Amazing New Books to Add to Your Spring Reading List
5 Books | by BuzzFeed
Sabrina & Corina
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • Latinas of Indigenous descent living in the American West take center stage in this haunting debut story collection—a powerful meditation on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands. “Here are stories that blaze like wildfires, with characters who made me laugh and broke my heart.”—Sandra CisnerosFINALIST FOR THE STORY PRIZE • FINALIST FOR THE PEN/ROBERT W. BINGHAM PRIZE FOR DEBUT SHORT STORY COLLECTION Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado—a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite—these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force. In “Sugar Babies,” ancestry and heritage are hidden inside the earth but tend to rise during land disputes. “Any Further West” follows a sex worker and her daughter as they leave their ancestral home in southern Colorado only to find a foreign and hostile land in California. In “Tomi,” a woman leaves prison and finds herself in a gentrified city that is a shadow of the one she remembers from her childhood. And in the title story, “Sabrina & Corina,” a Denver family falls into a cycle of violence against women, coming together only through ritual. Sabrina & Corina is a moving narrative of unrelenting feminine power and an exploration of the universal experiences of abandonment, heritage, and an eternal sense of home.NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews • Library Journal “Sabrina & Corina isn’t just good, it’s masterful storytelling. Fajardo-Anstine is a fearless writer: her women are strong and scarred witnesses of the violations of their homelands, their culture, their bodies; her plots turn and surprise, unerring and organic in their comprehensiveness; her characters break your heart, but you keep on going because you know you are in the hands of a master. Her stories move through the heart of darkness and illuminate it with the soul of truth.”—Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents“[A] powerhouse debut . . . stylistically superb, with crisp dialogue and unforgettable characters, Sabrina & Corina introduces an impressive new talent to American letters.”—Rigoberto González, NBC News
Library of Small Catastrophes
Alison Rollins, a librarian by trade, disrupts the canon by re-cataloging language, culture, and history in her debut collection.
The Organs of Sense
"This book is only for people who like joy, absurdity, passion, genius, dry wit, youthful folly, amusing historical arcana, or telescopes." —Rivka Galchen, author of Little Labors and American Innovations “[An] intellect with the timing of a borscht belt comedian” (Publishers Weekly), Adam Ehrlich Sachs brings his unique comic sensibilities to his first novel, The Organs of Sense, a nested fable equating our inability to understand the world with our inability to understand our own messy families. In 1666, an astronomer makes a prediction: At the stroke of noon on June 30 of that year, a solar eclipse will cast all of Europe into darkness for four seconds. This astronomer is rumored to be using the largest telescope ever built, but he is also known to be blind—and not only blind, but eyeless. Is he mad? Or does he, despite this impairment, have an insight denied the other scholars of his day? These questions intrigue young Gottfried Leibniz—not yet the world-renowned polymath who will go on to discover calculus, but a nineteen-year-old whose faith in reason is shaky at best. Leibniz sets off to investigate the astronomer’s claim, and in the three hours before the eclipse occurs—or fails to occur—the astronomer tells the story behind his strange prediction: a tale encompassing kings, family squabbles, insanity, art, and the horrors of war.
Rabbits for Food
Master of razor-edged literary humor Binnie Kirshenbaum returns with her first novel in a decade, a devastating, laugh-out-loud funny story of a writer's slide into depression and institutionalization. It's New Year's Eve, the holiday of forced fellowship, mandatory fun, and paper hats. While dining out with her husband and their friends, Kirshenbaum's protagonist--an acerbic, mordantly witty, and clinically depressed writer--fully unravels. Her breakdown lands her in the psych ward of a prestigious New York hospital, where she refuses all modes of recommended treatment. Instead, she passes the time chronicling the lives of her fellow "lunatics" and writing a novel about what brought her there. Her story is a brilliant and brutally funny dive into the disordered mind of a woman who sees the world all too clearly. Propelled by razor-sharp comic timing and rife with pinpoint insights, Kirshenbaum examines what it means to be unloved and loved, to succeed and fail, to be at once impervious and raw. Rabbits for Food shows how art can lead us out of--or into--the depths of disconsolate loneliness and piercing grief. A bravura literary performance from one of our most indispensable writers.
The Bird King
From award-winning author G. Willow Wilson, The Bird King is an epic journey set during the reign of the last sultan in the Iberian peninsula at the height of the Spanish Inquisition. G. Willow Wilson’s debut novel Alif the Unseen was an NPR and Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and it established her as a vital American Muslim literary voice. Now she delivers The Bird King, a stunning new novel that tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret—he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls? As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.