Spring is a time to hit the refresh button for many of us, but when you think about it, it’s not just about cleaning out our closets or taking stock of our lives. It's also about enjoying longer and warmer days—a welcome respite from shorter blustery days and long cold nights.
There is no better way to celebrate this season of renewal than to make time to feed your mind with a good book. If you don't have time to sit quietly and read, you can still become engrossed in a good story by listening to it on audio. Here are five books you should add to your reading list this spring.
Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
In 1973, recent nursing school grad Civil Townsend set out to change her Montgomery, Alabama neighborhood. She hoped to help the women of her community gain advocacy over their bodies and lives. During her first week on the job, she meets 11-year old Erica and 13-year old India, both of whom are on birth control. Find out why their encounter ends up being so pivotal to Townsend's life. Written by Dolen Perkins-Valdez and inspired by actual events, Take My Hand proves that history can indeed repeat itself if we aren't careful.
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Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow
In this debut novel by Tara M. Stringfellow, Memphis is a story about 10-year-old Joan, her mother, and her younger sister, who all fled their home to gain freedom and safety from her abusive father. The threesome has traveled to the home built by Joan's maternal grandfather, who had been the first Black detective in Memphis, who was killed days after his appointment.
No stranger to violence, Joan pours all of her emotions into becoming an artist painting the women of north Memphis, including their neighbor Miss Dawn. The book's chronology spans over 70 years, but hold on to your seats because this story weaves itself in and out of that time span, leaving some readers confused. Our suggestion is to focus on Stringfellow’s poetic language which will keep you engaged even in the midst of some of the horror that is revealed.
Constructing A Nervous System by Margo Jefferson
Pulitzer Prize-winner Margo Jefferson gave us a peek into her life with her memoir Negroland. And now, the former books and art critic for Newsweek and the New York Times is back with yet another memoir, Constructing A Nervous System which uniquely dissects the author using words, poetry, and music. As this is done, the reader is introduced to Jefferson's alter egos including characters Bing Crosby and Ike Turner. We experience her sadness, solitude, and moments of joy tucked in between in ways that only a critic could write.
A Tiny Upward Shove by Melissa Chadburn
As beautifully written as this debut novel by Melissa Chadburn is, it is also dark and brutal to get through. The story interweaves a woman's descent into addiction, sexual violence, and murder. And while all of those topics can be heavy, it will be hard not to submerge yourself in A Tiny Upward Shove as it undulates back and forth in time. Furthermore, you will better understand how girls and women can be exploited violently. Just brace yourself as there are graphic scenes that may be difficult to get through.
Lead Me Astray by Sondi Warner
Classic love stories usually follow the same path. Two people meet, two people fall in love, and two people seemingly live happily ever after. Well Lead Me Astray, by Sondi Warner, is not your typical love story. Instead, you’ll be pulled into a supernatural polyamorous liason. You will meet Mys, a psychic empath, Aurie, a hit-and-run victim now a ghost, and to round out the passions, there’s Zyr, a detective who happens to also be a werewolf. The threesome team up not only to fight a vampire but also find love.