Sunday, June 21, 2020


Another day/week/month and/or however it is we keep track of time these days. Two of these I highly, highly recommend, and y'all will be ever to figure out which ones those are. The other two were honestly just okay, and y'all will be able to figure that piece out, too. But mostly what you need to know is there are two books *coughSLAYandWhiteFragilitycough*  you should read. Okay, thanks, read on!

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo does a fantastic job of exploring how white people learn about race - or don't. It does a great job of explaining why so much of what we learned about racism was wrong and incorrectly framed, and it then starts the process (because you don't just read any book and know it all) of re-teaching what systemic racism actually is. I found the author gave voice and explanation of so many important concepts in such a needed way. While she is a researcher, this was also written in a way that made it very easy to digest and process. This is one I plan to continue to revisit, and for white people looking to (re)educate themselves and take action doing anti-racism work, this is one to add to your list - And you definitely should have a list y'all, not just a solitary read! 

Before She Was Helen is an upcoming release from Caroline Cooney (author of The Girl on the Milk Carton series btw). Clemmie lives in a retirement community. When she hasn't heard from a neighbor in awhile, she goes to check in. He's not home, but she finds this amazing piece of glass art that she shares a picture of with a family member. Doing that sets off a chain of events that she is just not ready for. Clemmie has a past that she's spent a lifetime trying to get away from, and the increased focus on her with this art and missing person is just not what she wants. The story then alternates between what Clemmie has been hiding all these years, as well as what the heck is going on now. This one had a lot of twists and turns, and with those there is some pain. I would give a content warning that part of plot involves sexual assault and stalking. You likely wouldn't know that from the description, and I think it is important to know that going in to make an informed decision on reading. I'll also say that I chose this read I thought it was going to have those "cozy mystery" vibes, but in reality, it had some intense happenings and characters navigating their impacts. The twists did keep me guessing which is what I always dig when reading this genre. Thanks to NetGalley for the early look in exchange for this honest review.

Fathers and Daughters and Sports was an essay collection from ESPN. I heard about it ages ago, and I happened upon it at a book sale awhile back. Anyway. This was a collection of fathers writing about their daughters, daughters writing about their fathers, and sportswriters writing about fathers and daughters. I really liked the first two types of essays, and I wish there was more of that. I liked when there was this authentic and real connection to the story being told. What I didn't so much like was the third person perspective as it didn't have that emotion the other two types of essays did. There was also a really long essay in the middle from that third person perspective, and I found myself again wishing that would have instead have been those personal connections. My overall thought is that I liked some of these, and others not so much as often happens when collections like thse. If this was a thing again (as this book is a decade old) I think I'd only check it out if there were way more fathers reflecting on their daughters and daughters writing about their fathers.

Slay by Brittney Morris was outstanding, and I cannot tell everyone in life enough how much they need to read this book. Y'all, as soon as you finish reading this review, I need you to purchase this book and/or put it hold at your local library. The story focuses on a black team gamer named Kiera. Kiera has created the online game Slay to bring together black gamers across the world. Here's the thing though - No one knows Kiera is the creator. When a teenager in Kansas City is murdered due to the game, the online community and outside world collide. There is a wave of misunderstanding and straight up wrong analysis about what Kiera's game is and trying to do. Kiera is unsure of what action she should take as her game comes under fire and the online community is infiltrated and threatened. Y'all, this was an amazing story. For one, I loved the pieces that explained the game Kiera had built as there was such intentionality in what she and others had built. For two, I loved how it showed how Kiera was navigating not just online life, but real life with regard to her identities. There was power in this component of her story. For three, Kiera was an incredible heroine and just generally awesome as a main character. She was strong, but also still figuring life out as teens do. I cannot tell you enough how much this one captivated me. At one point, I was so invested and worried about what was going to happen next that I had to look ahead to calm my fears. This was a beautiful exploration of community and friendship and family and relationships and self-discovery and literally all the things. This is a book I cannot recommend enough to people as I love, LOVE, LOVED the opportunity to see the world that the author built. READ. THIS. BOOK. NOW. PLEASE.

Onto the next ones!

