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From novels to guides, these books have our full attention.

Library week has us in a reading frenzy. From learning about bookstores around the city to must-read books from the Texas banned list, literature is all we can think about right now. Though our team bears different interests, one of the biggest things we share is our love for great books.   

It’s interesting to see the type of stories the team is diving into recently. Stories such as twins who took different paths, the story of Afghan women on the brink of survival, or a special memoir of a legendary hip-hop producer. These incredible reads, based on a wide array of topics, keep us wanting more. While writing takes up most of our day, seven intriguing novels caught our attention recently. 

Scroll ahead and check out what books are on display at Houstonia’s library. 


The Vanishing Half: A Novel by Brit Bennett

$13

Image: Amazon

"I'll be honest, I haven't picked up a book in about a year, however this book has allowed me to tap back into something I used to love. Without giving too much away, the story is about twin sisters, who decided to take different paths in life. I heard great things about this book before picking it up, and now I see why." Nandi Howard, Editor-in-Chief

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Wild by Cheryl Strayed

$18

"This book is a memoir of a journey the author took at 22 after reeling from the death of her mother, a broken marriage, and a developing addiction. With nothing else to lose, she took a wild impulse with no experience, an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert in California all the way up to Washington state. With a personal experience of losing my father and the emotional toll it took, this book felt like a healing salve after such a devastating loss in my life. The author poignantly captures the terror and backbreaking trek of one woman faced with all odds on a journey that's tough for even a trained experienced hiker. But forging against all odds, the journey strengthened and ultimately healed her." Amy Kinkead, Art Director

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A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

$15

"One of my favorite books to own and to gift is Anna Quindlen’s A Short Guide to a Happy Life. The book is a quick read, but the message of making sure to really live each day and avoid simply existing will stick with you forever. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the backyard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy.” Everyone should read this." Stephanie Bartels, Digital Editor

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Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe by Katherine Jentleson

$50

Image: Artbook

"Because of my background in art history, I've always enjoyed collecting and reading art books. They're the perfect way to experience the work of an artist and learn about their practices. This book on Nellie Mae Rowe is so beautifully illustrated and filled with great essays on both her formal art practice and her legacy." Amarie Gipson, Arts & Culture Editor

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Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, the Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm by Dan Charnas

$23

Image: Amazon

"I’m a big fan of music so it’s no question that J. Dilla's new book is a must-read on my list!" Shelby Stewart, Senior Staff Writer

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The Other Side of the Sky: A Memoir by Farah Ahmedi

$15

Image: Amazon

"While clearing out my closet of childhood things, I came across one of the best books I've ever read or had to read. As part of my English GT course in high school, we had to read The Other Side of the Sky for summer. What I thought was going to be a boring novel ended up being a fascinating story I could not put down. Author Farah Ahmidi vividly depicts her life as an Afghan woman during the war and her survival and hardship coming to America. Currently re-reading this incredible book." Danielle Wright, Style Writer

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid

$22

Image: Amazon

"I hopped on the book-tok trend and started reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo; and so far, I’m hooked! It’s eloquently written and follows a female magazine writer–cough cough–who gets the opportunity to interview a Hollywood icon and write her biography. Aside from Evelyn’s seven husbands, the book follows women of color and the ruthless ambition it takes to “make it.” A great poolside read!" Geneva Diaz, Editorial Assistant

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Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara

$14

Image: Amazon

"The book contains fifteen short stories, each centering on different characters in either New York or rural North Carolina. One of my favorite stories is about a young girl who courageously stands up for her brother while also discovering her passion for running. Simple scenes, but the stories are so relatable and poignant that it feels like watching a play. Bambara is an author who I admire deeply and whose voice is another example of why I love Black fiction." Ile-Ife Okantah, Intern

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Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin by Sybrina Fulton

$14

Image: Amazon

"Written by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the mother, and father of the late Trayvon Martin, the book is not to rehash the events of his death. It gives insight into the hardship for the parents with the loss of their child and how ultimately it led to black communities across the nation standing in solidarity behind them. It allows us to feel those emotions with them and witness how they were able to turn pain and tribulations into small victories to create change. I believe we can all remember the impact his death had on us and the movement it ultimately created. It brought certain issues to the mainstream and they could no longer be swept under the rug. Definitely a tear-jerker, but it's a great book and sparks needed conversations." Jessica Lodge, Intern

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