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  • Writer's pictureJasmine Hargrove

My 2022 Reads & My Reading Goal for 2023

In 2022, I didn't read not as nearly as much as I would have liked to but more than I have in the past few years. Cooking or cleaning while listening to an e-book is the perfect combination of peace for me. My reading taste is usually non-fiction historical books, fictional with historical context, or books that can teach me something. I'm always interested in the origin of something or how outside factors over time can create something. Hence why movies or books with a historical context really intrigues me. (side note: i'm obsessed with medieval or victorian movies as well) With that being said, let's get into my 2022 reads!

Black and British

By David Olusoga

About the book

Black and British touches on Britain’s long and complex relationship with the people of Africa and the Caribbean. Reaching all the way back to Roman Britain, when the first Africans arrived in England, the book talks about the origin story of black people at the heart of British history. The author, David Olusoga, is a British-Nigerian historian, broadcaster, and filmmaker. He is currently Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester.

What I thought

This book was such a good detailed description of the unfortunate journey of African and Caribbean people throughout british history. I was always curious what the experience was like in the UK and what was taught in their education system. Growing up in America, you learn about the civil war, transatlantic slave, and jim crow but I was always curious what it was like to grow up as a black person in Britian. It was a fairly quick book to read with a few tangible examples sourced to really pull the story together. If at all curious, I highly suggest picking this book up the next time you want a good read and learn more about British history.

The Vanishing Half

By Brit Bennett

About the book

The Vanishing Half discusses the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their true story.

What I thought

This book pulled me into so many directions. For it to be a story about two sisters who are living two different lives with the same origin I completely understood both sides of the story. It touches on the effects that race, colorism, and surrounding environments can really determine how a person views themselves and how they choose to survive their trauma. With the book holding onto so many heavy topics it still had room for beautiful romance stories that shows different versions of love. All in all, it might be one of my favorites.

Seven Days in June

By Tia Williams

About the book

Brooklynite Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone's surprise, shows up in New York.

What I thought

This book right here was everything to me. It was not what I was expecting but if you know me you know the unexpectant is what I love the most. It's such a beautiful love story that shows the messiness and the complexity of love. In this world, we all experience love in various ways and in different times in our life. All love isn't infinite and it's definitely not always the status quo. In my opinion, this book shows the unhealthy side but it shows the potential of how you can grow into yourself throughout life and potentially change that unhealthy love into healthy love. It shows how sometimes love can flourish through time apart and how the importance of individuality can create a safe space. I laughed, cried, and smiled throughout this book. Highly recommend to anyone who's looking for a good read.

The Yellow Wife

By Sadeqa Johnson

About the book

The yellow wife is a story about an enslaved woman forced to trade love and freedom while living in the most infamous slave jail in Virginia. Born on a plantation in Charles City, Virginia, Pheby Brown was promised her freedom on her eighteenth birthday.However, when her birthday finally comes around she finds herself thrown into the bowels of slavery at the infamous Devil’s Half-Acre, a jail where slaves are broken, tortured, and sold every day.

What I thought

In all honesty, this was pretty hard read. I was intrigued throughout and the storytelling was amazing but it hurt me to hear the details of this story. To give context, this is actually a true story and you can still go to the jail til this day. It's not called "God's half-acre" and there's a few movies about what happened here as well. As difficult as it was to get through this story I thought it was necessary to be reminded of just how far we've come. It was a reminder of how hard my ancestors had to fight mentally and physically to get by everyday for the sake of survival. I was in awe of Pheby's strength but also wanted to cry for her throughout the book. To see something so dark turn into something so beautiful after perseverance and enduring the treatment she went though was inspiring to say the least.

My 2023 Reading Goals

I joined the Good reads app and took on the book challenge for 2023 to read 35 books this year. One of my goals for the year was to get back to reading and minimize my TV time. I will keep you all updated on the 35 books that I plan on reading but in the meantime, here are the books that I am currently reading: All about love by Bell Hooks, Family Properties by Beryl Satter, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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