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Book Reviews - Women's Friendships, Wresting, True Crime, and Other Random Topics I Read On

Okay, y'all, I'm back with another quartet. I'm not going to pretend I read on a theme. I will tell you that this was an especially strong quartet when it comes to books that captivated me. They were ones I found myself reading quickly because I needed to know what happened, and I was so drawn in my the humans involved. This is another round where one or more of these should speak to a variety of people.

One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak was just the quintessential "beach read." I feel like Brenda Novak is one of those authors I always see with books in this genre, but have never read. When the opportunity came from Mira Books via NetGalley to read, I decided to take the time to finally check her out. And y'all, I'm so glad I did. This is the story of three adult half-sisters, but here's the thing - They are just now finding out the others exist. After taking a genetic test, they are connected with one another. They decide to spend some time together at Serenity's (one of the sisters) family cabin. Reagan, Lorelei and Serenity head to the cabin to build their relationship. In addition to the emotion of finding new family, they are each navigating something pretty big in their personal and/or professional life. The story then alternates between each of their stories as they get to know one another, but also explore what they want for themselves. I loved that this was a book that had three women as main characters and really, really developed their stories. I loved the depth they were each given, and the complexities of what was shared. I found I became invested in all three of their stories, and I needed to know how it ended up for them. While it was heavy at times given the situations, I also found this was a light read. It was something I could sit outside with and get lost in, and I really needed that. 

The Holdout by Graham Moore was a book I could not put down. It was the first book I got when my library reopened, and I then proceeded to read it over the course of a day. The story focuses on a high profile case and its jury. Ten years ago, high school teacher Bobby Nock was found not guilty of the murder of his student Jessica Silver. A primary reason for this acquittal was juror Maya Seale. Maya believed in Bobby's innocence and persuaded her other jurors to acquit him of this crime. Ten years later, the jury has been brought together for a reunion. Then, one of the jurors is murdered, and Maya is the primary suspect. From there, the story just goes. I don't want to give too many details because the excitement of the ride is seeing what develops. The story goes between the present with what has happened to Maya and the past with the story of each juror. As you can imagine, there are some secrets and lies in the mix, and those come into play as Maya works to prove that she is not responsible for the murder. These kind of books are generally my jam, and I'm a big fan of the writing of Graham Moore (see The Last Days of Night), so this was definitely something I dug. I loved how fast-paced it was, all the twists and turns, and then that there were even more twists and turns. As I often say, I regularly just need a good thriller in my life, and this was it.

Drawing Down the Moon by Shawn Keller Cooper was a book I found my way to as it was the selection for my online book club, and y'all, I'm so, so glad I did. This was such a wonderful story about women - how they grieve, how they connect, and how they learn to move forward. The story focuses on Jade who has retreated to James Island after suffering a third miscarriage and struggling in her marriage. She retreats to this place because she is struggling, and she attempts suicide. Her attempt is not successful, and she she finds connection with a woman named Agnes. Agnes starts to explore her emotional journey and reality, and this is some tough stuff. Additionally, 20 years earlier, Jade and two sorority sisters had agreed to a reunion. This is the time that is supposed to happen. These two women show up with their own stories and struggles. Additionally, there are longstanding wounds from previous situations that the women have never resolved. Y'all, this is a beautiful story centering women. For one, it talks about struggles of women, including infertility, that aren't always put into stories. It also talks about women's friendship and all those evolve, how they connect, and how they can vary across the lifespan. This was a book that was authentic and raw and so honest. I absolutely loved the way in which emotion was explored and explained through these women. 

The Eighth Wonder of the World: The True Story of Andre the Giant by Bertrand Hebert and Pat Laprage was one of the most comprehensive biographies I've ever read. The lengths these authors went to research and tell Andre's story was incredible. What I especially appreciated was that they even looked at previous media to check its accuracy. Often we just accept what has been written as truth, and surprise, that doesn't always work. This also looks at Andre as not just a wrestler, but also as a human. I liked that they took the time to not just do a retrospective on his career, but to help explain who he was a person, including his relationships, his health struggles, and what he wanted to do beyond just being in the ring. I will say this has a lot of information, and it's a lot to digest. Again, that's not a bad thing, but I when I say comprehensive, I mean comprehensive y'all. Thanks to ECW Press for the early look at this. I'm a bit behind in reading, but the advantage for y'all is that I can tell you this is out now, and for pro wrestling fans (and other people, too), it's worth checking out! Thanks to ECW Press for giving me early access to this book that's available now!

