Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: authors-of-color
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-07-04 17:14
Ella's A-Z Women of Color Author Challenge

I got my act together and figured this out. My goal this year was to read more authors of color, so my challenge is Authors of Color and I purposely used women's names first rather than the men's because female authors, especially many of these newer ones with first books, need as much championing as possible. Once I finished my female books, I realized this is doable without any men (though maybe next year I'll try to focus more on Men of Color b/c they are the smallest percentage of my reading, it seems.) I'd like to switch out Morgan Parker's poetry book for a novel, so I'll be looking for novels by women of color with last names starting with D, P, Q, R, V and X in the next few months. 

Some letters I could list many authors for, so in the interest of fairness, I've simply gone by date. If I read someone/a book earlier, I've used that author and book. 


**EDIT** Fixed the links - they all should point ONLY to Booklikes pages now. 

Ella's 2018 A-Z Female Authors of Color (By LAST name only.)

✔️ A) Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
✔️ B) The Mothers by Brit Bennett
✔️ C) Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras To Be Released July 31! Look for it!
✔️ E) Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
✔️ F) The Girl from the Garden by Parnaz Foroutan
✔️ G) Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
✔️ H) Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
✔️ I) We Are Never Meeting In Real Life by Samantha Irby  
✔️ J) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

✔️ K) The Leavers by Lisa Ko
✔️ L) Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee
✔️ M) Tar Baby by Toni Morrison
✔️ N) Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
✔️ O) The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
✔️ P) There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker (poetry)
✔️ S) Feel Free by Zadie Smith
✔️ T) Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
✔️ U) Everybody's Son by Thrity Umrigar
✔️ W) Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
✔️ Y) Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
✔️ Z) American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Still need D, Q, R, V & X to have a full house of alphabetical authors of color who identify as female. 


Any suggestions of good books for those slots are most welcome! 



Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-04 05:11
Purple Hibiscus (round two for book club)
Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I've read this before, but a book club picked it for July, so I read it again. It's still the same book I read in 2005 (says my kindle - who knows if that's correct?) One thing I adore: Adichie does a great thing in all of her books -- refuse to define terms others may not know, or may have to even look up. I find it wonderful that this is true even in a first novel. Imagine the strength it took to get this published in the US without some idiot editor forcing her to define words all over the place or worse - Americanize the novel! I've seen a lot of true voices come unhinged from reality by explaining what their own words mean - not so this novel or any of Adichie's other work that I've read. (And I do hope to be reading her fiction for years to come.) 

While this coming of age tale of a tyrannical zealot self-hating father (with lines like "He did things the right way, the way the white people did, not what our people do now!") and a terrified frozen family walking constantly on eggshells treads somewhat familiar lines, it's a very strong first novel, despite what feels like an abrupt ending after a beautifully woven storyline and very strong characters. 

Clearly Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born to write, to communicate and never to apologize. An excellent first novel and still a worthwhile read, though if you're only going to read one of her novels, I'd recommend one of the later ones. This, however, is probably well suited for a book club read. So for this month, I'm knocking out my book club books as fast as I can in order to read some new ones I want to read by myself.


Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-07-01 21:52
It's not the book, it's me
The Parking Lot Attendant: A Novel - Nafkote Tamirat

I've tried repeatedly to get myself into this book. I could give a brief sketch of what's happening, but I can't seem to get more than an arm's length in terms of caring or even feeling what's going on. Perhaps it's partly due to the structure of this novel (we know where the MC will end up before the story actually begins) but I think it's more just about me at this moment. I'm going to abandon it for now and try again another time. It sounds interesting and like it would be up my lane, but I'm a bit fuzzy these days, and easier reads seem to be where my brain wants to be.


I was going to read A Clockwork Orange next, but I'm now not so sure...

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-07 04:02
Great surprise
There There - Tommy Orange

I loved this & wrote a review last night in the wee hours (I should look at the typing...)


Today I learned that I'm getting a SIGNED FIRST EDITION in the mail! I'd borrowed my copy from the library, and I seriously argued with myself about buying my own copy after loving it so much (I do this with books I love sometimes.) I was forcing myself to wait a year, then today I learned that I am getting a copy of it -- a signed copy too!



Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-06 08:18
There There by Tommy Orange - Urban Indians and lost connections
There There - Tommy Orange

If this is what Tommy Orange writes for his debut, we have a major talent writing right now. My copy of There There arrived today. It's nearly 3 AM, and I just finished. No food, no sleep; I couldn't put this book down.

"This there there. He hadn’t read Gertrude Stein beyond the quote. But for Native people in this country, all over the Americas, it’s been developed over, buried ancestral land, glass and concrete and wire and steel, unreturnable covered memory. There is no there there."

That title gathers more meaning with every character, chapter and section. By the end the weight of not knowing exactly who you are or where you come from is a heavy weight even for a reader. All the characters have different experiences and difficulties, but they are all in search of connection to their own community, and none seem sure they belong to that community or if that community will allow them to belong to it. What is the character with an advanced degree in Native American Studies to do when he can't find a job? What about someone born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome who wears his face as a constant reminder? What about native peoples who have to learn all of their heritage and how to practice it from YouTube or Google searches? Beyond poverty, unemployment, far too much alcoholism, there is death, devastation and a lot of shame in these characters. While they don't rise above in Hollywood ways, getting through the day - learning and growing and putting one foot in front of the other - while continuing to strive for that connection is pretty triumphant. 

The characters are fully realized. We know why they do what they do, and we get a sense of how they feel about their current and past selves. It takes a minute but we understand their connections to each other better than they do by the end of the novel. We also get a sense of how these people came to be so broken from the proud nations that the Americas have systematically wiped out. What is most clear is that the bloodbath that came to America with the first settlers has left a never-ending trail of trauma. And in case we might miss it from just the stories, there's one of the best essays -- seemingly well-researched and certainly well-written that pulls no punches right in the beginning of the novel. While the characters don't escape unscathed, neither will a reader. In writing this so openly and leaving the sharp edges intact, Mr. Orange has held a mirror up to the Americas - whether the reader is indigenous or not.

There are many major characters in this novel, all in various stages of heading to the Oakland Powwow. While some have visited a Reservation, they are mostly urban or suburban and none seem fully connected to their native culture. This isn't a reservation story or a historical account. These indigenous people live in the here and now, in the cities (mostly Oakland) and do all of the things everyone else in the city does, including riding the subway and not dressing up (except maybe on the day of the Powwow.) At first they don't seem to be related, but as the chapters and parts of the book move along, their connections become clear and that broke my heart even more. Missed connections, searching out parents or grandchildren you've never known, searching for yourself - all of these are explored and there are no pat answers. In fact, the book ends on one of the most wistful non-answers in recent memory. I love a book that refuses to put a pretty bow on top, and had Mr. Orange packaged the ending that way, everything that came before would have been cheapened.

What you get here is a journey, good stories, interesting characters, but no perfect answers. How could there be perfect answers to such a long history of carnage and stolen identity?

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?