So I skipped this Top Ten Tuesday post – the ones about the favorite books from 2017, because I wasn’t sure what to include and what to exclude. 2017 was a good reading year. I can’t believe some of the amazing books I’ve read. When the topic came up on Book Blogger Hop, (submitted by Geybie over at Geybie’s Book Blog), I supposed I’d procrastinated long enough.
I think I’m going to feature here the ones that made me feel the most – either as a black reader, or a queer reader, or the intersections of those and other identities.
So my top five from 2017 are the books many people have heard me screaming about all year (or getting shade on Twitter for not having read right away). Also, as I was making this list, I realized that I should have done the Top Ten Tuesday version – picking five was so hard.
Looking for Group by Rory Harrison. This one, I loved as a gamer, and I loved as a queer person. I also discovered this year that I really like road trip books. I still don’t like going on road trips, however.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. There is a part of me that wants to submit this title without comment, and there’s another part of me that wants to gently urge those who haven’t read this one yet to go pick it up. Much of what I’m reading about the lens I’m using to write my dissertation talks about how counter-narratives are used to build community around those who are marginalized, as well as offer an alternative narrative to those who aren’t and sometimes forget about others’ humanity. That’s what The Hate U Give does – it reminds us that, despite what the news says and despite how lawyers frame things, black and brown people are human and possess humanity.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone. After this, I will read everything that Stone writes. I was floored by the emotional wallop in this story. The fact that I cried harder with this one than any story I’ve read in many years leaves me in awe of Stone’s talent as a writer. Honestly, I love anything that can hit me viscerally like that.
Akata Warrior (Akata Witch #2) by Nnedi Okorafor. The first one was pitched as Harry Potter meets Nigeria with a Nigerian-American protagonist. This one is the one that turns this story into an epic. I was so excited to have the opportunity to get back into this world.
#bookaday Akata Warrior (Akata Witch #2) by Nnedi Okorafor. What a wait for this one. But it was worth it. The story goes from intro to the world in Akata Witch, to epic fantasy with world-ending stakes within a matter of pages. Sunny's identity was a focal point of the novel – not only is she an albino American-born Nigerian, but she also detatches from herself in a way that calls who she is and what's she's capable of into question. I thought this was particularly well done. I love that Sunny and her friends have distinct talents that come out of that which makes them different. If you haven't started this series and you're a fan of scifi/fantasy, you're welcome. Also, I could have done without the spiders (I know they're significant) but they give me the willies. #stickynotereviews #bookstagram #instabook #bookreview
I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina. Illustrated by John Edward Jennings and Stacey Robinson. It’s a graphic novel that serves to remind us of the humanity of the people, particularly people of color, who have died because of the police.