A great thing has happened: I’m all caught up on book reviews. Yeahie me! Thing is, I have nothing else planned, so here’s a book tag.
I was tagged by the wonderful Rae at Rae’s Reads and Reviews for the Black Blogger Book Tag, which is actually the Black Booktuber Tag created by Blkandsapphicreads. But since I’m a book blogger — Black Blogger Book Tag it is.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Umm, well. What can I say? I started blogging a long time ago so that I can chat about books with people as interested in books as me, but I only started to take blogging seriously a couple years ago.
I go by Zezee on here and other social media channels I use that’s associated with my blog, but that’s not my name. I was born and raised in Jamaica before moving to the U.S. in my teens, so… as of right now, I’ve spent a little over half my life living in the U.S. I read just about everything, but I love fantasy novels and zombie movies and am SO hooked on Kingdom, the South Korean TV show on Netflix, right now.
Who’s a Black author you love that a lot of people don’t know about?
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
I read Makumbi’s Kintu about two years ago and loved it. It’s a family saga set in Uganda about the cursed Kintu clan. The story opens in the year 2004 but jumps to 1750 to show us how the Kintu clan became cursed. As the story leads up to the present, we see how Uganda changes over the years. It’s such a good read! And it’s the only book I’ve read so far by Makumbi, but I have a copy of her A Girl Is a Body of Water (which is also titled the First Woman), which I hope to get to eventually. I just don’t see many bloggers and vloggers talking about her (then again, I do follow a lot of fantasy bloggers so…).
Favorite book about the Black experience:
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
I consider it a modern classic. It’s historical fiction about two sisters from Ghana, one sold into slavery and one who became wife to an overseer, I believe. The story follows their descendants and each chapter focuses on a different member of their family.
First of all, this is a great, well-written book. It’s a family saga that wraps up in 300 pages, and it does a great job of tapping into various facets of Black experience and Black history. I highly recommend it to everyone and believe it should be required reading.
Favorite book by a Black author:
A hard choice. There’s Homegoing and Kintu, both of which I’ve mentioned above, and there’s also —
salt. By Nayyirah Waheed
It’s a poetry collection about Black female experiences. I’m not a fan of poetry. High-school AP English classes spoiled it for me and now I hate it. But salt snuck in and made me love it. Here are two of the poems:
you broke the ocean in
half to be here.
only to meet nothing that wants you.
take the art.
slice it from their skin.
leave the color behind.
— flower crowns and bob marley t-shirts
Recommend a Black + queer book.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
Marlon James is one of my favorite authors, although I’ve only read two books by him, lol. The first book I read was The Book of Night Women, which is historical fiction set on a plantation in Jamaica. I loved that book and decided that he’s my favorite author after finishing it.
Although I didn’t like Black Leopard, Red Wolf as much, it was a good read because James is a very talented author. Black Leopard, Red Wolf is a fantasy novel about a man called Tracker searching for a kidnapped prince. The story is violent, dark, and gory and quite difficult to get through in the first couple chapters, but it gets more and more interesting as it goes on. James drew on several African folklores to create the fantastic world it’s set in. A queer romantic relationship develops in it. (I’m being vague to avoid spoiling things.)
Recommend a book with a Black person on the cover.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
It’s one of few recent YA novels I’ve read and loved — it’s on my favorites list. It’s alt-historical fiction set shortly after the Civil War. Those who died during the war became zombies, so children of African and Native American descendant are sent to schools to be trained to defend rich White folks.
I really enjoyed reading this because the protagonist is feisty and a bad-ass, and there are ZOMBIES!!! 😀 I need to read the second book.
Recommend a book by a Black author that makes you happy.
Umm… I don’t think I’ve read a book by a Black author that has made me happy, but here’s one that is light-hearted:
Rocket Says Look Up! by Nathan Bryon, illus. by Dapo Adeola
It’s a children’s picture book about a girl who wants to become an astronaut when she grows up and is eager to see a comet that will pass over her area. It’s a nice story and the illustrations are fun.
Talk about a book by a Black author that’s coming in 2021.
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
It’s a thriller that’s slated to be published in June. I actually received an ARC of it from one of my jobs, so I can’t wait to dig in.
Tag some Black book bloggers!
Well, I’m not tagging anyone, but here are some Black book bloggers to check out.