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Well-Read Black Girl
Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves | Glory Edim
An inspiring collection of essays by black women writers, curated by the founder of the popular book club Well-Read Black Girl, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature. Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging can stick with readers the rest of their lives--but it doesn't come around as frequently for all of us. In this timely anthology, "well-read black girl" Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best black female writers and creative voices to shine a light on how we search for ourselves in literature, and how important it is that everyone--no matter their gender, race, religion, or abilities--can find themselves there. Whether it's learning about the complexities of femalehood from Their Eyes Were Watching God, seeing a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, each essay reminds us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation. As she has done with her incredible book-club-turned-online-community Well-Read Black Girl, in this book, Edim has created a space where black women's writing and knowledge and life experiences are lifted up, to be shared with all readers who value the power of a story to help us understand the world, and ourselves. Contributors include: Jesmyn Ward (Sing Unburied Sing), Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn), Gabourey Sidibe (actress), Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing), Lena Waithe (Master of None), Zinzi Clemmons (What We Lose), N. K. Jemisin (The Fifth Season), Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Nicole Dennis-Benn (Here Comes the Sun), and more.
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Some of these essays really spoke to me, others I didn‘t really connect with, but I so appreciate that this exists and I will definitely recommend this to young readers, especially to young women of color.

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Book two of #awesomeaugust and read for #rememberingjenny

Be advised that the bibliography for this book has the potential to make your TBR list even more out of control.

kspenmoll It totally will add to your TBR…happened to me! 3mo
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I started listening to this #bookishpodcast just in time to hear the last episode of the season! #artfulaugust

Eggs Well done 👍🏼 4mo
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Such a great collection of essays! Highly recommend. I listened to the book on audio which was ready by Glory Edim. It includes a long list of additional book recommendations which I really appreciated. 5⭐️

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Note to self: stop reading books about books. Your TBR list is long enough. 🤪

Smrloomis 😂 can‘t help you with that one 😂 8mo
LazyLimaLife LOL! 8mo
MallenNC Yes! Books about books are dangerous to a TBR. Mine are out of control anyway, so I may as well keep adding. 8mo
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This was hard, but I have decided on my favorite book for #April #4thbookof2021

Honorable mentions: “No One Is Talking About This” by Patrica Lockwood, “Transcendent Kingdom” av Yaa Gyasi and “Small Pleasures” av Clare Chambers

Andrew65 It is had to only choose one isn‘t it. 11mo
AnneCecilie @Andrew65 For some months it‘s really hard. But as I do this, I realize how diversely I have read. Non of my tagged favorites so far are white Europeans/ Americans. (edited) 11mo
Andrew65 @AnneCecilie It is a good way of reviewing our reading over 2021. 11mo
kspenmoll This is a great book! 11mo
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Interesting book, from a Web community and podcast of Black women sharing how books impacted their childhood and youth identities and what it means to be a Black woman reader and writer today. A wide range of perspectives and genres and new writers for me. Having the same audiobook reader for multiple voices didn‘t work well. Like all anthologies, mixed feelings about different articles.
#Booked2021 #ColorInTitle
#Nonfiction2021 #AboutReading

Riveted_Reader_Melissa We read this one with #SheSaid and it worked well with our group. I‘m glad you liked it too. 1y
Cinfhen Thoughtful review!! I haven‘t read this but I did see similar reviews. It‘s true with all collections, some pieces work better or resonate more than others 1y
Singout @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yes, forgot to say in my review that #SheSaid put me on to it! I‘ve been having bad luck getting those books at the right time, but several of them are on my to-read list. 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Singout Well I‘m glad you got to it eventually. It was an interesting read because so many of the contributors were authors themselves, so reading about their experiences (especially with representation) was I thought more forceful as it came up in so many independent essays. 1y
Singout Yes, absolutely. I also appreciated how different genres of literature were discussed. 1y
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What a treat. Several female, black writers tells about their introduction to reading and the importance of seeing yourself in what you read.

This book also contains several lists like classic novels, black feminism, girlhood and friendship. My tbr has exploded and I have been introduced to many new books.

This was February‘s book in #SheSaid, and even though it arrived late from the library. I‘m so happy I was made aware of it

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘m so glad you got a chance to read it and enjoyed it. It‘s a great love letter to literature. 2y
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I started my chapter a day reading of Anne of Ingleside with #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead

And I have read all the other books. It really pays off to have Easter vacation.

Cinfhen Oh wow!!! Amazing!!! I can‘t seem to read on my holiday!! I‘m SO DISTRACTED 2y
kspenmoll Well Red Black Girl was a pleasure- more authors / artists to read about. 2y
AnneCecilie @Cinfhen We are hardly allowed to do anything and I live alone. There‘s nothing much else to do besides reading. 2y
AnneCecilie @kspenmoll I know. My tbr exploded 2y
Cinfhen That‘s how I feel when I‘m at home!!! I totally GET IT!! 2y
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A star-studded and heartfelt book by and about black women writers, and one of the more consistently strong essay collections I‘ve read. My reading habits have changed for the better because of the messages here; I‘m inspired by the idea of not passively receiving what is hopefully representation, but curating a narrative to counter the one society‘s written for you. A celebration of writing and reading and black women guaranteed to grow your TBR!

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#20in4 #readathon

Exceeded goals by finishing WRBG & TDC.
Still playing catch up with MP.

Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏🙌🥳🍾🥂 2y
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Fantastic! Great set of essays, so many writers that I‘ve read or have now added to my #TBR. I was inspired, encouraged and challenged by this book and found it a great reading and learning experience. Highly recommend! #shesaid #FabulousFebruary @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Great on #audio

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘m so glad you liked it! I‘ll have to check out the audiobook at some point too. 2y
Come-read-with-me Stacked! 2y
LeeRHarry Loved this one too 😊 2y
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Good morning #SheSaid I don‘t know where February went, but we are at the end already. I‘ll be sorry to see this little gem of a book be finished. Even the sadder stories about not finding yourself in literature until much later in life, I found uplifting considering they were written by authors who then wrote their own stories.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Side note: Backlash is next and I posted the schedule for it yesterday. So check it out if you haven‘t seen it yet, and put in your library holds if you haven‘t already. 2y
MallenNC I enjoyed reading this essay anthology. I love Jacqueline Woodson so it was nice to see her in one of the final pieces. I loved her comment about what she sees her books doing for her young readers. “I‘m just here to give them a couple of tools to negotiate the future.” The essays in this book show how true that is. Each writer was given tools by those they read. (edited) 2y
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vlwelser They all found such different stories to be inspired by. This whole book was great. My TBR has exploded. That last essay did some serious damage especially. I'm about to order that one about Guadeloupe. Jacqueline Woodson is one of the author a month picks that's coming up so I'm looking forward into diving into more of her books as well. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser Yes, there are a few crossovers with their picks for this year I noticed. Jemisin, Woodson, Baldwin and Ward are also in the list for later this year. 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC @vlwelser Another great read! Loved all these essays and especially loved all the insights from all your comments. That last essay really took my TBR to a dangerous place 😂 The author bios at the end too - now why did I have to go and read those, lol! 2y
vlwelser @KVanRead I actually skipped the author bios because I didn't want to add anything else to my list. Though I did read some as I was going along. I hadn't heard of a couple of these authors. 2y
KVanRead @vlwelser quite a few of them were new to me so I wanted to know more about them. So much good writing! 2y
MallenNC @vlwelser Jacqueline Woodson is such a great author and she writes everything from children‘s books to books for adult readers. Enjoy your month with her when it comes around! 2y
vlwelser @MallenNC It's not until May so I guess I have some time to read some of these other things. Woodson wrote an essay in this book about Palestine that I thought was really interesting. So it's not the first time I thought about diving in. 2y
Julsmarshall This book was really wonderful! I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt inspired and enlightened by these essays. The conversation we had around the book enhanced the experience for me-thank you to all of your for sharing this experience with me 😄 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser That sounds excellent! I‘m stacking that one too! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead I had this book and The Black Friend this month, which both ended with recommendations. That one had some books to read, movies to watch, songs to listen to, etc too. 2y
MallenNC @Julsmarshall I have so enjoyed reading with this group also! I think reading together had increased my enjoyment and also added new insights. Thanks for organizing @Riveted_Reader_Melissa 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC You are very welcome and I‘m so grateful to all of you too. For jumping onboard this reading group idea with me, so I could discuss some of these books with someone too, and for always nominating such great books. I don‘t know who nominated this one, but it probably wouldn‘t have hit my radar without you, and I‘m so glad I got to read it and discuss it too. And somehow as our books reflect back on others, like We Are Displaced, the⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ... meanings and takeaways just get deeper and richer for me. 2y
tenar Late to the party, and I can only echo everything! I also loved this book, appreciate this group, and I added every book in the last essay to my TBR.

