Summer isn’t my season. I read obsessively to escape the crowds of people and blistering heat. You can find me on my deck with a cup of coffee (hot because iced coffee just isn’t good) and book.
I am 20 books into my goal of 35 books for the year. Not having a full-time job for a couple of months helped a ton. I am back to working full-time hours but not the typical 9-5, Monday through Friday, which means there’s plenty of room for reading.
Most recently I read:
- Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay destroyed me, as expected. The writing itself wasn’t impressive (unlike Difficult Women, her most recent short fiction collection. READ IT) but it wasn’t about that. This is the book I’ve wanted to read for years. Learning how to live in my body is an ongoing journey. Learning how to navigate living in my body in our society is an ongoing journey. Hunger isn’t about body acceptance or positivity, which made it appeal to me. Writing this blurb is making me realize how little I actually processed the book. Let me come back to this one.
Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me by Janet Mock was exactly what I expected. First, I love Janet Mock’s writing style. It’s clear she loves journalism. She writes short but concise sentences and knows how to set up a scene. We have the necessary facts but enough room to come up with our own interpretations. Second, this book is a necessary read for anyone trying to figure out the mess that is being a 20something. We know from Redefining Realness, Mock was always a determined person driven by a desire to actualize her own vision of herself and her life. This second memoir gives us a closer look at her journey into journalism, New York, and relationships (specifically, healthy relationships and learning to allow herself love). Do yourself a favor and read it. If you can afford it, buy a copy for a young trans woman or trans feminine person.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas IS SO GOOD. I CAN’T EVEN. This piece of young adult fiction arrived at the perfect time. Angie Thomas wrote characters I immediately recognized from my own community in Richmond. There are differences in ideology among people who look like each other and live similar lives in the same community. They have their differences, which is based on how they’ve internalized personal experiences, and still share the same goal. That’s all that matters when a death at the hands of law enforcement spurs protest and conversations on living while Black. I highly recommend this book for anyone, especially young people wanting to learn how to engage the movement for Black lives and/or grow into their own understanding of their Blackness and relationship to policing.
Currently I am reading:
- Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose is such a pleasant read. Honestly. I don’t think I can say anything bad about it. I am halfway through and taking my time because I know I will have to return to reality. This is a read for writers, for women and feminine individuals told to stop feeling so much, stop internalizing every little thing; it is that type of read without trying.
Nobody Is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey is taking me forever to get through. I like it but I think I had higher expectations than I realized. I don’t want to say more until I finish it.
Belonging: A Culture of Place by bell hooks. I picked this book up a few years ago from my college’s bookstore when I rushed home to be with family following my cousin’s death. It was the year I graduated and wanted to figure out next steps: Stay and try to “make it” in Chicago? Move to New York City? Return home and a firmer sense of community? I am still figuring out my next steps and accepting there is no clear path.
You can check out all the books I’ve read on Goodreads.