Dylan Gelderman

Dylan has been an insatiable reader for as long as he can remember. By age eight, he was walking up to the checkout counter of his local public library at least once a week, with his arms full of a stack of books taller than he could see over.

From cookbooks to memoirs, fiction to travel guides, he has read it all — or intends to.

He is excited to join the Story & Song crew and to help you find your next favorite book! 

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Both a philosophical dissertation and a novel, The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas tells the story of a “part-time winner” with a playful, teasing plot construction shaped by almost surreal happenstance. It is a book that reminds you of how small humans are, when compared to the unseen machinations of fate, and how profoundly we can still change the world anyhow.

Spinning Silver weaves a broad cast of characters seamlessly: a regal and calculating tsarina, her elderly and doting nurse, a coldhearted moneylender’s daughter, a farm girl and her brothers. Without Novik bothering to announce a change in narrator, I could tell when the point of view had shifted almost immediately, each character’s perspective brought an exquisite fullness.

Winner of the 2016 Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire award for French speculative fiction, The Mirror Visitor series mixes fresh and original magic with the majesty and danger of the court of Versailles, a pantheon of multicultural gods, a love story with all of the tension of “Pride and Prejudice”, and mysterious traces of an unknown apocalypse. This is a world both intimately familiar and unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

The statistics presented here, and the stories told by millions of black Americans, are nothing less than radicalizing. The United States has the highest prison population in the world, and the highest per capita incarceration rates. An overwhelmingly disproportionate amount of these prisoners are black. Alexander connects the roots of slavery with voter suppression, drug related crime, cycles of poverty, and the “thin blue line” separating two unequal communities.

Slate’s prose is so evocative and richly detailed that I found it hard to tell if I was reading a humorous essay or a free-form poem. There are sentences so powerfully introspective and deeply conceptual that I could feel them in my throat, they forced me to put the book aside to try and swallow them down. There are sentences that made me laugh so hard I almost peed. And sometimes, both sentences will show up on the same page, leaving me torn between Slate’s heartfelt pain and manic delight.