Weekly Reading Goals | August 20th – 26th

I “go back” (I’m in an online grad program) to school on the 23rd so I’m really not planning on reading a ton of stuff when I know I’m most likely going to be stressed out of my mind. I have three reading goals for this week, one graphic, one work of fiction and one non-fiction book and let me just tell you about ’em!

GRAPHIC NOVELS

March Book Three

March: Book Three (March, #3)I have made it to the final book in John Lewis’ March trilogy! The second one left off with the Birmingham Church bombing and I believe this one is going to cover the Freedom Summer (getting blacks to vote) and the Selma march. As per usual, I’m excited to see how John Lewis chooses to depict the events and what he decides to place emphasis on.

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

 

 

 

FICTION

The Stone Sky

The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3)I absolutely love Jemisin’s approach to fantasy/science fiction. I mean, seriously LOVE it. So when I got the call from the bookstore where I pre-ordered this lovely piece of work I practically dropped everything that I was doing in order to pick it up. This is the last book in her Broken Earth trilogy and you can definitely tell that events are starting to come to an end. I’m loving that even though the series is ending Jemisin’s world building is still on point.  I’m almost finished with this novel and I honestly can’t see myself not finishing it up this week.

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

 

NONFICTION

Why Do Fools Fall in Love

 I’ve been having some major issues with love lately. I’m still dealing with the mental aftermath of having lost probably one of the most amazing partners ever and it’s really starting to wear on me. I’ve been through a complete doozy of mini-relationships and one-night stands. And I do want to say that not all my one-night stands are sexual; the majority are emotional but I’ll get into that at a later date. This book caught my eye in April – when my relationship was still “good” and now that it’s 110% over, this book sounds like something that I need to read. The why’s and how’s of love fascinate me and I just need to figure some ish out. I’m sick of love, but I miss being in love and I want to know why I’m stuck in that mindset. There are 10 chapters in this book and my goal is to read the first 5.

BORROW || PURCHASE

AND THERE WE HAVE IT

Those are my reading goals for this week. Let me know what you plan on reading this week, and what types of blog posts/videos you would like to see from me. My current  to-do list consists of how I scheudle my reading, a few book reviews, a book buying tag and a tattoo show-and-tell. I also eventually want to go into my graduate program but I think I’m going to hold off on that until I’ve completed a whole year. But yes, let me know what you would like to see from me!

Hope you have a wonderful day & read a wonderful book,
Rae

 

Weekly Wrap Up || August 6th – 12th

We are totally going to pretend that I posted this in a timely manner. Thank you for your cooperation😂

COMPLETED GOALS

Deadly Class Vol. 5: Carousel

This was definitely a dope ass volume with an even crazier ending than the 4th. The new freshman class is pretty insane and the new group of friends that the story follows is definitely a group I can get behind. They play D&D and have a more “innocent” nature than the group in the first four volumes. However, I didn’t manage to get around to rereading the previous volumes, but when my TBR pile has dwindled down and I’ve gotten around to filming a view of the reviews I have typed up I fully intend on getting around to reading those.

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

March: Book 2

As I mentioned in my goals video, I’m not reading this series with the intent of learning anything incredibly new. I’m reading this series to see if it conveys a historical message in a way that I feel comfortable with recommending for youngish people and people unfamiliar with the Civil Rights movement. This book focuses first on the Freedom Riders and then on the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; the same march where MLK Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech”.  So far it’s been a good series and I’m definitely enjoying how the history is being told and portrayed.

BORROW || PURCHASE

Black Panther: The Complete Collection Vol. 1

This was also a dope read. I didn’t realize that Christoper Priest was the same person who wrote Static Shock, and that was one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid! This volume definitely did not disappoint and I loved the way how the story evolved throughout the issues. I actually enjoyed that this was told from Everett’s POV. At first I thought that I was going to get too much of Everett and not enough of T’Challa but it was a very nicely done balance of the two.

BORROW || PURCHASE

Hypatia

This was a very cool look into how philosophy was viewed, taught, and coexisted with Christian theology in late antiquity. I went into this knowing only that Hypatia had something to do with Cyril of Alexandra and that she was murdered by a mob. I enjoyed the amount of research that Watts did and the amount of time that he spent explaining background details. I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who isn’t already slightly familiar with late antiquity or to someone who expects this to be solely about Hypatia. This is about Hypatia, her world, and why her life mattered.

BORROW || PURCHASE

In the Wake

I’m going to be honest, like super honest, the only reason why I decided to finish this book this week is because I honestly did not enjoy it. The thought of having to continue onward with this book next week just did not make me excited for reading so I just gritted my teeth and powered through. Now! If you follow me on Goodreads, you may have noticed that I gave this book 4/5 stars. I will not deny that this book is beautifully written, well researched, nicely formatted and all that jazz. It is definitely a four-star (or even five-star) book. It’s just not my book and I didn’t agree with a lot of Sharpe’s criticisms. To me, and I truly mean this as to only myself, this is one of those books that made me feel uncomfortable to be bi-racial. It’s a long story and I’ll probably write a blog post about it some other time but that was just the vibe that this book gave me.

