The February 2021 #24in48GroupRead

You asked for it, you waited for it, and it’s finally here: Introducing the 24in48 group read!

As with everything we do with this ‘thon and community, we were hyper-intentional about our picks for this first group read (and will be for all of them, going forward). It’s our hope that these two books will either help take your reading life in a new direction or reinforce your existing commitment to reading BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ books, and many intersections therein.

Our goal is to be as expansive, intersectional, and representational as possible as our group reads shelf grows. We’re already on the lookout for our summer reads. If you have recommendations for disability lit, neurodiverse books/topics, Native/Indigenous lit, and/or any other marginalized or social justice-related topics/voices, send them our way at 24in48readathonofficial [at] gmail [dot] com.

Two final notes before we get to the reason you’re all here!

  • We’re gonna try tagging group reads throughout the ‘thon weekend with #24in48GroupRead so folks who are joining the group read have an easier time finding each other.
  • The group reads are not “mandatory”, as with everything else 24in48 is about/includes. We encourage, ask, and hope that you’ll join us, but it’s not a requirement for participating in the weekend.

[Fiction] Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

red book cover showing a trans boy in a gray tank with small tattoos and a rainbow flower crown around his head under the title Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
The cover of Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

An indie bestseller from Stonewall and Lamda Award winner Kacen Callender (they/them; he/him), here’s what you can look forward to:

​Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Here’s an interview with Kacen at YAPride.org

[Nonfiction] White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue … and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation by Lauren Michele Jackson

Cover of White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation by Lauren Michele Jackson

A debut from assistant professor of English and cultural critic/New Yorker Staff writer Lauren Michele Jackson (she/her), here’s what to expect:

Exposes the new generation of whiteness thriving at the expense and borrowed ingenuity of black people—and explores how this intensifies racial inequality.

American culture loves blackness. From music and fashion to activism and language, black culture constantly achieves worldwide influence. Yet, when it comes to who is allowed to thrive from black hipness, the pioneers are usually left behind as black aesthetics are converted into mainstream success—and white profit.

Weaving together narrative, scholarship, and critique, Lauren Michele Jackson reveals why cultural appropriation—something that’s become embedded in our daily lives—deserves serious attention. It is a blueprint for taking wealth and power, and ultimately exacerbates the economic, political, and social inequity that persists in America. She unravels the racial contradictions lurking behind American culture as we know it—from shapeshifting celebrities and memes gone viral to brazen poets, loveable potheads, and faulty political leaders.

An audacious debut, White Negroes brilliantly summons a re-interrogation of Norman Mailer’s infamous 1957 essay of a similar name. It also introduces a bold new voice in Jackson. Piercing, curious, and bursting with pop cultural touchstones, White Negroes is a dispatch in awe of black creativity everywhere and an urgent call for our thoughtful consumption.

Here’s an interview with Lauren on NPR

If you have the means, support an indie bookstore by ordering these titles directly from them or via Bookshop.org! And don’t forget to get on that holds list at your local library, if that’s more your speed.

We can’t wait to read along with you on Feb 6&7th (have you signed up yet?).

Until then, wash your hands, wear a mask, and read good books.

-Kerry, Kristen, and Rachel

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