So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo | Buddy Read


So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Rating: 5 out of 5.

In this breakout book, Ijeoma Oluo explores the complex reality of today’s racial landscape–from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement–offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide.

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Editor at Large of The Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the “N” word. (Read more on goodreads)

Our Thoughts


I first heard about So You Want to Talk About Race from a person I follow on Twitter, who used it as part of his own anti-racism reading in the past. It is a book that addresses, chapter by chapter, common questions/concerns that people (often white people) have when it comes to talking about race. I think this book is really good because it takes the questions seriously and answers them honestly, with great detail, without forgetting BIPOC frustration that comes with having to answer these questions in real life.

Ijeoma Oluo has clearly had to deal with questions relating to race, sex, affirmative action, workplace harassment and equal opportunity in places of work. Her feelings on this topic are always clear – a mix of frustrations, exhaustion and determination – and yet she addresses issues with a level of professionalism I wish I could have when I talk about these sensitive topics in my own life.

I would recommend this book to anyone, even though it IS directed at white people more than anything. As a person of colour, reading this I was able to still learn more about BIPOC struggle and the unfairness that exists in this world. There were times when she explained some of these struggles with such eloquence that I actually felt validated because I related to them as well.

Favourite Quotes

I remember saying once that if I stopped to feel, really feel, the pain of the racism I encountered, I would start screaming and I would never stop.

If you are white, there is a good chance you may have been poor at some point in your life, you may have been sick, you may have been discriminated against for being fat or being disabled or being short or being unconventionally attractive, you may have been many things – but you have not been a person of colour.

I live in a world where if I have a ‘black sounding’ name, I’m less likely to even be called for an interview. Will I equally benefit from raising minimum wages when I can’t even get a job?

We’re still waiting. We’re still hoping. We’re still left behind.


This book is a great place to start if you want to learn about anti-racism. It’s beginner friendly, as Oluo uses tons of examples, anecdotes and straight to the point lists to effortlessly explain more “complicated” topics such as: privilege, systemic discrimination, tone policing, and affirmative action.

Even as someone who reads up on about social justice, I still learnt a lot and I will continue to reference this resource. I highlighted a lot of its passages because she just has such a way with better explaining how I feel when it comes to this discourse or my own experiences.

Favourite Quotes

The realities of race have not always been welcome in my life, but they have always been there.

There is a good chance that you, regardless of race, have tried to have these conversations in the past. There is also a good chance that they have not gone well. So “not well” that perhaps you have been afraid to ever have these conversations again.

We couldn’t talk about the ways in which race and racism impacted my life, because he was unwilling to even acknowledge the racism that was impacting my life and he was unable to prfioritize my safety over his comfort – which meant that we couldn’t talk about me.

Racial oppression should always be an emotional topic to discuss […] But it upsets us because it exists, not because we talk about it.

Discussion Questions (taken from the book)

  1. The chapter about privilege is placed right before the chapter on intersectionality. The author has stated in interviews that she placed those chapters in that order because it is impossible to fully understand intersectionality without first comprehending privilege. How do the concepts discussed in the chapter “Why am I always being told to check my privilege?” help deepen your understanding of intersectionality and help implement intersectionality into your life?
  2. The final chapter, “Talking is great, but what else can I do?,” discusses some actions you can take to battle systemic racism using the knowledge you’ve gained from this book and from your conversations on race. What are some actions you can take in your community, your schools, your workplace, and your local government? What are some local antiracism efforts in your community that you can join or support?

You can pick up a copy here.

The Tea Dragon Tapestry | Book Review

I fell in love with The Tea Dragon series overnight (thanks to Hoopla) and then needed to catch up on sleep for 18 hours, like Chamomile. After my power nap, I immediately ordered the physical copies to experience it again. Once I found out that the third and (sadly) final instalment was coming out I knew it had to go on my TBR.

By: Julia Agris

DISCLAIMER: Thanks to NetGalley for giving us an eARC of this graphic novel, for free, to review.

I fell in love with The Tea Dragon series overnight (thanks to Hoopla) and then needed to catch up on sleep for 18 hours, like Chamomile. After my power nap, I immediately ordered the physical copies to experience it again. Once I found out that the third and (sadly) final instalment was coming out I knew it had to go on my TBR.


The Tea Dragon Tapestry

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Join Greta and Minette once more for the heartwarming conclusion of the award-winning Tea Dragon series!

Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. (Read more on goodreads)

Throughout the series, we were introduced to a multitude of different (and diverse) characters – it is in this book that we finally get to see them meet. Additionally, we get to see Greta and Minette’s friendship grow deeper as they both struggle with personal problems. Greta is unsure what to make for her blacksmith apprenticeship test AND trying to make Ginseng happy after the death of her previous owner. Meanwhile, Minette is dealing with a lost sense of guidance.

The themes of loss (of a person, passion, identify, path), longing and even belonging are all relatable. Although simple, they are basic human emotions seeing these characters handling it while they support each other makes you root for them all the way.

Not only do the cast make you want to keep reading but, just a glance at the art should be enough of a reason for you to pick this up.

O’Neill’s art style the perfect mix of adorable and whimsical. Everything feels organic, all doodles are in the right place, all Tea Dragons looking cute as heck… it makes me want to rip out every page and poster them around my house. In Chapter Two, there is a beautiful full-page spread of Minette’s dream sequence and WOW can I live there forever?

One might say that there is no giant plot twists or action-packed scenes. That is because the story is very character driven, which is what I enjoyed the most besides the art. The characters feel genuine and help each other grow – they want to see their friends/ family succeed. This is what moves the story forward. Their care for one another is like a warm hug.

“Everything that happens is part of your wholeness. The sadness, the loss, the hurt, as well as the joy, the love, the friendship — it is all part of your tapestry […] remember, that you are already whole.”

katie o’neill, the tea dragon tapestry

The age group for this book is: children, middle grade, and young adult. I recommend it to everyone no matter the age. It’s filled with diversity and very real human problems. It has supportive characters! It has beautiful messages about growth and relationships! It has ADORABLE TEA DRAGONS (need I say more) and if that’s not enough O’Neill has provided supplemental lore into the world of Tea Dragons at the back of the book again.

The Tea Dragon Tapestry will be released on September 1st, 2020 and you know I will be picking it up, alongside the card game.

Our 2020 Reading Rush TBR

This is the year we are going to join the Reading Rush! We know that we probably won’t be able to read all our picks but fingers crossed!

This is the year we are going to join the Reading Rush! We know that we probably won’t be able to read all our picks but fingers crossed!

Here are the prompts:

1/ Read a book with a cover that matches the colour of your birth stone.
2/ Read a book that starts with the word “The”.
3/ Read a book that inspired a movie you’ve already seen.
4/ Read the first book you touch.
5/ Read a book completely outside of your house.
6/ Read a book in a genre that you’ve always wanted to read more of.
7/ Read a book that takes place on a different continent than where you live.

Alia’s Picks

  1. Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
  2. The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne
  3. A Series of Unfortunate Events – The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  4. Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation by Ari Folman
  5. I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya
  6. A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities by Madi G.
  7. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Julia’s Picks

  1. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  3. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  4. Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson
  5. Thief of Thieves by Robert Kirkman
  6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath / Romanov by Nadine Brandes
  7. Romanov by Nadine Brandes

What do you plan on reading this week?