- Boat Burned by Kelly Grace Thomas
- Homie by Danez Smith
- Some Are Always Hungry by Jihyun Yun
- Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz
- Obit by Victoria Chang
- Horsepower by Joy Priest
- Inheritance by Taylor Johnson
- A History of Kindness by Linda Hogan
- Habitat Threshold by Craig Santos Perez
- Guillotine: Poems by Eduardo C. Corral
- When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry edited by Joy Harjo
- The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext edited by Felicia Rose Chavez, José Olivarez, and Willie Perdomo
- The Malevolent Volume by Justin Phillips Reed
- Finna by Nate Marshall
- Catrachos by Roy Guzmán
- Thrown in the Throat by Benjamin Garcia
- Negotiations by Destiny O. Birdsong
- Indigo by Ellen Bass
- Un-American by Hafizah Geter
- Deluge by Leila Chatti
- On This Side of the Desert by Alfredo Aguilar
- borderland apocrypha by Anthony Cody
- This Is How the Bone Sings by W. Todd Kaneko
- How the Water Holds Me by Tariq Luthun
- Mother Country by Elana Bell
- Cardinal by Tyree Daye
- The Bees Make Money in the Lion by Lo Kwa Mei-en
- Collected Ghazals by Jim Harrison
- Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine
- Salat by Dujie Tahat
- The Donkey Elegies by Nickole Brown
- Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy by Robin Gow
- Conjure by Rae Armantrout
- What Kind of Woman by Kate Baer
- The Many Names for Mother by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach
- Fantasia for the Man in Blue by Tommye Blount
- Fire Eater by Jose Hernandez Diaz
- Birthright by George Abraham
- Be Holding by Ross Gay
- Dearly by Margaret Atwood
- Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder
- Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh
- Barely Functional Adult by Meichi Ng
- The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
- Flamer by Mike Curato
- Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream by Blair Imani and Rachelle Baker
- Space Boy (Volumes 6, 7, & 8) by Stephen McCranie
- The Promise (Avatar: The Last Airbender) by Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru, and Michael Heisler
- Venus in the Blind Spot by Junji Ito
- The Witcher Omnibus by Paul Tobin and Others
Editor’s Note: Forgive me, I don’t typically enjoy superhero comics so you’ll see they aren’t represented on this list. A special thank you to Kenny Porter for his input.
- World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
- A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by David Attenborough
- The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think by Jennifer Ackerman
- What It’s Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing — What Birds Are Doing and Why by David Allen Sibley
- Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake
- The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World by Patrik Svensson
- Elephants: Birth, Life, and Death in the World of the Giants by Hannah Mumby
- The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move by Sonia Shah
- Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald
- Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life by Katherine E. Standefer
- The Complete Language of Flowers : A Definitive and Illustrated History by S. Theresa Dietz
- The Story of Life in 10 ½ Species by Marianne Taylor
- Dispatches from the End of Ice by Beth Peterson
- Owls of the Eastern Ice by Jonathan C. Slaght
- The Language of Butterflies: How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists, and Other Obsessives Unlocked the Secrets of the World’s Favorite Insect by Wendy Williams
- The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
- Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
- Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey
“Memorial Drive” is a heartbreaking story of domestic violence, loss, and survival. I am in awe of Natasha Trethewey’s openness and strength. I highly recommend this book to fans of her work; it’s a tough read but an important truth and reckoning. Five stars!
- Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
- Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America by Laila Lalami
- The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper
- Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
- Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
- Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In by Phuc Tran
- Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life After Which Everything Was Different by Chuck Palahniuk
- Oak Land: A Fight for Sacred Land in the American West by Lauren Redniss
- The Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir by Wayétu Moore
- Keep Moving by Maggie Smith
- How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other by Naomi Klein and Rebecca Stefoff
- A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost
- Blueberries by Ellena Savage
- The Farm by Wendell Berry
- A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott
- Deported Americans: Life after Deportation to Mexico by Beth C. Caldwell
- Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother’s Letter to Her Son by Homeira Qaderi
- The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
The Girl with the Louding Voice is excellent, albeit painful. I picked it up (yay, used books!) from @schulerbooks_chapbookcafe on Sunday and am almost halfway through already. 💜 Glad I trusted all the hype and acclaim I saw on #bookstagram.
