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Book cover w/ The Pretty One prominent overlaying Brown, a Black woman, wearing a gray sweater, glasses, outdoors, smiling

The BSR Weekly Arts and Culture Roundup: Book Week 2023

A curated selection of books in celebration of Disability Pride Month

Alaina Johns and Kyle V. Hiller curate a variety of books from a variety of writers living with disabilities for this year’s BSR book week.
Alaina Johns Kyle V. Hiller

Alaina Johnsand Kyle V. Hiller

Previews 6 minute read
A group of four Black cosplayers in costume poses emphatically, joyfully, in a bright indoor space

Five reasons to attend the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention

For the geek at heart

An Nichols previews the 2023 East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention and how it works towards cultural awareness, youth literacy, and building safe spaces for geekdom.
An Nichols

An Nichols

Previews 3 minute read
Six diverse and colorful books laid in a row, partially overlapping.

Discover books by BSR writers

Is your favorite BSR writer an author, too? Find out here!

For the first time since BSR’s founding 18 years ago (wow, we know), we’re spotlighting books written by our contributors, who are some of the region’s top critics, essayists, and arts journalists. Dive in!
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Editorials 12 minute read
Book cover: title at top right in yellow and white text; superimposed on a close-up of Nadia’s serious face, late in life.

Nadia Boulanger: War Years in America and Her Last Decades, by James Whipple Miller

An artist and a woman, in her own words

Philadelphia-based author James Whipple Miller offers a valuable portrait of the legendary composer and pedagogue Nadia Boulanger, told largely through letters to her longtime friend Ruth Robbins. Cameron Kelsall reviews.
Cameron Kelsall

Cameron Kelsall

Reviews 3 minute read
Book cover. Title in black above, over a colorful impressionistic illustration of a leaning piano adrift in sand dunes.

Let Your Heart Be Broken: Life and Music from a Classical Composer, by Tina Davidson

An esteemed Philadelphia composer tells her story

Composer Tina Davidson, who lived in Philadelphia for about 25 years, offers a memoir that isn’t the story of a solitary artist obsessed with a craft, but rather the worldly, spirited life that informs the art. Peter Burwasser reviews.

Peter Burwasser

Reviews 3 minute read
Book cover: pink border around photo looking through a broken window at someone sitting at a green table on the sidewalk

Done Doing Time: A Portrait of Life After Prison, by Hinda Schuman

Every neighborhood, every human life

In her second book, Philadelphia photographer Hinda Schuman’s sensitive and unflinching lens documents the lives of two women struggling to rebuild their lives after incarceration. Anndee Hochman reviews.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Reviews 5 minute read

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Book cover: title in a jaunty retro turquoise, orange & yellow design, above vintage black & white photos of women picketing.

Working 9 to 5: A Women’s Movement, a Labor Union, and the Iconic Movie, by Ellen Cassedy

Women workers have come a long way—but the fight continues

This book by longtime Daily News columnist Ellen Cassedy explores the roots of a modern movement for women workers’ rights—a fight that continues today. Anndee Hochman reviews.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Reviews 5 minute read
Book cover: Title in large white letters from top to bottom, superimposed over a photo of City Hall on a rainy day.

Philadelphia, Corrupt and Consenting: A City’s Struggle Against an Epithet, by Brett H. Mandel

Still crooked after all these years

In a new book that promises to infuriate and illuminate in equal measure, Brett H. Mandel traces the roots of Philly’s notorious corruption, from the days of William Penn to Bobby Henon’s 2023 sentencing. Pamela J. Forsythe reviews.

Pamela J. Forsythe

Reviews 5 minute read
Book cover: title in white at center, over a subtle beach and ocean scene, mostly sky, at either sunrise or sunset.

The Time Left Between Us, by Alicia DeFonzo

War stories, then and now

South Philly author Alicia DeFonzo explores gripping parallel histories in her first book: her grandfather’s WWII service and the unexpected legacies pulling on her own life. Harrison Tsui reviews.
Harrison Tsui

Harrison Tsui

Reviews 3 minute read
Book cover: title & author appear in bottom right corner over a close-up photo of a hand holding a lit cigarette.

Dwell Here and Prosper, by Chris Eagle

A Delco delight

The real-life diary of a stroke survivor and Philly sports lover who entered an assisted-living facility in Delaware County in the 1990s inspires debut novelist Chris Eagle’s Dwell Here and Prosper. Stephen Silver reviews.
Stephen Silver

Stephen Silver

Reviews 2 minute read