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Wednesday, June 12th 2024

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Juneteenth,

June 19th, 2024

Celebrated since 1866 and officially recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth National Independence Day commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

 

To honor Juneteenth this year we will donate

10% of the days sales to Equal Justice Initiative

and 10% to Repairers of the Breach!

Click here for more info about these organizations!

New This Week:

 

 

Brimming with insight and prophetic fire, this book is essential reading for policymakers, moral leaders, and everyday folk concerned about our nation.

-Eddie S. Glaude Jr., author of Begin Again

 

Like the most brilliant comedy, The Material is not only very funny but also incisive and insightful. Reading it, I understood more acutely the thin line between the plausible and the absurd. Come for the laughs, stay for the observations so deadpan and accurate that you may be blinded by your own reflection.

—Ling Ma, author of Bliss Montage and Severance

 

Espinoza has written an epic and transporting novel that follows one family but tells the story of many. This braided epic brims with heart, intelligence, and humor. It's also sexy as hell. The lives of the Vega dynasty twist, turn, and ultimately interlock in a manner that expertly mirrors the grappling bodies of the luchadores depicted here.

—Alejandro Varela, author of The Town of Babylon

There’s a cure for loneliness in each one of Puloma Ghosh’s deceptively gentle and unsettling short stories, but always with a ghastly cost. With a penetrative gaze and devastating understanding of our world, Mouth is as sexy as it is uncanny and as gorgeous as it is disgusting. If a novel is a love affair then these short stories are a haunting handshake with a stranger that you’ll be thinking about in the middle of the night, somewhat frightened and a little bit aroused. Puloma Ghosh is the new spectral fiction queen of our time.

—Melissa Lozada-Oliva, author of Dreaming of You and Candelaria

Signed Copies Available Now!

 

 

 

A high-stakes journey of secrets, redemption, and one woman's fight for her truth.

-Anna Martin, New York Times Modern Love Podcast

 

 

I am obsessed with her books and desperately want her to keep writing forever.

- Jodi Picoult

Like Little Women on an ayahuasca trip, Tehrangeles is delightfully twisted and heartfelt. If you set a TikTok mukbang at a Crazy Rich Persian wedding, you’d still have a long way to go to capture the extravagant eccentricities of the Milani sisters. Khakpour is a satirist extraordinaire who astutely captures the zeitgeist of a culture and a place where ‘reality’ is just something you livestream and truth is a billion times stranger than fiction. The antics and agonies of the Milani family had me googling pet psychics and turning the pages gleefully—at turns surprised and horrified, but always charmed and laughing so hard.

—Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians & Lies and Weddings

 

A memorable, masterful history of the first 50 years of an indelible American art form. . . Questlove's instincts as a superfan and artist take this history beyond the hype to something very special.

-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

 

 

Robin Sloan expands the Penumbraverse to new reaches of time and space in a rollicking far-future adventure.

Signed Copies Available Now!

 

Nicola Yoon can write about any subject beautifully, but what she's done in One of Our Kind is as thrilling as it is lusciously written. I can't remember the last time a book kept me turning the pages so quickly, or kept me up so late. One of Our Kind is for readers who want to be taken to the edge of expectation, and solidly dropped into the middle of a new nightmare. I still have goosebumps.

—Ashley C. Ford, author of Somebody’s Daughter

Signed Copies Available Now!

Now in Paperback!

Featured Books for June!

June Fiction Book of the Month:

The Future Was Color

by Patrick Nathan

 

Fascinating and brilliant, The Future Was Color is a finely wrought portrait of an artist in search of himself. Attempting to escape his past as Gyorgy, the queer Jew from 1950s war-torn Budapest, George lands first in New York city and then L.A., trying to navigate his way thru 1950s McCarthy era, closeted Hollywood seeking a life saturated in art, literature, and the movies. But while George contemplates his future, yearning for deeper meaning in his life’s work and personal connections, the country is haunted by the horrors of WWII, the dawn of the atomic age, and the brutal end of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, and is in the mood for escapist Hollywood fantasies, so he must settle for a job as a hack writer of horror movies about creatures from outer space. Pulsing with an undercurrent of eroticism and an anguished search for meaning in the 20th century, the story takes us from the seismic shifts in the New York art world to Hollywood’s important place in the American cultural zeitgeist, from an alcohol-and-dexedrine soaked Halloween party in L.A. to a mind-blowing, LSD-fueled sunrise over the Las Vegas desert. Patrick Nathan is a prodigiously talented author; The Future Was Color is smart and meditative, cinematically told, and filled with gorgeous prose and beautifully crafted sentences that are as enjoyable to read as they are thought-provoking. Ed loved and highly recommends!

June Nonfiction Book of the Month:

The Other Olympians:

Fascism, Queerness, and the Making of Modern Sports

by Michael Waters

 

The story of the early trans athletes and Olympic bureaucrats who lit the flame for today’s culture wars.

 

In December 1935, Zdeněk Koubek, one of the most famous sprinters in European women’s sports, declared he was now living as a man. Around the same time, the celebrated British field athlete Mark Weston, also assigned female at birth, announced that he, too, was a man. Periodicals and radio programs across the world carried the news; both became global celebrities. A few decades later, they were all but forgotten. And in the wake of their transitions, what could have been a push toward equality became instead, through a confluence of bureaucracy, war, and sheer happenstance, the exact opposite: the now all-too-familiar panic around trans, intersex, and gender nonconforming athletes.

 

In The Other Olympians, Michael Waters uncovers, for the first time, the gripping true stories of Koubek, Weston, and other pioneering trans and intersex athletes from their era. With dogged research and cinematic flair, Waters also tracks how International Olympic Committee members ignored Nazi Germany’s atrocities in order to pull off the Berlin Games, a partnership that ultimately influenced the IOC’s nearly century-long obsession with surveilling and cataloging gender.

