Thoughts: One Crazy Summer

gaither sisters

One Crazy Summer is the first book in a middle-grade trilogy about three Black sisters growing up during the 1960s/70s. In the (crazy) summer of 1968, Delphine, Vonetta and Fern are sent by their father to Oakland, California to visit their mother Cecile, who left them years ago. Instead of spending time with her estranged daughters, Cecile sends them to the Black Panther People’s Center for some real education (and perhaps some convenient babysitting) and holes herself up in her kitchen.

You can see how Williams-Garcia sets the stage here not only for some much-needed Black historical fiction, but also an exploration of the meaning of family, of love and abandonment and growth. The book shines with outstanding characters against the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement, but the tone is never preachy and the social commentary handled subtly.

Eleven going on twelve Delphine narrates this story, and she is a mature and strong young girl with too much responsibility as she tries to take on the role of mother to her younger sisters. Through Delphine we hear Big Ma’s opinion on those militants in berets she sees on tv who are just making trouble, Delphine being told to be a good girl because she presents the entire Black community; we see her learning about the community support system set up by the Black Panthers. There’s a lot of learning and growing done by the girls in Oakland.

Another aspect I loved was the mother-daughter relationship between Cecile and Delphine wo, unlike her sisters, still has memories of her mother.The author handles this relationship so well, this is not about making Cecile a villain or a corny happy end, but instead Delphine learns of her mother’s identity as a person outside of being a mother. Cecile who is now Sister Nzilla turns out to be a poetess of the revolution. It is clear that she does not want to be a mother and does not want to sacrifice her identity for this role. Her behavior and carelessness will shock many, but I appreciate that we learn a bit about her marriage and her reasons for leaving. While Nzilla tells her daughter to enjoy being a kid, it is clear that Delphine felt she had to sacrifice being a child. Perhaps this is a lesson in selfishness that Delphine can learn from. Williams-Garcia makes it possible for readers to feel compassion for Nzilla, for all that she is a terrible mother.

And the younger sisters come to life as well: Vonetta with her desire for being seen and heard, practicing for the stage and then getting stage freight. But also caught between wanting to make friends and being loyal to her sisters. And little Fern who is made fun of for carrying a white doll around with her everywhere and never getting her mother to use her real name. But oh, little Fern gets her moment toward the end of the book and it is utterly amazing!

For the weighty subjects covered, One Crazy Summer is a fun and quick read and I wasn’t quite ready to let go of the Gaither sisters. Luckily there are two sequels that I immediately put on my tbr after finishing the book. I’m glad I found a new-to-me author who has also quite the backlist for me to explore. And it looks like I need to explore more middle-grade literature, not that I’m especially biased towards it, but it was just rarely on my radar!

Other thoughts:

Ana @ Things Mean A Lot

Lady Business

Reading in Color

Rhapsody in Books

The Englishist

Have you reviewed this book? Let me know and I’ll add a link!

(Why) Should we read middle-grade fiction? Tell me in the comments!

Non-Fiction Friday: Critical Food Studies and Intersectionality

NonfictionFriday

Here’s the next round of non-fiction reads and I have to confess there are lots of academic texts in this post. Funny thing is, for all that my city’s library is so badly stocked, I have access to a university library and cheap ILL. That means it’s often easier for me to get my hands on academic books than the latest fiction and so I like to indulge. Of course it takes me ages to actually read them cover to cover, but don’t worry, I’ll soon bore you with a review. But never fear, it will involve dinosaurs! (yes I never grew out of that phase)

After focusing on the body in my last post, I want to list some intriguing titles from critical food studies. I almost went into that direction with my thesis, but it’s a pretty new field over here and I would have had no guidance. Didn’t keep me from ogling food studies publications though. Critical food studies is an interdisciplinary field of study in the social sciences and humanities, examining food-related issues from cooking and eating to production and foodways. Important work also pays close attention to how gender, race and class amongst other axes of oppression are implicated in these issues. Thus, necessary systemic critique comes from feminist and anti-racist directions in critical food studies and subsets further connect with animal studies. My own interest comes in at these intersections of intersectional feminism and critical food studies. This is not an introductory reading list but just 3 works from different directions that have caught my interest:

sugar

Sugar. A Bittersweet History by Elizabeth Abbott is a social history of one of our most important food products today. I have a soft spot for these microhistories that take one product/aspect as a critical entry point to demonstrate that these can never be taken outside of the social context. Like chocolate, sugar is an important aspect of the world’s history of racism and slavery. This is a Penguin publication but I’ve heard people saying the writing is somewhat dry. I can’t really say that I agree, but maybe I have a high threshold or the history of racism is never dry to me. Perhaps readers should know that this is a history of the slave trade, examined through sugar. Consider yourselves warned I guess.

