Wow. What. A. Month! Lemme tell y’all: it has been ridiculous! So much has happened and there were some pretty big events and some pretty major changes, both in the world and in my personal life. The Black Lives Matter movement really shook the world and large scale protests are still happening on the daily—which I personally think is an amazing and beautiful thing because, while it shows that not mucch has changed (yet), it aalso shows that we’re all not willing to just give up, go home, and call it a day, which means there is hope. And in a year that just seems to be a stream of unending bad news, the fact that there is even the most miniscule amount of hope is a precious thing.
Real world aside, let’s talk books. Um. Yeah. I still haven’t read much…But, hey, I did read something (two things, actually!) and that’s better than nothing! And I consumed some other pretty neat non-bookish media too! But the saying does go “show, don’t tell,” not the other way around, so I suppose I should just get to the wrap up already. With that being said, let’s take a look at my past month!
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- Hellooooo there, friends! *looks at you conspiratorially* Do you notice anything…oh, I don’t know…different? *explodes with excitement* Okay, I’ll say it: I redesigned! I just felt like the blog’s look and layout was feeling a little stale and needed a bit of a perk up, so I went for it. I really like the new look and I hope you do too!
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- Lately With Lila | Spring 2020 (March, April, & May 2020)
- We’re Gonna Talk About It #BlackLivesMatter
- Celebrating Our Magic | Folklore Of The African Diaspora That I Want To See Explored In Fiction!
- The Bookish Heavenly Virtue Tag
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- Heartstopper by Alice Oseman I’ve been itching to read this series for what seems like forever and I know it’s available completely online a a free webcomic, but I wanted to be able to add it to Goodreads without guesstimating what volume I was on. Anyway, I managed to secure a digital copy of the first volume from my library’s e-book/audiobook app and aaaaaaaaaaaaaah! It was so freaking cute!!! The main reason I knocked a star off was just because I honestly just wanted a bit more, but I think that, for me, that’s fairly typical when it comes to webcomicsand their related graphic novel bind-ups. But other than that? chef’s kiss perfection! (★★★★☆)
- Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova Y’all. I’m 100% positive I’ve found a new series to obsess over and y’all are SLEEPING ON IT!!! I don’t know what I need to do to get y’all to read Incendiary, but y’all better get on it because I need someone to gush about this book with! I cannot describe how good this book was…I’m completely lost for words! All I can say is that two of my all-time favorite series are coming to a close this year and the universe did not disappoint when it comes to giving me a replacement obsession because Incendiary did not come to play, y’all! breathes in deeply and proceeds to scream READ IT!!! (★★★★★)
- Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty Aaaaaaaaah!!! The finale of The Daevabad Trilogy is finally here!!!! *hyperventilates* I’m so freaking excited to see how my all-time favorite series is gonna wrap up! At the same time, it’s bittersweet because I just don’t want to say goodbye to the world and the characters. Basically I’m a jittery bag of anticipation and trepidation and mixed emotions. One thing’s sure, though: this is sure to be a wild ride that ends with a bang and I am so here for it!
- Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Now, I’m not a fan of horror, but I do love a good ol’ gothic thriller/mystery and Mexican Gothic seems to be a perfect fit in that regard! I’ve heard great things about this book, although somehow I’ve managed to not really get a concrete grasp on exactly what it’s really about, other than that it’s a gothic thriller/horror set in Mexico in the 1950s. Regardless, that alone was enough to sell me on Mexican Gothic and I’m really looking forward to diving into it!
- Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross I enjoyed Rebecca Ross’s The Queen’s Rising duology, which is a quiet, feminist, Irish inspired fantasy, so I’m pretty interested by her newest novel. Apparently Ross is once again taking inspiration from our own world’s history, but this time she’s used ancient Greece as a template for her new fantasy world. And, of course, in typical Rebecca Ross style, Sisters of Song and Sword has a big theme of sisterhood. So, basically, this all sounds like a recipe for success in my book and I can’t wait to get to it!
Many thanks to the Publishing Gods who have granted this mere mortal’s wishes and showered blessings upon her!
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JUNE 2020 FAVORITES
IT’S HERE & IT’S QUEER
I started watching Hulu’s Love, Simon spin-off show, Love, Victor and I instantly fell in love with it! I’ve read (and loved!) Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda but I never got a chance to see the big screen adaptation of the novel, Love, Simon. Nevertheless, I was so excited to hear about the movie spin-off, Love, Victor! The show is about Victor, a teenage Latinx-American boy who’s just moved and is starting school at Creekwood High, where the famous Simon Spier just graduated from. Unfortunately, Victor’s discovery of his own sexuality, as well as his resultant love life isn’t quite going as smoothly as he imagines Simon’s did. So he decides to write Simon, of course! Adorably heartfelt and vulnerable, Love, Victor gets off to a wonderful start and I can’t wait to see where the season goes!
