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The Lyric Staff’s Favorite Books

Looking for new books to read? Here are some of our staff’s favorites!

1. Even the Stars Look Lonesome by Maya Angelou

“It’s a collection of the most gorgeous and moving short stories.” – Kate Casner, Digital Marketing Associate

Written by renowned poet and memoirist Maya Angelou, Even the Stars Look Lonesome is a book of essays that was published in 1997. Like Angelou’s first book of essays, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now, Even the Stars Look Lonesome has been called one of her “wisdom books.” The book is a profound collection of 21 essays that explore many aspects of life from self-reflection to violence. Most of the essays in this book are autobiographical and had previously appeared in past publications. It was an immediate bestseller, prompting Random House to increase their first printing of 350,000 copies to 375,000 copies before Angelou began her national book tour.

2. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

“I read it this summer via audiobook, and it is so poignant and beautifully written—definitely one of my favorites.” – Marieska Luzada, Digital Marketing/Social Media Assistant

Written entirely in verse, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is a young adult novel that was published in 2018. The Poet X follows fifteen year-old Xiomara as she discovers the power of poetry from her misunderstanding of her mother’s religion and her own relationship with the rest of the world. She is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, but she doesn’t know how to express all of her thoughts without her mother finding out—nevertheless, Xiomara refuses to be silent. Acevedo’s debut novel has won multiple awards, such as the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the Michael L. Printz Award.

3. The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard

“It is a great choice for these long days and months.” – Ruth Whitney, Member of the Advisory Council

The Cazalet Chronicles is a five-book saga that is perfect for fans of Downton Abbey. The series follows the Cazalet siblings with their wives, children, and servants upon England’s horizon. The Cazalets prepare to leave London and join their parents at their Sussex estate, beginning the decades-spanning family saga that has engrossed millions of readers around the world. The Sunday Telegraph has called The Cazalet Chronicles a story of a family “[rendered] thrillingly three-dimensional by a master craftsman.”

4. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

“It holds a special place in my heart because it’s the book that got me back into reading for pleasure after years of high school assigned reading.” – Julia Thorn, Digital Media Assistant

Published in September 2014, I’ll Give You The Sun is Jandy Nelson’s second novel, and considered as a young adult literature staple. I’ll Give You The Sun tells the story of Jude and Noah as they barely speak to each other after years of being inseparable. Something has happened to change the twins in different yet devastating ways, but then Jude meets an intriguing and irresistible boy, as well as a mysterious new mentor. Both twins each get half of the story to tell, but they’ll have a chance to remake their world if they find their way back to each other. Nelson has won several awards for I’ll Give You The Sun, including the 2015 Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.

5. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde

“An incredible voice for people, especially BIPOC Femme people.” – Aja M. Jackson, Interim Production Manager

Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches is a compilation of some of her most essential essays and speeches. This collection is considered a classic volume, and one of Lorde’s most influential works of nonfiction prose. Sister Outsider has had a groundbreaking impact in the development of contemporary feminist theories. In fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde explores the concepts and complexities of intersectional identity while drawing from personal experiences of oppression to include racism, sexism, homophobia, among other subjects. Lorde’s philosophical reasoning in this collection that recognizes oppressions as complex and interlocking makes her work a significant contribution to critical social theory.