What I'm Reading this September

It's TBR time! Hosting POCathon last month really showed me how much I can read when I put my mind to it, so for September, I'm following the same track. I have a range of books lined up for this month, you'll find a feminist essay, a Kenyan prize winner, some academic theory and also this year's winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction.

Home Fire 

Kamila Shamsie

Home Fire is a contemporary retelling of Sophocles' Antigone. It follows three siblings, Aneeka, Isma and Parvaiz. For as long as they can remember, they've only had each other but when Parvaiz sets out to fulfil the dark legacy of the Jihadist father he never knew, Isma is forced to make a decision between the state, and her love for her brother. This book is all about the Muslim experience in Britain and how that can impact on your identity and your sense of "Britishness".

I've already listened to the audiobook version of this book, but for some reason, it didn't leave a lasting impression on me. I don't know whether it was the narration or just the audiobook format in general, so I decided to pop into a local bookshop and pick up a physical copy. I've heard so many great things about this book and it was also the winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction too, so I'm very optimistic. I'm already 40 pages in and broooooo. The prose is BEAUTIFUL, the words just leap off the page. I'm so glad I decided to give this book another go!

Forbidden Fruit

Stanley Gazemba

An independent publisher called The Mantle was kind enough to send me a copy of Stanley Gazemba's Forbidden Fruit. They do some great work pushing voices and stories that need to be heard, out to the world so if you want to know more, check them out. This book is about a farm labourer called Ombima who commits what he believes to be a 'harmless crime', as he's desperate to make ends meet. When he tries to hide his misdeed, he becomes the reluctant participant in a sinister affair. If discovered, the consequences could be disastrous for Ombima's family and friends as well as a spate of gossipy villagers. This has all the makings of a great novel and also managed to snag Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature. I can't wait to get stuck into this one!

A Room of One's Own.

Virginia Woolf

This is considered to be one of Virginia Woolf's most powerful feminist essays and seeing as I'm not very well versed in the world of white historical feminists, I thought it was time to enlighten myself. This is all about what women need to be great creators, not just in the literary world but in all creative areas: intellectual freedom and financial independence. I have deliberately stayed far away from Woolf's work, as I always get the perception that her writings aren't meant for women like me - women of colour. I find that a lot of historical white feminists tend to ignore the experience of women of colour. A win for white women is always seen as a win for all women when we know this is always far from the case. In reading this, I want to see whether there's some truth to my thoughts or whether I''m  talking absolute bollocks.


Edward Bernays

Lucky last is Propaganda. Edward Bernays is the nephew of Sigmund Freud and is known as the 'father of Public Relations'. This book is a look at how the government and corporations control the way we think and act. It's a detailed examination of how public discourse and opinion are shaped and controlled in politics, business, art, education and science. It's for everyone who wants to understand how power is used by the ruling elite in our society.

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