racial indigestion

Racial Indigestion by Kyla Wazana Tompkins, too, focuses on the food-related racial history of the 19th century. However, Tompkins takes a literary and media studies approach to this. As the title reveals, she focuses on consumption and calls for a turn to “critical eating studies.” Can you hear the echo of bell hooks’ “Eating the Other” in this!? Tompkins analyses case studies where Black Americans and especially Black women become posited as consumable in the eyes of white supremacy. I’ve only read excerpts of this text but I’m looking forward to having the time to finish this one. You’ll like this one if you enjoyed Building Houses Made of Chicken Legs.

cultivating

Cultivating Food Justice is a collection about food production and distribution, focusing on how low-income and communities of color are disproportionately hit by current policies of the industry. Thus, the food system reproduces hierarchies of race and class and these effects can be see in access to food, health and environmental issues. By and large the face of the food movement had been presented as white  and this collection seeks to challenge this image and bring a social justice perspective to food studies. I especially like that this book gathers work from activists who work in the food justice movement and not just academics!

What are your favorite food-related non-fiction reads? Let me know in the comments!

Note: I wanted to make non-fiction post something regular and while googling about non-fiction in the book blogosphere, I stumbled on the wonderful Non-Fiction Friday series by DoingDewey. It seemed perfect and so here I am joining in on the non-fiction love.

Thoughts: Paper Girls Vol. 1

paper gilrs

As you can see, I’m still in my exploratory comics phase. This time I have even tried a comic set in the 1980s! I know, right! Not at all my favorite decade. But I was told there’d be dinosaurs, so here I am.

Paper Girls is another work by popular writer Brian K. Vaughan, he of Saga fame, wonderfully drawn by Cliff Chiang and with the most amazing color palette courtesy of Matt Wilson. Started in 2015, this volume collects the first five issues, and the story is apparently already plotted with quite a few more issues planned.

Set in 1988 Ohio, the story stars a group of 12-year-old girls who deliver the newspaper on their bikes. Mac, Tiffany and KJ are joined by “new kid” Erin and they make their rounds together in groups. The story drops us right in the middle of Halloween night and it soon becomes apparent that very strange things are at work.

First, our protagonist Erin has a weird apparently recurring dream about an apple and aliens and a sibling in hell. I had no idea what was going on and to be honest it just got a lot more crazy as I read on, so I still have only an idea of what all is happening. The paper girls crew saves Erin from some teenage dude who is harrassing her, sadly with unnecessary use of homophobic slur. At least Erin intervenes, educates Mac on this issue and there’s a nod to LGBT history. Still could’ve done without this. Cue some weird wrapped up ghost speaking an unidentifiable language stealing one of the girls’ walkie talkies, cause this is he 80s. There’s strange technology and some new strangers appearing in astronaut-like gear, barding it up in some futuristic Shakespearean language and riding pterodactyl! Which is super cool, but they also appear to be the villains. We’ll see!

As you can see craziness in plot abounds! The imaginative world-building is awesome, but it’s also a lot of stuff piled up and we don’t get to see it go anywhere much at the end of the volume. I can only hope that volume 1 is similar to a pilot and the next issues will show a clearer path with more concrete plot lines. But I’m willing to suspend judgement and wait how it all unfolds.

paper girls

Our main characters are a group of very different and happily somewhat diverse preteen girls. This is pretty great as this group doesn’t get much limelight in comics to my knowledge. Their dialogue is spitfire, and lively, but apart from Mac’s hardened attitude they are not yet round enough characters to rest the crazy plot on. I really enjoyed seeing a bit of their complicated home lives and in the case of Mac, what’s behind the front she puts up. The cliffhanger at the end of the volume shows that we might be confronted with different sides to these girls and hopefully this will make them stronger characters, #6 needs to step on it!

Considering this a long pilot, I will give Paper Girls Vol. 1 a generous 3.5 star rating. The preteen protagonists and the different groups of strangers as well as the apple(icon) disk the girls find hint at a generational conflict of epic and timey wimey proportions. I’m really interested in finding out how this plays out, so if I manage to get my hands on the next issues, I will definitely read on.  But don’t go into this expecting something epic like Saga, perhaps Paper Girls will develop into an amazing comic but it’s not there yet. Being a science fiction comic about four girls, I’m also disappointed to see that the creative team is made up solely of men. They write and draw these girls well, but there are currently enough men publishing comics, it’s time to let women tell their stories.

