Your Shelf Life
5 books to read in April
By James Hannaham
A devoted mother becomes addicted to crack after the sudden death of her husband and disappears, leaving her young son, Eddie, bewildered and alone. She ends up on a farm that feeds her drug habit in trade for slave labor. Now it’s up to Eddie to help save her.
By Scott Simon
NPR’s Scott Simon started tweeting from his mother’s hospital room during the final days of her life. His 140-character updates went viral. A memoir about the bond between mother and son, the importance of humor, and a tribute to both life and death.
By Viet Thanh Nguyen
A gripping spy novel told from the perspective of a captain in the South Vietnamese army who escapes Saigon in 1975 with a powerful general and his chosen few. They start a new life in L.A., but the captain is actually spying on them for the Viet Cong.
God Help The Child
By Toni Morrison
This novel follows Bride, a woman whose blue-black skin is just part of her beauty, but what caused her light-skinned mother to deny her love and compassion. This spare novel is about childhood trauma and how it manifests in adult life.
Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own
By Kate Bolick
“Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman’s existence.” This is the first line of Spinster. In this part memoir, part cultural analysis, Bolick turns “spinster” into a path to freedom, authenticity, and power.