Summer is approaching and for many it can mean extra motivation or free time to immerse yourself in a novel. But where to start ? Local booksellers joined on Wednesday Saint Louis live to share their best reads of the summer.
Saint-Louis booksellers share their best summer reads
Ymani Wince opens The black library off Cherokee St. Louis this weekend. She said her bookstore will be the region’s first concept store and will focus on the Black experience. She plans to organize books for each educational concept she explores, starting with “Who are the Black Panthers?”
Here is Ymani Wince’s list:
- “ASATAby Assata Shakur, a former member of the Black Panthers who fled to Cuba and was granted political asylum after escaping from US police custody during her 1979 murder trial.
- “The marathon doesn’t stopby Rob Kenner, a biography of rapper Nipsey Hussle.
- “Power hungry” by Suzanne Cope recounts how the women of the Black Panther Party fed more than 20,000 children and how the FBI fought to stop it.
- “The Compton Cowboys” by Walter Thomas-Hernandez portrays black cowboys on a horse ranch in the middle of Los Angeles and how they work to save their ranch and their heritage.
- “The black bookis what Ymani Wince calls an essential coffee table read “to understand over 400 years of black experience in America.” With a foreword and preface by acclaimed author Toni Morison, the book features hundreds of historic images of black life in American history, proclamations of Frederick Douglass, transcripts of fugitive slave trials to “Black Hollywood” movie posters.
- “beautifully me” by Nabela Noor is a children’s book that teaches children about body image.
Mark Pannebecker owns Bookstore and Café Spine at Benton Park in St. Louis, which only sells independent authors. He said he had no rules on censorship and wanted to give new writers a fair chance. Her following book recommendations come from authors based in Missouri and Illinois.
Here is Mark Pannebecker’s listing:
- “St. Michael Poker & Drinking Club” by Ned Randle, is a fiction novel about a social club for a group of clergymen. The book delves into their friendships, their doubts in God, and how they find renewal.
- “PAWS” by Debbie Manber Kupfer, is a young adult fantasy novel about how a Jewish teenager uses her grandmother’s magical charm to ward off an evil werewolf.
- “The Big Cinch” by Kathy L. Brown is a mystery set in St. Louis following a young veteran of the 1922 Irish Civil War.
- “Colorful Realities” by Levi A. Lancaster, is an art therapy guide for caregivers facing burnout and people dealing with trauma.
- “Farm Boy, City Girl” by John “Gene” Dawson, an award-winning memoir about the life of Dawson who grew up gay in Iowa during the Depression and later moved to St. Louis, finding her drag identity as “Miss Gina.”
- “A Beekeeper’s Diary” by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins is a reference work for anyone wishing to start beekeeping.
Joice Carrawell, co-owner of a children’s bookstore little readers in Southampton in St. Louis, focuses on representing diverse perspectives in its selection. She and her husband, Monsieur, plan to open a youth center in August to accompany the bookstore.
This is Joice Carrawell listing:
- “Why?” By Taye Diggs is for ages 3-6. It’s a picture book about race, injustice and anger in communities of color and helps families talk about racism with children.
- “Sunflower Sisters” by Monika Singh is aimed at 4 to 8 year olds. It’s about colorism and helps young people adopt the color of their skin.
- “The Color Collector” by Nicholas Solis is for ages 7-8. The book starts out in black and white and slowly adds more color to each page.
- Desmond Ghost Patrol by Andres Miedoso is aimed at 5 to 9 year olds. This adventurous series challenges readers to join Desmond and his friends to solve a mystery in each book. Joice Carrawell called it “RL Stine meets Nancy Drew”.
- “Miss Quines” by Kat Fajardo is aimed at ages 8 to 12 and is available in Spanish and English. It’s a graphic novel centered on a girl who doesn’t want to celebrate her quinceanera.
- “Room to Dream” by Kelly Yang is for ages 8 to 12 and is the third book in the “Reception” series. In this book, Mia and her family go on vacation to China, and she discovers a different culture.
“Saint Louis live” tells you the stories of Saint-Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenské and produced by Emily Woodbury, Kayla Drake, Danny Wicentowski and Alex Heuer. Avery Rogers is our production assistant. The sound engineer is Aaron Dorr.