Japan

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 November 2018

Welcome to New Reads for the Rest of Us for November 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’s New Reads for the Rest of Us for November 2018. These lists are getting long; I may have to start dividing them up! There are so many great titles here, which will you read??

 

Girls on the Line by Jennie Liu (@starnesliu)

November 1

Tags: Historical fiction, pregnancy, women writers, China

Carolrhoda Lab, 232 pages

“A powerful view into the struggles faced by young women in a world that doesn’t value them–and where they must find strength within themselves and each other.”–Joanne O’Sullivan, author of Between Two Skies

 

 

Queering Kansas City Jazz: Gender, Performance, and the History of a Scene by Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone

Nov. 1

Tags: Music, queer, women writers, US history

University of Nebraska Press, 234 pages

Queering Kansas City Jazz offers a new and exciting perspective on the jazz scene that accompanied the growth of Kansas City from frontier town to metropolitan city during the early twentieth century. It will potentially change the way in which we understand regional identity and recognize those who were pushed into the margins of our social histories.”—Tammy Kernodle, professor of musicology at Miami University and author of Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams

 

Black Love, Black Hate: Intimate Antagonisms in African American Literature by Felice D. Blake (@FeliceBlake)

November 2

Tags: Literature, literary criticism, women writers

Ohio State University Press, 156 pages

“Black Love, Black Hate is the first book to uncover the role of intimate antagonisms in the ongoing production of African American literature. Felice Blake teaches us how African American literature becomes a type of ‘town meeting that cannot meet anywhere else.’”–Margo Natalie Crawford, author of Black Post-Blackness: The Black Arts Movement and Twenty-First-Century Aesthetics

 

Beyoncé in Formation: Remixing Black Feminism by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley

Nov. 6

Tags: Feminism, Black women, women writers

University of Texas Press, 216 pages

“You’ll come away from each chapter with a new appreciation of what Beyoncé has meant to women, particularly black women, across the country.”–The Current

“Sure to appeal to scholars and pop-culture enthusiasts alike, this provocative book works to blur the lines between straight and gay black feminism. . . Lively and intelligent reading.”–Kirkus Reviews

 

Beyond the Call: Three Women on the Front Lines in Afghanistan by Eileen Rivers (@msdc14)

November 6

Tags: Afghanistan, military, women writers, biography, history

Da Capo Press, 275 pages

“[The] story of the fight for women’s rights in a country where the male power structure opposes them…Compelling. The author’s own military experience gives the book a perspective that is especially useful. A solid, fact-filled look at an underreported piece of the American military.”–Kirkus Reviews

 

Do You See Ice?: Inuit and Americans at Home and Away by Karen Routledge

November 6

Tags: Women writers, Canadian history, Canada, First Nations, Native Americans, Inuit

University of Chicago Press, 272 pages

The author intends to donate all royalties from this book to the Elders’ Room at the Angmarlik Center in Pangnirtung, Nunavut.

“Weaving together stories told by Inuit men and women with those set down by white men who chased whales, wealth, and adventure, Do You See Ice? lets us consider what it has meant to travel, to be lost, to be homesick, and finally, to be home.”–Ann Fabian, author of The Skull Collectors: Race, Science, and America’s Unburied Dead

 

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean (@emikojeanbooks)

November 6

Tags: YA, fantasy, romance, folklore

HMH Books for Young Readers, 384 pages

“With rich mythology and elegant atmosphere, Empress of All Seasons will latch onto your imagination and sweep you along for a magical and dangerous ride.”–Joelle Charbonneau, New York Times best-selling author of The Testing Trilogy

Girls on Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan (@girlinthelens)

November 6

Tags: YA, fantasy, LGBTQ

Jimmy Patterson, 400 pages

“Thrust into the beauty and horror of the Hidden Palace, will this Paper Girl survive? Ideal for those seeking diverse LGBTQ fantasy stories.”–Kirkus

 

 

Hide with Me by Sorboni Banerjee (@sorbonified)

November 6

Tags: YA, women writers, debut

Razorbill, 366 pages

“Suspenseful and gritty, Hide With Me is a beautifully written novel that captivates from the very first page.”–Robin Roe, author of A List of Cages

 

 

The Kinship of Secrets by Eugenia Kim (@Eugenia_Kim)

November 6

Tags: Korea, women writers, #OwnVoices, coming of age, family

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 304 pages

“I felt as though I had stepped into a graceful story of two countries, South Korea and America, and family ties that survive the challenges of history.”–Krys Lee, author of How I Became a North Korean

“What an extraordinary time to read this heartfelt novel about the bonds of family, set against the backdrop of the Korean War. Eugenia Kim is a masterful storyteller who makes her characters come to life as she spans decades, continents, and cultures.”–Jung Yun, author of Shelter

 

The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories by Yukiko Motoya and Asa Yoneda (Translator)

November 6

Tags: Japan, short stories, women writers

Soft Skull Press, 224 pages

The Millions Most Anticipated in the Second Half of 2018

“This inventive and chilling volume will have U.S. audiences craving more from Motoya.”–Library Journal

 

Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey (@NTrethewey)

November 6

Tags: Black women, poetry, women writers

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 208 pages

“The poems are haunting reflections on a mother’s murder, the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, an early 20th-century prostitute in New Orleans, a regiment of black soldiers guarding Confederate POWs, mixed-race families and the black working class. The opening poem, a new one, titled ‘Imperatives for Carrying On in the Aftermath,’ ends with an emotional punch to the gut that sets the tone for what follows.”–Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Those Who Knew by Idra Novey (@IdraNovey)

November 6

Tags: Politics, literary, contemporary women, women writers

Viking, 256 pages

“Genius. That’s what I kept thinking as I read this novel that somehow combines an invented island, a political bookstore, fragments of a stage production, and a story that’s at once a damning critique of craven self-interest and a tale about our inescapable connectedness. Idra Novey has written an irreverent, magical, perfect puzzle of a book.”–Cristina Henriquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans

 

Black. Queer. Southern. Women.: An Oral History by E. Patrick Johnson

November 12

Tags: Queer, Black women, oral history, US history

University of North Carolina Press, 592 pages

“An amazing work that reflects Johnson’s passion, care for his subjects, sharp analytical skills, and standing in the field.”–Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Spelman College

 

Becoming by Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama)

November 13

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

Crown, 400 pages

“An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States.”–Description

 

 

Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha) by Tasha Suri (@tashadrinkstea)

November 13

Tags: Fantasy, debut, women writers

Orbit, 496 pages

“A darkly intricate, devastating, and utterly original story about the ways we are bound by those we love.”–R. F. Kuang, author of The Poppy War

 

 

Fade Into You by Nikki Darling

November 13

Tags: Literary fiction, women writers, Latinx, debut

Feminist Press at CUNY, 224 pages

“A deeply personal mythology interwoven with the fibers of LA, simultaneously shaped by and shaping our city, Nikki Darling’s Fade Into You is a poetic portrait of a young girl’s life in the Angeleno multiverse.”–Alice Bag, author of Violence Girl

 

First Comes Marriage: My Not-So-Typical American Love Story by Huda Al-Marashi (@HudaAlMarashi)

November 13

Tags: Women writers, Iraq, memoir, #OwnVoices

Prometheus Books, 304 pages

“Told with exuberance and honesty, First Comes Marriage is a charming, delightful memoir of love and self-discovery. Huda Al-Marashi has written a smart, down-to-earth, and unforgettable modern-day love story that celebrates the enduring bonds of culture, faith, and family. A wonderful book.”–Jasmin Darznik, New York Times–bestselling author of Song of a Captive Bird

 

Insurrecto by Gina Apostol

November 13

Tags: War, family, women writers, Philippines

Soho Press, 336 pages

“Gina Apostol—a smart writer, a sharp critic, a keen intellectual—takes on the vexed relationship between the Philippines and the United States, pivoting on that relationship’s bloody origins. Insurrecto is meta-fictional, meta-cinematic, even meta-meta, plunging us into the vortex of memory, history, and war where we can feel what it means to be forgotten, and what it takes to be remembered.”–Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author The Sympathizer

 

All the Lives We Never Lived: A Novel by Anuradha Roy

November 20

Tags: India, women writers, family, literary

Atria, 288 pages

“[Roy] is a writer of great subtlety and intelligence, who understands that emotional power comes from the steady accretion of detail….[All the Lives We Never Lived] does not directly refer to #MeToo or the macho hyper-nationalism of today’s India. But in its portrayal of power structures, it is part of those very contemporary political conversations. It is also a beautifully written and compelling story of how families fall apart and of what remains in the aftermath.”–Kamila Shamsie, The Guardian

My review is coming soon!

 

Ask Me Again by E. J. Noyes (@zgrokit)

November 20

Tags: Lesbian, romance, military

Bella Books, 288 pages

“There’s no doubt that both Sabine and Rebecca want the same thing. But how do you help the most important person in your life when they don’t want to need your help?

