Check out Emily's Best in Shelf for 2020!
This book is a delicious modern day Gothic mystery about an elite college whose students may or may not be willingly participating in a mind-control experiment. Fascinating characters and if you like that feeling of eeriness and existential dread in your mysteries (it's fine in fiction, not so much during election season), give this book a try!
This novel got tons of critical acclaim early this year, but I fear many missed it due to the pandemic. Hands down, it's one of the best books I read this year. Wallace, a young gay, black man from the south moves to the midwest for graduate school, a lifelong dream fulfilled. Except, when he gets there, nothing is how he hoped it would be. While yes, this is fiction, it gives a very in-depth look at microaggressions and systemic racism in graduate programs (and undergraduate programs and well, everywhere). It's heartbreaking and necessarily uncomfortable reading.
This one is just deliciously eerie. A young NYC family rents a house in remote part of Long Island for a week. Less than 48 hours into their stay, there's a knock on the door. A couple, claiming to be the owners of the house, arrive saying there's been a massive blackout in NYC (no internet, no phones) and ask the family if they can stay until the blackout is over. But are they who they say they are? Are any of them who they are?
I am absolutely 100% blown away by this book. Part memoir, part history, Morgan Jerkins travels the U.S. to research her roots in America. Born and raised in New Jersey, Jerkins realizes in adulthood how little she knows of her family history -- what do her traditions mean and where do they come from? These seemingly "simple" questions are anything but and what Jerkins creates is nothing short of astonishing. The oral history of black America as told through the Great Migration ---- the personal is brilliantly mixed here with the widely ignored history (by white history books at least) of black people in the U.S. This book needs to be taught in every school in America. It's that good.
Perfect for fans of THE OVERSTORY, GREENWOOD takes place in the not too distant future when an event known as "The Withering" has destroyed most of the world's forests. The last living forest (located in Canada) has become a sanctuary where only the very wealthy can visit. We follow Jake Greenwood, a botanist and defacto tour guide for the preserve, as she learns that her connection to the GREENWOOD FOREST may stronger than originally known.