September Readathon Check-in 3

We’re in the thick of it now. September is almost over and this will be my last weekly check in and my next update will be the monthy wrap up. This week I lost steam, there’s only one prompt I have left to complete and it’s ja ara e. On one hand Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi kinda counts towards ja ara e because most of the book is a bedtime story. On the other hand storytelling is not specifically highlighted by the book. And I can convince you into thinking Big Friend by Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow also counts for ja ara e, because they write the book in the same style/voice they use for their podcast, but the formal language and content is a bit of a stretch.

Here’s what I’ve read for the penultimate week:

I read Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams and wow. This is a book that packed a punch. Queenie is about a young woman who goes through a traumatic time in her life, her relationship ends and she does not cope in a healthy way. But when she hits rock bottom she finds a way out. What hit me the hardest is that days after I read this book the news about Breonna Taylor and her family not receiving justice came out.

It shouldn’t be fictional for a Black woman to get help and be supported. For her pain to be recognized and for her to be treated gently, especially during a hard time, but right now it feels like something that can only happen in fiction.

Yonceathon: Spirit, My Power, Bigger, Water (familial and platonic love matter too), Already (is this a coming of age? who knows), Black Parade

Bad Bitch Readathon: Silly Bitch. Sorry, it’s true.

Fresh Prince Readathon: OG Aunt Viv

Well. Ahtiya and I planned to buddy read Daughters of Nri by Reni K Amayo together and instead we buddy abandoned it. This book has an incredibly slow start and some of the narrative choices, like switching POV in a chapter with no breaks or demarcation, turned me off from reading it. I will try to finish this in the future, but it was slowing me down.

All progress is good progress!

My reading has slowed down a lot since the first two weeks and that’s fine. Most of the books I read fulfilled more than one prompt. Also, my goal was never to tick off every single prompt. I want to read Raybearer – Jordan Ifueko and Take A Hint Dani Brown – Talia Hibbert before the month is up, but I’m not rushing myself.

The Sunshine Blogger Award

A huge thank you to Laurel from The Suspected Bibliophile for tagging me in this. The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award within the blogging community – given to bloggers by their peers. Those who are nominated, inspire and spread positivity through their blogs. (

I’ve seen this tag around and I always think it’s really cute, I just like when people post tags or other personal things that give you a sense of who they are outside of their blog. Being tagged was such a great surprise and it made my day. Here’s more info for the tag:

The rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you for this award 
  2. Make sure to list the rules and post a photo of the award logo
  3. Answer the 11 questions that your nominator asked you
  4. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them your own 11 questions
  5. Notify your nominees by commenting on one of their recent posts

Laurel’s Questions:

How did you choose the name for your blog?

This blog originally had a Beyoncé related name that I won’t disclose, but Intisar Speaks came to me when I figured out what I wanted to blog about and why. I talk a lot, I have a lot of opinions, and even though this is main a book blog I didn’t use any book-ish key words in case I want to write about different things in the future.

What’s your favorite bookish thing that you own or that you want to own (that is not books)?

My answer is boring: I just want a bookshelf. I would love a place to safely keep and display my books. I keep my books in a few cloth cubby-box things and one large, clear plastic box that went under my bed in college. My books are dusty and dinged.

For things I own I have a favorite bookmark. My friend made it for me using special paper and water color and lamination and I love it.

What is your stance on pineapple on pizza?

I haven’t tried it. Most pineapple pizza has ham on it ( I don’t eat red meat) and I can’t imagine adding pineapple chunks to a plain cheese pizza. So I’m against it, sorry to this pizza and its fans.

Furthermore, what is your opinion of fruit in ice cream?

That sounds good. I love putting fruit on top of frozen yogurt so I’m sure it’s great on ice cream too.

What is a genre you don’t usually read or don’t often pick up?

Mysteries and thrillers. I tried to read thrillers/mysteries years ago and I thought all the ones I tried were boring. Earlier in the year I read Mona Awad’s Bunny and hated it. I originally gave it a 2.5 rating (3 on Goodreads) but I need to go back and give it a solid 2 because it sucked. Boring, nonsensical, had no plot or strong characters. I also tried to read Gone Girl but sent it back to the library after only like 5 pages.

What is your favorite drink?

Lemonade is the best drink ever created. Green tea is a close second.

Which character would you bring to life and why?

This stumped me, but I would pick Zachary Ezra Rawlins from Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea. I’m picking him because I feel like he and I would be able to talk about books and why we love them. If someone gave me the chance to live in a magical library full of every story ever even thought of I would take it.

What is your favorite comfort food?

I have a sweet tooth so I usually eat something with chocolate as comfort food. Dark chocolate is the best chocolate so that’s my go-to.

What have been your favorite books of 2020?

I’m going to highlight favorites I haven’t had the time to gush about on the blog:

Big Friendship is great because it gives a lot of ground to the idea that friendship is an important and necessary relationship. Josh and Hazel might be my favorite romance novel of the year, I was on cloud 9 reading this. And Queenie was really impactful and it’s a book I;ll be thinking about for a while.

What are your most anticipated releases for the rest of 2020 and beyond?

My most anticipated releases are: A Sky Beyond The Storm by Sabaa Tahir, The Burning Gods by R. F. Kuang (even though I haven’t finished the first or second book), and The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey Into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein because I am a nerd.

