New Releases

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024


Discovering your next great read just got easier with our weekly selection of four new releases.

Finding the right book at the right time can transform your life or your organization. We help you discover your next great read by showcasing four recently released titles each week.

The books are chosen by Porchlight's Managing Director, Sally Haldorson, and the marketing team: Dylan Schleicher, Gabbi Cisneros, and Jasmine Gonzalez. (Book descriptions are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted.)

This week, our choices are:

Dylan’s pick: Hip-Hop Is History by Questlove with Ben Greenman, AUWA

When hip-hop first emerged in the 1970s, it wasn’t expected to become the cultural force it is today. But for a young Black kid growing up in a musical family in Philadelphia, it was everything. He stayed up late to hear the newest songs on the radio. He saved his money to buy vinyl as soon as it landed. He even started to try to make his own songs. That kid was Questlove, and decades later, he is a six-time Grammy Award–winning musician, an Academy Award–winning filmmaker, a New York Times bestselling author, a producer, an entrepreneur, a cofounder of one of hip-hop’s defining acts (the Roots), and the genre’s unofficial in-house historian.

In this landmark book, Hip-Hop Is History, Questlove skillfully traces the creative and cultural forces that made and shaped hip-hop, highlighting both the forgotten but influential gems and the undeniable chart-topping hits—and weaves it all together with the stories no one else knows. It is at once an intimate, sharply observed story of a cultural revolution and a sweeping, grand theory of the evolution of the great artistic movement of our time. And Questlove, of course, approaches it with not only the encyclopedic fluency and passion of an obsessive fan but also the expertise and originality of an innovative participant.

Hip-hop is history, and also his history.


Gabbi’s pick: Out of the Sierra: A Story of Rarámuri Resistance by Victoria Blanco, Coffee House Press

The Rarámuri people of Chihuahua, Mexico, make up one of the largest Indigenous tribes of North America. Renowned for maintaining their language and cultural traditions in the face of colonization, they have weathered numerous hardships—climate disaster, poverty, cultural erasure—that have only worsened during the twenty-first century.

Based on more than a decade of oral history and participatory field work, Out of the Sierra paints a vivid and vital portrait of Rarámuri displacement. When drought leaves the Gutiérrez family with nothing to eat, they are faced with the choice many Rarámuris must make: remain and hope for rain and aid, or leave their sacred homeland behind. Luis, Martina, and their children choose to journey from their home in the Sierra Madre mountains toward a new and uncertain future in a government-funded Indigenous settlement.

Victoria Blanco considers Indigenous identity with tenderness and intelligence, demanding recognition and justice for the Rarámuri people as they resist assimilation and uphold traditional knowledge in the face of broken systems. In a narrative of unprecedented access and intimacy, Out of the Sierra offers a groundbreaking testimony to human resilience and the power of community.


Jasmine’s pick: Ready Reader One: The Stories We Tell With, About, and Around Videogames edited by Megan Amber Condis and Mike Sell, LSU Press

Ready Reader One explores the many ways literature depicts, engages with, and imagines videogames and gamers. The diverse group of authors included in this collection take an expansive view of “videogame literature,” with essays that consider written works ranging from life writing to speculative fiction to videogame guides created for the internet.

In an age of ever-increasing gamification, in which gaming literacy is important to understanding popular culture and technological power, Ready Reader One examines the role of videogame literature in explaining not only how we play videogames, but how we read and write about them.


Sally’s pick: This Thread of Gold: A Celebration of Black Womanhood by Catherine Joy White, Tiny Reparations Books

This immersive and empowering read blends history, reporting, and personal stories to weave a gorgeous tapestry from the resilience of Black women. As White writes, “Black women are not victims. Black women are alchemists, spinning gold from a life of hardship. This book is dedicated solely to Black women surviving, thriving, and glowing.”

White’s book features revolutionary women from across time and space, liberating them from reductive stereotypes like “the strong Black woman,” and allowing space for emotional nuance, individual motivation, and richness of expression. White offers fresh insights into the work of Beyoncé and Nina Simone, Shirley Chisholm and Meghan Markle, as well as the work of those who resisted in secret, in kitchens, churches, and through trusted networks. By weaving these women together, White reveals new ways to understand Black womanhood and she is sure to inspire new generations of readers.

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