• Young adult recommendations for adult,
audio, and reference titles reviewed in
this issue have been contributed by the
Booklist staff and by reviewers Emily
Brock, Michael Cart, Laura Chanoux,
John Charles, Courtney Eathorne, Kristine Huntley, Courtney Jones, Jesse
Karp, Bill Kelly, Colleen Mondor, and
• Adult titles recommended for teens are
marked with the following symbols: YA,
for books of general YA interest; YA/C,
for books with particular curriculum
value; YA/S, for books that will appeal
most to teens with a special interest in
a specific subject; and YA/M, for books
best suited to mature teens.
of inebriation, formed in the era of Queen
Latifah and Lauryn Hill—a time in hip-hop
and neo-soul where female artists relayed
their truth openly, creating the language for
young women of color to speak of their oppression and advocate for their rights. The
works in this collection cover a wide swath,
from #Blackgirlmagic, to heady dissections
of policy and reform, to critique and analysis of black thought leaders—including bell
hooks. Though the essays exist in witty, digestible passages—many are adapted from
blog posts—it’s clear most of the authors are
academics. That said, the writings, though
unmistakably political, speak to the personal with familiarity, honesty, and focus.
YA: Budding crunk feminists will
certainly appreciate the gaps filled in here
as well as the forward-thinking discourse
that takes their futures into account, too.
Divided We Stand: The Battle over
Women’s Rights and Family Values That
Polarized American Politics.
By Marjorie J. Spruill.
Feb. 2017. 448p. Bloomsbury, $33 (9781632863140).
In this timely history, Spruill takes a deep
look at the 1977 National Women’s Con-
ference and the political polarization that
subsequently developed between Republi-
cans and Democrats over women’s rights. As
expected, all the major names are here, from
Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug to Phyllis
Schlafly and Lottie Beth Hobbs. Spruill goes
far behind the highlights, however, detail-
ing how the battle for equal rights, which
was primarily about pay, became entangled
in the more provocative cultural wars about
homosexuality and abortion. Through the
presidencies of Carter, Reagan, and George
H. W. Bush and dominating platform choices
in both political parties, the fight for wom-
en’s rights devolved into farce-like levels as
Schlafly led opposition to countless so-called
feminist laws, even those protecting battered
women. The open-armed GOP embrace of
the “pro-family movement” led feminists to
declare there was a “Republican war against
women,” which led to the near abandon-
ment of such basic issues as equal pay and
healthcare. A solid work and a must-read for
understanding political and cultural divi-
sions over women’s lives in today’s America.
YA: Any research into women’s history
will benefit from access to this title; teen
feminists, in particular, will find it
May Cause Love: An Unexpected
Journey of Enlightenment after
By Kassi Underwood.
Feb. 2017. 352p. HarperOne, $26.99 (9780062458636).
Underwood was 19 and a drunken wreck
when she found herself pregnant. Raised in
conservative Kentucky, Underwood understood that
abortion was an unfathomable sin. Still, she knew she
was in no place to raise a
child. Three years after her
abortion, the drug addict
who had impregnated her
told her he was about to become a father, and Underwood found herself
reeling. She remained in the depths of despair for years, running from grief and guilt.
Though she did not regret her decision, she
knew she needed to heal, eventually seeking
out various healing practices. Over time,
as she experienced a Buddhist ceremony, a
Catholic retreat, many therapy sessions, and
a Jewish ritual, she slowly faced her psyche
and began to mend. Underwood wrote the
book she had been longing for as a young
woman. Full of rich emotion and excellent storytelling, Underwood’s memoir of
strength and healing reads almost like fiction. (It is also full of accurate medical and
scientific research.) Underwood’s spiritual
journey explores several religions, making
her experience more available to any reader.
This will be an excellent resource for anyone
struggling with an abortion or miscarriage,
or for readers seeking to better understand
those who have done so. —Emily Brock
Natural Resource Conflicts: From Blood
Diamonds to Rainforest Destruction.
Ed. by M. Troy Burnett.
2v. 2016. 910p. illus. ABC-CLIO, $189 (9781610694643);
e-book (9781610694650). 333.7.
This work covers 66 topics as questions con-
cerning population, land use, water use, energy
production, politics, boundaries, indigenous
populations, food, minerals, historic civiliza-
tions, money, weather, and more. Many of
the conflicts are at the intersection of popula-
tion stress, political actions, and the changing
climate. Each question is accompanied by an
overview and two short essays. The essays may
take very different points of view, as in the es-
says for “How has environmental justice and
toxic racism been a source of social conflict in
the United States?”—one essay speaks of the
problems, and the other emphasizes the prog-
ress in dealing with the problems. Volume 1
has questions related to international conflicts,
Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific.
Volume 2’s questions encompass the Americas,
Europe, and more than 100 pages describing
and discussing the “Key Concepts” that appear
in many of the questions, such as Afforesta-
tion, Cap and trade, and Malthusian Theory.
Each volume has an extensive bibliography
and a glossary of paragraph-long, accessible
definitions. The 52 contributors, including
the editor, have expertise in geography, his-
tory, public policy, business, anthropology, law,
or ecology, to name a few disciplines. Though
somewhat costly, this is a good introduction to
many of the resource conflicts that are likely to
increase. —Linda Scarth
Our Black Sons Matter: Mothers
Talk about Fears, Sorrows, and
Ed. by George Yancy and others.
Jan. 2017. 200p. Rowman & Littlefield, $34
(9781442269118); e-book, $33.99 (9781442269125).
For mothers of black sons, the basic concerns
of motherhood are compounded by worry
about whether their sons will even survive to
manhood. This collection gives voice to that
concern as women (mostly, though not all
black) from a range of ages,
religions, and nationalities
write of their hopes and fears
for their black sons. The editors begin by discussing how
the fear of young black men
heightens the threat to their
lives as they become objects
of suspicion and violence,
bloodshed that is often justified as protection of the broader (read white) society. In
poems, letters, and essays, the contributors recount now-infamous cases from Emmett Till
to Trayvon Martin and their own day-to-day
encounters with the racism that threatens the
lives of their sons. Many describe the transformation from their sons’ childhood cuteness
to the “threat” adolescents represent, others
learn the hard lessons of racism as their adopted sons grow into young black men. One
mother navigates the painful experience of her
son suffering from depression and her concerns
about a counselor who couldn’t see beyond his
skin color. This collection offers powerful and
thoughtful reflections on the impact of racism
on black males and the women who witness
and offer as much love and protection as they
can. —Vanessa Bush
The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, a
Serial Killer, and the Meaning of Murder.
By Claudia Rowe.
Jan. 2017. 288p. Harper/Dey Street, $26.99
(9780062416124); e-book (9780062416148). 364.152.
In 1998, journalist Rowe was working in