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: 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)
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)
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)
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 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?