“The Fated Sky” by Mary Robinette Kowal

Recommended to me by: Sequel to The Calculating Stars

Elma York goes to Mars. Like in The Calculating Stars, the characters in this book do not flinch from talking about racism and sexism in a system and society they can’t fight or escape.

The plot is more action-driven than the first book. Some characters […]

“So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo

Recommended to me by: Ijeoma Oluo’s twitter feed

Ijeomo Oluo is a writer, speaker, and editor at large at The Establishment. She is also a queer Black woman, the single mother of two boys. Her writing is kind, direct, and clear, with practical suggestions on how to talk about race and dismantle racism.

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“The Deepest Well” by Nadine Burke Harris, MD

Subtitle: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity

Recommended to me by: listening to Nadine Burke Harris’s TED talk

This is a skillful blend of memoir and scientific information about the effects of trauma, presented for the layperson. Nadine Burke Harris shares how as a newly licensed doctor she founded a pediatric clinic in […]

“Redemption in Indigo” by Karen Lord

Recommended to me by: reading Karen Lord’s The Best of All Possible Worlds

I bought an e-book bundle on the strength of this book being included. I tend to read e-books a little at a time while waiting for appointments, so it took me a long time to get through the book.

This is […]

“The Best of All Possible Worlds” by Karen Lord

Recommended to me by: boxofdelights

From the back cover: “Karen Lord has been a physics teacher, a diplomat, a part-time soldier, and an academic at various times and in various countries. She is now a writer and research consultant in Barbados.”

Like their author, the characters in this science-fiction novel have brown skin, although […]

“Hope in the Dark” by Rebecca Solnit

Subtitle: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities

Recommended to me by: reading Rebecca Solnit’s essay “Men Explain Things to Me”, and also Haymarket Books was giving away free copies of the ebook on the occasion of the November 2016 election results

I rarely read ebooks. I prefer to hold the book in my hands and have […]

“Ancillary Mercy” by Ann Leckie

Recommended to me by: reading Ancillary Justice, the first book in this series.

This book has more plot drama and more heavy-handed social justice messages than the first two books. I imagine that works for the target audience of young space opera fans, but it didn’t suit me as well. It felt like the […]

“Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie

I loved this book. I saw it recommended all over the place as unusual for space opera, but it took a friend loaning me his copy, and some spare time, to sit down with it. It opens with what seems to be a dead body, so I almost put it down again, but then […]

“Getting to the Heart of Interfaith” by Pastor Don Mackenzie, Rabbi Ted Falcon, and Sheikh Jamal Rahman

Subtitle: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi, and a Sheikh

Recommended to me by: David Mitchell

Somewhere along the way, I acquired the mistaken idea that “interfaith” is a watered-down, lowest-common-denominator version of religion. This book makes clear that interfaith is a vibrant, active process of building connections and understanding.

The […]

“Long Hidden” edited by Rose Fox and Daniel Jose Older

Subtitle: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History

I expected this book to contain speculative stories about marginalized people, creating worlds where they/we are not marginalized. I did not expect it to be about the experience of marginalization, and thus dripping with violence. Maybe I should have expected that, but I didn’t.

There was a […]