Books

The Time is Now

Reading, writing, and puppies: the summer of ’19

While it’s been some time since I’ve written a post here, I am reading and writing many things! Here’s the latest on what I’ve been up to and where you can find me.

First, I was asked to take on new duties at my day job because my boss left to take another job. So I am now serving as the interim Collection Development Officer for UW-Madison Libraries. This is in addition to my regular position as the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian for the UW System. So to say my schedule has gotten busier would be an understatement. With time and discipline (what is that??), I am learning to juggle these new duties with the existing ones. While I enjoy the work, I hope that new people can be hired so that I will be off the hook by mid-spring (fingers crossed).

In addition to this, I am writing more. Everything I read says that if you want to be a writer you need to write, and write a lot. So this week, I started a daily writing practice in which I write for at least 30 minutes a day. Usually it’s more and I have written quite a bit this week. I’ve started publishing on Medium, so please check that out. Some of the pieces are recycled but I was excited when my new original piece, Shedding the sugar security blanket, was picked up by The Startup.

Photo of candy hearts

 

I still have my series, Feminist Know-It-All, on the Ms. Magazine website and it is so fun. Up to now, it’s been mostly lists of new Reads for the Rest of Us but it will be expanding soon. I recently conducted an interview with Melanie S. Hatter, author of the Kimbilio National Fiction Prize winning Malawi’s Sisters, and I hope this will be published as part of that column in the near future.

Ms Feminist Know It All column on Ms Magazine

The Time is Now ebook cover

 

 

I recently had a chapter published in an ebook entitled, The Time is Now: Feminist Leadership for a New Era. The book was compiled by the Global Network UNESCO Chairs on Gender and my chapter is “The role of libraries in the leadership development of women and girls around the world.” The book is available free online, so please take a look!

 

 

I was asked to write a book review for the Canadian Journal of History, which should be published by early spring, and I continue to contribute to Resources for Gender and Women’s Studies: A Feminist Review. I am also trying to work on my first book project, which is a history of the Office of the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian at the UW. It’s been tough to make this a priority but that’s why I started a daily writing practice. My hope is to alternate projects each day to find time for all the things I want to write.

I continue to update my resource guide on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIW or MMIWG). It is consistently my most popular post on the site. Please share it widely!

Of course, I continue to read as much as I can. There’s never enough time to read all of the books I want to, though! Favorites this year include (so far, and in no particular order):

 

Noom 20 percent off discount link

I’ve also committed to improving my health. So this week, I started to detox from sugar and diet soda; you can read about it on The Startup. I’ve also increased my activity level and my intake of tea and water. I’ve joined Noom, which is helping tremendously with the psychology behind my existing habits. Click the link or image for a 20% discount!

 

 

I actually took a week off work to get started on all of this because I knew it would be challenging. It’s day four or five and the headaches have decreased significantly. I feel clearer and my mood has improved a bit. I am peeing all the time because of the increased water intake. I’ve lost two pounds and am feeling more motivated in general.

 

A dog and a puppy outdoors, by a small pink kiddie pool

Duo (top) and Grace

 

Above and beyond all this, there were a few other big things happening this summer. First, my son moved out into his first place. This is a big adjustment, but it’s been great. Second, my partner and I adopted a puppy. She is a boxer mix from our local humane society and her name is Grace. I don’t have to tell you that she is the sweetest, cutest, most cuddly girl ever. She’s brought a lot of joy into our lives since we lost our amazing dog, Duo, in June.

 

 

 

Photo of an Australian shepherd mix laying down in the sun

Beautiful boy, Duo

Photo of a boxer mix puppy sleeping with her tongue out

Gracie sleeping

Photo of a boxer mix puppy running with a Chuck-It in her mouth, ears flying in the wind behind her

Little girl Grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what have you been up to this summer? What have you been reading? What’s been your favorite book so far this year? Let me know in the comments below.

This post contains affiliate links. This in no way increases your cost but it helps me to keep afloat!

May 2019 Reads for the Rest of Us

May 2019 Reads for the Rest of Us

Here's your May 2019 Reads for the Rest of Us.

Since I've begun a regular column over at Ms. Magazine, I've been posting the Reads for the Rest of Us that I am most excited about there. Reads for the Rest of Us here used to be everything I found being published by women that I could find. Over at Ms., I've shortened the list due to time and space limits. Well, you've told me that while you love the Ms. lists, you also miss my more comprehensive lists, so I have decided to reinstate them here!

They'll be a bit different from those I used to post as I won't be able to take as much time to describe them fully; I'll need to leave that to my Ms. column. Instead, I'll just compile a quick and dirty list of covers with links for you to browse! So here's May's list!

Let me know what you think in the comments below. What are you reading this month?

May 1

Tags: Girls, Japan, literature, media

May 1

Tags: LGBTQ, queer, Minnesota, short stories, poetry

May 1

Tags: Poetry, Middle Eastern, women writers, violence

May 2

Tags: Women writers, fatphobia, memoir, humor

May 3

Tags: Climate change, women writers, policy

May 3

Tags: Literary criticism, women writers, Caribbean, music

May 4

Tags: Women writers, history, Canada, essays

May 7

Tags: Women writers, parenthood, friendships, debut

May 7

Tags: History, women writers, financial, business, African American

May 7

Tags: Lesbian, women writers, YA, thriller, vampire

May 7

Tags: Graphic novels, women writers, LGBTQ, harassment

May 7

Tags: Women writers, race, African American, fatphobia, embodiment, history

May 7

Tags: YA, mental illness, LGBTQ, loss, women writers

May 7

Tags: Historical fiction, family, women writers, Japan, literary

May 7

Tags: Technology, Indigenous, Central America, essays, women writers

May 7

Tags: YA, LGBTQ, debut, humor, women writers, romance

May 7

Tags: LGBTQ, women writers, romance, graphic novel

May 7

Tags: Africa, women writers, essays, literary

May 7

Tags: Memoir, music, women writers

May 7

Tags: Fantasy, Latinx, women writers, trilogy, YA, action

May 7

Tags: Immigration, India, women writers, family, contemporary

May 7

Tags: Romance, women writers, YA, music, humor

May 7

Tags: Women writers, Asian American, romance, contemporary

May 7

Tags: Debut, immigration, Alaska, family, rural, Asian American, Taiwan

May 7

Tags: YA, family, coming of age, parenthood, Latinx

May 10

Tags: History, African American, essays, race, women writers, anthropology

May 12

Tags: LGBTQ, India, women writers, sex work, feminism

May 14

Tags: Print culture, African American, essays, women writers

May 14

Tags: YA, coming of age, romance, women writers, Latinx, humor

May 14

Tags: Debut, China, Asian American, short stories, women writers, immigration

May 14

Tags: Poetry, women writers, race, violence, parenthood, Asian American

May 14

Tags: Poetry, US debut, LGBTQ, Spanish, love

May 14

Tags: Indigenous, community, women writers, futurity

May 14

Tags: Debut, women writers, fantasy, YA, romance

May 14

Tags: YA, romance, humor, women writers, Indian American

May 14

Tags: Fantasy, women writers, YA

May 14

Tags: Thrillers, fantasy, women writers, YA, Own Voices, loss

May 15

Tags: Indigenous, women writers, storytelling, research

May 21

Tags: Lesbian, women writers, romance, contemporary

May 21

Tags: Sports, women writers, Latinx, history

May 21

Tags: Lesbian, women writers, mystery, LGBTQ

May 21

Tags: YA, romance, women writers, LGBTQ, humor

May 21

Tags: LGBTQ, women writers, YA, family, coming of age

May 21

Tags: YA, music, violence, women writers

May 21

Tags: Plays, women writers, African American, social justice

May 21

Tags: Literary, women writers, debut, race, mystery, African American

May 21

Tags: Literary criticism, children's literature, women writers, Afrofuturism, fantasy

May 21

Tags: Transgender, feminism, women writers, politics

May 21

Tags: Lesbian, romantic, feminism, YA, women writers, harassment, humor

https://amzn.to/2VeY38q

May 24

Tags: Hinduism, women writers, India, technology, history, religion

May 28

Tags: Japan, romance, humor, women writers, YA

May 28

Tags: Siblings, loss, YA, women writers

May 28

Tags: Debut, women writers, LGBTQ, mystery, thriller, romance, YA

May 28

Tags: History, African American, women writers, race, economics

New Reads for the Rest of Us for April 2019

New Reads for the Rest of Us – April 2019

Here are your New Reads for the Rest of Us for April 2019!

Since I've begun a regular column over at Ms. Magazine, I've been posting the Reads for the Rest of Us that I am most excited about there. Reads for the Rest of Us here used to be everything I found being published by women that I could find. Over at Ms., I've shortened the list due to time and space limits. Well, you've told me that while you love the Ms. lists, you also miss my more comprehensive lists, so I have decided to reinstate them here!