Ask Me Again is the must-read sequel to the best-selling Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”–Description

 

Cameron’s Rules by Baxter Brown

November 20

Tags: Lesbian, romance

Bella Books, 266 pages

“When screenwriter Julie Carter accidentally spills hot coffee all over her, lawyer Cameron Kassen is convinced that her day can’t get any worse. But Cameron’s mood quickly improves when Julie starts to flirt with her. Only in town for a couple of days, they both lament that the flirtation can go nowhere.

Fiction mirrors reality and when Julie decides to add a surprise alternate ending to the story, Cameron is presented with a puzzle. Only by solving it will she be able to unlock the ending Julie intends just for her…but will it also unlock her heart?”–Description

 

Last Days of Theresienstadt by Eva Noack-Mosse with Skye Doney (Translator) and Biruté Ciplijauskaité (Translator)

November 20

Tags: History, memoir, Holocaust, women writers, nonfiction, #OwnVoices

“Includes the rare account of someone involved in the continuing administration of the camp after the war, facing the issues of epidemic and quarantine and coping with the inquiries from relatives seeking any word of their family members’ fates.”–Christopher Browning, author of Remembering Survival

 

Love in the New Millennium by Can Xue and Annelise Finegan Wasmoen (Translator)

November 20

Tags: Translation, women writers, China, literary fiction, #OwnVoices

Yale University Press, 288 pages

“Ambitious . . . masterful . . . Can Xue’s superb experimental novel is sure to keep readers hooked.”–Emily Park, Booklist

Love in the New Millennium is, as always with Can Xue’s work, a marvel. She is one of the most innovative and important contemporary writers in China and, in my opinion, in world literature.”–Bradford Morrow, author of The Prague Sonata

 

My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel by Oyinkan Braithwaite (@OyinBraithwaite)

November 20

Tags: Nigeria, Black women, women writers, debut, humor, #OwnVoices

Doubleday, 240 pages

“Who is more dangerous? A femme fatale murderess or the quiet, plain woman who cleans up her messes? In My Sister, the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite answers that question with an original and compelling debut. I never knew what was going to happen, but found myself pulling for both sisters, as I relished the creepiness and humor of this modern noir.”–Helen Ellis, New York Times bestselling author of American Housewife

My review coming soon!

 

Not Just a Tomboy: A Trans Masculine Memoir by Caspar Baldwin (@CasparBaldwin)

Nov. 21

Tags: Trans, memoir, #OwnVoices, queer

Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 248 pages

“As someone who was called a tomboy growing up as well, it gives invaluable and often ignored insight into the life of a trans masculine person. Strong, powerful and a valuable resource about the importance of supporting trans youth, regardless of their gender expression.”–Fox Fisher, film maker, artist and campaigner

 

How Long ’til Black Future Month?: Stories by N. K. Jemisin (@nkjemisin)

November 27

Tags: Women writers, short stories, science fiction

Orbit, 416 pages

“The stories are wonderful. In worlds both invariably cruel and brilliantly imagined, heroism thrives in the margins.”–Nicky Drayden, author of The Prey of Gods

 

Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson (@andreagibson)

November 27

Tags: Poetry, lesbian, loss, romance

Button Poetry, 96 pages

“Andrea Gibson’s latest collection is a masterful showcase from the poet whose writing and performances have captured the hearts of millions. With artful and nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family, Lord of the Butterflies is a new peak in Gibson’s career. Each emotion here is deft and delicate, resting inside of imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.”–Description

 

What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape by Sohaila Abdulali (@SohailaAbdulali)

November 27

Tags: Violence, feminism, India, #OwnVoices, women writers

The New Press, 224 pages

“If the #MeToo campaign is to have any lasting impact . . . it will be because of books such as this.”–Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young

“The right to our own bodies is the first step in any democracy, and by that measure, women in general—especially those of us also devalued by race, caste, or class—are still subject to an intimate dictatorship. Read the personal stories in What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape and see how far we have come—and have yet to go.”–Gloria Steinem

 

Settlin’: Stories of Madison’s Early African American Families by Muriel Simms

Nov. 28

Tags: Wisconsin, US history, women writers

Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 224 pages

“Only a fraction of what is known about Madison’s earliest African American settlers and the vibrant and cohesive communities they formed has been preserved in traditional sources. The rest is contained in the hearts and minds of their descendants. Seeing a pressing need to preserve these experiences, lifelong Madison resident Muriel Simms collected the stories of twenty-five African Americans whose families arrived, survived, and thrived here in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.”–Description

 

Those are the New Reads for the Rest of Us for November 2018! What are you reading this month??

 

This post contains affiliate links.

 

The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon - A Classics Club Review

The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon – A Classics Club Review

You may have read a previous post in which I described joining The Classics Club and introducing my reading list of 100 Classic Reads for the Rest of Us. Well, I meant to read two classics each month but in this, my first month, I am already behind! I have had a busy month but I managed to get through my first Classics Club book, The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, which is a fascinating look at Japanese court culture during the 11th century Heian period (794 to 1186).

While others may be more familiar with Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji as an example of classic Japanese literature of the time, I chose The Pillow Book instead – I always lean towards bucking the trend and I was intrigued by what I had read of Sei Shonagon’s attention to detail, unflinching honesty, and acerbic wit in her quest for the perfect comeback.

It’s been said that Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shonagon were rivals in the same literary circle and that the former found Sei Shonagon conceited. And while The Tale of Genji is a long and layered tale of politics, love, and loss, The Pillow Book is less serious – and to me, more telling – and full of Sei Shonagon’s observations, delights, and criticisms. Despite (or perhaps because of) her often sentimental observations, Sei Shonagon would’ve been brought into court for her knowledge of literature and poetry and for her writing skills; according to Ohio State University professor Ryan Schultz, she brought a level of “sophistication and elegance” to the court, which were cornerstones of court culture during this period.

According to Dr. Meredith McKinney, an expert in Japanese literature and translator of this edition, Sei Shonagon might have been born around 966 and the last known reference to her was in 1017. She was a member of the court of Empress Consort Teishi (Sadako), where she served as a gentlewoman or lady-in-waiting beginning around 993 until Teishi’s death in 1000.

The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon - A Classics Club Review

Sei Shōnagon, drawing by Kikuchi Yosai (1788–1878). (Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=626326)

While specific details about Sei Shonagon and her book are difficult to confirm, it is believed she completed the book around 1002. It is the oldest book on my classics list. There are several editions of the book; it has been copied and recopied multiple times. I read the Penguin Classics edition which includes an informative introduction written by Meredith McKinney and is full of notes throughout. Well-researched and thorough, it also includes appendices such as a glossary as well as explanations of colors and clothes, social statuses, and more.

The Pillow Book is akin to a diary; Sei Shonagon mostly tells us stories of her daily life, gossips about her peers, comments on fashion and the seasons. It provides a perspective on imperial culture in all its luxury, privilege, and poetry and is considered a masterpiece of Japanese literature. According to Sei Shonagon, the book was supposed to have been kept private but started to circulate among the court members when it was discovered after she accidentally left it out on a mat one day around 996.

I have never read a book quite like this before. While I enjoyed it for its unique content and perspective, it lacks the cohesion I was used to as it jumps around throughout time periods, thoughts, and miscellany. At times, Sei Shonagon uses the pages to list examples of seemingly arbitrary topics of her choice, sometimes as ordinary as naming peaks, plants, or bodies of water but at other times are more thoughtful. Here are some of my favorites:

Though it’s the same it sounds different ~ The language of priests. Men’s language. Women’s language.

Rare things ~ A pair of silver tweezers that can actually pull out hairs properly. A person who is without a single quirk. Two women, let alone a man and a woman, who vow themselves to each other forever, and actually manage to remain on good terms to the end.

Times when someone’s presence produces foolish excitement ~ A mother who’s pampering and praising her spoilt child, who is actually nothing out of the ordinary. The little introductory cough you give when you’re about to address someone who overawes you.

Things now useless that recall a glorious past ~ A fine embroidery-edged mat that’s become threadbare. A painter with poor eyesight. A switch of false hair seven or eight feet long, that’s now fading and taking on a reddish tinge. A man who was a great lover in his day but is now old and decrepit.

While I took these as fascinating insights into the life of an elite Japanese court woman at that time, I can see how some readers may become tired of the gossipy tone or her whiny judgments. I feel as though many readers would be satisfied with a summary of the book and a sampling of representative passages. But I would encourage others to read it precisely because it often doesn’t conform to modern (Western) writing conventions – and this is a good thing. The Pillow Book provides accessible entry into a slice of Japanese culture, history, and literature in a form that is swift, smart, and sharp.

The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon - A Classics Club Review

Sei Shonagon, by Unknown (Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3616093)

One aspect that kept me reading was noticing the way women were talked about in the book. Now while the type of life represented in the book was not that of most women of the time, it was interesting to examine how court women were thought of and treated. It seems that mainly women were hidden away, in several palace rooms, behind curtains or screens, or in carriages. That being said, it didn’t seem that these court women minded this. The court was the center of their worlds and according to Sei Shonagon, they seemed fairly satisfied with it. Beauty and comfort were central themes of the book and Sei Shonagon spends time describing clothing, fabrics, festivals, the weather, sounds, and colors; all in a signature poetic style that makes for lovely backdrops to the stories she tells.

