What to Read for Hispanic Heritage Month, International Podcast Day, and More
September is the exciting prequel to all the fun fall festivities we love so much. We’re already pounding down at least two cups of Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend Herbal Tea each day and a pumpkin spice latte here and there while reading these books: The Poet X, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Limetown, a prequel to the popular podcast, and The Man Who Owns the News. We’ve got plenty of other recommendations for you for Hispanic Heritage Month and International Podcast Day, too.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Ashley: The Poet X has been impossible to avoid over the past year and a half as it’s won honor after honor, including the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. And after finally — finally — reading it for myself, I can see why all the award-givers have been singing this debut’s praises. Slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo writes from the perspective of Xiomara Batista, a teen trying to grapple with gender and race and religion and sexuality and parents who think of her as trouble. Xiomara fights against a silence that threatens to snuff out her voice before she’s had a chance to say anything at all. Written in verse, every vignette packs a punch, every image painted is so vivid.
This is the first audiobook where, when I sped it up briefly, I felt like I was cheating myself. Acevedo reads this brilliant #OwnVoices work herself, and her delivery is perfect. During this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, do yourself a favor and really take in Xiomara’s story about growing up Dominican in Harlem.
Limetown by Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie
Katie: Have you binge listened to the first two seasons of the chart-topping sci-fi podcast Limetown? Craving answers to why hundreds of people suddenly disappeared from a neuroscience research facility? Can’t wait for next month’s seemingly impossibly far away premier of the TV series adaptation (starring Jessica Biel and Stanley Tucci)? Fill the void with this prequel in novel form while you wait for the series to drop in October. You couldn’t ask for a better book to escape into this International Podcast Day.
Compulsively readable, and just as mysterious and mind-bending as the podcast, the prequel rewinds to radio journalist Lia Haddock’s teenage days when her investigative instincts and questioning mind first begin to surface. Raw, untrained, and rebellious, Lia nearly goes off the rails in her desperate search for answers to her mother’s strange disappearance and for her lost uncle Emile. She finds a conspiracy that runs much deeper than the limestone caves hiding a secret lab deep beneath a hotel haunted by the past.
Here are other books you should read for International Podcast Day. Also, you can now listen to podcasts themselves, including Limetown, on Scribd.
The Man Who Owns the News by Michael Wolff
Alex: Now that we’re in the midst of the second season of HBO’s Succession, I’m being forcibly reminded of what it feels like to watch an episode of TV and then just wait, a full week, to watch the next. (Bad. It feels bad.) Though the exploits of the Roy family are (thankfully) fiction, they’re almost certainly based on the all-too-real billionaire owners of the Fahrenheit 451-esque conglomerate News Corp: the Murdoch family. This thorough exposé on the Murdochs by the author of Fire and Fury brings all the family dysfunction and absurd wealth and power into sharp relief, making it the perfect companion to tide you over between episodes of the show. Then again, it’s possible the combination of the two will turn you into some kind of Machiavellian monster, but we can just blame that on HBO for making us wait.
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