Onto the next ones!

Blog Tour - Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle

You know what I never get tired of? BLOG TOUR TUESDAY! I'm excited to be hosting yet another stop, and I'm also excited I'm hosting this on an actual Tuesday! Great stuff all around. Of course, the most exciting part of all is the book! 

As a reminder that no one needs, I love thrillers. Love, love, LOVE them.

Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle was the kind of page-turning thriller that I love finding my way to and becoming immersed in all the twists along the way. Predictably, this one begins with a literal stranger in the lake. Charlotte is living a bit of a dream. After a rough childhood, she has found love with Paul, a wealthy widower. She is newly pregnant and excited for what the future holds. One morning while walking down to the lake she founds a woman's body. She is particularly rattled as this is a woman she had seen her husband talking to the night before. This is particularly jarring given Paul's first wife also died by drowning in the same lake. As one might, Charlotte wonders if there is a connection.

An investigation begins, and Charlotte's suspicions don't quit. She wants to believe the man she loved is innocent, but she just doesn't know. In addition to the investigation in the present, there are some threads into the past. Two of the other main characters are Paul's best friends from high school - Micah, who is a police officer, and Jax, who is known for being a bit of an unstable loner. Interspersed with the narrative of figuring out who this stranger is, there is flashbacks to Micah, Paul and Jax's relationship in their high school days. I really liked that these flashbacks were brief as it built suspicion. It wasn't immediately clear why these were involved, but y'all, when that was revealed, it was a solid twist.

Overall, this was just a really good thriller. I always love something where I know all isn't what it seems, but I can't quite put my finger on what that something is. It makes those twists (and in this one, there are many!) so much better. This was an intense read y'all. I'll name that right now that might not be everyone's jam, but if you're looking for a read that's going to keep you guessing as you figure out where the lies are, who is involved, and even who isn't, this is going to be the one for you. Best of all, while I ride in advance, you can read this now as it was released today!


In addition to taking my word for it (because I am a self-proclaimed thriller expert, here is an excerpt from the book to further draw you in!

The town of Lake Crosby isn’t much, just three square blocks and some change, but it’s the only town in the southern Appalachians perched at the edge of the water, which makes it a popular tourist spot. Paul’s office is at the far end of the first block, tucked between a fudge shop and Stuart’s Craft Cocktails, which, as far as I can tell, is just another way to say “pretentious bar.” Most of the businesses here are pretentious, farm-to-table restaurants and specialty boutiques selling all things overpriced and unnecessary.

For people like Paul, town is a place to socialize and make money—in his case, by selling custom house designs for the million-dollar lots that sit high on the hills or line the lakeshores. My old friends serve his drinks and wait his tables—but only the lucky ones. There are ten times more locals than there are jobs.

The covered terrace for the cocktail lounge is quiet, a result of the off-season and the incoming weather, the sign on the door still flipped to Closed. I’m passing the empty hostess stand when I notice movement at the very back, a tattered shadow peeling away from the wall. Jax—the town loon, the crazy old man who lives in the woods. Most people turn away from him, either out of pity or fear, but not me. For some reason I can’t put into words, I’ve never been afraid to look him straight on.

He takes a couple of halting steps, like he doesn’t want to be seen—and he probably doesn’t. Jax is like a deer you come up on in a meadow, one blink and he’s gone. But this time he doesn’t run.

His gaze flicks around, searching the street behind me. “Where’s Paul.” A statement, not a question.

Slowly, so not to spook him, I point to the sleek double doors on the next building, golden light spilling out the windows of Keller Architecture. “Did you check inside?”
Jax shakes his head. “I need to talk to him. It’s important.”

Like every time he emerges from out of the woods, curiosity bubbles in my chest. Once upon a time, Jax had everything going for him. High school prom king and star quarterback, the golden boy with a golden future, and one of Paul’s two best friends. Their picture still sits atop his desk in the study, Paul and Jax and Micah, all tanned chests and straightened smiles, three teenage boys with the world at their feet.

