june’s recaps are usually the shortest because of summer conference, but i still managed a few things last month.
weekly dinners with lauren and/or jen [usually on a rooftop] // some fantastic memphis sunsets // christina and ryan got married
white people need to listen, to pause so that people of color can clearly articulate both the disappointment they’ve endured and what it would take for reparations to be made. too often, dialogue functions as a stall tactic, allowing white people to believe they’ve done something heroic when the real work is yet to come.
i’m still here by austin channing brown. emily anne recommended this to me earlier in the spring, and after everything that’s happened recently with the black lives matter movement it seemed like the right time to read it. sarah and serrie read it as well and we had a really great discussion [thanks in large part to the free discussion guide austin provides on her website]. more than any other book i’ve read recently, i’m still here brings to the forefront what it is like to be a black woman in today’s world. the scrutiny they face at work to be “friendly” and “professional”. how, no matter how many advanced degrees they may have, people often cannot or will not believe they hold positions of authority or power. the added discrimination they face for not only being black, but for also being women. this is a hugely important book because it emphasizes the important role black women play in our society, and i sincerely wish that everyone would read it. [i read this on my kindle but will definitely be purchasing a physical copy soon]
private scandals by nora roberts. summer conference is when i break out the romance novels, and nora roberts is my tried-and-true. i hadn’t read this one in at least 15 years, so it was interesting to see what i remembered and what i didn’t. i always love a good mystery, and i remembered just enough pieces of this one that i kept reading to see if i was right. it was perfect for some poolside lounging.
our hearts are warm when we are able to show up with generosity, patience, and compassion for the ones we love, but we must remember that it is impossible to truly be there for others without taking care of ourselves first.
heart talk: poetic wisdom for a better life by cleo wade. cleo wade has been one of my favorite instagram follows for years, and i finally bought her first book and read it in june. a collection of poems, uplifting notes, and quick letters of advice, heart talk felt like a warm hug from a best friend. it covers everything from relationships to work to family, with the underlying theme that you can’t be there for others until you are fully there for yourself. i will definitely be ordering her second book soon.
true betrayals by nora roberts. another one i hadn’t read since probably just after college, this was also a good one to distract me from conference. reading this through a 2020 lens definitely had me focusing on a few bits and pieces more than i have in the past, but for the most part it was an easy one that i didn’t have to think too much about which was exactly what i needed.
‘do you think it’s possible to ever see the past as it actually was?’
‘but we overlay the present onto the past. we look back through the lens of what we know now, so we’re not seeing it as the people we were, we’re seeing it as the people we are, and that means the past has been radically altered.’
the dutch house by ann patchett. rob has been recommending this to me since last year, so i finally borrowed it from the library and gave it a read. and i finished it in 3 days. i knew nothing about the story going into it, but i honestly couldn’t put it down once i started reading. on the surface it is a family tale stretching from the mid-1950s through the late 90s or so, but at its heart it is so much more. the characters are not often likable, but they are almost always relatable, and patchett’s writing will have you staying up to continue reading. definitely worth a read, as almost all of rob’s recommendations usually are.
currently reading: natasha díaz’s color me in, from book of the month’s young adult selection.
the best things i watched.
finished seasons 4 and 5 of peaky blinders and now have to wait until they make and release season 6.
when i mentioned to nick that i like watching funny, light-hearted shows during the summer, he immediately recommended letterkenny, a canadian show on hulu. i had never heard of it, but it has been an absolute delight. i’m finished with the first two seasons and look forward to continuing with it through the rest of the summer.
summer is always a great time to rewatch brooklyn nine-nine, and this year is no exception. i’m a little over halfway through season 1 and enjoying taking my time with it.
the best things i read on the internet.
what the shift to remote learning meant for college students who cannot be open with their families about their gender or sexual identities.
a black daughter of a white mother reflects on the conversations they have had in response to george floyd’s murder. “as long as you can distance yourself from a lynching or any kind of racist attack, you can remain unafraid”
shout-out to the group of teenagers who organized this incredible protest in nashville.
kudos to the dallas county commissioners who voted unanimously to declare racism a public health crisis.
the supreme court had a pretty big week in mid-june, protecting the rights of both lgbtq+ workers and dreamers. hoping for more of this in the future, and for an actual path to citizenship for dreamers.