They'll be a bit different from those I used to post as I won't be able to take as much time to describe them fully; I'll need to leave that to my Ms. column. Instead, I'll just compile a quick and dirty list of covers with links for you to browse! So let's try this out for April and see how it goes! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

April 1

Tags: Women writers, queer, intersex, health

April 1

Tags: Women writers, labor, procreation, feminism

April 1

Tags: Feminism, women writers, Mexico, art

April 1

Tags: LGBTQ, women writers, poetry

April 2

Tags: Debut, women writers, Latinx, short stories, Indigenous

April 2

Tags: Debut, Peru, women writers, immigration, family

April 2

Tags: Women writers, Philippines, memoir, immigration, health

April 2

Tags: Women writers, Black women, lifestyle, essays, memoir

April 2

Tags: Trafficking, women writers, violence, memoir

April 2

Tags: Transgender, women writers, humor, memoir

April 2

Tags: Women writers, environmentalism, Native American, Indigenous

April 2

Tags: Women writers, Black women, parenthood, feminism

April 2

Tags: Women writers, queer, feminism, Latinx, memoir

April 2

Tags: LGBTQ, women writers, literary fiction, historical fiction

April 2

Tags: Poetry, women writers, LGBTQ, Asian American

April 2

Tags: Women writers, politics, memoir

April 2

Tags: Native American, women writers, family

April 5

Tags: Innu, Indigenous, women writers, memoir, activism

April 9

Tags: Women writers, LGBTQ, mythology

April 9

Tags: Debut, Palestine, historical fiction, women writers

April 9

Tags: Women writers, Black women, mystery, thriller

April 9

Tags: Women writers, coming of age, romance, contemporary

April 9

Tags: Argentina, women writers, art, urban

April 9

Tags: Women writers, LGBTQ, feminism, leadership

April 9

Tags: Transgender, memoir, essays

April 9

Tags: Women writers, YA, China, fantasy, debut

April 10

Tags: Cuba, history, essays, AfroCuban

April 16

Tags: Women writers, LGBTQ, YA, romance

April 16

Tags: Women writers, debut, family, Korea, literary

April 16

Tags: Women writers, Africa, essays, history

April 16

Tags: Women writers, lesbian, romance

April 16

Tags: Lesbian, romance, women writers

April 16

Tags: Lesbian, women writers, science fiction

April 16

Tags: Lesbian, women writers, romance

April 16

Tags: Women writers, lesbian, romance

April 16

Tags: Lesbian, romance, women writers

April 16

Tags: Puerto Rico, women writers, criminal justice, history

April 16

Tags: Magical realism, Spain, Argentina, women writers

April 16

Tags: Women writers, poetry, Palestine, Israel

April 16

Tags: Poetry, literary criticism, women writers

April 16

Tags: Mexico, women writers, historical fiction, family, rural, literary fiction

April 16

Tags: Latinx, food insecurity, women writers, labor

April 16

Tags: Women writers, Bangladesh, labor

April 16

Tags: Historical fiction, Sudan, women writers

April 16

Tags: Women writers, lesbian, thriller

April 16

Tags: LGBTQ, Afrofuturism, speculative, arts

April 16

Tags: Women writers, Colombia, family, memoir

April 16

Tags: Women writers, short stories, Thailand, politics, rural

April 23

Tags: Lesbian, romance, women writers

April 23

Tags: Women writers, Palestine, law, history

April 23

Tags: Women writers, lesbian, romance

April 23

Tags: Lesbian, women writers, romance, contemporary fiction

April 23

Tags: LGBTQ, magical realism, literary fiction

April 30

Tags: Women writers, graphic novel, science fiction, debut

April 30

Tags: Women writers, India, family

April 30

Tags: Women writers, Paris, Turkey, coming of age, literary fiction, family

April 30

Tags: Women writers, graphic novel, debut, queer, contemporary fiction, literary fiction

April 30

Tags: Women writers, Uganda, Britain, short stories, literary fiction

April 30

Tags: Women writers, Islam, romance, prejudice, multiple sclerosis

April 30

Tags: Women writers, art, Mexico, history, letters

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on the links above and purchase an item, I receive a small commission. This in no way raises your cost for the item. Many thanks for your support. 

A Brief Review of Arushi Raina's WHEN MORNING COMES

A Brief Review of Arushi Raina’s WHEN MORNING COMES

South Africa in 1976 was boiling over with racial tension and discrimination. With the system of apartheid in full swing, Black South Africans endured pass laws limiting their mobility, segregated services, shameful educational systems, and undeserved, extreme violence on a daily basis. This is the backdrop for Arushi Raina’s powerful novel When Morning Comes.  

A Brief Review of Arushi Raina's WHEN MORNING COMES

The author, Arushi Raina.

Black South Africans defied the oppression of apartheid at every turn. Perhaps the most intense resistance events occurred in Soweto, a township outside of Johannesburg. The main characters of When Morning Comes are four very different young people who become entwined in turmoil as networks of students secretly plan to protest discriminatory educational policies. One of Arushi Raina’s strengths as a writer is how effortlessly she weaves South African history into an intriguing and entertaining coming-of-age narrative. The Soweto Uprising in 1976 was one of the most violent and tragic events in South Africa’s history and Raina’s historical novel teaches the reader about this turbulent history in a way that is gripping and personal.

I was excited to read this book because of my love for South Africa. As a youth, I followed apartheid resistance movements closely in the media and was always struck by the fact that in South Africa, people my age were fighting and dying for the freedoms I took for granted every day. As an adult working on my doctorate, I was able to travel to this beautiful country many times as I was researching libraries in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. During these travels, I was able to visit many sites of historical significance, including the site where the uprising took place. The time I have spent in South Africa has given me some of my fondest — and most challenging — memories.   

When Morning Comes provides a vivid portrayal of this explosive era in South African history. It is an engaging narrative of friendship, loyalty, and political resistance. Well-written and descriptive, Arushi Raina creates multidimensional characters challenged to make decisions beyond their years. It should spark interest in readers to learn more about the apartheid era of South Africa’s history, as well as speak to those who recognize parallels to today’s world. Highly recommended.

Find Arushi Raina online at http://www.arushiraina.ca/ and on Twitter @Arushi101.

A Brief Review of Arushi Raina's WHEN MORNING COMESSummary:

Title: When Morning Comes
Author: Arushi Raina
Publisher:  Jacana Media
Pages: 232 pages
Publication Date: April 1, 2018
Tags: South Africa, women writers, YA, historical fiction, friendships, coming of age, #OwnVoices
My Rating: Highly recommended

 

For more information:

Webinar/Interview with Arushi Raina https://youtu.be/JH_1utw2tGk

Book Reviews

Africa Access Review http://africaaccessreview.org/2018/02/when-morning-comes/

Kirkus Review https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/arushi-raina/when-morning-comes-raina/

Quill & Quire https://quillandquire.com/review/when-morning-comes/

Sunday Times Books Live
http://jacana.bookslive.co.za/blog/2018/04/05/when-morning-comes-explores-the-issues-of-race-and-culture-through-the-eyes-of-teenagers-on-the-eve-of-the-soweto-uprising/

History

“The June 16 Soweto Youth Uprising” on South African History Online https://www.sahistory.org.za/topic/june-16-soweto-youth-uprising

“’My activism started then’: the Soweto uprising remembered” for The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/16/my-activism-started-then-the-soweto-uprising-remembered

Soweto Student Uprising http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/sidebar.php?id=65-258-3

 

Many thanks to the author and Jacana Media for the complimentary ebook.

New Reads for the Rest of Us for January 2019

Welcome to New Reads for the Rest of Us for January 2019!

Sorry this month’s is so late – I have had something in the works that I was focusing on and that I can now share:

Starting this month, I will be contributing a regular column to the Ms. Magazine blog! It will focus on the production, access, use, and preservation of knowledge by women and girls around the world. I will share women’s projects and initiatives that focus on information, literacy, indigenous knowledge, and more. And of course, I will share books and book reviews. If you like Reads for the Rest of Us, you’re gonna love this! 

I think that these monthly lists will remain on my site but I am going to see how the Ms. column goes and adjust as necessary. Many (most?) of my book reviews will be on the Ms. blog but I would like to continue to update this site. We’ll see what I can do. Thanks for your continued support! But onto this month’s list…

With these monthly lists, I aim to amplify the books written by those who are historically underrepresented including, but not limited to: womxn, women of color, women from the Global South, women who are Black, Indigenous, dis/abled, queer, fat, immigrants, Muslim, sex-positive, and more. My lists meant to be intersectional, feminist, and trans-inclusive. I also want to highlight books by gender non-conforming people (who may or may not be described by the term “womxn”).

If you’d like to learn more about which books I focus on, see my Review Policy. These are just guidelines and I reserve the right to include (or not!) any books I see fit. I usually add to this list as I learn of others; if you have a suggestion, please share it in the comments below!

So here’s the New Reads for the Rest of Us for January 2019 list. There are so many great titles here, which will you read??

