Books & Mugs: First Issue.

What I’m Currently Reading

“Rich People Problems” by Kevin Kwan. This is the final installment of the “Crazy Rich Asians” trilogy. If you don’t like snide footnotes, I’m not sure we can be friends. I devoured the first two installments over the course of a few days. This one, I’m dragging through a bit, only because I read ahead, which I swear I never do, and now I’m a little lackluster about finishing. These books are full of snarky characters and absurd (at least to non-crazy-rich people) situations. I knew close to nothing about Singapore and very little about Hong Kong before picking this series up. Now, I still know very little, but I’m hungry for more Asian-centered stories. These books are refreshing in their lack of white people. I try to read a diverse range of authors and perspectives, but honestly, sometimes I’m lazy and it takes effort to find stories not defined by Western (namely: white) standards. Thanks to everyone who made this series a bestseller. I hope the buzzing popularity shows how much we crave/need these voices and these stories. I consider this a popcorn–maybe popcorn dusted with chili–book: addicting. Speaking of food, I’m always hungry after reading this one. Kwan has a knack for describing delicious things that I can’t find in small town Alaska. 

 

What I Should Be Reading

“Making Space for Indigenous Feminism” edited by Joyce Green. Because, come on, everyone should read this one. This is a compilation of articles written by Indigenous feminists and allies. I picked this up during Women’s History Month. Indigenous feminism is truly intersectional. These articles are accessible and straightforward. Here’s a taste:

“The relationship between Native and white women cannot be unidirectional. The Canadian or international women’s movements cannot define all the terms nor expect Indigenous women to assume dominant cultures as their own, even if we share common interests around gender oppression. Native women’s cultures challenge state and mainstream cultural systems, as does the history of colonialism. White women must do some consciousness-raising about the quality of life and nature of political and intellectual colonialism in our country” (LaRocque, 140). 

Wha-bam. This was written by a Canadian, but the call to action is just as imperative here in Alaska, and I’m pretty damn sure applies to the rest of the world. 

 

What I Want to Be Reading

“Mead: The Libations, Legends, and Lore of History’s Oldest Drink” by Fred Minnick. I grabbed this one in a moment of nostalgia. It had intentions of becoming a Christmas present, but I kept it for myself. Going to university in Boulder, CO included a lot of friend’s home brew experiments. Mead, fruit wines, sake. Never actually beer. Because: Naropa. So, mead. I did a tour of one of the modest mead breweries (I think they’re still called a brewery even though there’s no beer) in Boulder. The mead was smooth and nuanced and crisp. Refreshing. Have I mentioned that I’ve been a) pregnant b) trying to get pregnant or c) nursing for the past four-ish years? I’m kinda missing an adult beverage evening. I even have lofty thoughts of eventually brewing myself some mead, because why buy it when you can spend more and wait a ridiculously long time to make it yourself? This covers brewing recipes and the history of mead. Learn some interesting facts to share with the friends you’ll eventually serve your delicious home brewed mead. And maybe consider inviting me over as one of those friends. 

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