#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”

Pregnancy During Pandemic

The pandemic was a very odd time to be pregnant. All the ideas I had about community and gathering and connection was very different, but also in a way I didn’t have to share this time with anyone besides just my husband and I. I had a small bubble I could reach out to, I could share what I wanted to share, and read what I wanted to read without that added pressure of what peoples idea of this time is supposed to be. If there are silver linings to this – that would be it.

Here are a few books that spoke to me:

Before

motherhood so whiteMotherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nefertiti Austin

The thing about being a mother is that it’s different for everyone and hearing stories outside my world view was something I sought before I found out I was pregnant. Especially in a country that views parenthood from a white lens. Nefertiti finds her way to motherhood by adopting a Black child and faces the stereotypes of single Black motherhood, of the foster care system, and raising a child in this America. Continue reading “Pregnancy During Pandemic”

America’s forgotten white supremacist coup d’état

The questions we get at the library are a barometer of what is on our collective minds, so it comes as no surprise that this week people have been asking us just what is a ‘coup’? The word ‘coup’ is a French word meaning ‘strike’ or ‘blow,’ and when combined with ‘état,’ or ‘state,’ we get ‘coup d’état,’ which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as ‘a sudden and great change in the government carried out violently or illegally by the ruling power.’

Although we borrowed the term from the Bastille-storming French, America has been involved in many coups d’état, foreign and domestic, from the 1953 coup in Iran, to the botched Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. Coups have been a popular scenario for films, from Seven Days in May and The Manchurian Candidate, to White House Down and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. To peruse factual and fictional coups d’état stretching from the ancient world to the future, check out this list of coup d’état related books and films in our catalog.

Among the most disturbing coups in American history occurred in 1898 in the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina, when an armed coalition of 2,000 white supremacists perpetrated the violent overthrow of the city government, unseating its racially integrated elected officials and replacing them with an all-white administration. At least 60 Black citizens were killed in the horrific coup d’état, just one of many vile and egregious acts of mob violence, lynching, Jim Crow laws and voter suppression efforts that swept the South and much of the North in the wake of Reconstruction, in an effort to disenfranchise Black voters, negate the outcome of the American Civil War and nullify the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Continue reading “America’s forgotten white supremacist coup d’état”

Rest and Retreat

I know solitude seems like the opposite of what you want to do right now, but solitude with a purpose such as rest could be highly beneficial, especially after this difficult year. There are also many forms of rest. Resting the mind for better sleep, retreating to rest and recharge, and finding solitude to create or come to terms our season of winter. 

Here are a few books in our collection that bring that idea of rest to mind:

Nothing Much Happens: Cozy and Calming Stories to Soothe your Mind and Help You Sleep by Kathryn Nicolai

While my insomnia has been more pregnancy related than not, I’ve been finding tools to help slow down my overthinking brain to make it not so miserable: heartburn tea, putting my phone away an hour before bed, and the most important tool, reading a physical book at bedtime. Based on the podcast this collection includes soothing new stories and adorable illustrations to help you sleep. Continue reading “Rest and Retreat”

Netflix and Read: The Queen’s Gambit

Just like with books, shows will also leave me wanting more. While The Queen’s Gambit is based on a book by Walter S. Tevis it’s also pretty darn popular right now, as anyone who has seen the show can probably imagine. So here are a few other diamonds in the rough to get you through…and fingers crossed for season two!

Lea by Pascal Mercier

Lea’s father does everything he can to grow Lea’s brilliance with the violin. Using it as an outlet after the death of her mother, Lea’s talent and fame grows exponentially, but the relationship with her father deteriorates. Told by a third-person narrator this novel delves into the madness of genius. Continue reading “Netflix and Read: The Queen’s Gambit”