January 2021 Books

Books Reread

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Tiffany Aching book 1 of 5; Discworld Series book 30 of 41
This series is another of my favorites. I love Terry Pratchett in general, but Tiffany is one of my favorite heroines of all time. She is practical and clever and even at age 9 is ready to take on the queen of the faeries to get her little brother back. It’s hilarious, it’s full of memorable characters, and it should not be missed.
5/5 tiny blue men

New Books Read

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron***
CW: misogyny
My first new book of the year! You know by now that I love fairytale retellings. If you read very many of them, you may think you’ve read every original take on Cinderella, and there can’t possibly be anything new in that story. But boy, have I got news for you. This is another Book Tok recommendation (it’s gay and it slaps), and it’s great for several reasons. One is the dystopian take on Cinderella; the story is set in a world where the Cinderella story is used as a religion to oppress women. The other reason is the gay characters who are secure and unashamed of their identities. There’s nothing wrong with a good coming out story where gay characters are trying to come to terms with their identities, but it’s refreshing to read a story where the characters are already out and secure and ready to go on an adventure.
4.5/5 glass slippers

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon***
Book Hangover Alert**
CW: racism
I don’t read a ton of YA romance but this book was fabulous. Nicola Yoon is such a good writer, I literally sat on the couch all day and read this book until I was done. I loved that this book, while being a YA romance, also engaged with difficult topics like identity, immigration, racism and microaggressions. I loved the way it was like a constellation, the lives of the main characters radiating out to touch other lives. Its ending was great, not too sappy, just the right amount of bittersweet.
4.5/5 Korean karaoke bars

Flatiron Books

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
I was really excited to read this book, because as I mentioned in my December post, I love Charles Dickens. This story is a fictional retelling of how Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol (my favorite Dickens book). But honestly I was kinda disappointed. If you’ve seen the movie The Man Who Invented Christmas, the book was like a not-as-good version of that. So I’d just watch that movie instead. I found Dickens as a character a bit unlikeable (I don’t have any idea if the character is like the real Dickens, but at any rate I didn’t like him). I felt like the Eleanor Lovejoy character was almost not necessary and kind of just annoyed me because Dickens already has a great wife, and why is she not worthy of being a muse? The beginning was a bit slow and I wanted more about exactly what inspired Dickens to write the book other than this mysterious woman and running into people that had cool names like Jacob Marley. Now that being said, I did really enjoy the language Silva used; she describes things in a way that is unique, but also calls to mind Dickens’s own writing and other writing of that era. And the ending was great. Very Christmassy, full of good spirit and cheer, happy, and satisfying.
3/5 Christmas wreaths (the ending really saved this rating)

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston***
Book Hangover Alert!
I just said above that I don’t read a ton of YA romance, but apparently I do this month. Fabulous. Adorable. Couldn’t put it down. I was walking around my house with my phone in front of my face trying to do everything one-handed while I read the ebook. As Book Tok would say, “it’s gay and it slaps.” This book is about the First Son of the United States falling in love with the Prince of Wales and it’s just as wonderful as it sounds. It was also nice to read about the politics of the US in a world where Trump has never existed. It was so hopeful and lovely and I adored it.
5/5 dogs named David

The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar***
CW: body dysmorphia
So beautiful. Joukhadar’s prose is just so gorgeous. Also I love birds. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about Syrian immigrants before so that was really cool and I felt like I learned a lot. There are also trans and nonbinary characters which we always want to see more of. I liked thinking about how those identities are navigated in the cultural context of being a Syrian immigrant. I also loved the way all the threads of the story were woven together from the past to the present; it was super satisfying to read.
4.5/5 mysterious birds

