A little over a year ago, I committed to reading more books by and about people of color, and part of that included a commitment to learning more about the history of Native Americans and reading more Asian literature. I think I’m doing pretty well on my African American literature, but wanted to be sure to branch out to include other groups in my reading.
I wanted to see “Carol” when it came out a few years ago, mostly because it has an excellent cast and because of the few Oscar nominations it got. But being me, I wanted to read the book first, so I grabbed a copy when I was in an indie bookstore with my dad a year or two ago.
Then BookRiot challenged me to read an LGBTQ+ romance and that was my excuse to rush Patricia Highsmith’s book to the top of my reading list.
Considering how excited I was for it, I’m not sure how I feel about this book. I liked it, but I didn’t love it as much as I was expecting.
I read The Devil in the White City as soon as I heard Leonardo DiCaprio had bought the film rights (still waiting on that Leo…). I loved it, so when Erik Larson came out with this book a couple years ago I couldn’t wait to read it.
Of course, with my massive TBR list, this one kept getting pushed back. Probably because it’s nonfiction.
But lately I’ve been listening to more and more audiobooks, especially nonfiction, and finally I realized I didn’t have to make time to read Larson’s latest book. I just had to make time to listen to it.
Hurray for audiobooks!
It was totally worth the wait, though. I had forgotten what a phenomenal writer Larson is, but this book lost no time in reminding me.MORE +
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This is what happens when I go roaming unsupervised through the YA section of my library.
I had heard great things about this book by Sandhya Menon from some of my bookish friends. They said it was basically a Bollywood movie in novel form and that’s about right. So obviously I immediately added it to my TBR list.
It’s every bit as adorable as my friends told me it was.
Dimple and Rishi are two kids of Indian immigrants living in Northern California. Dimple wants to be the best computer programmer there ever was. Her parents are probably middle class, but not very wealthy, so when she asks to go to an expensive coding camp the summer between high school and college, she’s astonished when they agree without question.
Rishi is an artist who loves comic books, but has chosen to pursue the more “practical” career path of engineering, like his father who runs a ComEd-type company.
Their parents haven’t exactly arranged their marriage, but they’ve agreed that their kids would be good together and they should at least meet each other.
Rishi knows about this arrangement. Dimple does not. And Rishi doesn’t know that Dimple doesn’t know.
Photo credit: Foter.com
My mom read this book by D. E. Stevenson about a year ago and has been bugging me to read it ever since. I finally got around to it, mostly because I needed to read a book published between 1900 and 1950 for this year’s read harder challenge and Stevenson’s book was originally published in the 1930s. Also I was in the mood for a light read and this fit the bill perfectly.
Barbara Buncle is a middle class woman living alone in a small town somewhere in Britain. We’re never told exactly where and it’s a fictional town, the point is it’s supposed to be a pretty typical British small town. This is after the great crash of 1929 and Miss Buncle, who has never had to work a day in her life, is in need of some income because her dividends have dwindled to pretty much nothing. She considers raising hens, but her maid hates hens and would never put up with it, and Miss Buncle knows nothing about raising hens, so she decides to write a book.
The problem is Miss Buncle claims she has no imagination, so she ends up writing a novel about a small town that looks an awful lot like her small town, inhabited by characters who very much resemble her neighbors. The book gets picked up by a publisher, gets published under the name “John Smith,” and becomes a bestseller. When her neighbors read the book and recognize themselves, they are not happy about it and hilarity ensues.
The concept of this book by Min Jin Lee did not immediately grab my interest and I had more or less decided to skip this one, despite the fact that people in my book group kept raving about how much they loved it. It’s not a short book, so it was unlikely that I was ever realistically going to get around to it.
I requested the audiobook from my library, but got into trouble when it became available (and automatically checked out for me) when I had just started listening to Behold the Dreamers. You’d think I’d have learned by now not to have multiple audiobooks on hold, but I have not. As it was I was left with two weeks to listen to 18 hours of this audiobook. I did manage to finish it before the library took it back, but just barely.
It took me a while to decide whether I liked this book, but about 1/3 of the way through I decided I liked these characters and cared about them enough to find out what happened to them.
The book starts in the early 1900s in Korea with Hoonie, a poor man with a cleft palate and a limp who is making ends meet by farming and running a boarding house. When he dies, his daughter, Sunja, is just a child and helps her mother, Yangjin, run the boardinghouse. As a young woman, Sunja is seduced and impregnated by a man in the market she thinks will marry her, but when she tells him she’s expecting, he reveals that he already has a wife and three kids in Japan. He still wants to take care of Sunja, offering to buy her a house and remain an active part of her and their child’s lives.
When I heard there was a new Wonder Woman novel coming out and it was by Leigh Bardugo, you’d better believe I was all over that! I absolutely loved Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom and I knew Bardugo would do Diana justice.
And she did not disappoint.
Several months ago a friend of mine posted about this book by Rafi Mittlefehldt, calling it a must read. I figured if it’s a must read, then I must read it!
It’s about a high school freshman named Mike who just moved to Virginia from Wisconsin with his parents and his little sister, Toby. In addition to starting at a new school, the family also finds a local Evangelical church and Mike’s dad is trying pretty hard to get on the board. They’re friends with another family who go to the same church, and while they’re nice enough, Mike seems less than comfortable with them – or at church for that matter.
I had heard good things about this book by Imbolo Mbue, but I don’t think it really made it onto my TBR list until it won the PEN/Faulkner award. Then, of course, there was the debate about how I could realistically fit it onto my TBR list. I almost bought a copy, but my mom said she already had one. Which is great, but that still didn’t solve the problem of finding the time to read it.
Fortunately, there are audiobooks.
I got the audiobook from my library and listened to it in about a week. I don’t remember the narrator’s name, but he did a good job. The audiobook is especially beneficial for those of us who would have no idea how to pronounce all those Cameroonian names.
It took me a while to get into this book. It’s about a young couple who just immigrated from Cameroon, Jende and his wife, Neni. Jende lied to get into the U.S., worked a few jobs and saved up enough money to bring Neni and their young son. He’s been washing dishes and driving a taxi, but at the beginning of the book, he’s interviewing for a position as a salaried driver for Clark Edwards, a Wall Street executive, who tells Jende he comes highly recommended.
I had heard awesome things about this book by Colson Whitehead from people in my book group, as well as the greats like Oprah. It was on my TBR list, but when it won the Pulitzer and then went on sale at one of my local bookstores, I immediately bought it and bumped it up my TBR list. I then nominated it to my book club, which voted on it, which meant I had to read it.