It’s Monday again, and the beginning of December! Whether you’re hyped for the holidays or have the winter blues, we’ve got your covered with this week’s Three to Read, the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week.
Our Hot Pick
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Image Via Wear Your Voice Mag
Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.
With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.
Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.
The Poet X was released earlier this year to incredible reception, and recently became the winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. This book goes above and beyond your typical young adult novel, tackling key political issues as told through the perspective of a first-Generation American teenager with a gift for poetry. We’ve chosen The Poet X for out Hot Pick because we want to urge you to pick up a copy before the year is over!
Our Coffee Shop Read
13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do by Amy Morin
Image via HarperCollins
In the time of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, international bestselling author and leading global expert on mental strength Amy Morin turns her focus to feminism, explaining what it means—and what it takes—to be a mentally strong woman.
The emergence of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have awakened society and encouraged women to find their voice and claim their power. But to do this, women must learn to improve their own mental strength. Contending with a host of difficult issues—from sexual assault on college campuses, to equal pay and pay gaps, to mastering different negotiation styles—demands psychological toughness. In this crucial book, prominent psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker Amy Morin gives women the techniques to build mental muscle—and just as important, she teaches them what not to do.
What does it mean to be a mentally strong woman? Delving into critical issues like sexism, social media, social comparison, and social pressure, Amy addresses this question and offers thoughtful, intelligent advice, practical tips, and specific strategies and combines them with personal experiences, stories from former patients, and both well-known and untold examples from women from across industries and pop culture. Throughout, she explores the areas women—and society at large—must focus on to become (and remain) mentally strong.
Amy reveals that healthy, mentally tough women don’t insist on perfection; they don’t compare themselves to other people; they don’t see vulnerability as a weakness; they don’t let self-doubt stop them from reaching their goals. Wise, grounded, and essential, 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do can help every woman flourish—and ultimately improve our society as well.
This book is a spinoff of Amy Morin’s very successful 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, and takes the lessons offered by the original book and adapts them to address concerns faced by modern women. Morin is a licensed clinical social worker with years of experience in guiding people to a healthier frame of mind, and this book has been written with care to emphasize growth over perfection. We chose this book for our coffee shop read because we think that sometimes when you’re on the go, it’s necessary to take a moment and reflect on how well you’re taking care of yourself and what you could be doing to improve your self-care routine.
Our Dark Horse
Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jenn St-Onge, and Joy San
Image via Amazon
When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.
Bingo Love is an incredibly sweet and touching tale of a love forced apart in youth and brought back together in advanced age. The comic, written by Tee Franklin and illustrated by Jenn St-Onge and Joy San, was facilitated by crowdfunding, making this a truly collaborative project. Bingo Love makes our list because it has not gotten nearly the praise and attention it deserves, and we encourage you to get your copy so you can experience this sweet love story during the holiday season.