Book Review | The Conjoined, by Jen Sookfong Lee

While cleaning out her late mother’s deep freezer days after her death, Jessica and her father find a dead body frozen at the bottom. They call the police, who then find a second body upon further inspection. The Conjoined is a fantastic emotionally-wrought crime drama that will get you thinking about everyone around you. Read my review!

6 Times nayyirah waheed Embodied ‘Black Lives Matter’ in Poetry

If you haven’t already fallen in love with nayyirah waheed, now’s the time to do so. Her poetry, popularized through social media, is oftentimes short and powerful– some lines reading more like one brief self affirmations. Like Warsan Shire, she manages to talk about a long list of societal and internal struggles. Her 2013 latest book, salt., is an insightful exploration of identity that will resonate with those who have been following the troubling events of last week and beyond.

Book Review | Under the Udala Trees, by Chinelo Okparanta

Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta | 336 pages | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Goodreads | Amazon In her striking novel Under the Udala Trees, Chinelo Okparanta details the development of a young lesbian in 1960’s Nigeria. Ijeoma is a young girl when she begins to understand her sexuality, falling in love with a close friend. She’s barely older when she and Amina are caught embracing, after which she is sent to complete intensive bible study with her mother. “Nwoke na nwunye. Adam na Eve. Man and wife,” her mother repeats in their daily sessions. Ijeoma’s feelings remain unchanged, instead forcing…

Book Review | Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor

It’s only 94 pages, but Binti is the perfect size to read in an afternoon. The plot starts quickly, with Binti deciding to leave home against her family’s wishes. She’s special in more ways than one, which has earned her a scholarship to university. Deciding to attend makes her the first of her kind to do so. With that context given in the first several pages, readers know that Binti is special. It’s during an awful massacre that she comes into her full potential.

What am I reading next?

There hasn’t been a Top Ten Tuesday on Brown Books and Green Tea for a while! I figured I’d take the opportunity to let everyone know what’s coming up.

Modern Romance: Exhibit A in why I hope I’m never single again

The title of this review is exactly how I felt about this book as a whole– dear God, I hope my current relationship is forever. Mainly because I need his wages to cover the cable bill, but also because I’m not sure I’d fit in today’s text-heavy dating scene. A primer on contemporary dating trends, Modern Romance is filled to the brim with actual data. Popular dating site Match allowed their research team (headed by co-author Eric Klinenberg of New York University) access to their data, providing a trove of information to bolster their online dating theories. Additionally, there were multigenerational…

Book Review |A House for Happy Mothers, by Amulya Malladi

  I love reading novels where circumstances lump together people from entirely different backgrounds. Pardon the shoddy analogy, but it’s almost like putting together random fruits and seeing if they work as a smoothie (relevant: I’m hungry). That’s what readers get in A House for Happy Mothers, by Amulya Malladi. After multiple heartbreaking miscarriages, Priya and Madhu decide it’s time to try something different. A relatively well-off couple, they decide to find a surrogate mother in India. Not only will this be a less expensive solution after their failed in-vitro fertilization, but they’ll be able to have an Indian woman carry their Indian child,…

Book Review | In the Country We Love, by Diane Guerrero

As a child, actress Diane Guerrero knew she wanted to be on stage. She would dress up to sing in their apartment, choosing between Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston ballads. Diane ran home from school after practicing her latest solo to find an empty house: rice on the stove, plantains half-sliced, and the newspaper on the table. Fourteen-year-old Diane knew something was wrong, and hid under the bed.

Understanding Oppression through Literature: Part 1

In undergrad, I was blessed to attend a college with courses such as Philosophy of Sex and Domination, Native American Philosophy, Refugee Issues,African Diaspora and the World, and The Sociological Imagination. These courses, and readings that accompanied them, were vital in shaping my understanding of oppression and the limitless forms it takes around the world. Here are some of the picks that have stuck with me in the years that have followed. Feel free to add some other ones in the comments. This won’t be the only list like this because I have recommendations for days. Keep an eye out, because I’ll be…

Book Review | The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

 I clearly haven’t read enough by Colson Whitehead. Several books into what promises to be a rather prolific career in fiction, Whitehead finally came into my crosshairs with his latest book, The Underground Railroad. If you follow me on twitter, you’ll probably know that I actually finished this book on Friday, but it’s taken a solid two days to fully gather my thoughts on the book. Right now, slave narratives and historical fiction are coming from all ends of the media, from Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation to Underground, they’re everywhere, filing in a gap that was previously unexplored….