Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer is the debut novel of Jamie Figueroa. Her bio on her website states that she is “Boricua (Afro-Taíno) by way of Ohio and long-time resident of northern New Mexico.” Boricua is a person from Puerto Rico by birth or descent and the Taíno “were an Arawak people who were the indigenous people of the Caribbean and Florida.” The novel is set in the tourist town of Ciudad de Tres Hermanas (translated as the City of Three Sisters) over a weekend.
Know My Name is Chanel Miller’s memoir where she writes about her life, including her now highly publicized sexual assault in January 2015 and the events that unfolded after that.
The memoir focuses on the day of the assault as well as the court case, People vs. Turner. Turner was convicted of three charges of felony sexual assault.
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century, edited by Alice Wong is a collection of essays from disabled authors covering a wide range of topics. Feminist Book Club selected the book for May and a portion of sales was donated to the Disability Visibility Project, founded by Alice Wong. The book was published on the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act and is divided into four sections.
Land of Big Numbers is a collection of short stories written by Te-Ping Chen, a Wall Street Journal journalist. Drawing on her experience of living in China, Chen creates a portrait of how everyday life in China looks like as well as its diaspora. The stories also show the social, political, and family life in China while also discussing issues of an authoritarian government, multi-generational families, and relationships on the personal and the community level. I interviewed Chen on her inspiration behind this collection, her time in China, her favorite stories, her reading, and her advice.
Michelle Ruiz Keil is a writer and tarot reader who lives in Portland, Oregon, and has “an eye for the enchanted and a way with animals.” Summer in the City of Roses is her second novel after All of Us With Wings, and is a retelling of the Greek myth of Iphigenia and the Grimm fairytale “Brother and Sister.” Set over a summer in early 1990s Portland, the story focuses on 17-year-old Iph and her sensitive younger brother, Orr.
Emilly Giselle Prado is a writer, community organizer, and the Director of Youth Programs at Literary Arts in Portland, Oregon with roots in the San Francisco Bay Area and Michoacán, Mexico. Her debut essay collection, Funeral for Flaca, is a Chicana coming-of-age essay collection is poignant. I sat down with her to discuss her essays—each titled after a song like a playlist, her use of Spanish in the collection, and how she was writing during the pandemic.
We wanted to highlight some great books by trans and non-binary authors. As a reader, I was excited to read the following books by trans/non-binary authors or books that feature trans/non-binary protagonists. These books have helped me to better understand the trans/non-binary community.
Edited the cover article for Uploader (UK and US) magazine, featuring Jacqueline City Jacqueline City, a disabled fashion designer taking the world by storm with her brand, Jacqueline City Apparel. This was in In honor of Disability History Month. City suffers from dysautonomia and October is Disability History Month and also, Dysautonomia Awareness Month.
Edited a journal anthology, Me and You Living Life Until Our Last Breath, that has poems on the narrative of the Black experience. Available on Amazon.
Summary- This international issue features African poets. The goal of this anthology is to down stereotypical walls of the Black experience and show the truth through the words of Black folks.
Edited this interesting fantasy story based on Filipino legends. Written by Mark Tan, The Tikbalang Incident story is available on Amazon.
Summary- Abducted by a tikbalang; a powerful mystical being, Clarita went missing for months. Saved by a mysterious pintados warrior, the life that she knew was gone. Desperate, all she wanted to do was leave and start a new life somewhere else, but the Monarchy would not allow it. They sent special investigators to get information from her. Misery, fear, and revelations will push her to the brink, and she will be impelled into her destiny.
Edited, proofread, and formatted this beautiful, heart-wrenching, and emotional collection of poems, Duality by Sage Leroux.
Summary- Duality is a modern poetry collection focused on how to live and thrive in the extremes of life. Read along to see how true freedom comes when we realize we do not need to limit ourselves to one side of the story; We can be both or all things that we want to be. These poems process the parts of life that aren't always pretty, such as trauma, mental health, and pain. But there is also hope, and poetry that highlights empowerment, love, and growth all in one.
The Hare by Melanie Finn is a feminist thriller. The story of an art student, Rosie Monroe, who falls in love with the much older “world-wise”, Bennett Kinney. Starting as a twisted unbalanced love story, Rosie finds herself pregnant, and the rest of the story follows her decision to keep the child, Kinney’s life, and Rosie’s own growth. Content warnings for: abortion, childhood sexual abuse, pedophilia, and transphobic speech towards the end.
Joanna Measer Kanow’s debut novel, EcoQueen was released on Earth Day, 2021. Focusing on the adventures of Kora, a biracial teenage girl who is adopted in the US, the novel focuses on the dangers and repercussions of climate change while also providing hope. I interviewed Joanna on her novel, her career as an environmental activist, the dangers and solutions of climate change, and her non-profit, Seas of Trees, which will receive the proceeds for the sale of the novel.
I have always associated April with sunshine and new beginnings. I am from India and from the Bengali ethnolinguistic group that celebrates the Bengali new year in the middle of April (it fell on April 15th in this year). In the US, spring is associated with new beginnings, gardening, hikes, and spring cleaning. After living in the US for nearly a decade, I realize that I have accumulated enough things to do a proper extensive spring cleaning, although I have done it every year. Here are some tips for s sustainable and eco-friendly spring cleaning.
March may have been Black History Month but we at FBC think that we should read books by Black authors all year-round. With everything that is going on, sometimes I find it difficult to read an average 300-page novel. When that happens, I often read graphic novels. They are often around 150 pages, easy to read, and always gorgeous. Here is a list of graphic novels either by a Black author or featuring a Black protagonist. What graphic novels would you like to add to this list?