Welcome to this week’s Three to Read, the three books we have hand selected for your reading lists over the next seven days. As the days grow shorter and we begin the descent into winter, we have just the books to brighten your day!
This week, our picks will have you all settled down for after the Halloween rush. For our Hot Pick, we have the lyrical novel, Swing, by Kwame Alexander. Our Coffee Shop Read for this week is the new beloved children’s book Who Will I Be by Abby Huntsman. And our Dark Horse this time is the unique artwork and history of Troma in The Art of Troma.
Our Hot Pick
Swing by Kwame Alexander, with Mary Rand Hess
Image via Amazon
New York Times bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) tell a lyrical story about hope, courage, and love that will speak to anyone who’s struggled to find their voice. And the surprise ending shines a spotlight on the issues related to our current social divide, challenging perspectives and inspiring everyone to make their voice heard.
When America is not so beautiful, or right, or just, it can be hard to know what to do. Best friends Walt and Noah decide to use their voices to grow more good in the world, but first they’ve got to find cool.
Walt is convinced junior year is their year, and he has a plan to help them woo the girls of their dreams and become amazing athletes. Never mind that he and Noah failed to make the high school baseball team yet again, and Noah’s love interest since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. Noah soon finds himself navigating the worlds of jazz, batting cages, the strange advice of Walt’s Dairy Queen-employed cousin, as well as Walt’s “Hug Life” mentality. Status quo seems inevitable until Noah stumbles on a stash of old love letters. Each page contains the words he’s always wanted to say to Sam, and he begins secretly creating artwork using the lines that speak his heart. But when his private artwork becomes public, Noah has a decision to make: continue his life in the dugout and possibly lose the girl forever, or take a swing and finally speak out?
At the same time, numerous American flags are being left around town. While some think it’s a harmless prank and others see it as a form of peaceful protest, Noah can’t shake the feeling something bigger is happening to his community. Especially after he witnesses events that hint divides and prejudices run deeper than he realized.
As the personal and social tensions increase around them, Noah and Walt must decide what is really true when it comes to love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.
Described as “lively, moving, and heartfelt” by Kirkus Reviews, Kwame Alexander’s new novel, written with Mary Rand Hess is thrilling, emotional and incredibly relevant to the times we live in. The authors do a beautiful job of developing this endearing friendship between main characters Noah and Walt and the world we are shown is not very different than the one we live in at all. Throughout the entire story, you’ll find yourself unable to stop rooting for the pair and their convictions for a world where all voices are heard.
Our Coffee Shop Read
The Best of Poetry in Motion edited by Alice Quinn
It would have pleased Walt Whitman, that poet of urban motion, to envision his words coursing by electrified rail through a diverse, global city of 8 million souls. Since 1992, with the presentation of an excerpt from Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” the Poetry in Motion program―co-sponsored by MTA Arts & Design and the Poetry Society of America―has brought more than 200 poems, in whole or in part, before the eyes of millions of subway and bus riders, offering a moment of timelessness in the busy day. The poems are by an eclectic mix of writers, from Sappho and Sylvia Plath to W. H. Auden, Rita Dove, Seamus Heaney, Nikki Giovanni, Patrick Phillips, and Aracelis Girmay. Each of the 100 poems gathered here has, in sixteen lines or less, the power to enliven the quotidian, provide nourishment for the soul, and enchant even the youngest among us.
This is an absolutely gorgeous collection of some of the best poetry and art from New York’s subway system. If you’re familiar with New York, you’ll know that though the subway can be the bane of everyone’s existence, the absolute nicest thing about it is the poetry that has been hand selected to improve and color your commute. We also did a fascinating Facebook Live interview with Amy Hausmann, senior curator of the New York City Transit Museum, so watch to find out more about the history of this project and the book itself!
Our Dark Horse
Image via Dynamite Entertainment
A celebration of the longest-lasting independent film company that STILL hasn’t made a hit!
For over FORTY YEARS, Troma Studios has blazed its own bloody, slime-covered trail, making movies their own damn way! From The Toxic Avenger to The Class Of Nuke ‘Em High to Poultrygeist to Tromeo And Juliet, Lloyd Kaufman never compromised, waving his independent freak-flag freely, and helped jumpstart the careers of luminaries such as James Gunn, Trey Parker, Eli Roth, Oliver Stone and countless others! How, you might ask, did a couple of rebels with almost no cash manage to make a library of a THOUSAND films? You’ll have to pick up this incredible collection to find out, featuring never-before-seen film stills, rare posters, candid interviews, and buckets and buckets and BUCKETS of fake blood…
Troma Studios has been around for decades, and it’s about time that they finally released this full compendium. Featuring years of horrifying artwork, macabre storytelling, and overall history, The Art of Troma features so many highlights of this infamous movie studio that is hard on where to start. But as you flip through each page, you’ll find yourself struck with some sort of nostalgia, as the older films remain hallmarks and cult classics nowadays.