“The Conductors” by Nicole Glover

I was eager to read this when I first heard of it, so I requested a copy through NetGalley. Much thanks to the publisher (John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books) for granting me access to the e-ARC.

Although I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, it does not influence the thoughts and opinions I share about my reading experience below.

Genre

Historical Fiction; Fantasy; Mystery

Series

Murder and Magic, book 1

Pub

March 2, 2021

Quick Summary

I was eager to read this because whenever I heard of it, I thought of it as historical fantasy about the Underground Railroad. But although it touches on slavery and the experiences characters endured to escape slavery and help others do so, the majority of the story takes place post-Civil War, shortly after slavery was abolished in the U.S.

The story centers on Hetty and Benjy, a married couple living in Philadelphia who people in their community turn to when situations are dire, mostly when someone goes missing or turns up dead. The city’s police is only concerned with White folks’ problems, so Hetty and Benjy serve as detectives for the Black people in their community.

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“The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” by Deesha Philyaw

I like the cover of this book, but because of the title, I avoided picking it up because I assumed it would be a nonfiction book about churchgoing women. Although I am spiritual, I’m not a fan of church communities, so I avoided this book until I couldn’t.

A local book club selected it for its January read, and that’s when I learned that it’s a book of short stories. At first I borrowed the audiobook, narrated by Janina Edwards, from the library. Edwards’s voice was so mellow and soothing and just a treat for my ears. But I quickly realized that this book is one I’d need to physically read so I can pay close attention the prose as well. I was already impressed.

I decided that when I’m ready to reread this book, I’ll certainly pick up the audio version to hear Edwards’s voice again. But to get on with reading the book for the book club, I borrowed a copy from a friend and quickly got swept up in the stories about Black women and their experiences.

Genre

Contemporary; Literary

Series

n/a

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“Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky” by Kwame Mbalia

I finally got around to trying one of the Rick Riordan Presents books! 😊 I enjoyed reading Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus novels, so I was glad and eager for novels published under his imprint since they would also be fun middle-grade fantasy novels but would instead tap into other world mythologies and folklores.

Apart from that, I was also interested in Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky because there are few middle-grade fantasy novels that center on a Black character and is grounded in Black culture and myths. So I was beyond excited to read this, and I enjoyed it!

Genre:

MG Fantasy

Series:

Tristan Strong, book 1

Pubbed:

2019

Goodreads summary:

Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in.

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