Last week I bragged about finding on of my top books of the year…and then I picked up Deacon King Kong and all bets are off! I LOVED IT SO, SO MUCH…it’s one of my all-time favorite books EVER! Read my thoughts below…though there’s really not much to say except READ IT NOW!
I also published My Halfway Top 10: 2020 list. You can be sure that Deacon King Kong would have been on the list had I read it just a few days sooner. (Sick of hearing about Deacon King Kong yet?!? #cantstopwontstop!)
Before moving onto some #minibookreviews, here are some recent posts:
What have you been reading (and loving) this week?
Last Week’s Reads:
📱 *** The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by: Grady Hendrix
I can’t figure out what I just read?! On the surface, it’s clearly a satirical book with delightful banter that sucks you right in. But as you read further, you begin to realize there is so much more going on below the surface.
Through a Desperate Housewives/Stepford Wives-ish commentary, Hendrix brilliantly portrays the injustices society lays on women – especially housewives. They’re dismissed, mistreated, taken for granted, and told how to think and feel.
There’s also a major theme of racism and classism underlying the “vampire” story. When children from the nearby Black neighborhood begin to disappear, commit suicide, and act strangely, a Black woman reaches out to her white employer/acquaintance for help. Besides the glaringly obvious problematic theme of white saviorism, Hendrix also used this as an opportunity to highlight racist behavior – that white people aren’t too interested in helping out until their own children are at risk of being harmed.
Also, underlying all of that, is the theme of classism and captialism. The white men of the book – horrible, disgusting characters – were so motivated and driven to obtain more and more wealth – also at the expense of the Black communities which slowly lost their homes and neighborhoods to the greedy desires of the white men.
I think heading into the book it’s helpful to be aware of the problematic issues of the book…specifically the racism and white saviorism present throughout. But reading the book through that lens also helped me analyze my own thoughts and opinions. I know, due to my white privilege, that I more than likely would have missed these issues had I picked up the book before reading some reviews.
This is also a big reminder to myself (and maybe to yourself?) that problematic books can also be educational. I struggled with whether or not I should read this book because it’s challenging to dance along the line of promoting a book with problematic issues and forming one’s own opinion. I ultimately chose to read the book, but definitely went into it with some awareness of what #ownvoices were saying about the plot. Because of this, I believe the issues were highlighted for me and allowed me to more fully digest the commentary that own voices are trying to amplify.
There’s no doubt that there’s a lot going on in the plot metaphorically and since finishing it, I haven’t been able to get the story out of my head. Insanely gory and hard to read at times, I’m most puzzled with who/what the vampire represents. I’ve read some ideas and I’m going to continue to ponder and research out reviews, but I’d love to chat about it if you’ve read it and have ideas! Drop me a comment or a message! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
**Please note that strong triggers abound! I think just about every trigger is in this book, so if you’re a sensitive reader, please proceed with caution and/or seek out more reviews!**
📖 *** Deacon King Kong by: James McBride
Ya’ll, I think I just read my favorite book of the year! I know that’s a strong statement coming off of Saving Ruby King last week when I basically said the same thing…but Deacon King Kong!?!? Oh, my heart!
This book is full of the most delightful characters. They’re flawed, but real and honest and so incredibly beautiful. And their stories are the same. I immediately wanted to flip the book back to the first page and start reading this book all over again the second I finished it.
This book will happily live on my All-Time Favorites Shelf…and I’d be shocked if it EVER gets knocked off.
Bottom line: go get this book ASAP and READ IT! You’ll thank me later. 🧡💛
📖 Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by: Ibram X. Kendi
Still playing catch up, but this book is packed full of information! It’s a lot to digest, but also so very necessary.