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What's on your bookshelf?

Hello my loves, I made it through half term- just about. If you have kept up with my blog for a while you will know that every time a holiday swings by, which is actually more frequently than I imagined, I struggle to balance work, kids & life. I'm trying to play it cool because that's one of the reasons that I started to work for myself (can you say flexibility?) but anyone who is self employed will know that the idea of flexibility is a term used loosely. Anyway, I have lovingly waved goodbye to my children and secretly hope that the next few weeks before the summer holidays don't go too quickly.

You may have noticed that last week I didn't go live with any special guests. I mean if I could have chatted to the Queen, that would have been an interesting discussion wouldn't it but I think she was pretty busy.

I did however have the next best thing and this week I want to give you a brief overview of my conversation with Nikki from The Bookish Mindset .

I was lucky enough to meet Nikki when she approached me to provide some of my best selling Positive Lifestyle journals for one of her monthly boxes last year. It was an honour and I felt so excited to be included.

What started as a hobby during lockdown has turned in to a successful monthly book subscription service, aimed at getting you started on your journey of allyship.

Nikki is a self confessed feminist. Working in a heavily male led industry, she has always strived to break down barriers and place herself where others may be too uncomfortable to be.

In beginning her own allyship journey, following the death of George Floyd she was faced with the realisation of how "white" her bookshelf was and how white the publishing industry is. She felt that she needed to do her part to change that and give a voice to under represented minorities, whilst supporting independent businesses.

Speaking with Nikki was eye opening. As a book lover myself, or rather a wannabe book reader because I can be flakey with how often I get through a book; it made me think- how many of my A-level literature reads were of anyone other than a middle aged white guy? My book choices tend to be guided by award winning book lists or classics, which means that there are hundreds and thousands of books that I am missing out on having the pleasure of reading.

Nikki has such an excitable personality, if you haven't caught up on our chat, you can catch up here . You will totally understand what I mean. Her passion comes across in buckets and her story telling will entice you to switch up your reading list.

Up until speaking with Nikki, my main focus for my lunchtime chats has been women in creative industries but as Nikki explained, curating her monthly boxes has helped her use the right side of her brain and she adores the process of being creative; even though for years she had told herself that she couldn't be creative whilst working as an Engineer. This just goes to show that we can all develop that creative muscle. I am a prime example of this. Re-entering the design industry has been like starting at square one because as with any skill; you need to use it or you will lose it! the beauty is that it can come back- thank goodness.

Check out Nikki's best reads below. All can be purchased via The Bookish mindset's website. I cannot wait to read several of these books but especially 'Love in Colour' by Bolu Babalola, which tells beautiful love stories focusing on magical West-African folktales and reimagining Greek Myths, ancient legends from the Middle East and stories from countries that no longer exist in our world.

Nikki would love to chat if you have any questions about starting your journey.

Have you read any of these books? What do I need to read next?

Let me know in the comments or connect with me on Instagram so we can chat.

Lots of Love

Mayajoy x

1- Love in Colour, Bolu Babalola

2- Take a hint, Dani Brown, Tania Hibbert

3- Fire keeper's daughter, Angeline Boulley

4- The Gilded Ones, Namina Forna

5- Hood Feminism, Mikki Kendall

6- Feminism, Interrupted, Lola Olufemi

7- All about love, Bell Hooks

8- Consumed, Aja Barber

9- What a time to be alone, Chidera Eggerue

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