Maha Read-a-Likes: Lizzo

Maha Festival, opens a new window, is a four-day celebration of music and discovery that takes place August 14-17 in Omaha's Aksarben Village

There’s no denying that Maha headliner Lizzo’s latest album, “Cuz I Love You, opens a new window” is sonically bright and, at times, practically buoyant with joy. Keep that mood going with “Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good” by Adrienne M. Brown, or a nice poetry collection like “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude” by Ross Gay. Loved her performance at the BET awards? Pick up “Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl's Love Letter to the Power of Fashion” by Tanisha C. Ford, or “Black Girls Rock!.”

Lizzo’s latest release has plenty of flirty and racy content, and we’ve got that covered for you in our romance sections. For some sizzling drama, “The Wedding Party” by Jasmine Guillory is your next read, or try out some erotica with “Before We Were Wicked” by Eric Jerome Dickey. “Sweet Heat” by Zuri Day about two chefs competing for start-up money for their restaurants is essentially the novelization of the line, “No, I'm not a snack at all / Look, baby, I'm the whole damn meal.”

Lizzo breaks out that flute to remind us that she’s classically trained, and that she’s both the image of and the brains behind her music. Spend some time with her trailblazing peers with “I Got Thunder: Black Women Songwriters on Their Craft, opens a new window” by LaShonda K. Barnett. Pick up “Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-delusion” by Jia Tolentino, essayist for The New Yorker and fellow Houstonite, or “Thick: And Other Essays” by Tressie McMillan Cottom to read from Lizzo’s literary contemporaries. Lastly, are some of her reflections on feminism going over your head? Check out How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective.

I’ll leave you with some “Soulmate”-style considerations to complement Lizzo’s unmistakable message of self love. “Rookie on Love: 45 Voices on Romance, Friendship, and Self-care” is a sweet, smart collection of work from diverse writers. For a deep dive into the topic from an activist and poet, pick up “The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-love, opens a new window” by Sonya Renee Taylor, and for more of a how-to, “Be Unapologetically You: A Self-love Guide for Women of Color” by Adeline Bird may be exactly what you need!

If you like the idea of reading recommendations based off of you favorite bands or performers, come see the Well-Read Collective, opens a new window at OPL’s booth in the Community Village at MAHA, Saturday, August 17, or request a custom reading list anytime.