Day 3 – Roots and Books made me start looking deeply into my shelves. Having started this year with the powerful memoir, Heavy by Kiese Laymon. I felt like roots had to be taken figuratively and literally. Combing my shelves I fell upon How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. I forgot I had that one. This is a collection of essays by Laymon where he covers race, family, coming of age in Mississippi, violence, etc. I’m sure this is going to be another powerful read that will continue on from the depth of Heavy. So if I manage to get through my hefty TBR this month I’ll be adding this one to round off my Black History Month reading. Have you read this one? Frankly I’ve seen no one talk about it. I’m so tempted to throw something off my TBR just so that I can read it. I can’t really do that because the Booktube Prize books are calling. I’ll just be watching a lot less Netflix this month, in hopes that that will give me the ample time necessary to finish this massive TBR. Check out this video with Kiese Laymon discussing How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America and Long Division.
Day 4 – Black Book Stack was easy to choose for the photograph. I grabbed all the black books I had in my reach. What did I find? Of course three Octavia E. Butler novels (Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Talents, and Fledgling), the second J. California Cooper I read A Piece of Mine, and a few others. I can solidly recommend A Piece of Mine and Water Street. If you’ve never picked up books by J. California Cooper or by Crystal Wilkinson you don’t know what you’re missing. Both of these short
story collections are soulful gems and must reads. A Piece of Mine draws on a common theme which plays on the collection’s title. You can check out my review here. Water Street is one of the extraordinary backlist short story collections from a black author writing from Appalachia. I highly recommend you check out my review here.