Here was my favorite quote from this section, from Carla Bruce-Eddings on the importance of representation and the black women she looked up to: “I didn‘t have to be just like them, but their quiet guidance and encouragement afforded me space. In simply being themselves, they widened the room.”
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Wow, that one sounds really good too! 2y
KVanRead @tenar that one stood out for me too - such a great quote! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar Yes, great quote! It so easy to take for granted the space to just see more possibilities. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar And you‘re never late to the party, this party is always opens. What would we do without Litsy! 2y
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This is an anthology of sorts. It's a collection of essays by writers talking about books that helped them to find their own voices. My TBR exploded. I already read a couple of the fantasy books from authors I had never heard of. I happen to like fantasy but it covers every type of book. I definitely recommend this.

#SheSaid with @Riveted_Reader_Melissa final discussion today

#BookSpinBingo square 3

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Great review! 2y
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 2y
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These essays were all so good with so many powerful insights. Only trouble is my TBR just exploded 🤷🏻‍♀️

Ruthiella That‘s totally the byproduct of a good book about books! 😀 2y
KVanRead @Ruthiella Yup. Totally worth it! 2y
tenar Woah, the hardcover is gorgeous! 2y
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KVanRead It is! But this is actually a photo I found online since I borrowed e and audiobook versions on Libby😊 2y
KVanRead @TheAromaofBooks Forgot to mention this was my February #doublespin 😊 2y
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 2y
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veritysalter I loved ‘An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good‘, so wickedly funny. 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🧡🖤🧡 2y
Suet624 So much reading! 2y
kspenmoll @veritysalter Love your description of book as “wickedly funny”- perfect! 2y
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This collection of essays is truly a collection of love letters to reading. Books that stuck with you, changed you, let you escape, and finding yourself reflected in their stories. They should really consider expanding this into a daily devotional book, with a short essay for every day of the year about reading, seeing yourself reflected, making stories where none exist, and loving the connection we gain seeing things through someone else‘s eyes.

Daisey Another book you‘ve added to my TBR!! 😊 2y
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 2y
Suet624 A lovely idea of a daily reflection. 2y
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I fell in love very quickly with individual stories and related to these different women and understood them. And while I'm a Hispanic woman, there are some similarities.

I was able to bond with some of these stories because some hit close to home regardless of skin color. Their words and talk about books, their lives, their wants are something I found I was nodding along as I read.

ElleSkel I loved this! 2y
mariaku21 @ElleSkel Same! There were so many good essays. 2y
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Good morning/afternoon #SheSaid

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I have not read a lot of plays, and none of those recommended in this section...but I found myself thinking of our Dec nonfiction read and the play from 2y
GingerAntics I never got back on the wagon after I dropped out of Know My Name. You can remove me from the list. 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics Will do! Sorry to see you go, but I know you have a lot of reading commitments. 2y
KVanRead Three more excellent essays and something in each of them spoke to me. Roald Dahl was my younger daughter‘s favorite author growing up and she loved Boy - I think we have it around here somewhere and I should read it! While our circumstances are very different and I totally acknowledge my white privilege here, my children are also first generation Americans and have known what it is to grow up without extended family around. There was a lot I⤵️ (edited) 2y
KVanRead connected to and I loved how Mezghebe could find her family in Dahl and I could find my family in hers. Why own voices but also many voices are so important: then we can see ourselves in those who look like us and in those who don‘t. 2y
KVanRead The other two essays were so powerful as well. When Mahogany Browne talked about tearing up in the library, I tested up too! I haven‘t read Nikki Giovanni but she is definitely going on the list! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead I know, it‘s so important to people emphasizing with each other and people who don‘t necessarily look like you.... when you read their stories and can see the same human situations reflected in the stories of others we all feel less isolated. (edited) 2y
vlwelser I've only read A Raisin in the Sun. This book has done some serious damage to the length of my TBR. I thought both the Roald Dahl essay and the one about Nikki Giovanni were both great. I regret not purchasing a Nikki Giovanni anthology the last time I was in a bookstore (last week lol). Matilda is my Dahl character of choice but I haven't read Boy. 2y
KVanRead @vlwelser Love Matilda!!!❤️ 2y
tenar I‘ve only read A Raisin in the Sun as well, and it and what Lynn Nottage wrote about it in last section‘s essay touched on what y‘all are saying about seeing yourself and connecting with others. She wrote about how it deepened with each reading because she connected with a different central character each time. I resonated with the burgeoning feminist and atheist character Beneatha on my first read, 2y
tenar and in the way her orbit reacts to her I saw my family and friends. Just like Bsrat and Dahl, neither her world nor the author‘s were superficially much like mine, but I saw the familiar human situations, reading it definitely made me feel connected, interconnected.

And if I wasn‘t already sold on Toni Morrison, oh my gosh, another incredible essay about reading her! I hope she truly knew how much she‘s meant to so many.
Suet624 My copy finally came to the library. I‘m picking it up on Saturday. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Suet624 That‘s great! It‘s a short read, but we‘ve found the essays very powerful, plus they all speak to a love of reading and literature which are great Litsy topics. 2y
tenar @Suet624 Yes, I‘ve liked every single essay! I hope you do, too!

@GingerAntics Thanks for all the discussions you contributed to; I enjoyed them! 🙏🏻
(edited) 2y
kspenmoll @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I am not through this section yet. I have only read 2 of the recommended plays listed at the end, A Raisin in the Sun & for colored girls who have committed suicide... the book lists here are wonderful!!! 2y
MallenNC I wasn‘t able to get on Litsy yesterday (work keeps getting in the way!). Mezghebe‘s essay reminded me of We Are Displaced. Especially this quote, “Thanks to the independence war against Ethiopia, I didn‘t know a single Eritrean who had family in less than three countries.” I would also like to see more of the plays listed here. I have see A Raisin in the Sun, both play and movie. 2y
KVanRead @MallenNC that made me think of We Are Displaced too. I love all the connections that keep coming up between the books we are reading. 2y
Julsmarshall This book had increased my TBR immensely and in all the best ways! 2y
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#FabulousFebruary wrap up: 8 books completed, 2 more started. I‘ll likely have a record reading month this month with all the readathons that I have participated in and being snowed in for a week in Texas. Thanks for always challenging and cheering us on, @Andrew65 !

