Weekly Wrap-Up: June 1 – 7, 2020

Hey everyone!!

This week showed us, not for the first time, that this country is going to hell in a hand basket. There is absolutely no reason that black people and people of color are still being murdered by police. We are saddened by the number of people that still don’t understand the Black Lives Matter movement. If your first instinct at hearing that black lives are just as important as white ones is to argue, you are the problem. We proudly stand with BLM and will continue to uplift the voices of black people in this country and across the globe.

On that note, this isn’t the first list of Black content creators that has ever been made (they’ve been circling the internet since the internet was born) but here are some of our faves:

Sam’s Update

Welp, this week was a heaping pile of shit.

What Sam Finished:

  • A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow: It is not physically possible for me to scream loudly enough about this book. There are so many things I loved about it. It’s powerful. The characters are well rounded. The mystery is juicy. The message is undeniable. The magic is cool AF. And all while reminding us that teenagers have a fuck ton of shit to deal with and their anxiety is real and warranted. Even when you’re not a mermaid. Drunk review coming.
  • Well Met by Jen DeLuca: This was adorable. I haven’t read a fluffy romance in so long and I fucking deserved it. This is a hate to love at a Ren Faire. COME AT ME.

What Sam is Currently Reading:

  • We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal: Only barely started this audiobook but I have been excited to read this book since it came out and I was stoked to see my hold come through at the library. I also have a physical copy so we’ll see if I switch back and forth. What I can gather right now is that there’s a woman disguising herself as a man and this other guy is a death god. I really don’t need more.
  • Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender: I’ve had this book for ages but I hadn’t gotten around to it. Then a few things happened, Sam from Thoughts on Tomes review came out and she loved it. And then Kheryn was at Bookconline and I loved what they had to say. And then the world went to shit. The gods were saying “Sam, it’s time” This is an islander fantasy story where our main character, a woman of color serving as a sugar plantation owner. She can read minds. She has this master plan to take down the white man. So I’m in to that.

What Sam put down:

  • Forged in Fire and Stars by Andrea Roberson: I was pretty excited by the thought of blacksmith magic but I got about 125 pages in and nothing had happened. Ginny reminded me what happened when I read too many mediocre books (a massive slump) so I put it down.
  • Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb: I will get to this one day, but when you listen to the first 45 minutes of an audiobook that’s over 13 hours long and you can’t remember a thing about what happened… it’s not your time to read it. I’ll get there.

Ginny’s Update

Guys, I don’t have to do Jury Duty right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done jury duty before and I’ll do it again, but there’s a lot going on right now, and, it’s just a relief. Got a lot done this week.

What Ginny Finished:

  • The Vicar’s Daughter by Josi S. Kilpack: This book was fine. Basic plot, girl falls in love with the guy she’s been writing letters to while pretending to be her sister, b/c the sister needs to be married before girl goes into society. The ending felt a little rushed but I actually really liked the way the sister grew from this book. I felt there were a few different easy outs, and this book didn’t take one of them.
  • Hex Vet: The Fly Surgery by Sam Davies: this graphic novel was super cute and easy to follow even though it was the second book in a series (and I didn’t read the first). The art was very stylized and a lot of fun, with a fairly cute magical world.
  • Lumberjanes: The Shape of Friendship by Many People: Again, this was quite cute. I enjoy the way the lumberjanes have a variety of friendships and relationships where everyone interacts with everyone in different ways. The story for this was also fun. I particularly enjoyed Jenn’s story line from all of the history I have with Lumberjanes
  • Before the Dawn by Beverly Jenkins: Support black authors!! Also Beverly Jenkins is a delight. Leah Barnett marries her mother’s boyfriend on his death bed because he wanted to take care of her. This means that his sons (that she didn’t know about) aren’t thrilled. And yet, chemistry… This book feels oddly timely (a major plotline is local lawyers refusing to take a case from a person “of the race.”) Race always greatly affects the way characters are treated in her books and this book is no different. Leah is a fun character and I kind of enjoyed her occasional pettiness and the thought of “He’s gonna feel really bad about this later for reasons he doesn’t know yet,” when someone’s being a dick.
  • Big Black: Stand at Attica by Frank “Big Black” Smith and Jared Reinmuth: This is another book where it was just the right time to read it, painful as it is. This book follows an event in a prison in the 1971 when the prisoners rioted due to inhumane conditions. “Big Black” was one of the prisoners who was fighting for some basic rights (rights that are frankly still being fought for today). The story felt a little disjointed and could be a little hard to follow, but the artwork was stark in a way that made the atrocities of the guards so much more poignant.
  • Hell on Wheels by Julie Ann Walker: I snagged this book at bookcon a bunch of years ago and boy was right now not the right time to read this book. The main characters are all ex-military with too much testosterone and the belief that just being a patriot is enough to make someone a good person. this book did come out in 2012, but I feel like even then the increasing militarization of our police force was an issue. Regardless kindergarten teacher (whose name I have forgotten) is in danger b/c of her dead brother and goes to dead brother’s bf, nicknamed Ghost (yes, it’s that kind of book, sigh) for protection.

What Ginny is Currently Reading:

Strange Exit

  • Strange Exit by Parker Peevyhouse: Sam grabbed this for me at ALA but I think it came out in January… After a catastrophic war on Earth, a bunch of highschoolers were sent into space, but put in a simulation (and possibly cryogenic sleep) in order to… I don’t know, keep their minds healthy? the explanations of the simulation are fairly interesting and there are a few mysteries that seem like they’ll be interesting.

On Hold Again:

  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown: Yeah, another one of these so close to the last one. But hey, that’s how library holds tend to go. I’m liking this one a little better b/c this book deals with “how to live wholeheartedly” which means accepting your faults and recognizing the good. That’s a little more my speed.

Minda’s Update

It’s definitely been a week. Black lives matter.

What Minda is reading now:

all adults here

  • All Adults Here by Emma Straub – A reflection on parenting across three generations “and all the other things that follow us into adulthood, whether we like them to or not.” I’ve liked her books in the past—we’ll see if I’m in the mood for it right now.

What Minda finished:

Riot Baby by Toni Onyebuchi – Two siblings live the black American experience while wrestling with extraordinary power. A great read for the current climate, to say the least. Parker has an on-point review.

  • The Jewel Thief by Jeannie Mobley – After being accused of stealing King Louie XIV’s diamond, she only has one chance to convince him of her innocence and win back her true love. Really enjoyed this one

Until next time, we main forever drunkenly yours,

Sam, Ginny, and Minda

One thought on “Weekly Wrap-Up: June 1 – 7, 2020

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