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best reads of 2017

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  • Blackbird Poetry Festival - Featuring Mariyn Chin, Joeseph Ross April 26, 2018 Award-winning poet and author Marilyn Chin headlines the tenth annual Blackbird Poetry Festival for HoCoPoLitSo. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Oregon, activist poet Chin unflinchingly explores the intersection of the Asian and American worlds.The Blackbird Poetry Festival is a day devoted to verse, with student workshops, book sales, readings, and patrols by the…
  • Wilde Reading -- May -- Jennifer Wallace and LOVE the poet May 8, 2018 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Columbia Art Center, 6100 Foreland Garth, Columbia, MD 21045, USA Wilde Readings is Howard County's only monthly reading and open mic series. Celebrate National Poetry Month at Wilde Readings with featured authors Jennifer Wallace and LOVE the poet a. All are welcome. We encourage you to participate in the open mic. Please prepare no more than five minutes of performance time/two poems. Sign up in advance by calling…

Upcoming Regional Literary Events

  • Wilde Reading -- May -- Jennifer Wallace and LOVE the poet May 8, 2018 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Columbia Art Center, 6100 Foreland Garth, Columbia, MD 21045, USA Wilde Readings is Howard County's only monthly reading and open mic series. Celebrate National Poetry Month at Wilde Readings with featured authors Jennifer Wallace and LOVE the poet a. All are welcome. We encourage you to participate in the open mic. Please prepare no more than five minutes of performance time/two poems. Sign up in advance by calling…
  • Books In Bloom June 10, 2018 Downtown Columbia Second annual book festival in Downtown Columbia.
  • Baltimore Book Festival September 28, 2018 – September 30, 2018 Baltimore, MD, USA The Baltimore Book Festival features hundreds of author appearances and book signings, 100+ exhibitors and booksellers, non-stop readings on multiple stages, cooking demos by celebrity chefs, poetry readings and workshops, panel discussions, walking tours, storytellers and hands-on projects for kids, street theater, live music, and a delicious variety of food, beer and wine.

Friends of HoCoPoLitSo shared their favorite and memorable reads from 2017.

If you haven’t read them yet, put them on your 2018 reading list!

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. Published late 2016, but read it in 2017. Maybe this doesn’t count as a 2017 book. Loved the audiobook! – Michelle

Rogue Heroes by Ben Macintyre. A history of the British special forces (SAS) in WWII. It reads like a novel and is full of vivid descriptions of war and the morality play of the battle against the Nazis and evil. My favorite line in the book. “Tragedy and comedy are brothers.” I couldn’t put it down. – Peter La Count

This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel, is about a family whose little boy feels best as a girl, and the choices the family makes while facing this crisis of identity. The novel is heartfelt, funny, and informative, as well as being a Good Read.  – Kathy Larson

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders For it’s language, innovation, multi-genre span and heart, Lincoln in the Bardo has stayed with me all year. The story recreated my image of Lincoln, a historical figure who looms large in the minds of all those educated in the US. The “matter-light-blooming phenomenon” is an idea that crosses the boundaries of fantasy, philosophy and religion and is one of the reasons the book is not just a novel, but also a poem and an inspiration.  – Cherise

The Hate You Give – Allison

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan. A true story of Pino Lella, an Italian teenager, who finds himself working in the upper ranks of the Nazi party and is recruited as a spy for the Allies. – Erin

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. What an excellent read! This page turner is even being picked up by book aficionado, Reese Witherspoon. This was a sit on the edge of your seat thriller! Four high school friends reunite after years of being apart. However, a dark secret from their past is the cause of this impromptu reunion. Can they escape from their past, or will the truth finally set them free? – Chelsie
The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan. This popular history was published in England; Frankopan is the Director of the Byzantine Center at Oxford University. For a history book, it’s an interesting and varied read that tackles a wide range of cultural developments and historical events/phenomena that transpired over the millennia through the Eurasian (and African) trade. – Laura 
The Alchemist – This year it is my 3rd or 4th time reading this book. I feel that every time I read it I learn something new about myself and my view of the world. This book describes the journey of a young man in search of treasures only to find out the “real” treasure was right where he started – his friends, family, and love. This time around I learned to appreciate my loved ones more and regard them as the treasure they are. – Aprile Williams
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me:A Memoir by Sherman Alexie A blistering, tender, complicated , and highly original memoir filled with poetry – Tara Hart
The Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – David Barrett
Swing Time by Zadie Smith – Nsikan Akpan
The Power, by Naomi Alderman. This book, set it a slightly future world, examines what happens when teenaged girls around the world, discover that they have the ability to shock and kill people with a new organ that has grown in their bodies. The inversion of power in the world begins immediately, sparks an uprising from men, results in both justice and abuse, and is a whip-smart read that makes you think about power, sex, war, and revolution in a completely new way. Margaret Atwood said: “”Electrifying! Shocking! Will knock your socks off! Then you’ll think twice, about everything.” I agree. – Susan Thorton Hobby
Desperate Characters by Paula Fox. Can’t resist adding my close seconds: Miss Jane by Brad Watson and Give Us a Kiss by Daniel Woodrell. – Kathy
The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore. I loved this tale about how the creation of Wonder Woman is related to the history of American women’s rights movements from the early 20th century.  The character of Dr. William Marston, his family life, his inventions (including the lie detector test!), and his work on Wonder Woman make for a very interesting read. I also really enjoyed David Sedaris’s Theft by Finding – but definitely get it as an audiobook and listen to Sedaris tell you his life story! – Laura Yoo

HAPPY READING IN 2018!


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