To be honest, I never thought that I would start a blog but we all know the adage “never say never” so here we are *turns & spins with arms in the air*. A year and a half ago, I wouldn’t have thought that I would be back to reading so much, let alone write about all the books I read. I had been posting the books I read on instagram (@crystalyogi22 & now @bookishgirlmagic) and multiple people have given feedback that I should do book reviews *wide shocked eyes*.
To help you understand where I came from, I have to start from the, kind of, beginning. At the end of a shopping excursion for books for my students at the time (I’m a early childhood special educator), I happened to look to my right as I was about to get onto the escalators & I stopped dead in my tracks. A book caught my eye and that book was Children Of Blood and Bone (CBB) by Tomi Adeyemi. Being that I was trapped in a bubble that was my work life as well as yoga life (I’m also a yoga teacher), I knew none of the hype around this book. But the cover…the cover pulled me over to its section, I got on my tippy toes to pull down a copy (#ShortGirlProblems) & the description sealed it for me.
In reading CBB, I saw myself on the page, I felt apart of the story. As a black girl reading a book written by another black girl with a badass black girl as the main character, I found myself…invigorated, powerful & SEEN! This is important for someone like me who struggled with their voice & understanding of who they were.
After reading CBB, I decided that summer that I would read just books by POC (People Of Color) female authors and read 14 books in a 4 week span! I even went to bookcon to meet Tomi & ending up making one of the best [bookish] friends I could’ve have ever imagined meeting (shout out to Amber). So Tomi, if you end up reading this, thank you for opening up my world the way you [indirectly] did. Since then, I’ve gone on to read books by male POC authors but the point of it is that all the authors I have read since ARE People Of Color!
If you are wondering why just POC, I’ll happily tell you & this is probably going to be the most serious paragraph you will read from me. I’ve had a lifetime (30+ years) of non-POC authors shoved in my face (like so many other people of color) where POC are either not represented or accurately represented (#RepresentationMatters) and I felt tired. As an adult, I am in the position to consciously choose who’s voice I want to hear and who I support with the money I work so hard to earn (#AdultingSucks). I firmly believe that it is important to support POC authors and amplify their voices as they have had to fight for the spaces they occupy in the publishing world in a way that non-POC have not had to. Suffice this to say that if this bothers you, then this is not the blog for you because I unapologetically stand behind this belief *’Ye Shrug*.
Before I end this post, which will be the longest you will likely see from me, I just have to share that I am quirky, a bit awkward, funny at times, bubbly at times but no matter what mode I am in, I am authentically me 100% of the time. I have worked really hard over the last few years to speak my truth without shame. I get easily excited about the things I love (books being one #GranddaughterOfALibrarian) and it will show in my posts & if we ever meet in person…at a book event because on the subway, I keep my headphones on & a book in front of my face (#ImSoNewYork)!
Well, this has been fun but I’m sure you want to return to your life or your book now. Thank you for taking the time out to read this post & I look forward to sharing my love of diverse books with you!
With Bookish Regards, Latesha