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Black authors write black voices and experiences in these "own voices" works from the past few years.

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ICPL Recommends

Held book cover
Held book cover

Held

Anne Michaels

FICTION Michaels Anne
Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

"A breathtaking and ineffable new novel from the author of the international best sellers Fugitive Pieces and The Winter Vault-a novel of love and loyalty across generations, at once sweeping and intimate. 1917. On a battlefield near the River Aisne, John lies in the aftermath of a blast,...

“Held” is a little like a literary puzzle. The narrative is organized in generational fragments; but “organized” isn’t quite the right word. Each chapter is connected with the others by a thread—a child, a grandchild, a spouse, a mother--advancing or in some cases, retreating through the 20th century. Each chapter gives you a little more understanding of the family as a whole. It is fitting that we are first introduced to a photographer, John, just back from the trenches in 1917 to find that his photographs contain the ghosts of his subjects. It’s a little like a metaphor for how this book develops. Anne Michaels’s prose shimmers. -Anne M

Wild places : the life of naturalist David Attenborough book cover
Wild places : the life of naturalist David Attenborough book cover

Wild places : the life of naturalist David Attenborough

Hayley Rocco

j508.092 Attenborough
Nature, Nonfiction

"A nonfiction account of the life of British naturalist David Attenborough and his advocacy for the protection of wild places on Earth"--

Gorgeous illustrations. Simple, straightforward writing about the natural world and Attenborough's efforts to educate about animals, nature, the environment, and climate change. This is an incredible book. -Anne W

The Hormone Shift: Balance Your Body and Thrive Through Midlife and Menopause book cover
The Hormone Shift: Balance Your Body and Thrive Through Midlife and Menopause book cover

The Hormone Shift: Balance Your Body and Thrive Through Midlife and Menopause

Tasneem Bhatia, MD

OverDrive Audiobook
Nonfiction, Health

The goop hormone authority offers an empowering new approach to taking charge of hormone shifts through every stage of life—especially menopause. When hormonal highs, lows, twists, and turns feel overwhelming, Dr. Tasneem Bhatia can offer a road map—and a whole new perspective. As an MD with an...

Honestly I came across this audiobook while looking for other books narrated by Soneela Nankani. She narrates books I love by Sonali Dev and Nisha Sharma, whose novels focus on Southeast Asian American culture and how traditional culture from their homeland conflicts with that of their adopted home. So here I am trying to find another Southeast Asian American love story and I stumble upon a book about menopause. There are a lot of new articles about how long the American health industry has ignored the suffering women go through during this major life event. Dr. Bhati discusses the 5 stages of hormonal shifting, starting with puberty and ending post menopause. She discusses individual hormones and their effects on the body extensively. She also gives lots of advice to help alleviate the suffering women go through due to these hormonal changes. If this is something you're experiencing or know someone who is, this book is worth checking out! -Melody

So late in the day : stories of women and men book cover
So late in the day : stories of women and men book cover

So late in the day : stories of women and men

Claire Keegan

FICTION Keegan Claire
Literary Fiction

"Celebrated for her powerful short fiction, Claire Keegan now gifts us three exquisite stories together forming a brilliant examination of gender dynamics and an arc from Keegan's earliest to her most recent work. In "So Late in the Day," Cathal faces a long weekend as his mind...

I’m resolved to read anything that Claire Keegan publishes. “Foster” and “Small Things Like These” made such an impression. “So Late in the Day” is comprised of three short stories on a theme: men and women together. Whether in a long-term relationship or an impromptu meeting or as a tryst, none of it goes well. There is resentment, judgement, anger, fear, and in one story, violence. These are themes Keegan explores well. Keegan stays concise and compact in her writing, but wow, is able to build so much tension. -Anne M

Torn apart : how the child welfare system destroys Black families--and how abolition can build a safer world book cover
Torn apart : how the child welfare system destroys Black families--and how abolition can build a safer world book cover

Torn apart : how the child welfare system destroys Black families--and how abolition can build a safer world

Dorothy E. Roberts

362.7 /Roberts
Black Lives Matter, Black History, Nonfiction

An award-winning scholar exposes the foundational racism of the child welfare system and calls for radical change. Many believe the child welfare system protects children from abuse. But as Torn Apart uncovers, this system is designed to punish Black families. Drawing on decades of research, legal...

Reading this for our community book discussion here on 2/29/2024! -Jason

Molly book cover
Molly book cover

Molly

Blake Butler

BIOGRAPHY Butler, Blake
Nonfiction, Biographies

"Blake Butler and Molly Brodak instantly connected, fell in love, married and built a life together. Both writers with deep roots in contemporary American literature, their union was an iconic joining of forces between two major and beloved talents. Nearly three years into their marriage,...

I must admit that I'm at a bit of a loss for words with this book--I'm not ambivalent, but a little conflicted in how I feel about it. I placed a hold on it before it's publication, based on reviews I read, and in between that time and now, so much has already been said about the book that I know I my reading of it was changed to some degree. I wasn't just reading to learn Molly's story, her life and her life with Blake, her actions, and what one does in the aftermath of the worst situations, but now I was also reading to see if the author needed to be judged in some way, to ascertain if his telling crossed lines or was vindictive, or if parts of the story were even his to tell. I can see why the book has been polarizing for many, and I'll admit that while parts of it were achingly open and full of grief for a love lost, other parts felt more like they were written by someone who has been hurt very much and wants to hurt back. As ever, I would still encourage those who are interested to read it and form your own decision. -Candice

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A Community Book Discussion. Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World. Dorothy Roberts. Author of "Killing the Black Body." Iowa City Public Library. Office of Equity and Human Rights.
Eat Out to Read. Oasis The Falafel Joint. Iowa City. Tuesday, February 27. Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation.
Black History Month. Iowa City Public Library.
Iowa City Public Library. English Conversation Group.
Community Writing Center. Iowa City Public Library. Coralville Public Library. Kirkwood Community College. Iowa.
The Iowa Libraries Adventure Pass Program
Get Making with Creativebug.
Staff Picks Just for you - get recommendations on what to read next
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