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon***
CW: assault, attempted and reference to sexual assault, racism , misogyny, public executions, oppression, body dysmorphia
Nonbinary authors in science fiction! We love it! The world constructed by Solomon was so interesting. The characters were memorable and the voice of the whole novel was really strong. We had some trans characters and some nonbinary characters, and I read Aster as autistic. I appreciated that while Aster had autistic-coded traits, she wasn’t a one dimensional or stereotypical representation of an autistic. I do have some questions though. I feel like maybe I didn’t quite understand all the science about the ship and their navigation, so if anyone has read it, I’d love to chat about it. I also wondered about the patriarchy. The ship is split into Decks and its a caste system: people born on the lower decks are lower in social status. The Decks also have their own language dialect and culture. Aster says the children on T Deck are called they/them until they are older, while children on Q Deck are all referred to as she/her. But the ship itself is so highly patriarchal and traditional as far as gender roles (like the game of house that Aster and Giselle play). It just seems odd to me that gender roles for adults would be so strict when they weren’t as children. Unless that’s just a T and Q Deck thing and the patriarchy is reaffirmed by the upperdeckers who are in power? Let me know if you want to discuss.
4/5 frozen severed feet

Books read for the Community Cats Podcast blog

Let’s Talk About Cats by Anita Kelsey
By a behaviorist and groomer, this book is a combination of interviews, tips, and stories from Kelsey’s work. Though I read it straight through, it is broken down in such a way that you could just read the chapters that are relevant to you or that particularly interest you. Kelsey interviews big names such as Jackson Galaxy, Kate Benjamin, Jennifer Conrad, and the Cat Man of Aleppo. She covers topics like cat behavior, cat vocalizations, what to feed your cat, whether cats grieve or enjoy music, and more. I thought the interviews were really interesting and Kelsey shared good tips and lots of food for thought about how we can make our cats lives the best they can be.
3/5 happy cats

The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral
I feel bad because the author of the book sent it to me to review for the Community Cats Podcast blog and I didn’t really like it. It is geared for children, but good writing is good writing, and I don’t think it was great writing. I do think the cause of the book is great; it was written to raise awareness about building a wildlife corridor in the Santa Monica Mountains to link different habitats to keep wildlife from being killed on the highways. The book is written from the perspective of P22 a real mountain lion who made his way through LA and now lives alone in Griffith Park. I just felt the anthropomorphization was a little off-putting and inconsistent. Like P22’s name for example, I know that since he’s a real mountain lion, that’s how they identify them, but it’s a terrible name and it’s a bit hard to connect with a character named P22. It’s like how stormtroopers all have letter-number combination names. And it’s unclear what P22 knows about humans. At first he talks about these metal monsters, but then he seems to know what cars are and what highways are later. P22 is also upset when he learns this other mean mountain lion is his father, and it seemed really odd to give human notions of fatherhood to animals who grow up with no contact with their sire. I sent the book to a friend to see if her kids liked it, as that’s the intended audience. But anyway, I hope they build the wildlife corridor.
2/5 mountain lions

**Book Hangover Alert indicates the kind of book that will leave you full up on love. Satisfied, but wishing the book never had to end. You’ll be laying on the floor with no idea what to do with yourself (other friends have called this feeling Good Book Depression or say that certain books necessitate Floor Time). This is the kind of book that gets its teeth in you and won’t let go easily. After the last page you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. You’ll bother all your friends trying to get them to read it so that you won’t be alone in your Hangover.

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! Read Cinderella is Dead for an original take on an old classic starring LGBTQ+ people of color. Read The Sun is Also a Star to learn more about the immigrant experience and the politics of biracial love. Read Red, White & Royal Blue for a hopeful look at what the future of inclusion of LGBTQ+ people looks like. Read The Thirty Names of Night for a look at LGBTQ+ experience as well as Syrian immigrant experience. Read An Unkindness of Ghosts for original sci-fi featuring disabled, neurodivergent, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC characters, and to add another nonbinary author to your library.
Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQ+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.

