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  • #LiteraryLA join us Sunday, Juy 28th from 3-5 PM at @findyourhilltop for an afternoon of community and conversation as we discuss Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala. "Speak No Evil explores what it means to be different in a fundamentally conformist society and how that difference plays out in our inner and outer struggles. It is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people." If you have a book loving friend in the Los Angeles area, tag them below so they don't miss out. RSVP using the link in our bio and we'll see you there!
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  • Where is the time going? Here were are, six months down in the year, and we've had the pleasure of sharing these six books with you so far! Which have been your faves?
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  • ***GIVEAWAY CLOSED*** Happy Sunday!!! Let's host a giveaway, shall we? We have 5 copies of Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena (@bhathenatanaz) and one of them could be yours! To enter all you have to do is (1) Follow @mylitbox (2) like this post and (3) tag a book loving friend below. That's it! Winners must reside in the US and entries will be accepted through Wednesday (7/3) and the winners will be announced Thursday (7/4). Good luck!
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  • Our final June #MyLitBox is our Black Women are Lit! Box featuring Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Denn (@ndennisbenn). In this novel, we witness a mother grapple with tough decisions as she makes a choice between her first love and her daughter, leaving her daughter to grapple with some tough decisions of her own. We wanted the items in this month's box to serve as validation that everyone deserves the right to exist as their full selves and all that entails. .
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  • Next up is our YA box featuring With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (@acevedowrites). With the Fire on High introduces us to Emoni Santiago, a teenage single mother who makes magic in the kitchen but food isn’t the only thing on her plate. In addition to being a mother, she’s a student trying to figure out what’s next, like your average high school senior. With obligations to her family taking priority, she doesn’t know if her dreams can become realities and the items in this month's box would hopefully nudge her in the direction of those dreams.
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  • First up we're going to reveal our Adult Fiction #MyLitBox that features Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (@jeankwokauthor). Imagine the panic you’d go into if a loved one were to disappear. But how would you feel if as you searched for them, you realized you didn't know them well after all? This is the dilemma one sister faces as she searches for the other in Searching for Sylvie Lee. This is a story about family, rivalries, and secrets, and the lengths we go to for the ones we love and the items in this box hopefully serve as a reminder to leave your comfort zones and as a nod to the uniqueness of some of the destinations we are introduced to in this novel.
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  • *taps mic* Is this thing still on? We're back to celebrate this month's #MyLitBox(es)! We are so excited to feature two titles from authors you've seen in #MyLitBox before and three amazing stories that we'll spend more time with this week. So without further ado, our June #MyLitBox selections are Pasty by Nicole Dennis-Benn (@ndennisbenn), With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (@acevedowrites), and Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (@jeankwokauthor). Which will you read first? 📚
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  • Happy Saturday! This weekend we're reading The Atlas of Reds and Blues by @devislaskar. What about you? What good books are you reading this weekend? 📚
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  • Our goal is to make the #MyLitBox signup process as simple as possible. All you have to do is visit www.mylitbox.com/shop, select the box type you're most interested in, head to check out and you're all set, we'll take it from there! Be like the little alien and sign up today!
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  • We could all imagine the panic we'd go into if a loved one were to disappear, but how would you feel if as you searched for them, you realized you didn't know them well after all? We get to watch this play out as one sister searches for another only to realize she's looking for someone she barely knew. Link in bio.
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  • The saying goes "love is where the heart is," but what does it mean when your love spans across an ocean? Who wins and who loses? The title selected for our Black Women are Lit! Box grapples with this question as we witness a mother choose between staying with her daughter or following a love that takes her away from home. If your curiosity is piqued, sign up today! Link in our bio.
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The Importance of Reading Historical Nonfiction

January 4, 2018

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

I read this quote long before my love affair with historical non-fiction began and long before I understood what it meant. I read it as a child when I was still memorizing things for the sake of a grade or to pass a test. I read about pain and atrocities in history that made me sad briefly, but it wasn’t until I began to mature that I began to understand sorrow.

My sophomore year of high school was when I began to grasp the importance of history. My AP European History teacher, who did nothing more than assign pages from a textbook, had us read about the Congress of Vienna where a group of white men in a room carved Africa into pieces like slices of cake and proceed to pass those pieces out to all who were present. No Africans were present. That was the first time I ever felt sorrow over something I read. It wouldn’t be the last. This was a defining moment for me as my appetite for history and knowledge has only grown. I no longer waited for reading to be assigned, I sought it out on my own.

The first historical non-fiction text I read for “pleasure” was King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild. As I read it, I was shocked and appalled at all the gory details of what took place during that period in the Congo. There were moments where tears came to my eyes—sometimes from sadness, sometimes from rage. But this didn’t stop me as I have read many more books that have shaken me to my core since, a few of them being:

History tends to repeat itself. The men who marched in Charlottesville holding Tiki Torches weren’t the first to do it. White robes with matching hoods were replaced by polo shirts, khaki pants, and penny loafers. Every event, every slur, every hate-filled stare transcends where we are presently, and it’s because of historical nonfiction I can contextualize circumstances and better understand how we got to where we are.

It is easy to understand why historical non-fiction isn’t the most popular genre, a lot of history is hard to stomach. But I read it because I want to be ready, because, when I read you, baby, please believe I’m going to have these RECEIPTS! Will you?

Alisha Brown is an academic coach in Dallas, TX who can usually be found on Twitter.

  • Reply
    Sanura
    January 20, 2018 at 11:50 am

    My 2017 reading goal was to read more nonfiction and I seriously dropped the ball but this post was the push I need to attempt that SAME goal this year. When I take people to tasks, like you said, I want to have the RECEIPTS!

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