IP Picks🔎: A Creepy Cruise and a Fake Prince
➕ the true story of the first Southern town to desegregate after Brown v. Board
Welcome to The Optionist! As always, thanks for reading. One of the books highlighted in today’s newsletter features a dedication to librarians from the author:
I want to second that sentiment at this moment when libraries and librarians are under attack. The Republican-controlled Missouri House of Representatives recently voted to cut all library funding from the state budget in retaliation for a federal judge ordering the return of banned books to some libraries. This comes on top of numerous other attacks on libraries and attempts to ban books. Rural Llano County in Texas is considering shuttering all its libraries in retaliation for something similar, a federal judge ordering the return of a dozen banned books (including In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak, Freddie the Farting Snowman by Jane Bexley, It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health by Robie Harris and a history book about the KKK). Of course, Florida has been all over the news for its own clumsy attempts to ban books. (Hilariously, Democrats are now using that law to argue that Ron DeSantis’ own book should be banned.)
I love libraries and librarians. And you should too. Aside from all the other arguments in defense of libraries, they’re also part of the larger entertainment eco-system. A librarian’s recommendation builds the buzz that contributes to creating a bestseller. Libraries are also a gateway for kids to get interested in stories. And people interested in stories grow up to want to watch more movies and TV shows. Libraries are pretty far upstream from Hollywood, but they’re an important tributary to the mighty river of content. If the feeder streams get choked off, we’ll lose out downstream, both personally and professionally.
On to this week’s picks, which include two potential beach read hits and a powerful new civil rights history:
A locked-room thriller about a woman on a cruise who wakes up to find the ship completely deserted.
A soapy mystery/thriller about a woman returning to her wealthy hometown to solve the mystery of whether her mother’s death was suicide or a murder.
The true history of the first town to desegregate after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.
A comedic con about a guy grifting his way across Europe by posing as a minor royal.
A NYC-set comedy of manners about a Jewish woman who has an affair with her neighbor and rediscovers herself by going to… church.
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