January Round Up

As I try to tackle the feat of 100 books in 2020, I thought it might be interesting to try and do a monthly “round up” of the books I’ve read and then any additional insights I might have regarding this world of books that I am whole-heartedly diving into.

So this past January I got nine books finished and I have discovered two things, well a lot more than that, but we are going to narrow it down to these two for the month:

  1. There is an explosion of Arab/Middle Eastern women writing in Young Adult Fiction and it is FANTASTIC!
  2. I knew I had been missing out on Afrofuturism writing, but I had no idea how much and I am super into diving deeper into that strain of writing both for YA and adults.

You all know I try very hard to be sure to read from a myriad of lenses and experiences and I have to say it is perhaps one of my most favorite things about my reading.  I am constantly surprised and stretched in regards to my understanding, world perspectives and I usually fall in love with new characters and stories along the way.

This month was exceptional as I was introduced to Nnedi Okorafor’s character Binti for the first time.  The Free Black Women’s Library shared an article on Hulu requisitioning a pilot based on Binti and as I read through the comments I was utterly floored by the love for this character. So of course I went ahead and ordered the book. When it arrived I was surprised to find it is a wonderful novella (nice surprise for this 100 book challenge) and after reading it in a single day, I of course bought the rest of the trilogy and look forward to finishing those in February.

I also enjoyed an array of Arab/Middle Eastern women writers from a variety of stances.  Two YA novels, We Hunt the Flame and Amira’s Voice, were from different ends of the fiction spectrum, one a fantasy and the other the story of a young muslim woman in America finding her voice.  The third was an adult novel entitled The Sweetness of Tears. It took me a bit to understand and appreciate the writing style here, but it was an utterly fantastic read and story.

It was a good month of reading and below is the entire list of books with a link to my reviews on Goodreads if you are interested.

Happy reading everyone!

January Full Round Up
Holy Hannah
The Martian
The Sweetness of Tears (see above)
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking
Dear Church: A Love Letter To the Whitest Denomination in the US
We Hunt the Flame (see above)
Amina’s Voice (see above)
Binti (see above)
Trail of Lightning

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