More Fun and Light-Hearted Reads for Anxious Times

Hello readers!

In April I posted Fun and Light-Hearted Reads for Anxious Times, and I thought it would be nice to do a part 2 with books I’ve read in the meantime and some I had forgotten about before. These are feelgood stories I enjoyed and helped bring a smile to my face when I felt anxious or needed to take my mind off something. I think a lot of us could use that!

meet cute club jack harbon before the coffee gets cold toshikazu kawaguchi beach read emily henry

Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon / Review

This is a sweet romance about Jordan and Rex, who meet in Jordan’s favorite bookstore and immediately dislike each other (while being also really attracted). Rex decides to join Jordan’s book club, where he and some old ladies read romances. It’s cute and with a super satisfying ending!

Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

This is a cozy sci-fi, which is a subgenre I adore. In a small café in Tokyo, time travel is real. If you seat on a particular seat (that is, when the ghost isn’t sitting there), you may go to any time in the past, but you must return before the coffee gets cold. It’s a sweet story about love, second chances and forgiveness. It’s less “fun” than the other stories, but it’s heart-warming!

Beach Read by Emily Henry / Review

This is the story of two rival writers who detest each other but strike a surprising friendship and decide to swap genres. It’s a sweet romance, with surprising depth when dealing with grief, broken marriages, family secrets, forgiveness and even lack of inspiration in creative work.

The Ladys Guide to Celestial Mechanics olivia waite red white and royal blue casey mcquiston when a scot ties the knot tessa dare

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

This is such a lovely romance between a widow who finds out she’s attracted to women and a young astronomer who’s just had her heart broken. I love, love, love astronomy and science in general, so it was very exciting to see some of that in this story. There is a bit of an age-gap but it was very interesting that the younger woman was actually the experienced one. Also it’s a historical fiction where their relationship isn’t such a great deal and there’s comparably little homophobia. Which was so great for a light read!

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I somehow missed this book on my previous list?? This made me so happy reading it, it’s a very popular adorable romance between the First Son of the USA and a British Prince in an alternate universe where the US president elected in 2016 was a Southern woman. This book is so good I got it in eBook and Audiobook both!

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

This was so adorable! Set in Scotland, a young woman pretends she has a fiancé and writes to him regularly so her family will not make her marry. Years later, a dashing Captain shows up at her door and says he received all her letters and wants to marry her. It’s just so good!!

furiously happy jenny lawson a duke by default alyssa cole

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

I think Jenny Lawson is quite divisive, and now it’s been a few years since I read this, but I was going through a very difficult time in my life and this helped me laugh at it. She’s candid about anxiety, depression and life in general, and absolutely hilarious.

A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

This is the second book of the Reluctant Royals series, and I recommend reading A Princess in Paper first, although it stands on its own pretty well – this is my favorite from the trilogy and it has the sunny/grumpy trope which I LOVE, one main character finding out he’s actually a Duke and pretty good representation on anxiety.

Weekly Wrap-Up 30 June – 06 July 2020: Reading More Latinx Books (Recs by @cbookrambling)

Hello readers!

I’ve finished Supper Club this week, which brings me to 13/16 books read for Women’s Prize for Fiction SQUAD Longlist! It took me actually quite long to read it – I found it challenging and had to take several breaks during certain scenes. But it was absolutely rewarding and I think for a certain type of reader it will be a perfect read!

I’ve also finally picked up a few more Latinx books, namely Este é o Mar by Mariana Enríquez (from Argentina) and In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. As you know, I’ve been attempting to pick up more books by Latinx authors, and to help me with that, my friend Chelle is hand-picking books for me – I will write a full post about it, but she’s offering this Custom-Made TBR service now and I am THRILLED with the books she chose for me (In the Time of the Butterflies was her pick!).

I also went a bit crazy at a Brazilian bookstore website and got a few eBooks:

noite em caracas karina sainz borgo a chave de casa tatiana salem levy pequeno manual antirracista djamila ribeiro

I was biased and got 3 from Brazilian authors, but considering my last two Latinx reads are from Argentina and Dominican Republic, I don’t feel particularly guilty. Noite em Caracas (It Would be Night in Caracas) and A Chave de Casa (The House in Smyrna) are both recommendations from Michelle! I’m so excited for them (and the cover for A Chave de Casa is just so good???). Pequeno Manual Antirracista is by a Brazilian author who writes wonderful essays on racism in Brazil – I’ve read another book by her and she’s fantastic.

a vida invisivel de euridice gusmao martha batalha

A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão (The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao) is a book set in 1940s Rio de Janeiro about two sisters who take very different paths in life – Eurídice becomes a housewife and is unhappy with her choice, and her sister disappears. I keep thinking this reminds me of another book but I can’t pinpoint which one exactly.

