Book Buzz: African Magical Realism, Monstrous YA, and Ozark Reminiscences

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For October, we’re looking at a family epic tinged with magical realism, a YA novel perfect for Halloween, and a good-natured memoir about life on the Lake of the Ozarks in the 1960s.

Namwali Serpell’s The Old Drift (2019)*

The Old Drift.aspx.jpg

An epic that spans multiple families, nations, and generations, The Old Drift starts with an act of violence in what is now Zambia in the early 20th century but continues throughout the 20th and 21st centuries and even into the 2020s of the future. The result is a blend of both historical fiction and magical realism that is winning a lot of critical acclaim for this complex debut novel.

*Ebook also available on Libby.

Recommended for those who enjoyed Wayétu Moore’s She Would Be King.

Amelinda Bérubé Here There Are Monsters (2019)**

Here There Are Monsters

We got this YA dark fantasy at the library just in time for some early Halloween reading. Teenager Skye and her younger sister Deirdre had begun to pull away from each other, especially as Skye outgrew her sister’s interest in a fantastical world of her own creation. But then Deirdre disappears, and her fantasy monsters come rapping on Skye’s window. . . . Not a feel-good read by any stretch of the imagination, but this book is generating buzz for the genuinely weird and creepy story it tells.

**Ebook also available on Libby.

Recommended for YA dark fantasy fans.

William Geist’s Lake of the Ozarks: My Surreal Summers in a Vanishing America (2019)***

Lake of the Ozarks

A decidedly more feel-good story than Here There Are Monsters, in his newest memoir journalist Bill Geist recreates the Lake of the Ozarks of the 1960s that he knew and loved as a teenager, when he would spend the summers there working at his uncle’s lodge. The lodge is long gone, but Geist’s quirky, funny, and fond memories of his time there–and the impact it had on him–still remain.

***Ebook and audiobook also available on Libby.

Recommended for those who enjoy a lighthearted memoir.

What’s your favorite new-ish books? What books are you buzzing about these days? Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information about any of these items.

Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

2 thoughts on “Book Buzz: African Magical Realism, Monstrous YA, and Ozark Reminiscences”

    1. Thanks for commenting, Julie–I remember you mentioning the book to me, and it was one reason I wanted to post about it! The Zambian Space Program is just such an amazingly bizarre true story! 🙂


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