Now he’s Batty Jax, the raggedy, bearded boogeyman parents use as a warning. Do your homework, stay out of trouble, and don’t end up like Jax.

He clings to the murky back of the terrace, sticking to the shaded spots where it’s too dark for me to make out much more than a halo of matted hair, the jutting edges of an oversized jacket, long, lean thighs. His face is dark, too, the combination of a life outdoors and dirt.

“Do you want me to give Paul a message? Or if you stay right there, I can send him out. I know he’ll want to see you.”

Actually, I don’t know; I only assume. Jax is the source of a slew of rumors and petty gossip, but for Paul, he’s a painful subject, one he doesn’t like to talk about. As far as I know, the two haven’t spoken since high school graduation—not an easy thing to do in a town where everybody knows everybody.

Jax glances up the street, in the direction of far-off voices floating on the icy wind. I don’t follow his gaze, but I can tell from the way his body turns skittish that someone is coming this way, moving closer.

“Do you need anything? Some money, maybe?”

Good thing those people aren’t within earshot, because they would laugh at the absurdity of the trailer-park girl turned married-up wifey offering the son of an insurance tycoon some cash. Not that Jax’s father didn’t disown him ages ago or that I have more than a couple of bucks in my pocket, but still.

Jax shakes his head again. “Tell Paul I need to talk to him. Tell him to hurry.”

Before I can ask what for, he’s off, planting a palm on the railing and springing over in one easy leap, his body light as a pole vaulter. He hits the cement and takes off up the alley. I dash forward until I’m flush with the railing, peering down the long passage between Paul’s building and the cocktail lounge, but it’s empty. Jax is already gone.
I push through the doors of Keller Architecture, an open space with cleared desks and darkened computer screens. The whiteboard on the back wall has already been wiped clean, too, one of the many tasks Paul requires his staff to do daily. It’s nearing five, and other than his lead designer, Gwen, hunched over a drawing at her drafting table, the office is empty.

She nods at my desk. “Perfect timing. I just finished the Curtis Cottage drawings.”
Calling a seven-thousand-square-foot house a “cottage” is ridiculous, as are whatever reasons Tom Curtis and his wife, a couple well into their seventies, gave Paul for wanting six bedrooms and two kitchens in what is essentially a weekend home. But the Curtises are typical Keller Architecture clients—privileged, demanding and more than a little entitled. They like Paul because he’s one of them. Having a desk is probably ridiculous, too, since I only work twenty hours a week, and for most of them I’m anywhere but here. My role is client relations, which consists mainly of hauling my ass to wherever the clients are so I can put out fires and talk them off the latest ledge. The job and the desk are one of the many perks of being married to a Keller.

“Thanks.” I tuck the Curtis designs under an arm and move toward the hallway to my left, a sleek tunnel of wood and steel that ends in Paul’s glass-walled office. “I’m here to pick up Paul. There’s something wrong with his car.”

When he called earlier to tell me his car was dead in the lot, I thought he was joking. Engine trouble is what happens to my ancient Civic, not Paul’s fancy Range Rover, a brand-new supercharged machine with a dashboard that belongs in a cockpit. More money than sense, my mother would say about Paul if she were here, and now, I guess, about me.

Gwen leans back in her chair, wagging a mechanical pencil between two slim fingers. “Yeah, the dealer is sending a tow truck and a replacement car, but they just called to say they’re delayed. He said he had a couple of errands to run.”

I frown. “Who, the tow truck driver?”

“No, Paul.” She swivels in her chair, reaching across the desk behind her for a straightedge. “He should be back any sec.”

I thank her and head for the door.

On the sidewalk, I fire off a quick text to Paul. I’m here, where are you?

I wait for a reply that doesn’t come. The screen goes dark, then black. I slip the phone into my jacket pocket and start walking.

In a town like Lake Crosby, there are only so many places Paul could be. The market, the pharmacy, the shop where he buys his ties and socks. I pop into all of them, but no one’s seen him since this morning. Back on the sidewalk, I pull out my phone and give him a call. It rings once, then shoots me to voice mail. I hit End and look up and down the mostly deserted street.