Andrew65 That‘s brilliant, well done 👏👏👏🙌🍾🥂🍾🥂🥳🚀 Thanks for playing along. 😊 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa Good morning/afternoon #SheSaid. How‘s everyone doing this weekend? These essays still remain strong and I‘m feeling more like this should be expanded into a daily devotional about reading....starting each day with a 5 - 10 minutes read about books and the importance of literature and seeing yourself reflected. No matter the subject, they seem uplifting to me, maybe because they are by authors who found a way to make themselves seen, even if... 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...it took awhile and lots of detours and perseverance. 2y
tenar I totally agree! I‘ll be rereading this. My fav this week was Two New Yorks by Zinzi Clemmons. What a great story of finding a home (literally!) in books.

I also was moved by Citizen by Claudia Rankine. Its other quote that stayed with me was, “And where is the safest place when that place must be someplace other than in the body?”. It‘s powerful.

I haven‘t read it yet, but here‘s Morgan Jerkins‘ interview with Rankine:
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MallenNC I like the idea of having essays like these to read each day. I have read some of the authors who contributed to this, and some of the books listed with each section, but this has made me want to read even more of their work. I read Citizen last year and was blown away by it. It‘s not an easy read of course. I definitely want to read that interview, so thanks for sharing @tenar 2y
tenar I was also hoping for more essays on sci-fi and fantasy, but I think that speaks to the importance of what Butler, Jemisin, Okorafor, and others have done and are doing. There is not yet a rich history of black women growing up reading black women authors in those genres. I‘m personally excited to read Parable of the Sower and others on WRBG‘s list! There were quite a few I hadn‘t heard of.

Hope you‘re having a nice weekend so far!
tenar @MallenNC No problem! Citizen was definitely not an easy read, and I was amazed by how much emotional punch was packed into such a brief collage of a book. 2y
MallenNC @tenar I was the same.it was such a short book, but the content was really powerful. 2y
vlwelser I thought all 3 of these were great. The essays don't seem to have any correlation to the essays. Have any of you read the sci fi/fantasy books yet and which is your favorite? @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar @MallenNC 2y
MallenNC @vlwelser I don‘t read much sci fi or fantasy. The only one on the list I‘ve read is Kindred by Octavia Butler. It is really great, and more about time travel. I have a couple of Jemisin‘s books on my TBR to try. 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar @MallenNC @vlwelser Three more strong essays. I feel like I get something new and different from each of them. This time Lynn Nottage‘s was my favorite and I found this quote so encouraging: “The universe, the landscape, it is all changing. It has not changed enough—that is a given—but it is changing, and evolution is something to embrace....” (edited) 2y
KVanRead “... Racism is alive and well and we still encounter microaggressions on a regular basis, but at least now we can go home and close the door and enjoy some entertainment, see ourselves on-screen, imagine ourselves as superheroes and goddesses. Before, you got hassled, you went home, and you had nothing. That‘s the difference.” 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead That quote really struck me too! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser I‘ve read a few of them. Kindred and Parable of the Sower are great (both by Octavia Butler), The Fifth Season by NJ Jemisin was very good (I need to go back and reread it and then read the rest of that series) I‘m currently reading a different series by her, the Binti trilogy is good (it‘s a trilogy of short stories) but very different in feel...it‘s set in space, aliens and all. I have a few other Okorafor‘s sitting on my TBR shelf⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ too. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar Citizen was very powerful. I read it first, then picked up the audiobook from the library for a re-read/listen. Thank you for tracking down the interview! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Morgan Jerkins was one contributor I added to my to read list. I had tried one of hers before, but had that FUBU feeling (a new term for me, but it makes so much sense). I read it early in my self-education journey and remember thinking, this book isn‘t meant for me...I‘m thinking I should revisit it now, I bet I‘d get more from it now. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa It‘s interesting because the term FUBU “for us, by us” showed up in my YA novel I‘m currently reading too... so great reading serendipity for me too. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser I also thought the essays would match the book list break-ups, but for instance Jemisin‘s essay came before the Sci-fi books list and this time we had a play writer‘s essay just before the list of “plays to read”... so sort of like a warm up or introduction to. 2y
Julsmarshall I‘m finally reading (listening) to this one and really enjoying it! I love all the book recommendations and while I‘m familiar with the writing of several of the contributors, I feel like I‘m gaining a new and illuminating perspective. And I‘m loving all your comments, shared quotes and book suggestions. Also ❤️❤️the idea about and daily devotional reading. 2y
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Good morning #SheSaid I hope everyone is someplace safe and warm today. This is our mid-week mini chapter, so it will be open whenever you get a chance to stop by and drop in.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I have to admit, this is the first section of essays that made me sad.... the way we treat children, especially children of color.... With teachers who hate them. 😢 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa that made sad too, and angry. That Nicole Dennis-Benn essay was my favorite. Her reaction to finally discovering black people in stories in Beloved (what an introduction) was so powerful. I‘m going to have to Google her. This book is so TBR dangerous 😂 2y
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KVanRead I found the two different experiences with religious groups in this section really illuminating. 2y
KVanRead And at first I wasn‘t sure how sci fi/fantasy fit in but of course it does in terms of mythology, world building, search for meaning...It‘s not where I gravitate as a reader but I found this essay so inspiring too. Jemisin is getting to chart new territory which must be so daunting but also exciting. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead I really enjoy sci-fi and fantasy, and I love Jemisin and Octavia Butler....and mostly because their fiction doesn‘t remind me of anyone else‘s, it‘s uniquely original. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead and yes....I have very mixed feelings about religious missionaring. Historically, like the Catholic school story, it‘s very bad.... but I also know people who missionary now as Dentists, for example, doing things that need done like Dental work. My gut feeling is not to do it, but I can‘t really argue with donating health time & services. But I can‘t help think we‘d be smarter and kinder to donate educational time to teach & train ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ dentistry to the locals as a profession. (Since I‘m on the Dentist example now). 2y
KVanRead Very much agree. 2y
vlwelser I loved the Jemisin essay but I've read similar things she has said. But imagine if she had listened? That seems like a much worse outcome. The Nicole Dennis-Benn was a different perspective for sure than the previous essays which I believe were all written by Americans. 2y
MallenNC I tagged a quote from each of these sections that spoke to me. I‘m going to post those here. 2y
MallenNC Stephanie Powell Watts: “I wanted to write stories that spoke to my time in the world and the people I know. I wanted to tell about their extraordinary lives, their attempts to maintain dignity in a hostile world, their dreams for the children and grandchildren that would come after them.” 2y
MallenNC Nicole Dennis-Benn: [Toni Morrison showed] “that it‘s up to us to own our narratives that could someday counter the imaginations of those like Sister Francis, who cage us inside their ignorance.” 2y
MallenNC I tagged a lot from N.K. Jemisin but here‘s one. “In the future, as in the present, as in the past, black people will build many new worlds. This is true. I will make it so. And you will help me.” 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Those are all great quotes! 2y
tenar Hello, sorry I‘m late. The essays in this book continue to be so strong; I loved all three again!

@KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa That was one of my takeaways from this section, too, how intense religiosity and evangelism can have such positive or negative effects on young people. I‘m always fascinated by that. I had some personal experiences of both sides of that coin.
tenar @MallenNC Thank you for copying down those quotes and sharing them! Those stuck out to me, too, especially Dennis-Benn‘s that echoed the introduction. I feel so inspired by the idea of creating, curating, amplifying our own counter-narratives. 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Oooh, would you tell me about your top Octavia Butler book/s? I just read my first from her, Mind of My Mind, and wasn‘t even completely sure if I got on with it or not because it was so unlike anything else! 2y
KVanRead @MallenNC Those are great quotes. I especially liked that “make it so” bit. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar Read Kindred! It‘s based on a time travel story, set in US history, and less out there/mind bending then some of her outer space/alien stories. If you like that, let me know and I‘ll recommend another. Mind of My Mind is part of the last series I have of hers yet to read (plus it‘s the second book in the series, so that might not have helped either). 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar If you like Kindred, try Parable of the Sower, which again is set in the US, and covers the fall of civilization and rebuilding it. If you like that, there is a part two Parable of Talents 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC My notifications has a comment by you that I don‘t see here (my Litsy was really acting odd for a few days), but I haven‘t read a lot of James Baldwin either. I know AuthorAMonth has him as one of their authors later this month, so I‘m hoping to pick up a few more later this year. I have read The Fire Next Time, but I‘ve been meaning to read If Beale Street Could Talk before I watch the movie, and as a result haven‘t done either yet. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Here‘s a good article that was shared with the AuthorAMonth group if you‘re interested. https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2021/january/where-to-start-with-james-baldwi... 2y
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“...I never found a the book that allowed me entry, granted me succor in story, and a home after the last page until I wrote my own.”—Jesmyn Ward

I just found this prayer shawl in an unexpected place.Years ago I knitted one for my life long friend who was going through cancer treatment.My son loved its soft texture and asked me to knit him one. He chose these colors.Such fond memories of his childhood inhabiting this shawl.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Great quote....and beautiful work, that shawl is gorgeous, he picked great colors. 2y
Suet624 🥰🥰🥰 2y
kspenmoll @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Thank you! Really enjoying this thought provoking book. 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa I haven‘t started Mansfield Park yet, I need to get that one started soon. 2y
kspenmoll @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Reading just a chapter per day makes it doable for me! #Pemberlittens 2y
Librarybelle Good week of reading planned! 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🧡🖤🧡 2y
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Loving this book!

Tamra My daughter (10 & Ethiopian) said, “Cool!” And then “How?” 😅 2y
KVanRead @Tamra ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
KVanRead #IntegrateYourshelf I posted this before I saw today‘s prompt but I think it fits perfectly. And this book is also about a love we all share here - the love of books! Specifically those by and about Black women. @ChasingOm @Emilymdxn 2y
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ChasingOm Wow, what a beautiful passage! 😍 2y
kspenmoll Love this quote. Not there yet! 2y
KVanRead @kspenmoll This essay might be my favorite so far! 2y
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Happy Valentine‘s Day #SheSaid another great bunch of essays this week... I feel like this book would have made a great daily devotional read for Black history month....an essay and book/author suggestion for each day of the month.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa On Valentine‘s Day I can‘t help thinking this book is a love letter to literature, especially this section. It can save us from bad situations, show us escapes, even if it‘s just virtual ones. 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa It is! And I loved the love letter to Lucille Clifton‘s poems, which are love letters to her body! Here are homage to my hips and homage to my hair on page 2: https://www.gwynethwalker.com/pdf/now-text.pdf (edited) 2y
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MallenNC My favorite in this section was Renee Watson‘s essay. It was very relatable, especially the part about shopping for clothes and not fitting like others. I like how she teaches Lucille Clifton herself now. Also, I have read Gabourey Sibide‘s memoir, and it is great. Dhonielle Clayton‘s essay, and whole book, is just another example of how the right books make a difference. 2y
tenar @MallenNC I didn‘t know Gabourey Sibide had a memoir! It sounds like she‘s had an extremely interesting life, and her tone was hysterical. I didn‘t want her essay to end. 2y
MallenNC @tenar Her memoir is very funny. Like this essay, even when she‘s writing about sad/difficult things she‘s still funny. 2y
vlwelser I thought all 3 of these were wonderful. They sort of fit well together also. That one by Gabourey Sidibe was funny and sad at the same time. It's amazing how books and literature can inspire confidence in people that might not be getting enough from other sources. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar I‘ve been highlighting books and poems mentioned that I want to look up later. Thanks for posting those two. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar I can happily recommend Sibde‘s memoir too. I listened on audiobook, and she reads it herself. And @MallenNC is right, she can make you smile and laugh about the craziest things. 2y
ImperfectCJ I haven't kept up well with the books, but I still enjoy being on the list, if that's okay. Eventually maybe I'll read the book on time. :-) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @ImperfectCJ These are open, so just drop in whenever you get to them or want too. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC I really related to that not fitting in, or into anything too. The skinny blonde girl ideal, that no one really fits into. I still don‘t understand why real pockets can‘t be universal in women‘s clothes or that we can‘t have sizing like men‘s pants do length x waist....seriously, as a rounder petite lady, I hate having to try and find someone to hem everything. 🙄 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Another great memoir I haven‘t seen listed in any of the book lists, that I would really recommend is Gabrielle Union‘s. It truly should get more kudos 2y
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I so related to not being able to shop in the typical section. Before I grew into my height that was the story of my life! I‘m glad there are more inclusive sizes available now but there‘s still a long way to go. 2y
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I have the audiobook of Gabrielle Union‘s book. I need to listen to it. 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar @MallenNC @vlwelser I loved all three as well. The love letter analogy is perfect. I loved the Listen, children poem at the end of the Renee Watson essay and I love that she includes pictures of the authors when she teaches. I wish that was a standard practice! (edited) 2y
MallenNC @KVanRead Yes! Showing the author photos is great. I wish that was standard practice too. 2y
vlwelser @MallenNC and @KVanRead I thought the picture idea sort of mirrored the fact that there are sketches of the essay writers at the beginning of each of their sections. 2y
KVanRead The Gabourey Sidibe essay was my favorite. So excited that she has a memoir - definitely stacking that!! I highlighted the passage she wrote about Black women giving birth to the planet - so powerful! Truly a love letter to Black women. 2y
KVanRead @vlwelser ooh hadn‘t thought of that - great point! And I‘ve really been enjoying those too. 2y
MallenNC @vlwelser That‘s true. It‘s nice to see the authors I didn‘t already know. 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa Since this one is on a weekday, drop in whenever you can. Again I loved the essays, I‘m finding it so revealing as they discuss what author they crossed paths with in reading that stuck with them. Who knew discussing what you read and liked could be so revealing? Well...maybe Litsy knew. 😉 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa My first experiences with Alice Walker, James Baldwin, and Zora Neale Hurston weren‘t until adulthood, way after college even (sadly). I picked up Their Eyes Were Watching God after my nephew read it in high school and liked it (he liked so few books during that age) and I find myself glad and grateful that his HS reading was more diverse than my own. 2y
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KVanRead Agree! I loved these essays. I had vivid memories resurface at the mention of A Child‘s Garden of Verse and The B Book - two of my childhood favorites. Interesting to think how books unify us but also separate us when they exclude or denigrate certain groups. Also thinking about animals as characters - does that eliminate or mitigate race issues? Or do they still come through? Depends on the writer I suppose. 2y
KVanRead I also came to these authors later in life and still have yet to read Hurston (but I really want to now!!) Growing up in Canada, I can‘t think of a school read that included black people other than To Kill a Mockingbird which is totally white- centered. My daughters have read Morrison, Richard Wright, Baldwin in California schools as well as Latinx and Indigenous stories, but still mostly white canon. 😔 2y
KVanRead Also embarrassed to admit I didn‘t know Alice Walker (one of my favorite authors) had lived in San Francisco! The Urban School is not far from us and we considered it for my younger daughter but the website made the academic atmosphere and admission requirements sound really intense!! It did not come off as a little progressive school but an elite, competitive, and expensive private school. Perhaps it‘s changed a lot since then. 2y
KVanRead Just googled her and found this interesting article on her speaking out to defend keeping controversial Washington murals at another local high school her daughter attended. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/alice-walker-mural-interview-san-francisco-163... In the end they voted to board over rather than destroy them but it‘s still pending I think. Anyway once again another group read with y‘all has me googling and learning all kinds of stuff 😊 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead I loved the Berenstain Bears books as a child. “The B book”, “Inside, Outside, Upside Down”, and so many others. Great memories there too. And I hope the animal books help and are universally loved, but once people come in like Dick & Jane...it seems to quickly skew to one default (white). And honestly, many are young white boys on adventures....I‘m thinking of our last read here, and thinking how lucky that girls have gained more ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ... stories in recent years.... like Dora the Explorer. We just need MORE diversity, so much more all the way through every reading level. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead I didn‘t read To Kill a Mockingbird until I was an adult either. Again, sadly.... It wasn‘t until I joined Litsy and saw it‘s universal love that I picked it up and loved it too, and yes, even that is white centered. The only “Black” read I remember from HS was “Black Like Me” which was a white author, who changed his appearance to be Black and wrote about his experiences in that guise. It had a profound effect on me, it underscored 2y
KVanRead Yes!! I was thinking of those boy adventure books too - for me it was almost exclusively girl reads—Nancy Drew, Secret Garden, Harriet the Spy, Little House, Anne, that I loved. And of course they were all white. My daughters loved Dora, and also the Avatar series, which one mom flatly told me was for boys.🙄 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I should probably reread it now.... as an adult. 2y
KVanRead Have never read Black Like Me. Do you recommend it? 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead I LOVED Avatar: The Last Airbender! Definitely some strong women in that cartoon series. It was appointment TV for my nephew and I when he was growing up! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead I would, but I wonder if it‘s really dated now or just as great as I remember it. For me it also sparked my interest in anthropology, although I didn‘t know that then...the going inside and seeing how the other side lived. So I‘ll give it a qualified recommendation, and keep my fingers crossed it holds up. And I think I‘ll plan a reread for myself too. If it holds up, I‘ll probably see things I didn‘t as a high schooler. 2y
vlwelser I thought these essays were all great. We read a lot of diverse stuff as kids but mostly outside of the school curriculum. At school we didn't even really read books by women, so not diverse at all. 2y
vlwelser Their Eyes Were Watching God is such a great book. 2y
vlwelser I read Beloved in college for a class and hated it. I wonder if I would like it more now outside of a school curriculum. 2y
vlwelser That essay by Alice Walker's daughter really stuck out to me. 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa good to know I will add it to my looong list. And that‘s so cool about Avatar. My college daughter still re-watches regularly and yes many strong women in it. ❤️ Kitara! @vlwelser The Walker essay was my favorite. Also I read Beloved for the first time a few years ago and loved it. (edited) 2y
vlwelser @KVanRead I think I may need to give it another shot. My 17yo brain may not have been ready for it. I really want to read Tar Baby after that last group of essays. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser I know, I added that one to my to-read list too (Tar Baby), I didn‘t read Beloved until a few years ago either...with a Litsy group. It‘s a tough one, because of magical realism, at least for me those require more thought/attention to read. So I can see how they would be very hard for a 17 yr old to process. Although you just reminded me of what I read in HS at about that age for that type. Again, not Black authors, but at least not⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser All our to-read lists are growing. (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser @KVanRead Have either of you read Nella Larsen, she‘s mentioned in the list at the beginning, but not in the essays. I‘ve read a few of her short stories and I‘d recommend them too. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead yes! Katara, and back to a discussion the other day Toph as a disabled (blind) character. Plus it had great multi-dimensional “bad” guys too. (edited) 2y
JulietReads I love this picture! 2y
vlwelser Some of the best books I read in high school were things I borrowed from my English teacher. She didn't teach anything mind blowing but she had a bookshelf at least. I borrowed Invisible Man from her and this other gem... 2y
KVanRead @Riveted_Reader_Melissa good point about Toph representing disability. And I LOVED Like Water for Chocolate!!! I haven‘t read Larsen yet or Obasan - add em to the list 😂 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @JulietReads It‘s from an app called Vanilla Pen. They have great background pictures, even in the free version of the app. I particularly liked this one, I loved the intense reading (of course), and it fit the book we are reading so well...it even reminded me of the drawing on the book‘s cover. 2y
tenar I was touched by all three essays! It‘s been interesting to me that the essayists are often just as emotionally connected to the authors as they are to characters. I‘m not particularly well-read in fiction, and I haven‘t yet had this experience. It‘s one I associate with singer-songwriters from my youth!

