Monday, May 17, 2021

What I've Read In May, Thus Far

Can I just say I am so incredibly glad that I finally have my love for reading back?!? I think I've talked on here before about how Covid and quarantine and lockdowns just killed my reading back in the spring of 2020. It has been so great to feel like me again, when it comes to my reading. So with that preamble, here's what I've read in May, thus far.

The Jane Austen Society

I don't know how this book came across my radar but I have to say, I didn't love it. I think it was meant to mimic a Jane Austen book and it kind of fell flat for me. I never got really invested in any of the characters and I found the story so choppy. If I rated books on Goodreads, I would give this 2.5 or maybe 3 stars. It just felt like it was missing...something.

The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power

I bought this book earlier this year and was so looking forward to reading it. I finally picked it up on my birthday and read it in one day. Cole is a journalist who lives in Toronto and it was so eye-opening to read about racism in Canada (although it shouldn't have been). Canada likes to whitewash our racism and Cole's book holds us to account. This should be required reading for every single white Canadian. And any non-Canadian who wants to know what our racist tendencies are.

Red at the Bone
This book was a short, but powerful, read. Since it has five main narrators, it took me a little bit to keep the stories straight but, once I had that figured out, it was so good. This is a story of when teenagers are faced with life-changing decisions and how those decisions play out in the next generation.

Saving Ruby King

This book was heartbreaking. I was cheering and sad for Ruby all at the same time. This is a book about secrets and how those secrets can affect multiple generations of families. And what happens when those secrets are finally revealed? Both this book and Red At The Bone feel slightly like YA books but aren't marked that way at my library.

Eliza Starts a Rumor

I had heard so many good things about this book and I think it lived up to my expectations. I loved this story of friendship and how our stories overlap. I also loved the comments on online forums. Being a mom in this era, online resources and friendships are so important.
Brown Girl Dreaming 
I picked up this memoir because I've heard so much about Jacqueline Woodson and had never read any of her books. While Red At The Bone is a story of short chapters and little vignettes, this memoir is written as poems. I'm not normally a fan of poetry but I really liked this style of storytelling/memoir writing.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington
I read this poignant book in one evening. It's aimed at pre-teens (I think) and after I'd read it, I gave it to Sam to read. I thought it was a good book which talks about systemic racism and how the justice system is inherently biased against BIPOC. I asked Sam if he would give me some thoughts for the blog but he didn't want to. However, I will say, Sam rarely talks about what he is reading and he made two comments about things which happened in this book, and he read it really quickly, so I will take that as a good sign!

Written in the Stars
This was a fun rom-com about two women falling in love. In some ways, it was very predictable, and in other ways, there were moments of "what's going to happen" and "how will this resolve." I recommend this one if you like rom-coms and are looking for a fun read.
The Book of Lost Friends
Lisa Wingate is a good writer. Her stories suck me in and I just want to find out what happens. However, as with some of my reading lately, I wonder why this story couldn't be written by a BIPOC person. Why did a white woman have to write it? I also think the issue of the "present day" (1987) main character taking on the role of "white saviour" is problematic. I know not all of her pupils are black, but it feels like she comes into the town with no knowledge of the issues and thinks she can solve them. So while I would recommend reading this book, I would take it with a grain of salt. (Also, Allena -- now we can talk about it, because I've finally read it!)

Clap When You Land
This is a novel written as poetry. It was soooo good. I loved how the author used two sisters to tell the story of their shared, but very different, experiences. It made me realize the importance of being open about family secrets, so that they don't remain hidden, one day to cause gaping wounds. After I'd finished the book, I also Googled more about the crash of AA587 and, while I remember it, I didn't realize how many people had died. All I remember at the time was this feeling of "Whew. It wasn't terrorism." (It happened almost exactly two months after 9/11 and so that was many people's first thought.) I would definitely recommend this book.

Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4)
I am reading this series out of order but that's because the copies at my library have a lot of holds on them so a friend of mine (who has access to different libraries) offered to let me read them on her Kindle account and I'm reading them as they come in. (Can I just say I love friends who are willing to share their accounts with me/us and we try to return the favour when we can.) Anyways, I just love these fun romances. I particularly love the ones where a non-popular woman is the main character because not all of us were prom queens and cheerleaders (or whatever the 1820s British society equivalent is).

I am forty pages from finishing the most unexpected "chick lit" novel and I am excited to share that one with you. I think my current book would be labelled "chick lit" but I feel like it's also much more. Maybe some day I should start a blog discussion about why there's "chick lit" but not "guy lit" or whatever the equivalent would be... Why can't it all just be "lit"? (Short for "literature," not the current term of "so cool" or whatever it means! Clearly, I need to get out more because this post is giving you a lot of insight into "my brain on Covid lockdown" so...) Anyways, discuss amongst yourselves (or with me), if you feel so inclined!


  1. So many great reads! I loved "Red at the Bone"!

  2. I felt the same way about Jane Austen Society - it just fell flat for me. The end FINALLY picked up, and I wished the whole thing could have felt that way. I'll send you an email about The Book of Lost Friends. Several on here I'll add to my TBR for sure, so excited. And I'm #8 on 20 for the next Bridgerton which is a collection (which will have Anthony and Benedict, yay)! So funny that Sam didn't want to give you his thoughts on Zoe Washington, why are boys so difficult?? Ha!

  3. So many good ones!! Clap When You Land & Poet X are gonna be hard for me to top this month...or maybe year. And I noticed that your 2nd-4th books had verrrry similar covers, so maybe you have some kind of internal bias towards book covers with that look? Haha!(Or more likely, that's just a trendy cover art thing right now...maybe more accurate. I love it though!!)

  4. Eliza Starts A Rumor was one of my all time faves- so perfect for the season we are in!

  5. I agree with you on The Book of Lost Friends! And I loved Clap When You Land. I need to read Brown Girl Dreaming!

  6. The kids and I recently read Uncle Tom's Cabin which mentions Canada numerous times as a place of refuge and freedom from slavery. Maybe you could write a book titled Remembering Our Roots that will encourage people to remember this. :)

  7. The Book of Lost Friends sounds really good.

  8. Aaron read "from the desk of zoe washington" and really loved it too. He'll tell me little snidbits about books he's reading and I gathered he really loved the detective work in the book.


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