While this summer has been difficult for so many obvious reasons, it has also been a summer of major learning for me. Learning about myself, about the world and other people. Because I work so far from my family in California, this past five months has included me traveling back and forth between my apartment in Las Vegas and my family’s home in California to keep from getting intensely lonely, so basically quarantining in two places. I’m very grateful that I’m even able to do this while staying safe and employed. My library books (and Animal Crossing) have been accompanying me and helping me get through it all. It’s always the little things that help us to get through the tough parts, and this is one big tough part for all of us. So here are a few little things that have been keeping me busy for now.
What I Read
After an unproductive week of June, I finally got back into the swing of reading! Here are some mini reviews of what I read this week…because I’m feeling too lazy for attempted eloquence!
This series has a lot going on and I. Can’t. Stop. Reading. It’s pretty obvious that it was written in 2007-2010 because there are a several plot points that would definitely be called out had they been written today, most notably the relationship between a person of power and a minor. Ugh. I still love a
guilty pleasure vampire read that doesn’t require too much thought every now and then and this fits the bill.
I wrote my first lengthy review on this book because I really identified with the characters. Honestly, it was probably not really a review more than a comparison of experiences between myself and the main character. It had its flaws, but I enjoyed it in the end.
This short story collection was nothing short of magnificent. Every single story had such creative premises that absolutely hit me over the head with their literary power. Most of them were very short and focused on life in Nigeria and the lives of Nigerian expats living in the US. The mix of genres was also executed very well and kept me excited to keep reading. For some reason, books set in Nigeria always end up being my favorite reads and I am looking forward to reading many more in the future. This one is going straight to my list of books that I want to purchase for my own bookshelf.
Gender Queer is a graphic memoir all about Maia Kobabe’s (e/ei/eim pronouns) journey to discovering eir sexuality and gender. I really identified with some of Maia’s viewpoints and appreciated the concept ei discuss of gender being a journey. I’m on the search for more books by nonbinary people, so please let me know if you have any recommendations!
My friend recommended it as a buddy read and I’m so glad she did. It includes accounts of the lives of individuals (many of whom are already from disenfrachised groups) who were or continue to be incarcerated in women’s prisons in the United States. It’s so extremely hard-hitting that it’s difficult to get through more than a few stories a day without feeling so utterly deflated and angry at a system that has caused such horrific experiences to continue to occur. It poses so many questions about a system that is already set up against POC from low income backgrounds. I won’t be forgetting these stories any time soon. This one is very difficult to read, so please be aware that most trigger warnings that exist are in this book.
What I Watched
When I was a kid, Walter Mercado was a face that periodically popped on the Spanish channel that was eternally blaring at my grandparents house. Swathed in velvet and celestial light, he provided valuable queer representation in a community that is not typically so openly accepting of LGBTQ+ individuals. For those unfamiliar with Walter Mercado, he was a Puerto Rican television personality best known for his unique and always positive astrology shows. As a fabulously androgynous human beaming with love and light, he broke all of the boundaries set before him and became one of the most famous astrologists on the planet. I loved this documentary because it truly captured why he was so loved and the trials that he experienced in his life that made him who he was. I maaaay have cried throughout it and would highly recommend watching it if you want to have a little burst of renewed *faith in humanity* (especially right now).
Song of the Week
I stumbled upon this song when I was searching for new-to-me music and it’s been on repeat since then. Just a smooth tune to chill out to.
How has your week been and what are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!