Voice to Books: Refugees

They are displaced, sometimes hunted, persecuted. Peoples forced from their homes due to war or violence. And if they come to the United States, only a fraction of them get in, and fewer still are welcomed by the masses. Here, those who survive poverty, politics, and ruin in their homelands are then confronted by those who spread violence, use them through their desperation and duress. You may not find them in the news or know of their troubles, but they exist all over the world. These are some of their stories. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai Reviewed by…

Voice to Books: Celebrity Authors

Celebrities often take an omnipotent position in modern society, acting as paragons, villains, and jesters of our time. Their opinions are met with adoration or disdain, satire, and protest. They influence style, commerce, and politics, and we, the readers, guide their rises and their falls. They walk the fine lines of artists, athletes, influencers, and journalists who must balance both media and fan judgment and constant watchful eyes. It is easy to see these people as something more than the rest of us, forget that they are human. This month’s Voice to Books showcases these celebrities that embody disproportionally underrepresented…

Voice to Books: Disability in Full View

According to the CDC, one in four people in the United States live with some type of disability, whether visible or less apparent. Without respectful discussion and proper representation in the media, those living with disabilities are often stereotyped and misrepresented. This is also true for people who don’t always consider themselves disabled, such as Deaf and Blind folk. This month’s Voice to Books highlights these voices, because no one is able to express their stories, which are found in every community and culture, better than they do. Ellen Outside the Lines, by A. J. SassReviewed by Alexandra S. Neumeister…

Voice to Books: Indigenous Experiences are Individual and Numerous

In this month’s Voice to Books, we’re highlighting Native American authors and their stories. The colonized view of native people often mashes together diverse communities and nations into a misrepresented and false narrative of who they are. By giving space to their individual experiences, better representation and understanding can take place. The works listed below are as varied as the cultures they represent. A crime novel, a collection of nonfiction short stories, a memoir, and a YA novel show a small selection of the wide range of stories by Indigenous authors. Fire Song  by Adam Garnet Jones Reviewed by Michael…

Voice to Books: Horror Screams Our Truth

When most people think of horror, they may think of Stephen King or the bloody slasher movies from the ’80s. While these movies and books have made a lasting impression on the genre, they are often dominated by a straight white male view—demonizing and objectifying not only marginalized communities but cis het white women as well. But horror has many authors and storylines to share with readers beyond the straight white male. From those stories, horror is used to reflect on and discuss sensitive social and cultural issues. These reviews highlight women—POC and white—and their personal horrors that are intensified…

Voice to Books: See It, Read It, Love It

Graphic novels intertwine words and illustrations to allow their authors to say what they need to without descriptions. Their audiences don’t need to imagine their worlds; they can see them. Art and words are used strategically to tell stories. Simplicity and silence, lavish details, and verbose prose, or vice versa, tell these histories. The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History by David F. Walker Reviewed by Pallavi Yetur Graphic novels contain multitudes. Comic book writer Alan Moore, who penned the groundbreaking Watchmen series-turned-graphic novel from 1986 to 1987, has lamented the term “graphic novel” as a marketing ploy devised…

Voice to Books: Sharing Personal Experience Through Poetry

Poetry speaks to our souls. From songs to spoken word, sonnets to free verse, there’s poetry for any mood or moment. Poetry is a form that can take on many shapes, tackle any subject, and help people express themselves. All of the collections in this column revolve around poets sharing deeply personal experiences. The poems found in these collections move within cities and dreams, time and space, language and culture to release a truth, an emotion, a thought in the hope that others will connect with them. Finna by Nate Marshall Reviewed by Pamela Pete Full of ethnic slang slung…

Voice to Books: Memoirs on Overcoming Struggles and Trauma

In this episode of Voice to Books, our readers review memoirs written by people from a variety of backgrounds. Everyone has a story to tell, and firsthand accounts of struggles are powerful instruments of change and understanding. Reading underrepresented voices, especially in memoir, helps to cultivate compassion and awareness for cultures and experiences that are not our own. Consent: A Memoir by Vanessa Springora (translated from the French by Natasha Lehrer) Reviewed by A.E. Santana Writing can be transformative and healing. It can thread together themes in the lives of authors or make sense of a situation they’ve lived. For…

Voice to Books — Romance Episode

This month’s episode of Voice to Books is all about love. Romance is one of the biggest money makers in publishing, but, despite being so popular, the romance genre does not always get the credit it deserves. Romance is the perfect escape genre. There is a bit of drama, some flirting, sometimes there is sex, and you know the characters are going to end up happy—it’s a promise the genre makes to its readers. Here at Voice to Books, we’re excited to see BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled characters get their happily ever afters. Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard  Reviewed…