Recently released April 6, 2021, Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins is a riveting story about a wealthy Harlem family of caulbearers who prioritize their own success over their community’s well-being, and how that comes at a cost.Continue reading “Caul Baby: A Book Review”
Sometimes, we read to learn, and sometimes, we read to critically reflect. Most often, I tend to read for those two reasons. But there are some books I read which remind me that reading is really fun and Talia Hibbert’s Act Your Age, Eve Brown does that for me.Continue reading “Act Your Age, Eve Brown: A Brown Sisters Guide and Book Review”
After reading Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi earlier this year, I was extremely interested in reading her previous debut novel, Homegoing, which tells the fictional stories of two half-sisters born in separate villages in eighteenth-century Ghana and their respective descendants.
And as though I weren’t already excited enough to read it, when I opened up to the first few pages and saw a family tree chart, I became even more hyped– who doesn’t love a book with a chart?Continue reading “Homegoing: A Book Review”
Letter from the Editor:
Greetings! Even though February is the shortest month of the year, I still managed to read several amazing works. In honor of it being Black History Month, I exclusively read Black-authored books. Not just this month, but year-round as well, I think we should generally aim to uplift the marginalized voices which so often have been ignored throughout history.
In this issue of Bookish Brains, I will be sharing reviews for The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi, Black Boy Out of Time by Hari Ziyad, the March comic trilogy written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, as well as my currently-reading thoughts on Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin and my reading plans for March! Cheers!
“They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died.”
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi begins with this evocative line. Vivek’s death is certain, yet the circumstances surrounding that death are hazy: the body is left upon Vivek’s parents’ house, stripped and battered, leaving mother Kavita with devastated questions and father Chika with a gap in his heart. What happened to Vivek? And moreover, who was Vivek?Continue reading “The Death of Vivek Oji: A Book Review”
Letter from the Editor:
Happy 2021! I hope your reading year has begun on a good foot; if not, there are still eleven months to sink your teeth into delicious literature!
The very first book I read this year was Garfield Sits at Home (#7), a comic strip book. I think I find that cynical, chunky feline even funnier as an adult now that I “manage” two cats of my own, who both certainly have distinct attitudes. After that first booklet, I read two more Garfield collections because that was exactly what I needed at the beginning of this month.
Aside from misadventures in Jon’s household, I’ve also read a few other incredible books, which I’m excited to write about! In today’s issue of Bookish Brains, I’m discussing Luster by Raven Leilani, Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert, In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado, and Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, as well as my current reads The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune and The Shining by Stephen King.
Moving forward, I plan to publish these issues of Bookish Brains on the last Friday of every month and use the opportunity to summarize the month’s reading. Hope you enjoy!
I remember discovering feminism when I was in middle school—thank goodness for the internet—and enthusiastically delving into feminist literature. I began to critically dissect the sexism at play around me, questioning societal norms and rejecting traditional gender expectations. I felt pretty well-versed to speak on feminism, and, a bit arrogant having done some reading as a 16-year-old, figured I knew all there was to know about feminism.
However, I never realized how the feminism I read about in those books failed to consider the female experiences outside of whitehood. The books I read about feminism discussed how messed up it was that women were expected to be conventionally pretty and written off as the frivolous sex, but they never addressed how Black women in the United States face a domestic violence rate far higher than that of white women, or how the mainstream white feminist movement has largely failed to lift the voices of women of color, and in many cases, has actively silenced them.
In November, I read two very amazing feminist works that I highly recommend on this topic. The first is Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall, which focuses on the feminist platform in the United States and how the mainstream movement largely ignores issues that predominantly affect marginalized women (including trans women).
The other book I read, which is the one I would like to discuss today, is White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad. In this book, Hamad looks at women of color on a global scale as she offers historical context for how colonialism disseminated racist ideologies throughout the world and how white women have benefitted from and subsonciously and consciously perpetuated racism and sexism over time up to the present.Continue reading “White Tears/Brown Scars”
The title Fever Dream piques interest—that hot-and-cold, frenzied fantastical experience, what would a book with that name encapsulate?
While searching for translated works in the horror genre to read during October this year, I first discovered the 2014 novel Fever Dream, written by Samanta Schweblin and translated to English by Megan McDowell, and I was likewise intrigued to read it.
Reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt is like drinking black coffee and smoking a cigarette at a hotel bar while a well-dressed stranger recounts the tragedy of their New England college experience in an academic cult of Greek scholars. It delivers you something bold, dark, and electrifying that washes down your throat with a sophisticated melancholy, while also stimulating you with a smoky, lonely buzz which sobers the heart and leaves you with exquisite yearning; as soon as you’re done with your first cup and cig, you immediately reach for the next to begin the addicting cycle again as hours pass and the stranger talks on and on.Continue reading “The Secret History: A Book Review”
I’ve often dreamed of an all-female utopia. What would life be like, if I was surrounded only by women? How would my physical and emotional experience change? Unfortunately for the younger version of myself, I never read Herland until just this week, which is Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s imagining of one such utopia. I’m sure that my teenage self would have enjoyed this because my adult self loved it.Continue reading “Herland: An Analysis of Gender and Social Consciousness”