Are you a fan of the 80s? What’s you favorite book set in or from that time?

Have you reviewed this work? Let me know and I’ll add a link!

Source: I received Paper Girls Vol. 1 as an egalley, thanks to NetGalley and Image Publishing. But I’ll remain my opinionated self!

10 Novellas for Readathons

10 novellas for readathons

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is next Saturday! Who’s excited!? I’m still fiddling with my readathon stack, I never manage to read that much, but I like to have a good selection. It’s always motivating if you manage to finish a few things and so comics and novellas are really ideal reading material if like me, you are not one of those amazing speed readers. So, if you’re still looking for readthon books or you just love shorter works, here are 10 novellas you should put on your tbr:

Binti-Nnedi-Okorafor

1.Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

I read this last readathon and fell utterly in love with Okorafor’s imaginative writing. Binti is the first of her people to attend Oomza University, but to go there she has to leave behind her community and be among strangers with different customs and an ongoing war with the Meduse.

wildeeps

2.The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson

More TOR, I’m a huge fan of their novellas. This one is on my readathon stack even if it’s apparently tragic and a romance. Caravan brothers, Black demigod love story, lots of play on language

every heart a doorway

3.Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

McGuire’s newest work just so happens to be a novella and deals with a home for children who have been returned from magical lands and only wish to return. Which is just such a cool turn on the usual entering other worlds things.

red station

4.On A Red Station Drifting by Aliette De Bodard

Okay, half of this list is fro my tbr 🙂 Prosper Space Station is at a crossroads with its AI’s mind ravaged by disease and many of its people called to the long war against the Dai Viet Empire.

redemption

5.Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

Leaving her fool of  husband, Paama is given the Chaos stick by the djombi. Unfortunately one djombi with indigo skin wants the stick for himself. A trickster tale, a modern fairy tale, a Senegalese folk story. This promises to be epic and sounds like a great Once Upon a Time read, too.

cisneros

6.The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Cisneros’ story of Esperanza and growing up poor Mexican in Chicago is always good for a reread. This is basically a collection of vignettes but oh so readable.

we_have_always_lived_in_the_castle_cover

7.We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson

No list without one of my favorites 🙂 Creepy thriller, plot twist included, you won’t be sorry to try Jackson’s story about sisters Merricat and Constance Blackwood after the deaths of most of their family.

emperors soul

8.The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson

Shai the forger is the empire’s only hope. Sentenced to death for trying to steal the emperor’s sceptor, she is given the chance to redeem herself by copying the emperor’s soul. Sanderson has been on my list for ages, a novella seems like a great way to start.

ghost summer

9.Gost Summer by Tananarive Due

Yes, this is a short story collection, but the titular story Ghost Summer is actually a novella. Don’t read this late at night, Due is brilliant at scary horror, I learned this the hard way!

reluctant

10.The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

Hamid’s now probably classic story of the young Pakistani-American Muslim Changez, identity, belonging and fundamentalism in the wake of 9/11. Always good for a reread, too, to evaluate how far things have gone since then.

What are your favorite novellas? And are joining the readathon next Saturday?

Non-Fiction Friday: Cultural History and Body Parts

NonfictionFriday

Now, I apologize for the somewhat gruesome-sounding title! But it does capture best what this post is about. Hope you weren’t scared off, or were you intrigued? 😉 I’ve been thinking about posting more on non-fiction and since many of you weren’t opposed to the idea and everyone seems to love listicles, I thought I would gather some books about the cultural history of parts of the body, and to clear up the mystery: By this I mean works that focus on the cultural history of hair for example, or teeth, and do not simply present a biological account but in keeping with my specific interest (and hopefully it will interest you as well) examine how societal norms shape how we wear our hair for example or how haircuts can be political statements and/or are tied up with issues of race and gender to name but a few. Here are 3 books that look like promising investigations of the body and its cultural history (please note that I have only read the first book and the other two are still on my tbr, so I cannot vouch for them):

gilman- making the bodyA few years ago, I stumbled on this very important book by Sander L. Gilman (another academic crush!) and was most interested in the chapters on noses. Now what with self-optimization being common nowadays, something that is occuring too often is the nose job. If, like me, you’ve ever been told that you have an ‘ethnic nose,’ then this becomes not just an issue of beauty but of race as well. In much of this book, Gilman examines how the nose throughout (especially recent) history has been racial. And some of the in-depth analyses focus on the Jewish nose. Probably all of you have heard of this issue and it was horrifically prominent in the third Reich. Then, we also see that Black women working and living in the public eye may attempt to change their noses to fit into Western beauty standards or women with such preferred noses are given preferance. Now, will you ever think of noses in the same way again?

