#5OnMyTBR: L-O-V-E!

Hello Mondays, welcome back to #5OnMyTBR, a meme created by the wonderful E @ The Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. This bookish meme gets us to dig even further into our TBRs by simply posting about five books on our TBR! You can learn more about it here. You can find the full list of prompts (past and future) at the end of this post!

This week’s prompt is: Love.

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Goodreads Monday – The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.*

*Sorry if a book has been featured twice. I need to make better note of which ones I’ve done already!

This week’s featured book is The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga. This is a middle grade contemporary that is set to be published May 2021.

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First Lines Friday – 04 December

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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Let’s Talk Bookish: What is the meaning of diverse books?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! I’ve listed the upcoming topics in brief at the end of my post, but check out these pages for more information on October 2020 prompts & a list of past prompts!

Now without further ado… This week’s topic asks us about:

what is the meaning of diverse books?

(SUGGESTED BY RUKKY)
Examples: We talk a lot about diverse books and reads, but what really makes a book diverse? Are books written by authors or about characters from Eastern Europe (Lithuania, Ukraine, Hungary, etc) considered diverse? Would you consider a book set in Spain about a Spanish main character diverse? Why or why not? Does diverse mean characters or authors from South America, Asia, and Africa, or from different religious, sexual, ability, etc backgrounds only?

This is a great question and very relevant topic as more readers continue to look for diverse books, and as more diverse books also get published. I’ve been trying to consciously diversify my reads for a while now and 2020 has been my most successful year doing that! I’m a little intimidated about answering this week’s prompt because I think there are quite a few layers to the topic, and I don’t feel comfortable going too in-depth as I’m not that “knowledgeable” about it. But this post is about sharing my thoughts, so I will do that and hopefully I make some sense and don’t come off as (too) uniformed or ridiculous!

defining diversity

Diversity (noun)
: the condition of having or being composed of differing elements : VARIETY
especially : the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.

: an instance of being composed of differing elements or qualities

Diversity as defined by Merriam-Webster

HOW DO I CLASSIFY DIVERSE BOOKS?

When I think about diverse books, I immediately think of stories with characters who are marginalized, BIPOC, and/or LGBTQ+. Or are written by authors of colour or LGBTQ+. I also count books that have representation for different religions, ethnicities, mental health, disability, and chronic illness (among other topics) as diverse too. However, I only classify books as diverse when:

  • The main characters are BIPOC/LGBTQ+. I don’t consider it diverse when you have one or a few side characters that fall into these ‘categories’ but are barely represented. But I don’t consider stories written by authors of colour or LGBTQ+ authors as diverse if the story focuses on mainstream “straight and white” characters.
  • Same as above, the rep should concern or be focused on the main character(s) and is not used or identified as a minor sub-plot or anything like that.

is there a line and where do we draw it?

This prompt included a few guiding questions that really made me think whether I would classify certain reads as diverse. For example, if I read a book about Eastern Europe, is that considered diverse? I think if it’s set there and the story is about a straight white character, then no, I wouldn’t. But what if it’s about religion or ethnicity—would I consider it diverse then? I think I probably would because it includes people from different backgrounds. What about a book set in Spain with a Spanish cast—is that diverse? It made me think about a book I read earlier this year called Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova. It’s set during the Spanish inquisition period but in an alternate reality, and I considered it diverse because Cordova is AOC and the characters, including the MC, were diverse.

As I write this I realise that perhaps how I consider books diverse is pretty simplistic? But ultimately, I do think it’s subjective because I don’t believe diversity can be so neatly packaged into a box where it means exactly the same thing for everybody. There are many factors to consider, including our individual backgrounds and experiences, and it also depends on the book/author too.

Is it enough to consider a book diverse if it teaches you about different people, cultures, etc.? Is it enough to consider it diverse if it broadens your world view?

Sorry, I know I haven’t really answered anything in this post and it’s mostly just a bunch of brain blah and word vom that I’m not even sure makes any sense–but it has definitely got me thinking!

Now I’m really curious to know what you think. What makes a book diverse in your opinion? Do you think it’s a strict definition or do you think it’s subjective? I’m keen to know your thoughts if you’d like to share them with me!

