I know, I know. I'm late sharing my July reading list with you all. As someone who was once perennially late to nearly everything, I'll leave you with the age-old "better late than never."
As a kid, I loved to read precisely because I existed in an environment that rarely reflected my lived experience. My life and my family often stood at odds with the lives and families of my peers. Once I reached that age where children discover that there are more important things than nap-time, snacks and the sand box, I struggled to relate to the very same people who were supposed to be my friends, and so I went in search of others to replace them. It didn't matter that the characters I fell in love lacked a certain physicality... I not only knew them, but identified with and believed in them and so they were real to me. I recognized the insolence of Junie B. Jones; found myself in awe of the resiliency of Harry and the genius of Hermione. When I discovered Christopher Paollini's Inheritance Cycle (beginning with Eragon, of course) and learned that he'd graduated at age 15 and been published just four years later, I swore I'd do the same. And though my private prep-school wouldn't allow me to graduate early, by age 15 I held in my hands a bound copy of my first published book.
Now that I'm in my 20s, I still search high and low for reading material that un-apologetically reflects truth in all of its forms: Authors who are honest about who they are and who they aren't; Writers who selflessly highlight their shortcomings and their pain alongside their triumphs and their happiness. This is the kind of artist I strive to be and actively surround myself with. So, this month I'll be reading authors who are doing just that. I can't wait to hear their stories which I'm sure will inspire me to share even more of my own:
- Hunger by Roxane Gay
- milk and honey by Rupi Kaur
See you soon, lovers