plucked

Another entry point for understanding how social and cultural issues are tied up with bodies is of course hair, or in this case the wanted lack of hair. Of course gender comes to mind here as one of the most obvious issues, but I’m thinking race and religion could be important issues as well, for example: The hipster beard vs muslim men deciding not to wear a beard because of the current climate of Islamophobia. Herzig takes a look at the importance of hair removal throughout history, from being considered ‘mutilation’ to the not-so-subtly enforced beauty standard that requires the hair removal by women in Western societies. This looks to be an impressively-thorough investigation of hair removal, which also pays attention to how scientific advancement, race and the medical field are implicated in this issue.

the vagina.literary and cultural historyFinally, Emma L. E. Reese provides another investigation of the importance and meaning of the vagina through literary and cultural studies. After the publication and following reception of Naomi Wolf’s book on the same topic, this seems like a timely addition. Rees is a scholar of the renaissance I think and that part of the book appears to be extremely well researched and definitely something I hardly know anything about. Rees’ work, however, reaches into the present as well and this seems a lot of ground to cover in one book, but I’m very interested in how the meaning and approach to the literary and cultural vagina has changed throughout history. It doesn’t get too many pages apparently, but it is worth mentioning that Rees does not appear to make this a cis-story of the vagina but looks at trans* issues as well. Yay for that!

Now, what are your favorite books on the cultural history of the body? Or which part of the body would you most like to see covered in non-fiction? Let me know in the comments!

Note: I wanted to make non-fiction post something regular and while googling about non-fiction in the book blogosphere, I stumbled on the wonderful Non-Fiction Friday series by DoingDewey. It seemed perfect and so here I am joining in on the non-fiction love.

Thoughts: Coffee Will Make You Black

coffee will make you black

April Sinclair’s Coffee Will Make You Black is the coming-of-age story of young Jean “Stevie” Stevenson who grows up in the Chicago Southside of the 1960s, in the midst of the Black Power and Civil Rights movements. As a bildungsroman, the novel follows Stevie from age eleven until seventeen and her journey of self-discovery  as well as her and her community’s place in the US. If, like me, you’re not from the US, the title may have you confused. Coffe will make you Black is explained by Stevie’s grandmother as:

“The old folks in the South used to tell that to children so they wouldn’t want to drink coffee. The last thing anybody wanted to be was black.”

Horrible isn’t it? As you can see, and important part of the novel revolves about racism and racial identity. Sinclair also critiques the colorism inside and outside of the Black community. For Stevie is very dark-skinned and among her group of friends they like to compare their skin color to see who is the lightest. Alongside these notions of colorism is the rise of the Black Power movement through which Stevie comes to reject anti-blackness. Instead, she decides to wear her hair in a ‘fro and refuses the skin-bleaching cremes her mother offers her. Sinclair further demonstrates the generational conflict at work as Stevie’s mother strives to emulate white people in that she straightens her hair, bleaches her skin and insists on ‘proper’ English. Stevie, however, fights her mother and embraces Black vernacular and insists on staying friends with a girl who is ‘nothing but trouble.’

But square Stevie also longs to be part of the cool group, which leads to boyfriends with misogynistic attitudes and nearly having sex before she is ready. Growing closer to white school nurse Horn, Stevie comes to re-evaluate her sexual identity and also her community’s attitudes towards interracial friendship and homosexuality that she had previously accepted without question.

In the end, the novel proudly declares that ‘Black is beautiful’ and Stevie’s grandmother offers an other saying, ‘The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice’ as counterpoints to the titular racist idiom. Sinclair for the most part wonderfully connects and interrelates the coming of age story and the Civil Rights narrative, even if some moments could’ve done with a lighter touch. But this is a debut novel and it spoke to me on so many levels. I can only imagine what this book might mean to all the Stevies out there. And apart from its obvious importance in telling the story of growing up a Black girl in the 60s, a lot of the book is uproriously funny! I can only draw from other readings and movies about the time and community for comparison, but I think Sinclair’s use of vernacular is fantastic and lends the book much of its charm.

Luckily there is a sequel, Ain’t Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice, which follows Stevie’s exploration of her sexual identity in her college years in San Francisco. I can’t wait to read it!

