We the bookstore staff have gone over our inventory and selected four books based on what you, the readers, said your favorite things to read are. Whichever book gets the most votes, will be the subject of our discussion! Join us on Saturday, March 30th from 9-11AM at our Hyattsville location to meet other interested book club members and choose our books!

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The books we’ve selected for the first book club are:

Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

junot diazWinner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2008, Díaz’ debut novel is a simultaneously heart-wrenching and hilarious tale of a family of Dominican immigrants in New Jersey. All that Oscar de Léon, a scifi obsessed ghetto nerd, wants is to be the Dominican Tolkien, and to find true love. But he may never get what he wants, due to the fukú – a curse which has haunted his family for generations. Oscar’s tragic story reflects the deep and fundamental dislocation of the immigrant experience in the United States, but at the same time Díz reminds us that in the words of poet Derek Walcott, Oscar is “either nobody, or a nation.”

Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Child Soldier

a long way goneAt the tender age of twelve, Ishmael Beah was separated from his family. After wandering his country of Sierra Leone for months, he was captured by one of the many militias that have torn the country apart in its long civil war. He spent the next few years of his life wielding machine guns and taking drugs as one of Africa’s storied child soldiers, until he was rescued by an UNICEF mission in 1997. Beah’s account is the first book in English to tell us what the life of a child soldier is like – from the perspective of one who lived it and will never entirely escape its memories.

John Carlos with Dave Zirin, The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment that Changed the World

john carlosOctober, 1968: Two American sprinters at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City prepare to receive their medals for the 200-meter dash. The drums roll, “the Star Spangled Banner” plays, but when the lights come up, Tommie Smith and John Carlos have their fists raised in the black power salute. This gesture in solidarity with Afro-American struggles was a shot heard round the world, immediately condemned by the sports establishment and by the Olympic committee, which promptly suspended Smith and Carlos from the American team. The John Carlos Story tells firsthand the steps which led him to make this world-changing statement, and of the consequences for its author and for black civil rights.

Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, Voices of a People’s History of the United States

zinn voicesHoward Zinn’s classic work A People’s History of the United States exploded forever the dominant conception of American history as a never-ending narrative of progress guided by the Great Men in the federal government. In Voices of a People’s History, Zinn with Anthony Arnove returns to collect some of the numerous thinkers, leaders, activists, radicals, resistors and revolutionaries who have led the people’s struggles against the oppression, domination and exploitation that this country was built on. Including pieces from voices as diverse as Black Hawk, Angelina Grimké, Frederick Douglass, Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, Malcolm X, and numerous other less well-known figures, this volume gives us an idea of the people whose struggles made this country great – in their own words.

PHOTO 2024 02 01 07 10 14

For Langston Hughes on His 123 Birthday

Speech given on February 1, 2024 in Havana, Cuba In 1927 Langston Hughes walked into a Cuba amid an emerging community of artists, intellectuals, and radicals.  He saw a “sunrise in a new land [– a day – in his words]sic – full of brownskin surprises, and hitherto unknown contacts in a world of color.”  … Continued

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Palestine Week 2024

January 18, 2024 – January 25, 2024 In keeping with our ongoing mission of uplifting racial and cultural connections, Busboys and Poets is hosting Palestine Week (January 18 through January 25, 2024). This week-long series of events will offer a diverse range of programming featuring Palestinian food, music, dance, poetry, discussions, and other enriching events. … Continued

August Five Favorites

August Five Favorites

With the recent HBO series and our country’s current administration, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (Anchor Books, $15.95) is more relevant than ever. – Aliza

AndyShallal PeaceandStruggle

The Nepal Chronicles #1

March 2, 2021… For the next couple of weeks I will be blogging on Facebook about a trip that I have been planning the day I turned 65, which was about a year ago. I am heading to Everest Base Camp and hoping to celebrate my 66th there. I got the all clear from my … Continued