Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve done a book update so here are some of my favorite recent reads. You can find more consistent book updates and reviews over on my bookstagram @wilderbookclub.
We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz | 4/5
This book is about two friends who love to travel – Kristen and Emily. But bad things seem to keep happening when they link up abroad. After their last trip ends with another body, Emily and Kristen will learn just how far the other will go to keep the other in check. We each play different roles in relationships and sometimes when the balance is upset, you can’t tell how far one will go to restore it. I enjoyed this quick and easy read! It was a lovely way to spend my evenings.
Clean by David Sheff | 5/5
“Addiction isn’t a criminal problem, but a health problem – a health crisis.”
“I’ve never heard of any disease that responds to censure, blame, or denial of treatment.”
“There’s another essential reason why we must understand that addiction is an illness and not just bad behavior: we punish bad behavior. We treat illness.”
“One symptom of the disease of addiction is relapse. Kicking an addict out of treatment for relapsing is like kicking a cancer patient out of treatment when a tumor metastasizes
“Addiction is the only disease whose patients are refused treatment for showing their symptoms.”
This book takes a look at the social, economical, environmental, psychological and political web of addiction, drugs, treatment and prevention in America. I highly recommend it if you are wanting to understand more about this topic.
Vox by Christina Dalcher | 5/5
This book is about a dystopia present where women are allowed only 100 words per day. The counter on their wrist is strict with an electric shock should they go over.
Soon women can no longer work or study, and girls aren’t taught to read or write. In an America where women are losing their voices, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial not will soon realize just how far she’ll go to reclaim her voice and her daughters.
If you enjoyed The Handmade’s Tail you’ll find this read riveting too!
Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper | 5/5
“Eloquent rage isn’t always loud, but it is always effective.”
“Black women turn to sass when rage is too risky – because we have jobs to keep, families to feed, and bills to pay.”
“My mother was the first to teach me that we don’t have to accept nonsense simply because it is common.”
“The good behavior has its place, it’s the disruptive girls, the loud, rowdy, attitudinal Black girls, and the defiant, quiet, insolent Black girls who expose every day exactly what this system is made of.”
“There is something clarifying about Black women’s rage, something essential about the way it drills down to the core truth. The truth is that Black woman’s anger is not the problem.”
“The lie we were told is that white rage and white fear are honest emotions that preserve the integrity of American democracy. White rage and white fear are reactions to perceptions among white people that their power might be slipping away. Black rage and Black fear are fundamentally more honest, because they are reactions to the violence of white supremacy.”
“The anti-Blackness at the heart of white fear is predicated on misrecognition of the humanity of black people. Whether the misrecognition is willful were unwitting matters less than its harmful outcomes. Impact matters more than intent.”
“To be Black is to grow up in a world where white feelings can become dangerous weapons. If you’re Black, white fear is frequently lethal.”
“Rage is great at helping us to destroy things. That’s why people are so afraid of it. But part of what I’ve been trying to say is that rage can help us build things to. The clarity that comes from rage should also tell us what kind of world we want to see, not just what kind of things we want to get rid of. I’m not interested in a feminist project that only works to tear things down. Black women know that justice is rarely found in the rubble.”
“What you build is infinitely more important than what you tear down.”
Finding Freedom by Erin French | 4/5
“The stories were different in detail, but at the core we were all the same. It didn’t matter if we were cutting, taking pills, drinking until we blacked out, depriving ourselves of food, or puking up our meals – we were looking for ways to deal with her pain.”
“For so long each of us have been quietly trying to mend ourselves, but what we discovered here was that we needed a village to lean on – to listen, to love, and to remind us that we weren’t alone.”
I first heard of Erin French after watching her TV show The Lost Kitchen on the new Magnolia Network. Her approach to cooking and running a restaurant is refreshingly nostalgic and simple which makes it all the more meaningful and impactful.
Erin grew up in a small rural town called Freedom, Maine that she tried to try run from her whole life until it dragged her back in. There she built her life back up and started a restaurant cooking food for her friends.
Her life trajectory is nothing short of inspiring. It reminds me that even late blooming is beautiful.
Unbound by Tarana Burke | 5/5
“I felt powerful. I had set out to reinvent myself, but it turned out that I didn’t have to start from scratch. I just had to dust myself off, because the best parts were already there.”
“When it comes to sexual violence in the black community, the culture of secrecy and silence is more complex than just wanting to protect the predator. The history of false accusations of sexual violence against Black men along with our tumultuous relative with law enforcement is a factor. The pain of watching folks twist themselves out of shape finding new ways to blame like Black girls for their own abuse plays a part.”
“I believe that our legacy of living under the oppressive reach of white supremacy has trained us to take on shame that is not it’s to carry.”
Another 2021 must-read. Tarana Burke is an activist and community leader who founded the ‘me too’ Movement. This memoir shares her story, her resiliency, her vision and her work. It is nothing short of awe inspiring and incredibly powerful.
Beautiful City by Qian Julie Wang | 5/5
“From then on, there was no saving me. I lived and breathed books. Where else could I find such a steady supply of friends, comforts, and worlds, all free for the taking? And so portable, too – everywhere I went, there they were: on the subway, at recess, on the steps just outside Ba Ba’s office. Unlike my teachers and classmates, they were reliable.”
“I am tired. I am so very tired of running and hiding, but I’ve done it for so long, I don’t know how to stop. I don’t know how to do anything else. It’s all I am: defining myself against illegality while stitching it into my veins.”
This is one of the books I picked from @bookofthemonth I’m so glad I did!
This memoir by @qianjuliewang is a powerful read. Qian Julie was born in China and came to America with her parents where they struggled to make a living and lived in extreme poverty. The daily racism and fear of the government isolated her family and Qian Julie found refuge in books.
This book is a 2021 must-read for me. It’s a memoir from a Dreamer, a raw and unsweetened look at immigration, human rights, education, access, freedom, racism, and poverty.