Category Archives: Shannon Suggests

Relic: Alan Dean Foster at His Height

If the amount equal to enough Alan Dean Foster is ever reached, this novel could well float to the top of that worthy list. Relic moves smoothly from post-apocalypse, to technical exploration, to Adam and Eve, with the strains of galactic diplomacy and space opera through out. Relic is fun to read. It never settles into well-worn grooves, but knows firmly what story it is telling.

Ruslan’s experience as the Last Man in the World, the relic of the title, is nicely subverted by the spinning planets of galactic civilizations and the likelihood that, given enough people and enough human colony worlds, even events with long odds come to pass.

The writing is brisk, and the worlds well developed. Ruslan and the other characters drive the action by their motivations and choices. A very enjoyable and thought-provoking novel.

Antiracism: An Introduction by Alex Zamalin

This remarkable primer gives depth and breadth to a simple word with a complex meaning. People who mean well, but don’t really know what they mean will find context, grounding, and pointers for future action–and this is a book all about the importance of informed action. People with more robust knowledge will find a succinct overview, and a clear framework for engaging the racist structures of American society.

Chocolate Cities

An amazingly evocative way of understanding African American culture across time, and across the country. By drawing on biographical sketches, Hunter and Robinson evoke the network of places, the Chocolate Cities, that black people have created. The authors carefully balance the regional distinctions (many Souths in USA, a concept worth exploring on its own) against the cultural and historic similarities shared by these places.

The people we meet, from Afeni Shakur to W.E.B. Du Bois, from Ida B. Wells Keegan Michael Key, and from Marsha P. Johnson to James Baldwin, are–before all else–people. Every life happens somewhere, often several somewheres, and with other people, and it is these connections to place and lives which allow the authors to illuminate the importance of Chocolate Cities by demonstrating that their existence is the flip side and outgrowth of the human lives they contain.

But you should see this amazing cover.9780520292833

Children of Blood and Bone: Book Club’s Magic

Up your book club’s game with a challenging selection of magic, Africa, and women’s power.

They killed my mother.They took our magic.They tried to bury us.Now we rise.

This young adult novel is sure to find a passionate audience in any reader who loves a compelling story and new voices. Author Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. After graduating Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she studied West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil. She is the author of Children of Blood and Bone.