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The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

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The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss



I heard about this book a few years ago. I have never read anything by Alexander Dumas but I feel like I’ve always known about his books. The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers had all been made into movies that I’ve browsed through or knew of. Not to mention The Man in the Iron Mask featuring those same musketeers and Leonardo DiCaprio, a movie that I have watched countless times over. I knew these characters for the most part but I had no idea what the inspiration might have been for them. Then I came across this book which states that Alexander Dumas’s dad, a Black man, was the novelist inspiration for much of his work and I became very intrigued. I had assumed that Dumas was white. Mostly because all of the depictions of his characters were white and because people usually make it a point to point out when an author is Black. I picked this book up with the intention of learning…

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

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Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

It’s 2018. I wish I could tell you that racism is no longer an issue in the world but if my life has taught me anything it’s that racism still exist, is prevalent and may not ever cease to exist. This book answers a lot of the questions as to how that is true in 2018. It discusses the type of racist though that has been so prevalent throughout history and the systems in place that have allowed racism to flourish. It’s comprehensive, easy to read and understand but it isn’t for the feint of heart. If you aren’t prepared to look at some extremely hard truths then you should probably step away from this type of book, one that refuses to dumb down the situation to make you comfortable. I’m glad I decided to read this book. It highlights quite a few different aspects of history that I wasn’t aware of. There were things in this book that I would want to research further. I liked the way Kendi chos…

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

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Bird Box by Josh Malerman


I have many, many thoughts regarding this book, but first I want to say that I really enjoyed Bird Box. This review might come off a little critical at times. I had to keep reminding myself to stop comparing this to other dystopian books that I’ve read and movies that I’ve seen. Overall this was an intensely disturbing novel, that has an extremely interesting premise and this really boils down to survival and trying to hold on to remnants of society even when no such society exists any longer. Malorie had just moved in with her sister Shannon when reports started coming in. It started in Russia and the videos would show people being randomly attacked. There were reports of people going into rages and attacking other or harming themselves. The reports began to trickle in from Alaska and then different areas of the northern part of the United States. Something was causing people to commit these acts, something they were seeing. People began covering their window…

Odd One Out by Nic Stone

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Odd One Out by Nic Stone



Courtney and Jupiter have been best friends since he moved into the house next door eleven years ago. And even though she proclaimed she was a lesbian years ago, that hasn’t stopped him from falling head over heels in love with her. Everyone knows them as Coop and Jupe. They’ve always been inseparable and none of his relationships have ever stood a chance because of how close they are. Then there was Rae, some girl Jupiter had been texting for a while. All three ended up being friends and while Jupiter may be developing feelings for her, Rae is trying to sort out her feelings for Cooper. And Jupiter. Love is complicated. Sexuality is complicated. Stone created a book that shows just how complicated and disorienting it can be figuring out your sexuality while also trying to be regular high school students. I really liked Coop, Jupe and Rae. They were extremely well developed and felt genuine. Each one is in a different place in their teenage lives but all three …

The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad

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The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad


Nadia Murad is the survivor of a genocide. She lived in a small village in Iraq called Kocho. She was born into Yazidism, a monotheistic religion spread in the oral tradition. It is a religion that you can only be born into. There are only about one million Yazidis alive in the entire world. The Islamic State captured her village, killed the men and kidnapped the women and children. Nadia and other Yazidi women were forced to become sabaya, sex slaves. She was sold and raped multiple times, by multiple men before escaping. Nadia is now a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. She travels telling her story and demanding justice for the Yazidi genocide taking place in Iraq at the hands of terrorist. I cannot imagine the strength it took to survive this. I cannot imagine the fear that one would experience during a genocide. This book tore me to pieces a…

The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America's Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality by Anna-Lisa Cox

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The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America's Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality by Anna-Lisa Cox



I don’t know if I have ever even stopped to think of the existence of Black pioneers. The image of a pioneer that automatically comes to mind are the images that I’ve been shown: white men and women, with their children in tow making their way across the land like in the old (and epically amazing) game “Oregon Trail.” That’s the history I’ve always been shown in school. It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned of the atrocities committed against Native Americans on that march West. And it isn’t until now that I’m learning about the existence of the courageous Black men and women who settled in the Northwest Territory, cultivated the land and became successful farmers.
Hundreds of Free Black men and women chose to settle in the Northwest Territory. They owned hundreds of acres of land and for a while, the men even had the right to vote. They started families, brav…

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

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Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

Sierra Maria Santiago should be finishing the mural at the Tower. Instead, she is heading to the first party of the summer, meeting up with some of her best friends and enjoying the end of the school year. Well, that was the plan. Until her grandfather tells her that she is a shadowshaper and that the weird kid at school that has drawings all over his clothes will help her finish the mural. Sierra has no idea what he is talking about. Her grandfather had a stroke a year ago, and has barely said anything coherent since. That is until tonight. But what does it even mean to be a shadowshaper? The people who know won’t give her a clear answer, and the night she asks Robbie she ends up being chased by a reanimated dead body known as a corpuscule. But shadowshapers use magic to help the dead and unknown to Sierra, she comes from a family of them and she will be part of the legacy.
Hold on to your garters because things happen quickly in this book. From very …