Our Staff Picks for June!
Kayla Rae Whitaker’s debut novel is summarized as, “A funny, heartbreaking novel of friendship, art, and trauma, The Animators is about the secrets we keep and the burdens we shed on the road to adulthood.” You’ll fall in love with the main characters, Mel and Sharon, as they trek from Brooklyn to Florida to Kentucky and back to Brooklyn as they soak in their first major success as animators, work through personal losses, and strive to continue their art. Support this Kentucky author–you won’t regret it!
I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well by James Allen Hall won The Cleveland State Poetry Center’s 2016 Essay Collection Competition. His essays take on topics like mental illness, drug addiction, and coming to terms with one’s queerness. Despite, and possibly in part because of, a complicated family, Hall traverses the path to self-acceptance with incredible wit and honesty.
Susan Bordo’s The Destruction of Hillary Clinton examines the 2016 presidential campaign and works to answer the question: how did one of the most qualified politicians in history become so vilified? Bordo offers some very interesting insight, plus she teaches at the University of Kentucky.
If you’re looking for literature that accurately captures the working class grit of Appalachia, David Joy’s newest novel The Weight of the World is one you should turn to. Joy writes with honesty about the world around him, and he doesn’t gloss over issues that plague the region, but he also writes with integrity and respect for his characters and their stories. His novel is captures the struggles an Afghanistan war veteran encounters as he returns home, but his trauma, as well as the traumas of those closest to him, make it difficult to create any sense of normalcy.