Reading August


Finally! I get to read what I want, no more reading lists! But since I was so busy with uni, the number of books I need to review or have made plans to read have stacked up. So I guess there’s a reading list this month, but it is of my own making!

Here’s some of what I want to get through this month:

extremely loud

Extremely Loud: Sound as Weapon by Juliette Volcler (transl. by Carol Volk)

I guess this is my Women in Translation read 😀 Currently reading it and it’s very disturbing indeed!

In this disturbing and wide-ranging account, acclaimed journalist Juliette Volcler looks at the long history of efforts by military and police forces to deploy sound against enemies, criminals, and law-abiding citizens. During the 2004 battle over the Iraqi city of Fallujah, U.S. Marines bolted large speakers to the roofs of their Humvees, blasting AC/DC, Eminem, and Metallica songs through the city’s narrow streets as part of a targeted psychological operation against militants that has now become standard practice in American military operations in Afghanistan. In the historic center of Brussels, nausea-inducing sound waves are unleashed to prevent teenagers from lingering after hours. High-decibel, “nonlethal” sonic weapons have become the tools of choice for crowd control at major political demonstrations from Gaza to Wall Street and as a form of torture at Guantanamo and elsewhere. (goodreads)


What Sunny Saw in the Flames by Nnedi Okorafor

Also published as Akata Witch. Everything Okorafor writes is amazing, so can’t ait to get started on this one.

What Sunny Saw in the Flames transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, thirteen-year-old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino. Her eyes are so sensitive to the sun that she has to wait until evening to play football. Apart from being good at the beautiful game, she has a special gift: she can see into the future. (goodreads)


The Underground Railway by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all slaves, but Cora is an outcast even among her fellow Africans, and she is coming into womanhood; even greater pain awaits. Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her of the Underground Railroad and they plot their escape. Like Gulliver, Cora encounters different worlds on each leg of her journey. (goodreads)


Malice in Ovenland by Micheline Hess

You’ll never look at your oven the say way again!

Lily Brown is a bright, curious, energetic young girl from Queens, New York. She lives with her mom and loves reading and writing and spending time with her friends. But she hates cleaning! So, when her mom forces her to stay home for the summer instead of going off to some fun soccer or riding camp, Lily fumes. She wanted excitement and adventure. She didn’t want to do chores.Little did she know that the greasy oven in the kitchen was going to give her more excitement and adventure than she could possibly handle. (goodreads)

jemima code

The Jemima Code by Toni Tipton-Martin

Remember me gushing about Critical Food Studies here? I think it was Leslie who then recommended Jemima Code to me, so very excited for this one!

Women of African descent have contributed to America’s food culture for centuries, but their rich and varied involvement is still overshadowed by the demeaning stereotype of an illiterate “Aunt Jemima” who cooked mostly by natural instinct. To discover the true role of black women in the creation of American, and especially southern, cuisine, Toni Tipton-Martin has spent years amassing one of the world’s largest private collections of cookbooks published by African American authors, looking for evidence of their impact on American food, families, and communities and for ways we might use that knowledge to inspire community wellness of every kind. (goodreads)


Yetunde: An Ode to my Mother by Segilola Salami

Part of my quest to give self-published lit and authors a shot. Psst, you can currently enter the goodreads giveaway for a copy.

Death is wicked . . .
Follow Yetunde as she narrates her mother’s ode to her grandmother. It is the Yoruba praise poetry for a mother known as Oriki Iya. (goodreads)

fears death

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Yes! More Okorafor! But you see, I HAVE to read this one for Diverse SFF Book Club.

In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand and instinctively knows that her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means “Who Fears Death?” in an ancient African tongue.


The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavalle

Our current read for Diverse SFF Book Club, I finished this one and it’s very good. Definitely need to check out Lavalle’s other works.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping. (goodreads)

miri castor

The Path to Dawn by Miri Castor

Opal is a young girl living in Dewdrop, a bustling suburb southeast of New York. Life is a constant struggle for her, until she befriends newcomer, Hope Adaire. With the girls’ friendship slowly beginning to grow, Opal’s life begins to change in mysterious ways, as the secrets of Hope’s enigmatic life begins to unfold. (goodreads)

policing planet

Policing the Planet by Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton

Policing has become one of the urgent issues of our time, the target of dramatic movements and front-page coverage from coast to coast in the United States, and, indeed, across the world. Now a star-studded, wide-ranging collection of writers and activists offers a global response, describing ongoing struggles over policing from New York to Ferguson to Los Angeles, as well as London, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, and Mexico City.
This book, combining first-hand accounts from organizers with the research of eminent scholars and contributions by leading artists, traces the global rise of the “broken-windows” style of policing, first established in New York City under Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, a doctrine that has vastly increased and broadened police power and contributed to the contemporary crisis of policing that has been sparked by notorious incidents of police brutality and killings. (goodreads)

It’s gonna be a busy month! What are y’all reading in August? Any particular plans?

35 thoughts on “Reading August

  1. So many excellent books on this list! I’m using you to inform my reading Women in Translation, one of the things I’m looking to get better about reading. Yay books!

    1. Heh I’m sadly quite bad about reading in translation as well, but the non-fiction was luck and great timing 🙂 But I do recommend TiltedAxis books for great translations.

  2. What a great list! I can’t wait to hear what you think of these. Here’s some things I’m reading this month: Jane Eyre’s Sisters; My Brilliant Career (for a family reunion, one family member lived most of his adult life in Australia); My Name Is Lucy Barton; Of Orcas and Men; Landmarks; Welcome to the Goddam Ice Cube; The Solace of Stones; and Eowyn Ivey’s new novel, if I can get my hands on it.

