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Nnedi Okorafor

Ever get stuck in a reading slump? This happens to me a lot, especially after I read books that require a lot of mental weight lifting. ⠀

To reset my brain I love reading graphic novels. There is something about seeing a visual artist’s interpretation of the events within the comic panels that kind of lets my brain relax. I don’t have create my own images, I’m letting them take me along for the ride.

LaGuardia is a comic book written by one of my absolute favorite authors, Nnedi Okorafor. The artistry in this is exceptional and I’ll have to pay attention to pieces that Tana Ford and James Delvin have been involved in. Each page was jumping with vibrant colors and delicious social commentary. ⠀

Follow me if you want more great graphic novel recs in the future. I love finding new ones and sharing ones I’ve already read.

#books #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #readingslump #graphicnovels

Anna K

Anna K

Jenny Lee

At the beginning of quarantine, I listened to Maggie Gyllenhaal narrate Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, at 36 hours I figured I had the time. Lots of puzzles were completed, dishes washed, haha. It was a fine read, I was glad to have listened to it and I can understand why so many people love it, but there was far too much about farming and religion for my taste. Still, Tolstoy’s commentary on society is still pertinent today and I enjoyed the story overall.

Enter Anna K. This splendid update drew me in and thrilled me on so many levels. It felt smart and fresh, although so much of the story is a tale as old as time. Usually I’m not a fan of YA romance (nothing against it, but since I became older and a mom I’m just like YOU’RE TOO YOUNG), but I gotta say this one really landed for me. It’s like what the TV show Gossip Girl wished it was. It handles the challenging parts of being a teenager with sensitivity and every character has their own complexity. I also loved the characters had different racial and class backgrounds, making it feel more authentic. I was especially delighted with how she changed up Kitty (she is Kimmie in this book), giving her a thoughtful backstory that added a new layer to a character I was thought was just okay in the original.

I don’t think you have to read Anna Karenina in order to enjoy this, but it definitely added a lot to my own personal experience. Overall the writing in this is sharp and incredibly witty. I gave my copy to my friend and she gobbled it up in a day. I’ll be on the lookout for book 2.

CW: sexual assault, revenge porn, drug abuse, racism, & classism

ID: The book Anna K resting on a white blanket.


anna k by jenny lee

Puerto Rico Strong

Puerto Rico Strong

I love graphic novels. To me the art form can be truly transcendent and pack an emotional punch. Comics are political. Political cartoons have been around since the beginning of politics! There is so much they can accomplish and this collections of short stories is no different. This comic anthology was created by multiple Puerto Rican artists and writers. These are all stories about Puerto Rico and the only complaint I have is that some are too short and could’ve used more time, but given the circumstances surrounding its creation time was probably of the essence to get these stories out. Nevertheless if you don’t know much about Puerto Rico or its history this is a good place to start. Plus, all the profits from this anthology go to United Way of Puerto Rico’s Early Childhood Relief Program. ⠀

Puerto Rico holds a special place in my heart. My grandmother was Puerto Rican. My father was born in Puerto Rico. I’ve been lucky to visit a few times growing up. And although I grew up eating asopao and homemade flan, once my grandmother passed it felt like that part of my identity was severed. We were supposed to go to Puerto Rico this winter to spread her ashes, a family reunion my cousins and I really want to happen, but it looks like it is just not in the cards. Thankfully the family I have still residing there is doing okay. They are all safe and healthy. But I hope I can see my great Aunt and Uncle before it’s too late…⠀

I miss her so much. I hope my family and I can go back one day and fulfill her final wishes. I’ll be so happy to show my son that part of himself too and maybe reclaim a part of myself that at times feels lost. ⠀

Also shoutout to @altversela for putting this on my radar. They are an awesome comic book and table top gaming store in LA you should support if you can. #graphicnovel #puertorico #puertoricostrong #hurricanrelief #hurricanereliefpuertorico #hurricanerelieffundraiser #bookstagram #booklover #bookaholic #knowhistory #decolonizeyourbookshelf #comicbooks #comics #ilovereading #alwaysbereading #supportsmallbusiness #independentbookstore #supportlocal #supportlosangelessmallbusiness

kindred book



John Lewis

Growing up in a white, wealthy neighborhood meant my education in history was largely told through the lens of the colonizer. I remember learning about Rosa Parks and being told one day “she was just tired” so she refused to move to the back of the bus. Not that she was an activist and protestor for a long time before that particular arrest. I learned that MLK was always a hero. Not that he was considered a radical who was vilified and surveilled by the FBI. ⠀

In 2013 I picked up a copy of John Lewis’s “March.” I credit this graphic novel for helping me start my journey to decolonize my own education. I devoured his story within days. After I had to know more about the things I was never taught, a journey I will continue for the rest of my life. John Lewis the education you have given me is immeasurable and you will always be one of my favorite teachers. Thank you for opening my eyes and showing me how to hope in a world that only wishes to tear everyone down. We will continue the work in your honor and for all of those who came before us. Most importantly, I will make sure the students I educate and my son will know the truth about protest movements and they will know the truth of this country so that they will be destined to do better and fight for justice for all. Rest in Power. Your soul lives on.

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