Reading in 2021

Books are an open ticket for a platform in the direction of ‘you, this world and beyond’. This ticket will transport you away from this world with its disorienting noise, its demands, expectations and the things of which you’ve grown weary. You’ll journey through new faces, voices and places that echo of things once known. Books are a beacon to guide you home, carrying more joy and knowledge than you packed when you left.

These are 12 of the 61 books I read in 2021 whose magic will remain with me and whose words transported me to lands of imagination and learning. View the full list of books here.

I valued Musa Okwonga’s memoir, One of Them, As I read, I was struck by its honest structure, one where events, feelings and memories from the past aren’t presented as absolute, stories observed with rose tinted spectacles. The writing style is absorbing, with sentences that will  Micro-agressions and systemic racism expressed in all their complexity, 

 

aren’t always complete, representing that our mind can construct meaning in the moment and long afterwards too. 

 

One thing I learned from my reading this year is not to save books for best. December was a fantastic month of reading and in 2022, I’m determined to 

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‘The idea that you can simply be overwhelmed by your circumstances is utterly alien to them. This is not a system that fails them, and so they not only learn to trust it but to treat it as the norm. It quickly becomes the prism through which they see everything.’

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‘There is a time for stillness, but who hasn’t also wanted to scream with delight at being outdoors? To simply announce themselves and say, I’m here, I exist?

Long Division book cover

‘The ellipsis always knows something more came before it and something more is coming after it. It connects sentences, but it holds space for itself, too.’

Cover of decolonising the history curriculum with a bookshelf in the background

‘Historical consciousness… seeks to provide a full awareness of the historicity of everything present and the relativity of all opinions through complementary stories; competing stories; and stories that clash with the single dominant version of the past (Sexias, 2004).’

Cover of Slug with a bookshelf in the background

view of the world in the three days before my period is due

‘yes, I might get angry

and no doubt I will cry,

for the world in all its glory

is essentially shite’

Cover of Thinking with Trees, Jason Allen-Paisant

‘now I am walking through the forest

now I am penetrating the slow composition 

of what makes me 

standing 

spreading 

deepening’

 

Cover of Alex Elle, After the Rain

‘I am the gardener of my destiny. Digging dirt and sifting soil. Planting seeds and watching them grow, slowly and with unrushed ease.’

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‘In order for you to be able to give up the struggling and start to thrive, you need to learn how to handle your Shitty Committee and set yourself free from its limiting beliefs.’

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‘There is something threatening about a woman who is not occupied with children. There is something at-loose-ends feelings about such a woman. What is she going to do instead? What sort of trouble will she make?’

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‘One after another, he tossed pebbles into the swamp of my mind, but instead of coming to rest on the bottom, they continued to drift deeper and deeper down without end.’

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‘When you can, ask yourself if you want to before you do.’

Audre Lorde - The masters tools will never dismantle the masters house

‘We do not have to romanticize our past in order to be aware of how it seeds our present. We do not have to suffer the waste of of an amnesia that robs us of the lessons of the past rather than permits us to read them with pride as well as deep understanding.’

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