An Olive Grove in Ends, by Moses McKenzie

Staff Pick

The plot of this novel is familiar: A young immigrant in a neighborhood scarred by poverty and drugs must choose between doing right by the young woman he loves or being lured by the pull of the streets. In Moses McKenzie’s An Olive Grove in Ends, we get a new take on the modern urban fable. McKenzie, a debut author in his early 20s, comes from the place he writes about, a multicultural enclave near Bristol, England. His protagonist, Sayon, is from a Jamaican-English family led by his pastor father. Sayon’s love interest, Shona, also has a father who is a church leader. McKenzie’s raw portrayal captures the textures and tensions of their lives as they weigh the promise of staying in school, the pressures of their elders and the Bible’s teachings, and the reality that the drug trade is an existential part of Sayon’s world. The language of the novel is vernacular, and pleasingly so. Reading the book is akin to walking down the street in Sayon’s neighborhood and absorbing its sounds, smells, and scenes. 


An Olive Grove in Ends By Moses McKenzie Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316420143
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 31st, 2022

American Psychosis, by David Corn

Staff Pick

If you want to understand how the Republican Party became what it is today, this book will provide the road map. In American Psychosis, journalist and commentator David Corn, the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones, traces the GOP’s lineage back 150 years and documents its episodic, but consistent, ties to white supremacy movements. Corn focuses most of his attention on the last half century, from the McCarthy era until now, with special attention to the rise of Newt Gingrich, the religious right, talk show impresarios like Rush Limbaugh, and most recently Donald Trump, all of whom exerted pressure on mainstream Republicans to adopt a more extreme ideology, lying as a tactic, and conspiracy theories to destroy opponents. Corn shows how demagoguery and hatred have made racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and white supremacy brands of today’s Republican Party. Through dogged reporting and applying historical context, Corn makes his case that the GOP’s extremism is the logical evolution of the party over time, not an aberration. Please read this book if you care about the future of American democracy.

American Psychosis: A Historical Investigation of How the Republican Party Went Crazy By David Corn Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538723050
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Twelve - September 13th, 2022

Trespasses, by Louise Kennedy

Staff Pick

Louise Kennedy's superb debut explores terrain already well-covered in works of fiction and non-fiction over the past several decades. But Trespasses is one of the best novels I’ve read about daily life in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. The story is built around the relationship of a Catholic schoolteacher, Cushla--who works part-time as bartender in the family pub now run by her brother, and also tends to a mother in the grip of alcoholism—and an older, married Protestant barrister with mostly progressive sensibilities. Kennedy conveys how, in the lives of everyday people in Belfast and its environs, the extraordinary becomes ordinary during times of religious and sectarian strife. British soldiers routinely stop Catholic motorists for no reason, neighbors check under their car hoods every morning for bombs, and children in Cushla’s class exhibit the scars of violence, poverty, and social humiliation. This is a powerful and beautifully constructed novel that brings fresh perspective to an old landscape.


Trespasses: A Novel By Louise Kennedy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593540893
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Riverhead Books - November 1st, 2022