These writers have me excited to connect with new authors and continue to rectify the glaring lack of diversity from my education. ...
tenar We read white men in both high school and community college until I went off to university and was blown over by Chinua Achebe‘s Things Fall Apart in a world history class (likely not coincidentally taught by my first professor of color). Achebe taught me, “If you want to see it well, you must not stand in one place.” Which I took with me.... when I went into science and stopped reading fiction, hah! Y‘all and Litsy are helping me catch up today. 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @KVanRead @vlwelser I recently put Nella Larsen‘s Passing on hold at my library. There‘s a bit of a wait after the popularity of The Vanishing Half; I‘m looking forward to it. Maybe I can get my hands on her short stories in the meantime! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar I have yet to read Things Fall Apart, it‘s still on my list. Nella Larsen should be available free through public domain like Project Gutenberg, I think I got a collection of her short stories for free on Kindle. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar I haven‘t read The Vanishing Half yet though.... is that also Larsen? (edited) 2y
vlwelser She also wrote this which I haven't read yet. 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa The Vanishing Half is by Brit Bennet, published last year, I think. If I understand correctly, her buzz transferred to Larsen‘s book because both are about two young, mixed-raced women who ‘pass‘, and one of the two chooses to live as white. In The Vanishing Half, the two women are twin sisters, and the book also follows their daughters. I would recommend both The Vanishing Half and 2y
tenar (I must say Things Fall Apart is set in the 1800s and is about the clashing of two patriarchal societies, there is notable violence against women and children. I felt like it was a critique of toxic masculinity, but I‘m a biased reader in that regard. To me life itself looks like a critique of toxic masculinity, lol.) 2y
MallenNC This section reminded me of so many classics that I need to read. I‘ve only read a little James Baldwin. I first read Their Eyes Were Watching God the summer before high school because my favorite 8th grade teacher put it on a list of books I should read. I don‘t think it was on any assigned reading. I‘m planning to reread it soon. And just like the previous section these writers showed how seeing yourself in books is so important. (edited) 2y
MallenNC @vlwelser @tenar I need to read The Vanishing Half. I have it on my shelf waiting its turn. 2y
vlwelser @MallenNC my book club is doing Silver Sparrow for April. We were throwing out some older books and I remembered that you recommended it. 2y
MallenNC @vlwelser Great! I think it would give a book club a lot to discuss. Let me know how it goes. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Besides the books I added from this section. I‘m adding Silver Sparrow and The Vanishing Half now! 2y
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Here‘s the updated list #SheSaid! I added the new ones essentially in publication order, that way there will hopefully be better library availability until we get to the more recently published. Either way, hopefully this will give everyone time to put in library holds and interlibrary loans, plus I‘ll keep my eyes peeled for kindle sales.