- The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels
This novel hit close to home. Brief synopsis: set in the 1980s in rural Ohio, Brian, a young gay man in the final stages of AIDS, returns to his hometown (population: 1200) to die. His conservative, Christian family refuses to acknowledge or accept his sexuality or condition, and he must grapple with intense bigotry on his deathbed.
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Five stars for this gem and a wholehearted recommendation to those who are looking for a novel they won’t be able to put down. The story follows a set of twins and their daughters through a familial split and the ensuing racial and cultural differences in their lives. Set in the 1960s to 1980s, you’ll be swept into the tumultuous, uncertain narrative and find yourself empathizing with all the characters in unexpected ways.
- Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
- The Shadow of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED The Rise of Kyoshi! Anticapitalist, queer, girl POWER, brains brawn & beauty, poverty & economic commentary, interracial (and international) dynamics!!!: if there’s a progressive theme you were hoping to see addressed and celebrated in the Avatar world, this book revels in it. 💚 Kyoshi is a great role model for girls and women alike, and her struggles with good and evil, her complicated heritage, and her own lack of confidence and direction are very relatable and familiar. I loved her friendships and her creative problem solving when she finds herself allying with troubling people. Fans of Last Airbender lore, cultural traditions, and sky bison will also find things to appreciate in this book.
- Godshot by Chelsea Bieker
This book is fucked up. And it’s among the best books I’ve ever read. It’s extremely disturbing so I only recommend it to readers who can handle a lot of violence and religious trauma and triggering. Think Educated but possibly even more broken. Brief synopsis: 14-year-old Lacey May lives with her mother who is a struggling alcoholic who makes terrible relationship decisions. They — and most other people in their small California town — are members of Gifts of the Spirit, a cult that no one thinks is a cult. That’s all I’m gonna reveal. The whole story is a hellscape. And the most terrifying part (and why I had nightmares after reading it) is that at its core, this story is true. I know. I’m grateful to not have experienced most of the more severe acts in this book, but the unquestioning allegiance, the complete and utter shame toward girls and their bodies, the belief in miracles, the judgement, the oppression, the harm done toward anyone with mental health issues, the prosperity gospel, the claim of women’s bodies by their husbands, the certainty that men of the church are godly men… these were preached and practiced in the church I attended for six years. And I suffered the consequences.
- A Burning by Megha Majumdar
I read this book in a day.🔥 This novel wasn’t what I was expecting, with multiple narrators and points of view, but I enjoyed it! I won’t spoil the ending for anyone, but ugh, definitely a realistic book. The only bad review I found about it mentioned that the reader didn’t like “political fiction,” which I thought was ridiculous. This book is about so much more than just political corruption, and the presence of the political tensions adds drama and real-world stakes. My guess is that that reader lives with quite a bit of unchallenged privilege and disliked this book for all the reasons I enjoyed it: the raw portrait of the main character’s plight, the discussion of campaigning and Indian elections, and the absolute gift of Lovely’s scenes and opinions and triumphs. 🎆 I also appreciated the colloquialisms of each character’s voice; I’m a huge supporter of preserving ESL voices and stories.
- Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
- The Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-eun, translated by Lizzie Buehler
- Say Say Say by Lila Savage
- The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
- Writers & Lovers by Lily King
- Nothing to See by Pip Adam
- The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
- How Much of These Hills is Gold by C. Pam Zhang
- The Removed by Brandon Hobson
- Jubilee by Jennifer Givhan
- Little Gods by Meng Jin
- These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card
- Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
THE 2020 HYYPELIST OF POETRY
Our #1 Pick: Boat Burned by Kelly Grace Thomas
Read the full Poetry Hyypelist here.
THE 2020 HYYPELIST OF MUSIC
Our #1 Album Pick: Dreamland by Glass Animals
Our #1 EP Pick: I’m Allergic to Dogs! by Remi Wolf
THE 2020 HYYPELIST OF BOOKS
Our #1 Pick in Fiction: The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
Read the full Fiction Hyypelist here.
Our #1 Pick in Nonfiction: The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Read the full Nonfiction Hyypelist here.
Our #1 Pick in Science & Nature Writing: World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Read the full Science & Nature Writing Hyypelist here.
THE 2020 HYYPELIST OF GRAPHIC NOVELS
Our #1 Pick: Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder
Read the full Graphic Novels Hyypelist here.
