Life is still crazy! If I’m being honest, the first two weeks of quarantine were pretty nice, but I’m starting to reach my limit. It’s not that I need (or even want) to be social, I think it’s just the thought that I CAN’T that gets me. I’m a terrible person when it comes to being told what I can and can’t do…however, I understand. I’m not advocating to end the measures…just taking a moment to complain and throw myself a pity party. I’m still so grateful for the extra time with my kids and to read!
How about you? How are you coping? I sincerely hope you’re all doing ok and staying healthy!
Before moving onto some #minibookreviews, here are some links to my recent posts, in case you missed them:
- Once Upon a Book Club: A Fun and Unique Book Subsription Service
- Nonfiction Reader Challenge 2020 (Vol. 2)
- Q1: Unread Shelf Project 2020
- April 2020 TBR
- March 2020 Reading Wrap-Up
- Q1: Top Reads & Recommendation Sources
- Libro.fm’s Bookstore Link – Allowing you to easily buy physical books from your favorite indie bookstore!
What have you been reading (and loving) this week?
Last Week’s Reads:
📱 *** The Book of Rosy: A Mother’s Story of Separation at the Border by: Rosayra Pablo Cruz
First off, this book is important. It gives a personal account of escaping the trauma and violence that is common place in Guatamala and Mexico as a woman and her son journey towards North America. I really enjoyed the memoir part of the book – Rosayra’s personal account of immigration. At the border, she is separated from her children and lives in a jail for eighty-one days. Her bail is posted by a nonprofit group out of New York that made it their mission to fight the injustices the migrants find at the border.
Part II of the book transitioned to the head of this nonprofit company and that’s where the book lost its steam to me. I also value this part of the story, but its inclusion with Rosayra’s story felt clunky to me and didn’t transition well. Maybe it would have went a little better with some introduction, but it took me half of the first chapter to realize we had a new narrator…I thought that it was a flash forward instead of the new perspective of the nonprofit.
Earlier this year, the publication of American Dirt came under fire as not accurately depicting life south of the border. Many people expressed that these types of stories should be written by #ownvoices so that those inaccuracies would be avoided. Because of that controversy, The Book of Rosy came on my radar. I felt like it was important for me to read an personal account of immigration, and now having finished The Book of Rosy, I’m more confused than ever about the earlier outrage. While American Dirt is fiction and The Book of Rosy is nonfiction, the parallels in both books are numerous. One of the chief complaints was that American Dirt inaccurately portrayed life in Guatamala and Mexico, but The Book of Rosy contradicts that notion – also depicting life in this part of the world as scary, violent, and controlled by the cartel.
Reading both of these books is imporatant so that you can form your own opinions on the controversy, and I’m grateful for the opportunity. I would love to talk to more people as they read both of these books, so if that’s you, message me!
⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 | HarperOne | Pub Date: June 2, 2020 | 256 Pages | Ebook (ARC)| Available for Pre-Oder (contact your favorite independent bookstore)
📱*** The Knockout Queen by: Rufi Thorpe
My book twin, Sarah from Sarah’s Book Shelves, recently raved about this one, so I added it to my TBR immediately!
This is one of my favorite kinds of books: a coming-of-age story with depth and nuance. The writing was spectacular and I found that I had a hard time putting it down once I started reading. There was evident angst throughout the book that kept me compelled to keep turning the pages so I could find out what happened.
I really appreciated Bunny and Michael – and their relationship with each other. There were many secondary characters that really stood out as well – Aunt DeeDee, Terrance, and Ray (though totally unlikeable) – but the heart of the story examines the ups and downs of Bunny and Michael’s friendship.
In the end, the writing and characters of this book kept me interested and reading. I was disappointed in the abrupt ending and a few other issues that were never resolved. The story didn’t seem to hav a clear ending (and towards the end of the book, Normal People started popping into my head as a book that also left me unsatisfied).
Also, though it may be a minor grievance, but I did not appreciate the way Thorpe portrayed Bunny’s “size”. She was 6’3″ and 168 pounds…and the way you’d read it in the book, she was a monster and unlikable because of her size. I kind of get the importance of her size (no spoilers), but this is not a big girl and certainly shouldn’t have been portrayed as gross or unbecoming – which was totally the vibes I got from the descriptions. Maybe I’m sensitive because I’m 6′ tall myself, and I know I’m taller than most other women, but this aspect of the book was offensive to me!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | Knopf | Pub Date: April 28, 2020 | 288 Pages | Ebook (ARC) | Available for Pre-order (contact your favorite independent bookstore)
📖 The Affairs of the Falcóns by: Melissa Rivero
I can’t imagine always having to look over my shoulder in order to protect my family. What it must feel like to always fear police and immigration officials who will deport you back to your home country without a second thought. On top of that, always having to struggle financially, working every single odds and ends job you can find, regardless of the fact that you may be more qualified for a better job, but lack the necessary documentation to obtain one.
All of these issues (and more) are presented in this book. It really demonstrates the daily life of an undocumented person navigating life in NYC. It’s heartbreaking to know that there are many people living like this in our country. I’m glad I read a story that portrays that so well.
Overall, I really enjoyed the insider’s look into an undocumented family, but something about the writing didn’t fully engage me. I saw the struggles of each of the characters and appreciate their contribution to the advancement of the story, but I’m worried this will become a forgettable story to me over time. There just wasn’t that special ‘something’ that made it a compelling story for me.
⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 | ECCO | Pub Date: April 2, 2019 | 277 Pages | Hardcover | Purchase via Bookstore Link
📖 *** Oona Out of Order by: Margarita Montimore
Flatiron Books | Pub Date: February 25, 2020 | 352 Pages | Hardcover | Purchase via Bookstore Link
🎧 *** Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by: Ronan Farrow
I have been kind of busy lately so I haven’t been able to really listen to an audiobook. The first night I started this one, I couldn’t stop! I’m sure it’s just a matter of trying again…maybe I should take this as a sign to clean my house?!?
Little, Brown and Company | Pub Date: October 15, 2019 | 448 Pages | Audiobook | Purchase via Bookstore Link
DNF (aka: Not For Me and/or Skipping For Now):
📖 *** The Women’s War (Women’s War, #1) by: Jenna Glass
It pains me to DNF this one, but it really could have used a tighter edit. The story has so much promise but it’s been a total slog for me. Once I sit down to read it, I quickly become immersed, but I find that I’m not super motivated to pick it up in the first place. DNF @ 44%.
DNF | Del Rey Books | Pub Date: March 5, 2019 | 560 Pages | Hardcover | Purchase via Bookstore Link
📱 *** Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by: Mikki Kendall
This is just too deep for my mindset right now. DNF @ 11%.
DNF | Viking | Pub Date: March 3, 2020 | 288 Pages | E-book (ARC) | Purchase via Bookstore Link
📖 *** Ingredients: The Strange Chemisty of What We Put In Us and On Us by: George Zaidan
Unfortunately, this was a DNF for me at 33%. It was way too sciencey for me, and though it was presented almost cartoonish (assumingly to “dumb it down” for non-sciencey people), I still didn’t get it. It was over my head and I wasn’t understanding.
Dutton | Pub Date: April 14, 2020 | 320 Pages | Hardcover | Available for Pre-order (contact your favorite independent bookstore)