Micro-Book Reviews from City Tech Librarians

Dune by Frank Herbert was inspired by middle-eastern culture, Islam, feminism, the occult, and environmentalism. The 6000+ year saga focuses on a royal space family prospering on the most valuable commodity in the universe, the addictive drug known as spice. —Junior Tidal
The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan takes place in the aftermath of a market bombing in Delhi, India. By offering perspectives of the families impacted by the bombing, surviving victims, radical activists, and the terrorists involved in the attack, Mahajan exposes the tenuous boundaries between good and evil and the struggles of desperate people to change their own circumstances. –Nora Almeida
I could not wait to read Flâneuse: Women walk the city in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, London by Lauren Elkin, and it did not disappoint. After reading this book, I felt as if the author had invited me to discover the rich and heretofore obscure history of the peripatetic women who share my passion for wandering the streets of the city; learning their stories felt like an initiation into a sisterhood of urban walkers, a club I hadn’t known I needed to belong to. —Anne Leonard
Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon This memoir by former Sonic Youth bassist, Kim Gordon, is both honest and unconventional. The story of Sonic Youth from her perspective is one of great success and longevity, but ends in heartbreak and division. — Kim Abrams
Originally published thirty years ago, Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker remains an authoritative look at the life and times of the great jazz musician. Author Gary Giddins captures the importance of Charlie “Yardbird” Parker without lapsing into hero worship or mythology, as so many other Parker biographers have done. Nice photos too. —Keith Muchowski
This summer I reread Octavia Butler’s incredible, gripping 1993 novel Parable of the Sower, about near future world that is (unfortunately) eerily similar to our own. It follows Lauren Olamina, a young woman who is driven from her home when severe economic inequality and climate instability leads to the breakdown of social and political order, who develops a worldview and community focused on envisioning a future beyond the earth.– Maura Smale