[personal profile] yolandekleinn
There's no real unifying theme to this recs post. None of these are in corresponding genres, they're just things I've read recently and thought were truly excellent. I've got a couple more recommendations to wrangle (I've been reading more as the weather gets colder, because it's tough to write during my commute when it's rainy and chilly and unpleasant out), but for now I have these to offer.

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Hamilton's Battalion by Courtney Milan, Alyssa Cole, Rose Lerner

On October 14, 1781, Alexander Hamilton led a daring assault on Yorktown's defenses and won a decisive victory in America's fight for independence. Decades later, when Eliza Hamilton collected his soldiers' stories, she discovered that while the war was won at Yorktown, the battle for love took place on many fronts...

Why you should read it: The three novellas in this collection were wonderful, and incredibly distinct. I appreciated the realistic intersection with events that interest any Hamilton musical fan, while exploring a fascinating variety of romances and characters. The concept uniting the stories is tenuous at best, but the romances all stand alone beautifully without the framework imposed on them. I think you can buy all three stories individually at this point as well. Whatever format you prefer, read for a damn good time.

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Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

The rich and privileged have fled the city, barricaded it behind roadblocks, and left it to crumble. The inner city has had to rediscover old ways--farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and the tragic mystery surrounding her mother and grandmother. She must bargain with gods, and give birth to new legends.

Why you should read it: I know this book is a classic, but I just read it for the first time this year. I loved the main character, I loved the bleak but vivid world building, and I absolutely adored the writing. The horror elements got under my skin in a way that was downright visceral, and I spent every page tensely wondering how it could end in anything but heartbreak. Gorgeous and horrifying and beautifully crafted.

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A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota by Sun Yung Shin

Essays that challenge, discomfort, disorient, galvanize, and inspire all of us to evolve now, for our shared future.

Why you should read it: This is an incredible collection of writings, and that summary is perfectly on the nose. The book was a tough read, because the truths it talks about aren't pleasant ones. All of the essays are good. Some of them absolutely flattened me with their honesty. I'm glad as hell I picked this one up, and I recommend it with all my heart.

 
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