“Hey, Charlie,” somebody calls from across the road, two single lanes separated by a parking strip, and I whirl around, spotting Wade’s familiar face over the cars and SUVs. One of my brother’s former classmates, a known troublemaker who dropped out sophomore year because he was too busy cooking meth and raising hell. He leans against the ivory siding of the bed-and-breakfast, holding what I sincerely hope is a hand-rolled cigarette.

“It’s Charlotte,” I say, but I don’t know why I bother.

On my sixteenth birthday, I plunked down more than a hundred hard-earned dollars at the courthouse to change my name. But no matter how many times I correct the people who knew me back when—people who populate the trailer parks and shacks along the mountain range, people like Wade and me—no matter how many times I tell them I’m not that person anymore, to them I’ll always be Charlie.

He flicks the cigarette butt into the gutter and tilts his head up the street. “I just saw your old man coming out of the coffee shop.” Emphasis on the old man. “If you hurry, you can probably catch him.”

I mumble a thanks, then head in that direction.

Just past the market, I spot Paul at the far end of a side street, a paper cup clutched in his hand. He’s wearing the clothes I watched him pull on this morning—a North Face fleece, a navy cashmere sweater, dark jeans, leather lace-up boots, but no coat. No hat or scarf or gloves. Paul always dresses like this, without a second thought as to the elements. That fleece might be fine for the quick jogs from the house to his car to the office door, but with the wind skimming up the lake, he must be freezing.

The woman he’s talking to is more properly dressed. Boots and a black wool coat, the big buttons fastened all the way to a neck cloaked in a double-wrapped scarf. A knitted hat is pulled low over her ears and hair, leaving only a slice of her face—from this angle, her profile—exposed.

“There you are,” I say, and they both turn.

A short but awkward silence. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he looks surprised to see me.

“Charlotte, hi. I was just…” He glances at the woman, then back to me. “What are you doing here?”

“You asked me to pick you up. Didn’t you get my text?”

With his free hand, he wriggles his cell from his pocket and checks the screen. “Oh. Sorry, I must have had it on Silent. I was on my way back to the office, but then I got to talking and…well, you know how that goes.” He gives me a sheepish smile. It’s a known fact that Paul is a talker, and like in most small towns, there’s always someone to talk to.
But I don’t know this woman.

I take in her milky skin and sky blue eyes, the light smattering of freckles across her nose and high cheekbones, and I’m positive I’ve never seen her before. She’s the kind of pretty a person would remember, almost beautiful even, though she’s nothing like his type. Paul likes his women curvy and exotic, with dark hair and ambiguous coloring. This woman is bony, her skin so pale it’s almost translucent.

I step closer, holding up my hand in a wave. “Hi, I’m Charlotte Keller. Paul’s wife.”
The woman gives me a polite smile, but her gaze flits to Paul. She murmurs something, and I’m pretty sure it’s “Keller.”

The hairs soldier on the back of my neck, even though I’ve never been the jealous type. It’s always seemed like such a waste of energy to me, being possessive and suspicious of a man who claims to love you. Either you believe him or you don’t—or so I’ve always thought. Paul tells me he loves me all the time, and I believe him.

But this woman wouldn’t be the first around these parts to try to snag herself a Keller.
“Are you ready?” I say, looking at Paul. “Because I came in the boat, and we need to get home before this weather blows in.”

The talk of rain does the trick, and Paul snaps out of whatever I walked into here. He gives me that smile he saves only for me, and a rush of something warm hits me hard, right behind the knees.

People who say Paul and I are wrong together don’t get that we’ve been waiting for each other all our lives. His first wife’s death, my convict father and meth-head mother, they broke us for a reason, so all these years later our jagged edges would fit together perfectly, like two pieces of the same fractured puzzle. The first time Paul took my hand, the world just…started making sense.

And now there’s a baby, a perfect little piece of Paul and me, an accidental miracle that somehow busted through the birth control. Maybe it’s not a fluke but a sign, the universe’s way of telling me something good is coming. A new life. A new chance to get things right.

