Good morning, friends! Hope your summer reading is going well. Any good books lately?
If you’re new around here, at the end of every month I share a READS post with all the books I enjoyed that month. Don’t expect these to be official book reviews or synopses that you’d find on book covers… Rather, think of these as little conversations. I describe the books as if we were sitting down and drinking wine and chatting about books we had just finished. This isn’t anything formal; it’s just a fun way to discover some new reads! You can see all the books I’ve read so far in 2020 by clicking here.
And in case you missed it, I shared 18 summer fiction books by black authors here. I’ve read some of the books on that list, and I put a lot of them on my summer reading list. It’s been a good season of reading thus far!
Ok, on to June READS. This month I read 5 books: a new rom-com that just came out in spring 2020, a nonfiction inspired by the #blacklivesmatter movement, two fun fiction books by black authors from this list, and Abbi Waxman’s newest fiction book (it just came out this month.) YAY! So many good ones. Here they are:
1. The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez | Grab this book to toss in your pool bag! It’s the perfect little summer read. The Happy Ever After Playlist was just released in April 2020 and it’s on sooo many summer reading lists! Everyone’s picking this one up to read by the pool this summer because it’s honestly just a really good little romance book. And you’ll breeze through it. (Honestly, it reads exactly like some of my favorite rom coms like 13 Going On 30 or How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days…this book could easily be made into a movie.)
Substance? Not really… Light-hearted, good romance scenes, a few plots twists, and quick to read? Yep! It’s about a woman who has lost her fiancé, and two years later she still can’t seem to get excited about life. Then, when a frisky little dog shows up in her life, she tries and fails to get ahold of its owner for two weeks before deciding to keep the dog. When the dogs owner finally responds, a flirty little texting thread begins and…y’know, the rest of the book unfolds. 😉 It’s not a book that will change your life, but it’s a reeeaally fun one to throw in your pool bag!
2. Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad | I’m so thankful that so many books were brought into my awareness during the month of June, because I have lots to learn about systemic racism, how I’ve played a part in it, and the actions I need to take for the rest of my life to combat racism and to ensure that Black Lives Matter. Me and White Supremacy was the perfect book to read to learn about what racism actually is, how “staying quiet” is actually contributing to it.
Me and White Supremacy is a book that was originally a 28-day instagram challenge. It’s easily digestible in length, but very heavy and deep in content. Each day is a pretty short read (just a few pages) followed by journal prompts. I worked through the book at a moderate pace the first time through, but now I’m going back and spending more time on certain days that brought up a lot for me to think through and process. This is definitely a book worth owning, not borrowing. It would make an excellent discussion guide if you’d like to read a book about racism with your partner, family, small group, or roommate.
3. Loving Day by Mat Johson | I’m becoming more aware of fiction by black authors, and as these books are coming into my awareness, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of incredible writing that’s out there that I haven’t ever noticed. Loving Day is about being a mixed-race person living in the United States. Warren, the main character, gets a mansion from his deceased Irish-American father (his mother, who was black, has also died.) He’s re-united with his daughter, who has been raised as a white girl in the care of her Jewish grandfather… See all the paths this novel is going to walk you through?
In the summer months, I’m often drawn to fun and easy reads (just because at this time of the year I enjoy that!), and this isn’t that type of book. It’s more introspective and metaphorical. The author, Mat Johnson, is a creative writing professor at University of Houston, so I’m going to describe this book like this: his writing style is the type that fellow writers enjoy reading. Ha! Does that make sense? I enjoyed this book in the sense that I had to “work” a little bit harder as I was reading it, rather than lots of the fluff that I typically absorb in the summer months. 🙂
4. The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa | Cue the romance novel.. 😉 Loved this one as a fun and easy book to toss in your beach bag! This is another book from this list of 18 summer fiction books by black authors, and it’s pure romance. Pretty light-hearted, fun, easy to get into. A wedding planner is about to get married when her groom bails on her and cancels…on the wedding day. Fast forward, and she’s trying to get her dream job, but the trick is that she’s going to have to partner up with her ex’s brother, the guy who would have been the best man at her wedding. All pretty fun with some hot and sultry stuff mixed in.
I will say, I appreciate how this novel has a few deeper passages about the disparity between males and females in the work place and the different expectations placed on them. I mean, it’s just a fun little romance read, so don’t expect too many incredibly meaningful conversations in book club to come out of this one… But it’s nice that there is a little bit of depth to it.
5. I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman | This is actually my first Abbi Waxan novel to read (it just came out in June 2020) but I loved it and I’m about to start another! I Was Told It Would Get Easier is one of those books that’s really fun for me to read because it’s about a different stage of life than I’m in (but it’s coming up for me eventually!) and it’s interesting to imagine what things will be like when I get there. It only took about 5 pages for me to get into it, and then I couldn’t put it down and finished it in 24 hours. Loved this book!
It’s about a single mother and her teenage daughter who go on a week-long road trip to visit potential colleges. Their relationship is rocky, as many mom/teenager duos can probably relate to. I mean, I just had my baby boy last year, so the idea of having a high school senior feels sooo far away. But this book made me think about the different phases of life, and how certain things that used to feel far away (like being finished with college and grad school!) eventually have arrived for me. Life, y’all. It goes so fast.
Ok, that was it for June! Any good reads for you lately? If you’re stuck and can’t find any that you love, head to my 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, or 2016 pages where you’ll find all the books I read that year. I put little * next to the ones that I especially enjoyed!
Have a great day, friends! Thanks for stopping by today.