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Book Reviews

Looking to read more Indiana authors?

Every month, we’re releasing a book review highlighting a new book by a Hoosier author, reviewed by a Hoosier writer. Check back every month for a new recommendation or look for the review in your local paper.

All Book Reviews

Arab Indianapolis

I was born in the Middle East and Arabic was my first language. I am a proud Arab American of Palestinian-Jordanian descent, and I have lived most of my life in Central Indiana. I consider Indiana to be home, as much as I also consider Jordan to be home. Growing up Arab in the United […]

African Americans in Indianapolis

I was born and raised in Indianapolis. It is my home. I have spent my entire adult life researching and celebrating African American history in the city. This has meant walking the streets of downtown Indianapolis, in particular Indiana Avenue, visiting the Walker Theatre for a discussion or performance or leading a tour in Ransom […]

THE LOST ETHERIDGE

On 19 January 1991, three months before his 60th birthday, a group of American and international poets gathered at the American Cabaret Theater in Indianapolis to celebrate Etheridge Knight’s life and art. But Knight was ailing physically: cancer was ravaging his lungs and he had not fully healed serious injuries from a hit and run […]

Unfadeable

There are only two kinds of people in the world:  The caught, and the uncaught. In UNFADEABLE, Indiana author, Maurice Broaddus, features both, and provides the reader with a thought-provoking story about the power, resilience, strength, and determination of young people, and how adults underestimate these rising voices.  This journey begins when we meet thirteen-year-old […]

Booth

The story of the Booth family starts with one crazy man and ends with another. You know the bulk of the ending already—how John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln point-blank in the head, at the Ford Theater in Washington, D.C. How he was hunted down and killed. Karen Joy Fowler’s latest epic novel, Booth, is […]

SAVAGE TONGUES

It happened to me not too long ago. I was preparing filet mignons. They were seasoned and brought up to room temperature before hitting the cast iron skillet. From out of nowhere, the voice of my friend Alice popped into my head. She reminded me to touch the center of the steaks to test if […]

JUDY LED THE WAY | THE RAVEN AND THE DOVE, THE BIG FISH, AND THE STUBBORN DONKEY

How do librarians decide what to add to a library? They do it through a process called Collection Development. When developing a collection for the children’s section of a local library, youth librarians think about lots of factors including: the age range for the section, local interests and needs, populations that should be reflected in […]

Richard Tregaskis: Reporting Under Fire from Guadalcanal to Vietnam

Ernest Hemingway may be the most legendary war reporter, but there are many unsung heroes among the war correspondents of World War Two whose lives of bravery and skill deserve wider recognition. Hoosier historian Ray Boomhower seems to be on a one-man mission to address this neglect, giving us in just the last four years […]

Things We Couldn’t Say

In his sophomore novel, THINGS WE COULDN’T SAY, Hoosier-native Jay Coles explores the coming-of-age of Gio Zander, and in the process writes a love song to queer teens of color everywhere. Gio Zander is a Black, bisexual teen boy, living an okay, not terrible, not great life on Indianapolis’s west side. He attends Ben Davis, […]

Pilgrim Bell

The two unattributed epigraphs that open Pilgrim Bell, Kaveh Akbar’s second full-length collection, serve as signposts, the first—“Any text that is not a holy text is an apostasy”—marking a starting point that may also be a backward glance at Calling a Wolf a Wolf, his first collection. You must turn the page to find, placed farther down on its own page, the second one: “Then it is a holy […]