#TopTenTuesday: Favourite 2020 Quotes

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Favourite Book Quotes (these could be quotes from books you love, or bookish quotes in general)

I wasn’t really feeling this week’s prompt because I’m so bad at keeping track of my favourite quotes and don’t usually stock them up anywhere (although I’ve been wanting to upload a collection of faves somewhere for years now, I just haven’t got around to doing it *cough*). I remember previously doing some favourite quotes posts, which you can check out here and here.

I was almost going to skip and then I decided that I would share my favourite quotes from some of the books I’ve read and loved in 2020! Maybe they’ll ring a bell for for you, if you’ve already read the book, or maybe they’ll entice you to pick the book up if it’s been sitting on your TBR. Or maybe the quote will pique your interest and you’ll add the book to your already teetering mountain of a TBR (you’re welcome)! So without further ado, here we go…

“Where we come from leaves its fingerprints all over us, and if you know how to read the signs of a place, you know a little bit more who someone is.”

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

“There should be a disconnect button you can push when someone leaves: you’ve fucked me over; therefore I no longer love you. I’m not asking for the button to be connected to an ejector seat that removes them from the universe, just one small button that removes them from your heart.”

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

“She hit him in the best way, like a rainstorm after five years of drought, healing the parched earth with a gentle touch; and in the worst way, like an unexpected earthquake, leaving dust and debris in her wake. She was, in equal parts, a gift and a natural disaster. Her name was Juniper Jones.”

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen

“I want you to know there are no right answers. I want you to know that we’re all on loan to one another, and whatever we get, we should be grateful for, because at any minute we can lose another person. We should try to remember every experience.”

With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt

“The point is . . . sometimes fighting isn’t about leaving, it’s about staying. It takes practice to get it right, and it’s painful, but if you want to stay with people, you do it.”

Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

“A home isn’t always the house we live in. It’s also the people we choose to surround ourselves with.”

“Hate is loud, but I think you’ll learn it’s because it’s only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. You might not ever be able to change their minds, but so long as you remember you’re not alone, you will overcome.”

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

“I have become something wonderful, she thought. I have become something terrible. Was she now a goddess or a monster? Perhaps neither. Perhaps both.”

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

“Even though you finally enact a Civil Rights Act not even thirty years ago, it doesn’t erase centuries of unequal access, unequal schooling, unequal living conditions, unequal policing. You can’t tell people to pull up on bootstraps when half of them never had any boots to begin with, never even had the chance to get them. Or when you let people burn whole, thriving black communities to the ground and conveniently forget about it. Because maybe the problem isn’t with ‘bad’ people; maybe the problem is with the whole system.”

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

“You can change the law but you can’t change people and how they treat each other.”

“Perhaps his life might have veered elsewhere if the US government had opened the country to colored advancement like they opened the army. But it was one thing to allow someone to kill for you and another to let him live next door.”

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

“Like Wendy, John, and Michael Darling on the night Peter Pan taught them how to fly – I think one happy thought.
In my pocket, I have a knife.

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: Favourite 2020 Quotes”

Tour the World in 30 Books Tour: Wicked As You Wish

Tour the World in 30 Books is a blog tour hosted by Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den in support of her local public library’s Diverse Book Drive. The CCPL—a small, rural library in an area with a high poverty rate and a very homogeneous population, where people rarely have the means to travel or experience new perspectives. However, the library doesn’t believe that should stop people from learning more about the world around them, so they’re running a Diverse Book Drive through the month of September in an attempt to bring the rest of the world to the county instead. With a focus on MG and YA books, the CCPL aims to expose especially its young patrons to new and diverse perspectives and cultures.

I’ve been so excited to take part in this awesome tour! It’s such a wonderful way to visit other countries and learn about other cultures without having to leave the comfort of your home. I’m so happy to support a wonderful friend and librarian in promoting diverse reads in her small-town library. Be sure to check out the other wonderful posts and bloggers on tour—trust, you don’t want to miss out on seeing their awesome content! 😉

Today I’ll be talking about the book Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco. You can also check out my og review for the book! I was a little unsure about how I wanted to do this post and to be honest, I’m still not 100% sure about it but I’m rolling with it and seeing where it takes me. I thought I’d share five reasons why you should read WAYW, but I’m also going to share a short reflection about reading this book, and I’ll be sharing a recipe for a Filipino dish that is one of my all-time favourite foods. What better (and more delicious) way is there to connect to a culture than through food? I hope you enjoy it!