October 2020 Books

Books Reread

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
His Dark Materials book 1 of 3
I love this book so much. The whole series is brilliant, of course, but the first book is definitely my favorite. I even named one of my former cats Pantalaimon. I recently watched the first season of the HBO His Dark Materials and it was fabulous and I’m ready for more. While I wait for season 2, I thought I’d reread at least the first book. It was just as good as I remembered. I listened to the audiobook, which is read by a full cast–one of my favorite things, as I’ve mentioned before. I love the world which is like looking at our world through a broken mirror, and I adore the character of Lyra; she was always one of the plucky heroines I aspired to be like.
5/5 armored bears

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles book 1 of 4
Speaking of plucky heroines I aspired to be like, here’s another: Princess Cimorene. Bored of being a ‘proper’ princess, Cimorene runs away from her kingdom and volunteers to be a dragon’s captive princess. The story is hilarious, full of bright characters, from Kazul the dragon to Morwen the witch, and surprising circumstances. The whole series is great, but this one is definitely my favorite. This audiobook is also read a full and brilliant cast (apparently a theme this month), and I highly recommend it.
5/5 melted wizards

Books Read

Dune by Frank Herbert
Dune book 1 of 6
Everybody and their mother appears to be reading Dune these days in preparation for the movie that’s coming out next year. The library had like 300 holds on their copies and the local used bookstore was begging people to sell them their copies of Dune. Luckily I already had a copy. I’ve heard that people are pretty split about Dune, either loving or really hating it. I can see how people might not like it, or be frustrated by it; especially at the beginning, you get sort of thrown into it and there’s all this jargon and made-up words and you’re like “WHAT is going on?” But if you persevere, I think the story is definitely worth reading. My dad doesn’t want to read it because he thinks it’s just a fantasy set in space, not a real science fiction, but this is something I couldn’t care less about. I definitely liked the world created in Dune, but I think my favorite part was the number of strong female characters. In a lot of older science fiction there are zero to few women and none in any positions of power (we’ll come back to this later), but in Dune all the women from the Lady Jessica and Chani, to the Reverend Mother and Paul’s sister Alia are interesting, powerful, and skilled. Jessica is not only skilled at delicate diplomacy and manipulation, but she’s also a badass fighter. It also seemed like there was more diversity than other sci fi stories and there are a variety of characters described as not white, so I hope they don’t whitewash the movie (or make only the indigenous people on Dune people of color). I didn’t love that Baron Harkonnen (the bad guy) was portrayed as super fat and into young boys. I feel like it reinforced negative stereotypes that fat people are disgusting and gay people are pedophiles. I guess it was written in 1965 but that doesn’t mean I have to be okay with it. I did think the ending was a little abrupt. It sort of just cuts off like Herbert gave his publisher one long document that was the whole story and the publisher was like “We have to chop this up and publish it as a series.”
3.5/5 sand worms

The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis ***
Book Hangover Alert**
The future of science fiction is diverse! I impulse bought this for a friend’s birthday without reading it first. I got it out of the library a little while later and I really enjoyed it, so I hope they did too. This is the first book I’ve read that included a nonbinary character using they/them pronouns. It was refreshing, especially because this character wasn’t on a journey of self-discovery and none of the other characters had any difficulties using their correct pronouns. Not that there’s any problem with stories about self-discovery, but it is nice to read about characters who already know who they are and are secure in that. I also loved the world and the societies created by Lewis. I was really invested in all the characters and basically binged the whole book. Lewis kept me on the edge of my seat with twists and turns and gave me a satisfying ending. Will there be more books? I don’t know that. I feel like it could go either way. I feel satisfied with where it ended and where we left all the characters, but would I hungrily devour more of their adventures? Absolutely.
4.5/5 antique recording devises

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao***
The Rise of the Empress book 1 of 2
I always love a good fairytale retelling and this one was refreshing, unique, and delightfully dark. I also don’t think we see nearly enough fairytale retellings that star people of color. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns tells the origin story of the Evil Queen from Snow White with influences from Asian folklore and mythology. Xifeng was such an interesting anti-heroine, and I was somehow cheering for her even as I watched her slide into her own destruction.
4/5 human hearts