Have you reviewed this book? Let me know and I’ll add a link!

What’s your favorite coming of age story? Tell me in the comments!

5 On a Theme: Queer Horror

queer horror

Representation of queer characters in horror fiction and film was often fraught with problems in the best case scenarios, or outrightly hostile at worst. But in the last decades especially LGBTIQ+ writers have taken on the genre and created complex engagements with horror and queer identity away from the doom and gloom of earlier phobic depictions in the mainstream. Adressing intersecting notions of the queer and horror, the normative and the Other, these works ask us to rethink where we draw lines and how we make rigid transformative and fluid identities.

let the right one in

1. Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

This Swedish vampire story has been adapted to the big screen and been a popular read. 12 year old Oskar’s new friend Eli is a strange one and she only comes out at night. Let The Right One In notably deals with issues of Othering, pederasty and adolescent sexuality as well as the performance of binary gender identity.

affinity

2. Affinity by Sarah Waters

One of my favorite authors, Sarah Waters continuously writes engaging, addictive page-turners with lesbian characters. Affinity, once again set in Victorian London, depicts a complex relationship between Selina a jailed occultist and charity worker Margaret who visits the prisoners of the women’s ward.

gilda

3. The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez

In the 1850s a young Black girl escapes from slavery and finds community in Gilda’s sisterhood of vampires. The Gilda Stories challenges notions of binary gender identity, sexuality and what it means to be a “monster.”

sea, swallow me

4. Sea, Swallow Me by Craig Laurance Gidney

This collection of short stories centers mostly around Black gay characters and combines horror with mythology from Africa to Japan. Reaching from the Antebellum South to the contemporary US, Gidney demonstrates how we are shaped by the intersections of faith,  race and sexuality. Just noticed that with the elements of mythology, fairy tales and the speculative, this could definitely be a good one for the Once Upon a Time challenge.

the drowning girl

5. The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan

This one is about India Morgan Phelps, called Imps by her friends, and her attempts to make sense of her encounters with mythical creates and her family’s history of mental illness. Framed as a Imps’ recordings of these encounters, the book is a meta-heavy work of intertextuality hinted at by the book’s subtitle: a memoir. The Drowning Girl also examines issues of gender performance and transformation in Imps’ friend Abalyn who is a transwoman.

Looking for more themed reading? Take a look at my previous 5 On a Theme post: Afro-German Literature.

Do you enjoy horror stories? What are your favorite scary books beyond the norm?

 

Thoughts: Faith #1 and #2

faith

As possibly the only person to discover comics in college (and I mean really in college, in a course on sequential art), they are still somehow a new, shiny genre to me and since I mostly skipped superhero narratives and went straight to graphic novels, I was particularly excited about Faith, a plus-size woman whose superhero persona is Zephyr. Representation of women in comics who are neither stick-thin nor all boobs? Gimme! And Faith Herbert is written and drawn wonderfully, an actual three-dimensional character I could relate to and even like instantly.

Quick background info for all who like me have not read the Harbinger comics and are thus new to Faith/Zephyr. Faith Herbert, a psionically gifted psiot, was orphaned young and then discovered by the Harbinger Foundation. Gifted with the ability of flight, Faith fought with her team in the Harbinger wars against a baddie called Harada. The first issue of Faith, written by Jody Houser and drawn by artists Francis Portela and Marguerite Sauvage, then picks up after she leaves the team, moves to LA and starts flying solo.

Reminiscent of Clark Kent, Faith has a normal alter ego of Summer Smith, complete with a dayjob, writing listicles for a BuzzFeed-like website. By night she is out looking to save the world, but ends up saving puppies. Even when she dreams of a greater superhero life, Faith remains an optimistic character and something I’m sure will delight many: Faith is a fangirl! The comic is rife with references to other comics, to Doctor Who, and we get to see her have late-night chats, discussing the newest episode of a favorite show. It’s no suprise then that Faith structures her new solo life around the superhero with dayjob and vigilanteism. A wonderful aspect of this comic is that so far not one character in the comic has mentioned Faith’s weight and body built. Faith is a flying superhero and we are treated to gorgeous images of her flying in typical superhero position, an image that joyfully reminds of and replaces the iconic Superman.

