Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed.
I saw Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse this past weekend and got my life. I kept hearing about it and knew I had to see it sooner rather than later lest I get spoiled beyond saving. It was just as creative and wonderful as everyone said, and I wanted to just keep the vibes going with the books I talk about today. A part from amazing visuals and brilliant character design, the movie (understandably) had a lot of dimension and world traveling, as do the books I have today (plus one that tells more of Miles’ story).
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Nibbles and Sips
Thee Best Chocolate Chip Cookies by Buzzfeed Tasty.
Miles Morales: SpiderMan by Jason Reynolds
This is a natural place to start for this list. This is the first novel that tells Miles’ story, and it being written by Jason Reynolds is beyond perfect. Miles is a seemingly typical teenager in Brooklyn — he goes to school, plays video games with his bestie, and has a crush on another student. But the added responsibility of being Spider Man weighs on him. Lately, his powers have felt off, he gets suspended from school, he’s having recurring nightmares —and all of this is starting to make him doubt his ability to be a hero. This adds some of the very real elements that come with being a Black kid going to a mostly white private school to a comic book character’s story.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
At the beginning of the 20th century, January, a mixed girl, is living comfortably in Vermont. Kind of. Though she has everything she needs, she’s also kind of treated like a prop by those in high society. Her father is employed by Mr. Locke, for whom he travels the world to procure odd creatures. After her father disappears, she finds a book that uncovers secrets about doors to other worlds. As she travels to these worlds, she learns more about herself and the truth of things.
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Read this because of Bigolas Dickolas, but also because it’s a beautifully written epistolary romance blended with truly creative speculative worlds. Red and Blue are two agents fighting on opposite sides of a time war. Blue’s side is a sort of organic hive mind, while Red’s is peak technology. Throughout the book, the two women travel through time on missions to change the outcome of the war and eventually notice the other’s handiwork. This leads to what is, at first, an exchange of taunting letters, but turns into admiration and love. Technically, they aren’t really traveling to parallel universes, but the times they travel to are so different that they feel like different worlds.
The Space between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson
In this award-winning, world-hopping story, traveling the multiverse is possible, under one condition: the counterpart of the person traveling can’t still be alive. Cara’s other world counterparts often die, which means she’s able to travel to the more than 300 worlds her world knows to exist. Because of this, Cara is recruited by the Eldritch Institute of Earth Zero to travel the multiverse gathering information. This job somewhat boosts her social status, but her family still lives in what’s called “the wastes,” and she doesn’t fit in the privileged world, nor the marginalized one. Eventually, she uncovers something that could change life for everyone.
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More To Read
I hope this newsletter found you well, and as always, thanks for hanging out! If you have any comments or just want to connect, send an email to email@example.com or holla at me on Twitter @erica_eze_. You can also catch me talking more mess in the new In Reading Color newsletter as well as chattin’ with my new co-host Tirzah Price on the Hey YA podcast.
Until next time,