#FridayFives | Books that I have Strong Emotions About

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. In December, I decided to change it to #FridayFives instead to have more room for topics. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Books give us strong emotions, sometimes negative and sometimes positive. For this post, I’m going to list the five books that give me strong positive emotions. And by positive or negative, I mean whether I liked the book or not.

Not only was this emotional for Franny’s storyline, but also for the environmental catastrophe’s that are being faced in the story. It brings out so many emotions knowing that we are heading that way if we don’t change.

Goodreads

My Review

I will always, always, always recommend this book to everyone! I just have to remember the line “Kiss me, Hardy! Kiss me, quick!” and I am in tears. This is such a beautiful book about war and friendships.

Goodreads

I cannot explain the beauty of this book. It was such a difficult read at points but so important to understand what goes on in different cultures and different places.

Goodreads

So many emotions, especially in regards to the fact that so many LGBTQ+ young adults are forced out of there houses for being themselves. I cannot understand parents who do that, nor will I ever. This book is so beautiful and heartbreaking but hopeful!

Goodreads

I loved the Avatar: the Last Airbender growing up and have just finished rewatching it (and watching The Legend of Korra for the first time)! I was fascinated with Kyoshi, Kyoshi Island, and the Kyoshi Warriors. I just finished this book last week and was given all the feels, especially in regards to Kyoshi and Rangi’s love story!

Goodreads

Happy Reading Lovelies!

TTT | Book Titles That Sound Like They Could Be Crayola Crayon Colors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

Oh, the fun and weird names for crayola crayons. Let’s see what book titles sound like they could be crayola crayon colors.

That Summer (Sarah Dessen), a beach ocean blue color

Black Wings Beating (Alex London), a dark midnight, spacey blue color

Tsarina (Ellen Alpsten), a dark, almost blood, red

The Last of August (Brittany Cavallaro), this would definitely be a nice orange, sunset color

Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury), a burnt, fiery orange or yellow even

Three Dark Crowns (Kendare Blake), a gold color or maybe a reddish-gold color

Prisoner of Night and Fog (Anne Blankman), a faint gray color

Rose Under Fire (Elizabeth Wein), a bright violet color

All the Bright Places (Jennifer Niven), a sunshine yellow color

The Rose Code (Kate Quinn), I mean this is a bit on the nose, but I don’t care. This would definitely be a rose gold color.

Happy Reading Lovelies!

#FridayFives | Books I Haven’t Read Because I’m Intimidated

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. In December, I decided to change it to #FridayFives instead to have more room for topics. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Sometimes there are books I want to read but for whatever reason am too intimidated by, so here are some of those books.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Arabian Nights translated by Sir Richard F. Burton

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Happy Reading Lovelies!

TTT | Books I’d Gladly Throw into the Ocean

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

Today’s topic is on books that I’d gladly would throw into the ocean, and we all know I’ll have tons of fun with this topic.

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Truly, anything by Mark Twain I would happily throw into the ocean but at the top of that list is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It’s boring and racist (and don’t come at me with that “it was the time period” bullshit)!
  2. Breaking Dawn – Obviously the whole series could be included with this, but I would have to have this one specifically to throw. I mean the honeymoon chapters, the vampire baby, that graphic labor scene, the anti-climatic ending, I could go on and on.
  3. Romeo and Juliet – Can we please for the love of everything holy find another Shakespeare tragedy?? Any other tragedy? I’m tired of people referencing this and mistaking this as a romance. IT IS NOT A ROMANCE!
  4. The Scarlet Letter – Girl meets boy, girls gets pregnant, boy doesn’t take responsibility, town blames the girl for everything, girl dies, town realizes they were wrong, the end. There, now you don’t have to read it.
  5. The Great Gatsby – A book about a middle-class man, who is obsessed with a rich man, and said rich man cannot get the girl that he is obsessed with. Everyone is horrible in this book, so can we please find another book that goes through the American Experience besides that of rich white men.
  6. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – I mean yes it was a play but still. Overboard, it goes!! I absolutely hate what the screen writers did to these characters, although the woman who shall not be named is not doing well on this front either lately.
  7. Shadow and Bone – I’m probably alone in this thought process, and I know I’ll probably get a lot of disagreement on this in the comments. However, I just thought this was another fantasy young adult book that offered nothing really new in the genre. Although when I read it I was pretty burned out on YA Fantasy.
  8. All the Pretty Horses – There were horses, this took place in Texas, specifically on the border, and I think that is all I remember about this book.
  9. The Ball and the Cross – I truly still do not understand this book to this day. If anyone can let me know about it….actually, nope never mind, I really do not care.
  10. Red Hood – I mean the anti-transgender motifs throughout the book were unsettling to me. Plus, I was hoping this book would be about the girls turning into wolves not the other way around.