 

Daughters of 1968: Redefining French Feminism and the Women’s Liberation Movement by Lisa Greenwald (@Daughtersof1968)

January 1

Tags: History, feminism, France, women writers

University of Nebraska Press, 415 pages

“Finally! In her remarkable book on the history of French feminism after World War II, Lisa Greenwald restores overlooked feminist activists of the 1950s and 1960s to their rightful place. Embedding them in their changing historical context, Greenwald follows feminism through upheaval and fracture after 1968, exploring both the unresolved dilemmas and the profound changes feminists brought about.”–Sarah Fishman, associate dean for undergraduate studies, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston

 

Dear Jane by Marina Delvecchio (@Marinagraphy)

January 3

Tags: Greece, women writers, #OwnVoices, adoption, suicide, coming of age

Black Rose Writing, 172 pages

Dear Jane is a heart-wrenchingly beautiful exploration of what it means to not only find the pieces of yourself, but to put them back together.”–Sara Lunsford, author of Sweet Hell on Fire

 

 

Progressive New World: How Settler Colonialism and Transpacific Exchange Shaped American Reform by Marilyn Lake

January 7

Tags: History, politics, Australia, women writers

Harvard University Press, 320 pages

“Progressive reform will never look the same again. Marilyn Lake definitively shows how turn-of-the-century Australian reformers helped shape American political culture and the great extent to which Australians and Americans shared a mindset steeped in settler colonialism. This book’s evidence of their ‘subjective affinities’ is transformative.”–Nancy F. Cott, Harvard University

 

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Ibi Zoboi (@ibizoboi)

January 8

Tags: #OwnVoices, YA, short stories, coming of age, women writers, Black women

Balzer + Bray, 407 pages

“A poignant collection of stunning short stories by Black, rock star authors.”–Booklist (starred review)

“A breath of fresh air…nuanced and necessary.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

 

 

An Indefinite Sentence: A Personal History of Outlawed Love and Sex by Siddharth Dube

January 8

Tags: India, LGBTQ, memoir, #OwnVoices, sex work

Atria, 384 pages

“An Indefinite Sentence bears witness to the long struggle against homophobia; it is also a vital, up to date record of gay rights and AIDS relief activism worldwide. Its rich perspective makes clear that anyone who still thinks criminalising sex work is an effective strategy to uphold human dignity needs to read this moving, impressive and necessary book.”–Preti Taneja, Desmond Elliot Prize winner for We That Are Young

 

Inventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden

January 8

Tags: YA, historical fiction, women writers, Black women

Bloomsbury YA, 272 pages

“Seeks to illuminate ‘an often-neglected aspect of black history: the black middle class and black aristocracy of the past.’ The rich descriptions of people and life in early America will fascinate readers as the book introduces them to this widely overlooked population in history.”–Booklist

 

It Was All a Dream: A New Generation Confronts the Broken Promise to Black America by Reniqua Allen 

January 8

Tags: African American, class, women writers, #OwnVoices

Nation Books, 400 pages

“Reniqua Allen strikes a fine balance between the personal histories of ambitious Black millennials and the systems in place that threaten their mobility. With acute detail to their location, background, and motive, Allen’s sharp journalistic skills are center stage, crafting reportage, cultural commentary, and personal anecdotes into a thought-provoking book that will add to our discussions about race, capitalism, education, and self-actualization.”–Morgan Jerkins, author of This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America

 

McGlue: A Novella by Ottessa Moshfegh

January 8

Tags: Novella, women writers,

Penguin Group (USA), 160 pages

“… a splashy new edition … Moshfegh’s first book introduces the kind of character, in all his psychological wildness and vivid grotesquerie that her others are known for, and readers will be more than intrigued.”–Booklist

 

 

Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin (@sschweblin)

January 8

Tags: Short stories, women writers, Argentina, fantasy

Riverhead Books, 240 pages

“Surreal, disturbing, and decidedly original.”–Library Journal, starred review

“Schweblin once again deploys a heavy dose of nightmare fuel in this frightening, addictive collection…canny, provocative, and profoundly unsettling.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy: A Reluctant Royals Novella by Alyssa Cole (@AlyssaColeLit)

January 8

Tags: Black women, LGBTQ, romance

Avon Impulse, 106 pages

“When Likotsi and Fabiola meet again on a stalled subway train months later, Fab asks for just one cup of tea. Likotsi, hoping to know why she was unceremoniously dumped, agrees. Tea and food soon leads to them exploring the city together, and their past, with Fab slowly revealing why she let Likotsi go, and both of them wondering if they can turn this second chance into a happily ever after.”–Description

 

Sugar Run: A Novel by Mesha Maren (@MeshaMaren)

January 8

Tags: Lesbian, women writers, debut, family

Algonquin Books, 321 pages

“Just plain grittily gorgeous . . . you will feel every word.”–Library Journal, starred review

“Maren’s impressive debut is replete with luminous prose that complements her cast of flawed characters.”–Publishers Weekly

 

Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom (@tressiemcphd)

January 8

Tags: Feminism, women writers, race, Black women

The New Press, 224 pages

“This book is essential for anyone who wants to think deeply about race, feminism, and culture.”–BookRiot

“To say this collection is transgressive, provocative, and brilliant is simply to tell you the truth. Thick is a necessary work and a reminder that Tressie McMillan Cottom is one of the finest public intellectuals writing today.”–Roxane Gay, author of Hunger and Bad Feminist

 

The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris)

January 8

Tags: Memoir, #OwnVoices, women writers, politics, Black women

Penguin, 336 pages

“From one of America’s most inspiring political leaders, a book about the core truths that unite us, and the long struggle to discern what those truths are and how best to act upon them, in her own life and across the life of our country.”–Description

 

The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After by Julie Yip-Williams

January 8

Tags: Health, memoir, #OwnVoices

Random House, 304 pages

“Everything worth understanding and holding on to is in this book. . . . A miracle indeed.”–Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place and Tell Me More

“A beautifully written, moving, and compassionate chronicle that deserves to be read and absorbed widely.”–Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies

 

Wanderer by Sarah Léon (Author), John Cullen (Translator)

January 8

Tags: LGBTQ, debut, translation, women writers

Other Press, 209 pages

“Léon perfectly measures out past and present to reach a satisfying and intimate crescendo.”–Booklist

“[A] staggering debut…Léon’s innovative blending of events across time and her delicate emotional precision make for a bewitching, immersive experience.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 

The Water Cure: A Novel by Sophie Mackintosh (@fairfairisles)

January 8

Tags: Dystopian, coming of age, women writers, feminism

Doubleday, 243 pages

Longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize.

“A gripping, sinister fable!”–Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Virgin Suicides in this dystopic feminist revenge fantasy about three sisters on an isolated island, raised to fear men.”–Description

 

We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World by Malala Yousafzai

January 8

Tags: YA, biography, women writers, activism

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 224 pages

“Comprising the bulk of the book are urgent, articulate first-person stories from displaced or refugee young women whom Yousafzai has encountered in her travels, whose birthplaces include Colombia, Guatemala, Syria and Yemen. … The contributors’ strength, resilience, and hope in the face of trauma is astounding, and their stories’ underlying message about the heartbreaking loss of their former lives and homelands (and the resulting “tangle of emotions that comes with leaving behind everything you know”) is profoundly moving.”–Publishers Weekly

 

GLQ at Twenty-Five edited by Marcia Ochoa and Jennifer DeVere Brody

January 10

Tags: LGBTQ, women writers, #OwnVoices

Duke University Press Books, 182 pages

“The journal GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies is where queer theory has defined and transformed itself. On the occasion of the GLQ’s twenty-fifth anniversary, the editors, authors, and readers of the journal commemorate its impact on the field.”–Description

 

Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design by Bess Williamson (@besswww)

January 15

Tags: Disability, women writers, design, US history

NYU, 304 pages

“This illuminating and thoughtful overview of the evolution of accessible design in the U.S. between the end of WWII and the late 1990s is a strong introduction to the topic…Williamson skillfully connects design concepts to changing social narratives; this work should reward readers interested in either topic.”–Publishers Weekly

 

Adèle: A Novel by Leila Slimani

January 15

Tags: Family life, women writers, psychology, addiction, Paris

Penguin Books, 240 pages

“No man would have dared write what she did. It’s an extraordinary first novel.”–Alain Mabanckou, author of Black Moses

“Eminently relatable . . . Artful, edgy . . . An unflinching exploration of female self-sacrifice and the elusive nature of satisfaction.”–Kirkus Reviews

 

The Ashford Place by Jean Copeland (@jeaniecopes)

January 15

Tags: LGBTQ, romance

Bold Strokes Books, 260 pages

“Now with her plan for a short, uncomplicated stay in Danville foiled by the growing mystery and her undeniable feelings for Ally, Belle must decide whether to stick with her original plan for a clean getaway back to the Connecticut shore or to follow her heart’s lead.”–Description

 

A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland by DaMaris Hill (@damarishill )

January 15

Tags: Poetry, women writers, Black women, incarceration

Bloomsbury Publishing. 192 pages

“DaMaris B. Hill writes the poetry of the bound black woman across the ages in this haunting, powerful collection. What you will read here is not just poetry, though. This book offers an education. This book bears witness. This book is a reckoning.”–Roxane Gay

 

Emily’s Art and Soul by Joy Argento

Tags: LGBTQ, romance, women writers

Bold Strokes Books

“When Emily meets Andi Marino she thinks she’s found a new best friend, just the right kind of fun and caring person to keep her from spending every weekend alone. So when Emily discovers she’s a lesbian and wants to explore her feelings for women, Andi seems like the perfect social guide. Except Emily doesn’t know that Andi has been attracted to her from the start and is fast falling in love with her. Caught up in exploring her sexuality, will Emily see the only woman she needs is right in front of her?”–Description

 

