| By Gale Staff |
No doubt your readers represent a range of ethnicities, races, beliefs, cultures, and experiences. Are your shelves stocked with a selection of titles to engage them – allowing them the comfort of finding representation while also encouraging them to walk in someone else’s shoes? Our October picks explore the journeys of immigrants, address white supremacy in a groundbreaking workbook, and ponder the plight of a woman obsessed with the migration of birds.
The Last Story of Mina Lee, by Nancy Jooyoun Kim
Mother-daughter relationships are often portrayed as everything from “best friends” to down-right toxic. This unconventional saga, not a neat representation of either view, explores the lives of Mina, a Korean War orphan and undocumented immigrant and her daughter Margot. Told in a dual narrative, Margot pays a surprise visit to her mother’s home, only to find her dead. Though ruled accidental, circumstances gradually appear more suspicious as Mina’s mementos uncover secrets, both long-buried and more recent.
“Fans of Amy Tan and Kristin Hannah will love Kim’s brilliant debut.”
– Booklist, (starred review)
“A suspenseful, and unflinching novel, The Last Story of Mina Lee had me glued to the page until its surprising and poignant end.”
– Amy Meyerson, bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays and The Imperfects
Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, by Layla F. Saad
In 2018 Layla Saad began an Instagram challenge called #MeAndWhiteSupremacy that became an international cultural movement. Thousands participated by taking responsibility for their actions of white supremacy and downloaded the Me and White Supremacy Workbook. At this pivotal time of examining and addressing race relations in America, the workbook has been updated and expanded to include historical and cultural contexts, moving stories and anecdotes, expanded definitions, examples, and further resources.
“A bracing, highly useful tool for any discussion of combating racism.”
“Layla Saad is one of the most important and valuable teachers we have right now on the subject of white supremacy and racial injustice.”
– New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert
Migrations, by Charlotte McConaghy
Our final October pick offers up a completely different take on self-discovery. Unmoored and haunted by losses throughout her life, Franny Stone is determined to find the world’s last flock of Arctic terns and follow them on their final migration. After convincing a fishing boat captain to take her aboard, she soon disarms the crew with her dark secrets, night terrors, and alarming behavior.
A “most anticipated book”
– Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Vulture, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Library Journal, Maclean’s, and more.
“Migrations is as beautiful and as wrenching as anything I’ve ever read. This is an extraordinary novel by a wildly talented writer.”
– Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
Spirit Run, by Noé Álvarez
The son of Mexican manual laborers in Washington state, Álvarez’s memoir chronicles lives in constant motion … of his parents’ crippling work and encounters with immigration, of his need to outrun gangs and eventual full-ride college scholarship. And finally, of his decision to leave college to participate in a Native American/First Nations movement – the Peace and Dignity Journey – a months-long run from Canada to Guatemala. Pushed to his limits, Álvarez challenged himself to reimagine North America and his place in it.
“Álvarez has established himself as an important voice for second-generation Americans who too often are made to feel as if they are outsiders in their native country. His story represents a powerful reclaiming of his right to belong.”
– The Washington Post
“This literary tour de force beautifully combines outdoor adventure with a sharp take on immigration.”
– Publishers Weekly