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June 8, 2011 / schulerbooks

Summer Reading Suggestion (and a chance to Meet the Author!)

I was just talking to a coworker about the fact that there are SO MANY newer releases that I want to handsell, I’m having a hard time not showering customers with book after book and overwhelming them with spazzy, too-fast book-geek banter. (On top of my current new release obsessions — Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Go the F**k to Sleep by — a ton of the books I was crazy about last year are now out in paperback, including Emma Donoghue’s incomparable Room, Justin Cronin’s The Passage and Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death

What’s an avid book seller to do?!

Well here’s another fantastic book to add to the mix, along with the chance to meet the author next week at our Lansing store! I was entranced by Silver Sparrow by award-winning Atlanta author Tayari Jones – so much so that we requested an event, and with a couple of other bookstores, got a Michigan leg added to her tour. 🙂  You can meet her at 7 p.m. next Thursday, June 16 in Lansing.

This book hooked me from its first sentence: “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist.” Set in 1980s Atlanta, award-winning author Tayari Jones’ third novel tells the story of two families that share one father – the public Witherspoon family with wife Laverne and daughter Bunny Chaurisse, the product of an accidental teenage pregnancy, and the private family born of passion with Gwendolyn and daughter Dana Lynn Yarboro.

The fascinating tale of two families inextricably linked yet permanently divided unfolds first through the eyes of daughter Dana, who is painfully aware of being a secret, and then through the viewpoint of Bunny Chaurisse, who is blissfully unaware of the shaky foundations on which her entire existence balances. Jones skillfully weaves a number of themes throughout the girls’ narration, including the definition of family and identity, the nature of sisterhood and the status of race in the South. Beautifully told and fully realized, I highly recommend it.

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