I also loved how many of Faith’s collegues at work were people of color. And I think other characters which are hinted at or introduced here might turn out to be more diverse than Faith’s ex-boyfriend who is hilariously drawn in Ken-style. Fingers crossed! It’s obvious that the first half of Volume 1 are introductory issues and I really enjoyed getting to know Faith. Here finally, we are treated to a character who is a plus-size woman and Houser as well as the artists demonstrate the humanity of Faith. Instead of serving as comic-relief or being treated with derision, we get to see her settle into her new life, and best of all her body is not used for plot or character motivation!

As long as the pace picks up in the next issues, I’m sure Faith will be a very popular comic indeed, I know I’m excited to see her in action. Finally a superhero comic that draws me in. Volume 1, Hollywood and Vine, will be released on July 26th and will contain issues 1-4.

Have you read comics with diverse characters? Let me know in the comments!

Source: I received Faith #1 and #2 as an egalley, thanks to NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors. But I’ll remain my opinionated self!

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Thoughts: The Sisters Are Alright by Tamara Winfrey Harris

sisters are alright

The Sisters Are Alright is first of all a love note Tamara Winfrey Harris has written to other black women. It’s a warm, welcoming book that celebrates their complexities and humanity. I hope Harris’ book will be a gift given to many young black girls. I read this book to understand the specific lived experience of black women in the United States, become a better ally and just rejoice in the celebration of women of color.

“Black women’s stories look a lot different from what you’ve heard. And when black women speak for themselves, the picture presented is nuanced, empowering, and hopeful”

Some of you might know the author from her blog What Tami Said or from her editor work on Racialicious. In her first book, Harris starts by introducing the history of propaganda against black women and the major harmful stereotypes that were introduced during slavery and have become the backbone of the current racist, sexist society of the US. This first part will be very educational for anyone not part of the target audience, but it is tough reading as Harris covers everything from Sapphire to the welfare queen and the Moynihan Report to hurtful current beauty and marriage double standards.

Harris shows how stereotypes of the ‘angry black women’ are still pulled out even on successful women like Shonda Rhimes or Michelle Obama. Or how the myth of the ‘strong black women’ hurts black women emotionally or physically, causing stress and serious health issues when they try to appear strong all their lives.

But Harris writes engagingly and encouragingly, dismantling these misogynoir traps and interspersing them with little boxes called ‘Moments in Alright,’ which shows that black women are indeed alright. Here Harris presents snippets about black women as successful business owners, achieving amazing educational goals and more.

There’s one caveat, but Harris is very upfront about it, the women she interviewed and focused on are largely well-off middle-class and for the most part straight. Make sure to read about these experiences, too. Recommendation: Black Girl Dangerous on Race, Queerness, Class and Gender by Mia McKenzie.

If you’re on a tight budget, like me, the book is even available on Scribd. And isn’t the cover the best thing ever? The Sisters Are Alright is also my first read for the Diversity on the Shelf Challenge this year.

Have you reviewed this book? Let me know and I’ll add a link!

October in Books

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October was a great reading month for me, I managed 10 books (counting 5 Lumberjanes issues as one book). Mostly this success is due to the readathon, my first one and which was a lot of fun.  Sadly, with the end of October also comes the end of two reading events: Diversiverse and R.I.P. X.

For Diversiverse, I read Attica Locke’s The Cutting Season and Also by Mail by Olumide Popoola. But I read more works by authors of color: The Good House by Tananarive Due, Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Of course I won’t stop reading non-white authors now that the event is over and luckily there are tons of amazing recommendations to be found in the #Diversiverse tab on Aarti’s blog, take a look at this wonderful growing archive!

For me the creepy reading season basically goes till February, so I’m sad that R.I.P. X is over already. But I’ll continue with the suspenseful, eerie, creepy and terrifying…mwuahaha 😀 My creepy R.I.P. X reads in October were The Cutting Season (overlap with Diversiverse) and The Good House by Tananarive Due, and also the first Zombillenium comic. And I guess my Halloween reads The Walls Around Us and Halloween Party count as well. I’m only sad I didn’t manage to write up all the reviews, but hopefully that’ll get done in the next few weeks.

Looking at my list of books read, I just cannot pick a favorite. I enjoyed them all, and loved quite a lot of them. I knew I would love The Cutting Season and Also by Mail, but Aristotle and Dante really surprised me. Turns out I can do YA romance after all when it’s amazingly written LGBTIQ+ of color and about friendship. I also fell hard for Lumberjanes.

I don’t really have grand reading plans for November. I’m still pacing myself with The Fifth Season, which I fell for at the dedication page already. And then my birthday is on Sunday, so maybe there’ll be some new books for me to enjoy 🙂

Hope everyone had a great October! Any reading plans for November?