Joyful Reads with Joy: August 2022
Hello! I’m Joy, and I love to read. I consider it my greatest talent and favorite hobby. Another one of my preferred pastimes is recommending reads to anyone who is the least bit curious. Seriously. I am always volunteering book recs to people near me, whether they ask or not. I thought it would be fun to bring this passion to Baton Rouge Parents Magazine. I will share with you every book I read month by month and what I think about them. Let’s get started! You can also follow me on Instagram at @joyfulreadswithjoy!
August 2022 Reads
37 Words: Title IX and Fifty Years of Fighting Sex Discrimination by Sherry Boschert
This summer was the 50th anniversary of Title IX, and I wanted to read more about it. Sherry Boschert investigates the history of Title IX and the incredible women and some key men who were instrumental in fighting for equality in education.
Summary: Nonfiction deep dive into Title IX history from 1970-2020. Bernice Sandler was the godmother of fighting sex discrimination, and women like Pauli Murray and others worked together in the beginning and then others picked up the torch each decade. Title IX began to assure that sex discrimination would not prevent students from equality in educational environments. It was later that it applied to sports and then even later when it was used to provide help for sexual assault survivors. Boschert takes the reader through the decades, the letters, the administrations, the legal cases, and the activists that all combined to make Title IX what it is today.
I learned so much from this book. I wanted a little more narrative, but I really appreciated the information. I have such a more developed and nuanced understanding of Title IX and all the YEARS of hard work that many have put in. We have come so far, but the fight is not over.
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
This book came out of nowhere and captured me. I’d seen the cover for awhile, but it wasn’t until my friend told me about it that I decided to read it. Nothing to See Here is weird and sweet, and if you’re a little strange, you’ll love it, too.
Summary: Lillian is a little lost in her late twenties when her high school roommate reaches out with a job offer: take care of her husband’s twins. The catch is, the kids spontaneously catch fire when agitated, and her husband is a TN legislator in the running for Secretary of State. Lillian is thrust into an unusual role of governess/therapist and discovers her resilience and her capability to love.
The tone is dry and acerbic, but also tender and sweet. There’s trauma and negligence, but creativity in caring for others. This novel is really a tale of unexpected redemption and new beginnings. The kids are awesome, and the adult characters stay with you, too. Nothing to See Here is a quick read with depth. I am a fan. Four stars for being original and entertaining.
The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford
What a beautiful and original novel! Jamie Ford has created a dynamic, multi-layered, historical yet modern thought-provoking masterpiece. I became consumed with the fascinating Moy women and their stories. I loved each character so much that I could read a book about each one. Ford explores the idea of epigenetics, how our ancestors’ experiences have affected our DNA. Romantic, scientific, and philosophical, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy will have you flipping pages and pondering life’s mysteries.
Summary: Afong Moy is the first Chinese woman in America, and her descendants span the globe. From the 1800s to the 2040s, the different women experience trauma, joy, heartache, loss, and beauty. Dorothy, a poet struggling with depression in 2045, seeks out a new form of therapy that probes the memories of the patient and her ancestors in order to resolve trauma. As Dorothy goes through treatment, she peeks into the lives of the Moy women before her, and so do we. We meet Afong in the 1830s, Lai King in the 1890s, Zoe (my favorite) in the 1920s, Faye in the 1940s, and Greta in the 2010s. Their stories are powerful tales of Chinese and Chinese American women fighting discrimination and sexism but also finding beauty in poetry and music.
This novel falls into my “everyone should read this” category. It will open your eyes, give you chills, make you shed a tear, and contemplate the mysteries of our existence. I loved it. Worth a read and conversation. FIVE STARS for beauty, entertainment, and originality.