In this polygamous, polyamorous time, Japanese court women of the Heian period enjoyed taking multiple lovers, seemingly without shame or judgement. Sei Shonagon even discusses how a man should be sure to not overstay his welcome in his lover’s chambers after a night of pleasure as well as the importance of a well-written (and prompt) “morning after” note.

The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon - A Classics Club Review

Sei Shōnagon, illustration from an issue of Hyakunin Isshu (Edo period) (By user:Ultratomio, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=164427)

Those who are interested in learning about this era of Japanese history or life would find this book compelling. I would also recommend this book to poetry lovers, as poetry was an integral part of court society during this period. One’s knowledge of poetry indicated their intellect, wit, and social standing; not only was one expected to know the greats but also to come up with original poetry on the spot. Communication between friends, colleagues, and lovers often took place via notes sent by messenger and these notes were often written in poetry, so one needed to be able to read, interpret, and create poems full of flirtation and puns for attention and glory. This was one of Sei Shonagon’s talents; she aimed to delight and surprise with her poetry and humor.

Overall, I am glad I started my Classics Club journey with The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon. It was unlike anything else I have read and I learned more about a culture about which I know very little. I would recommend it to readers of poetry and women writers, those interested in Japanese or women’s history, or anyone who is looking for a unique classic read!

Summary:

The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon - A Classics Club Review

 

Title: The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon
Author: Sei Shonagon
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages: 404 pages
Publication Date: 2006 (this translation edition)
Tags: Japan, women writers, memoir, history, poetry, classics
My Rating: Recommended

 

 

 

For further reading:

“‘The Pillow Book’ By Sei Shonagon Was Written In The 11th Century, But It’s Basically A Modern Day Blog” (2018) by Charlotte Ahlin for Bustle

The Pillow Book on Ancient History Encyclopedia

Pillow Book on Encyclopedia Britannica

The Pillow Book: Translating a Classic (2011) by Meredith McKinney for Kyoto Journal

The Pillow Book of Sei Shônagon (with excerpts and study questions) on Asia for Educators

Heian Literature and Japanese Court Women video by Ryan Schultz of The Ohio State University

 

This post contains affiliate links; I write what I like.

New Reads for September

New Reads for the Rest of Us for September 2018

Welcome to New Reads for the Rest of Us for September 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’s New Reads for the Rest of Us for September 2018. There are so many great titles here, which will you read??

 

All Roads Lead to Blood by Bonnie Chau (@bonniecchau)

September 1

Tags: Short stories, women writers, debut, Chinese

Santa Fe Writer’s Project, 166 pages

Winner of the 2040 Books Prize

“The intensity and desire of youth, with the wisdom of wild imagination, fill these wonderful stories by Chau. This unforgettable, stellar debut kept surprising me with fantastical turns, and sharp, unsettling insights.”–Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances

 

Black Women in Politics: Demanding Citizenship, Challenging Power, and Seeking Justice by Julia S. Jordan-Zachery, Nikol G. Alexander-Floyd (editors)

September 1

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

SUNY Press, 314 pages

Black Women in Politics offers a new perspective on Black women as political actors. Jordan-Zachery and Alexander-Floyd have assembled a stellar group of essays that speak to the broad experiences and concerns of Black women as political actors. Together, the essays present a compelling story of what we learn when we center Black women’s voices in policy debates, democratic theory, and notions of political leadership.”–Wendy Smooth, The Ohio State University

 

A Certain Loneliness: A Memoir by Sandra Gail Lambert (@sandralambert)

September 1

Tags: Dis/abilities, women writers, #OwnVoices, memoir, queer

“Having pushed her wheelchair past two hundred alligators, Lambert has written a brilliant and necessary account of a wise and triumphant life as a writer, activist, kayaker, lesbian lover, birder, and survivor of polio. I’m in awe of her gifts.”–Carolyn Forché, author of The Country Between Us

 

 

Claiming the B in LGBT: Illuminating the Bisexual Narrative by Kate Harrad (editor) (@katyha)

September 1

Tags: Bisexual, essays

Thorntree Press, 344 pages

Claiming the B in LGBT strives to give bisexuals a seat at the table. This guidebook to the history and future of the bisexual movement fuses a chronology of bisexual organizing with essays, poems, and articles detailing the lived experiences of bisexual activities struggling against a dominant culture driven by norms of monosexual attraction, compulsory monogamy, and inflexible notions of gender expression and identity.”–Description

 

The Lost Pages by Marija Pericic

September 1

Tags: Debut, women writers, friendship

“… cleverly structured and an intriguing concept.”–Jenny Barry, BooksPlus

“From the very beginning, the strain between Kafka and Brod is hugely entertaining. Brod is anti-social and prefers his own company, just like the best of Kafka’s characters.”–Rohan Wilson, award winning author of The Roving Party and To Name Those Lost

 

Mother of Invention edited by Rivqa Rafael (@enoughsnarkand Tansy Rayner Roberts (@tansyrr)

September 1

Tags: Queer, women writers, speculative fiction, gender, short stories

Twelfth Planet Press, 396 pages

“All of the familiar tropes of mad science and the creation of artificial life get turned on their heads in the most gloriously feminist way in Mother of Invention. It turns out when the person who’s Playing God is female, the story suddenly gets a lot more interesting.”–Charlie Jane Anders

 

Okanagan Grouse Woman: Upper Nicola Narratives by Lottie Lindley and John Lyon

September 1

Tags: Native American, short stories, oral history

University of Nebraska Press; Reprint edition, 510 pages

“The collection is masterfully constructed, reflecting Lottie Lindley’s distinctive narrative voice in Okanagan and in English. At once a carefully annotated documentation of the Okanagan language as well as a record of history, culture, and land, the book is a testament to the power of narrative in Okanagan and a wonderful gift to future generations.”–Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins, associate professor of linguistics at the University of Victoria

 

Punching and Kicking: Leaving Canada’s Toughest Neighbourhood by Kathy Dobson (@Kathy_Dobson)

September 1

Tags: Canada, poverty, memoir, women writers, #OwnVoices, family

Véhicule Press, 240 pages

“People don’t leave the Point, even if they move far away. Or at least that’s how it seems to journalist Kathy Dobson. Growing up in the 1970s in Point St. Charles, an industrial slum in Montreal, she sees how people get trapped in the neighborhood. In this sequel to the highly praised With a Closed Fist, Dobson shares her journey of trying to escape from what was once described as the toughest neighborhood in Canada.”–Description

 

Shadowboxer by Jessica L. Webb (@JessicaLWebb1)

September 1 on Bold Strokes Books

September 11 on Amazon

Tags: Lesbian, romance, sports, #OwnVoices

Bold Strokes Books, 242 pages

“After a tough childhood and a brief and bruising career as a boxer, Jordan McAddie isn’t sure she has anything left to offer in a relationship. Desperately trying to make a difference, she focuses on becoming a social worker and helping street kids find their way. But someone is targeting her kids, luring them to an underground political group whose protests are becoming increasingly more provocative and dangerous.

When Ali Clarke – Jordan’s first love and first broken heart – walks back into her life and becomes intertwined with the youth boxing program, Jordan is torn between past and present. Dedicated to keeping her kids safe, Jordan fights old fears that she will never be good enough, while trying to believe she might have a future with Ali.”–Description

 

Sinjar: 14 Days that Saved the Yazidis from Islamic State by Susan Shand

September 1

Tags: Iraq, history, women writers, military

Lyons Press, 268 pages

“This is the extraordinary tale of how a few American-Yazidis in Washington, DC, mobilized a small, forgotten office in the American government to intervene militarily in Iraq to avert a devastating humanitarian crisis. While Islamic State massacred many thousands of Yazidi men and sold thousands more Yazidi women into slavery, the U.S. intervention saved the lives of 50,000 Yazidis.”–Description

 

Toppled World: A Political and Spiritual Trek through India, Tibet and Afghanistan by Susan Murphy

September 1

Tags: India, Tibet, Afghanistan, biography, women writers, history

Bedazzled Ink Publishing, 260 pages

“As a child, Sudha Johorey witnessed the horrific events that followed the partition of India into two bitter rival nations. Sudha was a feminist before her time, a pioneer in rural education, a seeker of the divine, a true Renaissance woman. Susan Murphy had the opportunity to accompany Sudha Johorey to Dharamsala in 2005, where they were afforded a private audience with the Dalai Lama, who encouraged Murphy to write Sudha’s amazing story.”–Description

 

Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House by April Ryan (@AprilDRyan)

September 1

Tags: Journalism, politics, #OwnVoices, women writers

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 192 pages

“April’s experience, knowledge, and judgment are on full display in this book. She understands the political process at the highest levels and has never been afraid to ask the tough questions off-record or with the eyes of the world on her or when her courage and mettle have been put to the test. All of these skills come together in a compelling volume that blends her insights with the very questions that we should all be confronting at this unique moment in history.”–Thurgood Marshall, Jr.