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Review: Supper Club by Lara Williams

supper club lara williams

Rating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads / Skoob / The StoryGraph

Roberta spends her life trying not to take up space. At almost thirty, she is adrift and alienated from life. Stuck in a mindless job and reluctant to pursue her passion for food, she suppresses her appetite and recedes to the corners of rooms. But when she meets Stevie, a spirited and effervescent artist, their intense friendship sparks a change in Roberta, a shift in her desire for more. Together, they invent the Supper Club, a transgressive and joyous collective of women who gather to celebrate, rather than admonish, their hungers. They gather after dark and feast until they are sick; they break into private buildings and leave carnage in their wake; they embrace their changing bodies; they stop apologizing. For these women, each extraordinary yet unfulfilled, the club is a way to explore, discover, and push the boundaries of the space they take up in the world. Yet as the club expands, growing both in size and rebellion, Roberta is forced to reconcile herself to the desire and vulnerabilities of the body–and the past she has worked so hard to repress. Devastatingly perceptive and savagely funny, Supper Club is an essential coming-of-age story for our times. Continue reading

Review: Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector, English Translation

near to the wild heart clarice lispectorRating: ★★★☆☆

Categories: Literary Fiction, Classic Fiction, Translated into English

Goodreads

I decided to pick up Near to the Wild Heart in English because I was curious as to how Clarice Lispector’s work would be translated, her writing being so unique and at times impenetrable, plus the fact that I’d heard not very positive things about the translations.

This book tells the story of Joana, from childhood until adulthood, this girl who is different from everyone else, who is wild and full of desire and rage, instead of being quietly demure as would be proper.

Clarice Lispector’s writing, and Joana’s thoughts, are vague, poetic, beautiful and don’t always make much sense. I found it most times exasperating to read, and at other times meditative and interesting. It got particularly better (or easier to follow) in the second half of the book, where some semblance of plot occurs and characters interact more with each other instead of us just living inside Joana’s mind. I especially liked the interaction between Lídia and Joana, two character very unlike each other. Continue reading

Weekly Wrap-Up 23 – 29 June 2020: A Very Sapphic Reading Week & trying out The StoryGraph

Hello readers!

This week I started trying out The StoryGraph, which recently got quite popular as an alternative to Goodreads. It’s still in its Beta stage, but it’s a really interesting tool to keep track of your books and find out what your tastes are like!

storygraph2

I was fascinated to find out my reading taste is rather predictable. I do in fact have a LOT of dark, mysterious and emotional reads both on my “read” and my “to read” piles. Huh, so much for thinking I am so ~eclectic.

storygraph1

One huge downside: No books that aren’t in English! So my Brazilian reads have been mostly not transferred to The StoryGraph, although from my understanding they will be adding those at some point. As said, they’re still in the Beta version, so there’s hope!

I haven’t received my “Ordered for you” suggestions either, but I’m curious to see what they come up with!

Also, curiously, 3 of the 4 books I picked up this week are Sapphic, which is accidental but also amazing. I was in fact confused every time I went to read Children of Virtue and Vengeance and there were not so many LGBTQ+ characters (although I remember at least one Sapphic couple). I’m going to pick up a Latinx book after finishing Celestial Mechanics, which I’m super excited for!

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If you liked this book, try this F/F book! #2

Hello readers!

I really enjoy writing this kind of post, as it makes me think about the stuff I’ve read and can at times be a bit challenging to find comparable books when I want to recommend something in particular. It’s incredibly exciting that these past years there have been some really great F/F books coming out and getting more hype than in the past. Still we have a long way to go, and I think a great way to get people to read books they wouldn’t have thought of picking up before is finding readalikes!

I have another post like this: If you liked this book, try this F/F book!

Blog Divider

If you liked Normal People, try Exciting Times

normal people sally rooney exciting times noise dolan

Normal People is a very hyped book right now, for good reason. The love story of Marianne and Connell, their uncertainty, self-destruction and magnetic pull towards each other make for such a compelling read – and I think Naoise Dolan’s Exciting Times has a similar feel. Ava, living in Hong Kong and teaching English, is in a relationship with Julian, who does not love her but likes her company. When she meets Edith, a beautiful and powerful lawyer, they start falling in love, but Ava fails to tell her about her relationship with Julian. Choosing between her new and unknown relationship with Edith and the familiarity but lovelessness of Julian is scary and difficult, and Ava doesn’t know how to make that decision. It’s a quiet and interesting book, and the writing style resembles Sally Rooney’s quite a lot!

