books and reading

What I Read this Week

These are the things I read this week:

34189556The Wife Between Us by Sarah Pekkanen & Greer Hendricks: Vanessa is the jilted ex-wife of the wildly successful, rich, and handsome Richard. He’s set to marry another woman, but Vanessa feels that she must warn his new fiance that he is not what he seems. Of course, Vanessa is not what she seems, either.

Billed as one twisty mind-trick, this was a very silly, ultimately pretty disappointing read. Part of that is the marketing doing it a disservice (don’t talk about all the twists in the blurb, right?) and part of it is that it’s just not very well done. Super savvy readers will figure out the twists long before they’re revealed. Also it’s just kind of ridiculous.

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Roomies by Christina Lauren: Holland Bakker is obsessed with an Irish busker named Calvin in the subway station she frequents. When he saves her life from a drunken attacker, she feels obligated to get him an audition with her musical director uncle. But then Calvin reveals that he’s in the country illegally, and Holland stupidly offers to marry him so he can remain and work with her uncle. The result is…a mess.

This was my first novel by the author duo who go by Christina Lauren, and it was pretty much what I expected. Went down easy, not much substance. But also, a totally ridiculous premise.

 

 

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pop culture

Internet Link Round-Up

These are the articles that got my attention this week. Without further ado:

From ‘Dawson’s Creek’ to ‘Buffy’ to ‘Frasier’ to ‘Seinfeld’ – What Happened to Those ‘Lone’ Token Black Actors? (The Undefeated)

A piece featuring interviews with eight different black actors who played “token” roles on television shows in the 90s, this is a must read:

Indeed, in the 1990s, the wealth of black representation on television could lull you into thinking (if you turned the channel from Rodney King taking more than 50 blows from Los Angeles Police Department batons) that black lives actually did matter. But almost all of these shows were, in varying ways, an extension of segregated America. It’s there in the memories of the stars below: There were “black shows” and there were “white shows.” If you were a black actor appearing on a white show, you were usually alone.

Thank You For Asking (NYT)

A really interesting look at Antioch College, the place where much of the consent movement relating to sexual assault started. It’s a really interesting piece and provides a lot of detail and history of how they developed their program and what it means in the #MeToo movement:

The college’s administration sees this all as a big selling point for the school. “Our students and our alumni have always been very involved with activism, and social justice is in our DNA,” said Mila Cooper, Antioch’s vice president for diversity and inclusion and the director of the Coretta Scott King Center. “There’s a heightened awareness of sexual violence and sexual assault right now with the MeToo movement, but I do think Antioch has been involved in these conversations long before. It’s not just a policy, you know, it’s part of the education and the culture here.”

Erik Killmonger is Not a Super Villain, He’s a Super Victim of Systemic Oppression (The Blavity)

So I saw Black Panther this weekend, and then I stumbled across this article. It’s really great, and worth a read, even if you haven’t seen the movie (but it probably resonates more if you have):

I refuse to see Killmonger as a super-villain. I see him as a super-victim of systemically oppressive forces, forces that forced him into a hyper-awareness of his dueled unwanted status in Wakanda and in America, due to having the blood of his mother, who was a descendant of black folks forced into the United States via the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. This two-pronged othering serves as the source of his super-power. His super-power did not derive from radioactive spider bites like Spider Man, or mythological alien strength like that of Superman. Killmonger’s character harbors a super-power more potent than the fictive mineral Vibranium, housed exclusively in Wakanda: Killmonger is the possessor of un-tempered black rage.