Hey hipsters!! As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve been MIA for a while on the blog site.. buttttt we’re back! We’ve made some changes to the site and done a little remodeling!  You can see our “We’re Back” post here. So in the spirit of new (re)beginnings, I thought I’d give you guys an update on my progress so far on the 2016 reading challenge! I’ve completed 3 of 12 books… I know, I know.. I’m super behind schedule. But hey.. that’s life 🙂 . Anywho… here’s a quick review on the books I’ve finished so far! If you want to check them out for yourself, you can click the book title for a link to purchase the book online!

Prompt #8: A book that was banned at some point

Beloved by Toni Morrison

I had no idea what book to pick for this category, so I just searched ‘banned books’ on Google haha. I found a website with a bunch of banned books, mostly banned from schools for questionable scenarios and/or language. I’d never read a Toni Morrison book before, so I figured I’d give her a try. Unfortunately, this book did not do it for me. There were some very odd scenes in this book, to say the least. From bestiality to angry ghosts, it was just… odd. The writing style and dialogue definitely were not what I would typically choose for myself. I enjoy books that have main characters that I can relate to because I like to put myself in the story from the main character’s point of view. The setting and scenarios in this book made it all but impossible for me to relate. I’m glad I checked this book off of my list, but I probably won’t be revisiting.

Prompt #6: A book chosen by your BFF

Krystal chose The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I had no idea what this book was about, had never heard of it before, but Krystal chose it, so on the list it went! I am SO glad she chose this book for me! I would definitely recommend everyone read this book, especially teens and young adults. The story is told almost like a fable. It’s a tale of a young shepherd embarking on a special journey to find his “Personal Legend.” He starts off loving his life as a shepherd but then begins to dream of more. That dream leads him on a trail he never imagined he’d travel. Along the way he learns to listen to his heart, heed the omens life shows him and remember the importance of following his dream. Finding his Personal Legend proved to be no easy feat; there were obstacles left and right, but he pressed forward. I won’t spoil it, but the end totally made my heart smile 🙂 . It was definitely an inspiring work.

I loved the book even more once I read the backstory!! I believe this book came out about 27 years ago. It originally wasn’t a huge success, but after some time it found its way into the right hands and has since spread all around the world. It was originally written in Portuguese, but has since been translated into roughly 80 languages! I really appreciated the parallel between the story and Coelho’s real life. It’s almost like he was writing the story about himself, writing this book to realize his own Personal Legend. After completing and releasing the book, he had to get through years of slow sales and rejection until the book found its way into the right hands and gained traction. Since then, the book has touched lives all around the world. It’s humbling to think that this one book could reach so many people from so many backgrounds worldwide. Definitely a must read!!

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Next to read—Prompt #11: A book that intimidates you

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

I was going to leave this book for later in my journey, but I recently decided that now was the best time to read it. All of the racially charged instances of police brutality in our society (and the lack of justice following these instances) have left me with an intense urge to educate myself. We HAVE to make sure we’re informed about our rights as well as our plight. I think this is especially important for those like me who have found themselves in PWI’s*, be it a university or your workplace. After 8 years of PWIs, 8 years of being one of the only minorities in the class or office, 8 years of thinking “no way you thought that was okay to say to me”, I’ve decided that the only way I can maintain my sanity is to help shine some light on the issues and try to help people understand things from another point of view. The more I know, the more I can (try to) educate those around me that just don’t seem to get it. I’ve started this book a few times in the past, but I’m super motivated to actually finish it this go ‘round! (Especially since I just told you guys I’m going to read it next lol) I’m still slightly intimidated by it, but I’m definitely more afraid to be uninformed and ignorant.

*PWI= predominantly white institution


Comment below and let me know how far you’ve gotten on your reading lists! What books did you love? What books did you struggle with? I’m always up for new book recommendations!

Also, don’t forget to follow us @IndyHipChic on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube! We hope to hear from you soon!

About the author

Indy Hip Chic is a lifestyle blog following the amazingly awesome lives of 3 Indy natives. Originally created to be a creative outlet and place to try new things we thought why not share this experience??? And with that Indy Hip Chic was born. From cosplay to vegan recipes we cover a little bit of everything, while showing off the place we call home. We want to engage our viewers and challenge them to try something new via our experiences. Whether it be new beauty products, how to care for your natural hair and skin, trying a new exotic restaurant, social event, new business or how to eat and be a healthier you! While telling you about all the cool new things we try and experience we also want to showcase and educate people about the black owned businesses and organizations available within our community and nation wide. We believe supporting one another is crucial for the black community and we aim to do our part by showcasing black artists, nonprofits, businesses, products and everything in between. Check us out for your daily dose of awesome.

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Indy Hip Chic is a lifestyle blog following the amazingly awesome lives of 4 Indy natives. Originally created to be a creative outlet and place to try new things we thought why not share this experience??? And with that Indy Hip Chic was born. From cosplay to vegan recipes we cover a little bit of everything while showing off the place we call home.

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