i’ll be honest: i hit a lot of walls in july. i wasn’t in a good mental space for much of the month and have been taking time these last few weeks to do some things for myself so i can get back to where i need to be. i’m getting there.
an actual day off for my birthday // a weeklong jane visit // hamilton released on disney+ // girl up [virtual] leadership summit // finally being done with summer conference // hatching plans
dear martin by nic stone. i can’t quite remember when i got the kindle version of this book, but i found it at the beginning of july and decided to give it a read. i wasn’t prepared for how timely the story of justyce would be or how engrossed i would become in it. it touches on everything going on in our country right now: unarmed black teenagers being targeted by police officers, being shot; micro-aggressions and white people believing we live in a post-racial world; assumptions being made because of someone’s skin color or where they live. this was a quick read that packed a lot in, and i flew through it in just two days.
color me in by natasha díaz. i got this from the book of the month young adult selection last year when i had some extra credits, and it was a really great choice. díaz’ story of nevaeh, a biracial teen growing up in new york, provided so much insight into how all of those intersections play out. it gets into interracial relationships, classism, racism, privilege, stepping up and stepping back, and so many other things that make up our society. i always hesitate to say i enjoy books that cover some of these heavier topics, but i definitely learned a lot and would recommend it to others.
mom & me & mom by maya angelou. five years after rereading i know why the caged bird sings, i wrapped up my reading of maya angelou’s autobiographical series with this in-depth look at her relationship with her mother. i loved relearning some of these stories from a new perspective, and i liked that she added in some new anecdotes. angelou was such a prolific writer, and her autobiographies allow us an unfiltered look at her life and those around her. i’m so glad i decided to read all of these.
such a fun age by kiley reid. i’ve been hearing a lot of great things about reid’s debut novel so when my hold at the library came around i was pretty excited to dive into it. knowing nothing about what to expect, i found myself entirely wrapped up in the story of emira, a 25-year-old black woman in philadelphia, as she finds her footing as an adult figuring out her life. there are times she seems to be on track to somewhere and other times she seems stuck even while her friends appear to be moving on to bigger and better things [i related to that part a lot]. she deals with microaggressions and outright racism and has to learn how to stand up to the white saviors in her life on her own terms. it’s a little bit of a roller coaster but is well worth the read.
big friendship: how we keep each other close by aminatou sow and ann friedman. i have been a fan of aminatou and ann’s podcast call your girlfriend for years and was thrilled when i learned they were working on a book together. big friendship dives into their early days of friendship, the support they’ve provided for one another no matter their physical distance, and explores the bumps and hurdles they’ve hit along the way. it’s a great reminder that not friendship is perfect, and you have to be willing to put in the work to make those big friendships last. it made me think a lot about my own big friendships and the areas where i have faltered or failed over the years. highly recommend this one.
a million junes by emily henry. technically i finished it on august 1, but i’m counting it toward july since it was still before this update published. i got a million junes as a book of the month book years ago and have had it on my bookshelf waiting for the “right time” to read. i knew i was in the mood for something lighter at the end of the month and decided this would be perfect, and oh it was. i flew through this in under 48 hours and loved it. it’s got a great combination of flawed protagonists, mystery, magic, ghosts, and an old family feud, and it was exactly what i needed.
currently reading: catherine lacey’s pew and re-reading sally rooney’s normal people.
the best things i watched.
HAMILTON. you all knew this would be mentioned first. the filmed version of hamilton with the original broadway cast released on disney+ on july 3. i watched it twice that day and once more over that initial weekend and have seen it a few more times since. it is incredible to see so many close ups of their facial expressions and to get to see the faces that go with the voices i’ve been listening to for so many years. my crush on daveed diggs has gone up a notch, and i have a wee crush on anthony ramos [as john laurens] now as well. i am so, so happy to have this in my life.
at the beginning of the month netflix released the first season of the baby-sitters club, and i flew through the 10 episodes in a single sitting. as a kid this was my favorite book series, and i probably read the first 100 or so books at least 10 times each in elementary and middle school. watching this series took me straight back to my childhood and to why i loved the books so much, and this series got all the things right. each girl cast for the parts of kristy, claudia, mary anne, stacey, and dawn are perfect. it covers timely topics like transgender kids, inconsistent societal standards for boys and girls, the importance of using your voice and your platform to stand up for what you believe in, the ups and downs of blended families, whitewashed american history, and so much more. also included are lesbian characters, interracial relationships, and stigmas surrounding pre-existing medical conditions. i was surprised at how many book details i remembered, and i was equally surprised at how moved i was by each episode. please watch this so that they will continue making it forever.
brooklyn nine-nine, seasons 2-7. yep, i finished the rest of the series. i wasn’t in a good place for most of july, and the crew at the nine-nine got me through.
psych: the movie. i needed to rewatch the first one from 2017 before watching the new one that released in mid-july, and i am so glad i did because there was so much i didn’t remember. man i love these guys.
and psych 2: lassie come home, because obviously i had to watch it the following night. so good. i’ll be rewatching again soon.
the best things i saw on the internet.
why black fiction is just as important as anti-racist nonfiction.
never have i ever got renewed for a second season!
caroline randall williams’ ny times op-ed about confederate monuments.
according to this quiz, if i read for 30 minutes a day i should read 27 books a year. i’m already at 42 for 2020, but a lot of that is due to extra reading time because of the pandemic.
this ham4ham video of the schuyler georges is amazing.
the long-lasting implications of microaggressions.
simone biles. that’s it. that’s the tweet.
hair love is going to be adapted into a series!
what a car-free manhattan could look like.
this piece from deb perelman about how the pandemic has proven that you can have either a job or a kid but not both during this time.
how reading the baby-sitters club led to a larger love of literary fiction. i couldn’t have said it better myself.
how to be a better ally to your black colleagues.
a case for lowering the voting age to 16.
the white men breaking laws to complete a thru-hike of the appalachian trail emphasizes the racial disparities that exist in the outdoors.
the 80-best single-operator newsletters. my inbox is about to be so cluttered. some are free and some are paid, but there’s something for everyone.
how the show indian matchmaking further perpetuates colorism in india.
this twitter account of videos of soviet soldiers dancing overlaid with contemporary music is gold.
aminatou and ann have been interviewing all over the place for their book, and i especially loved this one with julie beck for the atlantic.
educators who are rewriting curriculum to give students the information and tools they need to dismantle systemic racism.
have you heard of window swap? you can look at the window views of people all over the world when you need a break from your own. it’s very relaxing.
nike has been winning the ad game these last few months.
here’s to an august of good news.