Looking for something new to read? Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!
Against Technoableism is a manifesto exploding what we think we know about disability, and arguing that disabled people are the real experts when it comes to technology and disability. When bioethicist and professor Ashley Shew became a self-described “hard-of-hearing chemobrained amputee with Crohn’s disease and tinnitus,” there was no returning to “normal.” Suddenly well-meaning people called her an “inspiration” while grocery shopping, or viewed her as a needy recipient of technological wizardry. Most disabled people don’t want what the abled assume they want—nor are they generally asked. Why do abled people frame disability as an individual problem that calls for technological solutions, rather than a social one? In a warm, feisty, opinionated voice and vibrant prose, Shew shows how we can create better narratives and more accessible futures by drawing from the insights of the cross-disability community. To learn more, you might want to read this NYT review or this excerpt published in Wired.
When British poet Amy Key was growing up, she envisioned a life shaped by love–and Joni Mitchell’s album Blue was her inspiration. ” Blue became part of my language of intimacy,” she writes, recalling the dozens of times she played the record as a teen, “an intimacy of disclosure, vulnerability, unadorned feeling that I thought I’d eventually share with a romantic other.” As the years ticked by, she held on to this very specific idea of romance like a bottle of wine saved for a special occasion. But what happens when the romance we are all told will give life meaning never presents itself??Now single in her forties, Key explores in Arrangements in Blue : Notes on Loving and Living Alone the sweeping scales of romantic feeling as she has encountered them, using the album Blue as an expressive anchor: from the low notes of loss and unfulfilled desire–punctuated by sharp, discordant feelings of jealousy and regret–to the deep harmony of friendship, and the crescendos of sexual attraction and self-realization. You can read reviews in New City Lit and Chicago Review of Books.
Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa (and translated by by Eric Ozawa) is about a young woman who loses everything but finds herself–a tale of new beginnings, romantic and family relationships, and the comfort that can be found in books. Twenty-five-year-old Takako has enjoyed a relatively easy existence–until the day her boyfriend Hideaki, the man she expected to wed, casually announces he’s been cheating on her and is marrying the other woman. Suddenly, Takako’s life is in freefall. She loses her job, her friends, and her acquaintances, and spirals into a deep depression. In the depths of her despair, she receives a call from her distant uncle Satoru. To learn more, there’s an NPR review.
The automobile was one of the most miraculous inventions of the 20th century. It promised freedom, style, and utility. But sometimes, rather than improving our lives, technology just makes everything worse. Over the past century, cars have filled the air with toxic pollutants and fueled climate change. Cars have stolen public space and made our cities uglier, dirtier, less useful, and more unequal. Cars have caused tens of millions of deaths and injuries. They have wasted our time and our money. In Carmageddon, journalist Daniel Knowles outlines the rise of the automobile and the costs we all bear as a result. Weaving together history, economics, and reportage, he traces the forces and decisions that normalized cars and cemented our reliance on them. Knowles takes readers around the world to show the ways car use has impacted people’s lives–from Nairobi, where few people own a car but the city is still cloaked in smog, to Houston, where the Katy Freeway has a mind-boggling 26 lanes and there are 30 parking spaces for every resident, enough land to fit Paris ten times. With these negatives, Knowles shows that there are better ways to live, looking at Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Tokyo, and New York City. To learn more, you can read this Washington Post review or this Climate Pod recording with the author.
The Ramirez women of Staten Island orbit around absence. When thirteen‑year‑old middle child Ruthy disappeared after track practice without a trace, it left the family scarred and scrambling. One night, twelve years later, oldest sister Jessica spots a woman on her TV screen in Catfight, a raunchy reality show. She rushes to tell her younger sister, Nina: This woman’s hair is dyed red, and she calls herself Ruby, but the beauty mark under her left eye is instantly recognizable. Could it be Ruthy, after all this time? What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez is a vivid family portrait, in all its shattered reality, exploring the familial bonds between women and cycles of generational violence, colonialism, race, and silence, replete with snark, resentment, tenderness, and, of course, love. To learn more, you can read this review from Latinx In Publishing or this article from Shondaland about the book and the author’s journey to get it published.