Top of Your Stack – Recommendations from Book Passage 3.24.22 – San Francisco Bay Times

I Was Better Last Night (nonfiction/memoir – hardbound) by Harvey Fierstein

This poignant and hilarious memoir bars the inner life of this eccentric nonconforming child from his roots in 1952 Brooklyn, to the experimental worlds of Andy Warhol and the Theater of the Ridiculous, to the gay rights movements of the seventies and the tumultuous AIDS crisis of the eighties, through decades of addiction, despair, and ultimate triumph. Mr. Fierstein’s candid recollections provide a rich window into downtown New York City life, gay culture, and the evolution of theater (of which he has been a defining figure), as well as a moving account of his family’s journey of acceptance.

glory (fiction – hardbound) by NoViolet Bulawayo

From the award-winning author of the Booker-prize finalist We Need New Namesa blockbuster of a novel that chronicles the fall of an oppressive regime, and the chaotic, kinetic potential for real liberation that rises in its wake, glory centers around the unexpected fall of “Old Horse,” a long-serving leader of a fictional country, and the drama that follows for a rumbustious nation of animals on the path to true liberation. Inspired by the unexpected fall by coup, in November 2017, of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president of nearly four decades, Bulawayo’s bold, vividly imagined novel shows a country imploding, narrated by a chorus of animal voices who unveil the ruthlessness and cold strategy required to uphold the illusion of absolute power, and the imagination and bullet-proof optimism to overthrow it completely.

Who is Maud Dixon? (fiction/mystery – paperback) by Alexandra Andrews

Florence Darrow has always felt she was destined for greatness, but after a disastrous affair with her married boss, she starts to doubt herself. All that changes when she sets off for Morocco with her new boss de ella, the celebrated but reclusive author Maud Dixon. Amidst the colorful streets of Marrakesh and the wind-swept beaches of the coast, Florence begins to feel she’s leading the sort of interesting, cosmopolitan life she deserves. But when she wakes up in the hospital after a terrible car accident, with no memory of the previous night—and no sign of Maud—a dangerous idea begins to take form. This is as fun to read as it is suspenseful, with seemingly endless twists and turns and two quirky, yet believable, completely drawn lead characters. If you thought you couldn’t enjoy a mystery, this is the book that will teach you otherwise.

Coming Events

Sunday, April 3 @ 4 pm (in-store/Corte Madera – free) Greg Sarris, author of Becoming Story: A Journey Among Seasons, Places, Trees and Ancestors
For the first time in more than twenty-five years, Greg Sarris—whose novels are esteemed alongside those of Louise Erdrich and Stephen Graham Jones—presents a book about his own life. In Becoming Story he asks: What does it mean to be truly connected to the place you call home—to walk where innumerable generations of your ancestors have walked? And what does it mean when you dedicate your life to making that connection even deeper? Moving between his childhood and the present day, Sarris creates a kaleidoscopic narrative about the forces that shaped his early years and his eventual work as a tribal leader.

Monday, April 4 @ 5 pm (live-online ticketed – $28) Elizabeth Alexander, author of Trayvon Generation
From a Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times bestselling author and poet comes a galvanizing meditation on the power of art and culture to illuminate America’s unresolved problem with race. In the midst of civil unrest in the summer of 2020 and following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, Elizabeth Alexander—one of the great literary voices of our time—turned a mother’s eye to her sons’ and students’ generation and wrote a celebrated and moving reflection on the challenges facing young Black America.

Thursday, April 7 @ 5:30 pm (live-online – free) Raquel Salas Rivera (him/his) author of Before Island is Volcano
From the National Book Award-nominated, Lambda Award-winning poet: a powerful, inventive new collection that looks to the future of Puerto Rico with love, rage, beauty, and hope. Raquel Salas Rivera’s star has risen swiftly in the poetry world, and this, her 6th book, promises to cement her status as one of the most important poets working today. In sharp, crystalline verses, written in both Spanish and English versions, Before Island is Volcano (Before Island Is Volcano) daringly imagines a decolonial Puerto Rico.

https://www.bookpassage.com/

Published March 24, 2022

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