Nipsey Hussle bio, ‘Decoding Despacito,’ a dinosaur guide for kids and 6 more must-read new books
Other mini-reviews of books worth a read are from Gabriela Garcia, Joe Ide, Virgil Abloh, Hanif Abdurraqib and John Woodrow Cox. Plus ‘Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda.’
Here’s the lowdown on some recently released books that are worth a read.
Atria Books, nonfiction, $27
What it’s about: A biography of hip-hop mogul and activist Nipsey Hussle, who was shot to death in 2019.
The buzz: “A well-executed recognition of the dynamic presence and unrelenting impact of a hip-hop legend gone too soon,” Kirkus Reviews writes.
‘Of Women and Salt’ by Gabriela Garcia
Flatiron Books, fiction, $26.99
What it’s about: A Cuban immigrant mother and daughter in Miami grapple with the daughter’s addiction and reckon with their family’s legacy — back to a 19th-century Cuban cigar factory.
The buzz: “A thoughtful portrait of women coming to terms with the difficult decisions they’ve made . . . and the betrayals they’ve committed,” Time says.
‘The Secrets of Dinosaurs’ by Zhao Chuang & Yang Yang
Brown Books Kids, children’s nonfiction, $24.95
What it’s about: A beautiful guide for dinosaur lovers ages 5 to 12.
The buzz: “Spread by spread, with astonishing pictures and engaging words, this presentation introduces dozens of different dinosaurs,” Kirkus Reviews writes.
Mulholland Books, fiction, $28
What it’s about: The fifth mystery featuring the brilliant (and unlicensed) private investigator, who’s now on the run.
The buzz: “If you’ve read any of his other novels starring the rogue East Long Beach private investigator Isaiah Quintabe, known as ‘IQ,’ you know that Ide doesn’t write conventional suspense stories,” the Washington Post writes. “ ‘Smoke’ is a bizarre marvel, its narrative winding evil and preposterousness round and round.”
Vintage Books, nonfiction, $16.95
What it’s about: The history of Latin pop music — since 1970 anyway — told through the stories behind 19 songs, from “Feliz Navidad” in 1970 to “Malamente” by Rosalia in 2018.
The buzz: “An entertaining oral history of the songs that put Latin culture on the map,” Kirkus Reviews says.
‘Abloh-isms’ by Virgil Abloh
Princeton University Press, nonfiction, $14.95
What it’s about: Quotations from the famed Chicago fashion designer / artist / fashion label CEO.
The buzz: “Virgil Abloh says the darndest, most illuminating things — enough in his young fashion career to fill a 160-page book,” WWD wrote.
‘Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda’ by various authors
Titan Books, fiction, $25.95
What it’s about: A collection of 18 short stories from Black authors including Nikki Giovanni, L.L. McKinney, Sheree Renée Thomas, Tananarive Due and Christopher Chambers.
The buzz: “What sets this anthology apart from other works on Wakanda, the fictional African country, is that it’s a compendium of prose, not comics,” USA Today writes. “And the authors have distinct writing styles honed from their respective disciplines, such as poetry, blogging, neuroscience and YA fiction.”
Random House, nonfiction, $27
What it’s about: Essays on Black artistic performance and how it’s woven into the fabric of American culture.
The buzz: “Abdurraqib’s luminous survey is stunning,” Publishers Weekly writes.
Ecco Books, nonfiction, $28.99
What it’s about: An account of the devastating impact of guns on children from the perspective of those affected by it.
The buzz: “Balancing sound research with moving profiles of victims and activists, Cox makes an impeccable case for how to solve the problem and why it’s essential to do so now,” Publishers Weekly writes.
Contributing: USA Today