Top Books I Read in May

Black History

Filipino Sign Language




If you’re looking for a quick monthly roundup, check out the best books I read in May below! As always, the entire month’s reviews can be found on Bookshop.

Tap the image above to look at everything I read in May in a convenient list, perfect for the library!

Fired Up About Capitalism by Tom Malleson 

The 1st is May Day, aka International Workers’ Day! It’s a day to commemorate the labor movement, and the strides forward we’ve made in terms of employee rights.

I would definitely describe myself as a begrudging capitalist, but I don’t think that’s in any way surprising…I kinda give off those vibes. I DO believe there’s a way forward without capitalism, a much more equitable and meaningful existence for those that experience it.

Fired Up About Capitalism is the perfect little primer for the radical inside of you. It’s an excellent way to understand the scope of how capitalism has designed the oppression that we live under today, but it empowers the reader to envision a more just world for the future and create it through micro actions. I personally think a mix of democratic socialism and Indigenous land reclamation & stewardship is the way to go, but I’m not an expert (just an optimist).

I picked this book up from the publisher @btlbooks at OLASC but all opinions are my own.

Last Standing Woman by Winona Laduke 

May 5th is a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls, or #MMIWG.

Indigenous women & girls are much more likely to experience violence than any other demographic, and because of a variety of reasons (judicial & colonialist), the stats just continue to rise.

Just in time for today it seems, I received the new 25th anniversary edition of Last Standing Woman by Winona LaDuke from @highwaterpress so I had to share it!

In Last Standing Woman, LaDuke tells stories from seven generations of Anishinaabe people. Her words are powerful, unabashed, and told with a dark humor that I easily connect with.

If you find yourself with a spare moment today, reflect on how you can be a more vocal supporter of this movement and why there is so little being done. Spoiler: it’s colonialism.

Dancing Hands Joanna Que 

Dancing Hands: A Story of Friendship in Filipino Sign Language is the most beautifully written & drawn story! Sam and Mai are new neighbors and Sam notices that Mai’s family communicates with their hands instead of their voices. Sam seeks out a friendship with Mai and learns FSL in order to better communicate with her new friend. In the back is more information about Filipino Sign Language itself, as well as sign languages around the world.

The creator trio are all Filipino, and one identifies as deaf. I’m in love with the endpapers as well, which show FSL with English and Tagalog translations.

The story is open and loving, told from the heart. It hones in on the importance of uplifting signed languages rather than asking D/deaf folks to conform to an audist society. The illustrations are beautiful and detailed in a unique style based on lines, almost looking like stitching in places.

Dancing Hands was kindly sent by @chroniclekidsbooks & all opinions are my own.

Unstoppable Michael G. Long

It’s absolutely been waaaaay too long since I shared a #SweetsAndSocialJustice post, so let’s start the weekend off right with one!

I’m having trouble expressing my excitement that there is finally a book about Bayard Rustin, the legendary Black gay activist that worked closely with MLK Jr. & co., and organized the 1963 March on Washington.

While this is the moment Bayard is most known for, 1963 was only the middle of his career. Rustin grew up raising hell and demanding equality for current and future Black brethren. He proudly and openly lived his life as a gay peace activist. I find Bayard Rustin so, so, inspiring. And I especially love that for the book, the author (a Rustin scholar) interviewed Walter Naegle, Rustin’s partner. I like to think about them spending evenings at home, cooking together and strategizing about how to topple racism.

The cake I made was a delicious and simple butter cake recipe from In Praise of Home Cooking. I love cooking at home, and this was a great book to flip through when meal prepping for the week ahead. Sent by @abramsbooks as part of the #AbramsDinnerParty

Books kindly sent by publishers, opinions are my own.

In case you’re new around here, a note: Participating in the Abrams Dinner Party is something I have applied for the chance to do through the publisher, and am contracted to post all of the cookbooks that they publish. I really value this opportunity to stretch my skills both in the kitchen and potentially pairing it with another book that may at first glance be more closely aligned with the TTA mission.

And a bonus bite-sized review…

A Garden In My Hands by Meera Sriram | A young girl is getting henna for a special event! She reflects on how different patterns and designs tell their family history, joyfully.

Things have been quiet on the blog lately, but you can look forward to monthly roundup posts & occasional announcements!

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