Ijeoma Oluo answers the questions about race that you were afraid to ask, in the hopes that by beginning to talk about these issues, people will eventually do more than talk, and start to act. If you’ve ever wondered what it means to have privilege, what micro-aggressions are, and what it means to be intersectional, this is the book for you.
As I mentioned in my recent monthly round-up, I haven’t really felt like writing full reviews for things recently, especially given how much I read last month. I don’t like to leave so many completely undocumented though, and I enjoyed doing the last set of mini-reviews, so here are four more short reviews for some of the books I’ve read recently.
I got through quite a handful of books over the past few weeks, but I didn’t feel they all warranted a full review. Here are four short reviews for some of the books I’ve read recently.
While the poet Lord Byron is well-known as being ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’, as it turns out his ancestors may have had something to do with that reputation. Byron’s heritage is full of adventures and wealth but also ruin, promiscuity, and even murder. Emily Brand’s meticulously researched history of the Byron family draws on correspondence of the Byrons and those who knew them, newspaper and tabloid reports of the family’s doings, and other historical records to paint a portrait of the lineage of one of literature’s most notorious poets.
Jonathan Van Ness, one fifth of the fabulous Queer Eye team we’ve all come to know and love, tells his story from the very beginning, starting back when Jonathan was just little Jack living in a small town in the mid-west, all the way up to breaking onto our laptop screens with a Netflix-backed reboot that has become an international phenomenon.
Hanne Blank’s survey of virginity through the ages looks at how this abstract concept has evolved, uncovering origins to the myths that have been perpetuated over centuries. Blank also considers the stories of famous virgins from the biblical to the royal and even those on our television screens.
After over 25 years in the business, Louis Theroux recounts his time in documentary television making and his personal life alongside it, shedding light on the behind the scenes action of some of his most memorable – and controversial – TV subjects.
The founding editor of Bitch Media examines how pop culture has changed feminism from a political movement to a media trend, by looking at movies, television, fashion, celebrities, and more.
Damian Le Bas spent his childhood around travellers, hearing stories about his Romani heritage from his great-grandmother, spoken in the Roma tongue. In a bid to discover more about his own roots, Le Bas kits out a Ford Transit and heads on the road, touring the stopping places of old and new on a search for answers about his ancestry.
The television show Peaky Blinders brought Birmingham’s interwar backstreets to life when it introduced us to the violent and compelling Shelby family. Noted historian and Brummy-born Carl Chinn delves into the Black Country’s archives to find out who the real peaky blinders were, separating fact from fiction and showing what a devastating effect this early 20th century gang violence had on working class Birmingham, and how it spilled onto the nation’s racecourses.