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Books to Watch | August 2, 2022

August 02, 2022

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Looking for your next great read? We're here to help! Each week, our marketing team—Dylan Schleicher (DJJS), Gabbi Cisneros (GMC), Emily Porter (EPP), and Jasmine Gonzalez (JAG)—highlights four newly released books we are most excited about. 

Book descriptions are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted.

This week, our choices are:

How to Navigate Life: The New Science of Finding Your Way in School, Career, and Beyond by Belle Liang, PhD, Timothy Klein, LCSW, St. Martin’s Press (JAG) 

Two award-winning educators at the forefront of purpose learning tackle what students, families, and educators can do now to cut through stress and find a path to what truly interests them. 

Today’s college-bound kids are stressed, anxious, and navigating demands in their lives unimaginable to a previous generation. They’re performance machines, hitting the benchmarks they’re “supposed” to in order to reach the next tier of a relentless ladder. Then, their mental and physical exhaustion carries over right into first jobs. What have traditionally been considered the best years of life have become the beaten-down years of life. 
 
Liang and Klein devote their careers both to counseling individual students and to cutting through the daily pressures to show a better way, a framework, and set of questions to find kids’ “true north”: what really turns them on in life, and how to harness the core qualities that reveal this, allowing them to choose a course of study, a college, and a career. 
 
Even the gentlest parents and teachers tend to play into pervasive societal pressure for students to PERFORM. And when we take the foot off the gas, we beg the kids to just figure out what their PASSION is. Neither is a recipe for mental or physical health, or, ironically, for performance or passion. How to Navigate Life shows that successful human beings instead tap into their PURPOSE—the why behind the what and how. Best of all, purpose is a completely translatable quality to every aspect of life, from first jobs to last jobs and everything in between. 

 

Sentimental Economy: A Novel by Edoardo Nesi, Antony Shugaar (Translated by), Other Press (DJJS) 

Attempting to make sense of the incredible upheaval of 2020—from the devastating impact of COVID-19 to the sudden loss of his father—Edoardo Nesi considers the changing global economy and its effect on our lives. He shares the stories of Alberto Magelli, a small textile entrepreneur; Livia Firth, a prominent advocate for sustainability; Elisa Martelli, a young Sangiovese winemaker; Enrico Giovannini, a leading economist and statistician; Rino Pratesi, a proud butcher from the heart of Tuscany; and more. 
 
From the overworked to the unemployed, we’re all grappling with difficult questions about our current disorienting world: Will we ever feel healthy again, and what will it take to regain “normality?” What does progress mean today? Have science and technology let us down? What will the increased prevalence of remote working mean for our cities, and for our lifestyles generally? Deftly weaving together the personal and the economic, Nesi takes us on a fascinating journey to understanding. 

 

Separation Anxiety by Janice Lee, CLASH BOOKS (EPP) 

A complex and entangled text that explores inherited trauma, the presence of ghosts, interspecies communication, the dream world, grief, and human/animal separation. Weaving wisdom from her shamanic practice and the interstices of language, and in the difficult moments anticipating the deaths of her beloved dog companions, Separation Anxiety marks the first collection of poetry from acclaimed prose writer Janice Lee, and is a meditation on inhabitation and existence beyond the human. 

 

Walking Gentry Home: A Memoir of My Foremothers in Verse by Alora Young, Hogarth (GMC) 

A true American epic in verse, Walking Gentry Home tells the story of Alora Young’s ancestors, from the unnamed women the historical record has forgotten but Young brings to life through imagination; to Amy, the first of her foremothers to arrive in Tennessee, buried in an unmarked grave unlike the white man who enslaved her and fathered her child; through Young's great-grandmother Gentry, unhappily married at fourteen; to her own mother, the teenage beauty queen rejected by her white neighbors; down to Young in the present day as she leaves childhood behind and becomes a young woman.  
  
The lives of these women come together to form a narrative that speaks of generational curses, coming of age, homes and small towns, fleeting loves and lasting consequences, and the brutal and ever-present legacy of slavery in the American South. Each poem is a story-in-verse and together they form an arresting saga. Both heart-wrenching and inspiring, this unique family memoir finds joy and pride where others might only see despair.  
  
Informed by archival research, the will and testament of a slaver, formal interviews, family lore, and even a DNA test, Walking Gentry Home gives voice to those most often muted: Black girls and women in America.  

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