 

Vita & Virginia: The Lives and Love of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West by Sarah Gristwood (@sarahgristwood)

September 1

Tags: Literature, women writers, biography, queer

“Virginia Woolf is one of the world’s most famous writers, and a leading light of literary modernism and feminism. During the 1920s she had a passionate affair with a fellow author, Vita Sackville-West, and they remained friends until Virginia’s death in 1941. This double biography of two extraordinary women examines their lives together and apart.”–Description

 

Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness by Renée Mussai (Author), Zanele Muholi (@MuholiZanele(Photographer)

September 1

Tags: Arts, photography, women writers, #OwnVoices, South Africa, Black women

Aperture, 212 pages

“Zanele Muholi (born in Umlazi, Durban, South Africa, 1972) is a visual activist and photographer, cofounder of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women, and founder of Inkanyiso, a forum for queer and visual media.”–Amazon

“This is the long-awaited monograph from one of the most powerful visual activists of our time. The book features over ninety of Muholi’s evocative self-portraits, each image drafted from material props in Muholi’s immediate environment.”–Description

 

After the Winter by Guadalupe Nettel (@nettelgand Rosalind Harvey (Translator)

September 4

Tags: Women writers, thriller, contemporary women, translation

Coffee House Press (reprint), 264 pages

“A compassionately written portrait of urban loneliness and the human impulse to belong.”–Kirkus

“Guadalupe Nettel’s After the Winter is a dazzling excavation of the glimmering particularities of consciousness, and how a collision of fates can transform our inner worlds. This taut, atmospheric novel is an ode to the complicated heartbreak of loving what will forever be just out of reach.”–Laura van den Berg

 

Always Another Country by Sisonke Msimang (@Sisonkemsimang)

September 4

Tags: Memoir, Africa, women writers, #OwnVoices

World Editions, 368 pages

“Brutally and uncompromisingly honest, Sisonke’s beautifully crafted storytelling enriches the already extraordinary pool of young African women writers of our time. Sisonke, a child of the Struggle, revisits the metamorphosis of the value system embraced by the liberation movements and emerges as a powerful free spirit, nurtured by its resilient core values.”–Graça Machel

 

Black Queer Hoe by Britteney Black Rose Kapri (@BlkRseKapri)

September 4

Tags: Black women, women writers, poetry, queer, debut, #OwnVoices

Haymarket Press, 120 pages

“Black Queer Hoe is a refreshing, unapologetic intervention into ongoing conversations about the line between sexual freedom and sexual exploitation. Women’s sexuality is often used as a weapon against them. In this powerful debut, Britteney Black Rose Kapri lends her unmistakable voice to fraught questions of identity, sexuality, reclamation, and power, in a world that refuses Black Queer women permission to define their own lives and boundaries.”–Description

UPDATE:  Just read this book and it is EVERYTHING.

 

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani 

September 4

Tags: Nigeria, #OwnVoices, women writers, family

Katherine Tegen Books, 336 pages

“Unflinching in its direct view of an ongoing tragedy, this important novel will open discussions about human rights and violence against women and girls worldwide.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Nigerian author Nwaubani [paints] beautiful portraits of the joy, hope, and traditions experienced by this girl, her friends, and family with the same masterful strokes as the ones depicting the dreadful agony, loss, and grief they endure. A worthy piece of work that superbly and empathetically tells a heartbreaking tale.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

 

Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises by Rebecca Solnit

September 4

Tags: Violence, feminism, women writers, essays

Haymarket, 166 pages

“Rebecca Solnit is essential feminist reading.”–The New Republic

“Solnit’s exquisite essays move between the political and the personal, the intellectual and the earthy.”–ELLE

 

Flat: Reclaiming My Body from Breast Cancer by Catherine Guthrie (@cat_guthrie)

September 4

Tags: Health, feminism, women writers, memoir, queer

Skyhorse Publishing, 264 pages

“A feminist breast cancer memoir of medical trauma, love, and how she found the strength to listen to her body.”–Description

“Guthrie’s refreshing femininity doesn’t fit the familiar cancer narrative. Informed by both the nuances of queer identity and a women’s health journalist’s insider knowledge, this memoir is a welcome punk rock to breast cancer’s pink-washing. Unflinching, eloquent, and richly intimate, Flat has shaken me, inspired me, prepared me for what could happen.”–Angela Palm, author, Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here

 

Isako Isako by Mia Ayumi Malhotra

September 4

Tags: Japan, debut, family, poetry

Alice James Books, 100 pages

“The personal pronoun I has brinks on all sides, over which you can fall and become anyone and no one. Isako Isako deeply explores these soaring and dangerous precipices of identity through the magnetic voice of a Japanese-American internment camp survivor who is both an individual and collective, a citizen and a prisoner, broken and healing. Mia Ayumi Malhotra has written a brilliant and searing debut.”–Maria Hummel

 

I Should Have Honor: A Memoir of Hope and Pride in Pakistan by Khalida Brohi

September 4

Tags: Pakistan, women writers, #OwnVoices, violence, memoir, activism, feminism

Random House, 224 pages

“Khalida Brohi understands the true nature of honor. She is fearless in her pursuit of justice and equality.”–Malala Yousafzai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize

“Khalida Brohi’s moving story is a testament to what is possible no matter the odds. In her courageous activism and now in I Should Have Honor, Khalida gives a voice to the women and girls who are denied their own by society. This book is a true act of honor.”–Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org

 

Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage by Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar)

September 4

Tags: YA, essays, girls, trans, race, #OwnVoices

Knopf Books for Young Readers, 320 pages

“Each tale is a soulful testament to the endurance of the human spirit and reminds readers that they are not alone in their search for self. An unflinchingly honest book that should be required reading for every young person in America.”–Kirkus, starred review

“An invaluable collection of snapshots of American society.”–VOYA, starred review

 

Ponti by Sharlene Teo (@treebirds)

September 4

Tags: Friendship, coming of age, women writers, contemporary women

Simon & Schuster, 304 pages

“At once a subtle critique of the pressures of living in a modern Asian metropolis; a record of the swiftness and ruthlessness with which Southeast Asia has changed over the last three decades; a portrait of the old juxtaposed with the new (and an accompanying dialogue between nostalgia and cynicism); an exploration of the relationship between women against the backdrop of social change; and, occasionally, a love story—all wrapped up in the guise of a teenage coming-of-age novel. . . . Teo is brilliant.”–The Guardian

My review of this title is coming soon!

 

Terra Nullius: a novel by Claire G. Coleman

September 4

Tags: Dystopian, family, women writers, Indigenous Australian (South Coast Noongar), debut

Small Beer Press, 320 pages

“Claire G. Coleman’s Terra Nulllius is an arresting and original novel that addresses the legacy of Australia’s violent colonial history. . . . Coleman’s punchy prose is insistent throughout, its energy unflagging. Terra Nullius is a novel for our times, one whose tone is as impassioned as its message is necessary.”–Stella Prize Judges’ Report

 

Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story by Wyomia Tyus with Elizabeth Terzakis

September 4

Tags: Sports, women writers, Black women, memoir, #OwnVoices

Edge of Sports [reprint ed.], 288 pages

“Wyomia Tyus may not be as well known as Wilma Rudolph or Billie Jean King, but her athletic accomplishments and life story are equally captivating, as related in this remarkable and inspiring memoir…This deeply moving book by one of our greatest athletes makes indelible statements about integrity, growing up black in the South, social activism, gender equality, and inclusion.”–Booklist (starred review)

 

The Grind: Black Women and Survival in the Inner City by Alexis S. McCurn

September 10

Tags: Women writers, urban, Black women

Rutgers University Press, 200 pages

“Few scholars have explored the collective experiences of women living in the inner city and the innovative strategies they develop to navigate daily life in this setting. The Grind illustrates the lived experiences of poor African American women and the creative strategies they develop to manage these events and survive in a community commonly exposed to violence.”–Description

 

#FashionVictim: A Novel by Amina Akhtar (@Drrramina)

September 11

Tags: Debut, women writers, thriller, humor

Crooked Lane Books

“Hilariously funny as well as profoundly unsettling . . . will keep readers hooked and laughing, if a bit uncomfortably, from Page 1 until the shocking ending.”–Kirkus

“Full of suspense, social satire, and deliciously dark humor, #FashionVictim gives ‘killer wardrobe’ a whole new meaning. I couldn’t put it down.”–Alison Gaylin, USA Today Bestselling Author of If I Die Tonight

 

How Does It Feel to Be Unwanted?: Stories of Resistance and Resilience from Mexicans Living in the United States by Eileen Truax (@EileenTruax)

September 11

Tags: Mexico, women writers, immigration, Latinx

Beacon Press, 216 pages

“An urgent book for our times. When immigrant voices are being silenced, when immigrant families are being torn apart, when immigrant youth are being denied their right to dream of a better future, this book inspires us to see, to listen, and to understand. Above all, it celebrates the tenacity and resilience of a community whose stories are, without any doubt, part of the American experience.”–Reyna Grande, author of The Distance Between Us

