Reading wrap-up #37

First, I’d like to include a quick blurb of my TBR for the Reading Rush! Let me know if you strongly recommend any of these books over the other so I can prioritize…

  • Read a book with a cover that matches the color of your birth stone: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. My birthstone is diamond and the blue-white cover was the closest thing I could find.
  • Read a book that starts with the word “The”: The God Delusion, The Radium Girls, The Fifth Risk, The Chain… I’m overwhelmed with options! I’m leaning towards The Radium Girls.
  • Read a book that inspired a movie you’ve already seen. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen or The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I’ve read Hoot before but I’m dying to re-read it!
  • Read the first book you touch: I closed my eyes and hovered my finger over my ~15 physical books and landed on Brighton Rock by Graham Greene.
  • Read a book completely outside of your house: This is probably not going to happen with Arizona temperatures over 100°F and rampant COVID cases, rendering coffee shops and the like impossible. If I get around to this, I’ll get creative.
  • Read a book in a genre that you’ve always wanted to read more of: Artemis by Andy Weir. I’m not a big sci-fi fan but really loved The Martian.
  • Read a book that takes place on a different continent than where you live: Endurance by Alfred Lancing. Do I get bonus points for reading a book that takes place in Antarctica?
  • Group read: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid.

Now, back to the reviews. As a reminder, here is how I rate my books:

  • (★★★★★): Loved it
  • (★★★★): Really liked it
  • (★★★): Liked it enough
  • (★★): Didn’t care for it

Another few notes: I will warn if there are any spoilers with (start spoiler) and (end spoiler) so you know when to stop reading and pick up again if you don’t want to ruin the book for yourself. I no longer go out of my way to watch adaptions, but will continue to mention them and their general critiques (from Rotten Tomatoes) in my reviews. Finally, you can always check out my book review index page if you’re looking for my extremely important opinion on any book in particular.

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi How To Be an Antiracist (9781847925992): Ibram X ...Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Non-fiction, social justice, race relations

GoodReads rating: 4.54 / 5 (23,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-book (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Summary: “In this book, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism.”

Thoughts: After three meh reads, this book went a bit slower than it would have under regular circumstances, but a fabulous book nonetheless. I like my non-fiction books to have a personal narrative and it did and the author wasn’t afraid to describe his own shortcomings and internalized racism. Another great addition to race relations required reading.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient: Hoang, Helen: 9780451490803: BooksRating: ★★★★

Genre: Fiction, contemporary, romance, adult

GoodReads rating: 3.89 / 5 (123,500 ratings)

Medium used: Paperback (purchased from Bookman’s in Tucson, Arizona)

Summary: Stella is an accomplished Silicon Valley econometrician, but a less accomplished lover. Due to her Aspergers, she struggles to connect with people romantically. To overcome this, she hires a male escort Michael to show her the ropes and unexpectedly gets more than she paid for…

Thoughts: I picked up this book to turn my brain off, and it did exactly that. This book hits all the tropes and is extremely predictable and froofy. However, I didn’t expect it to be as sexy as it was, the writing is fantastic. Under normal circumstances, this book probably would have been a three-star, but since it gave me exactly what I needed this week and I blasted through it, I’ll give it four stars.

Other adaptations: The film rights have been sold but no progress has been made.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner ...Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Fiction, contemporary, race relations

GoodReads rating: 4.44 / 5 (48,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-book (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Warning: This book contains mention of rape and abuse.

Summary: Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.”

Thoughts: This was strongly recommended by the sweet Emma and I’ve been meaning to read it for a few months now anyway. These stories were amazing and diverse, but the book was kind of long for me (500+ pages) and started to lose me in the last quarter.

Other adaptations: There will be a film adaption in the future.

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot ...Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Non-fiction, feminism, race relations

GoodReads rating: 4.48 / 5 (3,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-book (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Summary: “Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few.”

Thoughts: As I mentioned in my How to be an Anti-Racist review above, I like my non-fiction books to have a personal narrative, and this one did as well. The author outlines her experience as a Black woman in south Chicago and how her feminism experience is different from the picture-perfect white, middle class experience. This book has a unique perspective and definitely an important read for both anti-racists and feminists.

Have you read any of these? 

Photo by Radu Marcusu.


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