Support BIPOC authors with Pre-Orders!

As part of the ongoing conversation about bringing equity to the publishing industry, we have created a virtual shelf of some upcoming books by authors of color you can preorder now. By preordering their books, you help drive up sales and possible placement on bestseller lists. Most importantly, it forces the publishing industry to pay attention to and better support authors of color and their readership.

This Changes Eveything

The shelf currently lists some notable books coming out in the next few months including Colson Whitehead’s highly anticipated new novel, Harlem Shuffle, (coming out September 14) an ingenious story that plays out in a beautifully recreated New York City of the early 1960s. It’s a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem.

Click here to see the complete list of Summer and Fall Pre-Orders, which are sorted by publication date. We also plan to regularly update this list as new titles become available.

Still looking for some great Summer Reads? FRBL has you covered!

The Friends of the Roslindale Branch Library has once again shared their summer reading recommendations of both fiction and nonfiction. One you might want to check out is Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am by Julia Cooke. Glamour, danger, liberation: in the Mad Men-era of commercial flight, Pan Am World Airways attracted the kind of young woman who wanted out and wanted up.

Required to have a college education, speak two languages, and possess the political savvy of a Foreign Service officer, a jet-age stewardess serving on iconic Pan Am between 1966 and 1975 also had to be between 5′3" and 5′9", between 105 and 140 pounds, and under 26 years of age at the time of hire. Cooke's intimate storytelling weaves together the real-life stories of a memorable cast of characters, from small-town girl Lynne Totten, a science major who decided life in a lab was not for her, to Hazel Bowie, one of the relatively few Black stewardesses of the era, as they embraced the liberation of their new jet-set life.

Cooke brings to light the story of Pan Am stewardesses' role in the Vietnam War, as the airline added runs from Saigon to Hong Kong for planeloads of weary young soldiers straight from the battlefields, who were off for five days of R&R, and then flown back to war. Finally, with Operation Babylift -- the dramatic evacuation of 2,000 children during the fall of Saigon -- the book's unique cast of stewardesses unites to play an extraordinary role on the world stage.

Winning the Green New Deal

Another Friends recommendation is Island Queen, a sweeping historical novel based on the incredible true-life story of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas, a free woman of color who rose from slavery to become one of the wealthiest and most powerful landowners in the colonial West Indies. Vanessa Riley's novel brings Dorothy to life as she rises above the harsh realities of slavery and colonialism by working the system and leveraging the competing attentions of the men in her life: a restless shipping merchant, a wealthy planter hiding a secret, and a corrupt naval captain who will later become King William IV of England.

From the bustling port cities of the West Indies to the forbidding drawing rooms of London's elite, Island Queen is an epic of an adventurer and a survivor who answered to no one but herself as she rose to power and autonomy against all odds, defying rigid eighteenth-century morality and the oppression of women as well as people of color. It is an unforgettable portrait of a true larger-than-life woman who made her mark on history.

Find these selections and dozens more on the Friends’ Summer Reading shelf:

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