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STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS

A Walk in the Park: The True Story of a Spectacular Misadventure in the Grand Canyon by Kevin Fedarko. "To say that I knew nothing about what we were doing would be an understatement." This observation from the author comes at the halfway point of this astonishing and fantastic book but it's a theme that runs throughout. Fedarko and his long-time collaborator, photographer Peter McBride, embarked on an almost 800-mile hiking odyssey through the Grand Canyon, spanning 14 months and broken up into a series of eight "walks" that totaled 75 days when they were finally done. It's an absolute page-turner, rich in history of the land and its native inhabitants, steeped in harrowing details of the perils and beauty the author and his companions encountered (often told with humor and humility), and it opened my eyes to some of the less-than-admirable doctrines created and enforced by our national parks system. Fedarko's relationship with his father is also woven into the tapestry of this story, adding poignancy and tenderness. I never wanted the adventure to end. - Carolyn

Little Rot by Akwaeke Emezi. In the space of a little more than 24 hours, Emezi delves into the characters and their actions so deftly - immersing the reader in their young lives in the sweltering, fast-paced, racy culture and clubs of New Lagos, Nigeria. Sometimes this world is bright and glamorous and beautiful, sometimes it’s slinking and dark and rotting, like spoiling plantains. Emezi has a remarkable gift for intertwining the players, both physically and in the storyline that unfolds - full of drama, mishap, lust, loyalty, and betrayal. Not easy to read, but Emezi’s characters put you in the belly of the beast, and then show you what you can do there and how you can possibly get out. As one of their characters, Ola, states bluntly: “There is a rot in the world but you can learn how to work the rot if you aren’t afraid to touch or use it - the rot can give you power." - Heida