• Book Review

    Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

    Warnings: Racism, Violence, Domestic Abuse My Thoughts For those that don’t already know who Trevor Noah is, he is a comedian from South Africa that is now the current host of The Daily Show, taking the place of Jon Stewart when he retired. Trevor is an accomplished polyglot, speaking 9 languages fluently and has some fluency in several more. In much of his comedy, he talks about his difficulties with racial identity having been born during apartheid to an African mother and a Swiss father. Apartheid was a system of institutionalized segregation in South Africa that lasted from the 1940s to the 1990s. The book is bursting at the seams…

  • Book Review // Memoir

    Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

    Warnings: Drug Use, Racism, Violence, Discussions of Sexual Assault My Thoughts This book is quite simply incredible. It was so true to my experiences as an Asian American woman; I laughed during some parts, cried at others, felt enraged and melancholy all at once. It is a timely book to read now with the widespread hate crimes against Asians that has been raging in the United States after the COVID-19 pandemic. Hong presents a series of personal and political essays that detail the impact that racial perceptions of Asians and Asian culture have on various areas of the author’s life as a Korean American woman. I appreciated that the author…

  • Book Review

    Sisters’ Entrance

    Warnings: Violence, Racism, Islamophobia, Trauma My Thoughts I’ve struggled to gather my thoughts on this collection, I was just so blown away and overwhelmed by the emotions elicited by this book. The poetry collected here comes from a very personal place for the author, who is a Sudanese refugee that survived the war and genocide in Darfur. Some poems were heavy and spoke of her traumatic experiences such as in People Like Us and The Bride. Others, like Why I Haven’t Told You Yet, were more light-hearted but still carry a strong message. All of these poems pulled together shape the author, her family, her experiences, and her outlook on…

  • Book Review // Memoir

    All Boys Aren’t Blue

    Warnings: Homophobia, Transphobia, Sex, Sexual Assault, Molestation My Thoughts All Boys Aren’t Blue is a powerful memoir about one young man’s reckoning with his identity as a queer black man. The book explores the intersection of race and sexuality and the difficulty of finding one’s identity in a society that systematically oppresses people that fall outside of what is considered “normal.” It is open, honest, and deeply personal, I found myself tearing up many times while reading. “Navigating in a space that questions your humanity isn’t really living at all. It’s existing. We all deserve more than just the ability to exist.” I wish that I had a book like…

  • Book Review

    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

    My Thoughts What blows my mind about this book is how incredibly readable and accessible it is, considering the fact that it was written over a century ago. Frederick Douglass was a fugitive slave and a prominent leader of the abolitionist movement. While in captivity, Douglass worked hard to teach himself how to read and write, viewing literacy and education as his means to freedom. “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will… Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get.” The narrative discusses Douglass’s experiences as both a plantation slave and a personal…

  • Book Review

    The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine

    Warnings: Sexual Assault, Rape, Child Abuse, Violence Against Women and Children My Thoughts I didn’t know a thing about Somaly Mam or her NGO, AEFSIP (Acting for Women in Distressing Situations) when I picked up this little book at the library. Human trafficking has been a well-known issue in Southeast Asia that is still prevalent today despite humanitarian efforts. It is a horrible industry that continues to grow and affects even my home country, the Philippines. This memoir details Somaly’s upbringing as an aboriginal girl in the years following the end of the Khmer Rouge. Mam was abandoned and eventually picked up by an abuser that sells her. The book…