BORROW || PURCHASE

ALL THE GOALS WERE COMPLETED!

I’d do a mini-wrap up for August 13-19th but honestly, I only read one book, Virgin Soul by Judy Juanita, half-assedly started on Garth Ennis’ Punisher and I full-heartedly started on N.K. Jemisin’s The Stone Sky. So, nothing that warranted it’s own blog post. Hopefully (if I get my act together) I shall see you tomorrow with a new round of reading goals!

Hope you have a wonderful day & read a wonderful book,
Rae

A Letter to an Ex-Lover; A Voicemail Never Sent

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You were someone who I deeply respected from the get go. Someone who I looked up to when I was younger and continued to look up to once I truly got to know you as an adult.

I told you all my secrets. I laid open my soul to you, but not in the most beautiful way. You saw the ugliest parts of it. You saw the part of me that was shattered; broken down from years upon years of mental and physical abuse. You watched me try to piece myself back together and you saw a me that truly hated myself for my inability to understand the why or how of what had happened.

You also saw something else. I want to say that you saw the beauty in my brokenness, but I know that’s not it. That’s much too poetic. I think what you saw was the me that could have been. The me that would been me if my life had gone differently and a part of me hates you for seeing that. A part of me truly hates you for seeing me not as myself, but as an idolized version of me. As your own projection of someone who I wasn’t, and someone who I had no intention on being.

The worst part is. I tried to make your projection, my reality.

I was fascinated by you. Fixated on you. I’d even say obsessed with you.

I changed my standards. I changed some of my behaviors. Some, not all. I wanted so badly to be yours. I wanted so badly to be the me that you thought I should have been, that I completely ignored the me that I was in the moment.

On one hand, you made me feel special. You treated me like I meant something to you. You treated me like I was worth investing in. You treated me like I had potential.

But, on the other hand, you made me feel worthless. You made me feel like I wasn’t quite good enough. That I wasn’t perfect. You made me feel like a failure. Like all the good things were just a bribe for my silence. A bribe for your inability to see me as I really was; A broken girl struggling to become a less broken woman. A bribe that was an empty statement.

“I wouldn’t say never”

How those words haunted me. How the possibility of a future with you clouded my present. How I stopped focusing on the things that I needed to clear up with myself. The things that I needed to get out of my soul and heart. I was out of my mind because my mind was such a fucked up place to be.

I wish you could have seen me for who I was. I wish you had listened to the pain in my voice when I asked you if we could be more than whatever we were. I wish you had heard that pain and done the responsible thing.

Walk away.

Because there was no way you were going to commit to me in the way that I desired and I know that you knew that was what I needed.

You were (maybe still are?) one of the few people who knew what I wanted before I even did. And I say that with true confidence.

I wish you had respected me enough to let me do the things that I had to do. I wish you had respected me enough to try to understand my thought process and to try and understand why I did what I did.

I wish you could have supported me, but I understand why you couldn’t.

You saw the broken me.

At the end of the day, I should have been honest. I should have been honest with you and myself.  I shouldn’t have let my fear of losing you override all my common sense. I shouldn’t have pretended that I was fine, that I was ok with our situationship. I should have spoken up and I should have left you alone. I should have understood that you weren’t The One, and I want you to take that as however you want because honestly, there’s no wrong to interpret it.

I loved you with a love I didn’t know I was capable of. I loved you in the way I couldn’t love myself. I trusted you in a way that was unfair, because I trusted you with too much. I trusted you with the things that I couldn’t trust about myself.

At the end of the day, I put too much on you and not enough on me.

I want to thank you.

Thank you for carrying the load for me when I was too weak to do it myself. And thank you for teaching me a bit about myself and for reawaking passions I forgot I had.

I’m mine now,
Rachel

Weekly Reading Goals || August 6th – 12th

I’m bringing back the “Weekly Reading Goals” you guys!

This week it’s mostly me trying to knock out a decent chunk of my August TBR. Since posting my August TBR I have finished with Talon of God and March Book One.

GRAPHIC NOVELS

Deadly Class Vol. 5: Carousel

(and potentially Vols. 1-4)

I mentioned in my August TBR video that I’m really excited about volume 5 of this series. Some of the freshmen from the first four volumes have made it to sophomore status at Kings Dominion School of the Deadly Arts and there is also a new freshmen class to replace those lost from the last school year. Saya is one of my favorite characters so I’m looking forward to seeing how she moves forward from the events of the last volume.

