Our Children’s Buyer Cappy grew up on Bainbridge before heading to South Carolina to receive a BA and Master’s Degree in History at the College of Charleston. Her historical research centered on women’s political history. While in Charleston she worked as an educator at a children’s museum and as a research assistant for a digital museum. Her reading interests run wide and deep but her favorites are in fantasy, speculative fiction, and feminist non-fiction. When she’s in the store her favorite thing to do is help readers young and old find their next favorite book. If she’s not in the store she’s probably taking her dog Mu on a long walk.
I enjoyed the eclectic feel of this new Didion collection. From Gamblers Anonymous to contemplations on the decisions of Hemingway’s fourth wife, to the crushing but ultimately important lesson of rejection from your first choice in colleges, this collection again proves Didion’s writing is timeless. To me the stand-out essay was “Everywoman.com” and Didion’s defense of Martha Stewart as a feminist icon. The last lines gave me goosebumps. ~ Cappy
Written by a Gullah-Geechee (descendant of enslaved Africans along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia) author, this middle reader novel is a beautiful family adventure that blends the challenges for Black South Carolinians in the 1960s with the magic found in folklore. Ten-year-old old Jezebel has an intense love for her family and respect for all living creatures, which leads to new light being shed on elements that are traditionally cast as villainous. This book deals with the strife between Black Americans and the police in an age appropriate, and ultimately empowering and redemptive way. There are also some very fun spooky moments. A lovely coming of age story that I recommend to adults as well as children. Ages 8-12 ~ Cappy
Recently I’ve been loving short stories and essay collections, I’ve also been meaning to read something by Zora Neale Hurston so it felt like fate when this new in paperback collection of her short stories arrived in the store! Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick brings together the complete list of short stories by this iconic Harlem Renaissance writer and it was a joy to read. Hurston centers the Black experience, exploring family, community, hopes and dreams as well as nature. Equally humorous and tragic Hurston’s beautifully illuminated and satirical writing is a testament to American culture and life. This collection also includes an introduction which gives helpful and interesting historical context to these stories. Plus the cover art is gorgeous! ~ Cappy
Even as a diehard Le Guin fan, I was stunned by how much I loved this work of speculative fiction. As the main character visits fifteen alternate universes in order to entertain herself during an airport layover, Le Guin’s ability to breeze through an alternate “plane” or universe provides the magic of Changing Planes. The reader is left with more than enough to be satisfied by the story, but in awe of the ease with which Le Guin constructs an entire society in so few pages, just to move on. While Le Guin never shies away from the disturbing or difficult, on the whole this book is on the lighter side, investigating humanity with her characteristic deep thought, warmth, and subtle humor.
This book is laugh-until-you-hurt-and-have-to-put-the-book-down-for-a-break funny. Brosh digs into both her childhood and adult life, finding everyday moments you never knew could be so ludicrously wonderful. Her vigorous and joyful spirit, alongside her signature illustrations, make Solutions and Other Problems an absolute ray of sunshine. You’ll wish it never ends!
Martha Jones is a giant in the field of African American history and this book is her best yet. Beautiful storytelling, which incorporates Jones’s own family history, makes this the perfect book for any armchair historian. Jones brings to light the stories of dozens of black women who are often ignored in history books, proving that these women have been at the forefront in the fight for equality for centuries. Her powerful research will change the way we think about the history of women’s suffrage and voting rights in this country.
This novel exemplifies that tricky balance between humor and horror. Set in the 1980s in Charleston, South Carolina, Hendrix creatively re-imagines his own mother’s life: this time with a handsome vampire who moves to town and turns her book club’s world upside down and inside out. There is friendship! Gore! 1980s fashion! You’ll laugh! You’ll cringe! You’ll never look at trash bags the same way again! Most impressive, however, is Hendrix’s ability to weave complex issues of racism, failing marriages, and obsession over socioeconomic status seamlessly into this wacky masterpiece.
Octavia Butler (a Seattleite!) should be required reading, and this book is a prime example as to why. This novel follows teenage Lauren, a visionary leader dedicated to seeking freedom and safety despite the fear, violence, and complacency of those around her. You will be in awe of her at every turn. Butler transcends the science fiction genre with this beautiful page turner that explores religion, family, politics, leadership, and what it means to be a member of a community. ~ Cappy