mumbling cap book club begins

It’s no big surprise that I love books and talk about them pretty often, so a video on books is to be expected. In this video I share books that I’ve read recently and new ones I’ve picked up. Please share your recommendations in the comments (here or on the actual video); I can never get enough.

BOOKS I MENTION

Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz http://bit.ly/2ITDgy5

Slutever by Karley Sciortino http://bit.ly/2Kt217q

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi http://bit.ly/2IU2HzL

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot http://bit.ly/31AIrvo

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion http://bit.ly/2Zx1lBx

Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn http://bit.ly/2RkUf00


“ENDLESSLY WICKED, ENDLESSLY TRUE”: TALKING BOOKS WITH WRITER MOLLY YOUNG

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Ever since I was little, I’ve had a love affair with reading. A big part of why I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was six years old was because I loved reading and books so much. And as someone who is still trying to find her voice, reading a variety of things is important to me. But finding new things to read can get overwhelming. A lot of the places I get my recommendations come from people with very similar tastes, and so most of the books I read are pretty similar. That’s where Read Like the Wind comes in.

Read Like the Wind is a monthly newsletter created by one of my favourite writers, Molly Young. Each month features three books, as well as a few other recommendations. What I like most about Molly’s recommendations is that they are never books that I have heard of before. They cover a range of interests and curiosities, and encourage me to explore topics that I would have never pursued otherwise. Curiosity is a characteristic I value, and it seems to play a key role in all the projects that Molly undertakes.

I’ve read and admired Molly’s writing for a long time, and the delivery of her newsletter has only increased my admiration. Recently, I nervously emailed Molly to ask if she’d be down to answer a few questions about Read Like the Wind and her relationship with books. She immediately accepted and after freaking out for an entire day, I sent her a few questions. Read what she had to say below 🌻

What made you want to start sending out your newsletter? Why not share your Goodreads account or start an Instagram account?
I love the intimacy of email. Because it comes from my address, it means that people often respond with their own opinions or recommendations for me, which I love. Plus, it allows readers to access the newsletter on their own time. If they don’t feel like reading it when it appears, no prob— they can archive it in their inbox for the next time they need a book rec.

The best thing about your newsletter is that the books you recommend are typically titles I don’t see recommended elsewhere. Where do you find your recommendations? What makes a book worth recommending?

If you think about it, book recs are the original memes. We’ve all had that experience of reading a book, freaking out over how good it is, and recommending it to a friend…who recommends it to another friend…and on it goes. Like “going viral” but in very slow motion. I only recommend books that made me freak out on some level, which is why the newsletter comes out infrequently!

I once read that you read about three hours a day. Do you do it in just one block? Or little by little? Do you ever have days where reading feels like a challenge?

I treat myself to bursts of reading throughout the day. Of course, there are days when I don’t pick up a book once. Since I’m a writer, I’m lucky enough to set my own schedule, which means I’ll often work for an hour, then read for 30 minutes, then work for an hour, and so on. The reading periods offer a break for my brain but also a kick in the ass because they remind me of what good writing looks like.

How have books and reading impacted your life? What book (s) would you say have defined your life so far?

Books like Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie and Reef by Romesh Gunesekera come to mind. They are page-turning heart-shredding books that utterly smashed my (inevitably limited) experience of the world.

MOLLY’S MUMBLING CAP RECS

THE VACATION READ

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My personal metric for a vacation read is that it's easy enough to be intermittent—you can pick it up or let it be without losing steam—but brain-gripping enough to provide a steady opportunity for escapism. My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite fits the bill. It’s about an Instagram hottie who goes on murder sprees. Braithwaite is the voice of a generation that I want to be a part of.

THE CHALLENGER

The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton. Endlessly wicked, endlessly true.

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THE RE-READ

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

nothing ever goes as planned (vlog #3)

this is my favourite vlog that i’ve made so far. i haven’t done anything crazy so far, but this feels the most honest and honestly the most i’m proud of. it’s pretty simple but i’m hoping to start doing different things and learning more things. thanks to everyone who has watched so far and has given me feedback; i appreciate it so much. and thanks to my friends who happily make appearances in each video.

💄Products used/mentioned

Hourglass Veil Primer https://seph.me/2JRBd0G

Glossier Lidstar in Fawn http://bit.ly/2XlNBsO

Morphe Eyeshadow in Grape Soda https://seph.me/2Z5QQVL

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Foundation in 400 https://seph.me/2HO91cs

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Concealer in 390 https://seph.me/2Xe11Hb

Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder https://seph.me/2HN6Oya

Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Bronzer in Mahogany https://seph.me/2JPTACT

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Highlighter in Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule https://seph.me/2KcAcQ2

🎧 Music

All the things we used to do ~ anna collins and fox martindale https://soundcloud.com/rookiemag/all-the-things-we-used-to-do-fox-atticus-martindale-anna-collins

Crybaby (B) ~ cookies https://soundcloud.com/cookiesvision/cookies-crybaby-b

🥰 Friends

Lilly https://www.instagram.com/batforlillies/

Lydia https://www.instagram.com/lyduye/


Born from the Fire

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Black women were born with fire raging through their veins. And throughout their lives, they have used that fire to fight for themselves, and for others, in a world that sees that them as less than; as nothing; as non-citizens. While this fire can be empowering for black women, it often burns them in a world that uses black women’s passion and emotion as way to invalidate the very real struggle that they face in a hostile world. We are asked to be quiet, to be respectable, and to be grateful for the small scraps people are willing to throw our way. Yet, it is our emotion, more specifically our anger, that will save us. It is what allows us to fight everyday against the injustices that befall us and all other oppressed minorities. It is the power of this anger that Brittney Cooper’s Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers her Superpower takes on.