 

Maggie Terry by Sarah Schulman (@sarahschulman3)

September 11

Tags: Queer, mystery, women writers

The Feminist Press at CUNY, 272 pages

“A sprawling exploration of New York nostalgia, police brutality, addiction memoir, and queer love, with a mystery as the cherry on top.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Sarah Schulman’s startling brilliance and wry humor is everything.”–Jacqueline Woodson, author of Another Brooklyn

 

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson (@ProfCAnderson)

September 11

Tags: Politics, women writers, history

Bloomsbury Publishing, 288 pages

“This whiplash-inducing chronicle of how a nation that just a few short years ago elected its first black president now finds itself in the throes of a deceitful and craven effort to rip this most essential of American rights from millions of its citizens.”–Booklist

“A ripped-from-the-headlines book . . . Anderson is a highly praised academic who has mastered the art of gathering information and writing for a general readership, and her latest book could not be more timely.”–Kirkus

 

Ordinary People: A Novel by Diana Evans (@DianaEvansOP)

September 11

Tags: Urban, family, literary, women writers

Liveright, 320 pages

“If Ordinary People is about compromise, it is also about how we live today and, refreshingly, Evans shows this through the prism of black and mixed-race identities, conjuring an urban milieu that is middle-class and non-white…. [This novel] has universal appeal in its reflections on love and yet carries a glorious local specificity…. It could easily be reimagined for the screen, though the film would not capture the sheer energy and effervescence of Evans’s funny, sad, magnificent prose.”–Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

 

Perfectly Clear: Escaping Scientology and Fighting for the Woman I Love by Michelle LeClair and Robin Gaby Fisher

September 11

Tags: Religion, lesbian, memoir, #OwnVoices

Berkley, 304 pages

“The revelatory memoir by former ‘poster girl for Scientology’ Michelle LeClair about her defection from the Church, her newly accepted sexual identity, and the lengths to which Scientology went to silence it.”–Description

 

Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly (@schemaly )

September 11

Tags: Women writers, sexuality, feminism

Atria, 416 pages

“How many women cry when angry because we’ve held it in for so long? How many discover that anger turned inward is depression? Soraya Chemaly’s Rage Becomes Her will be good for women, and for the future of this country. After all, women have a lot to be angry about.”–Gloria Steinem

 

The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman (@sarahw)

September 11

Tags: Biography, true crime, women writers, history

Ecco, 320 pages

“A tantalizing, entertaining true-life detective and literary story.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Spine-straightening. . . . Weinman’s sensitive insights into Horner’s struggle play in stunning counterpoint to her illuminations of Nabokov’s dark obsession and literary daring, and Lolita’s explosive impact.”–Booklist

 

She Would Be King: A Novel by Wayétu Moore (@Wayetu) 

September 11

Tags: Liberia, magical realism, women writers, historical fiction, debut

Graywolf, 312 page

“In this vibrant story of the African diaspora, Moore, a talented storyteller and a daring writer, illuminates with radiant and exacting prose the tumultuous roots of a country inextricably bound to the United States. She Would Be King is a novel of profound depth set against a vast canvas and a transcendent debut from a major new author.”–Description

My review of this title is coming soon!

 

Standing Our Ground: The Triumph of Faith Over Gun Violence: A Mother’s Story by Lucia Kay McBath (@LucyWins2018with Rosemarie Robotham

September 11

Tags: Memoir, violence, race, politics, women writers, #OwnVoices

Atria / 37 INK, 256 pages

“Lucy, in the face of tragedy, turned her sorrow into a strategy, and her mourning into a movement.”–Hillary Clinton

“What awes me about Lucia is not simply the fact of having endured the loss of a child in the manner she did, but her sheer strength of character, which has allowed her to turn that loss into our gain. Lucia has taken it as her mission to live beyond the pain of her loss and to prevent more of our children from meeting at those crossroads.”–Ta-Nehisi Coates, New York Times bestselling author of Between the World and Me

 

She Called Me Woman: Nigeria’s Queer Women Speak by Azeenarh Mohammed (@xeenarh), Chitra Nagarajan (@chitranagarajan ‏), and Rafeeat Aliyu (@rafeeeeta ‏)

September 12

Tags: Queer, Nigeria, Black women, women writers, trans

Cassava Republic Press, 340 pages

“We put together this collection of twenty-five narratives to correct the invisibility, the confusion, the caricaturising and the writing out of queer women from history.”–Description

 

Pan–African American Literature: Signifyin(g) Immigrants in the Twenty-First Century by Stephanie Li 

September 14

Rutgers University Press, 190 pages

“Timely and promising, Pan-African American Literature will make a major and distinctive contribution to African American studies, cultural studies, and American literary studies.”–Michele Elam author of The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millennium

 

Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation by Imani Perry (@imaniperry)

September 14

Tags: Feminism, gender, Black women, women writers

Duke University Press Books, 304 pages

“Imani Perry’s Vexy Thing is a strong and confidently argued statement for a kind of feminism that attends in new ways to how logics of gender domination are part of wider logics of domination—how regimes of gender must be considered under a lens that also makes visible austerity and neoliberalism, hypermedia and the security state. Vexy Thing expands our notions of what a feminist critic can do while giving the reader a real sense of an important intellectual at work.”–Sara Ahmed, author of Living a Feminist Life

 

African American Girls and the Construction of Identity: Class, Race, and Gender by Sheila Walker

September 15 (Kindle; hardcover out in October)

Tags: Black women, girls, race, women writers

Lexington Books, 204 pages

If anyone is curious about the depth and scope of the sociocultural and psychological experiences and profiles of young African American women then this book should be kept close by for use as a reference and a resource. With a wealth of interesting material and a clear and accommodating, yet sufficiently rigourous, framework, anyone who studies these pages will come out a richer person.–Joseph Trimble, Western Washington University

 

All the Stars Denied by Guadalupe García McCall (@ggmccall)

September 15

Tags: YA, historical fiction, women writers

Tu Books, 324 pages

“When Estrella organizes a protest against the treatment of tejanos in their town of Monteseco, Texas, her whole family becomes a target of ‘repatriation’ efforts to send Mexicans ‘back to Mexico’–whether they were ever Mexican citizens or not. Dumped across the border and separated from half her family, Estrella must figure out a way to survive and care for her mother and baby brother. How can she reunite with her father and grandparents and convince her country of birth that she deserves to return home? There are no easy answers in the first YA book to tackle this hidden history.”–Description

 

Drive Here and Devastate Me by Megan Falley (@megan_falley)

September 15

Tags: Poetry, queer, romance, women writers

Write Bloody Publishing, 100 pages

“Megan Falley’s much-anticipated fourth collection of poetry shocks you with its honesty: whether through exacting wit or lush lyrical imagery. It is clear that the author is madly in love, not only with her partner for whom she writes both idiosyncratic and sultry poems for, but in love with language, in love with queerness, in love with the therapeutic process of bankrupting the politics of shame. These poems tackle gun violence, toxic masculinity, LGBTQ* struggles, suicidality, and the oppression of women’s bodies, while maintaining a vivid wildness that the tongue aches to speak aloud.”–Description

 

Flocks by L. Nichols

September 15

Tags: Trans, #OwnVoices, memoir, graphic novels, religion

Secret Acres, 332 pages

“L. Nichols, a trans man, artist, engineer and father of two, was born in rural Louisiana, assigned female and raised by conservative Christians. Flocks is his memoir of that childhood, and of his family, friends and community, the flocks of Flocks, that shaped and re-shaped him. L.’s irresistibly charming drawings demonstrate what makes Flocks so special: L.’s boundless empathy.”–Description

 

Howard Zinn’s Southern Diary: Sit-ins, Civil Rights, and Black Women’s Student Activism by Robert Cohen

September 15

Tags: US history, Black women

University of Georgia Press, 312 pages

“This is a gem of a book! Organized around Howard Zinn’s fascinating diary of events during 1963, Robert Cohen’s account provides fresh information about how Zinn’s time at Spelman College (1956–63) converged with the contentious process of change in Atlanta, across the South, and on the Spelman campus. In recovering this formative chapter in Zinn’s biography, Cohen tells the story of a generation of black college women on the front lines of the freedom struggle.”–Patricia Sullivan author of Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement

 

The Bead Collector: A novel by Sefi Atta

September 17

Tags: Literary fiction, Nigeria, friendship, family, women writers

Interlink Pub Group, 376 pages

“The Bead Collector is centered around a dialogue between two women, but radiates out through family and society and the political realm in Nigeria to form a vast, rich dialogue, one, ultimately, between tradition and progress. Sefi Atta has crafted yet another stunning novel, a deeply compelling, illuminating story of personal and national identity in a time of great transition.”–Gayle Brandeis, author of The Book of Dead Birds

 

The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish by Katya Apekina (@katyaapekina)

