“Becoming” by Michelle Obama
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America - the first African-American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two downto-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms.
Warm, wise, and revelatory, “Becoming” is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.
“I’m an ordinary person who found herself on an extraordinary journey. In sharing my story, I hope to help create space for other stories and other voices, to widen the pathway for who belongs and why.” - Michelle Obama
“Normal People” by Sally Rooney
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation - awkward but electrifying - something life changing begins.
A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain.
Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into selfdestruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.
“Normal People” is the story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find that they can’t.
About the Author
Sally Rooney was born in the west of Ireland in 1991. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta and The London Review of Books. Winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, she is the author of Conversations with Friends. In 2019, she was named to the inaugural Time 100 Next list.
“Circe” by Madeline Miller
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2019
From the Orange Prize-winning, internationally bestselling author of “The Song of Achilles” comes the powerful story of the mythological witch Circe, inspired by Homer’s “Odyssey”.
Breathing life into the ancient world, Madeline Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation.
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin.
Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.
When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.
There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
About the Author
Madeline Miller (1978) is the author of "The Song of Achilles", which won the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012, was shortlisted for the Stonewall Writer of the Year 2012, was an instant New York Times bestseller, and was translated into twenty-five languages. Madeline holds an MA in Classics from Brown University, and she taught Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students for over a decade. She has also studied at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, and at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms. Her essays have appeared in publications including the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Lapham’s Quarterly and NPR.org. She lives outside Philadelphia.
“A Case of Exploding Mangoes” by Mohammed Hanif
BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR - THE WASHINGTON POST, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, BOSTON GLOBE
Intrigue and subterfuge combine with bad luck and good in this darkly comic debut about love, betrayal, tyranny, family, and a conspiracy trying its damnedest to happen.
Ali Shigri, Pakistan Air Force pilot and Silent Drill Commander of the Fury Squadron, is on a mission to avenge his father’s suspicious death, which the government calls a suicide. Ali’s target is none other than General Zia ul-Haq, dictator of Pakistani. Enlisting a ragtag group of conspirators, including his cologne-bathed roommate, a hashsmoking American lieutenant, and a mango-besotted crow, Ali sets his elaborate plan in motion. There’s only one problem: the line of would-be Zia assassins is longer than he could have possibly known.
About the Author
Mohammed Hanif (1964) was born in Okara, Pakistan. He graduated from the Pakistan Air Force Academy as Pilot Officer but subsequently left to pursue a career in journalism. He has written for stage, film and BBC Radio. His first novel, “A Case of Exploding Mangoes”, was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, short-listed for The Guardian First Book Award and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Novel. He was the head of the BBC Urdu Service in London and now works as their special correspondent based in Karachi.
“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones
WINNER OF THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2019
A tender and humane dissection of what happens to a relationship when unforeseen events conspire to sabotage it. Tayari Jones’ handling of her protagonists’ emotions is a masterclass in authentic characterization whilst the story subtly probes issues of race and justice with a piercing emotional intelligence and colossal heart.
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of the American Dream. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit.
Devastated and unmoored, Celestial finds herself struggling to hold on to the love that has been her centre, taking comfort in Andre, their closest friend. When Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together.
A masterpiece of storytelling, “An American Marriage” offers a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three unforgettable characters who are at once bound together and separated by forces beyond their control.
“A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young AfricanAmerican couple.” - Barack Obama
“An American Marriage is a deeply moving read about how one incident of injustice reshapes the lives of a black couple in the South.” - Bill Gates
About the Author
New York Times best-selling author, Tayari Jones (1970), is the author four novels: “Leaving Atlanta”, “The Untelling”, “Silver Sparrow”, and most recently “An American Marriage”. Published in 2018, “An American Marriage” is an Oprah’s Book Club Selection and also appeared on Barack Obama’s summer reading list as well as his end of the year roundup. The novel was awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Orange Prize), Aspen Words Prize and an NAACP Image Award. With over 500,000 copies in print domestically, it has been published in twenty-four countries.
Jones, a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, has also been a recipient of the Hurston/ Wright Legacy Award, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. Her third novel, “Silver Sparrow” was added to the NEA Big Read Library of classics in 2016.
Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is an A. D. White Professor at Large at Cornell University and the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing at Emory University.
“Supreme Models” by Marcellas Reynolds
“Supreme Models: Iconic Black Women Who Revolutionized Fashion” is the first-ever book celebrating black models, filled with revealing essays, interviews, and stunning photographs.
To date, there has never been a book devoted exclusively to black models. “Supreme Models” fills that void, paying tribute to black models past and present: from the first to be featured in catalogs and on magazine covers, like Iman, Beverly Johnson, and Donyale Luna, to the supermodels who reigned in the nineties - Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell. The book also observes the newest generation of models - Adwoa Aboah, Jourdan Dunn, and Joan Smalls - who are shaking up the fashion industry by speaking out about racial prejudice and becoming social media sensations.
Written by celebrity stylist and journalist Marcellas Reynolds, “Supreme Models” features more than 70 women from the last 60 years. The book is filled with gorgeous photographs of the women, and details their most memorable covers, campaigns, runway shows, and editorials. Black models have been influencing fashion and pop culture for decades, reshaping the standards and boundaries of beauty. “Supreme Models” is a celebration of their monumental impact.
About the Author
Marcellas Reynolds (1969) is a celebrity stylist, actor, former model, and entertainment reporter. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
Assambled by Tanja Beljanski