Mid-Year Check In 2020

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We’re in the middle of the year Quaran-2020, so I thought I would talk a bit about my reading progress so far. In January, I’d pledged to read 50 books, and I’m glad to report I’ve surpassed it by reading 86 books (by the time I’ve drafted this post). I’ll share my stats at the end of the year, but I wanted to do the “Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag” (I can’t seem to find who the original creator of the tag is, so I’ll just link to paperfury’s 2017 blog post?) as well as shout-out some of my favorites of the year so far. 

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If You Liked This Album, You Might Enjoy This Poetry Book

One of my favorite genres of posts are the “If You Liked X Thing, You Might Enjoy Y Thing” type posts. As someone who very much enjoys very niche interests, I thought why not mix something that’s enjoyed by everyone (music) and something enjoyed by, well, me (poetry). Even as I write this, I’m listening to Chloe X Halle’s newest album UNGODLY HOUR, which is a full jam and a half. When I read, I can’t help but think of songs that would fit into the world of the book and I make endless playlists for the books I read.

That’s why when the idea of pairing albums I enjoy with poetry books it just made sense. Songs are poems with rhythm and melody, and poems can so easily be songs. So I gathered seven albums and paired them with poetry, like a good sommelier. The last two books are novels written in verse (because I’m allowed to cheat at my own game), and I highly recommend listening the audiobooks if you have that access. All book links go to The Lit Bar’s Bookshop.org website, where you can support an Afro-Latinx-owned bookstore and get these incredible texts in the process. Hope you enjoy this! Continue reading “If You Liked This Album, You Might Enjoy This Poetry Book”

The #ReadLatinx Summer of Quarantwentytwenty List

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[banner description: light pink background with pastel pink polka dots, in the center “The #ReadLatinx Summer of Quaran twenty twenty List” and underneath #ReadQuarantwentytwenty. Nine books surround the text, four on the top and five on the bottom. /end description]
It’s the summer of Quarantwentytwenty. Plenty of us have been sheltering in place since the spring, and now summer is arriving full of hot weather and the threat of hurricanes (at least for me). The last list posted was in simpler time for us, before everyone was social distancing, workers furloughed, and overall effects of a global pandemic. 

I thought about following the naming convention of the past lists, with Fast and Furious-inspired titles. However, I think #RL9 will be saved for the Fall list. This is the #ReadQuarantwentytwenty list. 

Some of the book releases in that list ended up being postponed by publishers, therefore this list is a mix of both books I already talked about and new ones that deserve the spotlight. Other books that were supposed to be published during the summer have been moved to the fall, such as CEMETERY BOYS (don’t @ me telling me I forgot about it). 

In total, there are almost 90 books (86 to be exact) on this list, which consists of books written and/or illustrated by Latinx that are being released between June 1st and August 31st, 2020. As always, it will be divided by age category (Picture Books, MG, YA, Adult) as well as genre (fiction, non-fiction, poetry). There are also subgenres such as SFF, Contemporary, etc. Each book has a link to its Goodreads page, the names of the author, illustrator, editor, or contributors, the release date, and a short description of the book in my own words. The only sections without handmade descriptions are the poetry and non-fiction ones, as they’re hard to describe, so I used descriptions from the jacket copy. Each part is sorted by release date.

Disclaimer: This compilation is by no means exhaustive or comprehensive; it only contains titles I’ve been able to find through extensive research. If you know of a book I didn’t list, or have a correction to make, don’t hesitate to let me know! I also add books at my own discretion, as I have no intention of boosting sexual harassers, racists, homophobes or transphobes, but if you noticed I slipped and added a book by someone who’s been accused of harassment of any kind, let me know so I can take them out of the list. This list is in no way an endorsement of the contents of each book, as I don’t have the knowledge of what is in each and every book. All (or, at least almost all) links lead to indiebound.org as I am an Indiebound affiliate.

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Bookish Latinx Hablan

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[id: banner that reads Bookish Latinx Hablan in the center, Latinx Book Content creators share fave books as a subtitle and @boricuareads underneath. background is orange and there are illustrations of book stacks in blue yellow and red are on each side of the title/end id]
Hello, I hope you’re all taking care of yourselves and each other. Connecting with people these days can be rough, but we’re thankful to technology being as advanced as it is these days to be able to stay in touch with those we love. As a way to send positive vibes and to unite under one front, earlier this year, I’d contacted some Latinx bookish content creators (book bloggers, bookstagrammers, booktubers) to share the books they most wished everyone would read. Since we’re kind of all either self-isolating or social distancing, a lot of people are turning to books as a means to cope with the external pressures that come as side-effects of a global pandemic. I thought it would make sense to publish this now so you don’t feel alone, and maybe help guide your reading experience during these times. (All book covers are affiliate links to Indiebound, as we should do our best to support local indie bookstores and creatives; the titles after each bookish content creator’s info link to Goodreads.)

The Hall of Famers (or, books that multiple people said they loved)

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We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
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Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
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With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

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Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
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Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
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The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Stand-Alone Hall of Famers (or, everyone had a different book they want people to read)

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Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
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When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
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This is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar
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Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
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The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante
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My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma
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A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
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Loose Woman: Poems by Sandra Cisneros
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White Whiskey Bargain by Jodie Slaughter
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What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi
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The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
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Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
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Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 1 by Kamome Shirahama
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Want by Cindy Pon

Make sure you follow all these bookish folks and their amazing efforts to talk about books by diverse creators! Maybe you could make this into a reading challenge/readathon???

Let me know your thoughts!

A Phoenix First Must Burn: a review

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Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

With stories by: Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Patrice Caldwell, Dhonielle Clayton, J. Marcelle Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Danny Lore, L. L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, and Ibi Zoboi.

Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.

Continue reading “A Phoenix First Must Burn: a review”