Will's Staff Picks
“'Animal' follows Joan as she recounts how she has endured mistreatment and cruelties from the men around her, a trauma from her childhood that still haunts her and her search for Alice, a search that takes her from New York City to Los Angeles. What comes next is an explosive tale exploring female rage that is truly original. Lisa Taddeo’s writing is equal parts raw, intimate, gripping, visceral and beautiful.”
"In this eye-opening, horrifying, and hilarious book, Amber Ruffin and her sister, Lacey Lamar, share stories from Lacey's life where she has encountered racism in Nebraska. From racist donuts to being mistaken for Whoopi Goldberg, they share everything from the everyday examples of racism to the downright scary, while making you laugh out loud the whole time. And if you aren't familiar with Amber Ruffin from NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers or Peacock's The Amber Ruffin Show, this book will leave you obsessed."
"In 'What Happened to You?', Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce D Perry discuss the effects of trauma on the human brain, especially the young brain, and how our brain and minds are resilient, how these traumas affect each of us later in life, and how we heal from them. In a balanced back and forth between very personal stories from Oprah's life, anecdotes of helping patients deal with trauma from his career, and analysis of the psychology of the human mind and biology of our brain, Oprah and Dr. Perry lay out an informative, scientific and emotional book that focuses not on 'what is wrong with you?', but instead on 'what happened to you?' and how we are equipped as humans to move past those traumatic events. I highly recommend listening to this novel as an audio book and you can purchase that through Libro.FM and still support the Newtown Bookshop (The link to Libro.FM's website is on our home page). Both Oprah and Dr. Perry are incredibly engaging narrators."
“’Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl’ represents a different kind of coming of age story. Set in 1993, Paul Polydoris is a gay man who studies queer theory, loves partying, makes zines, and has a very active dating life. But his secret, even from his closest friends, is that Paul is a shapeshifter. He is torn between his life as Paul and his lesbian, Riot Grrrl alter ego, Polly. He constantly desires to explore both lives. This book explores sexuality and gender identity in an explicitly queer way that isn’t seen often in books, tv shows or movies and provides one of the best descriptions of how it feels when queer people find their identity and community. While not for the unprepared, I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to understand what it feels like to be queer in America.”
"Let’s Talk About Hard Things by Anna Sale, host of the Death, Sex and Money Podcast, is an in depth look at how to talk about difficult topics with those closest to you and also complete strangers. Sale takes an empathetic and thoughtful approach to some of life’s most personal, difficult, yet universal conversations. The conversations involving grief, relationships, sex, money, family, and identity. Using interviews with everyday people infused into a deeply personal memoir, Sale shows you step by step how to talk about the hardest topics, and how to do it in a productive and meaningful way."
"In A Promised Land, Former President Barack Obama takes a detailed look at the events leading up to his election to the highest office in the land and the events of his first term. He critically examines his actions, his relationships and the big political issues of his first term. One of the most refreshing parts is the honest and open way he discusses his marriage to Michelle and how his political career affected her. A little long, but a must read."
"Hosts of the true crime comedy podcast, My Favorite Murder, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark reflect on their biggest mistakes, deep seated fears and anxieties, and traumatic events in their pasts. Open and honest, the two podcast hosts empower the reader to self-advocate, ignore societal pressures and norms that could put you in danger, and take care of your mental health in a way that promotes empathy for those around you and the boldness to be frank when discussing difficult topics."
"In The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide, actress, Jenna Fischer, takes the reader step by step through her early career. While her advice is meant for aspiring actors, any member of the arts and entertainment industries will find her passion, talent, ambition, and optimism a refreshing approach to joining a career in the arts. She opens up about the good, the bad, and most importantly getting cast as Pam on the US Version of The Office."
"For anyone who is interested in learning more about LGBTQ history, Queer X Design seems like it is only a coffee table book, but it gives an in-depth visual timeline of 50 years of imagery that has helped define the LGBTQ community."