[LAST WEEK IN BOOKS] Taika Waititi? I Guess So…

I haven’t done a Last Week In Books post in almost a year. I stopped because my time has been at a bit of a premium–since landing back in America I’ve been working full time as well as trying to improve my own writing to the point where it’s publishable and in actual books that someone else will read in three days and review on a blog somewhere.

However, I’ve noticed that as the trendiness of racial justice and social awareness wane, or perhaps just become more normalized, it’s actually getting much harder to find good diverse bookish news. I want to read more about diverse books and am having a harder time finding that sort of info, and I suspect you might be as well. To highly paraphrase Toni Morrison, if there is something you want to read, you must write it–so here we go.

  • First things first–I really loved the surrealist, dark humor of the Asian-American race relations novel Interior Chinatown, and actually reached out to author Charles Yu awhile ago on Twitter to ask about movie plans. He said there was something exciting in the pipeline but he couldn’t say much and it turns out that that something is–a Hulu series directed by Taika Waititi and starring Jimmy O. Yang? This is not what I was expecting. It also seems stylistically mismatched, but I’ll trust the process and hope for the best. [Variety]
  • A collection of short stories by a member of the Penobscot Indigenous nation in Maine just won the New England Book Award. Congratulations to Morgan Talty, and for the record, Night of the Living Rez is a pretty great book title. [The Boston Globe]
  • Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright Charles Fuller, who wrote the acclaimed A Soldier’s Play that later was adapted into an Academy-Award nominated movie, passed away at the beginning of the month. If you’ve never seen the film A Soldier’s Story, it features a very young Denzel Washington, David Alan Grier, and Robert Townsend alongside Howard E. Rollins Jr, Adolph Caesar, Art Evans, and a great cameo from Patti LaBelle. It’s a murder mystery set in an all-Black army company during WWII and although I don’t enjoy war stories, I liked both the play and the film. Rest in power to its creator. [NPR]
  • My earliest memory of singer Linda Ronstadt is her singing mariachi on Sesame Street, so it didn’t occur to me until I was much older that maybe not everyone knew of her Mexican heritage. Her new memoir, Feels Like Home: A Song For the Sonoran Borderlands, delves into that heritage, and it sounds like an interesting read. [PBS]
  • I often tell myself that I should read more African novels, and when there are research guides showing us all which novels we should read and where we should find them, I have no excuse. Neither do you! [Brittle Paper]
  • I love seeing how many more #ownnormal children’s books are on the market now compared to when I was a kid. The challenge now is making sure that we are intentional about buying and reading them. For example, two Indian-American creators just released Namaste Is A Greeting, a cute picture book that shows how namaste is used as a greeting and introduces the basic concept of mindfulness in community in a very culturally appropriate way. Check it out. [Penguin Random House]
  • After all these links, I’m tired. Fortunately, one of my favorite social media accounts turned lifestyle brand, The Nap Ministry, has just released their first book, which focuses on the need for rest as resistance in our overbusy, consumerist culture. If you’re looking for encouragement to slow down, rest, and not feel guilty about it, I highly recommend the book. [The Nap Ministry]

There’s more news coming up next week, beautiful people. In the meantime, please be aware that if you buy any books from links in this blog or from the Equal Opportunity Bookshop, we do earn a commission which we use to buy not only more books, but writer snacks. Peace!

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