During the final week of every month, we, the Paperback Paris team, come together to share our thoughts on the best books we read.
Check out the list, below, to find out which books made our Staff Picks selections this time around!
Paris Close’s February 2019 Pick: The Gone Dead, Chanelle Benz
“From the moment Billie James steps foot in her miasmal Mississippi hometown to salvage whatever relics she can that’ll answer to her black father’s death and her white mother’s decision to flee the town afterward, it’s evident our helpless heroine won’t find any peace. Not in the members of her family; not in the once-reliable faith of her white neighbors, nor in the feeble embrace of the white man who becomes her lover and greatest letdown. At the eye of Chanelle Benz’s debut novel, The Gone Dead, is a woman’s walk of faith down the green mile, a sojourn that stirs the beast of racism laying dormant in a town hellbent on keeping her quiet, even if it comes to bloodshed. Benz’s first full-length palms away the blurry dichotomies of race and mourning with a fully-fleshed story forever haunted with anesthetized fear.”
(Thanks, Ecco, for letting Paperback Paris read Benz’s debut before it releases on June 25!)
Purchase: Check on Amazon
Jen Weddle’s February 2019 Pick: Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Marlon James
“Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James — I was a bit skeptical when I first started this book but it quickly turned into a breathtaking adventure that I just couldn’t put down! I adored the strange and unusual characters, and James writes with an imaginative and creative flair that’s hard not to love.”
Leah Rodriguez’s February 2019 Pick: The Vanishing Stair, Maureen Johnson
“I loved the first installment of Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious series, which was published last March. I fully expected old MJ would make us wait for Book Two since she’s often working on multiple projects, but this one came just under a year later. In round two, Stevie Bell is back at Ellingham Academy just weeks after one of her classmates is murdered. Her parents are persuaded to let her return by an oleaginous politician who wants Stevie to look after his son. A young man who appears to be—for all intents and purposes—losing his shit. Like so many second books in a trilogy, The Vanishing Stair spends a lot of time setting things up for the final installment, but the plot is just as juicy and well written, and the character development shows Johnson at her finest.”