The reason why I want to re-read volumes 1-4 is because I want to do a review on the series and I need to refresh my memory on them before I even attempt to do that. I currently have the previous four volumes checked out via Hoopla (awesome app – swear I’m not sponsored) and I’m looking forward to reading them again.

BORROW || PURCHASE

March Book 2

Since posting my August TBR I have finished with Book One of the March trilogy. March is about the life of John Lewis one of the key figures of the Civil Rights movement. If you’re super familiar with the Civil Rights movement and John Lewis you might want to sit this series out, but if you’re unfamiliar you might want to give it a try. I’m going to do a full review of this series once I actually finish reading through it so stay tuned for that. I’m looking at it more as a potential educational resource that I can recommend to young people or to people who really don’t know anything about the Civil Rights movement. I know the majority of my history so I’m pretty familiar with the events of these graphic novels, but I am finding them to be engaging enough to keep me reading.

BORROW || PURCHASE

Black Panther: The Complete Collection Vol. 1

Yooo, I’ve been on a Black Panther kick lately. I’ve had this one checked out from the library for a while now and I think I have to return it soon because someone else has requested it. This is part of a five volume series that covers the 1998 run of Black Panther as written by Christopher Priest. This volume collects issues 1-17 and I’m currently on issue 8. This volume focuses on T’Challa’s reputation as a statesman through the eyes of government official Everett K. Ross, his relationship with the Avengers, and a coup in Wakanda. I would love to finish this volume this week.

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

NONFICTION

Hypatia

I only have 50 pages of this book to go so I see no reason as to why I shouldn’t be able to finish it this week. I can’t really say much about this book besides from the fact that I’m really enjoying learning about Hypatia and how education worked in late antiquity.

 

 

 

 

 

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

In The Wake

Since I’m going to finishing Hypatia this week I figure I might as well start on In The Wake. My goal is to read the first two chapters since this is a four chapter book. All I really know about this book is that Sharpe is interrogating the literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian (every day) representations of Black life. It sounds super educational and I’m (as usual) looking forward to getting started on it.

 

 

 

 

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

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What do you plan on reading this week?

August TBR

I haven’t done a monthly TBR post (or video) in forever! Here are the books that I hope to tackle this fine month of August:

NONFICTION

Hypatia: The Life and Legend of an Ancient Philosopher by Edward J. Watt

Synopsis (from inner flap):
Sixteen centuries ago the Neoplatonist philosopher Hypatia was murdered by a mob of Christians. Ever since, she has been remembered in poems, plays, paintings, and films as a victim of religious intolerance whose death symbolized the end of the classical world. But before she was a symbol Hypatia was a person. As one of antiquity’s best-known female scholars, Hypatia’s immense skills as a philosopher and mathematician redefined the intellectual life of her home city of Alexandria. Her talent as a teacher enabled her to assemble a circle of dedicated male students. Her devotion to public service made her a force for peace and good government in a city that struggled to maintain trust and cooperation between pagans and Christians. These intellectual and political triumphs were all the more astonishing for being accomplished in a climate of gossip, scrutiny, and misogyny.
Hypatia: The Life and Legend of an Ancient Philosopher is a major new account of this remarkable woman the culturally rich and turbulent context in which she lived. Utilizing new techniques for reading ancient letters and mathematical and philosophical commentaries – as well as a number of previously unnoticed early modern sources – Edward J. Watts provides a revelatory narrative of Hypatia’s life, her formidable achievements, the tragic story of the events that led to her murder, and the rich legacy of her life and death.  

If you know me at all you already know all the different reasons as to why this book appealed to me. Early religion, Egypt, a woman of antiquity in a position of intellectual power and control, how in the world could I ever resist?

BORROW || PURCHASE*

 

In The Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe

Synopsis (from back cover):
In this original and trenchant work, Christina Sharpe interrogates literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian representations of Black life that comprise what she calls the “orthography of the wake.” Activating multiple registers of “wake”—the path behind a ship, keeping watch with the dead, coming to consciousness—Sharpe illustrates how Black lives are swept up and animated by the afterlives of slavery, and she delineates what survives despite such insistent violence and negation. Initiating and describing a theory and method of reading the metaphors and materiality of “the wake,” “the ship,” “the hold,” and “the weather,” Sharpe shows how the sign of the slave ship marks and haunts contemporary Black life in the diaspora and how the specter of the hold produces conditions of containment, regulation, and punishment, but also something in excess of them. In the weather, Sharpe situates anti-Blackness and white supremacy as the total climate that produces premature Black death as normative. Formulating the wake and “wake work” as sites of artistic production, resistance, consciousness, and possibility for living in diaspora, In the Wake offers a way forward.

I’m ashamed to say that I don’t read a lot of black-authored scholarly works. When this book fell (literally) into my hands I was instantly interested by the title and after reading the synopsis I was determined to read the rest of the book.