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#TopTenTuesday: The Current Possibility Pile

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books On My Fall 2020 TBR (or spring if you live in the southern hemisphere)

I’m calling it The Current Possibility Pile because I live in the tropics and get neither autumn or spring. My seasons consist of hot/humid and hot/humid/rainy, right now it’s the latter, but the sun continues to shine bright every day! I’m also a mood reader so set TBRs are not a thing for me. Lately my moods have been all over the place and the reality is that the possibilities in this pile are more than likely to change the minute I pick one or several of these books up 😂 That’s just really how it be for me!

On that note, I do have a lot of blog tour reads that I need to get through in the coming months (so I guess that really is a TBR lol) but I’ve decided I’m going to focus this list on all the books I want to read outside of the tours I’m joining and outside of the ARCs I have to read!

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Book Blitz: Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron

🥳 Happy Book Birthday to Maya and the Rising Dark! 🥳

I’m delighted to be taking part in a book blitz with TBR & Beyond Tours for Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron. This middle grade fantasy was pitched as Stranger Things meets Percy Jackson and seriously, how good does that sound?! Plus, this cover is just love!

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: Maya and the Rising Dark
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: 22 September 2020
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

In this highly anticipated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Maya’s search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister Dark world. Perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent’s Secret.

Twelve-year-old Maya is the only one in her South Side Chicago neighborhood who witnesses weird occurrences like werehyenas stalking the streets at night and a scary man made of shadows plaguing her dreams.

When Papa goes missing, Maya is thrust into a world both strange and familiar as she uncovers the truth. Her father is the guardian of the veil between our world and the Dark—where an army led by the Lord of Shadows, the man from Maya’s nightmares, awaits. Now that the veil is failing, the Lord of Shadows is determined to destroy the human world and it’s up to Maya to stop him. She just hopes she can do it in time to attend Comic-Con before summer’s over.

BUY NOW: Amazon (US) | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indigo

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#TopTenTuesday: Favourite 2020 Romance Covers

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Cover Freebie

I’m a little sad that this week is a cover freebie because I. Am. Tired and fresh out of ideas right now. 😂 I thought I’d do illustrated covers but then realised that I had already done an illustrated cover post for the last TTT cover freebie… So then I thought about what covers I’ve been loving lately and thought I’d share some of my favourite contemporary romance covers from 2020. Looking at the covers below, it’s really easy to see what kind really catch my eye: they’re (mostly) illustrated, bright and colourful, and just gives an all around fun-loving impression!

Okay, so basically I did another illustrated covers post but for romances HAH…

And I know this is a cover trend I’ve heard people say is “overdone” and that they’re completely over it, but I’m still 100% living for it! LOL if physical copies of contemporary romances weren’t so pricey I would love to add all of these to my physical shelves, but *wistful sigh* as it is, I’ll have to be satisfied with having them in my digital library (for now!) 😉

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#TopTenTuesday: Middle Grade Reads for a Younger Me!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books for My Younger Self (these could be books you wish you had read as a child, books younger you could have really learned something from, books that meshed with your hobbies/interests, books that could have helped you go through events/changes in your life, etc.)

Over the last couple of days I’ve been thinking a lot about the middle grade fantasies that I’ve read and that I still really want to read, and these thoughts fit so well with this week’s prompt, so I was quite excited to dive right in. Then I realised that I actually have more MG reads on my TBR than ones I’ve read so this week I’ve split the post into read and unread books, but they’re all books that I think my younger middle-school self would’ve very much enjoyed reading!

READ

Nevermoor Series
The Ship of Shadows
Malamander
Wonder
The Tea Dragon Society


UNREAD

Other Words for Home
Race to the Sun
The Unadoptables
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
Wonderscape

Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: Middle Grade Reads for a Younger Me!”