[REVIEW] The Coldest Winter Ever, by Sister Souljah

(Buy it on Bookshop) Back in 1999, I was an 18-year old nerd who spent way too much time reading.(Big surprise.) I was a soft, weak naive thing without an ounce of fight in me–but I hated this book and would have happily beat the brakes off of somebody like Winter Santiaga in real life.Continue reading “[REVIEW] The Coldest Winter Ever, by Sister Souljah”

[REVIEW] The Taking of Jake Livingston, by Ryan Douglass

(Buy it from Bookshop) 16 year old Jake Livingston can see ghosts–but that’s not the most interesting thing about this book. Jake is also at the intersection of a lot of difficult life positions, and like most YA protagonists, his main goal is to figure himself out. He’s one of only two Black kids atContinue reading “[REVIEW] The Taking of Jake Livingston, by Ryan Douglass”

[REVIEW] Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest To Buy Black In America’s Racially Divided Economy, by Maggie Anderson

(Buy it on Bookshop here. Or not.) To cut right to the chase, this book really pissed me off. On its face, it’s a real life account of an affluent, educated Black family in Chicago who decided to spend all of 2009 buying from only Black businesses in order to demonstrate the ethnic disparities inContinue reading “[REVIEW] Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest To Buy Black In America’s Racially Divided Economy, by Maggie Anderson”

[REVIEW] Raybearer, by Jordan Ifueko

(This book seems to be out of stock at Bookshop, beautiful people. To check if it’s been added since this was posted , please click HERE.) There’s a moment in this book where our heroine Tarisai is awoken in the dead of night to go rescue someone. The scene isn’t really unusual in a fantasyContinue reading “[REVIEW] Raybearer, by Jordan Ifueko”

[REVIEW] Marie of the Cabin Club, by Ann Petry(published as Arnold Petri)

(This title is not currently available for download. Find other works by this author at Bookshop.) Around this time last year, there was a whole lot of sound and fury surrounding the Reclaim Her Name project from Bailey’s and the Women’s Prize, which republished 25 titles by famous women that had originally been released underContinue reading “[REVIEW] Marie of the Cabin Club, by Ann Petry(published as Arnold Petri)”

[Booklist] Let The Circle Be Unbroken: A Few Favorite Books About Black American Families

We all come from families and have family stories– whether epic, painful, dramatic, loving or joyful. It’s the last two that I think are particularly important to find in stories of Black American families, especially in the current climate. No matter the trauma and oppression we may face in America, Black families still have love,Continue reading “[Booklist] Let The Circle Be Unbroken: A Few Favorite Books About Black American Families”

[REVIEW] Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams

(Buy it from Bookshop here.) I want to fight Queenie. Okay, maybe not fight. Not physically, anyway. I just want to take her out for coffee and a very stern junior auntie-in-training chat about her life and her choices, ending with one question–“Girl, why don’t you love yourself at all?” She’s twenty-five, works at aContinue reading “[REVIEW] Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams”

[REVIEW] The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, by Deesha Philyaw

(Buy it from Bookshop) *sigh* I don’t think this collection of short stories was meant for me, y’all. I wanted it to be. Nine stories about Black women and their connections to themselves and the church seemed right up my alley, and I was genuinely excited to get into this and see myself and myContinue reading “[REVIEW] The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, by Deesha Philyaw”

[REVIEW] Survivor, by Octavia Butler

(UPDATE, May 11 2021: I just found out that the Afro-Speculative bookshop Sistah SciFi has this title available as an ebook! Find it HERE and enjoy!) (This novel is out of print. Find other works by Octavia E Butler HERE.) This novel was originally published in 1978. It’s been out of print since 1979–unlike allContinue reading “[REVIEW] Survivor, by Octavia Butler”

[Review] M.C. Higgins, The Great, by Virginia Hamilton

(Buy it HERE.) I read this book because I felt like I was missing out on something. I’d heard nothing but glowing reviews of this from folks who read it in school and loved it. That, plus its inclusion on a lot of #blackboyjoylit lists made me expect this to be a very different middle grade coming-of-ageContinue reading “[Review] M.C. Higgins, The Great, by Virginia Hamilton”