Diversity on Summer Reading Lists

Many of this year’s summer book lists include titles we’ve been tracking on our list of Diversity Titles, Upcoming, LibraryReads ConsiderationEntertainment Weekly gets specific, recommending “7 inclusive novels that will make you think,

Several August titles (LibraryReads nominations due next Wednesday, June 20), receive attention:

River of Stars, Vanessa Hua, (PRH/Ballantine Books); DRC, Edelweiss and NetGalley

Debut. A GalleyChat favorite, this title appears on multiple summer reading lists, including EW‘s “7 inclusive novels that will make you think.”  In 5 Great Debut Novels to Help Get You Through This Summer, the Voice describes it as,  ” … a 21st-century immigrant story about the terror, drama, and desperation of being undocumented and yet unable to leave.”

Severance, Ling Ma, (Macmillan/FSG); DRC NetGalley

Debut. NY magazine’s Vulture writes in 18 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Summer, “this phenomenal debut explores what happens when we make any number of decisions by rote and fail to see or question the bigger picture.” Adds BuzzFeed in “30 Summer Books To Get Excited About, “Ma’s language does so much in this book, and its precision, its purposeful specificity, implicates an entire generation.”

How Are You Going To Save Yourself, JM Holmes, (Hachette/Little, Brown); DRC NetGalley

Debut. Entertainment Weekly, 7 inclusive novels that will make you think, “follows the lives of four friends as they drift apart and come back together, navigating adulthood as black men living with traumatic legacies who have been offered very different fortunes as they come of age. Holmes’ searing study in masculinity is offset by irresistible heart and biting humor. ”

Praise Song for the Butterflies, Bernice L. McFadden (Akashic, August), Original; DRC, Edelweiss

Philadelphia Inquirer, Summer books, “A tale set in Ghana, where a girl is given up by her family, endures a very hard life, and, once set free, must find a way to heal and live forward.”  McFadden is the author of 8 books, her previous, The Book Of Harlan, won the 2017 American Book Award, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction) and was named a Washington Post Notable Book of 2016.

Praise Song for Butterflies is also mentioned in the new issue of Vanity Fair, which debuts a real books section, replacing the old Hot Type column, with its dizzying run-on list of titles. The welcome change is no surprise. The magazine’s new editor, Radhika Jones, was formerly at the NYT Book Review. Featured in the new issue’s book section is a profile of the owners of the “Trailblazing Black-Owned Bookstore,” D.C.’s Mahogany. Their favorite upcoming title is McFadden’s.

The Air You Breathe, Frances de Pontes Peebles, (PRH/Riverhead); DRC Edelweiss and NetGalley

Philadelphia Inquirer, Summer books, — “The long friendship between Dores and Graça is forged through music. Based partly on the life of Carmen Miranda, this novel takes us from 1920 Brazilian sugar plantations to the urban samba scene of the 1930s.” Previous title, The Seamstress.

Asghar, Fatimah, If They Come for Us , (PRH/Random House/One World, August). Pbk. Original; DRC, Edelweiss and NetGalley

The Philadelphia Inquirer notes, “Asghar, co-creator of the web/HBO series Brown Girls, writes through the eyes of a Pakistani woman who comes to America and discovers a very strange country indeed.”

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