Ariana’s Favorite Books of 2021

If I am candid, I am surprised about the number of books I read this year—a total of 32, just two more than my goal. Somewhere either Seth or big book nerds are scoffing at my number.

I would give excuses as the why the number isn’t grander, but honestly, I am surprised I can still form together words and sentences. Paragraphs are questionable at best.

Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz

This is not a book of poems by someone who makes poets sound like ethereal beings. This book of poetry reminds you that the author is a person, indigenous, angry, and rightfully so. She’s begging not to become a museum piece, to be observed by white faces and erased for who she is.

It’s an essential read and should be considered to those who might skip poetry for fiction. It isn’t exactly light reading, though but extremely rewarding.

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories, by Mariana Enríquez

This book is vile at times, and I mean that in the best possible way. I may also be becoming a horror fan, as it seems as if I tend to read more of it than I first did. These short stories are set in the author’s home country Argentina. There are many to sink your teeth into, with various characters from the mundane to the uncomfortable. Get ready to wriggle in your seat, yet continue reading about what will happen next.

A Touch of Jen by Beth Morgan

The first half of this book slowly draws out its story until you’re feel like you’re getting whiplash suddenly by the plot twist. This book has some terrible people in it. Not like, the worst, but the kind of people you cannot imagine ever being friends with. However, it feels brutally realistic at times. It’s a fun ride!

Luster by Raven Leilani

It’s rare, although thankfully not so much anymore, that you get a messy Black female protagonist in a book. If you’re on #booktok or other social media book nooks emphasizing diversity, this book was displayed. Luster wrapped its fist around my heart and squeezed at times. It deserves all the praise and more that it has received.

Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights by Molly Smith, Juno Mac

This is an essential read to understand why sex work should be legalized and respected. It explains the need for labor unions, removal of borders, and how people have been doing mutual aid in the sex work industry for each other for years, all while being blamed for crimes that have nothing to do with them.

I explains that feminism that is anti-sex work is not feminism at the end of the day. It underlines why ACAB is true in all circumstances and, yes, it touches on socialism. Could you read it and get on our level?

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