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    Recommendations from Book Passage 12.21.23

    The Best American Short Stories 2023 (fiction/anthology – paperback) edited by Min Jin Lee

    This is a collection of the year’s best short stories, selected by National Book Award finalist Min Jin Lee and series editor Heidi Pitlor. “Without stories, we cannot live well,” shares guest editor Min Jin Lee, describing how storytelling affects and nurtures readers. The Best American Short Stories 2023 features twenty pieces of short fiction that reflect a world full of fractured relationships, but also wondrous hope. The collection includes Cherline Bazile, Maya Binyam, Tom Bissell, Taryn Bowe, Da-Lin, Benjamin Ehrlich, Sara Freeman, Lauren Groff, Nathan Harris, Jared Jackson, Sana Krasikov, Danica Li, Ling Ma, Manuel Muñoz, Joanna Pearson, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Kosiso Ugwueze, Corinna Vallianatos, Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi, and Esther Yi.

    Songs On Endless Repeat (nonfiction/essays – hardbound) by Anthony Veasna)

    So From The New York Times bestselling author of the award-winning Afterparties comes a collection like none other. These are sharply funny, emotionally expansive essays as well as linked short fiction that explore family, queer desire, pop culture, and race. Written with razor-sharp wit and an unflinching eye, the essays examine So’s youth in California, the lives of his refugee parents, his intimate friendships, loss, pop culture, and more. And in linked fiction they follow three Cambodian American cousins who stand to inherit their late aunt’s illegitimate loan-sharking business, So explores community, grief, and longing with inimitable humor and depth.

    Unmasking AI (nonfiction- hardbound) by Joy Buolamwini

    Unmasking AI goes beyond the headlines about existential risks produced by big tech. It is the remarkable story of how Buolamwini uncovered what she calls “the coded gaze”—the evidence of encoded discrimination and exclusion in tech products—and how she galvanized the movement to prevent AI harms by founding the Algorithmic Justice League. Applying an intersectional lens to both the tech industry and the research sector, she shows how racism, sexism, colorism, and ableism can overlap and render broad swaths of humanity “excoded” and therefore vulnerable in a world rapidly adopting AI tools. Encouraging experts and non-experts alike to join this fight, Buolamwini writes, “The rising frontier for civil rights will require algorithmic justice. AI should be for the people and by the people, not just the privileged few.”

    Upcoming Events

    Sunday, January 7 @ 1 pm (ticketed – Corte Madera store) Michael Cunningham, author of Day: A Novel

    As the world changes around them, a family weathers the storms of growing up, growing older, falling in and out of love, losing the things that are most precious—and learning to go on—in this book from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Hours. It begins on April 5, 2019, when in a cozy brownstone in Brooklyn, the veneer of domestic bliss is beginning to crack. As the world goes into lockdown, the brownstone is feeling more like a prison. On April 5, 2021, and merging from the worst of the crisis, the family reckons with a new, very different reality—with what they’ve learned, what they’ve lost, and how they might go on.

    Sunday, January 14 @ 2 pm (free – San Francisco store) Adam Plantinga, author of The Ascent

    When a high-security prison fails, a down-on-his luck cop and the governor’s daughter are having to team up if they’re going to escape in this “jaw-dropping, authentic, and absolutely gripping” (Harlan Coben) debut thriller from Adam Plantinga, whose first nonfiction book Lee Child was praised as “truly excellent.”

    Sunday, January 21 @ 2 pm (free – San Francisco store) Parini Shroff, author of The Bandit Queens

    Geeta’s no-good husband disappeared five years ago. She didn’t kill him, but everyone thinks she did—no matter how much she protests. But she soon discovers that being known as a “self-made” widow has some surprising perks. No one messes with her, no one threatens her, and no one tries to control (ahem, marry) her. It’s even been good for her business; no one wants to risk getting on her bad side by not buying her jewelry. Insightful, irreverent, and poignant, Shroff’s The Bandit Queens is a fun and unforgettable novel full of dark humor and surprising heart.

    Top of Your Stack — Recommendations from Book Passage
    Published on December 21, 2023