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AALBC July 21st Newsletter's Book Recommendations and More - 7/21/2020


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ADJ Trouble the Saints AALBC 590x260

The dangerous magic of The Night Circus meets the powerful historical exploration of The Underground Railroad in Alaya Dawn Johnson’s timely and unsettling novel, set against the darkly glamorous backdrop of New York City, where an assassin falls in love and tries to fight her fate at the dawn of World War II. Read More about Trouble the Saints ▶


A Night In Babylon by Michael West

This “Woke” novel, A Night In Babylon, seems ripped from the current headlines. It opens with pow-pow-pow action worthy of any TV cop show, with a pair of officers pursuing a suspect through a rainstorm. West, the mysterious book’s author, knows the language of rage, revenge, and retaliation as the reader is dropped into a red-hot chase after police receive anonymous tip of an armed man connected to the a terrorist group, Stay Ready Soldiers (SRS).

In the City of Angels, there are only good guys and bad guys. The cops, from the opening scene, could come from Central Casting: Higgins the rookie and Cooper the veteran, who joined the force to make the difference but “now at war with the people they swore to protect.” Despite their original intentions, they were defending a system which safeguard the needs and wants of the rich and powerful over the folks at the margins. More ▶


Preaching to the Chickens by Jabari Asim, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Critically acclaimed author Jabari Asim and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis give readers a fascinating glimpse into the boyhood of Civil Rights leader John Lewis.

John wants to be a preacher when he grows up a leader whose words stir hearts to change, minds to think, and bodies to take action. But why wait? When John is put in charge of the family farm’s flock of chickens, he discovers that they make a wonderful congregation! So he preaches to his flock, and they listen, content under his watchful care, riveted by the rhythm of his voice.


Blacktop Wasteland by S. A. Cosby

Beauregard "Bug" Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hard-working dad. Bug knows there’s no future in the man he used to be: known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast.

He thought he’d left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can’t-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver’s seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear.


Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.


Geese Are Never Swans by Eva Clark and Created by Kobe Bryant

Gus’s life is about one thing—swimming. He is determined to make it to the Olympics and he knows that the only coach in town who can get him there is Coach Marks. So it seems like a simple plan: convince Coach Marks to train him. Everything from there on in is just hard work and Gus has never been afraid of hard work.

But there are a few complications. For one thing, Coach Marks was Danny’s coach. Danny, Gus’s older brother, committed suicide after failing to make the national swimming team, a big step on the way to the Olympics. And for another thing, Gus and Danny didn’t exactly get along when Danny was alive. Gus never liked living in Danny’s shadow, and that shadow has grown even longer since Danny’s death.


Learn which books AALBC visitors are reading now, and share the ones you are reading. They say word of mouth is the best way to discover a good book. Spread the joy and share the books you’re enjoying today with us today.


Dear Reader,

On July 17th we lost two civil rights icons, C.T. Vivian and Rep. John Lewis. AALBC mourns their loss, for they both represented the best of us. They were men of principle who fought tirelessly to improve our country.

Please consider supporting this newsletter by volunteering to pay for your subscription. If you have already paid for an annual subscription, thank you on behalf of AALBC and the writers (and booksellers) whose work you are helping to support and celebrate.

Peace and Love,
Troy Johnson
Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com


This Newsletter is Sponsored by Tor Books

Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.
★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – July 21, 2020 - Issue #297

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