Hi everyone, happy Sadie Sunday! I know my Sunday posts and blogs are generally sillier and cuter in nature but with the way the world is this week, I thought I’d be a bit more serious.
In all fairness I’m never that serious on my blog or on Instagram. I’m very serious in my real life, I’m a project manager I have to be. I’m also not an over emotional person. I’m the friend that pats you on the back, gives you five minutes to cry, and then tells you to get dressed because we’re done whining over spilled milk. I say all this to simply say, I don’t like talking about controversial topics on my blog or Instagram. I use these platforms as an escape from my real life and to share my favorite things, mainly pictures of my adorable pupper Sadie and books.
However, every once in a while I feel the need to address certain situations and I feel that today really warrants that. 2020 has been a mess of a year, I’m seriously placing bets on what is going down in July, but I digress. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, which if that’s your thing cool, you’ll know that this week has been filled with mass protests against the treatment of Black Americans by not just the police but also by societies standards. Now, I’m not here to get up on my soap box and start preaching. I’m in no place to do that because A. I’m a half Hispanic, half white women. B. I live where I am not a minority. C. I live a pretty sheltered life. It’s true, and I won’t try to hide that. But what I do want to say is that I do believe we’ve come a long way since the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, and I also believe we have a ways to go until all men and women in this country are truly seen as equals.
There has been a lot of conversation around how those not apart of the black community can help to contribute bridging this gap and as a Bookstagrammer one of the ways we can do this is by diversifying our reading. Not just be genres but also by topics and authors. I’ve never been overly intentional in my reading. When I first started into #bookstagram though, one of my goals was to expand my reading horizons, and while I’ve done that through genres, I haven’t taken the additional step to really think about who is presenting these stories too me. I went through my book cases the other day and only had two-three dozen books written by Black authors that I could blanketly pull out without looking up. A few dozen out of the hundreds of books I have! While I take on the responsibility of not diversifying my reading more, I also have to think about how this happened in the first place. Am I not being presented with more black author stories? Is it where I live, since the demographic is mainly Hispanic and white? Is it a subconscious thing? I don’t have that answer.
What I can tell you is that I have been listening and watching what has been going on. I’m not a protesting type of person, it’s not who I am. But in my own small way I’m trying to make a difference. I’m working on being more intentional in what I read and by who. I’m going to work on diversify my bookshelves more, and not just by putting books on my shelf, but by actually consuming their words and ingesting the information. I can’t promise this will happen over night and I’m going to be real honest and say it mostly will be fiction because let’s face it, I hardly read any non-fiction unless it’s true crime related and even that is rare. But I’m going to work to be better, because isn’t that what we’re all striving for in the end anyways?
Now I’ve ranted a bit, I have compiled my top ten favorites books by black authors that you should defininetly put on your list.
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet. – Yes this book is every, I’d give it more than five stars if I could. This muli-generational story discuss racism, sexism, and family dynamics. It’s a beautiful book. Everyone should read it. See my full review HERE!
- The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead – Based on a true story, this is probably the closest I get to non-fiction. This is an eye opening story about the injustices that many young black men suffer even up til the 2000’s. See my full review HERE!
- The Water Dance by Ta-Nehisi Coates – a fantasy novel that is interwoven with The Underground Railroad. Part magical story, part historical fiction. 100% brilliant. See my full review HERE!
- The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon. Not all diverse reads need to be serious. Some like The Boyfriend Project are filled with romance. I loved this book and the fact that it takes place in Austin, TX but also that the main women is a badass in the tech industry. See my full review HERE!
- Get a Life Chole Brown by Talia Hibbert: Continuing in the Rom-Com vain this little book is the first in a series and Chole Brown is steamy!
- The Broken Earth Series by N.K. Jemisin: For my sci-fi and high fantasy lovers, you will love this post-apocalyptic series crafted by Jemisin.
- The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya : I lied so this is actually the true story of Clemantine Wamariya and how she fled the Rwandan massacre when she was a child. You will need tissues. It’s amazing.
- The Mothers by Brit Bennet : Okay so I haven’t read this one yet. But I hear it’s amazing and if it’s even half as good as The Vanishing Half, I know I’m going to love it.
- The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray : A page turning family drama you won’t want to put down.
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: This is a classic. The end.
I know there are lots of other great books out there. Even some in my picture for this post that I didn’t list. These are my favorites for various reasons. I also know there are so many books out there I have yet to read such as The Girl with the Louding Voice, so if you have any recommendations for me, leave them in the comments or send me a DM on Instagram @speakingof_books.