Issue Seven has been my favorite to compile so far. This issue features an incredible artist, six poets, and the most robust Hyypelists yet in seven categories (full-length albums, EPs, fiction, nonfiction, science & nature writing, graphic novels, and poetry)! It was extremely difficult to rank such amazing, necessary writing and music, but I’m pretty happy with how the Hyypelists turned out. Thanks for reading, and happy new year!
Tell us a little bit about your art! Do you have a preference for a certain medium? Do you try to theme your pieces, or does their content vary?
Primary focus of the work falls under material exploration and process. I’ve explored various mediums and materials, but my style would be best described as sculptural paintings, or what I call, paintskins. To me, paintskins are both the material and the finished sculptures, which are constructed out of acrylic house paint, with about 90% of it all being recycled paint. Any themes or concepts I create are attached to specific projects, and even if the projects look different they always have the underlying mentality of manipulating a material or process.
I first became familiar with your work (I believe) during ArtPrize, at an old school building. (Cannot remember what the building was called. Feel free to jog my memory.) I instantly fell in love with your pieces. They’re made from paint, correct? And you pair each piece with a clothed model? When did you start making these sculptures?
I’m not sure what the name of the school was either, but it was organized by 337 Project Space in collaboration with SiTE:LAB for ArtPrize. The series you are referring to is called “double self-portrait”; it was a project I worked between 2017-2019. It started in a time when I was living in my studio space and having my entire wardrobe around all my paintskins naturally lead me to compare and see similarities in colors and material. I would get the question a lot of which one came first the paintskin or the outfit, but it wasn’t one or the other, at least not until I started photographing my friends. Overall I loved the idea of collaborating with my own artwork to create something new together. Layering in fashion and whether I could make it into a paintskin was something that was on my mind at all hours of day, and people watching become an obsession, but with the sole purposes of getting ideas to recreate their outfits myself.
How often do you create? What is your relationship to each piece like? Do you have favorites? Where do you find your ideas?
I try to go into the studio at least 5 days a week, even if its only 30min, but I believe its important to have routine when creating, which also leads to new ideas. The subtle signs of history that is layered in details through out nature inspire a lot of my work.
I like to mimic moments that can be overlooked if not taken the time to pause and reflect.
Tell me about the emotion behind your pieces. I think one reason I’m so drawn to them is their life and color. They almost seem like they’re creatures!
With the “double self-portrait” series the emotions were in part to show life in the paintskins. In that work the most important part was the paintskin, the photographed only served as a reflection. The paintskin can serve as an artifact one that holds many emotions but not easily seen. In my current work “rhythmic gatherings” the sculptures are larger composed of hundreds of small paintskins, that is then carved out with an obsession. You can witness anything from patience to frustration in the carvings alone, but like mentioned before it requires the viewer to pause and imagine being the observer at the moment of the action.
Last question! What advice do you have for those seeking inspiration? How can others tap into their creative sides?
I believe our creations and our lives should be intertwined, inspiration will come from our experiences, and those experiences need to be documented. Documentation is your form of artwork, no matter what the medium. Since I have a separate art studio, I try to go to the studio and do my form of documentation. Sometimes it’s working on the actual paintskins, other times I write or draw. Recently I’ve been enjoying sewing and even though its more of a hobby than anything else, its been useful in becoming inspired with new ideas.
Thanks for chatting, Jovanni! Can’t wait to see what you make next!
What do we inherit
From our ancestors
But the way our eyes shine
But the way our nose curves
But the way our hair moves
But the way our bones connect
What do we inherit
From our predecessors
But the way we get from place to place
But the way we go about our business
But the way we work play sleep
But the way we shamble stumble shuffle
What do we inherit
From our people
But the way we dance
But the way we eat
But the way we live
But the way we die
What do we inherit
From our society
But the way we wage war
But the way we make our peace
But the way we treat neighbors
But the way we look at ‘not me’
What do we inherit
But the way we decide to accept our inheritance
Is set before us
And we are expected to consume
No questions asked
But there is always a
Lindsey Miller graduated from Byron Center High School. She enjoys reading, writing, music, and anything science-related. She writes poetry to process life’s tough moments and to express herself in ways other formats simply don’t allow for. Her poem “Inheritance” explores the argument of nature vs. nurture as well as societal traditions and expectations.