RaveThe Los Angeles Times...a fiercely salient reckoning of what it means, has meant and continues to mean to be black in America ... it is a great book — beautifully written, vigorous in its horror and proxy for historical truth.
Between the World and MeTa-Nehisi Coates
PositiveThe Los Angeles Times...at once a magnification and a distillation of our existence as black people in a country we were not meant to survive. It is a straight tribute to our strength, endurance and grace ... Between the World and Me is the story of two black men bound together by blood – in this case, Coates and his son. Which, on its own, is fine. What is less fine is the near-complete absence of black women throughout the book.
All the Single LadiesRebecca Traister
RaveThe Los Angeles TimesSome of what's covered in the book is already well-trod ground — financial solvency is central to independence; marriage is still considered the end goal for many; white male conservatives still think single women are ruining everything — but the exemplary framework of cultural inclusion, the personal candor and palpable desire to lift up each and every one of us, is what makes All the Single Ladies a singularly triumphant work of women presented in beautiful formation.
PositiveThe Los Angeles TimesIn Negroland, Jefferson is simultaneously looking in and looking out at her blackness, elusive in her terse, evocative reconnaissance, leaving us yearning to know more.
They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson Baltimore and a New Era in America's Racial Justice MovementWesley Lowery
MixedThe Los Angeles TimesLowery zigzags from Ferguson, to Cleveland, to Charleston and New York City in an effort to create a backdrop that captures the riots, the grief, the tear gas and the emotional upheaval in places around the country that became markers of modern-day lynchings in near lockstep ... At its best, They Can’t Kill Us All reads like the (often messy) anatomy of a national uprising in the wake of extraordinary black pain ... While stunning in the blunt gravity of facts regarding the killings of innocent black boys and men by police, the book only adds texture and nuance to this narrative if you haven’t been paying attention ... He seems as lost in the mayhem of black death, police violence and the legacy of virulent racism as both the people on the ground and those of us reading through these pages. Maybe that’s the point. It’s about the emotional mayhem.
The Blood of Emmett TillTimothy B. Tyson
PositiveThe Los Angeles TimesIn painstaking, often difficult to read detail, Tyson reaches into the chest cavity of America and pulls out its bloody heart with this acute retelling of Till’s barbaric murder. Even if his own Southern white do-gooder bias occasionally peeks out from behind the otherwise elegant and sophisticated prose, Tyson effectively recasts the killing of an innocent black boy, re-investigates the subsequent trial that took place during the heat of a Mississippi summer when each day the county sheriff would greet the black press on his way into court with a cheerful 'good morning' and a racial epithet ... Tyson successfully connects the dots, and without actually saying so, draws a resolute if symbolic line between Emmett Till and Tamir Rice, and the white supremacist foreground of this country.
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) BodyRoxane Gay
RaveThe Los Angeles Times...a bracingly vivid account of how intellect, emotion and physicality speak to each other and work in tireless tandem to not just survive unspeakable hurt, but to create a life worth living and celebrating. The critical beauty of Hunger is that Gay is so much smarter than everyone who has judged her based on her appearance, which she manages to convey without airs or ever actually stating this as fact. Her candor and self-awareness are necessary and reliable guides for the poignantly afflicted journey ... Undestroyed, unruly, unfettered, Ms. Gay, live your life. We are all better for having you do so in the same ferociously honest fashion that you have written this book.