The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay 

January 15

Tags: Debut, women writers, literary fiction, India, #OwnVoices

Grove Press, 448 pages

“A ghastly secret lies at the heart of Madhuri Vijay’s stunning debut, The Far Field, and every chapter beckons us closer to discovering it….The Far Field chafes against the useless pity of outsiders and instead encourages a much more difficult solution: cross-cultural empathy.–Madeline Day, Paris Review

“Remarkable…an engrossing narrative… Vijay’s stunning debut novel expertly intertwines the personal and political to pick apart the history of Jammu and Kashmir.”–Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

 

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (@Roshani_Chokshi)

January 15

Tags: YA, historical, fantasy, women writers

Wednesday Books, 400 pages

“Chokshi delivers a thrilling, gritty new fantasy set in an alternate nineteenth century Paris… Chokshi shines as a master storyteller in her newest novel; the setting, world building, plot, and conflict are all staggering. However, the elements that perhaps shine the most are the history, riddles, mysteries, and science, woven together in a world brimming with power and magic.”–Booklist, Starred Review

 

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro (@danijshapiro)

January 15

Tags: Memoir, women writers, family, #OwnVoices

Knopf, 250 pages

A Washington Post, Vulture, Bustle, Real Simple, PopSugar, and LitHub Most Anticipated Book of 2019 and an Apple Books Best of January 2019

“Fascinating… With thoughtful candor, [Shapiro] explores the ethical questions surrounding sperm donation, the consequences of DNA testing, and the emotional impact of having an uprooted religious and ethnic identity. This beautifully written, thought-provoking genealogical mystery will captivate readers from the very first pages.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 

Music City Dreamers by Robyn Nyx (@robyn_nyx)

January 15

Tags: LGBTQ, romance, women writers

Bold Strokes Books, 292 pages

When Heather and Louie “meet at the Bluebird Café, sparks fly. But Heather knows what being an out lesbian in Nashville would do to her career. Louie isn’t willing to be anything other than exactly who she is. Thrust together to work with Country royalty, they must figure out how to be Music City dreamers without losing themselves and, ultimately, each other.”–Description

 

My Life Among the Underdogs: A Memoir by Tia Torres

January 15

Tags: Memoir, women writers, essays, animals, #OwnVoices

William Morrow, 240 pages

“Torres does vital, admirable work, and fans of her show as well as animal lovers in general will enjoy these warm-hearted recollections.”–Booklist

 

 

Ordinary is Perfect by D. Jackson Leigh (@djacksonleigh)

January 15

Tags: LGBTQ, romance, women writers

Bold Strokes Books, 226 pages

“Atlanta marketing superstar Autumn Swan’s world is anything but simple. Constantly plugged in to what’s trending on social media, it’s her job to keep her clients ahead of the competition. When her favorite cousin dies suddenly, she finds herself the owner of a modest country home, guardian to a sullen, tomboyish ten-year-old, and neighbor to an intriguing woman who isn’t as ordinary as she appears.”–Description

 

Royal Court by Jenny Frame (@jennyframe91)

January 15

Tags: LGBTQ, romance

Bold Strokes Books, 290 pages

“When a threat to the Queen Consort emerges, Quincy and Holly clash over the best way to protect her. As the fiery passion they can’t deny begins to melt Quincy’s heart, Holly must decide how much of her own she is willing to risk.”–Description

 

Spiral of Silence: A Novel by Elvira Sánchez-Blake (Author), Lorena Terando (Translator)

January 15

Tags: Latinx, women writers, Colombia, historical fiction, #OwnVoices

Curbstone Books 2, 272 pages

“Sánchez Blake’s novel gives both a face and a voice to a segment of the population that has been largely overlooked and undervalued in not only official historical documentation but also . . . literary production . . . [it] represents a noteworthy step forward in the breaking of the silence that has long entrapped half the Colombian population.”–Michelle Sharp, Multiple Modernities: Carmen de Burgos, Author and Activist

 

Unmarriageable: A Novel by Soniah Kamal (@SoniahKamal)

January 15

Tags: LGBTQ, family, literary fiction, women writers, Pakistan, #OwnVoices

Ballantine, 352 pages

“A rollicking good ride . . . The opulent landscape of Pakistan’s moneyed (and unmoneyed) social elite is exactly the kind of modern update Pride and Prejudice needs. This is one of those books that is hard to put down.”–SJ Sindu, author of Marriage of a Thousand Lies

 

You Know You Want This: “Cat Person” and Other Stories by Kristen Roupenian (@KRoupenian)

January 15

Tags: #MeToo, #OwnVoices, women writers, short stories

Gallery/Scout Press, 240 pages

“If you think you know what this collection will be like, you’re wrong. These stories are sharp and perverse, dark and bizarre, unrelenting and utterly bananas. I love them so, so much.”–Carmen Maria Machado, National Book Award Finalist and author of Her Body and Other Parties

 

Virtuoso by Yelena Moskovich (@yelenamoskovich)

January 17

Tags: LGBTQ, Ukraine, #OwnVoices, Wisconsin, women writers, Prague, romance

Serpent’s Tail, 256 pages

“Written with the dramatic tension of Euripidean tragedy and the dreamlike quality of a David Lynch film, Virtuoso is an audacious, mesmerising novel of love in the post-communist diaspora.”–Description

 

 

Sourpuss: A Dark Comedy by Merricat Mulwray (@merricatmulwray)

January 20

Tags: Humor, debut, women writers

Haigh 38 Press, 277 pages

“In the style of a ’90s dark comedy flick, Merricat Mulwray’s debut brings an insightful and humorous perspective to the reckless behavior college students perpetually get away with. Mallory, herself a flawed heroine, is backed by a self-serving cast of athletes, party girls, townies, and fraternity brothers so hilariously dark that the book will leave you wondering if anyone ever gets what they deserve.”–Description

 

Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism: Voices from Across the Spectrum by Eva A. Mendes and Meredith R. Maroney

January 21

Tags: Gender, health, women writers

Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 208 pages

“With expertise and deep empathy, Eva Mendes and Meredith Maroney amplify the diverse voices of people on the autism spectrum. In exploring sexual orientation and gender, alongside other aspects of personal identity, the authors demonstrate and model respect for the humanity of autistic adults and teens. An important and timely read!”–Hillary Hurst Bush, PhD, Staff Psychologist and Instructor, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

 

The Reflective Workbook for Partners of Transgender People: Your Transition as Your Partner Transitions by D.M. Maynard

January 21

Tags: Transgender, health, relationships

Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 336 pages

“Providing support and guidance for partners of trans people, this workbook offers them a safe space to explore their own wants and needs. With advice on legal, financial and sexual matters, it is a must have for all trans partners.”–Description

 

Working with Trans Survivors of Sexual Violence: A Guide for Professionals by Sally Rymer and Valentina Cartei

January 21

Tags: Transgender, violence, women writers

Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 184 pages

“This excellent book, based in extensive service provision experience and academic expertise, should be a touchstone for sexual violence organisations, scholars and anyone interested in understanding the challenges transgender survivors face. On highly politicised terrain, Rymer and Cartei have managed to create an accessible, evidence-based and practical text which will be appreciated by many.” Alison Phipps, Professor of Gender Studies, Sussex University

 

Careful What You Wish For by Jackie Calhoun

January 22

Tags: Wisconsin, LGBTQ, romance, #OwnVoices

Bella Books, 252 pages

“Determined to make it on her own, Chelsea picks herself up and starts to rebuild her life. She attempts to reconnect with her daughters, edits books for a lesbian press, and finds a part-time job. Along the way, she makes friends and falls in love. Will she manage to create a meaningful new life without losing those she loved and left? Does she get a second chance at happiness?”–Description

 

Everyday Economic Survival in Myanmar by Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung

January 22

Tags: Myanmar (Burma), women writers, #OwnVoices, politics, economy

University of Wisconsin Press, 320 pages

“Required reading for students and professionals interested in political economy, development, aid, society, and culture in Myanmar and Southeast Asia, and within and beyond the field of Asian studies. Original and exciting.”–Maitrii Aung-Thwin, National University of Singapore

“Particularly exciting is Thawnghmung’s attention to deference, noncompliance, accommodation, and participation in perpetuating the status quo.”–Ken MacLean, Clark University

 

Last Boat Out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao’s Revolution by Helen Zia 

January 22

Tags: China, immigration, women writers, history, #OwnVoices

Ballantine Books, 528 pages

“Zia’s portraits are compassionate and heartbreaking, and they are, ultimately, the universal story of many families who leave their homeland as refugees and find less-than-welcoming circumstances on the other side. I read with a personal hunger to know the political and personal exigencies that led to those now-or-never decisions, for they mirror the story of my own mother, who also left on virtually the last boat out of Shanghai.”–Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club

 

Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange, the Woman Who Revealed the Real America by Elise Hooper

January 22

Tags: Historical fiction, creative biography, women writers, photography

William Morrow, 384 pages

“Historical fiction fans will gobble up Hooper’s novel and be left with the satisfied feeling that they have lived through much of the twentieth century with Dorothea Lange.”–Publishers Weekly

 

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land (@stepville)

