So my book club is doing middle grade mysteries for October, and unfortunately, I can only nominate one book. One! This is sad for me because I have a lot of books that I could recommend because I want the people in my book club to read and/or talk about them. Just for context (do I need more context?), after I taught the detective literature course at my school last fall, I said my dream would be to teach the class again and focus solely on middle grade capers or puzzle books. (I was sick of all the murdering and violence in the adult literature.) The point is that this topic lives close to my heart.
So, anyway, here are all the books I wanted to nominate for my book club to read and the one I did wind up nominating in the end.
Continue reading “5 Books I Wanted to Nominate for My Book Club’s Middle Grade Mystery Theme & the One I Did”
Whew, it has been a minute since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday post. Did you know there’s a new host? And that today is the meme’s tenth birthday? Whew, time passes so quickly.
Today’s prompt is to pick a past TTT topic you’ve done and re-do/update it, which is perfect because I’m still mad about all the books/movies/TV shows being promoted as Black stories but that only show Black pain or Black poverty or just read my original post about it. In fact, I’m mad enough about it that I’ve had more than one conversation with friends about how stupid and annoying it is, and I have concluded (again) that Toni Morrison is right about racism functioning as nothing but a distraction.
Continue reading “Books About Black Teens Redux #TopTenTuesday”
There have been a lot of posts with anti-racist reading lists, which is great, and I appreciate people doing this work. In fact, my local independent bookstore posted such a list, and I wrote this response to their FB post since I have been thinking about this issue quite a lot.
I really appreciate this list, and I appreciate the inclusion of fiction, especially for young people here. I would like to remind you and your readers, though, that Black people think about things other than race and police/state violence and that adding in some fiction and nonfiction that show Black people just existing are also important. One of the issues Black people face is that we’re expected to constantly educate people about race and to exist as Black first, people second. Fiction books that don’t center race as the primary narrative are essential to building empathy in readers. Perhaps you can create a list that centers those fiction and nonfiction narratives–written by Black authors–as well.
Books by Brandy Colbert, Varian Johnson, Samantha Irby, Liara Tamani, and others would nicely fill a list of that sort. I also created a Twitter thread during Black History Month that has several of the types of books I’m thinking of. Black lives matter not just to address racism but also as fully lived lives.
Continue reading “Black Book, TV Show, and Movie Recommendations #BlackOutTuesday”
I love giving recommendations (book or otherwise), and I have been asked more than once for suggestions of what to read during this time. So, this is the post with all the recs! I was going to attempt to separate them into categories, but I just labeled them instead. I put pictures if I had them handily available because it would have taken forever to find pictures for all of them. Also, these are only the books I’ve read in the past five years. I mean, this list could go on, but I had to stop myself somewhere.
If you’re interested in any of them, please support a book and mortar bookstore that serves your neighborhood. Most are still taking orders and doing delivery. Bookstore Link can point you in the right direction if you don’t already have a bookstore in mind.
And this will be mostly children’s lit because you know how I roll. So here we go.
Comfort/Fun Books to Read during the Pandemic
Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot (middle grade, graphic novel)
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (YA)
Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot (mystery)
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (middle grade mystery)
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (YA fantasy)
Continue reading “R is for Recommendations #AtoZChallenge”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right: #AMonthofFaves is back.
True story: I woke up on Sunday worried that it wasn’t happening this year because I am so, so far behind on reading blog posts, but it IS happening, and everything is as it should be.
Many thanks to Tanya Patrice, Kim, and Tamara for hosting yet again.
Today’s prompt is books worth the hype (or not).
Continue reading “#AMonthofFaves: Books Worth the Hype (including one I’m on the fence about)”
Today’s prompt is books that lived up to the hype! Or, you know, not.
Books that Lived Up to the Hype
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is compulsively readable with great characters, but there is a LOT of suicidal ideation in this book.
View all my reviews
Continue reading “#AMonthofFaves: 5 Popular Books Worth the Hype (and a few that weren’t)”
Are you participating in the #SummerSoLit Book Bingo challenge and looking for some books to mark off the Graphic Novel with a POC in it square? Here are some books you may want to read to fill that square (all descriptions from Goodreads):
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson (also fulfills Muslim Female Author square): Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!
Continue reading “#SummerSoLit Recommendations: Graphic Novel with a POC”
It’s a step up from “I should be grading,” so I’ll take it. (Also, as a content warning, the Terry Crews and Johnny Iuzzini stories both discuss sexual assault.)
Terry Crews understands that he is in a unique position to speed up that progress. So, instead of internalizing his abuse and spreading it to others with toxic actions of his own, he is taking the steps necessary to break the chain before our eyes. — What About Your Friends? Why Hollywood’s Abandonment Of Terry Crews Is Unacceptable
Continue reading “Picking Favorites: The “I Should Be Packing” Edition”
So, the greatest act of self-care I have indulged in since this year started is listening to Thug Notes: A Street-Smart Guide to Classic Literature by Sparky Sweets, Ph.D.
In case you’re not familiar with the greatness that is Thug Notes, here is a brief intro, using a story we’re all familiar with:
Continue reading ““Why ya gotta be a scrub-ass Montague?””
Maybe three? I dunno; I missed posting this for a while. I have Martin Luther King, Jr. stuff in here, which I think was more than two weeks ago. Whatever, I should be grading.
“In real, big-picture life, MLK was far more radical than the cherry-picked lines from his speeches and books would suggest, a man who moved further left over the course of his long and weary fight for African-American civil rights.” — Check out nine of MLK’s quotes
not likely to be cited in mainstream media
Continue reading “Picking Favorites: Two Weeks Worth!”