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There is a growing subculture of younger witches, led by Afro-Latinx immigrants and indigenous Americans, who are taking up the label of bruja to reconnect to their spiritual roots, practice healing arts, and express their politics. Brujas chronicles the magical lives of these practitioners as they extend their personal rituals to larger self-care and activist movements and use their services to empower young people of color. The bruja represents the new “witch” of the United States, a practitioner who melds ancient tradition with new technologies and mirrors the diversity and activist spirit of today’s youth.
Hello to you, August dwellers! I can’t believe it’s August. I mean, I know time marches on etc etc, but whatttt. It feels like June. Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a deep dive into books coming out in the next six months (I have a spreadsheet!) and there are some GOOD ones coming out.
I mean, there’re always good ones coming out, but I’m saying there are some coming out where I saw it and involuntarily exclaimed something that sounded like “!!!!!” Get hyped, and maybe clear those TBR shelves to make room. Oh, and do it right now, because we’ve also got some A+ reads this week, starting with HORSES:
Horse Girls: Recovering, Aspiring, and Devoted Riders Redefine the Iconic Bond ed. by Halimah Marcus
You know about horse girls. They’re the ones who would pretend to be horses at slumber parties and jump over a pile of pillows. Or maybe that was just me and my friends. ANYWAY, this collection of essays written by self-professed horse girls includes Carmen Maria Machado, Jane Smiley, and Sarah Enelow-Snyder, who writes about growing up as a Black barrel racer in central Texas. I love essay collections by an assortment of people! Psyched about this one.
The Prisoner: A Memoir by Hwang Sok-yong, Sora Kim-Russell (Translated by)
Hwang Sok-yong is a South Korean novelist and activist. In 1989, he traveled to Pyongyang, then went into voluntary exile in New York, and when he finally returned to South Korea, he “was sentenced to five years in the Seoul Detention Center” for breach of national security. This is his memoir, written at age 78, which covers his childhood, his life “as a young activist protesting South Korea’s military dictatorships, as a soldier in the Vietnam War, as a dissident writer first traveling abroad” and more.
WASPS: The Splendors and Miseries of an American Aristocracy by Michael Knox Beran
A WASP, or White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, is defined as “a member of the privileged, established white upper middle class in the U.S.” or, as Urban Dictionary puts it, “this usually refers to affluent people in the new england area, but also whites of ‘old money’ in other areas throughout the country.” Here they are referred to as the American aristocracy (probably true) and Beran traces them from the nineteenth century to the death of George H.W. Bush in 2018. Here are the Roosevelts, the Kennedys, their frequently disaffected lives, and how they impacted the culture.
Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice by Rupa Marya, Raj Patel
You’ve probably heard about inflammation and how we’re supposed to be dealing with it. Patel and Marya’s new book “illuminates the hidden relationships between our biological systems and the profound injustices of our political and economic systems.” Yes! Our endocrine system and our trauma. They are LINKED (according to this book; I myself know nothing). If you’re interested in medicine, anatomy, OR injustice, check this out.
For more nonfiction reads, check out the For Real podcast which I co-host with the excellent Kim here at Book Riot. If you have any questions/comments/book suggestions, you can find me on social media @itsalicetime. Until next time, enjoy those facts, fellow nerds.