Hello, friends! I don’t know about where you live, but things are opening up where I live and all I wanna say about that is: the relaxed, calm, stay-at-home vibe of the last few months are over! 😔👎🏼 I’m back to living in my car, racing one kid across town only to race back across town to get the other one to take to a different part of town. It’s only been a few days and I’m already exhausted! I haven’t missed this part of life at all…and I may or may not be already wishing for coronavirus vibes again! 😉 (Not really, I’m joking…but I hate this feeling of being on a hamster wheel!)
Before moving onto some #minibookreviews, here are some recent posts:
What have you been reading (and loving) this week?
Last Week’s Reads:
📖 As Bright As Heaven by: Susan Meissner
So many reviews made me want to read this one and when I realized it was about the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, it was just the push I needed. I’m not sure what I missed, but overall this wasn’t a memorable read for me. I liked the characters enough and I was invested in them, but nothing about the writing was compelling enough to draw me in and make me really care. I struggled through the first 100 pages where it was mostly about a mortician’s job and I found it offputting and odd. Had we not currently been living through the similar experience of Coronavirus, I more than likely would have DNF’d this one. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
📖 Conjure Women by: Afia Atakora
I feel like this book has fallen under the radar; it deserves way more attention than it’s gotten! A historical fiction novel set in the South before, during, and after the Civil War, it’s rich with details and characters. As a debut novel, Atakora’s talent is evident and I’ll be curious to read what she writes next.
The book centers around three women – Miss May Belle, the healer of the enslaved people; Rue, Miss May Belle’s daughter who is also considered a healer; and Varina, the daughter of the enslaver. As a healer, Miss May Belle has been privy to many secrets on the plantation, both of the enslaver as well as the enslaved. As the story progresses, these secrets come out and relationships are changed forever.
As I mentioned before, this book is impressive as a debut. Not only was the story immersive, it was also rich with details and characters. Told from alternating timelines, it’s up to the reader to keep track of how events unfold to show the larger nurances that led to secrets being kept, lives being changed, and hope being clung to.
With themes of racism, “freedom” from enslavement, saviorism, and spirituality, Atakora wrote a story that demands examination into the foundations of slavery and the imprisonment of Black people in the United States. It sets the foundation for the biggest travesty of which our country was based upon and it puts that atrocity into sharp focus for white readers.
My only complaint about the book was that, at times, the detail and length felt slightly burdomsome. While the details creates an immersive read, in this case, it took my attention out of the book and forced me to refocus several times. Instead of flowing and allowing me to become a part of the story, I’d have to back up and reread parts in order to keep the timelines straight. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
📖 Girl, Woman, Other by: Bernardine Evaristo
I just picked this one up so I’m not too far into it. The writing took a minute to get used to (there is little to no punctuation and it’s almost written in verse – just very short paragraphs), but I’m fully enjoying it now that I got the hang of it. I’m heading into this story pretty blind; I’m not totally sure what it’s even about. A lot of my bookish friends have said it’s a wonderful book, so I’m looking forward to continuing it.
📖 How to Be an Antiracist by: Ibram X. Kendi
I only have a few chapters left and I am gaining a ton of insight into what it means not just to not be a racist, but what it actually means to be ANTI-racist. I highly recommend this for everyone – especially those searching for books that will help them learn and grow to be better allies with our Black friends and family!