Staff Picks

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewed by: R Williams, EPL Director & Marilyn Oliver, EPL Commission President

 

“We Were Eight Years in Power” was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. Now, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president.”

But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period–and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective–the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president.

We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates’s iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including Fear of a Black President, The Case for Reparations and The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates’s own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment.

Ta-Nahesi Coates has quickly become a favorite author. He is an outstanding, eloquent and poignant writer. This book is a compilation of many of his works from the last decade (throughout the Obama Administration). He paints a rich and heart-wrenching picture of the state of racial relations in the USA, culminating in the Trump election. By the end of the book, you can clearly see how hundreds of years of racism and domestic terrorism have created the American Tragedy described in the book’s title. Although painful, I highly recommend this read.

 

 

 

In this collection of classic tales, Detective Jules de Grandin investigates eerie cases that will send chills down your spine. “Gruesomely effective… raises genuine shivers” (Kirkus Reviews).

The second of five volumes collecting the stories of Jules de Grandin, the supernatural detective made famous in the classic pulp magazine Weird Tales.

Today the names of H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, August Derleth, and Clark Ashton Smith, all regular contributors to the pulp magazine Weird Tales during the first half of the twentieth century, are recognizable even to casual readers of the bizarre and fantastic. And yet despite being more popular than them all during the golden era of genre pulp fiction, there is another author whose name and work have fallen into obscurity: Seabury Quinn.

Quinn’s short stories were featured in well more than half of Weird Tales’ original publication run. His most famous character, the supernatural French detective Dr. Jules de Grandin, investigated cases involving monsters, devil worshippers, serial killers, and spirits from beyond the grave, often set in the small town of Harrisonville, New Jersey. In de Grandin there are familiar shades of both Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, and alongside his assistant, Dr. Samuel Trowbridge, de Grandin’s knack for solving mysteries—and his outbursts of peculiar French-isms (grand Dieu!)—captivated readers for nearly three decades.

Collected for the first time in trade editions, The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin, edited by George Vanderburgh, presents all ninety-three published works featuring the supernatural detective. Presented in chronological order over five volumes, this is the definitive collection of an iconic pulp hero.

The second volume, The Devil’s Rosary, includes all of the Jules de Grandin stories from “The Black Master” (1929) to “The Wolf of St. Bonnot” (1930), as well as an introduction by Stefan Dziemianowicz.

 

Joan: The Mysterious Life of the Heretic Who Became a Saint

Since her death at the age of nineteen in 1431, Joan of Arc has maintained a remarkable hold on our collective imagination. She was a teenager of astonishing common sense and a national heroine who led men in to battle as a courageous warrior. Yet she was also abandoned by the king whose coronation she secured, betrayed by her countrymen, and sold to the enemy. In this meticulously researched landmark biography, Donald Spoto captures her astonishing life and the times in which she lived. Neither wife nor nun, queen nor noblewoman, philosopher nor stateswoman, Joan of Arc demonstrates that everyone who follows their heart has the power to change history.

 

 

 

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