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THE AMAZON EDITORS’ Best books of August

THE AMAZON EDITORS Best books of August - THE AMAZON EDITORS' Best books of August

THE AMAZON EDITORS’ Best books of August

Another Brooklyn: A Novel

61Jv IcTxKL. SX320 BO1204203200  - THE AMAZON EDITORS' Best books of August

By KasaC
Before hip hop and rap defined inner city life, jazz was the best delineator. But the four girls coming of age in late ’70’s Brooklyn aren’t familiar with jazz, and the top 40 really didn’t get them. They forge a protective union that doesn’t protect them at all, and August (or Auggie as she calls herself later in life) manages to escape through academia. The other 3 also escape, but with consequences. This is a book that busts genres – is it an extended memory poem? An impressionistic novella of coming of age? Woodson is an award winning author, with many honors for her work as a YA author, but this, billed as an “adult” novel, could fit into that category as well as both a cautionary and comforting tale of haunting power. Lovely.

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Behold the Dreamers: A Novel

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By Tina Says
Imbolo Mbue’s novel nearly broke my heart at times. Behold the Dreamers is a wonderful novel about one immigrant family’s experience.

Jende Jonga is a Cammeronian immigrant seeking a better life in America. Through a friend he secures a job as a chauffeur for a wealthy man, Clark Edwards, who has made his fortune at Lehman Brothers.

The Edwards seem to have it all: a beautiful family, large homes, and few worries. Except that it is 2007 and the financial crisis is about to happen.

Jende’s wife, Neni, also begins working for Mrs. Edwards, and the Jongas are making progress in America, finally able to plan for their future.

But as they hope to raise their family in America, Jende’s citizenship is causing them problems, and he continues to receive mail sending him to court, and the threat of being sent back to Cameroon hangs over his head.

These two families struggle in different ways, but Behold the Dreamers certainly proves that money cannot buy happiness and that despite wealth everyone has their own challenges. It is also a realistic portrayal of the immigrant experience and the way in which our system does not work for everyone.

Mbue’s novel is beautiful and sad and hopeful all at the same time. It is a must read.

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I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This: A Memoir

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Format: Hardcover
I’ve read a lot of memoirs, and I cannot remember that I enjoyed and that provoked as much discussion and thought a s this one. Beautiful prose, fascinating stories, I am recommending this book to everyone, but especially mothers and daughters.

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Truly Madly Guilty

neimenovano - THE AMAZON EDITORS' Best books of August

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book. I laughed and cried. Loved the character development of each person.

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Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency

neimenovano 1 - THE AMAZON EDITORS' Best books of August

Format: Hardcover
Yes, I cowrote a couple of books with the author, but this one is all his and it’s a conspicuous gigantic achievement, because it’s not only the story of a massively influential institution — the most successful talent agency in Hollywood and thus the country — it’s also the story of our national fantasy lives for the past fifty years or so and why we got the movies and music and TV shows that we did. It tells and shows how the machinations and maneuverings of an entertainment and corporate elite serve up manufactured dreams for our take-it or leave-it delectation or dismay. Exhaustively reported and researched, “Powerhouse” is an oral history and thus lets the participants in the pageant tell the story, and their stories, in their own words, colorfully and disquietingly authoritative. Like a great movie, the book’s success is largely in the casting, and its cast has been impeccably put together, their remembrances brilliantly orchestrated and assembled. I couldn’t put it down, literally, and any reviewer who puts it down couldn’t be very interested in our cultural life and times. Great stuff.

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Harmony

neimenovano 2 - THE AMAZON EDITORS' Best books of August

Format: Hardcover
When you find a writer who’s as good at dialogue as Parkhurst, it’s hard to stop reading. I finished this book in two sittings, and I wanted to start it over as soon as I was done. She’s that good. And this is not an easy story to tell, and it deals with subject matter that I don’t have personal experience with, but a lot of people will: a child on the autism spectrum. Each chapter is told from a different viewpoint, and the chapters told from the mother’s viewpoint are emotionally honest and raw and really well done; the chapters from the 11-year-old “normal” daughter are amazing too. Buy this and treat yourself to a great read, or buy it for a friend who might find solace in another mother’s experience trying to do the best for her autistic child.

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To the Bright Edge of the World: A Novel

41qpsissbfL. SX321 BO1204203200  - THE AMAZON EDITORS' Best books of August

Format: Hardcover
Thank you again, Eowyn. I also had the privilege of being the first to review this authoress’s first novel, The Snow Child. I am her father-in-law. To the Bright Edge of the World is memorable and magnificent. With The Snow Child, Eowyn was one of three finalists for a Pulitzer prize in fiction writing. Though she did not win with that book, she will with this one.

In order to write this book, Eowyn had to do a massive amount of research. She began by learning to speak in a way that was compatible with the expressions of those who lived a hundred and thirty years ago. Next, she established the setting of this book to reflect the situation of humanity at that time in history. For example, the camera was just coming into common usage, and Indian wars were going on. Having placed herself in 1885, she then had to be exquisitely careful not to commit any anachronisms. For example, she had to learn about the workings of primitive cameras and the terminology that was used to describe them. We are treated with a run down on the mechanisms of the 1885 camera, including the chemicals used for development of photographs and the conditions under which these had to be taken. Another example is that she had to be careful not to place any soldier into a scheme of army organization that did not exist. After that, she had to write convincing letters written in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, again in the proper language and without anachronisms. One slip, and the entire edifice of this spectacular book would have become suspect.

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