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  • Gabby Womack

April Reading Wrap-Up

Welcome to my April reading wrap-up!

Like many others, I’ve been struggling to stay on top of my old reading goals so I’m just gonna ignore them. This month, I read 8 books (1,481 pages & 350.3 hrs) & all but one of them was written by and about Black, Latine, & Asian folks.

25% History, 25% Poetry, 25% Historical Romantasy, 12.5% Sci-Fi, & 12.5% Historical Fiction.

I read mostly in more than one format at a time.

Here are my reads and some mini reviews:

Falling Back in Love with Being Human by Kai Cheng Thom

Falling Back In Love With Being Human is filled w/ poems devoted to loving oneself & coming to terms w/ those who don’t love you. While I know that this book wasn’t written for me (as a cis-gender woman) I still felt connected to Thom & her words. I recommend this book to trans folks who need support & the families who know they need to do better.

The American Daughters by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

This historical fiction (with a splash of speculative fiction) took me on a ride! Following Ady’s journey from child to young woman in Louisiana was empowering on its own, but Ruffin takes it two steps further; he never forgets to remind us that plantations were slave labor camps and he gives us glimpses of the future Ady’s actions lead to.

¡Mambo, Mucho, Mambo! By Dean Robbins

I checked this book out on Libby after learning about Afro-Puerto Rican illustrator Eric Velásquez. Shout out to the Afro-Latine Affinity Group (RALAG) for putting me on!This is a fun & bright children’s book about the history of mambo & Latin jazz. Velásquez draws vibrant energy into each dancing figure. Find a copy at your local library!

Plantains and Our Becoming: Poems by Melania Luisa Marte

As soon as I saw this book on a list of upcoming releases last year, I wanted it! Up until this point, I was only really aware of one Dominican-American poet serving up our authentic experiences (Elizabeth Acevedo). This book was refreshing in so many ways, but I especially loved how Marte included inspiration from maligned Black & Latina women like Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion.[continues in comments

The World We Make by N.K. Jemisin

N.K. Jemisin is one of my favorite authors for good reason! This follow-up to The City We Became gives us even more analysis of the current political climate in the U.S. & around the globe w/ its direct ties to white supremacy. I had to listen to it on audio since Robin Miles reprised her role as narrator & she did not disappoint!! If trippy sci-fi is your style, you need this.

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford

Schomburg is another book illustrated by Eric Velásquez! Written by award-winning author & critic Carole Boston Weatherford, Schomburg is about Arturo Schomburg, an Afro-Puerto Rican who set out to prove that Black people have rich histories. His collection now lives in NYPL’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. This is an inspiring children’s book but doesn’t shy away from the hardships Schomburg faced.

The Emperor and the Endless Palace by Justinian Huang

Picked this book up for the drama & romantasy vibes, but I stayed for the historical flashbacks & messy MCs. Based on the true story of Emperor Ai of China’s Han Dynasty & his lover Dong Xian, The Emperor and the Endless Palace took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute, I was scolding River in my head & the next, I was smirking at all of the gay palace intrigue! Audiobook is a +


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