Writing Bloc’s Best Reads September Edition. Welcome to the fourth post in our ongoing best of series, in which a few of our Writing Bloc contributors share their favorite read of the month. For the month of August, we hear from Michael, Jacqui, and Robert.
Michael’s Recommendation – The Sellout: A Novel by Paul Beatty
“‘I don’t care if you’re black, white, brown, yellow, red, green, or purple.’ We’ve all said it. Posited as proof of our nonprejudicial ways, but if you painted any one of us purple or green, we’d be mad as hell.”
This novel is one of the newest novels I can say changed me. I remember these books growing up, and I’ve had a few claim the “changed me” title within the tail end of my twenties, but it’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit back after closing the back cover of a novel and say honestly to myself while tapping the center of my chest: “Something’s different now.” And I’m still processing what, exactly, has been changed by The Sellout, but that’s the beauty of it: There’s no way I can process it all in one reading. This is definitely a book to have on the shelf and read annually.
But don’t take that as to mean this book is unapproachable. It’s truly the opposite. This story is incredibly approachable, engaging, entertaining, hilarious, and one of the most wonderful pieces of satire I’ve read in my life. Written from the perspective of Me, a black man on trail at the Supreme Court for owning a slave, the novel rushes, ducks, and weaves in between nearly every bit of racism experienced in the past few centuries with incredible wit, insight, intelligence, and flow. Paul Beatty is a master of language. He chucks it around with a curve I’ve never read anywhere before. This novel is equal parts biting satire, concussive commentary, and historically accurate mayhem. I could not recommend this book more.
Jacqui’s Recommendation – Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel
My recommendation this month is for Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel. I’ve been powering through a lot of heavy reading material lately, and this smart, timely romantic comedy was a breath of fresh air.
I devoured this quirky, delightful story that followed socialite Maxine Simmons from Palm Springs, CA to Scottsdale, AZ. Mr. and Mrs. American Pie was satisfying from the first page to the last and, in several instances, I found myself awkwardly laughing out loud while reading it in public places.
I was hooked into the self-discovery journey of Maxine, a car-crash-that-you-can’t-look-away-from of a character. I’m beyond excited to see this gem adapted to the screen, as it has recently been optioned by Lara Dern and Platform One Media for a TV-series adaptation.
Jayme and I are thrilled that this book publishes today so everyone has a chance to see why we are excited to bring it to television! Everywhere books are sold! #MrAndMrsAmericanPie… https://t.co/GceavvTQxt
— Laura Dern (@LauraDern) August 7, 2018
*Disclaimer – Juliet McDaniel and I are both Inkshares authors.
Robert’s Recommendation – Space is Cool as Fuck by Kate Howells
I found out about this book randomly through social media when an author posted about the advanced review copy they’d received. I instantly knew I had to have it and was surprised that (at the time) it was a little hard to track down. Since then it seems to have become more readily available, so you’re all in luck.
If you grew up with a love of space, you’re going to want this book. Gloriously irrelevant yet chocked full of amazing facts and artwork, it is a joy to read and looks stunning in its oversized hardcover format.
Taking all the best bits of science and fusing it all together, Space is Cool as Fuck will be finding a permanent home on living room tables around the world. With a brief history of the whole universe, you’ll be left scratching your head and gazing up in absolute wonder.
Everything you thought you could never understand about the universe is explained in plain-old filthy English. Giving you a little taste of the glorious reality you inhabit by providing an introduction to some of the incredible stuff out there.
I mean, look at this thing!
Pick it up from Amazon (or your favorite book retailer).