June was nothing short of a tentative month, commencing with an interminable reading slump and culminating in an freak total of 11 books read. Partway through the month, I decided to switch gears and focus on reading books with more black and LGBTQX+ representation, as I realize that this is still a very niche part of fiction and literature that I myself have been neglecting.
We are seeing trends arising within the book community where the focus has shifted to amplifying the voices of underrepresented voices, but I sincerely hope that rather than fade into the inconsequential oblivion that trends normally do, this newfound awareness will continue to be a talking point, ultimately culminating in a greater presence of black, person-of-colour, white-adjacent and queer representation within the mainstream publishing industry.
Shown below are all the books I read in June, which I will also review individually so as to critique them in greater depth. Please check out the Book Reviews page to read more!
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams –
This book can be described a much needed contemporary voice within modern fiction that shows the harmful effects severe anxiety and abandonment issues can have on human relationships. Queenie has recently broken up with her long-time partner, Tom and this sets her down a tragic path of bad decisions fuelled by unresolved childhood trauma. The narrative also has moments of light humour as a means of comic relief. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
PET by Akwaeke Emezi –
Set in a surrealist utopia, Lucille is a place where ‘monsters’ once ruled, wielding all the negative isms of harmful oppression until the ‘angels’ rose up and overthrew them. Years later, a young transgender girl called Jam, who leads a happy life with her kind and accepting parents in a newly transformed Lucille, encounters a strange creature. It has come to her world to hunt and needs Jam’s help to uncover the identity of a monster hiding in plain sight. This book is extremely current and paints a truer picture of society in its representations of gender identity and poly amorous relationships. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie –
We Should All Be Feminists is a short commentary on the political movement, based on a Ted talk of the same name that was delivered by the author. It deftly dispels misguided notions of feminism and by way of practical experiences argues its relevance in many societies where gender based discrimination is still a threat to many. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Trans Like Me: Conversations For All Of Us by C N Lester
This book gives all-encompassing insight into the transgender community, exposing the hostile and structural transphobic sentiment that many suffer, simply for being who they are. It matter-of-factly analyses the existence of trans people throughout human history, highlighting that the existence of other genders outside of the limiting gender binary, do very much exist and are valid. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
For more of what I read in June, including commentary on my manga picks, see the video below!