All of a sudden and out of nowhere I feel it, this burning in my chest, an overwhelming, desperate fire for this baby that’s taken root in my belly. I want it to grow and kick and thrive. I want it with everything inside me.

“Let’s go home.” Without so much as a backward glance at the woman, Paul takes my hand and leads me to the boat.

Excerpted from Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle, Copyright © 2020 by Kimberle S. Belle Books, LLC. Published by Park Row Books.

About the Book: When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned. At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two. As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.

About the Author: Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Social Links:
Twitter: @KimberlySBelle
Instagram: @kimberlysbelle

Buy Links:

Monday, June 8, 2020

Reflections Through Reading

It's a secret to a grand total of zero humans how much I love reading and how I look to books for so many things in my world. As I wanted to deepen my understanding and awareness of what's happening in our country around race, I immediately turned to books to begin and continue that journey. 

If you've been around my reviews for awhile, you know I blog in quartets. I felt that it was important right now to not wait until I had four books. Rather I wanted to share what I read initially as I know there are people who look to me for what they could and should be reading.

I share these reads and my perspectives from my own identity as a white woman reading to understand the black experience. You'll also notice I've titled this post as reflections versus reviews,  and I would note that was intentional as my objective in reading this round was different than when I pick up a book most of the time.

I would also note these books are a starting point for me. They are a starting point in that I want and need to read more, and they are also a starting point as I determine actionable steps from here. 

I've also noted below what I have yet to read. I'd welcome the opportunity to process and discuss if anyone is in search of that space. I'd also love additional recommendations of what else I could and should read - I've started with nonfiction, but would love recommendations of fiction, YA, middle grade reads, and/or anything that's especially worth an audiobook listen. 

Here are the first two books I found my way to.

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown was part memoir, part reflection on a journey, and part exploration of how race and racism truly show up. This book centers the author's journey as a black woman in predominantly white spaces. She reflects on this part of her experience, and she then shares her relationship with her blackness and how this has evolved. She also names how whiteness shows up in problematic and harmful ways, including an exploration of "good" people and "nice" people. What I found powerful in this read was how she named how racism can and does show up. She delineated this from the concept of a racist and refocused on the systemic nature of actions and behaviors. Throughout she named concepts and happenings in a powerful and important way. I found myself highlighting many of her reflections as ones I wanted to return to and reference often. This is also a relatively short read (<200 pages), but in those pages, there is so much emotion in the reflections she offers. Finally, I should note I finished this one just before Reese Witherspoon selected this for her book club. I've not participated in her club at all, but if that's been your jam, I would definitely encourage you to engage as you do for this specific book.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi is the "YA version" of the nonfiction/history text by Ibram X. Kendi. This is my first time trying a YA adaption. I chose to go this route first and foremost because I love the writing of Jason Reynolds. Secondly, I know my own struggles to read nonfiction/history texts, and I felt this was going to allow me to better take in the content. That said, I cannot recommend this version enough. Jason Reynolds is this incredible lyrical writer, and the way he crafts narratives is absolutely masterful. He was clearly writing in a tone for teens, but I was also drawn in by how he made history so accessible and easy to understand. This book is truly from the beginning as the title says in that it begins with the 1400s and goes through the present. The book is then chunked by years and significant happenings. Throughout, this explores historical events that are shared in US History classes, but explains that all is not what it seems by a longshot. In this way, this book is a re-learning of what systems were created, broken down and then re-created in another way. This also looks at policies and their impact - some of which are long, long, long term. Seeing the ongoing connections, threads and proliferations of happenings and people and polices was eye-opening for me to have a better understanding of the roots of systems. This is one I've been recommending to all since reading, and I also plan to buy a copy once it becomes available again. Y'all this should be required reading in US history classes.

So, that's where my reading has started. I'm working my way through Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad. I say "working my way through" as this is a book that explains terms, then asks you to explore your own relationship and experiences through journal prompts. With that, it takes some time, and I appreciate that it forces me to not just read, but engage with the terms and how they show up for me. I've also got a copy of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo to get through. Finally, I'm waiting to receive my copy of So, You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and a volunteer committee I'm on is going to be reading that one together. As I said, if anyone is looking for a processing buddy as you read, you know where to find me.

Onto the next ones!