I finally got around to finishing my list of the books I read (or, more fittingly, the books that read ME) in 2022. I’ve noticed some things about myself that I’ll include here:
- Finding a reading rhythm continues to be challenging. I think instead of feeling badly about that, I’ll now lean more into understanding that our reading lives change, and that is okay. The books that resonated with me the most this year were poetry, actually. I had my heart broken open, made lots of mistakes, understood how trauma can really mess you up, so poetry saved me. So grateful for Kay Ulanday Barrett’s More Than Organs which gave me the language for all that I continue to feel.
- I loved getting lost in a long novel that completely erased time and space. The Love Song of W.E.B. DuBois was THAT good. Sort of the perfect way to begin January, at that.
- I continue to think of all the ways we misunderstand Black boyhoods and Black childhoods, especially when those Black boys might be quirky, or “different” or intolerable. Kudos to Taylor Harris for her motherhood memoir, This Boy We Made. It also made me hope to start writing about mothering a Black boy in a way that preserves his identity and independence and helps me to process my own experiences.
- I’m glad I was able to read some great YA last year! Cafe Con Lychee was simply adorable, as was Instructions for Dancing. I can’t wait to share those with young people (and grown ups) who will delight in them as well.
- I continued to learn more about Black women, noted by the long time it took me to work my way through Dorothy Roberts’ Killing the Black Body. This book is critical for understanding why Black women’s reproductive justice is something we must all protect.
Again, if you’d like to see the whole list, it’s here, and on that page you can link to previous years’ lists. I also am reminded that what I am experiencing is what so many of our children and young people have also been experiencing. As Catherine Newman says, “grace bats last.”
As for 2023, I am still in search of an intentional reading life that provides me what I need. No goals, just staying open to whatever texts come my way. Here’s my first book stack I picked up from my local library to get the year started. I look forward to R.O Kwan’s annual BIPOC books by women to read and take my cue from there. I’ll mark my progress here. Drop by anytime and tell me what you’re reading. And if you have a book I should read this year, drop it in the comments and I’ll add it.