Boswell Books’ Daniel Goldin Reveals Top 10 Favorites From Lesser-Known Authors – Wisconsin Public Radio News

Jordan Vroon, left, takes inventory in Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday, June 25, 2020. Mark Humphrey/AP Photo

Books Range From Memoirs To Psychological Horrors; Tackle Issues Of Race, Gender And Class

Publishers tend to change with the seasons.

When summer hits, books like Elin Hildenbrand’s “28 Summers” and “The Summer House” by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois top the charts.

But Daniel Goldin has some other summer favorites that break away from mainstream authors and themes. These favorites from Goldin, who’s the owner of Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee, explore race, class and gender disparities 

These descriptions have been lightly edited. 

A Black woman in Philadelphia tells the story of her life in a series of essays that reveal details about her upbringing and what led her to become an emergency room doctor.

In the memoir, she unearths some unethical and illegal behavior by white doctors who agreed to test unwilling subjects for drugs without a court order because the police asked for it.

Although a traditional doctor’s memoir, this book’s insight into the life of Black woman adds a new voice to the classic genre.

If you’re used to comfortable authors such as John Grisham, try this one on for size. Grisham wrote the cover quote for this book by a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Law School. 

It’s the story of a political operative who messed up his last assignment. His new assignment, and his last chance to prove himself, takes him to South Carolina where he has to convince a town to allow mining of a local mountain, which would likely have devastating effects. He’s a Black man in a white, conservative culture, so he has to hire an Evangelical couple to do most of the groundwork. 

“Wright has said that this novel is an indictment of the Citizens United case and shows how the repercussions play out,” Goldin wrote

Identical twin girls are born in a mostly Black community in Louisiana where light skin tone is preferred.

The twins run away from home when they’re teenagers and head to New Orleans. One of the women gets married, then divorced, and ends up returning home with her child. The other twin disappears. 

Years later, the twins’ daughters each end up inadvertently meeting in Los Angeles.

A memoir that was released last year, Jones’ book is coming out as a paperback in a few weeks.

This is the story of a man who grows up living between his conservative Christian grandmother in Memphis and his mother, a Buddhist who lives in Dallas. Jones has to confront societal injustices that stem from his race and identity as a Black, gay man.

“He tells this very poetic story told through vignettes of traveling between the worlds of his mother, his grandmother and himself,” Goldin said. 

A coming of age story, Claude McKay Love grows up in a middle-class neighborhood that’s fallen on hard times. Love’s parents just went through a bitter divorce, and he ends up living with his grandmother who was active in the Civil Rights movement.

A nerdy kid, Love gets caught between gang violence in Chicago and police, and realizes that even though he left things behind to go to college, he can’t escape his past.

This collection of short stories comes from author Randall Kenan who published his first collection 28 years ago. They’re centered on a small town in North Carolina.

A middle-aged man encounters Bill Idol in one short story set in 1980s New York. A woman in her 60s learns about healing powers she didn’t know she had when she joins a megachurch in another story. 

The book is set to publish on Aug. 14, though will likely be available before then.

Mostly set in Oklahoma, the book tells the story of three generations of Cherokee women. 

The grandmother is a religious conservative. Her daughter is a rebel who had a child at a young age who turns rebellious, too.

“This book has everything: floods, fires, tornadoes, and how this environmentally impacts not just the land, but the people in the land, too,” he said.

Its release date is July 14, and Boswell Books is planning to host author Ford virtually on July 27.

A super sleeper in the list, this book is the story of a couple whose fortunes increase and then decrease, all told from the perspective of their goat, Poonachie.

Touching on topics like violence, sexual assault, romance and friendship, the book is meant to be an allegory about life in India.

Set in Michigan, this book follows a young woman whose grandmothers died and whose mother is disabled. Putting off college, Lena Johnson signs up for a psychological experiment. 

She’s sent to a small town where she’s put in a fake office and tasked with fake office work. But the environment is weird. She doesn’t know who’s in on the experiment or who’s a subject.

“I actually call this psychological horror, but at the same time it’s definitely a coming of age story — it’s about a Black woman navigating a predominantly white community,” Goldin said.

A field hockey team is Danvers, Mass., keeps losing. In this book by a UW-Madison professor of English, one of the teammates gets the idea to do a witches book. The teammates all sign their names in the book, and then start winning games. 

With 11 people on the team, each chapter is devoted to one character’s perspective.

Through lenses of humor and 1980s styles, this book meanders around issues of race, class and gender.