As always, anyone is welcome to join in on any, just let me know below if you‘d like tagged going forward.

Singout Thank you! Really appreciate the early organization! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Singout You are very welcome. I‘ve skipped many a great group read because the book isn‘t available at the library for another 10 weeks, and if I‘d only known I could have put it on hold earlier. Plus I know publication dates in the US, don‘t always equal the same date (or even the same year) in other counties...so although it seems way far out, I‘m going to try to keep us thinking out at least 6 months into the future. 2y
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Singout Those wait times are about right for Homegoing and Hood Feminism at my end! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Singout Fingers crossed then that it will time out correctly. Usually for me, someone skips their checkout or cancels, so it moves up over time (but not always). I also try to use the “suspend hold” feature at my library too (overdrive)... basically keep it on hold, but if I get to the top of the list too fast, skips me and goes to the next person. It‘s useful so that all your holds don‘t come in at once too. (edited) 2y
Singout Yes, I love the suspend hold option! Also that the little gadget I listen to audiobooks on doesn‘t delete them. 2y
Jgotham @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Can you tag me on the #shesaid reading? 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Singout Yes, I love that feature. No matter how well they seemed spaced out before, I‘d always get a bunch at the same time and then have to send some back unread and start at the bottom on the holds list again. The “suspend hold” and online ebook lending is just wonderful, especially in the winter, and I appreciate it even more so during COVID. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Jgotham Yes, I will. For some reason I thought you were on the list already. If you asked me before and I forgot, I‘m so sorry. 2y
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So many books and such a great discussion about seeing yourself in literature. How did you feel about this first section? Adding lots to your reading lists? #SheSaid

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I loved the discussion about seeing yourself in literature from an early age. I‘ll be the first to admit that I read for the escape and adventures that I couldn‘t have as a child...and although not Black, I didn‘t see myself represented often (handicapped here), but I still read for the virtual adventures I could have. And like one of our authors, the books that reflected me, weren‘t what I wanted...a bit too real/on the nose. 2y
tenar I loved the epigraph, intro, and all three essays! I love hearing from women about books; it was hard to stop reading. After having the supreme luxury of not being concerned about seeing myself in literature as a kid, I became disabled in my late teens and felt like I fell out of the ‘mainstream‘. I continue to feel much more like the “defined” than the “definer”. The intro helped me finally commit to include myself in my diversity goals ... 2y
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tenar this year and shoot all the way for 20-25% of my reading to be by disabled authors/inclusive of disability, so to “choose which narratives I center and hold close.” (and match US demographics.)

Speaking of reading goals, I have only read one of the WRBG book club selections! One! It was Homegoing, and I found it truly gorgeous. How about y‘all?
vlwelser @tenar I've read 3 from this initial list. I love Jesmyn Ward so Sing, Unburied, Sing was a must for me. I also really like Zadie Smith and thought Swing Time was really good. I also read Here Comes the Sun which definitely wasn't my favorite. I think Homegoing is on the list for this group and I'm looking forward to reading it. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar It‘s a coincidence, but reading more women was my thought when I started this group. I‘d read yet another study about how much was written and read by white men basically, and a bunch of my long term reading groups were basically male white men (Shakespeare, Tolkien, Pratchett, Dickens) and wanted a way to prioritize other voices in my reading. So, #SheSaid! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser Yes, it‘s on the list for May! 2y
vlwelser I definitely need to give Toni Morrison another shot. I'm intrigued by Tar Baby. I thought these 3 essays were super interesting. I always want to know what inspires authors. Have I mentioned that I love Jesmyn Ward? 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Ward‘s essay about wanting to not only see herself, but see herself as possibility, touched me. This issue troubles disability media as well - we‘ve made strides in including a disabled character, but how often are they the wizard or the princess? How often are they held back by their circumstances, while their non-disabled counterparts overcome them? I wish I could pile our younger selves with adventurous disability lit! 2y
MallenNC I enjoyed this week‘s sections of this book too. As a big reader as a child I related to that in the essays, but I admit that I took for granted “seeing myself” in stories then. I‘m much more aware of that now. Tayari Jones is probably my favorite author, so I loved seeing her included here. I am happy that I‘ve read six of the books of the list, with many more still to read! (edited) 2y
tenar @vlwelser Which Jesmyn Ward book would you recommend to start with? Sing, Unburied, Sing? Wow, my TBR is going to explode while we read this book. 2y
Suet624 thank you for keeping me on your list to tag. Work has kept me from participating, but I'm enjoying reading about these books.
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Oh, and I have read 4, plus the one mentioned in the one essay 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Suet624 You‘re welcome. Jump in anytime you want! 2y
vlwelser @tenar This is my favorite. 2y
vlwelser @tenar maybe you should write a book about a disabled wizard or princess. I imagine these exist in children's lit. But there doesn't seem to be a lot for YA or adults. 2y
tenar @MallenNC Which Tayari Jones book would you recommend starting with? I think her essay may have been my favorite of the three; I have had my own experience seeing myself in fiction as a lesson rather than as a celebration, hah! 2y
MallenNC @tenar I would suggest Silver Sparrow. An American Marriage is her most well-known, but I think Silver Sparrow is a better book. Her first book, Leaving Atlanta, was good to me because she‘s only a little older than me so the time of the book was very familiar. 2y
MallenNC Here‘s info on 2y
KVanRead Great discussion and book! My TBR is exploding, which I won‘t lie is causing me anxiety 🤣 Good thing I have this group to keep me tackling it. I‘ve read 5 of the initial selections. I loved Homegoing, Swing Time, and Difficult Women. Thanks for the Ward and Jones recs @vlwelser and @MallenNC The Jones essay was my favorite. 2y
MallenNC @KVanRead My TBR is a constant struggle! This group helps me tackle some of them but it‘s definitely a one step up two steps back situation. (Or more like one book read, five books added!) 2y
KVanRead I love Toni Morrison. The Bluest Eye was the first book that really made me FEEL what it‘s like not to see yourself in the world reflected back at you. And that embarrassingly wasn‘t many years ago. That book and Americana helped to shift my perspective and create empathy. 2y
KVanRead @MallenNC Totally 😂📚🤷🏻‍♀️ 2y
MallenNC @KVanRead and @tenar I just followed you both, which I‘m certain I did already? But Litsy said I wasn‘t! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser I was intrigued by Tar Baby too, it‘s one of hers I haven‘t read....but one I think I might want to give a read now. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser I‘ve found that very hard. I recently read Jemisin‘s Inheritance Trilogy and book 2 has a blind character, who can see magic...so is attracted to magical people because she can see some of that. I thought it was cleverly done, and rare in literature, but there was some blowback because of the troupe that blind people must have a sixth sense, so if you make a handicapped person other-wisely abled, that seems to have some stigma too. ⤵️ 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ a bit of a you can‘t win for trying. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC @KVanRead The never-ending TBR list! It‘s stressful sometimes, but I try to remind myself it‘s better than the other possibility. 2y
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘ve tried to come to terms that I‘ll never read everything so I just try to make good choices about what I spend my reading time on. (edited) 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Well if I take my huge TBR wishlist on Goodreads and put it into one of those reading calculators...I could still do it, eventually.... you know, as long as no one writes any new books. 😂 2y
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Ha! I probably could too under that circumstance. I am planning to cull out some books that seemed like a good idea at the time I added but aren‘t as appealing now, so maybe I‘ll feel like I have a chance. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Seriously though, that‘s the best way to look at it. Spend time reading things you enjoy, and make space to try new things here and there and let them in. 2y
vlwelser @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Why shouldn't she have a magical power? It's fantasy. People will find fault with anything. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC That‘s hard for me, but I‘ve been trying to do that too. With COVID I‘ve been trying to clean off some of my physical shelves too. Am I still interesting in reading this since I picked it up used 3-5 years ago? It‘s huge, would I really read this in hardcover or just snag the ebook from the library instead? 2y
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘m going to at least try to take out books that don‘t seem appealing now but that I could easily get from the library if I change my mind. 2y
tenar @vlwelser I often wish to be an author for that purpose! You made me think of a book on my TBR: A Curse So Dark & Lonely, a beauty and the beast retelling in the vein of smash hit A Court of Thorns & Roses. (All those similar titles crack me up.) Some reviews say Curse‘s best-written aspect is the protagonist‘s cerebral palsy; I heard about it from a young booktuber with the same condition. She called reading it ‘life-changing‘! That‘s meaningful. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser That was my thought, it‘s rare to see disabilities in fantasy, so it was kind of sad to see people upset about the blind main character who got to see some things/sometimes with special abilities. I understand there is a troupe there, but she was a fully realized main character, with a past, agency, relationships, etc. which is nice to see. 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC I read that book last year and felt both sides! It‘s a trope going back to like probably Oedipus Rex that a blind character can see what others can‘t, and that can undermine the representation itself. Both in that a person can become a stereotype or the disability a metaphor, and that there are sections of the book where her blindness is functionally erased by her magic sight. But at the same time, 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Jemison obviously thought deeply about the character, the character was genuinely 3D, and if the gate is too narrow in representation done “right”, we will never have enough representation to make those choices just choices, rather than huge cultural signifiers. (See also, disfigurement = villainy, etc.) I think it was a good aspect that also could have been better. It‘s complex! 2y
tenar Oops, I meant to tag @vlwelser in both of those, not you @MallenNC! I wanted to tag you in a next comment thanking you for the book rec, hah! Thank you! 2y
MallenNC @tenar No worries! This is an interesting discussion. 2y
vlwelser @Riveted_Reader_Melissa and @tenar Speaking of Jemisin... She uses really diverse characters in her stories. I really enjoyed this collection that I read last month for author a month. I thought it was interesting from a diversity perspective though I don't remember anyone with a disability. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar I liked that she still used a walking stick and it was discussed throughout by her that she would need it to do xyz, it didn‘t just fall away as a prop by chapter two....I also liked that (without spoilers) there was a reason for her magic, and especially that the story did not end with a magical cure either. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @vlwelser I haven‘t read that one yet, but I also enjoyed The Fifth Season where she didn‘t shy away from either race or oppression, and had some great gender fluid characters (at least on my opinion). 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar And yes, it‘s so complex. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Sorry for going off on the sci-fi fantasy discussion way ahead of time. I‘ll save more discussion there for when we get there. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC here‘s the calculator https://www.readitforward.com/tbr-time/ as long as I don‘t add any more books (yea, right), I could read all the ones on my list by the time I‘m 67! 😂 2y
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Using the number of Want to Read books I have on Goodreads it estimates I could read my books in 8 years and 9 months, which is actually less than I expected. But using last year‘s total read throws it off, as I hope we aren‘t in pandemic reading levels for the next 8 years. I need to count the print books I own and see what that number would be. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC That‘s not bad, even if outside of a pandemic you read less, just round it up to 10 years. 2y
tenar @KVanRead Wow, what a great testament that is to Toni Morrison and The Bluest Eye. I‘ve felt intimidated by what looks like incredible emotional intensity in her books, but I feel envious of everyone‘s transcendent experiences with them! 2y
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I feel like I was the one that got us off topic on disability lit! You‘re so right about the value of no magic cure and her genuine use of aids in The Broken Kingdoms. Jemisin really put effort into every aspect of her character. I look forward to all our discussions this month.

