March 8 is here, and that means one thing only at SMCM: round 2 of the Tournament of Books! And spring break. Can the alignment of these important events be mere coincidence? We don’t think so–in fact, spring break offers the perfect opportunity to catch up on the books facing off in the competition.
Didn’t have time to check out your reads before break? No worries! The Library has your back with our Overdrive collection, where you can find eBooks and eAudiobooks, available whether you’re on campus or away. Prefer the experience of turning the pages of a print book? We’re open March 11-14 and have plenty of titles from the Tournament of Books available for check out!
Keep scrolling for suggested reads from the Tournament of Books in Overdrive and in print.
Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
Zebra is the last in a line of anarchists, atheists, and autodidacts. Alone and in exile, she leaves New York for Barcelona, retracing the journey she and her father made from Iran to the United States years ago. Books are her only companions—until she meets Ludo. Their connection is magnetic, and fraught. They push and pull across the Mediterranean, wondering if their love—or lust—can free Zebra from her past.
The Dictionary of Animal Languages by Heidi Sopinka
Born into a wealthy family in northern England and sent to boarding school to be educated by nuns, Ivory Frame rebels. She escapes to inter-war Paris, where she finds herself through art, and falls in with the most brilliantly bohemian set: the surrealists. Torn between an intense love affair with a married Russian painter and her soaring ambition to create, Ivory’s life is violently interrupted by the Second World War. She flees from Europe, leaving behind her friends, her art, and her love.
Census by Jesse Ball
When a widower receives notice from a doctor that he doesn’t have long left to live, he is struck by the question of who will care for his adult son—a son whom he fiercely loves, a boy with Down syndrome. With no recourse in mind, and with a desire to see the country on one last trip, the man signs up as a census taker for a mysterious governmental bureau and leaves town with his son.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s deliciously deadly debut is as fun as it is frightening.
So Lucky by Nicola Griffith
So Lucky is the sharp, surprising new audiobook by Nicola Griffith—the profoundly personal and emphatically political story of a confident woman forced to confront an unnerving new reality when in the space of a single week her wife leaves her and she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling
In Lydia Kiesling’s razor-sharp debut novel, The Golden State, we accompany Daphne, a young mother on the edge of a breakdown, as she flees her sensible but strained life in San Francisco for the high desert of Altavista with her toddler, Honey. Bucking under the weight of being a single parent-her Turkish husband is unable to return to the United States because of a “processing error”-Daphne takes refuge in a mobile home left to her by her grandparents in hopes that the quiet will bring clarity.
The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat
A haunting story of fatherhood, national identity, and what it means to be an immigrant in America today, Nafkote Tamirat’s The Parking Lot Attendant explores how who we love, the choices we make, and the places we’re from combine to make us who we are.
Milkman by Anna Burns
In Northern Ireland during the Troubles of the 1970s, an unnamed narrator finds herself targeted by a high-ranking dissident known as Milkman.
America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
An increasingly relevant story told with startling lucidity, humor, and an uncanny ear for the intimacies and shorthand of family ritual, America Is Not the Heart is a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of theAmerican dream and the unshakeable grip of history. With exuberance, grit, and sly tenderness, here is a family saga; an origin story; a romance; a narrative of two nations and the people who leave one home to grasp at another.
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born. When his master’s eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified of the cruelties he is certain await him. But Christopher Wilde, or “Titch,” is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist. He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning.
There There by Tommy Orange
Twelve Native Americans came to the Big Oakland Powwow for different reasons. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Bobby Big Medicine has come to drum the Grand Entry. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil Red Feather. Orvil has taught himself Indian dance through YouTube videos, and he has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. Tony Loneman is a young Native American boy whose future seems destined to be as bleak as his past, and he has come to the Powwow with darker intentions — intentions that will destroy the lives of everyone in his path.
The Overstory by Richard Powers
A novel of activism and natural-world power presents interlocking fables about nine remarkable strangers who are summoned in different ways by trees for an ultimate, brutal stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest.