Heyyyyyy there! So after finishing the Black Boy Joy anthology Edited by Kwame Mbalia, it got me thinking about how much I love anthologies and how they tend to bring me such happiness. I don’t know if it is the different voices, the expressions of experiences or just masterful storytelling but I just LOVEEEEEEE a good anthology. It also made me think of how my Grandpa loved to tell stories and how the ones closest to his heart not only made him light up but how those listening around him lit up as well, much like when I read an anthology. A great story could always make my day, especially from him, so that could be why I love them as much as I do. So I’m going to share some of my favorite anthologies and why I loved them…I would share my favorite stories but I want you all to go out and get them then tell me what your favorites are after reading *wink* *wink*. This list isn’t extensive so you don’t have to worry too much about your bank account (at least, I don’t think :0/).
A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell. What I loved so much about this anthology is how it represented the vastness of what it is to be a Black Girl and what it could mean to be/have Black Girl Magic. The stories are just so dope and quite a few, I’m really hoping that the authors turn into full novels because I have so many questions or just want more of the stories/characters! They played out like movies in my mind and that is always a great sign when I’m reading a book or a short story.
Black Boy Joy Edited by Kwame Mbalia. I absolutely adored this anthology because it left my heart so full. The different expressions/dimensions of Black Boyhood/Non-Binaryhood (is that a term?) just kept a smile on my face, even when my eyes threatened to leak…I ate this book up (I read the E-ARC, it’s out on 8/3/2021). I’m too hype to get a copy for my Godson though he’s only 6…it’ll be his first middle grade from me! I firmly believe that we need more books that center Black Boys & their stories and I’m so happy this book will be out in the world for them soon enough!
A Thousand Beginnings And Endings edited by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman. You all know how I feel about mythology and this book is all retellings of AAPI mythology written by AAPI authors. I loved reading the different mythologies, especially when they were new to me. I also loved reading why the authors chose the myths they did because it makes it that much more special after you finish their story. I find that knowing why a story is so important to someone makes it much more important/meaningful! If you are a fan of mythology, you will enjoy this one too!
Ancestor Approved Edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith. I absolutely loved this anthology and was a little upset with myself for not getting to it sooner. This middle grade anthology is one written by Indigenous authors and it was brilliant how they interwove the stories. They highlighted so beautifully how they come from different tribes but how they are connected through ceremonies and celebrations such as Pow Wows. I felt like I was at the Pow Wow with them because the imagery was so vivid! It also made me a bit hungry with the mention of fry bread in every story (just a heads up, lol)!
Black Enough Edited by Ibi Zoboi. This is an anthology that is close to my heart. I felt so seen while reading it with the varying experiences and types of stories in its pages. I laughed, my eyes leaked a little, I just had such a great time while reading. I was so lucky to receive an ARC of it before it came out and attended the launch for it so hearing how Ibi chose the authors & the prompts made it so much more special. I’m really hoping that there would be a second installment of this anthology because it felt like there are so many more stories out there to be told, especially with some of the amazing debut authors that have been published since this book came out!
Well y’all, I gotta get to adulting but likely will decide to read instead (Bookish People Problems For The Win), lol! I have at least 2 more anthologies in my TBR that I hope to get to soon (well, one is coming out soon so I will get to it because of the way I’m set up)! If you know any anthologies written by POC authors, please do drop them in the comments, I love a good book rec just as much as I like giving them!
Until the next post, Find and Follow me out in these E-Streets on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can typically find me in book centered clubs/rooms (also subscribe to this blog). As usual, I’m wishing you happy reading and sending you tonnnnnnnnns of bookish love! Until the next post, later!