My TBR is 13 years out 🙃
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Our next schedule for #SheSaid! Lots of discussions about books! These are small sections, but I am going to post them twice a week so we can talk about different types of books in different threads...after I post them they will be open of course, so if you can only stop by on Sunday and comment on both chapters for the week then, that‘s fine too.

tenar I didn‘t know it was broken up topically like this, and it‘s got me even more excited! My TBR is gonna be huge. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tenar I know! As soon as I saw the table of contents, I felt like each needed their own little discussion space. 2y
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vlwelser Yay!!! 2y
MallenNC This seems like a good plan! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @kspenmoll Sorry, pulled this list before I added you to the group tag. 2y
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The updated and upcoming reads for #SheSaid for anyone interested in joining or looking to put in holds at the library!


kspenmoll Thanks for adding me! 2y
Suet624 Thanks for letting me know the info again. 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Suet624 You‘re welcome! 2y
Julsmarshall Thanks for the reminder! Just snagged from the library! 2y
Bookishlie Just requested. It said a 5 week wait so we will see.... 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Bookishlie Fingers crossed then, it looks like a shorter read, so even if it arrives later it shouldn‘t be to hard to catch up. 2y
Singout Thank you! I got Tomorrow Will Be Different just now (eager!) and might get Homegoing in time. Good choices!
KVanRead Yay!! Excited to read all of these! 2y
Augustdana Fantastic! Thanks so much for doing this. Just getting caught up on all of it!! 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Augustdana You‘re welcome. 2y
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Glory Edim asked a handful of black women writers when they first saw themselves in literature, and this essay collection includes their answers. ↘️

ReadingEnvy I listened to the audio which I would not recommend. It would have been great if the contributors had narrated their own essays, but they're all read by the editor, making some of it feel a bit repetitive an hard o separate out. Also it's much harder to mark up an audiobook and there's just no way to read this without adding to your TBR list! I've already started readings collection from a poet I learned about from one of the essays.↘️ 2y
ReadingEnvy Contributors include Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Sing), Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn), Gabourey Sidibe (This Is Just My Face), Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing), Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Rebecca Walker (Black, White and Jewish), and Barbara Smith (Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology). 2y
mommyincolortv I loved this book! 2y
ReadingEnvy @mommyincolor so many great recommendations 2y
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I cleared my Nov #bookspinbingo board, with the tagged book as my final read. I had to swap out some titles because of library due dates. @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Fabulous month!! 2y
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So while I'm running really late on posting all the reviews for all the books I've read, I actually did get to read!
I absolutely loved Well - Read Black Girl. It was a fantastic anthology from different women and brought to my attention some great new authors to read as in between the essays are book recs 😍
Hello Stranger was a great runner up because Kleypas suckered me in again with her witty dialogue and strong leads.