A mix of personal memoir and the political, Eloquent Rage breaks down the many ways in which black women face disrespect and subjugation, from the way they are treated in romantic relationships to the responsibilities that their churches and communities place on them. In the chapter, “White Girl Tears,” Cooper addresses the relationship that men, black and white alike, have with black women, who they’re happy to have take care of them, but refuse to love. She talks about the ways in which black men are quick to defend white women over black women *ahem Daniel Caesar*, and the way in which black-white interracial relationships can be coded by internalized racism and hatred towards black women. In “Orchestrated Fury”, Cooper argues that respectability politics—”the belief that Black people can overcome many of the everyday,, acute impacts of racism by dressing properly and having social comportment”—has been used by both black and white communities to invalidate black women who don’t play by the rules. Black women that fail to remain poised and respectable, who are seen as “ghetto”, are accused of being a ‘disgrace to the race’. Respectability then, is used as a way of silencing black women, allowing their continued mistreatment. As Cooper says, “respectability might have got us to the highest office in the land, but it could not ensure any level of long-term respect for Black humanity.” In the chapter, as in the rest of the book, Cooper passionate and careful navigation of such politics encourages black women to let go of the rules that don’t serve them and empower themselves.

What’s great about Eloquent Rage is that Cooper doesn’t hold back. The topics that she addresses are controversial any day of the week, and Cooper is quick to call out everyone, from white feminists to Black Panther leaders. No one is exempt from her critique. Even better, Cooper stans hard for black women. While she doesn’t disregard the experience of other oppressed minorities, she makes it clear that she is riding for black women and their experience.

Reading Eloquent Rage was a necessary education. Of course there were things Cooper said that I’d heard before but there were also stories and details that I’d never heard before. And it made me think of how my desire to be likeable and agreeable to people is so closely tied with wanting them to see me, a black woman, as digestible. Without really knowing it, I’ve held the principles of respectability politics like a Bible to the chest. And Eloquent Rage showed me the power that could come from living freely; it showed me that my emotions were completely valid even when the world wants to tell me that I’m being too sensitive.

Support black writers and small businesses, and buy Eloquent Rage at your local independent bookstore

🌻 rules are just guidelines 🌻

Here it is! My first vlog! I’ve honestly been wanting to make vlogs for almost 2 years now, ever since I first watched Rachel Nguyen’s #31daysofthatschic. And I’ve finally done it. Like any other creative endeavor I don’t know where it will go, how long I will do it but I had a lot of fun doing it. I worked on it every day. And I’m actually kind of proud of it. I hope you like it! Please share your thoughts in the comments

2018: A YEAR

The joy of discovering my personal brand

The joy of discovering my personal brand

In 2018 I:

I learnt:

  • the power of the podcast (and Oprah)

  • why I had so much academic anxiety

  • how to be ok with sitting still

  • how to disconnect

  • Toronto transit system

  • that faltering does not mean quitting

  • that growth isn’t something that stops and begins—it’s always happening

I listened to:

  • lots of Travis Scott and Ariana Grande

  • lots of podcasts including Girlboss Radio and Thirst Aid Kit

  • The songs on this playlist (and this one)

I watched (and loved):

  • Widows

  • Roma

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (I’ve now seen it 8 times)

  • Frances Ha (rewatched because it will forever be a favourite)

  • Lady Bird

  • Bob’s Burgers (again and again)

  • Big Mouth

  • That’s Chic YouTube videos

** my complete 2018 watched list

I read (and loved):

** complete 2018 read list

What I’m looking forward to in 2019:

  • reading more books

  • Greta Gerwig’s Little Women

  • making more friends

  • growing more confident in my abilities

  • trying new things

  • finding balance in all things

  • more movies

SUMMER ‘18

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This summer started out a bummer--I didn’t have a good job, my future was really uncertain and I spent more time worrying than enjoying myself. Eventually things figured themselves out, as they’re wont to do and I started a new job where I’ve met some pretty cool people. Hanging out with them has reminded me of how good it is to just have fun and be open to dancing, whether your drunk or not. That sort of attitude has snuck its way into my summer playlist which, in my opinion, is full of BANGERZ and that I’m pretty much listening to till there’s snow on the ground. One of my faves on here is “Heart to Break” by Kim Petras which is really just the bop of the summer. One thing I’m really embracing this summer is the idea of risking delight. I’m always so cautious, so “practical” and I let that hold me back in a lot of ways. It means a lot of missed experience and a lot of unnecessary regret. This summer, and the rest of this year, is about being open to experience even if it breaks me, even if it makes me cry. With this playlist I’m officially crowning this summer as the summer of dancing your ass off and having one or six martinis. We all deserve it.