Normal People by Sally Rooney Goodreads / Review

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan Goodreads / Review Continue reading

Weekly Wrap-Up 16 – 22 June 2020: Back! (More or Less)

Hello readers!

I’ve decided to end my break! I’ve done lots of reading, signing petitions, learning and determining actions I want to take into becoming more politically active. Obviously ending the break doesn’t mean the work is over, it just means I know a little better what I am doing from now on, and so I have the mental space to concentrate more on other things again, like blogging and reading for fun. I think I will not do 3-4 posts per week as before, but I do have one exciting post prepared for this week already with F/F recs that I’m excited for you guys to read!

I’ve decided to postpone my Latinx recommendations post (which I’ve mentioned a few times) because honestly I’m exhausted and can’t spend that much time reading, looking for stuff available in English and preparing the post. It would take several hours to read more books that are actually found in English and to diversify my recommendations (my Latinx reading is mostly Brazilian), so I think it would be better to work on this a little longer. But I do have a project with another blogger to read more Latinx books and I am THRILLED about it. I am not sure if she would be ok with me talking about it here, but if so, I will let you guys know because I’m SUPER excited.

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Weekly Wrap-Up 9 – 15 June 2020: The world is on fire

Hello readers!

I’m still on my blogging break (except for these Weekly Wrap Ups), which I think will last another week or two. I have been using the time to get myself informed and involved in some initiatives, signing petitions etc.

Some petitions to sign:

Here are some places where you can donate to Brazilian Corona-relief funds. There are several initiatives – if you don’t know where to start, I’ve recently donated to Mães da Favela, to provide financial relief to mothers who live in favelas. It’s in Portuguese but it’s easy to navigate and I’m sure you can use the Translate button 🙂

There is a lot we can/should do, and the very least is to educate ourselves! If you feel there is nothing you can really do because you don’t have money to spare and can’t join protests, you can watch The 13th on Youtube, follow some Black content creators (Booktubers, artists, writers…) and actually consume/hype their content, request some eARCs from Black authors on Netgalley (like this one, this one, this one, this one and this one)  or Edeweiss (like here) and hype them up on social media, listen to podcasts (like this one). Prioritizing and giving platform to marginalized voices is helpful, and we should strive to make it a long-term, lifelong commitment. Humanizing oppressed groups is an important step into slowly improving society.

Okay, on a more positive note…

My husband and I got a new bookshelf and thus had space to make a cat corner on the old one:

She loves it and it’s hella cute!

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Weekly Wrap-Up 2 – 8 June 2020: A short break in blogging

Hello readers!

I will have a short blogging break starting tomorrow. There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and it feels a little pointless to write posts and answer comments and review books, and I feel a little too drained to do so anyway. I would also like to spend some time concentrating on educating myself, finding out how I can help, and reading anti-racist books without worrying about “reviewing” them or putting up content for my blog (which takes so much time). I would highly appreciate if you guys could recommend me some anti-racist books! I’ve got a list of what I want to read but I always love getting recs.

I will be back soon with my usual posting schedule of 2-3 posts per week plus the Weekly Wrap Up, but as of now I will only keep the Weekly Wrap Up since I really enjoy writing it and it’s not that much effort.

From Scribd I downloaded:

the song of achilles madeline miller

From Netgalley I received:

Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify carolyn holbrook My Heart's in the Highlands amy hoff Burning Roses s l huang

I also bought:

quem tem medo do feminismo negro djamila ribeiro Their Eyes Were Watching God zora neale hurston

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Review: Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson

frankissstein jeanette winterson

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Categories: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction

Goodreads

In Brexit Britain, a young transgender doctor called Ry is falling in love – against their better judgement – with Victor Stein, a celebrated professor leading the public debate around AI.

Meanwhile, Ron Lord, just divorced and living with Mum again, is set to make his fortune launching a new generation of sex dolls for lonely men everywhere.

Across the Atlantic, in Phoenix, Arizona, a cryonics facility houses dozens of bodies of men and women who are medically and legally dead… but waiting to return to life.

But the scene is set in 1816, when nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley writes a story about creating a non-biological life-form. ‘Beware, for I am fearless and therefore powerful.’ Continue reading