Portable Magic: New local releases will warm you on cool nights

Whether you’re spending time outside or cozying up with cider and stews this fall, it’s always good to have a book to keep you company. RI authors have you covered with these upcoming releases.

Great for Playing Tourist

Rhode Island 39 Club: Your Passport and Guide to Exploring Rhode Island, by Martin Podkoch, with contributions from Paul Alexander

Fall turns your everyday travels into explorations of the beauty lurking all around, and Podkoch gives readers something to see in every municipality in Rhode Island, including restaurants, forests and, of course, beaches. To create this book, Podkoch gathered stories from 45 Rhode Island writers all around the state and compiled them into this anthology.


While You’re People-Watching

Rhode Island Stories, by Dr. Michael Fine

How often do we walk down a street or through a grocery store, hardly aware of the interiority of those around us? Fine poses just this question in Rhode Island Stories, which explores what brings us together and the individuality that makes up our state. 

“Literature and imagination can build a better world,” Fine says in a quote on his website. “Imagination can help us see one another and envision what we can do together when we stop fighting and start dreaming.”

Educate Yourself

Correctional, by Ravi Shankar

This memoir explores Ravi Shankar’s experiences with the criminal justice system, mass media and the structural racism therein. In this work, Shankar recounts his own thoughts and personal history, and examines race, class and privilege. 

As written in an excerpt quoted on his website:  “I am not judged by them and thereby can suspend my own judgment of myself, halt the recitation of missteps that unreels obsessively in my head. On my bunk with these men for this brief instant in time, playing chess, cards and basketball, sharing stories along with our interpretation of certain statutes and photos of our family, I find myself no more or less human than anyone around me.”

Thanks for Everything (Now Get Out): Can we Restore Neighborhoods without Destroying Them?, by Joseph Margulies

Margulies is a Cornell law professor and civil rights attorney. In this upcoming work, he explores the history of Olneyville through the present onset of gentrification. Including years of research and interviews, this book argues that in order to save urban neighborhoods heading toward gentrifying, low-income residents must be given “ownership and control of neighborhood assets.”

Destruction of neighborhoods and ongoing gentrification is a major issue in Providence and in cities around the country. This book seeks to explore the ways that cities can prioritize a better future and organize around its possibility.

Here She Is, by Hilary Levey Friedman

Sociologist, NOW president and daughter of a former Miss America are the credentials that make Hilary Levey Friedman an expert on pageants, and the way that pageantry has become integral to much of American culture — from television to cheerleaders. This book also explores the ableism and racism baked into these institutions, and the damaging, destructive legacy it has built. 

Here She Is complicates the narrative and explores the complexities of how pageantry has impacted women throughout American history.

Travel Through Space


Consetlis Voss is a trilogy, and its third installment will be released at the end of this month. Exploring power politics through dystopic storytelling, author Kira Leigh crafts a space opera that takes readers into a world that plays with classic tropes and aims to challenge readers. It is “queer, anime-inspired, [and] psychological sci-fi.” The first two installments, “Colour Theory,” and “Pattern Recognition,” were released earlier this summer.