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark
I mentioned above (and in other posts) that my biggest critique for older science fiction is the complete lack of diversity. So here again is a book about white men in space. Not to say I didn’t like it, I did, but really, the only women were stewardesses on the moon shuttle flights? Now that that’s out of the way, I liked how we were conducted through the book with each of the sections (first Moonwatcher on earth, then Floyd on the moon, then the astronauts on their mission) not at first seeming that they went together, but actually building upon one another. I also love the deliciously sinister HAL character. I know this movie is a classic in cinema and sci fi history, but I think I preferred the book, which Clark wrote sort of simultaneously with the screenplay, though the novel was released after the movie.
3/5 large, improbably placed monoliths

Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving
CW: outdated language referring to disabilities and trans people
About once a year I think, “It’s time to read another John Irving book.” So this year it was Avenue of Mysteries. This one had all the hallmarks of an Irving novel: a protagonist who is a writer; a small, odd child who dies tragically; a woman or women who are wild and perhaps crazy, but sexually attractive; a dog that dies; and of course, all manner of improbable, irreverent, and hilarious circumstances. I wouldn’t say it was as good as A Prayer for Owen Meany or The World According to Garp, but it definitely satisfied my Irving fix.
3.5/5 Virgin Mary noses

The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan
Book Hangover Alert**
The Trials of Apollo book 5 of 5
CW: psychological abuse and manipulation

The last book in the Percy Jackson universe? I think that remains to be seen. Uncle Rick wraps up his Trials of Apollo series neatly and satisfyingly. I loved how this whole series let us spend time with our favorite characters from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus series, and introduced us to plenty of new favorites. It also managed to strike that sweet balance between hilarity, action, and emotion.
4/5 hat-wearing troglodytes

Self Care by Leigh Stein
CW: eating disorders, discussion of sexual assault
I heard about this book from a New York Times newsletter I get and I was super intrigued. The novel is about two women who started a social media platform for “self care,” where women can post about the rituals they use for self care and vitamin and face wash brands can sell their products. The really interesting thing is how the novel points out the “self care” industry is really just a rebranding of the beauty industry. The message used to be “You’re a woman and there’s something wrong with your body. If you don’t use our product, no man will ever want you.” Now the message is “You’re a woman and you’ll never be able to love yourself unless you use our product, and no one will love you if you don’t love yourself.” There’s also the interesting aspect of social media; is meditating really self care if you post a video of yourself doing it to try to get a lot of likes and comments? The two main characters, Devin and Maren, sort of fall on opposite ends of the self care spectrum with Devin as the perfect yoga influencer always drinking a green energy smoothie, while Maren is the body-positive feminist. The professed goal of their company is to create a safe place for women to put themselves first on social media but toxicity of social media and the push and pull between Devin and Maren creates a really delicious tension. The book is addicting and as hard to put down as it is to stop scrolling on social media. There’s a sense of impending doom throughout the novel that makes you feel it will all end in tears, but, like watching a train wreck, you can’t look away.
3.5/5 protein shakes

I Wish I Were a Superhero by Sarah E. Paul
Awhile back, I supported my friend’s Indigogo campaign to get her children’s book published. My copy of the book arrived this month and I was so excited to read it! It’s a delightful little book with lovely illustrations. I’m excited to share it with my little nephew.
You can support my friend Sarah by purchasing a copy of the book here.

**Book Hangover Alert indicates the kind of book that will leave you full up on love. Satisfied, but wishing the book never had to end. You’ll be laying on the floor with no idea what to do with yourself (other friends have called this feeling Good Book Depression or say that certain books necessitate Floor Time). This is the kind of book that gets its teeth in you and won’t let go easily. After the last page you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. You’ll bother all your friends trying to get them to read it so that you won’t be alone in your Hangover.

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! Read First Sister to experience nonbinary perspectives and learn more about the implications of technological advancement on disability and class. Read Forest of a Thousand Lanterns to see new perspectives in fairytale fantasy.

Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQ+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.

July 2020 Books

Books Reread

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
CW: some outdated language related to disability, and weak female characters
I reread Cary Elwes’s memoir about the making of The Princess Bride movie last month so I thought I’d reread the book this month. It’s still pretty weird (in a good way). If you haven’t read it, a large part of the story is the framing narrative where Goldman tells you about his father reading this story to him as a boy and editing out all the boring parts as he read aloud, which causes Goldman to want to publish an abridged version of The Princess Bride, which he claims is a historical novel by S. Morgenstern from Florin. Goldman is constantly popping up in italics throughout the book to tell you what he cut out of the ‘original,’ or about what he or his son thought about the book at a particular point. The first time I read it I simply skipped all the italics and read only the parts about Westley and Buttercup. I still love the book in all its quirkiness, oddness, and hilarity, but the character of Buttercup really does leave something to be desired. In the movie she’s dignified and helps to balance the humor playing against the ridiculousness of the other characters (even though she does absolutely nothing to help Westley with that R. O. U. S.), but in the book she’s just kind of dumb. For a guy that claims to have written the book for his two daughters, Goldman could certainly have written a stronger female lead. The book came out in 1973, which was a while before the ADA, but reading the book today, now that I know something about ableism makes me a little uncomfortable in some places. I don’t love how Fezzik is treated, even by Inigo, often called an idiot and berated for not remembering things or not doing something right. As far as Vizzini (who has a physical deformity in the book) and the Albino, it seems like they’re only evil because they are not physically ‘normal.’ All that being said, I firmly believe you can love something and still be critical of it.
3.5/5 King Bats

New Books Read

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
The Dresden Files book 2 of 17
I read the first Dresden Files book absolutely ages ago and while I enjoyed it, reading the rest of the series got put off and this poor book languished on my To Read Shelf for years. I finally read it and Harry Dresden is as fun as ever. The quote on the cover of the book from SF Site says “Butcher keeps the thrills coming,” which is absolutely the right way of describing the book. Every chapter Dresden gets in more trouble as he tries to identify the lupine killer that runs wild every full moon. I also really appreciate his talking skull, Bob, and the strong female characters that help Harry get the job done.
3.5/5 Hexenwulfen

Haben: The Deafblind Woman who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma***
CW: ableism, racism, discrimination against individuals with disabilities
If you don’t know who Haben Girma is, you need to get on that. She’s so cool. I learned so much from this memoir. Haben is a Deafblind, Eritrean-American who is a disability rights advocate. Her memoir follows her journey navigating the world with her disability from a young age through college and eventually at Harvard Law and beyond.
3.5/5 braille keyboards

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
CW: institutionalization and torture of an individual with disabilities
This was a delightful little fantasy full of charming characters. The novel is a new take on the fable of the witch who abducts children in the forest. I enjoyed the way the story lines of various characters all wound together and tied off neatly. I listened to the audiobook and I really enjoyed narrator Christina Moore’s performance, especially her voice for Fyrian the Perfectly Tiny Dragon. I feel like because of the content warning and the fact that this is a children’s book, I have to tell you that it has a happy ending.
3/5 tiny dragons

Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami***
CW: mention of sexual abuse of a child
This is Japanese author Mieko Kawakami’s first work to be translated into English and let me say I’m excited for more of her writing to make its way over here. Breasts and Eggs explores femininity, sexuality, feminism, and asexuality, many of which are somewhat taboo subjects in Japan. The novel is beautifully written and full of that wonderful dreamlike quality that seems to permeate Japanese literature. It focuses on female characters who are brightly depicted. I found the book because of this lovely New York Times article. A synopsis and other recent translations of female Japanese writers can be found here.
4.5/5 sperm donors

