When My Brother Was An Aztec, Natalie Diaz

“When My Brother Was An Aztec/he lived in our basement and sacrificed my parents/every morning. It was awful.” Natalie Diaz’s When My Brother Was An Aztec is a legit masterpiece. Go read it, now. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Books of poetry are sometimes navel-gazing, self-absorbed bores but this one is simply amazing. I slurped it down in twoContinue reading “When My Brother Was An Aztec, Natalie Diaz”

A Black Guy Was Sitting Next To Me On The Subway, Yerong

(Buy it HERE(e-book only)) Yerong is a South Korean kindergarten teacher– sweet, intelligent, creative and reasonably aware of social issues. One day she meets Ghanaian scientist Manni and her eyes are opened to the realities of being an immigrant and a black person in a society that values conformity and often puts white Europeans onContinue reading “A Black Guy Was Sitting Next To Me On The Subway, Yerong”

Felon, by Reginald Dwayne Betts

Buy it HERE. 🚔⠀I am a father driving/his Black sons to school & the death/of a Black boy rides shotgun &this/could be a funeral procession⠀~from When I Think of Tamir Rice While Driving⠀✊🏿⠀When it’s difficult for me to focus, I tend to read poetry. This short collection surprisingly filled an empathetic void in me IContinue reading “Felon, by Reginald Dwayne Betts”

No One Can Pronounce My Name, Rakesh Satyal

(Buy it HERE.) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5⠀ This book is easily my second favorite read of the year so far after Girl, Woman, Other. It’s funny, touching, warm-hearted, and surprisingly deep. It’s also ferociously well-written. (One chapter made me close the book, say WOW, & sit for a while with the words. ) I can’t believe I’ve neverContinue reading “No One Can Pronounce My Name, Rakesh Satyal”

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong

“Who will be lost in the story we tell ourselves? Who will be lost in ourselves?” This is a messy book. There’s a lot going on between its covers–PTSD, emerging sexuality, poverty, war, immigration, mental illness, class, race, abuse, art, gender performance. There’s a lot going on, but it all seems to add up toContinue reading “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong”

The Poppy War, Rebecca F Kuang

⭐⭐⭐⭐/5⠀⠀ First of all, yes, I know that’s not a poppy in the picture. There aren’t any growing in my neighborhood this year, unfortunately.⠀ Secondly, this review is a little spoiler-y. I won’t give away any major character-based plot points, but I will allude to a major event in the plot without giving any details.Continue reading “The Poppy War, Rebecca F Kuang”

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(5/5) I have no idea what you’re doing messing around with me on the internet when you could be somewhere reading this Booker-prize winning masterpiece. Hurry up and log off so you can get into this ASAP. (Just hit like before you go, ok? 😜 ) Seriously, this is genius, real life made art andContinue reading “Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo”

Rebel Music: Race, Empire and the New Muslim Youth Culture, Hisham D. Aidi

(Buy it HERE.) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ It is *really* hard to try and write a concise review of Rebel Music simply because there’s so much to talk about. In contrast to the polemics of a lot of popular writing about Islam, Aidi instead takes us on a cultural tour of music in and of the Muslim world.Continue reading “Rebel Music: Race, Empire and the New Muslim Youth Culture, Hisham D. Aidi”

The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison

(Buy it HERE.) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 It took me a long time to re-read The Bluest Eye this go-round–not because it’s a difficult or complicated read, but because the prose is so dense and delicious that reading it is like eating an expensive dessert. I savored each sentence slowly, not wanting the book to end.From the firstContinue reading “The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison”