Monday, September 14, 2020

What I've Been Reading Lately (Quick Lit)

Today I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit to bring you some short and sweet reviews of what I've read in the past month. For longer reviews, you can always find me on Goodreads.

Still Life by Louise Penny: This was fine, and given what I've heard about the rest of the series, I will probably eventually come back to it. It was more character-driven than a typical mystery but I didn't find the characters particularly interesting or likeable.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: This was my best August read. I found this a compelling read with many layers that would be phenomenal to discuss with a book group. The themes of motherhood, privilege, and the trouble with colorblindness were also well woven into this novel, even if I had quibbles with the way the adoption process was portrayed.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle: Doyle's writing style was hit or miss for me, but in general, the key messages of the book were clear, and I understand why it's resonating with so many people, particularly women. I also just enjoyed Doyle's stories! Her story of meeting her wife is amazing, and I loved the inside look at their marriage and family, both the good and the bad.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein: This is a thorough and comprehensive summary of the ways in which federal, state, and local governments either created or sanctioned explicitly racial housing segregation since the end of Reconstruction. At times, this narrow focus — proving that everything comes back to the government — hindered Rothstein from telling a more straightforward history, but in the end he succeeds in providing overwhelming evidence in support of this central thesis.

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.: I've read quite a few parenting books in the last couple years, and this one is pretty average. I'm not sure I picked up much that was new here, but it wasn't bad and may be just what some parents need.

The Invisible Girls by Sarah Thebarge: I have mixed feelings about this book. Thebarge is clearly a talented writer, and I think her heart is in the right place. I just wish this book didn't reinforce existing norms in Christian culture about "helping those less fortunate" in a way that infantilizes the people involved and ignores the need for larger systemic critiques.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone: This is a complex exploration of being a young Black man in the United States. It drags a bit at the beginning and has kind of a forced love triangle, but overall it's a quick read that packs in a lot of challenging and important topics, so it's one that I would recommend widely.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender: Even though the book followed some predictable YA tropes, it also subverted several of them as well. Felix's thoughts about his gender were messy and authentic, and I loved seeing that portrayed in a book. His transformation from insecure to confident also felt authentic and beautiful. Overall, this was an enjoyable read, and I'm glad this book exists!

Thank You for Voting: The Maddening, Enlightening, Inspiring Truth About Voting in America by Erin Geiger Smith: This reads like a research project, in that Smith recaps a lot of other people's research and also tells personal stories of some of the research she did herself, but she doesn't go the extra step of synthesizing her research into her own narrative with a central thesis. On the whole, it was mildly interesting, but I wanted more from it.

Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram: This was a fantastic sequel to Darius the Great Is Not Okay. It was SO refreshing to read a YA book that wasn't predictable and full of tropes. I'm glad that I read the first book earlier this year so that I could read this sequel when it came out! I definitely recommend it.

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon: This was cute if predictable. The chemistry between Pinky and Samir was well written, even if Pinky annoyed me for the vast majority of the book because she assumed the worst of everyone. I wouldn't rush to recommend it like I would with When Dimple Met Rishi, but it was a cute romance I don't regret having read.

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: Possession, Everyday Bias, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes, and Let's Pretend This Never Happened
Five years ago I was reading: The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Betsy-Tacy, Blankets, and Uncle Tom's Cabin
Ten years ago I was reading: Reading Lolita in Tehran

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