BORROW || PURCHASE

FICTION

Talon of God by Wesley Snipes & Ray Norman

Synopsis (from inner flap):
Imagine that everyone you have ever known or loved was forced against their will into a state of demonic possession and spiritual slavery. Imagine an unholy cabal of the world’s richest and most powerful men directing this sinister plan in order to cement their unbridled control of the planet.
Imagine two heroes emerging from that darkness to do battle with the forces of evil.
Set in the mean streets of Chicago, Talon of God is the action-packed adventure centered around the Lauryn Jefferson, a beautiful young doctor who is dragged into a seemingly impossible battle against the invisible forces of Satan’s army and their human agents that are bent on enslaving humanity in a mission to establish the kingdom of hell on Earth.
But Lauryn is a skeptic, and it’s only as she sees a diabolical drug sweep her city and begins to train in the ways of a spirit warrior by the legendary man of God, Talon Hunter, that she discovers her true nature and inner strength. Facing dangerous trials and tests, it’s a true baptism by fire. And if they fail, millions could die. And rivers of blood would flow throughout the land.
Imagine such horror. Such pain. And imagine what it would take to fight against it. For only the strongest and most faithful will survive…
Get ready. Armageddon approaches quickly.

This was an impulse grab. The first time I walked by it I thought “Nah, it can’t be that Wesley Snipes” and I kept it moving. The second time I walked by it I thought “Ok, let me see if it is that Wesley Snipes” and lo and behold, it was. Plus, the synopsis sounded pretty gosh darn interesting (and very Wesley Snipe(ish)).  I’ve read a little bit of it so far and I’ve found it to be pretty enjoyable!

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

I don’t actually have this book in my possession yet since it’s publication date isn’t until the 15th, but you best believe I have pre-ordered it from a local bookstore! I absolutely love Jemisin’s writing style and I’m so excited to see how this series is going to end. Ugh, the 15th can’t come fast enough!

BORROW* || PURCHASE

*Please note that at the time of this post this book has not been released so your local library may not have ordered it yet. However, if you chose to purchase you can pre-order it!

GRAPHIC NOVELS

Black Panther: World of Wakanda by Roxane Gay & Ta-Nehisi Coates
Illustrated by Alitha E. Martinez & Roberto Poggi

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Wakanda! Home of the Black Panther, a proud and vibrant nation whose legends and mysteries run deep. Now, delve deep into Wakanda’s lore with a love story where tenderness is matched by brutality! You know them as the Midnight Angels, but for now they are just Ayo and Aneka — young women recruited to become Dora Milaje, an elite task force trained to protect the crown of Wakanda at all costs. But with their king shamed and their queen killed, Ayo and Aneka must take justice into their own hands! They’ve been officers. Rebels. Lovers. But can they be leaders? Plus: the return of former White Tiger, Kasper Cole! As Wakanda burns, Cole can only watch helplessly from halfway around the world. Will he find a new beginning — or meet a painful end?
Collecting BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA #1-6

I really enjoyed Ta-Nehisi Coates Black Panther series and knowing that some of those characters are being picked up and expanded on in a new run was more than enough reason for me to pick this up.

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

Deadly Class Vol 5: Carousel by Rick Remender and Illustrated by Wes Craig

Synopsis (from back cover):
The brutal Freshman Finals at Kings Dominion School of the Deadly Arts have created a new status quo. The Student Council has eliminated all its enemies and rules the halls with an iron fist. Into this shark tank comes a new class of kids, fresh blood for a fresh start.
There is Quan, a Vietnamese rockabilly, quick with his knives and a comb. Helmut, an East German metalhead with a hatred for communists. Zenzele, a hammer-swinging refugee of a brutal African civil war, and Tosahwi, a Native American skate punk with a whole nation’s history of violence to pay back.
And then there’s Saya, who alone of her group of friends survived the finals and who stands poised to become the school’s deadliest student. But when her dark past comes back to haunt her, will she ride the torrent of blood she’s unleashed or end up drowning in it?

I had almost forgotten about this series until I was shelving graphic novels a few days ago and came across them. The fourth one had a super insane ending so I’m excited to see where this one goes.

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

March (volumes 1 – 3) by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and Illustrated by Nate Powell

Synopsis (from innner-flap):
Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

I feel like this is maybe the second or third time that this series has ended up on a TBR of mine. Hopefully this time I’ll actually get around to reading it because I have consistently heard incredibly great things about it. I actually have the three volumes checked out separately and not as the compilation.

BORROW || PURCHASE

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So there we have it, that is the mass of books that I hope to read during this month of August. What do you plan on reading? Let me know in the comments! And if you have a blog post, or a video, where you share your TBR leave that link in the comments too!

Hope you have a wonderful day & read a wonderful book,
Rae

 

Disclaimer:
All “purchase/buy” links are affiliate links to the Book Depository unless otherwise noted.