Happy Wednesday party people! I hope you are having a marvellous week. I had a bit of a procedure done yesterday so I don’t have a lot on my schedule apart from healing and distracting myself from the pain. Hooray for books!
I picked up Postcolonial Banter by Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan thanks to a great review on instagram by Hanain. This is a marvellous collection, full of anger, grief and raw power. Manzoor-Khan resists the expectations that she feels put upon her as a Muslim person in English culture. Some of the poems have explanatory notes at the end to give greater context about the creation of the poem which I found invaluable.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for this amazing collection. Get your hands on it.
Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard is a wonderful, but painful, coming out novel. Charlie, Zeke and Hammer all live in Geraldton and go to the same catholic school. When Charlie hooks up with a bloke in town and is caught by the wife, he is outed on social media and treated as a pariah by his school mates. Zeke is a top student, but he also suspects he is gay, and can’t deal with his parents pressure on him to both perform well at school and date a girl. His parents’ views on Charlie do not give him hope that coming out to them will go well. Hammer is one of the school jocks and a bit of a bully. Charlie’s outing has an effect on him that he would never have guessed.
This is a difficult novel to read – full of homophobic bullying and religious statements, and such incredible unsupportive adults. Kids in small towns can have such a hard time coming out in tiny towns where everyone knows you and there is no escaping the old fashioned views. The characters are so wonderful though, I was rooting for them the entire time.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ CW for suicide and suicidal ideation.
Our Women on the Ground is another book I picked up thanks to The Reading Women podcast.
This is an amazing and diverse set of pieces by 19 Arab women journalists from different areas. They talk about the challenges it is about being a woman and a journalist in states where women should be chaperoned by a male relative, or where women should be home by a certain time, or where women are subjected to constant harassment if they walk around unaccompanied. Not to mention the challenges of reporting from war zones.
These are powerful pieces that give additional context and information about what’s going on in places like Syria, Egypt and Yemen during difficult political times and the sacrifices women have had to make to both pursue their dream career and to report objectively.
What have you been reading this week?