September 18

Tags: Family, coming of age, women writers, debut

The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish begins with a reunion between two sisters and their estranged, artist father. An unlikely intimacy grows out of this unusual situation, and we’re shuttled into a strange, beautiful history of this complex, passionate family, a history which involves young love, the Civil Rights movement, and an enduring obsession. I was completely mesmerized by Katya Apekina’s thrilling, heartfelt debut. Funny, suspenseful, touching, and totally unexpected, I dare you not to love it as much as I did. Apekina has talent and heart to spare.”–Anton DiSclafani, National Bestselling author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

 

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh (@Sarah_Smarsh)

September 18

Tags: Class, women writers, rural, poverty

Scribner, 304 pages

“Candid and courageous … Smarsh’s raw and intimate narrative exposes a country of economic inequality that has ‘failed its children.'”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] powerful message of class bias … A potent social and economic message [is] embedded within an affecting memoir.”–Kirkus (starred review)

 

How to be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide by Crystal Marie Fleming (@alwaystheself)

September 18

Tags: Race, women writers, sociology

“Dr. Fleming offers a straight-no-chaser critique of our collective complicit ignorance regarding the state of race in the United States . . . . This book will leave you thinking, offended, and transformed.”–Nina Turner, former Ohio state senator

 

In Pieces by Sally Field (@sally_field)

September 18

Tags: Memoir, entertainment, women writers, family

Grand Central Publishing, 416 pages

“In this intimate, haunting literary memoir, an American icon tells her story for the first time, and in her own gorgeous words–about a challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother.”–Description

I know she’s a white lady. But I adore her.

 

Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry (@imaniperry)

September 18

Tags: Queer, women writers, Black women, biography

Beacon Press, 256 pages

“I have always admired the brilliant Lorraine Hansberry. Now I treasure her even more. Imani Perry’s magnificently written and extremely well researched Looking for Lorraine reclaims for all of us the Lorraine Hansberry we should have had all along, the multifaceted genius for whom A Raisin in the Sun was just the tip of the iceberg. Though Hansberry’s life was brief, her powerful work remains vital and urgently necessary. One can say the same of this phenomenal book, which hopefully will lead more readers to both Hansberry’s published and unpublished works.”–Edwidge Danticat, author of Brother, I’m Dying

 

Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for Her American Dream by Julissa Arce (@julissaarce)

September 18

Tags: Immigration, women writers, #OwnVoices, YA, memoir, Mexico, drugs

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 240 pages

“A remarkable true story from social justice advocate and national bestselling author Julissa Arce about her journey to belong in America while growing up undocumented in Texas… Julissa’s story provides a deep look into the little-understood world of a new generation of undocumented immigrants in the United States today–kids who live next door, sit next to you in class, or may even be one of your best friends.”–Description

 

These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore

September 18

Tags: US history, women writers

W. W. Norton & Company, 960 pages

“With this epic work of grand chronological sweep, brilliantly illuminating the idea of truth in the history of our republic, Lepore reaffirms her place as one of one of the truly great historians of our time.”–Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard University

 

Washington Black: A novel by Esi Edugyan

September 18

Tags: Historical fiction, adventure, literary, women writers

Knopf, 352 pages

Read my review here!

“Washington Black is nothing short of a masterpiece. Esi Edugyan has a rare talent for turning over little known stones of history and giving her reader a new lens on the world, a new way of understanding subject matter we arrogantly think we know everything about. This book is an epic adventure and a heartfelt tale about love and morality and their many contradictions. I loved it.”–Attica Locke, author of Bluebird, Bluebird

 

Forgotten Women: The Writers by Zing Tsjeng (@misszing)

September 20 (Kindle ed., hardcover coming in October)

Tags: Women writers, history

Cassell, 224 pages

“To say this series is ’empowering’ doesn’t do it justice. Buy a copy for your daughters, sisters, mums, aunts and nieces – just make sure you buy a copy for your sons, brothers, dads, uncles and nephews, too.”–Independent

 

 

Othered by Randi M Romo (@RomoTake2)

September 20

Tags: Queer, women writers, #OwnVoices, poetry

Sibling Rivalry Press, 96 pages

“There is no better landing place for our grief, our love, and our hopes for a better tomorrow than poems. They vibrate with an urgency that defies the dead and enlivens the future. But Othered is more than a collection of poetry; it is proof positive that becoming one’s true self is still the most revolutionary act that any human being can undertake. Randi M. Romo shows us how it’s done–with courage, great care, and community.” – James Lecesne, Co-Founder of the Trevor Project

 

Blindsided by Chelsea Catherine

September 21

Tags: Queer, literary fiction

Texas Review Press, 144 pages

Blindsided follows Eli as she leads Carla, a local real estate agent, through an election for Key West city mayor. At first, the campaign process appears easy. Despite their differences, the two women work well together. But as time progresses, they face countless obstacles: the Bubba system in the Keys, discrimination from both supporting and opposing forces, and their rapidly intensifying relationship. While Carla starts to doubt her decisions, Eli struggles to find her place in the Keys and in Carla’s budding campaign.”–Description

 

Trans Teen Survival Guide by Fox Fisher (@theFoxFisherand Owl Fisher (@UglaStefania)

September 21

Tags: Trans, queer, YA, #OwnVoices

Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 208 pages

“With a focus on self-care, expression and being proud of your unique identity, the guide is packed full of invaluable advice from people who understand the realities and complexities of growing up trans. Having been there, done that, Fox and Owl are able to honestly chart the course of life as a trans teen, from potentially life-saving advice on dealing with dysphoria or depression, to hilarious real-life awkward trans stories.”–Description

 

Off Limits by Vanessa North (@byVanessaNorth)

September 24

Tags: Lesbian, romance, women writers, #OwnVoices

Vanessa North, 207 pages

“By day, Natalie Marshall is the Thorns Ladies’ Social Club’s perfect concierge: resourceful, observant, immaculate. But she turns her phone off when the night concierge arrives, and then she’s Nat: the raunchy lead singer of Vertical Smile—notorious for lewd lyrics and sexually-charged performances.”–Description

 

American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures by America Ferrera (@AmericaFerrera)

September 25

Tags: Immigration, essays, women writers, #OwnVoices, Latinx

Gallery Books, 336 pages

“From award-winning actress and political activist America Ferrera comes a vibrant and varied collection of first person accounts from prominent figures about the experience of growing up between cultures.”–Description

 

A Blade So Black by LL McKinney (@ElleOnWords)

September 25

Tags: Women writers, fantasy, urban, debut

Imprint, 384 pages

A Blade So Black delivers an irresistible urban fantasy retelling of Alice in Wonderland . . . but it’s not the Wonderland you remember. Debut author L.L. McKinney delivers an action-packed twist on an old classic, full of romance and otherworldly intrigue.”–Description

 

Can We All Be Feminists?: New Writing from Brit Bennett, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and 15 Others on Intersectionality, Identity, and the Way Forward for Feminism edited by June Eric-Udorie (@juneericudorie)

September 25

Tags: Feminism, queer, anthology

Penguin Books, 288 pages

“June Eric-Udorie is a powerhouse. . . . who has assembled a stellar lineup of writers, putting a bold challenge to the idea of a unified feminism.”–Book Riot, “New Feminist Books That Offer Us Ways Forward”

 

Lava Falls by Lucy Jane Bledsoe (@LucyBledsoe)

September 25

Tags: Lesbian, women writers, short stories

University of Wisconsin Press, 240 pages

“In these twelve remarkable stories, the reader journeys from the remotest inner reaches of Alaska to deceptively calm suburban neighborhoods to a research station at the bottom of the world. Yet Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s true territory is the wild, uncharted expanse of the heart. A wise and wonderful collection.”–Kirstin Valdez Quade, author of Night at the Fiesta
“From Antarctica to suburbia to the ancient past and a post-apocalyptic future, these tales of kick-ass women adventurers and survivor girls are big-hearted, breathtaking, and profound. Reading Lava Falls is like meeting an animal in the wild: I was rapt, unable to turn away, with no idea what would happen next.”–Micah Perks, author of What Becomes Us

 

Old Futures: Speculative Fiction and Queer Possibility by Alexis Lothian (@alothian)

September 25

Tags: Queer, speculative, history, literary criticism

NYU Press, 352 pages

Old Futures explores the social, political, and cultural forces feminists, queer people, and people of color invoke when they dream up alternative futures as a way to imagine transforming the present. Lothian shows how queer possibilities emerge when we practice the art of speculation: of imagining things otherwise than they are and creating stories from that impulse. Queer theory offers creative ways to think about time, breaking with straight and narrow paths toward the future laid out for the reproductive family, the law-abiding citizen, and the believer in markets. Yet so far it has rarely considered the possibility that, instead of a queer present reshaping the ways we relate to past and future, the futures imagined in the past can lead us to queer the present.”–Description

 

Open Earth by Sarah Mirk (@sarahmirk(Author) with Eva Cabrera (@evacabrera(Illustrator) and Claudia Aguirre (Illustrator)

September 25

Tags: Graphic novel, erotica, science fiction, women writers, romance

Limerence Press, 120 pages

“For comics fans who dream optimistically about the future, the diverse cast and sex-positive, cooperative storyline combine into a utopian vision.”–Publishers Weekly

“Humans may be living in space now, but our same old problems with love, sex, and communication are timeless. Full of family, friendship, and love, Cabrera, Aguirre, and Mirk’s vision of the post-apocalypse looks pretty damn appealing to me.”–Erika Moen

 

What titles are you excited about this month?

