June Book Haul

Sunday, 30 June 2019


June, as most months seem to be when I have my debit card to hand, was a time that presented a plethora opportunities to expand my physical and digital libraries - a confused foray into the databases of Edelweiss, a stint volunteering at Bradford Literature Festival (let me know if you, at any point, want to read about my sticky, overheated hours there) and, yet more background information books for the novel I will probably never write.
Although, even my grandma has to admit that they both look beautiful - all overflowing and cluttered and likely never to be read. At least, never to be read anywhere close to their actual release dates.

Review Round-Up - June

Friday, 28 June 2019


Au revoir, Pride 2019. Let us not forget that, as we move forward into the rest of the year, to paint all of the eleven months with the same love and pride and, of course, all of the colours of the rainbow.

#2019RoundUp: Favourite Books (So Far!)

Wednesday, 26 June 2019


Oh, it has been a long six months. Six months of bleugh, six months of eh.
Six months of hey-wait-a-minute-you're-actually-bloody-brilliant.
It almost seems that, through the trials and tribulations of books that were overwhelmingly just not up to par, the rare quality and occurrence of truly amazing books only succeeded in making me appreciate them more when they did appear.
Allowed me to separate the wheat from the chaff, the luminous prose from the bog-standard, the life-altering from the just-another-day-at-the-office.
And, is that not why I do this? Trolling near-continuously through just-okay to find the books that will make me pause and think, this - THIS! - right here is what a book is meant to be. And, by god, I thought just that with all of these.

Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag

Saturday, 22 June 2019


For once, there is no expression of disbelief to be uttered here.
As, at least when it comes to books, it has been a long, six months.

REVIEW: Don't Touch My Hair, Emma Dabiri

Thursday, 20 June 2019


Straightened. Stigmatised. 'Tamed'. Celebrated. Erased. Managed. Appropriated. Forever misunderstood. Black hair is never 'just hair'. This book is about why black hair matters. Emma Dabiri takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and on to today's Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond. We look at everything from hair capitalists like Madam C.J. Walker in the early 1900s to the rise of Shea Moisture today, from women's solidarity and friendship to 'black people time', forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian's braids. The scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic. Uncovering sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems in black hairstyles, alongside styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom, Don't Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation.

REVIEW: Diary of a Drag Queen, Crystal Rasmussen

Tuesday, 18 June 2019


Northern, working-class and shagging men three times her age, Crystal writes candidly about her search for ‘the one’; sleeping with a VIP in an attempt to become a world famous journalist; getting hired and fired by a well-known fashion magazine; being torn between losing weight and gorging on KFC; and her need for constant sexual satisfaction (and where that takes her). Charting her day-to-day adventures over the course of a year, we encounter tucks, twists and sucks, heinous overspending and endless nights spent sprinting from problem to problem in a full face of make-up. This is a place where the previously unspeakable becomes the commendable – a unique portrayal of the queer experience.

REVIEW: Beauty Bay Ethereal Bouncy Beam Multi Use Highlighter Palette

Sunday, 16 June 2019


When I got my hands on the Beauty Bay nine-pan matte eyeshadow palettes (my review for the orange-toned one can be found here), it was pretty much love at first sight. The colour pay-off was to die for, the staying-power was immense (except for on a rather unfortunate day that paired the wedding of one of my dearest friends with an attack of both out-of-the-blue pollen and a shower of confetti but let's be honest here, nothing could have handled that) and at the small price of just £6.50*, it went toe-to-toe against even the most expensive items in my make-up collection.
And I knew, right then, that I needed to pick up more from the Beauty Bay range.

REVIEW: This Brutal House, Niven Govinden

Friday, 14 June 2019


On the steps of New York's City Hall, five ageing Mothers sit in silent protest. They are the guardians of the vogue ball community - queer men who opened their hearts and homes to countless lost Children, providing safe spaces for them to explore their true selves. Through epochs of city nightlife, from draconian to liberal, the Children have been going missing; their absences ignored by the authorities and uninvestigated by the police. In a final act of dissent the Mothers have come to pray: to expose their personal struggle beneath our age of protest, and commemorate their loss until justice is served. Watching from City Hall's windows is city clerk, Teddy. Raised by the Mothers, he is now charged with brokering an uneasy truce. With echoes of James Baldwin, Marilynne Robinson and Rachel Kushner, Niven Govinden asks what happens when a generation remembered for a single, lavish decade has been forced to grow up, and what it means to be a parent in a confused and complex society.

REVIEW: Picture of Innocence, T J Stimson

Wednesday, 12 June 2019


My name is Lydia. I’m 12 years old. I’m not an evil person, but I did something bad. My name is Maddie. I’d never hurt my son. But can I be sure if I don’t remember?
With three children under ten, Maddie is struggling. On the outside, she’s a happy young mother, running a charity as well as a household. But inside, she’s exhausted. She knows she’s lucky to have to have a support network around her. Not just her loving husband, but her family and friends too. But is Maddie putting her trust in the right people? Because when tragedy strikes, she is certain someone has hurt her child – and everyone is a suspect, including Maddie herself… The women in this book are about to discover that looks can be deceiving… because anyone is capable of terrible things. Even the most innocent, even you. This is the story of every mother's worst fear. But it's not a story you know... and nothing is what it seems.

REVIEW: Boy in the Well, Douglas Lindsay

Monday, 10 June 2019


The body of a young boy is discovered at the bottom of a well that has been sealed for two hundred years. Yet the corpse is only days old... No one comes forward to identify #Boy9, and DI Ben Westphall's only suspects are the farmers on whose land the well sits. They certainly seem as though they have something to hide. But it might not be what he thinks. Soon, similarities from an old crime emerge and Westphall must look to the past to piece together the dark and twisted events taking place in the present.

Most Anticipated Book Releases - June 2019

Thursday, 6 June 2019


Admittedly, when it comes to June 2019, appealing new releases lean closer to slim pickings than other, earlier months in the year. But, fortunately, here at Reminders of the Changing Time, we have always been ones to prize quality over quantity.

Happy Pride Month: Books I Want to Read in June

Sunday, 2 June 2019


Do you know what? I woke up this morning with my heart full of love.
And, I know that sounds strange, but I really did. There is just something about Pride Month that really does make me feel proud; that makes me stop for a moment and reflect on the fact that, no matter how fucking horrible the world is right now, there is still love out there. 
There is still compassion, still happiness, still pride.
So, I just want you to know: no matter where you are, no matter who you love, no matter how alone you feel, I love you. I hold you in my heart and I think of you often because, without you, I would not be able to stand here and feel proud.