A compilation of our current reads for the month of May:
All About Love by bell hooks: iconic feminist cultural critic bell hooks (who took her maternal great-grandmother's name as her pen name and styled it in lower case letters back in the late 70s) offered a way to look at love historically, culturally, philosophically, platonically, and more—all from a Black perspective.
You’ll pretty much never see a copy of All About Love that isn’t full of underlined passages and notes in the margins—her words are words to live by. Like for instance when she said, “Love is an action, never simply a feeling,” which you might have seen in your scroll and otherwise after Ms. hooks’ death earlier this winter.
As we celebrate the lineage of Black brilliance across all aspects of our lives, we look to celebrate those immense contributions with ACTION—and All About Love gives us so many ways to think about that. We’re eternally grateful and we couldn’t recommend this powerful book more, especially right now.
People Who Eat are Always the Best People by Julia Childs: How many times was our favorite chef de cuisine the only women in the kitchen—she began in the late 40s and early 50s in France, mind you? And yet no matter what she kept on, nailing all the classic preparations and then finding the pluck to come back home to America and make a place for her 6’2” frame on television.
And you know what? Julia Childs was happpppppy. She who famously said “a party without a cake is just a meeting” always wanted things to be upbeat, positive, and joyful. Try finding a picture of her where she’s not laughing or grinning.
As for the end of Spring, well, this is the time of year we start thinking about all the asparagus and artichokes, strawberries and little lettuces. It’s about to be the most wonderful time of the year as far as that crisper drawer in the refrigerator—and your dinner party plans—are concerned!
So, yeah, we’re kinda smug about making it all work but we really do recommend just about anything about Julia or by Julia.
My Soul Looks Back by Jessica B. Harris: My Soul Looks Back, by @drjessicabharris. In many ways it’s a memoir of friendship; Dr. Harris lived and danced and dined and laughed with Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and so many others. But it’s also a memoir of community: the story of how shared values and goals create strong bonds and lasting impact.
At Cura, we look to Black female thought leaders all year long. Our intention is to always celebrate the lineage of Black brilliance within civil rights, music, food, literature, design, community, and more—and to also celebrate with ACTION. To celebrate in ways that center and uplift not just Black history but Black presence. To celebrate in a way that helps improve the material and political circumstances of Black futures.
When Women Ruled the World by Kara Cooney: We caught author and Egyptologist (is there a cooler job title?) Kara Cooney giving a talk back in the days of Early Quar, and she's a true-blue storyteller capable of bringing the ancient world alive.
Invitation to join us in reading this thick slab of Women's History Month knowledge. It's 400 pages of insight sure to expand what you know about pharaohs on the ancient Nile—and what their legacy means today.
What are you planning to read this month, and ... okay just testing the waters here but ... would you join a Cura book club if such a thing existed?