What are your goals for 2021?

My main goal is to get a start on my career and land my first ‘adult’ job whatever that turns out to be. My blog goals are to continue doing at least one post a week and to tighten up my actual review schedule so I don’t get behind.

Tag, You’re It

Here are my questions (if you want to do the tag, no pressure)

  1. What’s your favorite trope?
  2. What’s a book you wish you could read for the first time again?
  3. Which hyped book/series do you love?
  4. Which hyped book/series do you hate?
  5. Who are your auto-read authors?
  6. Where is your favorite place to read?
  7. Can you read with music or noise in the background?
  8. What do you enjoy the most and the least about blogging/book social media as a whole?
  9. Preferred format: ebook or physical book or audio book
  10. Do you like to re-read books?
  11. Favorite song of 2020

Thanks for reading!

Fall 2020 TBR | Top Ten Tuesday

Hello all and welcome to fall. Instead of specific, monthly tbr’s I think having seasonal lists will be easier for me. This way I can be flexible with what I expect myself to read and I don’t need to worry about books I promised myself I’d read.

This fall I want to focus on re-reads and getting to books that have been sitting patiently in my room.

My Fall Hopefuls

The Broken Earth Trilogy – N. K. Jemisin

Girl, Serpent, Thorn – Melissa Bashardoust

Strange The Dreamer duology – Laini Taylor

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

The Black Veins – Ashia Monet

The Priory of The Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon

Wicked Fox – Kat Cho

My Fall Rereads

The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern

Six of Crows Duology – Leigh Bardugo

Cinder & Cress – Marissa Meyer (and the rest of the series if I can manage that)

These are 13 books I hope I get to in the fall. The list doesn’t show the library books I’ve requested or the titles I’m coveting, but I really need to tackle the physical books and ebooks I have piling up.

What are you planning to read this fall?

September Readathon Check-in 2

The readathon is halfway over and I’m starting to feel the pressure. I didn’t finish many reads this month and I still have a few books in progress and waiting on my list. Daughters of Nri is acting like a roadblock right now. I’m just not sucked in and don’t really want to read the book, so I’ve avoided reading altogether. I host the Yonce-a-thon twitter every Friday, so I might do reading sprints all day to finish DON and Queenie before the week is up to clear my reading schedule for Pop Culture week. The competitive readathon spirit has taken over me and I will succeed!

Here’s what I’ve read so far:

I read Miles Morales: Straight Outta Brooklyn and wow, I’ve been sleeping on Miles. I love him. He is so cute and just trying to be the best Spider-Man he can be. This volume was so charming and just delightful to read, I want to read more of Miles’s comic runs now.

Yonceathon: Brown Skin Girl, Already

Bad Bitch Readathon: Bad Bitch

I read Big Friendship! This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I’m happy to have finally read it. (I’ve had this book since July smh). This was less a memoir and more a close examination of a Big Friendship, a friendship that is key to each person’s life and one they actively work on. This book is great for starting conversations with the Big friends in your life.

Yonceathon: Spirit, My Power, Otherside, Black Parade

Bad Bitch Readathon: Bad Bitch

In case you missed it, here are some other September readathons you can join! And Yonce-a-thon is still open: info here and our twitter account below.

September Readathon Check-in 1

I’m (hopefully) not adding any books to my TBR for this month, but I did add two more read-a-thons to my September list… The Bad Bitch Readathon hosted by Neeks and a mini, week long read-a-thon hosted by Pop Culture Readathon again except this time the theme is the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I know that my reading pace is alright, but I want to pick up the pace some more.

Here’s what I’ve read so far:

Foreign Gods Inc was not the book for me. It is supposedly about a man, Ike, who plans to steal an artifact of his people’s god and get rich quick by selling it. He is jaded and disillusioned after experiencing racism and xenophobia and after a string of failed relationships. I found the first couple chapters boring and Ike was misogynist, so I didn’t continue. Also, this book isn’t my style and I was trying to expand my reading horizons.

Yonceathon: Spirit, My Power, Find Your Way Back

Gingerbread was an unintelligible mess. The prose is beautiful, but prose alone can’t carry a book. There was barely a plot or even a follow-able story. By the end of the book I was disappointed and upset that there was nothing tying it all together. The largest portion of this book is essentially a huge flashback, the book never felt grounded in time or setting.

Yonceathon: Spirit, My Power, Already

Bad Bitch Readathon: Silly Bitch

I read the first issue of this graphic novel, Destroyer. The art is very cool, the story has some mysterious elements, and in just the first chapter I was invested. There was a Frakenstein monster-esque man who killed whalers and a Frakenstein scientist-esque scientist who brings her dead son back to life. I will be reading more ASAP. The gore surprised me, I thought this was for kids.

Yonceathon: Scar, Spirit

Bad Bitch Readathon: Frosty Bitch

I read Girls At War & Other stories, a short story collection from Chinua Achebe. The collection explored different themes, but the themes that occurred the most where family, class, and tradition. It was really good and felt like the kind of collection you read in a class and write an essay about. I wasn’t in the mood to read critically or think too hard so I just enjoyed what I could.

Yonceathon: Nile, Find Your Way Back, Spirit, My Power, Bigger