#BookBingoNW2021 Black Joy

A short list of good reads that can be applied to the Black Joy 2021 Book Bingo square. These are funny, romantic stories that follow Black characters whose best lives find them.

Girl Gurl Grrrl: On womanhood and belonging in the age of Black girl magic by Kenya Hunt, deputy editor of the fashion magazine Grazia UK, is an anthology of essays about her life and career, sharing the joys and trials of being a Black American in the UK. 

28-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate in Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers, having just completed her PhD in astronomy. A straight-A high achiever, she is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman she doesn’t know, until she does exactly that… Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2021 Black Joy”

#BookBingoNW2021 Beach Read

Fellow readers, let’s talk beach reads. Don’t be put off by the name – these can be read at the beach, sure, but also by a lake; in a park or on your lawn; on your couch – anywhere you’re taking some time for yourself. And any book can be a beach read*, so long as it is something you find gripping. To get started, here are suggestions for books across genres that grab you and don’t let go until you’ve turned the last page.

Looking to be kept on the edge of your seat? (or beach towel?) Go behind enemy lines with WWII spy Nancy Wake as she trains the French Resistance in Ariel Lawhon’s Code Name Hélène. Or enjoy a tale of revenge and ego as a film shoot in the Caribbean goes awry in The Siren by Katherine St. John. The dark side of office politics are on display in The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris, as editorial assistant Nella realizes the new girl isn’t what she seems. And when her husband disappears, newlywed Hannah and her stepdaughter Bailey race against time to figure out his true identity in The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave.

Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2021 Beach Read”

Clarion West’s Beyond Afrofuturism series: Black Editors and Publishers in Speculative Fiction

Are you interested in Speculative Fiction? Are you a writer? Are you interested in learning more about Black editors and publishers in the speculative fiction field?

We are pleased to be co-sponsoring this upcoming online event series with the Clarion West Writers Workshop and don’t want you to miss it!

The first event, Ancestors and Anthologies: New Worlds in Chorus, will be on Monday, April 12th at 6:30 pm PST. Moderated by award-winning author, editor, and Clarion West alum Nisi Shawl (New Suns, Everfair, Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany), this panel will feature a discussion with Linda D. Addison (Sycorax’s Daughters), Maurice Broaddus (POC Destroy Horror & Dark Faith), and Clarion West alum Sheree Renée Thomas (Dark Matter & Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine). Continue reading “Clarion West’s Beyond Afrofuturism series: Black Editors and Publishers in Speculative Fiction”

Make It Long

Last week I suggested that reading shorter works could kickstart a reading habit stalled due to short attention span. But maybe you’re a reader who wants a loooooong read. Short novellas have fast pay off, but the reader does have to do the work of getting into the world created by the author. A long book lets you do that feat of imagination once and then reap the benefits for hundreds of pages. If you want to get lost in a long story, here are a few doorstops to immerse yourself in.

Vagabonds by Jingfang Hao – 100 years after Mars gains its independence from Earth, they send a group of Martian students to Earth, essentially as exchange students. Five years later those students return to Mars, and grapple with dissatisfaction over their return and questions as to why they were sent. Continue reading “Make It Long”

Keep It Short

How are our attention spans these days? I had a project to keep me reading last year, but in 2021 I have lost my reading focus. To try to get back in the groove I’ve been turning to novellas, short works that tell a complete story in less than 200 pages. I’m hoping the momentum of finishing a few of those will launch me back into regular reading – maybe it will for you, too.

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo – In this fable-like story, young novice Chih and their bird companion are the first inside a remote compound following the death of the Empress of Salt and Fortune. With the aid of an old woman named Rabbit, Chih sifts through the items left behind and discovers the true story of the Empress. Continue reading “Keep It Short”