Dec 20, 2021

Best Books of the Year 2021, Booksellers Edition

An discussion with Lisa Swayze, Michelle Malonzo, Alena Jones, and Kasia Bartoszynska

New Books Network 2021

A conversation with booksellers from three of the most dynamic, exciting, and community-oriented independent bookstores in the country. Lisa Swayze of Buffalo Street Books (Ithaca, NY), Michelle Malonzo of Changing Hands Bookstore (Tempe, AZ), and Alena Jones of Seminary Co-op Bookstores (Chicago, IL) join me and my special co-host, professor Kasia Bartoszynska for a roundup of their favorite books of the year, and a fascinating look into indie bookstores during the pandemic.

Books Recommended in this episode:

Lisa Swayze recommends:

  • I will Die in a Foreign Land - Kalani Pickhart
  • Fight Night - Miriam Toews
  • My Monticello - Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
  • The Prophets - Robert Jones Jr.
  • The Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois - Honoree Fanon Jeffers
  • Once There Were Wolves - Charlotte McConaghy
  • Open Water - Caleb Anelson
  • Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer - Figueroa
  • The Sentence - Louise Erdrich
  • Matrix - Lauren Groff
  • What's Mine and Yours - Naima Coster
  • Mystery & Romanticals:
  • Arsenic and Adobo - Mia Manansala
  • Payback's a Witch - Lana Harper
  • One Last Stop - Casey McQuiston
  • A Peculiar Combination - Ashley Weaver
  • NonFiction:
  • Everything I Have is Yours: a Memoir - Eleanor Henderson
  • How the Word is Passed - Clint Smith
  • Dear Senthuran - Awkweke Emezi
  • Empire of Pain - Patrick Radden Keefe
  • On Juneteenth - Annette Gordon-Reed
  • Kids, Middles, YA:
  • This Poison Heart - Kalynn Bayron (YA)
  • Firekeeper's Daughter - Angeline Boulley (YA)
  • Maya and the Robot - Eve Ewing (Mid)
  • Room for Everyone - Khan/Lopez - picture
  • Dumpling Day - Sriram, Antunano, Jackson - picture
  • Negative Cat - Sophie Blackall – picture

Michelle Malonzo recommends:

  • 808s and Otherworlds, Medlin, Sean Avery
  • Ghosts, Alderton, Dolly
  • Nightbitch, Yoder, Rachel
  • Matrix, Groff, Lauren
  • Dear Memory, Chang, Victoria
  • How the Word Is Passed, Smith, Clint
  • Little Devil in America, Abdurraquib, Hanif
  • Tastes Like War, Cho, Grace
  • My Heart Is a Chainsaw, Jones, Stephen Graham
  • Crying in H Mart, Zauner, Michelle
  • Dog Flowers, Geller, Danielle
  • Aviary, McNamer, Deirdre
  • Harlem Shuffle, Whitehead, Colson
  • Borealis, Sabatini Sloan, Aisha
  • Madder, Wilkinson, Marco
  • Yolk, Choi, Mary HK
  • Dreaming of You, Lozada-Oliva, Melissa
  • Eat the Mouth That Feeds You, Fragoza, Carribean
  • Gordo, Cortez, Jaime
  • Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed, Fennell, Saraciea

Alena recommends:

Byline: Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers.

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Chris Holmes

Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers.

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