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Books to Watch | October 11, 2022

October 11, 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:

Nerd: Adventures in Fandom from This Universe to the Multiverse by Maya Phillips, Atria Books (JAG) 

From the moment Maya Phillips saw the opening scroll of Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, her childhood changed forever. Her formative years were spent loving not just the Star Wars saga, but superhero cartoons, anime, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, Tolkien, and Doctor Who—to name just a few. 
 
As a critic at large at The New York Times, Phillips has written extensively on theater, poetry, and the latest blockbusters—with her love of some of the most popular and nerdy fandoms informing her career. Now, she analyzes the mark these beloved intellectual properties leave on young and adult minds, and what they teach us about race, gender expression, religion, and more—especially as fandom becomes more and more mainstream. 
 
Spanning from the 90s through to today, Nerd is a collection of cultural criticism essays through the lens of fandom for everyone from the casual Marvel movie watcher to the hardcore Star Wars expanded universe connoisseur. It’s for anyone who’s ever wondered where they fit into the narrative or if they can be seen as a hero—even of their own story. 

 

Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto by Tricia Hersey, Little, Brown Spark (DJJS) 

What would it be like to live in a well-rested world? Far too many of us have claimed productivity as the cornerstone of success. Brainwashed by capitalism, we subject our bodies and minds to work at an unrealistic, damaging, and machine‑level pace –– feeding into the same engine that enslaved millions into brutal labor for its own relentless benefit. 

In Rest Is Resistance, Tricia Hersey, aka the Nap Bishop, casts an illuminating light on our troubled relationship with rest and how to imagine and dream our way to a future where rest is exalted. Our worth does not reside in how much we produce, especially not for a system that exploits and dehumanizes us. Rest, in its simplest form, becomes an act of resistance and a reclaiming of power because it asserts our most basic humanity. We are enough. The systems cannot have us. 

Rest Is Resistance is rooted in spiritual energy and centered in Black liberation, womanism, somatics, and Afrofuturism. With captivating storytelling and practical advice, all delivered in Hersey’s lyrical voice and informed by her deep experience in theology, activism, and performance art, Rest Is Resistance is a call to action, a battle cry, a field guide, and a manifesto for all of us who are sleep deprived, searching for justice, and longing to be liberated from the oppressive grip of Grind Culture. 

 

Shared Sisterhood: How to Take Collective Action for Racial and Gender Equity at Work by Tina Opie and Beth A. Livingston, Harvard Business Review Pres (GMC) 

Bias persists in organizations and society. Despite efforts that have been made in the last few decades, gender and racioethnic equity still hasn’t been achieved. What's worse, Black, Indigenous, Asian, and Latina women are being held back more than their White counterparts. 

We need to change how we strive for equity. We must move beyond individual solutions toward collective action, where people from historically power-dominant and marginalized groups work together, so that all women experience the benefits of professional growth and equity. We need Shared Sisterhood, and anyone, regardless of gender, can join in. 

Professor Tina Opie first started Shared Sisterhood as a movement to drive gender and racial equity in organizations. Since then, she and professor Beth A. Livingston have worked together to spread the word to leaders across organizations, with thousands of followers joining the cause. In this book, they explain how to use vulnerability, trust, empathy, and risk-taking to build Shared Sisterhood and break down three key parts of the process: 

  1. Dig into your own assumptions around racioethnicity, gender, and power 
  2. Bridge the divide between women of all backgrounds through authentic relationships 
  3. Advance all women across the organization and beyond 

Balancing a mix of history, research, and real-life examples—including the authors' own experiences—this book encourages everyone to join Shared Sisterhood and advance equity for all. 

 

We Take Our Cities with Us: A Memoir by Sorayya Khan, Mad Creek Books (EPP) 

Even when we leave them, our cities never leave us. After her Dutch mother’s death, Sorayya Khan confronts her grief by revisiting their relationship, her parents’ lives, and her own Pakistani-Dutch heritage in a multicultural memoir that unfolds over seven cities and three continents. We Take Our Cities with Us ushers us from Khan’s childhood independence forged at her grandparents’ home in Lahore; to her adolescence in Pakistan’s new capital, Islamabad; to Syracuse and Ithaca, New York, where Khan finds her footing as the mother of young, brown sons in post-9/11 America; to her birthplace, Vienna, where her parents die; and finally to Amsterdam and Maastricht, the cities of her mother’s conflicted youth. In Khan’s gripping telling of her immigrant experience, she shows us what it is to raise children and lose parents in worlds other than your own. Drawing on family history, geopolitics, and art in this stunning story of loss, identity, and rediscovery, Khan beautifully illuminates the complexities of our evolving global world and its most important constant: love. 

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