What I Read: July 17

*Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera: I picked up this book as part of Read Harder (drones on and on) and I really enjoyed it. “Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff.” (via) I really enjoyed this and found some of the perspectives on white feminism to be convicting.

The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson: Just trying to head into toddlerhood with more tools, hold me.

*Gaddafi’s Harem: The Story of a Young Woman and the Abuses of Power in Libya by Annick Cojean: I read this for the ‘war’ story for Read Harder and while it’s a bit a stretch, I could not stomach another tome on the Civil War. “Soraya was a schoolgirl in the coastal town of Sirte, when she was given the honour of presenting a bouquet of flowers to Colonel Gaddafi, the Guide, on a visit he was making the following week. This one meeting – a presentation of flowers, a pat on the head from Gaddafi – changed Soraya’s life forever. Soon afterwards, she was summoned to Bab al-Azizia, Gaddafi’s palatial compound near Tripoli, where she joined a number of young women who were violently abused, raped and degraded by Gaddafi.” (via). This story was a tough sit and it took me a while to get through it – but it is an important story. Even if I cannot do anything about this suffering, it is important we look, hold space and acknowledge it.

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