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The Community Curates with Nathan Baez

Nathan Baez, often referred to as Nate, is a storyteller who uses life experiences to create art music and poetry.  Check out his selected titles for The Community Curates below. Also come into the bookstore to see the shelf display and pick up a bookmark! 

Between the World and Me Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812993547
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: One World - July 14th, 2015

After reading Between the world and me I felt this sudden urge to apply to an HBCU. Howard specifically. I love how ta Nehisi explores Blackness and what it means to grow up in the U.S as a visibly Black man. Written as a letter to his son, I immediately connected with the message as if an elder was speaking to me directly. 


They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812968170
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - September 23rd, 2003

I came across this book while watching an old lecture about African history on youtube. In the video, the teacher started talking about how ancient Africans would travel and map the globe and referenced this book. I immediately felt drawn to learn more about the black experience in ancient America so I hit the library and checked it out. I took my time reading this one and learned so much about what this landmass looked like before european colonization and how advanced ancient Black culture was. 


Siddartha Cover Image
ISBN: 9781720469360
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - May 29th, 2018

Siddhartha is an amazing tale on enlightenment. This book was given to me during a period in my life when I was traveling across the country and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. After this read, I felt recharged spiritually and ready for more adventure.


My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608467679
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Haymarket Books - May 30th, 2017

This book of poetry is so powerful and inspiring especially as a poet myself. Every piece in this book is well crafted a riddled with beautiful wordplay and stories that make the hair on my arms stand up. 


Live from Death Row Cover Image
ISBN: 9780380727667
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - June 1st, 1996

This book is a memoir by Mumia Adu Jamal who was convicted and sentenced to death for murdering a police officer. I was first given this book by a state trooper who would come into El Taller back when I was working as a waiter. We would talk about music and politics and what we were reading at the time and he gave me this book. Mumia writes as he is on death row waiting for his date of execution.  


The Phantom Tollbooth Cover Image
By Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780394820378
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yearling - October 12th, 1988

Parable of the Sower Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538732182
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 30th, 2019

Parable of the Sower is my bible. I’ve read this book a couple of times and every time I learn something new about myself. My good friend Iva recommended it to me and ever since then, Octavia Butler has become my favorite author. This sci-fi novel takes place outside of Los Angeles during the 2020s in a fallen America. The main character is an empath, who while being the daughter of a preacher, creates her own religious ideology that is meant to take humans beyond the stars. 


Wild Seed (Patternist #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446676977
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 1st, 2001

This book blew my mind. Another amazing tale by the late great Octavia Butler. It’s about two immortal Africans who have superpowers and breed humans for slavery. This really a MUST READ!


Portrait of Dorian Gray: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (Reader's Choice Edition) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781450541718
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - February 3rd, 2010

This novel was given to me by my high school literature teacher a few years after I graduated. I would visit her classroom from time to time and write with her students. One day I asked her for a new book to read as she placed this amazing piece of literature in my hands. What I love most about this book is the dialogue between the characters. Beautifully written and thought-provoking, this book is definitely a must-read.