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo ***
Book Hangover Alert**
I adored this book. I’ve been picking it up every time I’ve gone into a book store for like the last year because the cover is gorgeous. I finally checked it out of the library. Do yourself a favor and just buy yourself a copy. The novel follows a young Philadelphia native with African American and Puerto Rican roots named Emoni. Emoni is a teen mom with a love of culinary arts. I tend to avoid books about teen moms because they’re usually very depressing and read like a cautionary tale, but Acevedo captures the nuance of Emoni’s life, the good and the bad, and characterizes her with such depth. I loved the strong and memorable voice and how the story was full of hope. I definitely cried and had a Book Hangover when it was over.
5/5 cinnamon sticks

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
Book 3 of 5 of the Wayward Children Series
The Wayward Children series continues with some old friends from the first book, Every Heart a Doorway, and leads us into several more of the plethora of magical worlds tethered to this one. As someone who has always longed to go to Narnia, the Wizarding World, Middle Earth, and Neverland, these books feed my hunger go home through a door picked just for me.
3/5 cupcakes

1st ed. cover art by Larry Schwinger;
Doubleday Publishers

Kindred by Octavia Butler ***
CW: slavery, rape, abuse, manipulation, violence in the form of slave beatings, suicide, n-word
This book is considered to be the first science fiction by a Black woman. It is so good. Dana, a Black woman living in the 1970s, is unceremoniously sent back in time to save a white child. Whenever he is in danger, Dana is pulled through time to the early 1800s to help him. Dana discovers that the little boy will grow up to be one of her ancestors, so to make sure she is still born, she has to protect him. Modeled on slave narratives, this book is gritty and painful and deals with the complexity of slavery and its legacy. Full of well developed characters, this book helps those of us who have studied slavery to understand more fully why slaves didn’t all “just run away,” or “rise-up,” or “just kill themselves.” Certainly many did those things, but the novel helps to show what kind of power structures were at work that supported the institution of slavery. I urge anyone who thinks Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings were in love to read this book.
4.5/5 near death experiences

Books I didn’t finish

Allen & Unwin, Australia

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
CW: incest, rape, abuse, gang rape, forced abortion, ableism
It’s rare for me to not finish reading a book. Usually if I start I force myself to suffer through it. I was really excited to read this book. It has won a bunch of awards and I’d heard good things about it. I love both dark fantasies and fairytale retellings. Also I love bears. I thought it sounded right up my ally. But I really hated it. The writing style when following the character of Dought was awful. It was choppy and hard to follow. I think it was meant to sound old fashioned but it just left me confused. I also hated the character of Dought. I did not care about him and couldn’t figure out why we weren’t following Liga and her children anymore (maybe I would have found out if kept reading, but I was tired of suffering). I cared about Liga and her children. That said, the first two chapters just absolutely torture Liga. I’m not against making your characters suffer, but Liga never finds empowerment in her survival.
I made it five chapters before I gave up. I read a few reviews of the book, trying to figure out why anyone would read it. The vast majority were positive. I read one that talked about how many layers are in the novel, how they were sure that this book would be taught in literature classes. Now, I was an English major. I love books with layers. I’m disappointed I didn’t have the same reading experience as this reviewer.
Have you read Tender Morsels? What did you think?
0/5 bears (also because I didn’t manage to read to the part where there were bears.)

**Book Hangover Alert indicates the kind of book that will leave you full up on love. Satisfied, but wishing the book never had to end. You’ll be laying on the floor with no idea what to do with yourself (other friends have called this feeling Good Book Depression or say that certain books necessitate Floor Time). This is the kind of book that gets its teeth in you and won’t let go easily. After the last page you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. You’ll bother all your friends trying to get them to read it so that you won’t be alone in your Hangover.

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! Read Haben to learn about the DeafBlind community and ableism. Read Breasts and Eggs to learn more about women’s experience in Japan as they navigate sexuality with and without men. Read With the Fire on High to learn about identity, hierarchies within Blackness, and classism. Read Kindred to learn more about slavery and unpack what it means to be descended from both slaves and their masters.
Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQ+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.