    1. Thanks, Valorie! So many intriguing titles! Love the sound of Jane Eyre’s sisters and The Solace of Stones. Happy reading 🙂

  3. Akata Witch was fun and a bit refreshing from the usual YA/middle-grade fantasy that’s usually set in either the US or UK.

  4. Some really interesting books on your list! And, I’m so happy for you that you get to make your own lists from now on. Much more fun. 🙂
    Everyone seems to be loving The Underground Railroad, and I really have to give Okorafor a try one of these days. Looking forward to hearing more about them!

    1. Thanks, Naomi! Yes, it really is fantastic to just read what I want again 🙂
      I haven’t tarted yet, but am confident I will gush about Underground Railroad too! Yes, you do need to try her works, I recommend Binti to start with, it’s a very short novella, extremely good, and 2 sequels will published in the next year I think.

  5. What an awesome sounding August you have ahead of you!!! Seriously, I’d love to read every one of those, including Akata Witch, which I’ve already read and loved to pieces. 🙂 I had added Policing the Planet to my to buy wish list when you mentioned it before as our library doesn’t have it–I think I might need to buy it more sooner than later. Really looking forward to hearing what you think of it!

    1. Thank you, Debi, I’m loving August already 🙂 Oh yay, so good to hear you loved Akata Witch, then we can gush about it when I’m done reading. Yes, Policing the Planet is such an important read and I find it makes me sit down and take copious notes. I’m also gonna buy my own physical copy!

  6. August is the last month of the 10 Books of Summer challenge – I finished six books and I am currently reading my seventh book 🙂 I hope you enjoy your reading freedom 😀

    1. Wow summer went by so quickly! Sounds like you’re doing well with the summer reading challenge, enjoy your last 3 reads 🙂

  7. Terrific list! So happy that you are able to read what you want to read from now on.

    The Jemima Code sounds really interesting!

    I bought The Underground Railroad this weekend but haven’t started it yet. I plan on reading the graphic novel Aya (#1), Teju Cole’s Open City, and Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider this month, among other things.

    1. Thank you! I’m loving reading what I want 🙂 Yes I have high hopes for The Jemima Codeespecially since the author is a Black women as well.
      Yay, enjoy the new Whitehead! And it sounds like you have only the best books on your list, what amazing reads. I loved Aya 1&2 (the only ones in my library) and Sister Outsider was such an important read for me. Need to read some Teju Cole at some point. Enjoy 🙂

  8. I’m definitely going to have a busy August! I didn’t review any ARCs for the entire month and now I’m having fun accepting them and working with authors to do features/interviews. Taking the long break was so nice and now I’m motivated to promote the books authors send me. 😀

    I missed your lists and knowing what you were reading. I am so nosey, Bina, and need constant exposure to new books, so I look forward to your hopefully weekly updates
    I’m sorry you feel compelled to reading Who Fears Death! I hope you still enjoy the read though. 😉

    1. Aww thank you, Naz, and feel free to stalk me to find out what I’m reading at any time 😀 Haha I’m glad you’re making me read it, so I have a very good excuse to read two Okorafor books in one month! I initially restricted myself because I don’t want to run out.

      So glad you’re having fun with ARCs and are getting amazing ones, as it should be. You have done so much to promote diverse book! Can’t wait to see what you’ll review and will of course land on my tbr list! 🙂

  9. Love your list, thanks for sharing it and telling us a little about each book, I’m pretty much focused on reading Women in Translation during August (and also reading Marlon James Brief History as my #SummerChunkster), the first three books I read were European authors and now I’m into one of my favourite literary parts of the world, the Caribbean starting with Simone Schwarz-Bart’s The Bridge of Beyond.

    Happy Reading!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Claire! Oh I have yet to read any of James’ books but am planning to start with The Book of Night Women. I need to read something for WITM as well, besides my nonfiction read. I think I might read some of TiltedAxis’ books but your Caribbean book sounds amazing as well. Happy reading!

      1. I have The Book of NIght Women as well and had planned to read that first, but then I was given Brief HIstory and since I always read one big book, that was it! I think I might prefer Night Women which I believe is narrated from a female perspective, Brief History is a powerful and accomplished novel, but its a gritty read and has the reader hanging out in some pretty scary company!

  10. What a great list of books! I am happy to hear you got back the control to pick what you want to read!!! That’s true bookish liberation :p I am very interested in The Underground Railway and this is the first I am hearing about it. If you get the chance to read and review… I look forward to your thoughts!

  11. Oh GREAT, Extremely Loud can be my #WomeninTranslation read as well. I totally forgot that it was translated. That’s awesome! Yay!

    I have a ton of great nonfiction on my library stack for this month, and I unexpectedly have the day off work so am planning to hopefully get started on at least one or two of them. Lovely, lovely nonfiction.

    1. Yess, doesn’t that work out well!?🙌 I’m struggling to remember all the terms she said to remember in the last chapter🙈 But really enjoying it otherwise.
      Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on New Jim Crow! And yay for a stack of non-fiction!

    1. I’ve only read the first 3rd or 4th of Who Fears Death so far but it’s brutal start took me a bit to recover. Now it’s awesome 🙂

  12. Sorry for commenting late, Bina. This is a wonderful list. I am tempted to get Yetunde. I love that cover and your description of the book. Happy reading!

    1. Oh don’t worry about it, Vishy, there is always so much to do! 🙂 Glad I could convince you of Yetunde, it’s a very short story, but lovely.

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