Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Oh my goodness. I absolutely adored this book. There are a lot of political and social issues that fit perfectly within the context of Becky Albertalli’s story. Being a gay teenager in the South, being outted as a gay teenager, the dangers of social media, internet relationships, etc. I could go on for a long time about any of these issues, but today I want to focus on the book. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is a young adult novel set in Georgia about a 16-year old named Simon who has been put in a precarious situation. Emails between Simon and a mysterious male student know as “Blue” fall into the hands of his classmate who uses the emails to get Simon to help him with his love life.¬†Continue reading “Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda”

Racism has no context.

Pretty recently I “rediscovered” Lupe Fiasco. By rediscovered, I mean he came up on shuffle while I was listening to my iPod. He’s a rapper that is pretty well known for the political undertones in his lyrics. The title of this post comes from his song “All Black Everything” which is a narrative about what the US might look like if slavery had never existed. As a black woman, I cannot remove my race from the experiences that I have in life; so I think that the song is pretty fun to think about. Unfortunately, racism has a lot of context in our world today, unlike the imaginary world Lupe Fiasco creates in his song.

I should preference by this post by saying that I am not the most well read on black politics or black thought in general. There are some great bloggers out there that devote all of their time to issues of racism and race relations in the US. (I will also create a page on this blog that links to some of these bloggers.) However, I think that talking about racism and thinking about racism are valuable uses of one’s times. I recently read (and tweeted about) Ta-Nehisi Coates’s book Between the World and Me. It’s critically acclaimed and has been a hot topic in both my worlds – higher education and the book community.

Continue reading “Racism has no context.”

The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars

It’s the busy season for professionals who work at universities and colleges. Right before all the students come back after their winter recess, there’s this little tradition called RA Training where Resident Assistants receive training¬†for a small amount of time on how to work with college aged students. This week is a fun and exciting time, but it’s also exhausting. When I came home from training this week, all I’ve wanted to do was read something mindless and zone out. In attempts to get back into the swing of things, I thought I’d write about a book I read a month ago, but has still stuck with me.

I read I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson sometime in December. It had been on my TBR (“To Be Read [List]”) for a couple of months, and interlibrary loan had finally placed it in my hands. Before I add a book to my TBR, I usually read the description and a couple of reviews. It definitely helps if the cover is pretty. This book had good reviews, an interesting story, and a very pretty cover. It also has another of my personal favorites, a story told through multiple points of view.

Continue reading “The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars”

On Entitlement

I am a woman. I am a person of color. I am black. These are only 3 aspects of my identity, but they are the most visible. If I am walking down the street, these are descriptors that someone might use to define me. Entertainment is often dictated by what we, as consumers, can see. This is true for visual media, but it’s also relevant to print entertainment. In recent years, there have been numerous movements to help make entertainment more diverse. Whether that be more people of color, more women in leading roles, or exploration outside of the gender binary.

As someone who society can (and has) classified as “other”, it’s great to see these conversation being started by both people in the mainstream and those who feel their voice isn’t being represented. I enjoy reading books and articles that are penned by or about people who I can relate to with some part of my identity. And it’s even more exciting to read about experiences that are completely new to me. If there’s some humor involved in either, it definitely can’t hurt.  I’ve been a huge fan of Mindy Kaling for several years for the way that she tackles some of these topics of identity, both as a writer and as an individual. She’s funny. She calls things as she sees them. AND she’s unapologetic (most of the time). One of my favorite quotes of hers is from her answer to “Where do you get your confidence?” Her response? Continue reading “On Entitlement”

New Year, New You

It’s a new year, 2016. This decade is almost over, and I still can’t tell you the difference between things published pre-2010 and post-2010. It’s all modern to me. That being said, the new year is often a time where people make resolutions, promise to work on themselves, and begin life full of hope. For me, the new year just reminds me of that one Death Cab for Cutie song I really like. (It’s entitled “The New Year” if you were wondering.) But I’m not that cynical. I have a couple of goals that I’d like to accomplish this year as well.

One of them is to average reading 3 books a week, which equals out to 156 books in 2016. If you’d like to follow along with my Goodreads account and what I read during 2016, you can feel free to click here. Another one of my major goals for this year is to consistently blog. When I got the idea for this blog, I knew that it’d require reading a lot of books, a lot of news, and doing a lot of research. At the end of 2015 I did a ton of research, but didn’t write down anything constructive. This year, expect lots of updates – including some video!

But starting anew reminds me of a book I recently read entitled Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg. This novel was long listed for the 2015 National Book Award, and it was well deserved.

Continue reading “New Year, New You”