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david sedaris

Four Witty Audiobooks About Family Togetherness

in AudioFile by

I love my family, in all its born-into, married-into, blended, extended exuberance. Yet it’s around now in the family-togetherness season—generally while navigating a gluten-free, paleo, plant-based meal—that I want to shout, Enough already! Trusting that you might feel the same, I recommend comforting yourself with the following audiobooks about family life in its entire messy embrace. Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for news and giveaways! Stephen McCauley’s new novel My Ex-Life (Flatiron Books), engagingly read by George Newbern, introduces us to David, who is gay; his ex-wife; and their college-bound child. When his ex-wife needs advice about her upcoming divorce, she turns to David. It’s very funny, totally real, and, for me, recognizable. When my married-into family gathers at public events, we…

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‘Representation Matters:’ LGBTQIA Literature Goes Mainstream

in Potpourri by

From coming of age narratives to personal memoirs, literature has been exploring themes of sexuality for as long as people have been publishing stories. We often call this queer lit (though it’s important to note that some take offense at that term) or gay lit, umbrella terms to identify any type of narrative that features LGBTQIA characters. But in a culture that has long been dominated by heteronormativity, stories exploring alternative sexualities have struggled to find a place in mainstream publishing. Instead, books about LGBTQIA characters have often been relegated to smaller presses or niche audiences. If mainstream books even featured LGBTQIA characters, they were usually treated as the funny or tragic sidekicks supporting the (straight) main character’s journey. There…

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2017 Goodreads Choice Awards: BookTrib’s Top Picks in Every Category

in Fiction by

The Goodreads Choice Awards are here once again, and we’re already knee-deep in the semifinal rounds. The books have been narrowed down to 20 choices in each category, and the competition is tougher than ever. Semifinals last until November 12th, with the final round of voting open from the 14th to the 27th. Winners will be announced December 5th. In the spirit of friendly competition, two of us are comparing our choices and arguing for our faves— Siskel & Ebert style! Here, BookTrib’s Senior Editor, Aisha K. Staggers, and Contributor, Rachel Carter, share a spirited debate over which books should win in each category: Fiction   Rachel: This one is easy! I’m voting for Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesym Ward.…

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TED Talk: Safwat Saleem Urges You to Find Your Voice — Plus, a Helpful Book List

in Non-Fiction by

Finding a voice to fit your identity is never easy. However, artist, designer and animator Safwat Saleem, had a particularly difficult time, struggling with anxiety about his childhood stutter. In this thought-provoking, heartfelt and adorably animated talk from TED 2016, Saleem describes how he overcame his struggle to incorporate his voice into his artwork, not only through childhood, but in the face of rude YouTube commenters who ridiculed his Pakistani accent as an adult. Instead of letting ill-mannered commenters keep him from using his own voice in his work, Saleem rather unpacks the reasons behind those comments: differing definitions of “normality” that lead to preconceived notions. Saleem resolves to use his art to challenge those preconceived notions, which is about…

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