Welcome to In Reading Color, a space where we focus on literature by and about people of color.
It’s officially October, which means I have started watching/reading all the spooky things! Spooky vibes are what led to me randomly watching the new Interview with the Vampire show this past weekend and it is so good. Like, I was upset there were only two episodes, and ended up watching the original movie with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. I have to say, as much nostalgia as I feel for the original movie, it definitely had some plot holes and the acting in the new show is so far way, way better overall. I’m excited to see Claudia make her debut this weekend!
Voodoo Queen Bookmark by BookishHeaux
I love the designs of this shop’s bookmarks (the thigh! the moon! the snek!) and have several of these. $5
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
Bird is 12-years-old and has been living under an increasingly oppressive American government with his father, a former linguist. In addition to censoring, authorities have just started being allowed to take children away from people who disagree with them, many of whom are of Asian descent. When Bird gets a mysterious letter, he begins on a journey to find his absent mother, whose poetry he has spent years distancing himself from. The gag is that this premise doesn’t sound too far off from reality.
A Minor Chorus by Billy-Ray Belcourt
I love novels written by poets, and Belcourt has won awards for his poetry. In this latest book, a queer Indigenous doctoral student wavers on the border between his old life, his childhood on the reservation, and the new academic one he’s trying to establish. Throughout the book, he’s reminded of Jack, a cousin who was in a toxic lifestyle involving police and drugs, an outcome that is not rare for Indigenous people living under the legacy of colonialism. He soon finds out that the escape he was hoping academia would be also has its consequences for people of color.
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As I mentioned before, it’s October, so I’m just going to be reveling in all the spooky things. First up: witches!
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
Immanuelle is a young woman living in a puritanical society who tries to be as pious as possible as a way to atone for her mother having a child— her— with someone outside of her race. One day she comes to find herself in the woods that surround her town, where the Prophet killed four witches. The spirits of the witches give Immanuelle a gift, and she learns that the woods were once a sanctuary for her deceased mother. She also learns that there are secrets about the Church and the town that will reshape how she views everything.
Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen
Violet influences the court with her prophecies, which is all well and good, except she sometimes lies. She had been looking for a way to prevent Prince Cyrus from firing her once he’s crowned when the king asks her to lie about a prophecy concerning Cyrus’ love life. Obvi her morally gray self doesn’t have a problem fibbing, but doing so in this case awakens a curse which threatens the future of the kingdom. As she tries to save herself and the kingdom, she also seems to be falling for a certain prince…