What’s The 411 Hun-Blog Post 1

How This Is Gonna Go…

First, I’m not doing stars or number ratings. No shots at or shade to those who follow that system but that’s not what I’m about. Even as a teacher, I’m not in a field where I give grades. Authors work their asses off to put their work out into the world and feel some level of anxiety about how people/readers will feel once their books are in their (readers) hands and out of their (authors) control; I will not contribute to that anxiety. It isn’t my job, nor my place, to put that sort of judgement on their work, their art, their babies; and I want to respect the time and effort these authors put into their craft.

As a [fellow] reader, I can only share how their work made me feel and how I connected to their work. I also won’t post the book synapses/descriptions because I can share the links to those or you can pick up the book & read the covers/dust jackets. Hopefully, what I write will be enough to motivate you to pick up or pre-order the book!

What I will share is the authors’ background/heritage, if they are a debut or not, favorite quotes & characters, links & of course, how I felt about the book. I’m also going to be writing about books I have felt the most passionate about so that this blog stays positive…I’ve been lucky to read tons of books that I enjoyed but there are some that stand out more than others (such is life). I ask (which is bold being new) that you trust this approach and that my love for these books will make for a good review (if it can be called a review) *kool-aid smile & eye-lash flutter*. I’m not going to post about every book that I read because I read AHHHHHH LOT so this blog will feature more recent book releases and ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies for my new to the book world peeps)!

Soooooooo, with all that being said…Let’s Get It, Let’s Go…review/talk about some books!

Let’s Get This Magic Started! An Intro To Me!

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