 

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New Releases for June

New Books by Womxn – June 2018 Releases

Need a new book for June?
Here’s a roundup of the new books by women being released in June that I am most excited about, with a focus on womxn and gender non-conforming people from historically underrepresented and underserved communities.
If you are curious 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’ll probably add to this list as I learn of others; if you have a suggestion, please place it in the comments below!

 

Never Stop Walking by Christina RickardssonNever Stop Walking: A Memoir of Finding Home Across the World by Christina Rickardsson

June 1

“Both candid and compelling, Rickardsson’s story is not only about a woman seeking to heal the fractures inherent in a transnational identity; it is also a moving meditation on poverty, injustice, and the meaning of family. A thought-provoking and humane memoir of survival and self-discovery.”–Kirkus Reviews

“A haunting story of balancing identities, Rickardsson’s debut is an unforgettable meditation on the weight of early childhood trauma and recovery.”–Booklist

My review coming soon!

 

Battle for Paradise by Naomi KleinThe Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists by Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein)

June 5

“We are in a fight for our lives. Hurricanes Irma and María unmasked the colonialism we face in Puerto Rico, and the inequality it fosters, creating a fierce humanitarian crisis. Now we must find a path forward to equality and sustainability, a path driven by communities, not investors. And this book explains, with careful and unbiased reporting, only the efforts of our community activists can answer the paramount question: What type of society do we want to become and who is Puerto Rico for?”–Carmen Yulín Cruz, Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico

“Naomi Klein concisely reveals to us what Puerto Rico has faced, shock after shock, before Hurricane Maria and after it and also the voices of people who believe and build a future for Puerto Rico from the strength of their communities.”–Ana Irma Rivera Lassén, feminist, human rights activist, former president of the Puerto Rico Bar Association

My review coming soon!

 

The Book of M by Peng ShepherdThe Book of M by Peng Shepherd (@pengshepherd)

June 5

“Sheperd’s debut is graceful and riveting, slowly peeling back layers of an intricately constructed and unsettling alternate future.”–Publishers Weekly

Read my review!

 

 

 

 

Bruja Born by Zoraida CordovaBruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas #2) by Zoraida Cordova (@zlikeinzorro)

June 5

“An exciting read with a wonderful Latinx feel woven throughout.”–Kirkus

“The book is at its best examining the relationship between Lula and her sisters as brujas, but also as teens, who have the same yearnings and petty arguments as any girls. For readers coming for the ghouls, there are plenty of those, too.”–Booklist

 

 

Feminist Freedom WarriorsFeminist Freedom Warriors: Genealogies, Justice, Politics, and Hope by Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Linda Carty (eds.) 

http://feministfreedomwarriors.org/ 

June 5

Feminist Freedom Warriors is a provocation and an inspiration. The political and intellectual life stories of an amazing cohort of radical feminist takes us through five decades of dynamic history and spans the globe.Their stories, ideas, fortitude and courage provide a powerful guide to the freedom-making work of the mid 20th through the early 21st centuries. The book is yet another gift of insight and critical feminist praxis from Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Linda Carty, sister-scholars and collaborators whose own collective passion and commitments are also in every page of this collection.”–Barbara Ransby, author, historian, activist

My review coming soon!

 

In the Distance With You by Carla GuelfenbeinIn the Distance With You by Carla Guelfenbein (@carlaguelfenbeiand John Cullen (translator)

June 5

“[A] moving page-turner. Suspense, emotions, and magic course throughout this beautifully narrated book. Highly recommended for fans of Latin American literature and general literary mysteries.”–Library Journal (starred review)

“The subject of this profound and intricate novel is the irreducible mystery at the core of every person, the buried lines of history and desire that render us inscrutable even to ourselves. Carla Guelfenbein is an important and powerful writer, and this translation is a gift to English-language readers.”–Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

 

Kiss Quotient by Helen HoangThe Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (@HHoangWrites)

June 5

“Hoang knocks it out of the park with this stellar debut about an autistic woman who takes a methodical approach to learning about sex and accidentally gets a lesson in love…Hoang gives [Stella] tremendous depth as a character, never reducing her to a walking diagnosis. The diverse cast and exceptional writing take this romance to the next level, and readers who see themselves in Stella will be ecstatic.”–Publisher’s Weekly (starred)

“An unexpectedly sweet romance that left me with a huge smile on my face. I dare you not to fall in love with these two characters and their story. Helen Hoang’s debut is quite simply delightful!”–Nalini Singh, New York Times bestselling author

 

Little Piece of Light by Donna HyltonA Little Piece of Light by Donna Hylton (@DonnaHylton)

June 5

“Donna Hylton’s painful yet liberating memoir will certainly be transformative for many who read her words. As a survivor of sexual abuse and violence–inside and outside prison–she tells the whole truth of her experience, including her deep regret for the moments that she’s harmed others and her passionate commitment to co-creating a justice system that acknowledges the little piece of light that shines within us no matter who we are, what we’ve done, or what has been done to us.”–Michelle Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The New Jim Crow

“Intimate and disturbing, the book reveals the ways women are silenced and victimized in society, and it also tells the inspiring story of how one woman survived a prison nightmare to go on to help other incarcerated women ‘speak out about the violence in their lives.’ A wrenching memoir of overcoming seemingly insurmountable abuse and finding fulfillment.”–Kirkus Reviews

 

Tonight Im Someone Else by Chelsea HodsonTonight I’m Someone Else by Chelsea Hodson (@ChelseaHodson)

June 5

“Reading Hodson’s work feels risky; it’s breathtaking, both in its inherent exhilaration and also, often, because it’s funny. . .But it also makes you feel connected to things, as if you are forging new relationships to the things and people in the world around you, uncovering new understandings about permanence, about intuition, about love and sex and lies and secrets and truth, about life.”–Kristin Iversen, NYLON

“Her essays are a specialized artform where poetry meets philosophy. They reflect on the gruesome side of being a woman in the excellent tradition of Joan Didion and Sylvia Plath. I highly recommend Chelsea Hodson’s book to all readers.”–Atticus Lish, author of Preparation for the Next Life

 

My Solo Exchange Diary by Nagata KabiMy Solo Exchange Diary Vol. 1: The Sequel to My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi

June 5

“The sequel to the viral sensation My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness!

Struggling with the idea of living alone and adjusting to the effects of her previous book’s success, this follow-up to the award-winning autobiographical comic continues the author’s quest for self-acceptance and love.”–Amazon

 

 

Sick by Porochista KhakpourSick: A Memoir by Porochista Khakpour (@PKhakpour)

June 5

Boston Globe’s 25 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018

Buzzfeed’s 33 Most Exciting New Books

Bustle’s 28 Most Anticipated Nonfiction Books of 2018 list

Nylon’s 50 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018

Electric Literature’s 46 Books to Read By Women of Color in 2018

 

The Terrible by Yrsa Daley WardThe Terrible: A Storyteller’s Memoir by Yrsa Daley-Ward (@YrsaDaleyWard)

June 5

One of Elle’s 30 Best Books to Read This Summer

“A powerful, unconventionally structured memoir recounting harrowing coming-of-age ordeals . . . Daley-Ward resists classification in this profound mix of poetry and prose. . . . [She] has quite a ferociously moving story to tell.”–Kirkus (starred)

“Yrsa Daley-Ward is laying her pain bare and turning it into uplifting, unconventional poetry. . . . If readers thought she bared her soul through bone, her memoir The Terrible will be another lesson in how to fearlessly turn the pain of her past into uplifting prose.” —PopSugar

 

Unbound by Arlene SteinUnbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity by Arlene Stein 

June 5

“If you’ve been trying to make sense of how gender today seems to have slipped the chains that bind it to our bodies in familiar ways, Unbound is a book for you. It’s a sympathetic account by non-transgender sociologist Arlene Stein, aimed at a primarily non-transgender audience, of four people assigned female at birth who surgically masculinize their chests. Stein helps her readers understand that they, too, no longer need be bound by conventional expectations of the meaning of our flesh.” –Susan Stryker, founding co-editor, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly

“Stein tracks the rapid evolution of gender identity in this provocative group portrait of trans men . . . Her book succeeds in documenting what it means to be trans today.”–Publisher’s Weekly

 

Fugitive Life: The Queer Politics of the Prison State by Stephen Dillon

June 8

“In Fugitive Life, fugitive women of color emerge as feminist thinkers who expose the inherent carcerality of neoliberalism. This groundbreaking intervention in carceral studies, gender studies, American studies, and literary studies offers deep interrogations of queerness and temporality and an extraordinary model for analyzing the dialectics of freedom and repression. Stephen Dillon provides a dramatic contribution that will reshape urgent debates regarding carceral crisis, influencing future scholarship and activism.”–Sarah Haley, author of No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity

 

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka MurataConvenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

June 12

An Indie Next Pick
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2018 by Elle
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2018 by Electric Literature
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2018 by April Magazine

“Murata’s strange and quirky novel was a runaway hit in Japan, and Ginny Tapley Takemori’s English translation introduces it to a new group of readers―a slim, entrancing read that can be consumed in one sitting.”–Passport

 

Place for Us by Fatima Farheen MirzaA Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (@fatimafmirza)

June 12

“Extraordinary in its depth and diligence… Mirza adeptly revisits painful dilemmas from each narrator’s perspective, revealing jolting secrets. Each complex, surprising character struggles with faith, responsibility, racism, fear, longing, and jealousy, while Mirza conveys with graceful specificity the rhythms of Muslim life, from prayer to wearing hijab, gender etiquette, food, holidays, and values, all of which illuminate universal quandaries about family, self, culture, beliefs, and generational change.”–Booklist

“A California-based Indian Muslim family celebrates the wedding of daughter Hadia, marrying for love. Present is her estranged brother Amar, who hasn’t easily mnaged the rough road between youth and adulthood, Old World tradition and America, and the novel effectively unfolds family tensions and Amar’s swirling personal anguish.”–Library Journal 

 

Who is Vera Kelly by Rosalie KnechtWho is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht (@RosalieKnecht)

June 12

“A buzzing, smoky, gin-soaked charmer.”–Library Journal, ALA Hot Picks

“When we first meet Vera Kelly, she’s a troubled 1950s teenager who’s overdosed on Equanil. Next she’s in explosive 1960s Buenos Aires after being recruited by the CIA (“I could be charming if I wanted to. There were basic tricks”). Her past and present are told in alternating chapters, with all the edgy fun of classic noir but in an original voice that’s fresh, brisk, and snappy. Hugely buzzing.”–Library Journal, Most Anticipated Books of Spring/Summer

 

These Bones Will Rise Again by Panashe Chigumadzi (@PanasheChig)

June 14

“A leading writer of Zimbabwe’s ‘born-free’ generation reflects on the November 2017 ousting of Robert Mugabe, radically reframing the history of Zimbabwe to include the perspectives of workers, women and urban movements.”–Description

“Chigumadzi successfully nests the intimate charge of her poignant personal story in the sweeping historical account and mythology of Zimbabwe.”–Brian Chikwava, author of Harare North

“Chigumadzi’s exploration of personal, family and national history reincarnates in stark, vivid images, many of those interred in the shadows of her country’s ‘Big Men’.”–Tsitsi Dangarembga, author of Nervous Conditions

 

Hybrid Child by Mariko OharaHybrid Child by Mariko Ohara and Jodie Beck (translator)

June 15

“With the familiar strangeness of a fairy tale, Ohara’s novel traverses the mysterious distance between body and mind, between the mechanics of life and the ghost in the machine, between the infinitesimal and infinity. The child as mother, the mother as monster, the monster as hero: this shape-shifting story of nourishment, nurture, and parturition is a rare feminist work of speculative fiction and received the prestigious Seiun (Nebula) Award in 1991. Hybrid Childis the first English translation of a major work of science fiction by a female Japanese author.”–publisher description

I just finished this book and wow. My review will be coming soon!

 

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian LiNumber One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li (@ZillianZi)

June 19

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2018 by The Millions and Cosmopolitan

“[Number One Chinese Restaurant] is a lot of things . . . a multigenerational immigration story, an insider look at the often grueling life of the career server or line cook, a romance, a coming-of-age (at any age). Most significantly, it is a joy to read―I couldn’t get enough.”–Buzzfeed, “30 Summer Books to Get Excited About”

“Li vividly depicts the lives of her characters and gives the narrative a few satisfying turns, resulting in a memorable debut.” —Publishers Weekly

 

Old in Art School by Nell PainterOld in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over by Nell Painter

June 19

Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick: 1 of 34 Titles to Wave a Flag About

Old in Art School is a glorious achievement―bighearted and critical, insightful and entertaining. This book is a cup of courage for everyone who wants to change their lives. This is not a story about starting over; it’s about continuing on the journey. Nell Painter has taken the coming of age story to a new level―this is what you get when a wise person gets even wiser, when a true artist spreads her wings.”–Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage

“This is a courageous, intellectually stimulating, and wholly entertaining story of one woman reconciling two worlds and being open to the possibilities and changes life offers.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 

Trans Like Me by CN LesterTrans Like Me: Conversations for All of Us by CN Lester (@cnlester)

June 19

“[A] winning collection of essays…offers perspective and clarity on issues that, time and again, are stumbling blocks to trans acceptance and celebration of human gender diversity.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The book to give your cis friends.”–Stephanie Burt

 

 

 

What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City by Mona Hanna-Attisha

June 19

Tags: Health, environment, Michigan

One World, 384 pages

“The Iraqi American pediatrician who helped expose the Flint water crisis lays bare the bureaucratic bunk and flat-out injustice at the heart of the environmental disgrace—revealing, with the gripping intrigue of a Grisham thriller, ‘the story of a government poisoning its own citizens, and then lying about it.’”–O: The Oprah Magazine

“Flint is a public health disaster. But it was Dr. Mona, this caring, tough pediatrician turned detective, who cracked the case.”–Rachel Maddow

 

When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille PerriWhen Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri (@CamillePerri)

June 19

“Katie and Cassidy are a joy to behold: two whip-smart women grappling with desire and questioning their deeply held notions of love and intimacy. Perri’s book is a real gift—tender, sexy as hell and laugh out loud funny.”–Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The Nest

“Fun and fulfilling…[with] honest conversations about female identity and sexuality included throughout. A romance with a big heart and refreshing perspective.”–Kirkus Reviews

My review coming soon!

 

Graffiti Grrlz by Jessica Nydia Pabon-ColonGraffiti Grrlz: Performing Feminism in the Hip Hop Diaspora by Jessica Nydia Pabon-Colon (@justjess_PhD)

June 22

“The graffiti grrlz featured here know how to throw up fresh ways of re-imagining feminism, urban belonging, and world-making practices. Through bright ethnographic accounts of graffiti’s gendered politics and global reach, Pabón-Colón takes down assumed notions of hip-hop culture by passing the mic to a new generation of feminist graffiti artists engaged in writing and speaking on their own terms.”–Juana María Rodríguez, Author of Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings

“Vibrant, complex, and totally engaging, Graffiti Grrlz recovers women’s presence in graffiti subcultures around the globe. In this ambitious and passionate book, Jessica Pabón-Colón amplifies the resistant and creative practices of women graffiti artists and masterfully highlights their important contributions to contemporary feminism. In doing so, she transforms and expands our ideas about the meaning of graffiti and of feminist political action.”–Jessica Taft, Author of Rebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change Across the Americas

 

Dead Girls by Alice BolinDead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin (@alicebolin)

June 26

“Everything I want in an essay collection: provocative lines of inquiry, macabre humor, blistering intelligence. I love this book. I want to take it into the middle of a crowded room and hold it up and scream until someone tackles me the ground; even then, I’d probably keep screaming.”–Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties

“Bracing and blazingly smart, Alice Bolin’s Dead Girls could hardly be more needed or more timely. A critical contribution to the cultural discussion of gender and genre, Los Angeles and noir, the unbearable persistence of the male gaze and the furtive potency of female rage.”–Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of You Will Know Me

 

Squeezed by Alissa QuartSqueezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America by Alissa Quart (@lisquart)

June 26

“Vital to understanding American life today.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Profound, a sweeping, blistering portrait of hard-working people from all walks of life. It’s a rousing wakeup call that also points the way forward to a more equitable, expansive future.”–Astra Taylor, author of The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age

 

 

Thousand Beginnings and EndingsA Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh (@ElloEllenOhand Elsie Chapman (@elsiechapman(eds.)

June 26

“A collection of Asian myths and legends in which beloved stories of spirits, magic, family, love, and heartbreak are combined with elements from modern teens’ lives….With such a variety of emotion and experiences to explore, nearly any teen can find something to relate to…An incredible anthology that will keep readers on the edges of their seats, wanting more.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“All of these stories achieve emotional depth and connection while showcasing each storyteller’s unique literary voice.”–The Horn Book

 

White Fragility by Robin DiAngeloWhite Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

June 26

“As a woman of color, I find hope in this book because of its potential to disrupt the patterns and relationships that have emerged out of long-standing colonial principles and beliefs. White Fragility is an essential tool toward authentic dialogue and action. May it be so!”–Shakti Butler, president of World Trust and director of Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible

“A rare and incisive examination of the system of white body supremacy that binds us all as Americans. . . . With authenticity and clarity, she provides the antidote to white fragility and a road map for developing white racial stamina and humility. White Fragility loosens the bonds of white supremacy and binds us back together as human beings.”–Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmother’s Hands

 

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