 

Immersive and revelatory, The Other Olympians is a groundbreaking, hidden-in-the-archives marvel, an inspiring call for equality, and an essential contribution toward understanding the contemporary culture wars over gender in sports.

Staff Recommendations!

White Poverty

by Reverend Dr.

William J. Barber II

 

Labor without living wages is another form of slavery.

- Rev. Dr. William J Barber II

 

MYTH #1: PALE SKIN IS A SHARED INTEREST

MYTH #2: ONLY BLACK FOLKS WANT CHANGE IN AMERICA

MYTH #3: POVERTY IS ONLY A BLACK ISSUE

MYTH #4: WE CAN’T OVERCOME DIVISION

MYTH #5: IF BLACK PEOPLE WIN, WHITE PEOPLE LOSE

 

Ed LOVED and highly, enthusiastically, and passionately recommends White Poverty by Reverend Dr. William J Barber II, who asserts that poverty is the moral issue of our time and who seeks to build a “moral fusion movement”, a multi-racial/multi-ethnic coalition of justice loving Americans that will fight back against the interlocking injustices, false narratives and old myths that subvert the promise of democracy and exacerbate the problem of poverty in America. Barber calls for “poverty abolitionists” to help achieve a Third Reconstruction in America to demand a new federal minimum wage, living wages, and access for all to quality healthcare and education. With a preacher’s urgency and intensity, White Poverty is a manifesto/call-to-action which systematically demolishes the myths that help perpetuate poverty and lays out a roadmap for going forward; Barber’s assertions/ arguments/ analyses/ conclusions are cogent, persuasive, passionate, data-driven, empowering, and hopeful. I can’t think of a more timely or important book to read now, especially as we head into the 2024 elections. Ed loved and highly recommends!

Better Living Through Birding

by Christian Cooper

Now in Paperback!

 

With his candid reflections and refreshing commentary on being a black, gay birdwatcher, comic book nerd, AND ‘earth pagan’ (the book is SO much more than the title suggests!), Better Living Through Birding is Christian Cooper’s wide-ranging memoir and captivating personal story, all leading up to his now-infamous run-in in Central Park: Cooper is the black man who was thrust into the spotlight in 2020 after a video he shared while birding in Central Park went viral, when a white woman called the police claiming, “there’s an African American man threatening my life” (he was just asking her to leash her dog). Cooper is a born storyteller, keeping my rapt attention for 300 pages with his poignant reminiscences about the precariousness of his life being a gay, black nerd growing up in the suburbs of New York, where his worlds often collided, about his time working at Marvel Comics (where he introduced Marvel’s first gay superhero—and the shit hit the fan!), about traveling the world, and about his obsession with birding, letting us in on the special camaraderie of birdwatchers and the joys of birding. Cooper is quite funny, and his enthusiasm for all the different facets of his life comes across in his breezy, anecdotal, lively, and exuberant personal stories. Ed loved and highly recommends!

The Remains

of the Day

by Kazuo Ishiguro

 

Imagine coming to the end of your life and realizing everything you devoted it to was a lie. Imagine being betrayed by your heroes and ideals. This is where we find our protagonist Stevens in Kazuo Ishiguro’s quiet novel of disillusionment and loss, questioning what gives a person purpose and dignity. This book terrified me and made me ache in the best way. A modern classic for a reason. Caroline recommends!

The Parrot

and the Igloo

by David Lipsky

Now in Paperback!

 

This ambitious and surprisingly accessible story of climate change is not only a powerful, impeccably researched text on one of the most urgent topics of our time, it is also an invaluable exploration of our current state of climate inaction and science denialism. From the early inventors whose creations inadvertently kick-started climate change, to the not at all recent discovery that human activity is causing these changes, and finally to the virulent anti-science ideologies in America, The Parrot and the Igloo will captivate and enrage you. This is a deeply serious and grim topic, but Lipsky knows how to keep his subject matter entertaining for his readers, despite the sobering material. Shane loves and highly recommends!

This Week's Bestsellers:

Upcoming Book Clubs!

Introducing our newest reading group: The Horror Book Club - reader beware, and enter at your own risk! Join us for the first meeting of the Horror Book Club on Tuesday, July 23rd at 7:30pm!

To help support their fight for racial and economic justice in America, we at Unabridged have chosen to support the Equal Justice Initiative. Each month we will be making a donation and ask that you join us in supporting their work.

 

In light of recent book banning and censorship attempts in America, in 2024 we at Unabridged have chosen to support the Gerber/Hart Library & Archives in their work to collect, preserve, and make accessible the diverse history and culture of LGBTQ+ communities in Chicago and the Midwest. Each month we will be making a donation and we ask that you join us in supporting their work.



In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights are at risk across the United States. In 2024, we at Unabridged have chosen to support 2 local organizations in the fight to protect a person’s right to choose. Each month we will be making a donation to The Chicago Abortion Fund and Midwest Access Coalition and ask that you join us in supporting their work.

In 2024 we’re committing to continue this support, and adding another monthly contribution to help address the needs of new migrant arrivals in Chicago by supporting Project AMOR of the Instituto del Progreso Latino! We hope you will consider joining us to support the important work these organizations are doing for our community and across the country!

Recent Awards!

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 59th Annual Nebula Awards®. These awards are given to the writers of the most outstanding speculative fiction works released in 2023, as voted on by Full, Associate, and Senior SFWA members

Congratulations to The Saint of Bright Doors by Vajra Chandrasekera, winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel!

And congratulations to the winners of

the 2024 James Beard Media Awards!

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