Happy (Not) Reading Lovelies!

#FridayFives | Books to add to my TBR from the 2021 PEN America Literary Awards

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. In December, I decided to change it to #FridayFives instead to have more room for topics. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Created in 1963, the PEN America Literary Awards have honored outstanding voices in literature across diverse genres, including fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, and drama.

A heartbreaking story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. This was nominated for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, which is for a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact.

Goodreads

Testimony (excerpt) for Tamir Rice, 2002-2014

Mr. President,…

Mom said you made being black beautiful again
but that was before someone killed Trayvon.
After that came a sadness so big it made everyone
look the same. It was a long time before we could
go outside again. Mr. President it took one whole day
for me to die and even though I’m twelve and not afraid of the dark
I didn’t know there could be so much of it
or so many other boys here.

This was nominated for the PEN Open Book Award, which is a book-length work of any literary genre by an author of color.

Goodreads

This strange cover may bring you in like it did me. However, the story will make you want to stay. A groundbreaking debut novel that folds the legends of Hawaiian gods into an engrossing family saga.

This was nominated for the PEN/Hemingway Award, which is for a debut novel of exceptional literary merit by an American author.

Goodreads

A thriller featuring three teenage girls: Kim, Bella, and Momo. And in this tale, the body is a battlefield, and masculinity is a drug. This was nominated for the PEN Translation Prize, which is for well, a book-length translation of prose from any language into English (pretty obvious).

Bookshop

Translated from Swedish

The library I work at recently acquired this book, and I definitely was planning on checking it out. As someone else who believes in re-reading books, this is the kind of book that is definitely up my alley.

This was nominated for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award, which is for a seasoned writer whose collection of essays is an expansion on their body of work.

Goodreads

If you want to know more about this award, click here. If you want to see the full shortlist of these awards, click here. All of these books are shortlisted for their award category (Sharks in the Time of Saviors is nominated in 2 categories). The winners will be announced April 8, 2021.

Happy Reading Lovelies!

TTT | Places In Books I’d Love to Live

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

Oh, there are so many places I’d love to live than this world that we’re living in now.

  1. Hogwarts – only if I can live in a world that is not filled with TERFs because I’m not about that life
  2. The Shire – oh to live a life in a Hobbit hole with a nice cup of tea and some good food sounds absolutely lovely!
  3. Havenfall (from the Havenfall by Sara Holland) – this sounds absolutely amazing to live at Havenfall and see all these different cultures
  4. Hawthorne House (from The Inheritance Games) – I really just want to explore this mansion because it sounds wonderful!
  5. Winterfell – I absolutely love cold weather, and I think if I lived in Westeros, if I wasn’t already in the North, that is were I would immediately go! Especially if Sansa was Queen already!
  6. Rivendell – I mean it’s absolutely gorgeous and the architecture is just amazing!
  7. New Beijing (The Lunar Chronicles) – I would just love to see how the world has changed since this time period
  8. Isadora’s House – it’s been so long since I’ve read The Chaos of Stars, I can’t remember if the house was the actual temples. Whether it is or isn’t, I just would love to live there to see the Egyptian gods and the temples (yes, I know I could visit the temples in Egypt but to meet the gods would be amazing).
  9. Pemberley Manor – I mean I’m such a huge Jane Austen fan I would love to live at Pemberley just to experience life there
  10. Panem – I wouldn’t want to live but maybe a visit. But I also wouldn’t want people to see or notice me, so I’d want to be there as a ghost or something. Like New Beijing, I would want to visit to see what the future world could be.

Happy Reading Lovelies!

Book Review | Upright Women Wanted

Title: Upright Women Wanted

Author: Sarah Gailey

Publisher: Tor

Publication Date: 4 February 2020

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I’ve known about this book for a while and was super excited to read it. Yet, it wasn’t what I expected. Esther is a stowaway on a librarian’s book wagon, trying to escape a marriage arranged by her father — a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend, Beatriz. Esther was in love with Beatriz. Beatriz was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is vastly different from the current one, full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.