January 22

Tags: Poverty, women writers, #OwnVoices, parenthood, work

Hachette Books, 288 pages

Forbes, Most Anticipated Books of the Year

“What this book does well is illuminate the struggles of poverty and single-motherhood, the unrelenting frustration of having no safety net, the ways in which our society is systemically designed to keep impoverished people mired in poverty, the indignity of poverty by way of unmovable bureaucracy, and people’s lousy attitudes toward poor people… Land’s prose is vivid and engaging… [A] tightly-focused, well-written memoir… an incredibly worthwhile read.”–Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist and Hunger: A Memoir

 

Rising Above by Genevieve Fortin (@kenefief)

January 22

Tags: LGBTQ, romance

Bella Books, 226 pages

“Ana and Melodie would gladly keep staying out of each other’s way, but Mother Nature has other plans. Trapped inside the inn when a strong storm surge hits the beach community, they’re forced to come together to face the terrifying event and its aftermath. Can they rise above their conflicting beliefs and let their attraction take the lead?”–Description

 

The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation by Jodie Patterson (@jodie_GeorgiaNY)

January 29

Tags: Trans, memoir, #OwnVoices, Black women, family, parenthood

Ballantine Books, 352 pages

“A courageous and poetic testimony on family and the self, and the learning and unlearning we must do for those we love. In her stunning and moving debut, Jodie Patterson offers us all a blueprint for what it means to be a champion for our children and encourage us to be bold enough to let our babies lead the way, especially when we don’t have answers. Required reading for every parent, and anyone who has ever been parented.”–Janet Mock, New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness and Surpassing Certainty

 

Disrupt-Her: A Manifesto for the Modern Woman by Miki Agrawal (@twinmiki)

January 29

Tags: Business, feminism, #OwnVoices, women writers

Hay House Inc., 296 pages

“Miki’s book Disrupt-Her is a one-of-a-kind manifesto that takes you by the hand, energetically pulls you away from societal preconceptions, and pushes you toward a life and world of possibility and abundance where you will shout, ‘YES!! I CAN DO ANYTHING!’ Miki lived through all the ups and downs of being a Disrupt-her and emerges with this book and perspective of life that is vulnerable, POWERFUL and contagious. She was born to write this book. Get it and it will change your life.”–Radha Agrawal, founder and CEO of Daybreaker.com and author of Belong

 

The Falconer: A Novel by Dana Czapnik (@danaczapnik)

January 29

Tags: Debut, women writers, coming of age, literary fiction

Atria Books, 288 pages

“Smart, tough, an extraordinary athlete, Lucy Adler teeters, zealous and baffled, on the cusp of womanhood. Dana Czapnik’s frank heroine has a voice, and a perspective, you won’t soon forget. The Falconer is an exhilarating debut.”–Claire Messud, author of The Burning Girl and The Woman Upstairs

 

House of Stone: A Novel by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (@NovuyoRTshuma)

January 29

Tags: Politics, literary fiction, women writers, debut, Zimbabwe, #OwnVoices

W. W. Norton & Company, 400 pages

“Tshuma writes in an arresting and trenchant prose that shows a gifted artist at work.”–NoViolet Bulawayo, author of We Need New Names

“Novuyo Tshuma writes with an equal commitment to Joycean formal inventiveness and political conscience, and the result is absolutely thrilling.”–Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

 

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan (@Sabina_Writer)

January 29

Tags: LGBTQ, Islam, coming of age, YA, family, women writers, Bangladesh

Scholastic Inc., 336 pages

“With an up-close depiction of the intersection of the LGBTQIA+ community with Bengali culture, this hard-hitting and hopeful story is a must-purchase for any YA collection.”–School Library Journal, starred review

“This book will break your heart and then, chapter by chapter, piece it back together again. A much-needed addition to any YA shelf.”–Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi

 

Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets by Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones)

January 29

Tags: Black women, feminism, #OwnVoices

Beacon Press , 224 pages

Reclaiming Our Space is an invaluable contribution to long-overdue conversations about race, gender, and intersectionality in America. Feminista Jones combines empathy and wisdom with intellectual rigor and historical analysis to explain clearly and compellingly the central role that Black feminists play in the fight for democracy and social justice.”–Soraya Chemaly, director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project and author of Rage Becomes Her

 

The Twenty-Ninth Year by Hala Alyan (@HalaNAlyan)

January 29

Tags: Poetry, women writers, LGBTQ, Middle East, #OwnVoices, Palestine

Mariner Books, 96 pages

“Mapping a year of change, Hala Alyan uses wit, metaphor, and powerful imagery in this collection of deeply intimate and truth-telling poems. Her words brave through gender, love, marriage, family, and displacement. They unsettle the hyphen between Palestinian and American. These stunning poems endure the unendurable, illuminating both the powerlessness of pain and the relentless courage of love. Listen for her lyrical heart: letters, prayers, and portraits. Listen for what overlooks and fires free.”–Aja Monet, author of My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter

 

We Shall See the Sky Sparkling by Susana Aikin (@Susana_Aikin)

January 29

Tags: Debut, women writers, historical fiction, Russia

Kensington, 416 pages

“Set in London and Russia at the turn of the century, Susana Aikin’s debut introduces a vibrant young woman determined to defy convention and shape an extraordinary future.”–Description

 

 

The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers by Bridgett M. Davis 

January 29

Tags: Memoir, history, Black women, #OwnVoices, coming of age, Detroit

Little, Brown and Company, 320 pages

“Novelist Davis honors her mother in this lively and heartfelt memoir of growing up in the 1960s and ’70s Detroit…This charming tale of a strong and inspirational woman offers a tantalizing glimpse into the past, savoring the good without sugarcoating the bad.”–Publishers Weekly

 

So there’s the New Reads for the Rest of Us for January 2019 list – What are you reading this month??

 

This post contains affiliate links.

Review of HEARTS OF CLAY by Dosun Adeleye

Review of HEARTS OF CLAY by Dosun Adeleye

Dosun Adeleye’s Hearts of Clay follows the journey of Grace, a young woman living in the United Kingdom who travels to Nigeria in search of the answer to her life’s mystery. Grace finds herself in some wild situations that test her strength and resolve. While intelligent and independent, Grace’s emotional spirit can get the better of her especially when it comes to love, sex, and secrets.

Review of HEARTS OF CLAY by Dosun Adeleye

The author, Dosun Adeleye.

Dosun Adeleye is especially adept at describing her characters; it is clear that she is passionate about writing them. Our main character sets out to find the question to a lifelong question. Not only does she receive her answer but she gets caught up in adventures that are at times thrilling and at times romantic. To keep this review spoiler-free, I will say no more but let the reader discover the excitement and emotion on their own.

I especially appreciated reading from the perspective of a woman caught in several dichotomies: between life in the UK and life in Nigeria, between familial relationships and her own autonomy, between living life as expected or life as she wants. The protagonist is smart yet impulsive; Grace is not perfect and Adeleye ensures we can see ourselves in her, faults and all. Adeleye’s challenging of social stigmas and gender roles in her writing is admirable.

To be honest, I’m not usually into romances or thrillers, so I am a tough sell in these genres. For me the book was a bit unconvincing and rudimentary at times. Despite this, I don’t doubt that many readers will enjoy this book. The story is one of secrets uncovered, one of trust and abandonment, one of obstacles and ambition. From the outrageous twists to the steamy love scenes to the family drama, Hearts of Clay will appeal to those who appreciate adventurous reads and romantic thrillers, especially those in international settings. Recommended.

Dosun Adeleye can be found online at https://www.facebook.com/Dosunadeleye/.

Summary:

Title: Hearts of Clay
Author: Dosun Adeleye
Publisher:  Dosun Adeleye
Pages: 286 pages
Publication Date: August 30, 2018
Tags: Nigeria, women writers, romance, thriller, UK, family, relationships, #OwnVoices
My Rating: Recommended

Content information: Sexual situations, mild violence

 

 

For further information:

African Book Review review

Dosun Adeleye’s first book, Rosie: A Trip Down Memory Lane

 

This post contains affiliate links; I write what I like. 
Many thanks to the author for the complimentary ebook. 

A Review of WHEN A BULBUL SINGS by Hawaa Ayoub

A Review of WHEN A BULBUL SINGS by Hawaa Ayoub

Hawaa Ayoub’s chilling debut novel centers on 14-year-old Eve who, after being taken from her home to remote Yemen under the pretense of a temporary visit, is forced into marrying a man over ten years older than her. The story is terrifying, infuriating — and that of Ayoub herself.

 

A Review of WHEN A BULBUL SINGS by Hawaa Ayoub

The author, Hawaa Ayoub

 

Eve, a schoolgirl in the UK, is extremely intelligent, has plans to attend university, and is focused on a bright future. Her father takes the family on what he said would be a brief visit to Yemen, the family’s country of origin, but the truth is that he intended for the family to stay. Worse yet, he forces Eve to marry a man much older than her.

The book opens with the terrifying marriage scene with Eve being dragged through the process, begging for it not to happen. From the start of the book, the reader experiences Ayoub’s talent for description and detail. From clothes, to traditions, to smells and sounds, the author’s descriptions of life in Yemen are — frighteningly at times — brought to life.

We follow Eve’s story throughout the next 15+ years. The circumstances she endures are heartbreaking and infuriating: rape, abuse from her father and in-laws, losing her right to education and autonomy. But while our heroine surrenders to her new (temporary) life, she never agrees to it or stops fighting for her freedom.

