Books I read this week: All of April

I haven’t written about books for a long time. I haven’t written about anything for a long time. It is what it is. So I’m trying to catch up. Seeing as I haven’t posted since the end of March, and I’ve read 35 books since then, I’m going to post by month instead of one huge post. Here’s what I read in April.

Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood is a lovely book about a young black woman from the US who goes to Paris in search of the same experience that previous black expatriates like Josephine Baker and James Baldwin had in the earlier years of the 20th century. What she finds is not so romanticized, not so straight forward, but still beautiful. The writing in this book is lyrical and evocative, and I love the look into living in a country that is not your own.

A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille is really interesting. I like expanding my education theory base, and this approach has a lot that is positive and useful. There’s also quite a bit that I’m not ready to jump on board with, but the underlying core of “everyone is responsible for what they get out of their education” is one that has really helped my perspective lately.

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science and the World by Rachel Swaby is one of my favorite books of the year. Filled with short (a couple pages) biographies of women in different fields of science, it is so incredibly inspiring. I highly, highly recommend it.

Crash Course: Essays from where Writing and Life Collide by Robin Black is a really powerful book about writing. It’s the kind that kicks you in the butt because it reminds you that you have a story to tell, and that the only way it’s going to get told is if you tell it. She doesn’t pretend that it’s not work, or that it’s easy, but makes it clear how worth it the work is. There are also lovely insights into life with a child with special needs, and how parenting and writing can intersect.

It’s Just My Nature by Carol Tuttle is a personality/energy typing book. I’ve read others of her books, so there wasn’t really anything new in this one. Her views are interesting, and she does have some insights that have helped me view and deal with people differently.

We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge is incredibly good and incredibly thought provoking. An all-hearing family who are all fluent in sign language is recruited to live at an institute and incorporate a chimpanzee into their family, with the goal of teaching him sign language and trying to discover how much he can really communicate. The family comes in with their own issues, the institute has its own issues, race gets complicated, and everything implodes. I really, really liked this one.

Art Journal Freedom by Dina Wakley is a great introduction to different techniques and approaches to art journalling.

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye is another of my favorite books of the year. It’s a loose retelling of Jane Eyre, except that where Jane Eyre was strong willed and meek, Jane Steele is strong willed and kills people. It’s delightfully wrong in the same way that the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie is- the violence is so out of place in the milleu that we know so well that it becomes right, and my goodness is this right. The writing is top knotch, it’s funny and poignant and just really, really good. I highly, highly recommend it.

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