Thursday, March 2, 2017

February Reading Wrap Up

February is Black History Month, and at the beginning of the month I challenged myself to read only books written by black women.  I've been continuing to read only books written by women as part of my Winter of Women Project, and this was an added level of challenge for me...and I was mostly successful with it!  Out of the 8 books I read in February, only two were not written by black women.   One of these two books was a re-read, and the other was a poetry collection I had started reading in January, and carried over into February.

Here are the books I read this month.  If I reviewed the book on this blog, I'll link to it.  Otherwise, I'll include a brief review of it here.

  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith (fiction, ebook) - REVIEW
  • Love Is Love by various artists & writers (graphic novel compendium) - REVIEW
  • The Late Wife by Claudia Emerson (poetry, paper) - A heartbreaking portrayal of a love that has ended, with the two lovers finding new paths apart.  The poet takes up the cause of the micro-change, using incremental life adjustments to discuss greater emotional realities.
  • Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith (novella, audiobook) - Full of beautiful and emotionally charged prose, Glaciers presents one day in the life of Isabel, a woman in her late 20's living in Portland, OR.  She works as a damaged books librarian with a small group of others in a library.  The way that her life is presented through mostly flashbacks, Isabel is herself a glacier - only a small portion of who she is floats above the surface.  There is so much more to her just below.
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (nonfiction, ebook) - A beautifully written and painstakingly researched account of the lives and careers of three brilliant, pioneering, African American women mathematicians whose contributions to aeronautics and space exploration may have been otherwise lost to history.  The work frames these women and their achievements with the greater societal pressures and expectations of the decades in which these women worked, including the arcane Jim Crow segregation laws.
  • Like One of the Family by Alice Childress (fiction, paper) - REVIEW
  • Mules and Men by Zora Neale Hurston (fiction, paper) - A collection of 100 pieces of African American folklore and storytelling recorded between 1928 and 1932 by the author.  She focuses on the area in and around Eatonville, FL where she grew up, and New Orleans in Louisiana.
  • Freedom Is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis (nonfiction, audiobook) - Angela Davis is a leading and historical figure in the Civil Rights Movement in the USA, as well as being an outspoken Communist and Feminist.  She has inspired countless individuals to rise up and take action against injustice and in support of freedom for all.  Her book, FREEDOM IS A CONSTANT STRUGGLE, is a collection of interviews, conversations, essays, and speeches that tackle the concept of freedom in different ways.  The audiobook is narrated by the author, which lends an extra depth to the material being discussed.

Just about 75% of my February reading was by women of color, which is great, but didn't quite meet my goal of 100% women of color authors for Black History Month.  However, I read some really fantastic books this month, and found authors whose work I will definitely continue reading in the future.  I'm already looking forward to what books await me in March - Women's History Month!

Librorum annis