[REVIEW] White Ivy, by Susie Yang

(Buy it on Bookshop here.) I moved to Boston recently, and as a result I’ve been slurping up books set there. Most of them are not diverse, to put it mildly. White Ivy, a book about a Chinese-American immigrant in the city, was a refreshing surprise. There are a lot of reviews of this byContinue reading “[REVIEW] White Ivy, by Susie Yang”

[REVIEW] Frangipani, by Celestine Vaite

(Buy it at Bookshop.) Materena is a lot of things–a professional cleaner, a proud Tahitian, a devoted customer at the local Chinese store, the relative that is nice to everyone in the family, and Pito’s wife. She’s also the mother of three children–tough guy Tamatoa, sensitive mama’s boy Moana, and strong-willed daughter Leilani. It’s LeilaniContinue reading “[REVIEW] Frangipani, by Celestine Vaite”

[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] A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara

(Find it HERE.) Jude, Willem, JB and Malcolm meet during their freshman year of university, and luckily the friendship lasts a lifetime–through failures, successes, relationships, jobs, deaths and heartbreak. They’re a motley crew–all different races, classes and sexualities–but the main character is Jude, the shyest and most secretive of the crew, tortured by an unspeakableContinue reading “[Review] A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara”

[REVIEW] Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison

(Find it HERE.) Some books show you the lives of other people. Some books show you yourself. Some books do both. Song of Solomon has always been the last for me, although it’s always been hard to put my finger on exactly why. ⠀ This is a deceptively dense novel, packed with story and detail,Continue reading “[REVIEW] Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison”

[REVIEW] Interior Chinatown, Charles Yu

(Buy it HERE.) “The question is: Who gets to be an American? What does an American look like?“~Willis Wu, Interior Chinatown⠀🥋⠀Imagine if Spike Lee was Taiwanese-American and wrote novels in strange, semi-screenplay format. That’s the best way I can think of to describe this book and the way it shifts through unreliable realities while alternatingContinue reading “[REVIEW] Interior Chinatown, Charles Yu”

[BOOKLIST] If You’re Brown, Stick Around: Books About Colorism

If you’re Black, get back! If you’re brown, stick around. If you’re white, you’re alright! ~ Big Bill Broonzy Even though I make a conscious effort to read across genres, cultures, and time periods I still sometimes find myself stuck in thematic patterns. For months I’ll find myself somehow reading books that feature sharks orContinue reading “[BOOKLIST] If You’re Brown, Stick Around: Books About Colorism”

[REVIEW] Sula, Toni Morrison

(Buy it HERE.) (In lieu of the usual review, I present to you the explanation of this book that I gave to a non-American friend who has never read Toni Morrison before.)⠀📖⠀“This book? Yeah, it’s good, but I’m not sure you’d like it. It’s by this writer who won a Pulitzer prize & was famousContinue reading “[REVIEW] Sula, Toni Morrison”

[REVIEW] A Mercy, Toni Morrison

(Buy it HERE.) ⭐⭐⭐*whew* This ain’t it, y’all.Toni Morrison was a genius and everything she wrote is brilliant in some way. But now that I’ve said that, I honestly feel that when you place A Mercy next to the rest of Morrison’s oeuvre it’s like parking a hooptie in a lot full of Ferraris. There’sContinue reading “[REVIEW] A Mercy, Toni Morrison”

[REVIEW] Tampa, Alissa Nutting

Tampa is possibly the most repulsive, disturbing, and un-enjoyable book I have EVER read. It’s also literarily and socially important, but because of its subject matter I wouldn’t recommend reading this. Tampa is a pathological little story told by Celeste, a self-described “pretty blonde” middle school English teacher who seduces her favorite students into sexuallyContinue reading “[REVIEW] Tampa, Alissa Nutting”