Throughout her entire marriage, Eve demands to be free. She asks to return to Britain, or at the very least to a more urban center of Yemen or to Saudi Arabia. She constantly schemes for ways to escape the situation and begs for a divorce, all to no avail.

While she is adept at sharing its horrors, Ayoub also provides an honest portrayal of the daily life of a young girl forced to marry. She describes the isolation, the boredom, the repetition of her days, and the relationships with her husband’s family. The conflict and guilt Eve feels as a young woman who enjoys sex but despises the situation she’s been forced into is described as only one who has been there can. While a bit protracted at times, I appreciated these candid reflections. Ayoub is particularly skilled at providing her readers insights into the dichotomies of Yemen: experiencing a beautiful land surrounded by strong traditions and people but all the while being held prisoner there where the traditions are particularly vicious towards women and girls.

 

According to the organization Girls Not Brides, child marriage is a global issue that effects 12 million girls each year; nearly 23 girls every minute are forced to marry before the age of 18. Child marriage occurs in many countries throughout the Middle East, Africa, South America, and the United States. A young girl forced to marry experiences many injurious effects, especially to her education, her family life, as well as her physical and mental health. Hawaa Ayoub was one of those girls and, thankfully, she was able to get out.

After 19 years in Yemen, Hawaa Ayoub now lives in London and shares her story to help fight against child marriage in Yemen and throughout the world.

Rich and descriptive, When a Bulbul Sings is an important book that candidly describes one girl’s harrowing experiences being forced into marriage and her seemingly unending drive for freedom. The book is well-written and well-edited. I highly recommend it to those fighting violence against women and girls, those who enjoy reading international women writers, and those interested in creative non-fiction and memoirs.

 

 

 

You can find Hawaa Ayoub online at https://hawaaayoub.com/ and on Twitter @HawaaAyoub. 

A Review of WHEN A BULBUL SINGS by Hawaa AyoubSummary:

Title: When a Bulbul Sings
Author: Hawaa Ayoub
Publisher: Hawaa Ayoub
Pages: 402 pages
Publication Date: October 1, 2018 (e-book)
Tags: Yemen, child marriage, #OwnVoices
My Rating: Highly recommended

Content information: Violence, genital mutilation, rape

When a Bulbul Sings


For more information:

2 Paths for Yemen’s War-Scarred Children: Combat, or Marriage by Nour Youssef for The NY Times (October 8, 2017)

After Years of Civil War, Child Marriage Is on the Rise in Yemen by Sarah Ferguson for Unicef (December 2017)

Books Direct feature

Child marriage in Yemen – Girls Not Brides

Guest Post by Hawaa Ayoub – ‘The Personal in Fiction Writing’ for Bloomin’ Brilliant Books (September 10, 2018)

The harrowing story of 14yr old destined for Oxford – before being forced into marriage by Mike Lockley for Birmingham Live (July 15, 2018)

 

Many thanks to Hawaa Ayoub for the complimentary copy of When a Bulbul Sings; I write what I like. This post contains affiliate links.

New Reads for the Rest of Us for December 2018

New Reads for the Rest of Us for December 2018

Welcome to New Reads for the Rest of Us for December 2018!

With these monthly lists, I aim to amplify the books written by those who are historically underrepresented including, but not limited to: womxn, women of color, women from the Global South, women who are Black, Indigenous, dis/abled, queer, fat, immigrants, Muslim, sex-positive, and more. My lists meant to be intersectional, feminist, and trans-inclusive. I also want to highlight books by gender non-conforming people (who may or may not be described by the term “womxn”).

If you’d like to learn more about which books I focus on, see my Review Policy. These are just guidelines and I reserve the right to include (or not!) any books I see fit. I usually add to this list as I learn of others; if you have a suggestion, please share it in the comments below!

So here are the New Reads for the Rest of Us for December 2018. There are so many great titles here, which will you read??

Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics by Nazia Kazi (@NaziaKaziTweets)

December 1 (Kindle)

Tags: Islam, women writers

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 168 pages

Nazia Kazi’s Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics is a devastating critique of the prevailing ways that Americans talk about Muslims, especially liberals who apparently mean well. Kazi makes her case elegantly and persuasively; her frustration is palpable and engaging. Anyone who thinks they have something worthwhile to say about Islamophobia in the United States should read this book first.–Arun Kundnani, New York University

Revolutionary Masculinity and Racial Inequality: Gendering War and Politics in Cuba by Bonnie A. Lucero

December 1

Tags: Masculinity, Cuba, politics, gender, war

University of New Mexico Press, 360 pages

“One of the most paradoxical aspects of Cuban history is the coexistence of national myths of racial harmony with lived experiences of racial inequality. Here a historian addresses this issue by examining the ways soldiers and politicians coded their discussions of race in ideas of masculinity during Cuba’s transition from colony to republic.”–Description

Tides of Revolution: Information, Insurgencies, and the Crisis of Colonial Rule in Venezuela by Cristina Soriano

December 1

Tags: Venezuela, women writers, colonialism, nonfiction

University of New Mexico Press, 336 pages

“This is a book about the links between politics and literacy, and about how radical ideas spread in a world without printing presses. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Spanish colonial governments tried to keep revolution out of their provinces.”–Description

Decolonizing Academia: Poverty, Oppression and Pain by Clelia O. Rodríguez

December 3

Tags: Education, women writers, colonialism

Fernwood Books Ltd, 150 pages

“Poetic, confrontational and radical, Decolonizing Academia speaks to those who have been taught to doubt themselves because of the politics of censorship, violence and silence that sustain the Ivory Tower. Clelia O. Rodríguez illustrates how academia is a racialized structure that erases the voices of people of colour, particularly women.”–Description

International Surrogacy as Disruptive Industry in Southeast Asia by Andrea Whittaker

December 3

Tags: SE Asia, health, reproductive freedom, women writers

Rutgers Univ Press, 244 pages

“An original, comprehensive, and eye-opening account of the unprecedented growth of commercial surrogacy in Southeast Asia. By focusing on the industry’s multiple stakeholders—particularly Thai surrogates who have gestated babies for Australian intended parents—Whittaker writes with ethnographic sensitivity and compassion, while at the same time critiquing the “disruptive industry” within which surrogacy takes place.  A must-read for those interested in globalization, biotechnology, and reproductive justice.”–Marcia Inhorn author of Cosmopolitan Conceptions: IVF Sojourns in Global Dubai
December 4
Tags: Short stories, women writers, family, historical fiction
Counterpoint, 448 pages
“A young German Jewish refugee in England in the 1940s, a resident of India for two dozen years, and a New Yorker from the mid-1970s until her death in 2013, Jhabvala triangulated her three adopted cultures in the 17 enthralling stories gathered in this sterling retrospective collection.  . . . Jhabvala was a spellbinding short story writer of fluid empathy, exceptional cross-cultural insight, and abiding respect for unconventional love . . . This is a richly captivating, revelatory, and important collection.”–Booklist (starred review)

 

Feminist Accountability: Disrupting Violence and Transforming Power by Ann Russo

December 4

Tags: Feminism, women writers

NYU Press, 280 pages

“As a feminist organizer, I’ve been waiting for this collection of essays for years. How do we address and transform violence in non-punitive ways? Ann Russo offers a compelling analysis of how a praxis of accountability can guide us toward some answers to this question. As a scholar-activist, Russo’s insights are drawn from both theory and practice. She has tried on and tried out the ideas she espouses in community with others. The essays are beautifully written and accessible to all. Feminist Accountability is a must read for anyone interested in community accountability practices, anti-violence organizing and transformative justice.”–Mariame Kaba, Founder of Project NIA

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me by Tracey Richardson (@trich7117)

December 4

Tags: Lesbian, romance

Bella Books, 250 pages

“Ellie Kirkland is at loose ends―and not for the first time. Resistant to following the path her parents insist on, she’s been trying out careers like she’s trying on outfits at Banana Republic. Now that her dream of being a journalist is over, Ellie must begin again. And the woman who crushed that very dream is the very woman who just might hold the key to Ellie’s future.”–Description

Revolution Sunday by Wendy Guerra and Achy Obejas (Translator)

December 4

Tags: Cuba, women writers, thriller, Latinx

Melville House, 208 pages

“Arresting, an explosive portrait of loneliness and isolation. Thick with the atmosphere of… Havana on the cusp of the Cuban thaw, the novel reads like the world’s most poetic anxiety dream, vibrant and stifling. Demanding and unforgettable.”–Kirkus (starred)

Where There’s a Will by Virginia Hale

December 4

Tags: Lesbian, romance

Bella Books, 276 pages

“As their friendship blossoms, Beth’s unspoken desire to sell remains the single wedge keeping them apart. Will asking for what she needs cost Beth a chance at a life with Dylan? Perhaps the richest inheritance of all may be a second chance.”–Description

Graceful Woman Warrior: A Story of Mindfully Living In The Face Of Dying by Terri Luanna da Silva with Laurie O’Neil and Marisa Alegria da Silva

December 5

Tags: Health, death, women writers, memoir

“Diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer at 37, artist Terri Luanna da Silva’s example of living and dying with grace and integrity is an inspiration-not only for the dying, but for anyone aspiring to live with greater mindfulness and authenticity.”–Lauren Mackler, best-selling author of Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life

Postfeminist War: Women in the Media-Military-Industrial Complex by Mary Douglas Vavrus

December 10

Tags: Military, feminism, women writers

Rutgers Univ Press, 256 pages

“That women are increasingly on the front lines of war since 9/11 may not surprise readers of this book, but the many ways that women are symbolically enlisted in the promotion and perpetuation of endless global conflict certainly will. This well-written and timely book is essential for students and scholars alike to understand the PR strategies employed to curry favor for war, even as the public sours on American militarism. Unveiling the constructions and contradictions of a kinder, gentler post-feminist war mythology offers all of us a pathway to become ethical witnesses to war narratives, in the hope of ending war and its inhumane consequences.”–Robin Andersen author of A Century of Media: A Century of War

Fire on the Water: Sailors, Slaves, and Insurrection in Early American Literature, 1789-1886 by Lenora Warren (@Lenora_DW)

December 14

Tags: History, literary criticism, women writers

Bucknell University Press, 170 pages

“The book’s topic is superb: the role of black sailors, particularly enslaved or emancipated black sailors, has been woefully understudied. In locating both revolutionary potential and abolitionist inspiration in the insurrectionary activity of black sailors, Warren provides a fresh, exciting new unit of analysis for scholars and students of American literary history. I cannot stress enough how vital and necessary the topic is, and how overlooked it has been.”–Hester Blum, Pennsylvania State University and President of the Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists)

Liberating Hollywood: Women Directors and the Feminist Reform of 1970s American Cinema by Maya Montañez Smukler

December 14

Tags: Feminism, film, US history

Rutgers Univ Press, 275 pages

“A counterintuitive feminist history of the new Hollywood that convincingly challenges widely held assumptions about the boys’ club movie brat auteur renaissance. In Liberating Hollywood, Maya Montanez Smukler is remarkably attentive to the industrial as well as sociopolitical histories that made such a new women’s cinema and such a suddenly liberated Hollywood possible.”–Jon Lewis, author of Hard-Boiled Hollywood: Crime and Punishment in Postwar Los Angeles

Modern Spanish Women as Agents of Change: Essays in Honor of Maryellen Bieder edited by Jennifer Smith

December 14

Tags: Spain, history

Bucknell University Press, 248 pages

“This book is a beautiful tribute to Maryellen Bieder, an important and significant scholar of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish narrative by women. The essays in this book—by scholars and writers of several different generations who are also highly esteemed in the same and other areas—expand and continue Bieder’s research to new horizons.”–Sandra J. Schumm author of Mother and Myth in Spanish Novels

African Immigrant Families in the United States: Transnational Lives and Schooling by Serah Shani

December 15

Tags: Africa, Ghana, immigration, women writers, education

Lexington Books, 186 pages

“This beautifully written book elucidates the educational trajectories of immigrant children as they confront rigid American systems of race and class, and it documents how parents rely on the ‘network village,’ a transnational network of fellow Ghanaians in New York and Ghana, to provide academic and other types of support and resources for their children. This superb ethnography will appeal to readers interested in immigration and education, anthropology of education, and African diaspora cultural studies.–Lesley Bartlett, University of Wisconsin

Afro-Asian Connections in Latin America and the Caribbean by Luisa Marcela Ossa, Debbie Lee-DiStefano

December 15

Tags: Latinx, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, essays

“The essays collected this book by Ossa and Lee-Distefano present a formidable addition to Latin American, African, and Asian studies—where the fields converge in vigorous and well-researched conversation with one another.”–Sheridan Wigginton, California Lutheran University

Brooklyn On My Mind: Black Visual Artists from the WPA to the Present by Myrah Brown Green 

December 15

Tags: Art, women writers, New York, US history

Schiffer, 272 pages

“This new resource assembles 129 Black artists and their magnificent works, highlighting their important contributions to art worldwide. Beginning with the Brooklyn-based artists active during the Works Progress Administration years and continuing with artists approaching their prime today, the collection spans 80 years of art. From highly publicized artists to rising talent, each is tied to Brooklyn in their own way.”–Description

Crime and Violence in the Caribbean: Lessons from Jamaica by Sherill V. Morris-Francis, Camille A. Gibson, Lorna E. Grant

December 15

Tags: Caribbean, violence, women writers, essays

Lexington Books, 256 pages

“This book provides an excellent historical overview of crime and violence in the Caribbean. The contributors identify and present many of the forces that contribute to this phenomenon.”–Zelma Henriques, John Jay College

Gender and Environment in Science Fiction by Bridgitte Barclay, Christy Tidwell

December 15

Tags: Science fiction, gender, environment

“This book delivers shrewd analyses of a wonderful and quirky range of SF texts. Barclay and Tidwell situate the project brilliantly, and the collection as a whole will illuminate familiar texts anew and add unfamiliar stories to your high-priority reading and screening queues.”–Andrew Hageman, Luther College

Pan African Spaces: Essays on Black Transnationalism by Msia Kibona Clark (@kibona), Loy Azalia (@LoyAzalia), Phiwokuhle Mnyandu (@DrMnyandu)

December 15

Tags: Essays, women writers, #OwnVoices, Africa, African American

Lexington Books, 316 pages

“The essays [in this book] represent a wide spectrum of experiences and viewpoints central to the bicultural Africans/Black experience. The contributors offer poignant and grounded perspectives on the diverse ways race, ethnicity, and culture are experienced, debated, and represented. All of the chapters contribute more broadly to writings on dual identities, and the various ways bicultural Africans/Blacks navigate their identities and their places in African and Diaspora communities.”–Description

The Question of Class in Contemporary Latin American Cinema by María Mercedes Vázquez Vázquez

December 15

Tags: Latinx, women writers, film, class

Lexington Books, 222 pages

“This book offers a theoretically rich survey of directors and films that found international notoriety as well as those that have been little known outside Latin America. It examines the history, institutions, contexts, and practices that have reshaped Latin American cinema under neoliberalism, and it does so in an impressive, intellectually rigorous manner.”–Cacilda M. Rêgo, Utah State University

Twentieth Century Forcible Child Transfers: Probing the Boundaries of the Genocide Convention by Ruth Amir

December 15

Tags: Women writers, family

Lexington Books, 308 pages

“A well-researched report about the horror of ‘legal’ child abduction by the state, which deems itself the savior that will elevate the children of what it deems inferior cultures to it’s notion of ‘civilized’ heights. Slay their children, or rob them of their cultural heritage by removal, the end result is genocide!”–Daniel N. Paul, Mi’kmaw Elder

Women of the 2016 Election: Voices, Views, and Values edited by Jennifer Schenk Sacco

December 15

Tags: Politics, women writers, essays

Lexington Books, 246 pages

“This fascinating collection of essays provides a rich overview of women’s multiple and diverse contributions to U.S. presidential campaigns. The book’s focus on individual women with prominent roles in the 2016 election reflects an innovative approach that illustrates superbly the complicated and varied ways that gender is at play in contemporary electoral politics.”–Susan J. Carroll, co-author of A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen’s Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters, Rutgers University

Women, Social Change, and Activism: Then and Now by Dawn Hutchinson, Lori Underwood

December 15

Tags: Activism, essays, women writers

Lexington Books, 110 pages

“Through the study of local and global activism, Women, Social Change and Activism: Then and Now engages scholars interested in the artistic, economic, educational, ethical, historical, literary, philosophical, political, psychological, religious, and social dimensions of women’s lives and resistance.”–Description

The Kingdom and the Republic: Sovereign Hawai’i and the Early United States by Noelani Arista (@Noeolali)

December 17

Tags: Hawaiʻi, politics, US history, women writers, Native American

University of Pennsylvania Press, 312 pages

The Kingdom and the Republic challenges some of our most basic assumptions about native Hawaiʻi, the encounters between natives and foreigners, and the processes of colonization, upending our expectations of who, in Hawaiʻi, had law and governance, and who was encountering whom.”–Rebecca McLennan, University of California, Berkeley

One-Dimensional Queer by Roderick A. Ferguson

December 17

Tags: Queer, nonfiction, people of color

Polity, 200 pages

One-Dimensional Queer is as clear an account as you could hope to encounter of how race and sexuality came to be understood as separate formations in US history. The resultant mainstreaming of LGBT cultures has been disastrous in terms of seeing our way out of the current crisis we inhabit. Offering solutions as well as critique, Ferguson’s book is destined to be a crucial part of any library of liberation.”–Jack Halberstam, Columbia University

29 Dates by Melissa de la Cruz (@MelissadelaCruz)

December 18

Tags: Romance, women writers, humor

Inkyard Press, 400 pages

“A refreshingly modern love story, 29 Dates serves up a funny and heartfelt rom-com about finding love and figuring out life on your own terms.”–Maurene Goo, author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors and Teens on the Dark Side of Love by Heather Demetrios (@HDemetrios)

December 18

Tags: YA, essays, relationships

Henry Holt and Co., 256 pages

“Eighteen young adult novelists . . . respond to letters from real teenagers in this timeless and breathtakingly honest collection.”–Booklist, starred review

“A masterful combination of painful honesty, gentle encouragement, and irreverent humor.”–Kirkus Reviews

The Disasters by MK England (@GeektasticLib)

December 18

Tags: Queer, YA, sci fi, debut, #OwnVoices

Harper Teen, 368 pages

“Much to recommend: nonstop cinematic action, strong feminist messages, and great diversity of characters.”–ALA Booklist

“An action-packed, entertaining blend of space hijinks, humor, and romance.”–Kirkus Reviews

Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard (@wendydheard)

December 18

Tags: Debut, thriller, women writers

MIRA, 304 pages

“This dark, gritty thriller keeps the pages turning, making this a solid pick for readers who enjoy a trip through an unstable mind, such as in Caroline Kepnes’s You.”–Library Journal

Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal by Alexandra Natapoff (@ANatapoff)

December 31

Tags: Women writers, criminal justice

Basic Books, 352 pages

“This important book completely upends the criminal justice conversation. Natapoff documents dark truths about the misdemeanor process-how it forces the innocent to plead guilty, how it disregards basic legal rights, and how it inflicts deep injustice. Her insights inspire both outrage and innovation. Punishment Without Crime provides a terrific new understanding of a flawed criminal system, and it offers a much-needed path toward the fair and just criminal system America deserves. A necessary book for our times.”–Barry Scheck, cofounder of the Innocence Project

I’ll add more titles as I find them. What are you reading this month??

