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Ascender, Volume 4: Star Seed by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen (Illustrator)
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Body and Soul Food by Abby Collette and L. Malaika Cooper (Narrator)
Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay and Allyson Ryan (Narrator)
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
The Cat Who Saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa and Louise Heal Kawai (translator)
Christmas Cookie Murder by Leslie Meier and Karen White (narrator)
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COVID-19 in Three to Five Words by April Murphy
Crowned and Moldering by Kate Carlisle
Death in Four Courses by Lucy Burdette
Digging Up Trouble by Kitt Crowe and Tina Wolstencroft (narrator)
A Fatal Booking by Victoria Gilbert and Suzie Althens (Narrator)
Friends Forever by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (Illustrations)
Gone but Not Furgotten by Cate Conte and Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)
Guys and Dolls by Damon Runyon
The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
A Little Ferry Tale by Chad Otis
Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire and Emily Bauer (Narrator)
A Murder Yule Regret by Winnie Archer and Emile Durante (Narrator)
A Nancy Drew Christmas by Carolyn Keene
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
Noragami: Stray God, Volume 13 by Adachitoka
Okoye to the People by Ibi Zoboi
Sex, Murder and a Double Latte by Kyra Davis and Gabra Zackman (Narrator)
Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie, Volume 1 by Keigo Maki
Spy x Family, Volume 5 by Tatsuya Endo
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
The Trainbow by Nina Laden

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Nightcrawling: 09/22/22

Nightcrawling

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley is set in Oakland in the last year of Obama's second term. It's inspired by a 2015 case involving the Oakland PD and other local police departments had tried to cover up their sexual exploitation of a young woman.

Kiara and her brother are trying to hold on to the apartment they used to live in with their parents and baby sister. Now it's just the two of them. Marcus is trying to chase the dream of being a rap star, inspired by an uncle who made it big disappeared from the family. Kiara has given up on high school to look for work. The only thing she can find is sex work. Soon she's got the eye of the OPD who offer her protection from themselves in exchange for sex.

Kiara is a vibrant, three dimensional character. She does what she has to do to survive and to uplift the others she loves.

The book is short and lyrical. It's also blunt and to the point. It paints the neighborhoods of Oakland as its own character. This an Oakland written by someone who knows the city and its strengths and weaknesses.

Kiara's story also sits on the road narrative spectrum. She for her youth, her poverty, her gender, and because she's Black, is a marginalized traveler (66). Her destination — or rather her area of travel — is the city (00). Her route, though, is the cornfield, as the confusing path she takes is compared to the Alameda County corn maze (p. 175) (FF).

Five stars

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