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One of my favorite essays in this collection is the beautiful piece written by #TayariJones about Toni Morrison's book Tar Baby. "Mother Morrison," writes Jones, "threw me a curve ball." I haven't read Tar Baby but this writing and reflection made me want to pick it up immediately- as well as read every single one of Jones' books that I haven't gotten around to yet!
@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @OriginalCyn620

OriginalCyn620 👍🏻📚👍🏻 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘ve got most of them, but haven‘t read them 🙈 2y
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Reading list 💜💜💜💜



Emilymdxn I really loved this book! 2y
TheBookHippie @Emilymdxn meee too!!! 2y
BeaG One of my favorites. 2y
TheBookHippie @BeaG I read it as a library book but ordered one because I want to reread it and so many things I wanted to notate! 2y
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Sometimes a person might feel that she/he is abundantly knowledgeable, overly enriched, thoroughly-saturated, deeply immersed when it comes to literature thus WELL-READ. Then that person comes across another reader with a list of reading accomplishments or perhaps that person encounters a book with writers writing about the books that mattered to them and pushed them in the direction of their writing destiny.👇🏽

Nute That person might read that list or those brief essays and be forced to conclude & admit “Damn, I haven‘t read much after all. I am no where near as dripping with literary-extensiveness as I thought I was.”😕 Now that person burns for a greater depth, an increased amplitude. Now that person wants to leave a blazing trail of well-read books on some dusty winding road of a literary landscape. “I need a miracle...an act of literature-osmosis. TODAY! (edited) 2y
Trashcanman Great review 🙂 2y
rockpools Love this! 2y
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Butterfinger Love this review. 2y
readordierachel Wonderful review! 2y
BeaG Awesome review! I agree with you. I really liked Well-Read Black Girl. 2y
Centique Love your phrasing in this review! You‘re a wordsmith as well as a great reader 😍 2y
Lindy ❤️ 2y
Nute @Trashcanman @RachelO @Butterfinger @readordierachel @BeaG @Lindy Thank you! This type of book is favorite reading experience of mine. I love to read essays about ‘Why an author writes?‘ or ‘Why a reader reads?‘ and about sources of inspiration for the great things that some folks do. It was enjoyable to read about the books that impacted these particular authors especially about the stories that mirrored their lovely faces and their culture. 2y
Nute @Centique Thank you, Ms. Paula. You melted my heart! Your kind words are appreciated! This book inspired me to be a GRATEFUL reader for I, too, have been impacted by the reading experience of many books and have grown in depth of character based on someone else‘s true life story or an author‘s vivid imagination. Gosh, I love being a reader and I can tell that you do too!💕 2y
truthinfiction Your review is everything. So well put!!! Can't help but wanna pick this book right away. 🙌 2y
Nute @bookstea As readers, I think that we love to know what other readers are reading & what are their favorite books. As readers, we hunger to understand authors, why do they write, how do they write - what motivates & inspires them. I enjoy essays from authors that give these explanations. Connecting to my fellow readers is why I‘m a Litten and participating in multiple book clubs. It is why I am already treasuring this budding friendship with you! 2y
Nute @bookstea Also...Thank you!😊 2y
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Thanks for the tag @Sharpeipup 💕

🌿 Hot. It was 94 degrees today, but the day was cooled down by an intense rain shower in the late afternoon that dumped inches of hailstones (thank goodness only pea-sized) everywhere.

🌿 Purchased new Keds. Tennis shoes are one clothing item that I wear until they fall apart. It was time for a new pair.

🌿 Well-Read Black Girl on my Kindle

Tag: It‘s no longer Thursday, but if you‘re feeling this then...

Sharpeipup What color are your kicks? 2y
megnews Well-Read Black Girl added sooo many books to my tbr! 2y
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MoonWitch94 I‘m the same with my sneakers 👟 I wear them till they‘re a mess. I have a wide foot so it‘s hard to find comfy ones. New shoes always make me feel good. Thanks for playing 💗🌸💗 (edited) 2y
Nute @Sharpeipup I bought two pairs of shoes. The first pair is grey in color which is a favorite color of mine for clothing, cars and houses (outside color and stuff in the home). Also, the sneakers that fell apart were grey. The second pair can only be described as ‘very dreamy!‘ Light denim with a flowered stamped jute embroidery around the sole. They‘re almost too fancy for the purpose for which they were purchased!🥴 2y
Nute @megnews Definitely! Many essays brought back memories of reading the same books, but some essays introduced new authors and new books. 2y
Nute @MoonWitch94 We understand each other! I have no shame in wearing broke-down sneakers. At that point they are wonderfully comfortable and they know precisely the direction that your feet want to move in!😂 But the dealbreaker for continued use is when there is a hole in the sole...then I have to finally let them go.😞 Then there is the exciting joy of a new pair! Yay!😊 2y
MoonWitch94 @Nute EXACTLY! Yes, we absolutely understand one another 😉 The worst is when you don‘t realize the hole until you‘re out in the rain 🤣 I have done that more than once! 2y
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Reading About Reading is one of my favorite topics, and so far this collection does not disappoint! Love the essays by Tayari Jones and Renée Watson, and am eagerly awaiting reading Lynn Nottage's always beautiful words. #currentlyreading

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Another #summerfun #bingo read under #genreIavoid this collection of #essays speaks to my own love of literature & how books opened my eyes to the world beyond my small town. #booknlunch

Emilymdxn I loved this book! The booklists at the end of the chapters were so useful. Also that lunch looks gorgeous 2y
Sharpeipup @Emilymdxn Just added the book lists to my tbr pile and the salad was really tasty! 2y
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It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who is one. I'm in for a treat with this book. Looking forward to doing a review once I'm finished with my reading. 😊

megnews This is really good. Get your own and paper ready. I added quite a few mentioned in this book to my TBR. Welcome to Litsy! 3y
Nute Welcome to Litsy! It‘s a warm and friendly community. I know that you will enjoy yourself here. I‘m looking forward to getting to know you!🙂 2y
Biblio-Brie Oh my gosh, thanks everyone! I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's review on this, as well as get to know all you lovely folks! Here's to a beautiful bookish year looking to book reviews, learning more about new book suggestions and learn more this wonderful community of beautiful book nerds! Cheers, everyone! 📚🤓📚 2y
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An interesting read, especially as we explore new #readingchallenges for the year: https://apple.news/AMJSkPPKBRSiH2vwDC4e-rQ #DiverseReads #WeNeedDiverseReads

Cortg This made me go back and look up the authors I read this year, 25/73 were people of color so that's not bad but there's always room for improvement. I do try to read diverse authors and this article is a good reminder of that. 3y
Clare-Dragonfly I have often thought of challenging myself in that or a similar way. Some year I‘ll actually do it. 3y
writerlibrarian I've tried to read mostly women for the past two years. This past year I chose to read diverse voices. I discovered great writers. (edited) 3y
Amandajoy I read about 60% women. I don‘t track authors of color, but I get a lot of my book recommendations from Book Riot, which leads me to think it‘s not too bad. Maybe that‘s a tracking stat I‘ll add for next year. 3y
MrBook Ooh, this is interesting! 3y
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I‘m so behind on my book list (finished this in July) that I can‘t even remember much about it other than I was able to add a bunch of authors/books to my “to read”.

megnews It made my tbr linger as well. 3y
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Listened to this audiobook as I finished this enormous jigsaw puzzle. So many mentions of Toni Morrison have me emotional all over again. Really enjoying the essays from a variety of authors, but I think this book might have been better appreciated in print. Having one single narrator makes the essays blend into each other. #audiobook #audiopuzzling

Tamra Wow, that is a commitment! 3y
Nute May I ask what puzzle is that? 3y
emtobiasz @Nute it‘s a 2000 piece Ravensburger puzzle. World of Books (No. 16 685 5) 3y
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The uk cover is decidedly less pretty than the American cover imo.
A book of essays from black women writers talking about the books that resonate with them and the importance of diversity.
The best part for me was the lists! I love a good list and this has several that has made me add to my tbr like mad. This is going to be a reference book that I will keep coming back to when I‘m looking for what to read next.

SW-T Those lists were dangerous to my TBR pile 💕 3y
BeaG I have this and love it! 3y
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