A Little Devil In America: In Praise Of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib

The Blurb On The Back:

A kaleidoscopic history of Black performance, from Josephine Baker to the Midwest punk scene, through sport, sit-coms, stand-up and more.

In A Little Devil In America, music critic and poet Hanif Abdurraqib weaves a unique and intimate history of Black performance, in which culture, politics and lived experience collide.  Taking readers from mid-century Paris to the moon, via dive bars, Broadway, and a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio, Abdurraqib illuminates the poignancy and power of Black performance, whether the stage is vast – as in Beyoncé’s Super Bowl show – or small, as for a schoolyard fistfight.  Each of these moments, Abdurraqib reveals, has layers of resonance in Black and white culture, the politics of American empire, and his own personal history of grief and love.

Filled with sharp insight, humour and heart, and infused with the lyricism and rhythm of the musicians the author loves, A Little Devil In America is a celebration of Black performance as it has unfolded and endured to shape individual lives and entire cultures. 

You can order A LITTLE DEVIL IN AMERICA: IN PRAISE OF BLACK PERFORMANCE by Hanif Abdurraqib from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin

The Blurb On The Back:

Dazzling with imagination, brimming with passion and crackling with wit, The City We Became is a modern masterpiece of culture, identity, magic and myth in contemporary New York City.

Every great city has a soul.  Some are ancient as myths; others are as new and destructive as children.  New York?  She’s got six – and all six will be called to arms in the greatest battle the city has ever fought.

You can order THE CITY WE BECAME by N. K. Jemisin from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Kill The Black One First by Michael Fuller

The Blurb On The Back:

Suddenly, a single cry rose from inside the crowd.

“Kill the black one first.”

There was a roar.  Guttural, like laughter, like fury, the fury of the mob.

A story about race, identity, belonging and displacement, Kill The Black One First is the memoir from Michael Fuller – Britain’s first ever black Chief Constable, whose life and career is not only a stark representation of race relations in the UK, but also a unique morality tale of how humanity deals with life’s injustices.

Michael Fuller was born to Windrush-generation Jamaican immigrants in 1959, and experienced a meteoric career in policing, from the beat to the Brixton inferno, through cutting-edge detective work, to the frontline of drug-related crime and violence on London’s most volatile estates.  He took a pivotal role in the formation of Operation Trident, which tackled gun crime and gang warfare in the Afro-Caribbean community, and was later appointed as Chief Constable of Kent Police.

Kill The Black One First is an unflinching account of a life in policing during a tumultuous period of race relations throughout the UK, and a tale of how the human spirit can endure cultural barriers, prejudice and race hate.

You can order KILL THE BLACK ONE FIRST by Michael Fuller from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Splinters Of Sunshine by Patrice Lawrence

The Blurb On The Back:

Help.

I pick up the envelope … As I rip down the sides, there’s loads of paper bursting out; stuck on flowers, dandelions, roses …

Spey recently received two surprises.  The first: his ex-prisoner dad turning up unannounced, and the second: a mysterious package containing torn-up paper flowers.

Spey instantly recognises it as a collage he made with his old friend Dee, and decides she must be in danger, but there are no clues to her whereabouts.

There’s only one person he knows who can help to track her down …

On a road trip like no other, will Spey and his dad find Dee, before it’s too late?

SPLINTERS OF SUNSHINE was released in the United Kingdom on 19th August 2021.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order SPLINTERS OF SUNSHINE by Patrice Lawrence from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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What Is African American Literature? by Margo N. Crawford

The Blurb On The Back:

After Kenneth W. Warren’s What Was African American Literature?, Margo N. Crawford delivers What Is African American Literature?

The idea of African American literature may be much more than literature written by authors who identify as “Black”.  What Is African American Literature? focuses on feeling as form in order to show that African American literature is an archive of feelings, a tradition of the tension between uncontainable black affect and rigid historical structure.  Margo N. Crawford argues that textual production of affect (such as blush, vibration, shiver, twitch, and wink) reveals that African American literature keeps reimagining a black collective nervous system.

Crawford foregrounds the “idea” of African American literature and uncovers the “black feeling world” co-created by writers and readers.  Rejecting the notion that there are no formal lines separating African American literature and a broader American literary tradition, Crawford contends that the distinguishing feature of African American literature is a “moodscape” that is as stable as electricity.  Presenting a fresh perspective on the affective atmosphere of African American literature, this compelling text frames central questions around the “idea” of African American literature, shows the limits of historicism in explaining the mood of African American literature and addresses textual production in the creation of the African American literary tradition.

Part of the acclaimed Wiley Blackwell Manifestos series, What is African American Literature? is a significant addition to scholarship in the field.  Professors and students of American literature, African American literature, and Black Studies will find this book an invaluable source of fresh perspectives and new insights on America’s black literature tradition. 

You can order WHAT IS AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE? by Margo N. Crawford from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

The Blurb On The Back:

Four unlikely friends.

A shocking new murder.

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with who she has a long history.  He needs her help.  His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer.  And if they find the diamonds too?  Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians.  Can the Thursday Murder Club find the killer, before the killer finds them? 

You can order THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE by Richard Osman from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Twice As Hard by Opeyemi Sofoluke and Raphael Sofoluke

The Blurb On The Back:

Twice As Hard is an exploration of Black Identity in the working world and a blueprint for success.  You will learn what obstacles limit opportunity for Black professional progress, how to understand and overcome racial stereotypes, be productive, find purpose, and ultimately thrive in business.

Authors Opeyemi and Raphael Sofoluke explore their own personal brand of ethics, the challenges they have faced in their careers, and the learnings they took from them, before inviting other successful business people in a broad range of industries to share their experiences and the practical measures they take to realise their goals, too.

Featuring tips on entrepreneurship, as well as insights on the corporate world, this book highlights the positive advancements made in recent years, and equips individuals and businesses with the tools they need to continue to progress.

Twice As Hard aims to empower and inspire Black professionals, get everyone thinking and talking about their actions, and continue the fight for a truly inclusive, understanding society.

TWICE AS HARD was released in the United Kingdom on 3rd June 2021.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order TWICE AS HARD by Opeyemi Sofoluke and Raphael Sofoluke from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Ashley Woodfolk, Angie Thomas and Nicola Yoon

The Blurb On The Back:

Six of the biggest stars of YA bring all the electricity of love to a collection of charming, hilarious and heartbreaking tales that shine the brightest light through the dark

When a heatwave plunges New York City into darkness, sparks fly for thirteen teenagers caught up in the blackout.

A first meeting.

Long-time friends.

Bitter exes.

And maybe the beginning of something new.

When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths.  Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight. 

BLACKOUT was released in the United Kingdom on 24th June 2021.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order BLACKOUT by Dhonielle Clayton, Nic Stone, Tiffany D. Jackson, Ashley Woodfolk, Angie Thomas and Nichola Yoon from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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You Will Be Okay by Julie Stokes and Laurène Boglio

The Blurb On The Back:

”Someone in your life has died, and they are not coming back.”  What a HUGE thing to say.

Grief can feel like a boat ride on a stormy ocean, but what if you had a lighthouse to guide you safely to shore?  You Will Be Okay will help you navigate through the hard emotions you feel when someone you know has died, with practical activities, stories from others who have been through it and tips on how to talk about your grief.  There is no right or wrong way to grieve, you just need to find your way.

You will be okay.

YOU WILL BE OKAY was released in the United Kingdom on 19th August 2021.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order YOU WILL BE OKAY by Julie Stokes and Laurène Boglio from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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