Darrell Ellis

Darrell is an FSU and Evergreen State College alumna, poet, and crafter.  She loves to read history, poetry, classics, and anything creepy!  She is the proud mom of two happy rescue pups, Aesop and Buckwheat.

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker has given us a GIFT in this contemporary work of art.  Here she fulfills the ultimate goal of the poet: to critique the culture and society around her.  This book is fulfilling, challenging, hilarious, and forward-thinking.  She is among the generation of poets ringing in the future of poetry.  I cannot praise this collection loud enough!

Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart

I read Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Eragon when I was young and I could not get enough. I loved the magic and adventure that these stories gave you a sense of, but what I really really loved were the characters. So fun and rambunctious and brave and kind! But then I grew a little and read classics and loved true stories, history, memoir. I thought I had outgrown fantasy worlds and magic. Well, let me tell you what! This book blew my socks off! It is fun, unexpected, funny, violent; the perfect book if you like GREAT books.

The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson

History and true crime are two of my favorite genres and this is a perfect overlap of those two interests. As someone who knew very little about this case, and who was not alive to remember the social climate of this time, this text proved to be truly AMAZING.  It walks its reader through the events leading up to and following Emmett Till’s death, examining context and implications of both trial and murder. A difficult but very important read.  

Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped From the Beginning is a phenomenal resource for American historians.  Ibram X. Kendi has crafted this immeasurably valuable text that provides a readable explanation about the spread of racism and prejudice in the United States. Delving through history and reexamining events with a more critical eye, Kendi will change the way you think about race.  He has also been published in our local newspaper, the Tallahassee Democrat!  

Schizophrene by Bhanu Kapil

This is a really amazing experimental poetry collection.  Bhanu Kapil tried to write an investigative study on the migration and mental health of individuals displaced from their countries of birth. However, once she realized her book failed to achieve what she intended, she THREW THE BOOK OUT HER WINDOW!  She buried it in the ground outside her Colorado home for a year and wrote a book of poetry from the remaining visible text. Haunting, beautiful, and dissociative describe this groundbreaking book.

Carry Me Like Water by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

I HIGHLY recommend this book to those who enjoy Cloud Atlas and family sagas. It is a heart wrenching tale of alienated family members and individuals who are bound together by the difficult and beautiful shared experience of life along the Mexican and United States border. Sáenz's lyrical writing and masterful storytelling guarantee that you will have a hard time parting with these enchanting characters. This is a book I read at least once a year, to revisit the friends I made within its pages. 

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