This post contains affiliate links.

A Review of GO TOGETHER by Shola Richards

A Review of GO TOGETHER by Shola Richards

I have a few close work colleagues—friends, really—who I go to for support, consolation, venting, and laughs. The group of us get together regularly for tea or lunch to discuss the usual work topics, to compare notes about the latest gossip, and to exchange advice.

Most of the time our discussions are lively, positive, and proactive. But we have found that when we allow ourselves to sit in our frustration with a climate that we find challenging at times, our meetings can devolve into more bitching and less action. We all recognize we need to vent but also that it’s important to not walk away feeling defeated or full of negativity. So when one of these colleagues suggested we read Shola Richards’ Go Together: How the Concept of Ubuntu Will Change How You Live, Work, and Lead, I was intrigued.

While not for everyone, self-help-type books do have a place on my bookshelves. I am always looking for new ways to manage my depression and anxiety, practice mindfulness, declutter my home, or grow my leadership skills.

The book stood out to me because it is based on the concept of ubuntu, which I became familiar with in 2009 when I first traveled to South Africa. As Richards explains, ubuntu is often translated as. “I am, because we are” (page xv). It is also related to the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” (page xiv).

A Review of GO TOGETHER by Shola Richards

One of my screensaver photos, which captures the spirit of ubuntu.

In his book, Richards applies this philosophy of compassion, kindness, and unity to both personal and work lives.

Shola Richards is a speaker, writer, and trainer who is all about positivity. While I consider myself a pretty positive person and open to these types of methods, I knew a couple members of my group would be tougher sells than me. And as is true for many self-help books, this one toes the line of becoming a bit too saccharine at times, especially for those who tend towards skepticism (or sarcasm). But just as the book is about to descend into a refrain of “Kumbaya,” Richards brings it on back with realistic suggestions about applying ubuntu to work, like doing more of what toxic colleagues hate most and not being as asshat, especially when in a leadership role.

A Review of GO TOGETHER by Shola Richards

The author, Shola Richards.

Throughout the book, Richards gives the reader concrete examples, often telling anecdotes from his own life. The sharing of his own imperfections, fears, and vulnerabilities is effective in gaining the reader’s trust and understanding. Richards also provides pragmatic suggestions for the solutions he champions, including ways to build empathy, to practice ubuntu, and to act instead of standing by and letting fear take over. His advice centers on “Eight Keys to Unlocking Ubuntu at Work,” which are straightforward reminders like “Address It,” “Honor It,” and “Own It” with helpful explanations of each.

Richards sets the stage for the book by recounting a 2017 survey about civility in America which found that “Ninety-four percent of Americans believe that they are always/usually polite and respectful to others” (page 8). The same survey uncovered that respondents believed “…the state of civility in America has never been worse than it is currently,” with 75% of Americans believing that incivility has reached crisis levels (pages 6-7).

While not shocking considering our current political climate, these sentiments illustrate the disconnect between belief and practice, or perhaps the lack of self-awareness and individual responsibility, in the US today. Richards encourages the reader to reflect upon their own participation in incivility, to explore their pain and reactions to it, and to use ubuntu to find the unity and togetherness necessary to build a better world.

Overall, the book sparked a discussion for my group that was valuable to me. It offers practical suggestions for ways to improve work relationships and empowers the reader to try them. With chapters on healing yourself, being present, becoming a kind leader, building resilience, managing bullies, and more, there is something for everyone in this book. While the message of the book — be a decent person to build a better world — is not new, the concept of ubuntu may be to many readers in the US and may impact them in ways previous frameworks have not.

I would recommend this book to those looking to improve the culture and climate at their workplaces. Reading it with a group can be a proactive way to apply the suggestions in your daily work life and to have a support system in place for the journey. You may also want to check out Shola Richards’ first book, Making Work Work: The Positivity Solution for Any Work Environment.

 

Find Shola Richards online at https://sholarichards.com/ and http://thepositivitysolution.com/ and on Twitter @positivitysolve.

 

A Review of GO TOGETHER by Shola RichardsSummary:

Title: Go Together: How the Concept of Ubuntu Will Change How You Live, Work, and Lead
Author: Shola Richards
Publisher: Sterling Ethos
Pages: 208 pages
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Tags: Work, leadership, self help, #OwnVoices, memoir
My Rating: Recommended

 

Go Together: How the Concept of Ubuntu Will Change How You Live, Work, and Lead


For more information:

Identical twin Shola Richards drank gasoline as a kid; his energy is still lit by Munson Steed for Rolling Out (2016)

Managing Change at UC Riverside by Sandra Baltazar Martinez for InsideUCR (2017)

NOW Conference Lunch Keynote: Shola Richards

The Spirit of UBUNTU: Eight Keys to Creating a Workplace Culture of Unstoppable Positivity – Shola Richards at Berkeley in 2017

For discussion:

Are you a fan of self-help or professional development books? Which are your favorites? Do you think Go Together would be useful in your workplace?

 

Many thanks to Shola Richards for the complimentary copies of his books.
This post contains affiliate links; I write what I like.

A Review of Oyinkan Braithwaite's MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER

A Review of Oyinkan Braithwaite’s MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER

Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut novel, My Sister, the Serial Killer, is a wickedly comedic story of Korede and her sister, Ayoola. Despite their differences, the sisters couldn’t be closer. And while critical of her sister’s decisions and often jealous of the attention she receives from men, Korede is still the protector of Ayoola’s secrets–no matter how deadly.

Set in Nigeria, this story is one of family and loyalty. Ayoola is beautiful, enchanting, and has a problem keeping her boyfriends alive. Korede is the responsible, self-deprecating older sister. As a nurse, she is used to taking care of others and her sister is no exception. As she continually cleans up Ayoola’s messes, Korede begins to question her loyalty to her mischievous sister.

How long can this go on? Can she keep Ayoola’s secrets forever? Should she? What is she getting out of it and would her sister do the same for her?

A Review of Oyinkan Braithwaite's MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER

The author, Oyinkan Braithwaite.

This was a fast-paced story, accessible and entertaining. Braithwaite allows us to peek into life in Lagos, including interactions with police that have Korede worried. I almost felt like I was a friend of the sisters, even though they only truly trust one another.

I was immediately drawn into the fray with Braithwaite’s brisk pacing, short chapters, and darkly humorous writing style. Her subtle hints allow the reader clues into how Korede and Ayoola grew up; reminders of their lives with a violent father and detached mother.

I agree with Parul Sehgal’s review in The NY Times:

There’s a seditious pleasure in its momentum. At a time when there are such wholesome and dull claims on fiction — on its duty to ennoble or train us in empathy — there’s a relief in encountering a novel faithful to art’s first imperative: to catch and keep our attention.

It’s not that the book isn’t deep; it does encourage reflection about family loyalty, courage, right and wrong. But it doesn’t force you into it. You could just read the book purely for entertainment and we need that right now. Somehow reading a book about a serial killer and her enabling sister and enjoying it without judgment feels subversive… and I am here for it.

My Sister, the Serial Killer is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read this year. Nigerian authors continue to offer us lithe, clever, and original fiction–add Oyinkan Braithwaite to this list. Highly recommended.

You can find Oyinkan Braithwaite online at https://oyinkanbraithwaite.com/ and on Twitter @OyinBraithwaite

 

A Review of Oyinkan Braithwaite's MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLERSummary:

Title: My Sister, the Serial Killer
Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 228 pages
Publication Date: November 20, 2018
Tags: Nigeria, fiction, women writers, debut
My Rating: Highly recommended

Content information: Violence

 

For more information:

Helping Out Family Is Taken to Extremes in ‘My Sister, the Serial Killer’ by Parul Sehgal for The NY Times

Kirkus review

NPR book review and author interview

Oyinkan Braithwaite speaking on several topics for Atlantic Books

Publishers Weekly review 

A woman on a killing spree gets some help from her enabling sister by Jon Michaud for the Washington Post

 

Thanks to Oyinkan Braithwaite, Doubleday, and NetGalley for the complimentary ARC in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links; I write what I like.

 

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