I'm much better at reading books (and even at reviewing them) than I am at sitting down to blog about what I've read and send out to the universe my recommendations. Below, you'll find a quick blurb and a link to my reviews of three disparate Nonfiction reads that I completed in the past few weeks. Click on the image to read my full Goodreads Review.
In order of rating, highest to lowest, I submit for your consideration:
In a wide variety of well-reviewed and recommended books on race, racial identity, anti-racism and my role in dismantling white supremacy in the world I live in, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo is one of my favorites. I feel like going back and re-ordering my suggestions. I think this should be the primer. This is a more gentle introduction than Caste, but is more direct and frank than Me & White Supremacy.
If you are a "good white person" and you know that you aren't racist, I challenge you to pick up this book and give it an honest, open-hearted read. Then message me. Let's chat.
I picked up the next title at the checkout at my favorite little chain bookstore here on the Southside of Hong Kong island. In the heart of the 2nd pandemic wave, facing the long and dreary lead-in to the 2020 Presidential Election, I felt the weight of the division in my home country in my gut. I felt it with every glance at social media, with every conversation with my friends globally. And I felt like I was splintering.
I wish this book were longer, actually. I wanted it to be more of a true HOW TO, because it is a lot of common sense. But it made me feel okay, and it took me MONTHS to get through it even though it is tiny because I kept forgetting it in my handbag. And then I'd pick it up and re-read especially poignant passages. Expat friends, especially, give this one a quick read. You won't be mad.
Unraveled is a mother-son memoir. It is an addition story that hits both of them personally and secondarily. Based on that alone, I thought I would really like this book.
I love voyeurism. Not the sexual kind...the Jerry Springer kind. What can I say? I am a latch-key kid raised in the American Suburbs in the 1980s. I was reared by soap operas & Oprah Winfrey. Maury Povich, Jenny Jones and Phil Donohue were my babysitters. Hearing other people's dramas makes me feel less broken.
But I did not love this book. I chose to listen to it because it was a NetGalley ARC, and I wanted a break from heavy nonfiction. I think the narrators took away from the seriousness of the subject. Particularly Will Tulin, who read Tommy's chapters. Something about the smug, show-offy way he reads Tommy's words just comes off entirely vapid. Linda Jones, who reads Laura's is less grating, but somehow manages to just seem proud and entirely unaffected by the reality of both her and her son's atrocious behaviors. If you choose to pick this one up, read it instead and let me know what you think. I suspect it suffered for being "performed" rather than told with genuine honest feeling.
I'll be back tomorrow with a Fiction Post! So tune in! :)