Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British-themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week’s British Isles Friday post revealed my answers to the British Tag questions about Britishness. These were fun to answer and would make a great British Isles Friday post if you are looking for a way to participate. The link-up included a recipe and a couple of book reviews, including Becky’s glowing review of A Street Cat Named Bob.
If you’re living outside of the British Isles reading books about Great Britain or Ireland, or if you’re living on the British Isles reading books about other parts of the world, check out the Travel the World Readathon. The Readathon, taking place for the first two weeks of September, invites us to read books from other countries. This event that includes chats, mini-challenges, and giveaways is hosted by Mom’s Small Victories, Lost in Books (aka Becca, a frequent participant in British Isles Friday), and Savvy Working Gal.
I’ve been reading lots of books about England in preparation for my trip there this fall. For me to read yet another book by a white author about England didn’t feel like a worthy challenge. After all, the Travel the World Readathon was partially inspired by the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. So, I decided to combine the Travel the World theme with my usual reading for the Diversity Book Club and find a book by a black British author.
Fortunately, Tricia of Black Book News, with the help of some friends, compiled a list of 50 Black British Books. For the purpose of this Readathon, I’m going to read Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, a YA science fiction novel that looks like a lot of fun.
While I’m in England, I will look for books that are more like the books we usually read for book club, nonfiction histories and experiences. We’ve discovered in some of our recent reading (especially Sugar in the Blood by Andrea Stuart) how much of our past and present problems with race in the US are a direct result of our English cultural heritage. I want to see if one of these three books would help us explore that further:
- There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation by Paul Gilroy
- The Oxford Companion to Black British History edited by David Dabydeen, John Gilmore, and Cecily Jones
- Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain by Trevor Phillips and Mike Phillips
Are you participating in the Travel the World Readathon?