Wrap Up

Wrap Up | September 2020

Welcome to my September wrap up, where I am going to be sharing all of the books I have read over the last month. This month I was so surprised that I have kept up my reading momentum and even got my physical TBR down to 10 books! I had some winners and some not so great reads, but overall a really good month!


Conjure WomenConjure Women by Afia Atakora
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a wonderful read that not only followed generations within a family, but also talked about how these generations were affected by slavery in the US. The plot, characters, and the whole novel were so well written and I was pulled in by the magic within the book, but also the magic of the writing.

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The Death of Vivek OjiThe Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A powerful and heart breaking read that I read far too quickly. This is such a talented author, they were able to craft such a wonderfully heart wrenching novel about a family ties and LGBTQ+ treatment. This story from the first page pulled me in and I don’t cry often when I read. but this book had me tearing up. I don’t want to say too much because I feel like this book has a larger impact if you go in knowing less.

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The TestThe Test by Sylvain Neuvel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Overall, this was a very impactful book to me because it really makes you think about human nature, society, and a laundry list of other things such as prejudices and racism that are ingrained in society. I feel like this little story really packs so much into it that it shows the talent of the author. This will be a story I reread again I feel like and it will have a place on my bookshelf for the years to come.

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Stay with MeStay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story has so many layers to it and it ended up being so much more than I though it would be. This story had be filled with joy, sadness and anger. There are aspects of history mixed in with a the exploration of the marriage of Yejide and Akin. Yejide was such an interesting and compelling character, I really enjoyed reading from her perspective. I could feel her hurt, her joy, and so much more.

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I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State KillerI’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am going to be writing a whole post dedicated to this book in the near future, but I really was enthralled with this book and I can’t wait to see the documentary.

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EmmaEmma by .Jane Austen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall, I enjoyed this classic. It is not my favorite Austen novel, but I was pulled into the story despite how annoying and aggravating Emma can be.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 0


Reading Stats

What was your favorite book this month?

Mine was The Hunger by Alma Katsu or Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin. 

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Hauls

Book of the Month| August 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of Book of the Month! This month I am very excited about the book I picked for a few reasons, the major ones I will get into more so later in the post, but one I will share up front is that I was able to find this new to me author! As soon as I read the description, I knew I needed to pick it as my book this month.


Description

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader. –goodreads.com

Why I Picked This Book

The main reason I picked up this novel is because it seems to have a huge focus around relationships, which is something that we all have. But, I always find it interesting to learn about how others balance their relationships. I also have not read an emotionally charged book in a while and from the description, I am picking up that this will be a heart wrenching one.

Also, I did happen to read a blurb of this book already, just to give myself a look into the authors style. From what I have read already, I think I am going to enjoy their form of writing. I can’t wait to get to it!


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Does this book sound interesting to you?

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | June 2020

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my Read 5, Buy 1 post, If I am being honest with myself I should be calling this a book haul because wow, did I totally ignore this in June. I am not sure why, but I really had the buying itch in June. I figured since I have done so well and my TBR was under 20 at the time, why not have some fun. So, here is my break down of the books I read since the last check in, but also the books I bought this past month.


The Breakdown

  • Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
  • The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi
  • The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
    • Bought Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
  • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz
    • Bought Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Books Added To My TBR

I added, Home Before Dark by Riley Sager, The Incarnations by Susan Barker, Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz, The Changeling by Victor LaValle, Before the Coffee Gets Coldby Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, The Hungerby Alma Katsu, Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri, and LGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the Numbers by Bennett Singer and David Deschamps to my TBR.


As you can see, I bought quite a few extra books this month. I am thinking it might have to do with that fact that I was not really in the reading mood in May and maybe it was because I didn’t really want to read any of the books I owned. I am a total mood reader. Regardless of the reason, I added an extra 7 books. Oops! Good thing I have been in a reading mood!
Over all, my TBR is now sitting at a total of 26 books, so my owned TBRhe  stayed about the same, but thankfully it decided to not go up with all the buying I did.

What does your TBR look like?

What books did you recently haul from the library or bookstore?

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Reviews

Book Review | We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib

Book Review

*Book given by the publisher via netgalley  in exchange for an honest review*

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir
Description: 

How do you find yourself when the world tells you that you don’t exist?

Samra Habib has spent most of her life searching for the safety to be herself. As an Ahmadi Muslim growing up in Pakistan, she faced regular threats from Islamic extremists who believed the small, dynamic sect to be blasphemous. From her parents, she internalized the lesson that revealing her identity could put her in grave danger.

When her family came to Canada as refugees, Samra encountered a whole new host of challenges: bullies, racism, the threat of poverty, and an arranged marriage. Backed into a corner, her need for a safe space–in which to grow and nurture her creative, feminist spirit–became dire. The men in her life wanted to police her, the women in her life had only shown her the example of pious obedience, and her body was a problem to be solved.

So begins an exploration of faith, art, love, and queer sexuality, a journey that takes her to the far reaches of the globe to uncover a truth that was within her all along. A triumphant memoir of forgiveness and family, both chosen and not, We Have Always Been Here is a rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt out of place and a testament to the power of fearlessly inhabiting one’s truest self.–goodreads.com 


What I Liked

This memoir is a journey to read. Samar Habib’s story is heart breaking and at times difficult to read, but I am so happy she told her story. She truly went through a lot starting in Pakistan where she face severe threats and even in Canada, where it was meant to be a safe haven, she faced even more challenges of bullying and more.

Her voice is strong in this book. Telling her life, but also the lives of those who are unseen in society, as hinted at in the title. It really was an engrossing read and look into her life and her experiences felt real and tangible. With some memoirs the writers feel distant and untouchable also unapproachable. This was not the case with We Have Always Been Here. What really made this stand out was the author truly shared, even the fact that the author has made mistakes.

Going back to the writing and layout of this memoir, the author talks in a very raw and approachable manner. I felt that it was organized very well and the author truly has a talent when it comes to writing. I was pulled into this book quite quickly and nearly nothing could get me to put it down. The authors voice is truly specular.

While reading this memoir there were quite a few things that she faced her life that have been hinted at, but there is one thing that truly stood out to me. Her determination to  find her identity. This is a struggle for her throughout this book for a wide range of reasons. I don’t want to give away too much because I feel like this is best read without knowing too much.


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, nothing. This book was wonderful.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, this is one of the best non-fiction books I have read recently. When it comes to reading memoirs I like them to be real, this is real and raw and you can feel it on every page. The author truly puts herself out there with pride as she shares her experience in finding and exploring her own identity as well as the experiences she has had in her life. I know I will be buying a finished copy of this because I know I will want to reread it in the future, which is not something I do a lot when it comes to memoirs. If you want to read about a strong LGBT+ and Muslim figure I would say this might be a very good option for you.

5stars


Author Links

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Book Information

Publication Date: June 4th 2019

Publisher: Viking

List Price: $18.95

ISBN: 978-0735235007

Pages: 240 pages


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