Reading Round Up for November 2019


This month’s Reading Round Up offers a collection of some of the best articles I read, covering topics including isolation rooms, Joe Biden’s stutter, and Watchmen. Plus a list of my own written work. Get those tabs ready!


My Writing

Review: Wade in the Water: The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Spotlight: Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction: October 2019

Review: Never Stop Fighting: Natasha Ngan’s Girls of Paper and Fire Series

Review: In Space, No One Can Hear You Pray: Sisters of the Vast Black by Lina Rather

Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

Review: OK Colonizer: Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

Review: Into the Woods: Shea Ernshaw’s Winterwood

Review: All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney

Review: Made Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky


Other Works

“Watchmen embraces its noir roots and Black trauma” by Joelle Monique for AV Club: “Earlier, Will wondered aloud if June thought he’d become a Tom after accepting the position. For Black people, being the first comes with a lot of doubt. Integrating means more than just diversifying for white people. It means being the only voice in the room. It means having drinks poured on your head. It means everyone doubting your intelligence, your capability, your authority, and your right to be in the room. It’s not an honor to be first. It’s a responsibility; it often hurts a lot more than a win should.”

“The Quiet Rooms” by Jennifer Smith Richards, Jodi S. Cohen and Lakeidra Chavis for Chicago Tribune: “The spaces have gentle names: The reflection room. The cool-down room. The calming room. The quiet room. But shut inside them, in public schools across the state, children as young as 5 wail for their parents, scream in anger and beg to be let out. The students, most of them with disabilities, scratch the windows or tear at the padded walls. They throw their bodies against locked doors. They wet their pants. Some children spend hours inside these rooms, missing class time. Through it all, adults stay outside the door, writing down what happens.”

“Before Syracuse, There Was Mizzou” by Tomi Obaro for BuzzFeed News: “I also spent four days in Columbia for homecoming weekend, immersed in what black alumni lovingly call Black Mizzou. “It’s like the same concept of Black Twitter, where you know enough black people — where you associate with mostly black students,” one current student, Armaja LaRue-Hill, a fifth-year documentary journalism major, explained to me. An RA with calm maternal instincts to match, LaRue-Hill would prove indispensable that weekend, checking in daily and providing helpful context, like pointing out where the “black hole” in the student center is, where black students hang out and study. Not every black student is part of Black Mizzou, but it is at the epicenter of black life on campus — which, I learned, is thriving.”

“What Joe Biden Can’t Bring Himself to Say” by John Hendrickson for The Atlantic: “I started stuttering at age 4. I still struggle to say my own name. When I called the gas company recently, the automated voice apologized for not being able to understand me. This happens a lot, so I try to say “representative,” but r’s are tough too. When I reach a human, I’m inevitably asked whether we have a poor connection. Busy bartenders will walk away and serve someone else when I take too long to say the name of a beer. Almost every deli guy chuckles as I fail to enunciate my order, despite the fact that I’ve cut it down to just six words: “Turkey club, white toast, easy mayo.” I used to just point at items on the menu.”

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