Lucky Boy

“Lucky Boy,” by Berkeley-based writer Shanthi Sekaran, is two stories in one. Either of which, rich in prose and character development, would be worthy of being its own novel, but how much more satisfying with the merging of divergent accounts.  ...

Swing Time

Although it is commendable that Zadie Smith’s latest novel, "Swing Time," is ambitious and somewhat interesting, it seems to fall short of its lofty goals. That being said, there is still no denying that Smith is an exceptional writer whom  ...

Just Mercy

There has probably never been a more appropriate title for a book than “Just Mercy,” by Bryan Stevenson. This book is about striving for justice against unsurmountable odds. This book is about sweet mercy that some need and deserve more  ...

Exit West

"Exit West," by Mohsin Hamid is a creative, complex, deeply felt saga that reads almost fable-like. Set in an unnamed Middle Eastern City on the brink of civil war, readers are introduced to the main characters of Nadia  ...

The Best Films of 2016

2016 was an exceptional year for movies, as well as refreshingly diverse. The upcoming Oscar Awards show will thankfully be showcasing an array of stories and the talents of more than just whites- behind and in front of  ...

La La Land (2016)

If you’re looking for a feel-good movie for the holiday season, La La Land is absolutely it. If you’re looking for a uniquely, great film with wonderful performances, once again you need go no further than La La Land. And  ...

Moonlight (2016)

Moonlight is both intense and sometimes hard to watch, as well as brilliant, haunting and not to be missed. This film by Barry Jenkins is a coming of age story of sorts about a young, black, gay boy, Chiron, growing  ...

Sweetbitter

Stephanie Dandler’s debut novel, "Sweetbitter," is a raw and gutsy romp through a year in the life of a young woman’s launch into a restaurant career in the food capital of the world. The 22-year-old heroine, Tess, has gladly  ...

When Breath Becomes Air (2016)

At the young age of 36, Dr. Paul Kalanithi did more in two years than some do in a lifetime. His motivation was life AND death. In 2013 when Dr. Paul Kalanithi was close to wrapping up a stellar  ...