MUSIC TO MY EARS
- “BLACK PARADE” by Beyoncé Yaaaassss!! Queen Bey is right on time and back with another amazing song celebrating Black American heritage!!! I found myself constantly grooving to “BLACK PARADE” and feeling so confident about my beautiful Black self the whole damn time!
- “Savage Remix” by Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé “Savage” was already a certified bop and athen you add Beyoncé to the mix? Mhmm, you doin’ it right! It was also great to see two beautiful, powerful, confident Black women come together to make a confidence anthem!
- “Heatwave – Acoustic” by Mereba ft. 6LACK I absolutely ADORE Mereba and 6LACK and I already loved the original version of “Heatwave,” but this acoustic version is just breathtaking!
- “Song33” by Noname Ah, the song that was one half of the discourse that nearly broke Black Twitter. All I’ma say on that is APPRECIATE 👏🏽 BLACK 👏🏽 WOMEN 👏🏽
I’ve gotten quite into webcomics recently and one of my favorites that I’ve discovered is Les Normaux! It’s kind of a “slice of life” comic about a bunch of (mostly queer) supernatural beings living in an alternate universe Paris. And it’s sooooo good! There’s just something so sweet about seeing these paranormal beings be as adorkably human as we are!
Another webcomic I’ve quickly come to love is Wind Rose! Wind Rose is a romantic fantasy about North (the son of the North Pole and the South Pole) and South (the daughter of the equator). Try and guess what happens in this here “tale as old as time!” wiggles eyebrows No, seriously, though, I’ve just begun to get into this one and it’s ADORABLY SWEET!!!
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THE WORD AROUND THE INTERNET
- Myonna over at the booktube channel myonna reads made a YouTube playlist of Black booktubers
- Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and Rachel of Hello, Chelly celebrated Philippine Independence Day by talking about Filipino films and interviewing Filipino authors
- Alexa reviewed the Filipino film Four Sisters and a Wedding and Interviewed Janella Angeles, author of the upcomingYA fantasy debut, Where Dreams Descend
- Rachel reviewed the Filipino film All of You and interviewed Rin Chupeco, author of the Bone Witch series, the The Never Titling World duology, the Girl from the Well duology, and her latest 2020 release, Wicked As You Wish
- Cait from Paper Fury gave tips on how to continue supporting diverse authors (all the time!)
- Marines, of the booktube channel mynameismarines, perfectly captured my feelings in the section of her wrap up where she talked about her experience with reading and escapism during difficult times (*cough* quarantine *cough*)
- Stephanie at Adventures of a Bibliophile let Buzzfeed quizzes decide her TBR
- Author Kacen Callender talked about J.K. Rowling’s transphobia from the perspective of a trans Harry Potter fan
- Harper’s Bazaar shared an article about the importance of reading Black literature that’s not just about Black pain
- Author L.L. McKinney discussed the role publishing plays in the commodification of Black pain
- Looking for a “hauntingly atmospheric” book? YABookers has you covered!
- June was Pride month—but this year with a touch of Wrath— and to celebrate, Margaret at Weird Zeal recommended 40+ queer books by Black authors
- Definitely take a look at this post boosting Black bookstores, authors, and members of the book community from Chana and Malka over at Paper Procrastinators!
- Are you obsessed with books AND with Animal Crossing:New Horizons? You’ll love Heather’s post where she compared Animal Crossing: New Horizons villagers to books!
- Y’all know I’m a certified audiobook AFICIONADO so I completely ADORED 24hryabookblog‘s piece on how audiooks have helped their reading during quarantine!
- I love Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles books but have loathed both adaptation attempts, so I was super interested in Ellyn from allonsythornraxx‘s take on why the Shadowhunter world doesn’t translate well to screen and why she thinks it should!
- I’ve never read any of Rick Riordan’s books, but even I know about how much the fandom hates the movie adaptations of Percy Jackson. If you’re a member of said fandom, you might find someone to commiserate with in Kay from Hammock of Books‘s post roasting the Percy Jackson movies
- Y’all can stop searching for a light, fun blog post to read now cause Nyx at Drizzle & Hurricane Books already wrote a post analyzing what kind of book titles she’s attracted to Not to be outdone, Marie added to the fun with 10 places in France you should write about (that aren’t Paris)!
- Ever read a book and thought “This is such an important book!”? The Orangutan Librarian mulled over what even is an “important book”?
- Celebrate Pride (or life) in color and pick up a book from May’s recommendation post of 50+ YA books by queer PoC about queer PoC!
- Dust off the ol’ bookshelf with Lisa at Way Too Fantasy as she looks into if older titles are worth exploring!
