Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Show Us Your Books February 2021

February! Books! Hello! Black History Month is every month and Black history is everyone’s history! 

Please make sure you've got books by Black authors in your hands throughout the year, not just in February, and that those books are not just nonfiction books about/around racism. While books about how to be anti-racist and books examining racism are crazy important, there are so many Black authors out there writing excellent books for entertainment. Since publishers have historically pushed white authors, we need to seek them out sometimes. If you don’t know where to start, Spines & Vines is running Black Girl Booksta Tour this month. You can click through each post, find new books and new book people to follow! 

While I’m on the soapbox...

If you have $ to buy books, please buy from independent bookstores when possible and whenever possible, Black-owned bookstores. If you have some extra $, please consider throwing some to Harriett's Bookshop via venmo (@harriettsbookshop on Venmo). They make money from our Bookshop purchases, but not a ton, and they need to keep their interns as the interns of today are the storytellers, business owners, community leaders, and activists of tomorrow. Harriett's, if you have been following, was open less than two months before the pandemic hit. We need these places in our communities. Reading and understanding, unlearning and relearning will help us reach a more equitable society, but we also need more concrete action like reallocation of spending and investments. 

Here's what I've been reading since the last linkup

Engrossing Reads

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters - Let me start by saying this book is excellent. It’s been discussed as a book for trans women by a trans woman. I think it's a good and important read that will insert many of us into scenarios and thought processes we are entirely unfamiliar with and most of us will be uncomfortable in them. Discomfort leads to growth and understanding, and lord does the trans community deserve both from us hetero people. Discomfort can also lead to denunciation and it pisses me off when that happens. People should go into it knowing it is character and not plot driven, that you will likely be uncomfortable in places, that you'll have to google some terms, that there is a lot of sex and not the kind you are used to seeing in books, and that you might feel like you're reading a book not written for you if you are a cis hetero person (most books are written for you as the audience). If you read it and dislike it, sit with it and ask yourself why and answer honestly. This is a debut novel so it's got a few spots of over-writing but it was a good read and I am damn happy that a book by a trans woman for trans women - that speaks to issues about womanhood in general ALL women deal with - is a national best seller. It’s good to read books where you are not necessarily the audience in mind. OCNJ library

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 ed Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain - The scope of this, its breakdown, and the writing of the contributors is amazing. I absolutely loved the poetic interludes. It took me a while as it’s a lot to digest. There is so much that was not taught in school. I got a free copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Halfway through I pre-ordered from Harriett's Bookshop, and finished the last quarter of it in print when it arrived. This book is important. 

The Unwilling by John Hart - What I’ve come to expect from John Hart - a gritty book with excellent pacing. I read it in a few hours. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Survivors by Jane Harper - We love a Jane Harper, don't we? Well, I do. I did not pre-order this book and actually read it via e-book from the library, which I have never done before. I was desperate to get my hands on it. It was not my favorite Jane, but it was reliably good and engrossing, which I have come to expect and need from this author. OCNJ library e-read

Passed the Time Just Fine

Serpentine (Alex Delaware #36) by Jonathan Kellerman - A solid Dr. Delaware and Milo entry. A little disjointed in spots but still like hugging an old friend. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

These Women by Ivy Pochoda - Gritty, and I liked the way the story was told as an advancing narrative. I think this was characterized as a mystery and while sure, it had one, I would not go into this thinking that's what you're getting. OCNJ library

The Project by Courtney Summers - I do love a cult book, and I do enjoy Courtney Summers. The ending seemed a little rush, but I tore through the book in the same manner, so...free copy from Netgally in exchange for an honest review

Not Worth It

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus - This pains me to say, but if I could do it again, I'd not spend the time on this even though the time invested was only a few hours. This might be a good for you/not for me scenario. OCNJ library

The Housewarming by S.E. Lynes - This was flat terrible. The story might have been fine but...no, actually, that was iffy too. It was like making a full book out of a 20 page story. Kindle book

The Next Wife by Liz Lawler - This was hard to swallow. When main characters are clear psychopaths and the other main character cannot see it, it is not a joyride of a book. Kindle book

Before the Ruins by Victoria Gosling - When I have this many books in the not worth it column, I start to wonder if it's me. And the first one might have been me. But the last three were not, including this one. It felt like chasing a shadow for nothing. kindle book

Did Not Finish

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is Tuesday, March 9, 2021
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me, and check in with as many in our reading circle as you can - give some love to the later linker uppers! 
2. Link back to us in your blog post - if you want the button you can get it from that link

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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