This month I read quite a few books again, 19 to be exact which is wild since I was in a bit of a reading slump for most of the year. That number is also mostly due to the fact that I read 8 audiobooks this month and got into romance, which tend to be faster reads for me. I’m excited to read some spooky books next month and attempt to read some non-romance books even though all the books I want to read are romance. I’m trying to remain diverse in the genres I read, but I have a ton of romance staring at me on my shelf!
I didn’t do much this past month other than try to keep the quarantine loneliness at bay by playing Animal Crossing and reading endlessly. Work has been hectic, so my animal and literary friends have helped me keep the stress down. I’m extra happy about the long Labor Day weekend so I can have more time to get some books read. Honestly at this point, my lack of a social life is amazing to me. California and my life there is forever calling to me since I work a state away from my family and friends. I have felt so in between all of the years I have lived away from home and even more so now with no end in sight for the pandemic. These are weird times we live in, but at least I have books and friends to keep me company through the internet!
Books Read this Month
- Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson (YA Hardback) ★★
- Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff (Adult Horror Audiobook) ★★★1/2
- Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke (Middle Grade Fantasy Hardback) ★★★
- Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
- Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper (Middle Grade Historical Fiction Paperback) ★★★★
- The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (YA Fantasy Audiobook) ★★★★
- Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars by Kai Cheng Thom (Adult LGBTQ Fiction Audiobook) ★★★
- Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (YA Audiobook) ★★★
- Educated by Tara Westover (Adult Nonfiction Audiobook) ★★★★
- We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia (YA Dystopian Audiobook) ★★
- Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas (Adult Historical Romance Paperback) ★★★★
- The Things Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Adult Fiction Short Stories Paperback) ★★★★
- Rebel by Beverly Jenkins (Adult Historical Romance Audiobook) ★★★★
- The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (Adult Horror E-Book) ★★★★★
- The Gamble by Kristen Ashley (Adult Contemporary Romance Paperback) ★
- So We Can Glow: Stories by Leesa Cross-Smith (Adult Fiction Short Stories Hardback) ★★★★★
- Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon (Adult Contemporary Romance E-Book) ★★★
- The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (Adult Contemporary Romance Audiobook) ★★
- Blanca & Roja by Anna Marie McLemore (YA Fantasy Hardback) ★★★★★
8 Borrowed from Library
1 Kindle Unlimited
Favorite Reads of the Month
This was such a haunting horror novel that read like literary fiction. I was truly freaked out reading this for so many reasons (I couldn’t go outside alone at night for a few days!). Stephen Graham Jones mixes horror with social commentary about the treatment of Native communities in the United States. I can’t speak to the representation in this book, but I truly enjoyed unraveling it’s many interconnecting threads. I’m sure I missed a lot of the author’s purpose, but what I did get out of it was top notch. The commentary on hunting, treatment of Native American communities/women (the subversion of the Final Girl trope was sooo good), the importance of basketball within Native American communities, and the importance of community itself was so beautifully woven into the story that it left me stunned. This is a jarring and visceral novel that is not for the faint of heart, but has so much more than meets the eye packed into its pages.
If you want to learn more about the history of Native America, I would highly recommend The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer. Check here and here for some #OwnVoices content/reviews of this book.
Content Warnings: Violence against animals, death of animals, hunting, GORE, blood, murder, death, violence.
I wrote a long review about this book because I loved it so much. It’s not something that I loved for its technical prowess, but for the way it made me feel so alive. I wanted to blast my favorite music and call up all the women in my life to tell them how much I love and admire them! GIRL MAGIC!!
I typically do not get along very well with magical realism in books, which is something that is showcased in all of Anna Marie McLemore books. Their lush, super flowery writing is not something that I liked when I read Wild Beauty last year, but I was able to pick up a $5 hardcover copy of Blanca & Roja at the thrift store recently and decided to give them another chance. I’m glad that I did because this book was so perfect. Anna’s lush writing weaved a beautiful retelling of the fairy tales Snow-White and Rose-Red and Swan Lake, with a Latinx twist. As a white-passing Mexican American person, I identified with Blanca so much. Her struggle of not feeling or looking “Mexican enough” (although I don’t think their identity was ever mentioned, so maybe Latinx enough might be more accurate) while also recognizing the privilege she has as a generally white-passing woman was so relatable to me. The inclusion of queer characters in McLemore’s books is also refreshing, especially considering the stigma of queerness in Latinx communities. I love their intentions as a writer in all of their books even if the execution is sometimes not my style. This one was definitely a favorite, though. A+++!
Content Warning: Discussions of physical abuse, transphobia/misgendering, colorism.
August Review Posts
What I’ve Been Watching
It’s been a while since I’ve impatiently awaited a new episode of a series every week, but here I am waiting for new episodes of Lovecraft Country every Sunday. I read the novel by Matt Ruff at the beginning of the month and liked it, but felt it would translate much better as a series. It is totally much more amazing on television, especially considering the changes that were made to the story. I would highly recommend checking out this series even if you haven’t read the book. I basically cry a little bit every single episode because of how powerful the stories are.