combining all of my book updates for the last 4 months.
sometimes the world don’t give you what you need, no matter how hard you look. sometimes it withholds
sing, unburied, sing by jesmyn ward. the winner of the national book award for 2017, jesmyn ward’s sing, unburied, sing is a heartwrenching novel set in mississippi’s deep south. jojo, the 13-year-old primary narrator, leads us on a journey through mississippi to hightlight the struggles and triumphs of his family. this story is not for the faint of heart, touching on racism and racial profiling, drug use, physical abuse, and double standards, but it well worth a read. ward is a beautiful storyteller, and this is worth your time.
the highlander’s bride by donna fletcher. i finished sing, unburied, sing just before summer conferences began and wanted something quick and easy and a little mindless to follow. in chatting with maggie and molly, the middle suggested we all three read the highlander’s bride, a favorite of hers from middle / high school. maggie and i took one look at the cover and were immediately on board. this is a story of cullen and sara, two strangers who are forced to rely on one another to get what they need. it is a little ridiculous and far-fetched, which was exactly what i needed. and the kindle edition was only $1.99, so i’ll call that a win.
this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
in order to bloom
the sun and her flowers by rupi kaur. rupi kaur’s poetry is somehow simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting, and this sequel to milk and honey is no exception. split into five parts, the sun and her flowers is a reminder that sometimes we must fall in order to rise again. i’ll be sharing some of my favorites in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout.
crazy rich asians by kevin kwan. i will be the first to admit that i definitely underestimated this book. for years i thought kevin kwan’s crazy rich asians was a breezy, mindless beach read, and while it had its light and fun moments and was very quick to read, it was anything but mindless. this story of chinese-american rachel traveling to singapore with her boyfriend nick to meet his family and attend his best friend’s wedding was one of my favorite books that i have read this year. going to see the movie this afternoon and am so excited!
the last time i lied by riley sager. one of my book of the month selections, sager’s tale of four best friends at summer camp – three who vanish overnight and the one who has to relive the night forever – was much more intriguing than i originally anticipated. i flew through this novel in four days in the middle of july, eagerly anticipating the next twist or turn. in reading reviews, it seems as though most people agree sager’s first novel, final girls, was even better, so i have added it to my wish list for when i am allowed to buy books again [yes, we are in the midst of another book-buying ban].
every human life is equally valuable. each person’s story is vital. this is just one
the girl who smiled: a story of war and what comes after beads by clemantine wamariya. another of my book of the month selections, this memoir blew me away. clemantine’s story of fleeing rwanda during the 1994 genocide, moving with her sister through refugee camps up and down the eastern side of africa, resettling in chicago as a recipient of a refugee visa, and figuring out how to straddle the two parts of her life was stunning, beautiful, tragic, uplifiting, and heartbreaking. she straddles the line between emotional and honest, resulting in a book that is hard to read but even more difficult to put down. it was particularly poignant to read this in the midst of our current global refugee crisis, and it was a great reminder of how often we repeat our previous mistakes.
loyalty is one of the very loveliest of qualities, so do your best to show it
adulting: how to become a grown-up in 468 easy[ish] steps by kelly williams brown. i initially expected this to be a witty time-pass of a book, entertaining for sure but not necessarily super thought-provoking, and i was very pleasantly surprised by how in-depth and insightful this was. in adulting, brown breaks down all the pieces to be a successful adult, from work to friendships to cooking, and even includes lists of basic cleaning and first-aid supplies to keep on hand. it’s not earth-shattering, but it has some good information in it.
have you read anything good lately?