October TBR | Black History Month

Hello Panda friends!

October is set to be a super busy month for me. If you saw my most recent installment of The Sunday Post you will have read that I will now be juggling postgraduate study with my blogging, reading and reviewing! Whilst I really enjoyed my time away from the restrictions of TBR’s, I know that I will need to be a lot more organized from now on if I’m going to be able to balance my academic and personal reading lists so I’m bringing back my monthly TBR posts, at least for the time being.

October is Black History Month in the UK! I’ve had two owned books on my TBR for a really long time that are perfect to read for this month so I’m excited to finally be able to get around to them. In addition, Halloween is at the end of the month and I have two ARCs which are being published in October as well, so there’s quite a lot of books to fit into the next 31 days.

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Black History Month (UK)

→ Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga ← 

I bought the beautiful hardback edition of Black and British when it was first published in 2016 and shamefully still haven’t read it. As someone who was studying History at university at the time, I was sick to my stomach of seeing Black British history being erased all the time and wanted to educate myself more. David Olusoga’s Black and British provides an excellently rich and nuanced approach to Black British history which traces all the way back to Roman Britain. He looks at how central Black people have been to the development of Britain and how entwined our histories are.

→ Small Island by Andrea Levy ← 

Small Island is another book which I have wanted to read for many years. It is possibly one of the most famous fictional books about Black British history and explores the intersections of four lives in Britain in 1948. In it, we follow Hortense and her husband Gilbert as they arrive in London from Jamaica and attempt to navigate a new home which is hostile towards Black immigrants, and their white landlady Queenie and her husband Bernard. Small Island provides a snapshot into the lives of the Windrush generation arriving in Britain and deals with so many important themes in Black and British history. In the UK, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding our government’s treatment of Windrush immigrants and I wanted to read something which touched upon this history.

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I had a long list of books that I wanted to read for Halloween but there’s just not enough time to get through them in addition to the other books I want to read. I’ve chosen to focus on one classic horror, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which I still haven’t read omg, and this amazing anthology, Creatures: The Legacy of Frankenstein, that I was kindly sent by Rebellion Publishing.

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October ARCs

→ In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard ← 

When I received an ARC of In the Vanisher’s Palace from Aliette de Bodard in my inbox, oh my god I was so freaking happy. I recently read The Teamaster and the Detective by Aliette and really loved it, plus Aliette is an all-around excellent person who I am looking forward to being able to support via a review of their latest book which is out on the 16th October. In the Vanishers’ Palace is an f/f retelling of Beauty and the Beast, where the Beast is a dragon and is inspired by Vietnamese myths… Need I say any more?!

→ Invasions by Calvin Gimpelevich ← 

I was approached a few weeks ago by the publishers of Invasions. It’s not something that was on my radar at all but I’m always happy to read and review books my smaller authors, and was intrigued by the sound of this. Invasions is an anthology of 15 queer stories by Calvin Gimpelevich which explores the boundaries between realism and surrealism, gender, class, relationships, space, and transgressions. I haven’t had a great run of queer speculative fiction recently, but I’m hoping that Invasions will break that run!

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I’m really looking to reading these books over the next month, as well as attending some great events for Black History Month. What books are you planning on reading for October? Are you taking part in any reading themes?

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6 thoughts on “October TBR | Black History Month

  1. I didn’t know October is Black History Month! I have a pre-order of Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor that comes out this month in paperback, but with Book Depository’s shipping times, I don’t think I’ll get it in October…

    Black and British seems like a really interesting, though very long read.

    I haven’t read Frankenstein either and it’s getting embarrassing at this point. (Same with Jane Austen’s books, which are very different but the feeling is the same :D) I also really enjoyed two other anthologies by Rebellion publishing by that editor, so I’ll need to look up Creatures.

    The Vanisher’s Palace has a BEAUTIFUL COVER. F/F Beauty and the Beast and Viatnemese myths?? I need it T_T

    Invasions sounds like it could be a hit or miss for me, so I think I’ll wait until you read it before (if) I add it to my TBR.

    In September I did more whining about not being able to read than actual reading, but I hope October is better in that regard.


  2. I am reading Black and British! I was kindly gifted a copy and started reading it ‘normally’ (i.e. cover to cover), but when I started studying Empire I found myself dipping in and out all over the place throughout! It was so useful for my studying and I actually used it in several essays.

    A fiction book you might be interested in for BHM is ‘Dread Nation’ by Justina Ireland. It’s a zombie apocalypse book with a black protagonist… that takes place after the US Civil War! The dead begin to reanimate during the Battle of Gettysburg. It’s the first part of a series, but the others are still being written. I loved it and can’t wait for the next ones.


  3. I was going to say that I had no idea Black History Month was a different month in the UK from what it is here in the US, but really I had no idea the UK had a Black History Month, at all! I don’t think I have ever seen any bloggers from the UK mention it. In February, here, I read all Black women authors with the exception of my ARCs. 👍✨

    I have a Halloween reading theme on my blog every year. This year it’s demons. 🎃

    Sending good energies for your postgraduate journey. I know how stressful it can get. 📖


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