If you’re looking for something new to read, here are some of the fabulous new release titles I’ve read lately. Naturally, there are a lot of queer books reviewed here plus other tasty titles that have piqued my interest. Found something you like? Make sure you use the bookstore links below each review when buying to support my site! And if you’re also Goodreads fan, follow me to stay up to date with my latest reading list.
Miss World 1970 by Jennifer Hosten
Jennifer Hosten went to the 1970 Miss World pageant on a lark, representing the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada, and came home with the crown and a place in history. What was supposed to be a light-hearted affair, with a parade of the world’s most beautiful women vying for the attention of the judges and comedian/host Bob Hope, turned out to be the most controversial, politically charged, and consequential pageant ever.
This fascinating memoir is by the first woman of colour to win the Miss World pageant, way back at the dawn of the 1970s. Jennifer Hosten was also the first woman to ever represents her home country, Grenada, and she very much saw her participation in the competition as an almost ambassadorial role, making her win even more important as it bought so much recognition and pride to the Caribbean island.
This book has recently been turned into a film and if you’re looking for the full backstory behind the dynamics that the plot explores, you’ll probably be disappointed. The Miss World pageant and the surrounding controversy is only explored in the first couple of chapters and only from Hosten’s perspective (as you would expect in a memoir), whereas the film appears to tell the story from a range of women who were involved in the event, from other contestants to the feminist activists who staged protests on the night.
The rest of the book looks at how Hosten’s life unfolded after winning the pageant and the political turmoil that besieged Grenada in the late 70s. I found this all quite interesting, as there is obviously so much more to her life than this one public event.
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