Only one month until the Texas Book Festival! On November 5 & 6, you will find enough books for at least a year of books clubs. However, there’s no need for an October book drought in anticipation.
I love to hear what other book clubs are reading, and Peggy shared her Folktales’ Black Women’s Literary Society selections for the Fall: The Truth About Awiti by CP Patrick, I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan, and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Just a reminder that first time novelist Yaa Gyasi will be at the Festival! Check the Schedule after October 10 for specific times and locations.
Under the Udala Trees, by Chinelo Okparanta (336 pages)
2015 Festival author Chinelo Okparanta was inspired by her mother’s stories of war and Nigeria’s folktale traditions.
Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does. Born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. But when their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself—and there is a cost to living inside a lie.
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant, by Roz Chast (240 pages)
One of my personal favorite graphic memoirs (graphic novels, comics…whatever you choose to call these books). The New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast is an amazing cartoonist AND storyteller.
In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.
A House of My Own: Stories From My Life, by Sandra Cisneros (400 pages)
Ok, I’m doubling down on memoirs and exceeding my self-imposed 300 page limit. HOWEVER, author and poet Sandra Cisneros continues to stun with her beautiful language and honesty, so I think this addition is worth it. PS – she was an author at the FIRST Festival in 1996, and the 20th Festival in 2016. So we’re kind of partial 🙂
From Chicago to Mexico, the places Sandra Cisneros has lived have provided inspiration for her now-classic works of fiction and poetry. But a house of her own, a place where she could truly take root, has eluded her. In this jigsaw autobiography, made up of essays and images spanning three decades—and including never-before-published work—Cisneros has come home at last.
White Noise, by Don Delillo (336 pages)
Maybe by now you’ve heard the (true) rumor that Don Delillo will be at the Festival. So I can’t miss this opportunity to recommend the National Book Award winner, White Noise.
White Noise tells the story of Jack Gladney, his fourth wife, Babette, and four ultramodern offspring as they navigate the rocky passages of family life to the background babble of brand-name consumerism. When an industrial accident unleashes an “airborne toxic event,” a lethal black chemical cloud floats over their lives. The menacing cloud is a more urgent and visible version of the “white noise” engulfing the Gladneys-radio transmissions, sirens, microwaves, ultrasonic appliances, and TV murmurings-pulsing with life, yet suggesting something ominous.
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