Friday Book Debrief Vol 30

Every week we’re sharing what our some of our writers are currently reading.


For all of our US readers, we now have our own Bookshop! You can find the full list of the below books here and with every purchase you will be helping local independent bookstores! If you do not live in the US please support your local independent stores, lots are now doing local deliveries and they need your help more then ever in these uncertain times. - ❤️



Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples - Areeb

I randomly decided to pick this up this week for a change of pace as it had been on my TBR for ages and I am already halfway through, zipping through the pages like crazy. This is definitely one of the best epic fantasy/space opera comics I have read so far and the beautiful art compliments the great story very well.

Buy it here.




Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert - Mel


Happily started this sequel the day it came out last week and I've been savoring it slowly each day. Hibbert is back with another Brown sister and Dani's story is just as delightful as Chloe— I'd recommend adding both to your summer reading list if you haven't already!

Buy it here.




Settlin’: Stories of Madison’s Early African American Families by Muriel Simms - Maggie

Having once lived in Madison, WI, I looked for a book on the history of the city that I felt was underrepresented and under-talked about. I found this at my local bookstore Room of One’s Own Books under local authors and I am loving it so far. It is first-person stories from Black Madisonians and their history with the city they love. Highly recommend.

Buy it here.




Boy Parts by Eliza Clark - Christina

I used to follow this author back in the heydays of Tumblr so I was pleasantly surprised to find out she published a novel. This seems to be a "female anti-hero protagonist" a la Tampa, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Gone Girl, set in Newcastle. I have just checked my Goodreads and the most "northern" book I have read is the Adrian Mole series (set in Leicester) so this is a very welcome location!

Pre-order it here.




Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin - Cecilia

It’s funny, I’m not a romance person almost ever, but recently I’ve felt a very real urge to read one. After doing some searching, I was so happy to see this book’s inclusivity in the romance genre—it’s described as “Pride and Prejudice with a modern twist.”

Buy it here.




Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler - Aleks

I thought it would be a part of our grand adventure from NC to CA to (re)read Octavia Butler's Parables, and I may have underestimated our current Twilight Zone paradigm. These books are, as current book sales will tell you, all too timely, and Parable of the Talents will absolutely break your heart with found (and lost) family, survival against all oppressive systems, and the solace of new spirituality. TW: rape, violence against women and LGBTQ folks, child abuse, abandonment, loss of a child.

Buy it here.



Pleasure Activism by adrienne maree brown - Aleks

I've been savoring my way through adrienne maree brown's Pleasure Activism for about a month, and I finally finished it up this week. This delightful volume includes essays, poems, interviews, and articles all devoted to finding the joy, laughter, sexiness, and good vibes in the ways we craft our lives and express ourselves.

Buy it here.



Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler - Aleks

When I discover an author I truly love, I go whole ham and read everything they've written, and Octavia Butler is an author for this time if there ever was one. Her books pull no punches in their speculation about where we are and where we're going, but their pragmatic, nuanced, deeply philosophical imaginings are just what I need to navigate the uncertainty we are experiencing during these times.

Buy it here.



Of Woman Born by Adrienne Rich - Aleks

This is my first Adrienne Rich work, and it will be the first of many. I'm deeply enjoying the solidarity, exploration of the nuance of femme experience, and the lineage of gender justice in literature and our culture.

Buy it here.




How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones - Victoria

A beautiful and intimate memoir by a poet, like all the best memoirs.

Buy it here.




Thick and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom - Marian

I am only one essay in and well-recognize Cottom’s approach to expanding the theoretical model for understanding human experience. She calls it integrating a “social location” and this reminds me of Renato Rosaldo’s path breaking Culture and Truth written a couple of decades ago. Honestly, this book discusses popular culture and Black feminism that has me downright giddy. This book is a brilliant combination of sharp academic analysis unfettered by dense, boring theoretical language. It is already a new favorite!

Buy it here.




Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur - Cat

A compelling, suspenseful look at the author's life from childhood to revolutionary, this book is equal parts memoir and manifesto. With humour and wisdom, Shakur weaves together her personal experiences with her politics to explore ideas and issues around civil rights, racism, police brutality, the American prison system, political ideals, and so much more.

Buy it here.



The Star Side on Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson - Akilah


This is my book club's June selection that I once attempted years ago and DNFed. I thought the same thing might happen second time around until I reached a quote from Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John—then everything got better.

Buy it here.




Breasts & Eggs by Mieko Kawakami - Courtney

Many sleepy mornings this week have meant I haven’t made much progress, but from what I have read I have high hopes that this book will be .

Buy it here.



With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo - Alexandra

I’m not a great cooker, never have I been, and I suspect I will never be. So, to be honest, I envy those who understand all the intricacies of food because, hey, I love to eat! I’m getting some vibes from Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel from this book, but it has a lot more than just food. It's about growing up, friendship, family, parenting and I want to know what's next for the characters as you grow fonder of them.

Buy it here.