve Franny Choi. And by that I mean, where would we be without her poetry—anomalous as it sometimes is? In this latest collection, Choi considers the singularity of death, the science fiction of survival, the anachronism of love amidst the end of the world. Each poem is a life raft and also a knife. This is the book you hand someone who tells you, “poetry can’t change the world.” 


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The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On By Franny Choi Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063240087
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Ecco - November 1st, 2022

Alive at the End of the World by Saeed Jones

“The end of the world leaked music like radiation, and we loved the neon echo.” In this devastating yet illuminating collection, Jones asserts that we are living through small apocalypses every day. He pulls no punches in his naming of racism, violence, and power, and his lyricism and unflinching honesty make this collection utterly necessary.


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Alive at the End of the World By Saeed Jones, D. a. Powell (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Saeed Jones, D. a. Powell (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781566896511
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - September 13th, 2022

Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

In this second collection of poetry, Ocean Vuong looks at the intimacy of memory and the fleeting nature of self through the lens of his mother’s recent passing. Vuong writes with a noticeably matured and sharper voice, while playing with some more stylistically formal choices. At times quiet and always brutally honest, Time Is a Mother is another of Vuong’s masterpieces.  —Holly

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Time Is a Mother By Ocean Vuong Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593300237
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - April 5th, 2022

The Path to Kindness Poems of Connection and Joy Edited by James Crews

James Crews has given us all the chance to breathe deeply with this follow-up to How to Love the World. Each poem in this anthology is a warm sweater, a soft hug, a glimmer of hope. Drawing from the works of veterans of the craft as well as emerging poets, The Path to Kindness walks us through themes such as motherhood, friendship, and the tenderness of our mortality. This is a collection that belongs on your bedside table, always within reach.  —Holly

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The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy By James Crews (Editor), Danusha Laméris (Foreword by) Cover Image
By James Crews (Editor), Danusha Laméris (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781635865332
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Storey Publishing, LLC - April 12th, 2022

Are We Ever Our Own by Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes

In this surrealist collection of short stories, Fuentes takes us on an odyssey through multiple generations, geographies, and spiritual dimensions. Following different women who all share a common lineage, these stories grapple with themes of corporeal violence, complex identities, and the meaning of being alive in a world of ghosts. With a voice reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez and Federico García Lorca, this is a tapestry worth unraveling, though it may unravel you in the process.  —Holly

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Are We Ever Our Own (American Reader #38) By Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781950774616
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: BOA Editions - May 24th, 2022

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

Kiara is a girl on the precipice of womanhood, barely scraping by in East Oakland. Tormented by familial traumas and crippling poverty, she decides to sell the only thing she has left: her body. What follows is a harrowing journey through sexual exploitation, the (un)justice system, and the complex nature of family. With lyricism so rich it’ll warm your throat and a staggeringly strong voice, this debut novel belongs in the spotlight.  —Holly

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Nightcrawling: A novel By Leila Mottley Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593318935
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - June 7th, 2022

Radical Friendship by Kate Johnson

Radical Friendship brings us a much-needed practicum in forming meaningful bonds in the 21st century. Johnson draws from the five love languages, critical race theory, and mindfulness practices in shaping an all-encompassing guide to collective growth. This book is necessary for anyone trying to find meaning in a disconnected world. Radical Friendship shows us how to heal our societal wounds through honest communication, community support, and mutual aid.—Holly V.

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Radical Friendship: Seven Ways to Love Yourself and Find Your People in an Unjust World By Kate Johnson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781611808117
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Shambhala - August 24th, 2021

Pilgrim Bell: Poems by Kaveh Akbar

Kaveh Akbar’s honest resonance is unmatched by any poet I have read in this decade. With an unflinching spirituality, Akbar takes us on a journey through discomfort, through holiness, through beauty in its ugliest forms. Often returning to the body, and always drawing upon his experience as a Muslim American, Akbar paints images so sharp they could cut skin. This collection of poetry is breathtaking, harrowing, and utterly necessary. —Holly V.

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ISBN: 9781644450598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - August 3rd, 2021

Playlist for the Apocalypse: Poems by Rita Dove

“Let it be said, while in the midst of horror, we fed on beauty—and that, my love, is what sustained us.” Rita Dove’s newest collection of poetry is a prayer for our collective future. Whether musing on love through the eyes of a cricket or investigating the wounds of racialized trauma, Dove writes with clever honesty and radical vulnerability. Playlist for the Apocalypse is the kind of book you clutch to your chest upon finishing, and pray that not a single word of it will be forgotten. —Holly

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Playlist for the Apocalypse: Poems By Rita Dove Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393867770
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 17th, 2021


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