Esther continues on with the Librarians, who are going to drop her off in Utah. However, the cargo (the women) they are also transporting to Utah are not who they seem. And Esther may have bitten more off than she can chew.

When I picked up this book, I didn’t know it was a novella, which changed my expectation of the story. The story wasn’t bad, but I would’ve like to know more about what happened to get us to the point the character are living in now. Along with how did the librarians go from workers of the State to spies passing out resistance propaganda.

The main part I loved about this book was the representation. Not only is there the romance between Beatriz and Esther (we don’t see it but Esther mentions it), there’s also the relationship between Bet, the Head Librarian, and Leda, the Assistant Librarian, as well as the relationship that develops between Cye, an Apprentice Librarian, and Esther.

There’s not only lesbian relationships represented. Cye is a non-binary character, which is amazing! More non-binary characters, please!

I know there’s no sequel planned for this book, but I can hope that one day there will be. Mostly, I’d like to just know more about this dystopian world because the parts that Gailey creates in this story were so fascinating, I could definitely read more.

#FridayFives | Songs that Go With Poetry

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. In December, I decided to change it to #FridayFives instead to have more room for topics. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

I read a lot of poetry and listen to a lot of music, and since music is the new poetry, I thought why not find songs that go with poetry. This was totally for the excuse that I keep thinking of “Dulce et Decorum Est” when I hear Taylor’s “Epiphany.” The song is first and then the poem that matches or is similar is underneath the video.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

– Wilfred Owen, “Dulce et Decorum Est”

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

-Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise”

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

-Langston Hughes, “Let America Be America Again”

I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds
and a dead child dragging his shattered black
face off the edge of my sleep
blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders
is the only liquid for miles
and my stomach
churns at the imagined taste while
my mouth splits into dry lips
without loyalty or reason
thirsting for the wetness of his blood
as it sinks into the whiteness
of the desert where I am lost
without imagery or magic
trying to make power out of hatred and destruction
trying to heal my dying son with kisses
only the sun will bleach his bones quicker.

-Audre Lorde, “Power”

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

-William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18”

Happy Reading (& Listening) Lovelies

TTT | Funny Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

Today’s topic is on Funny Book Titles, which I’m taking this by picking random books. I’m not going to read any summary nor provide any cover image, then I’m going to make a guess about what the book is about.

  1. Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern – a guide to how to be a horrible dog parent.
  2. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris – a book about owls who have diabetes
  3. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon – is this like Victoria’s Secret for the Victorian Era?
  4. I Could Pee on This by Francesco Marciuliano – images of cats peeing on things
  5. All My Friends are Dead by Avery Monsen and Jory John – a self-help guide on how to get through a mass shooting
  6. Almighty Sports with Jesus by Sam Stall – a young adult book about Jesus joining a sports team
  7. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson – a magician’s guide to how to perform the best magic tricks
  8. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman – a book on where to have sex, buy drugs, and eat cocoa puffs
  9. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson – I’ve seen the cover for this one, so I know it’s a memoir of Rocket’s (from Guardians of the Galaxy) life

Happy Reading Lovelies!

(If you even want to read these)

#FridayFives | Book Pet Peeves

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. In December, I decided to change it to #FridayFives instead to have more room for topics. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Sometimes there are certain things that are done with books that just annoy me to no end, so here they are!

Identifying Series – How is this hard? Have a number on the spine of the book or have something on the cover that says “Book One of Whatever Series.” Just something, so that way I know before reading the summary.

Stickers on Books – This is more towards bookstores and libraries, but why are the stickers on the summary. I do not care what the so and so from The New York Times has to say, put the sticker over the review.

Maps – Specifically, this is for fantasy books where there are maps for the book. Typically, these are in the front of the book, so yes they are there. However, I would really like a fantasy book to have maps that unfold out, so that way I don’t have to flip back and forth between where I’m reading and the front of the book.

Deckle-Edged Books – Yes, aesthetically it’s pleasing I get that. But, it can be a bit difficult to turn the pages on deckle-edged books than on regular books. And if it costs more money to make, than what is the point?!

Timehops/POV Change with no Explanation – I especially hate it when I can’t understand what happens for a page or so, and I’m a bit confused. Or if there is a character point of view change with nothing to tell us who is talking now. WHY?!?! Give me something. I’m not asking to be spoon-fed, but I also don’t want to be confused and lose sight of the story, which is usually what happens with me.

Happy Reading Lovelies!