- I’m a super slow reader, so Krysta at Pages Unbound‘s post considering if speed reading is always better was a great comfort to my tortured reader soul
- Do y’all ever have tropes you find yourself continually falling for? May at Forever And Everly does and she wrote all about her favorite tropes and recommended some books with those tropes in them!
- Books can be life changing! Don’t believe me? Just ask Margot from Margereads—she’s recommended 15 books that changed her life before she turned 20!
- By now most of us have at least heard of (if not watched) the alleged monstrousity that is 365 DNI (aka “365 Days“) but Maha of Sunshine N’ Books has a better activity for us that watching the movie—she’s recommended six books by women of color to read instead of watching 365 DNI!
- Sometimes you head a book that just hits you in the heart and for me this past June that post was one where Liv from Curlyhairbibliophile shared a guest post from Val at The V Word about internalized homophobia, the books Val reads, and her journey to her accepting her queer identity. Much love to Val for sharing 💗
- In a hilarious and unique twist on the regular recommendation post, Belle at Belle Can Read recommended books based on her favorite karaoke songs and it had me shouting for an encore!
- Emma of the booktube channel emmmabooks made a video looking into what research has to say about booktube
- If you’re thinking of getting into book blogging, check out Rachel’s at Confessions of a Book Geek‘s post on five things to remember when staring a book blog
- The question of whether or not book bloggers are paid for our work made waves on Book Twitter in June and 24hryabookblog added their own analysis to the disourse
- Sarah Z made a heartfelt and informative video on J.K. Rowling’s transphobia and whther it ruins the Harry Potter series
- Claire from Clairefy wrote a letter to her White classmates
- Nish and Ngoc of Nish and Ngoc’s Book Nook created a great resource on how to help the #BlackLivesMatter movement if you don’t have money to spare
- Another amazing resource is YABookers‘s list of #BlackLivesMatter petitions and places to donate
- Who said supporting Black folks had to be a somber process? If you’re looking for a simple and fun way to support the Black community, Michelle at A Geek Girl’s Guide‘s post recommending board games by Black designers is perfect for you!
- Are you an aspiring author? Take a look at Sophie at Sophie’s Corner‘s post about five things every aspiring author should know!
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JUNE 2020 MEMORIES
June was a month that felt like an eternity and, sadly, it was also a pretty difficult eternity for me. My family rents our home using Section 8 and, almost 12 years at our current residence, our landlord informed us that, unfortunately, he will be selling the house in six months. There are no hard feelings between us and our landlord, he’s been very good to us and we are aware that selling the house was his last option. He is going to try to sell to someone who wants to rent out the house and is willing to accept our Section 8 voucher and keep us as tenants, but we do need to prepare for that not to be the case. I really appreciate this, as well as that he has asked his real estate agent to search for a few houses being rented out by landlords who are willing to accept Section 8—this is so very kind of him and his real estate agent!
Still, I will admit, it was a bit of a blow. Having been homeless twice, my mom and I both have a lot of trauma and resultant anxiety surrounding moving. Many people in the US are very anti-Section 8 because they have a very stereotypical and bigoted idea of low income individuals and families. I remember when I was 14 and we were homeless, my mom called a landlord and told him she had a Section 8 voucher and he told her he didn’t accept vouchers because people using Section 8 “are all lazy alcoholics and addicts who don’t work and just want to live off the government!” before hanging up on her. And instances of coming into contact with landlords who had the same attitude was very common (never mind the fact that in order to receive Section 8 in the first place and then continue to be approved for it, you absolutely have to be working—even if you’re in school!—and cannot be an alcoholic or addict or have any kind of criminal record). I’m very scared that we won’t be able to find a home with a yard in a decent area that’s close to my college and the city, like our current home is. But we have six months and hopefully within that time we’ll be able to find somewhere that’s a good fit for us…
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So, friends, as you might imagine, things are a little uncertain. Luckily we have about six months to figure it out. And there are plenty of distractions I can dig into at the moment to preoccupy my mind so as not to get too anxious. One of those things being schoolwork and school forms that, admittedly, I still need to fill out (yes, I am that absent minded accidental procrastinator).
There are also plenty of books to read, so that’s a good thing to throw my energy towards as well. Fortunately, I’ve been acquiring audiobooks like the greedy little book gremlin that I truly am, but have I been reading them? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! No. So, I think now’s the time to get around to them (maybe). After all, between COVID-19 still keeping my area pretty shuttered and needing a break from my anxiety, I figure there’s no time like now, right? *gulp*
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SUPPORT BLACK LIVES
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SPILL THE BEANS, FRIENDS!
- How are you doing, friends, and what’s up in your lives?
- What are some of you June favorites?
- Anything coming up that you’re looking forward to?