I can’t make myself write a review for Chanel Miller’s Know My Name, although I gave it 5 stars in Goodreads – it’s strange to review a book that left me so raw in terms of “brilliant” and “beautiful writing” or “one of the best books I’ll read all year”. Those are all true but barely scratch the surface of what this book means to me and to others.
Chanel Miller’s account of who she was before the attack and what happened to her after is incredibly heartbreaking and shines a light on the very real problem that is the justice system. She is a “perfect” victim – she had her sister with her just a few minutes before to witness that she was drunk, she had witnesses who saw what the rapist was doing to her and caught him, keeping him there until the police arrived, she had a good job, friends, came from a middle class background, was educated and all around a “good girl”. And yet, she was re-traumatized by the process, silenced and given a whole new persona as a drunk, very willing young woman who “cried rape” after regretting her encounter and became “hysterical” in the trial. She had her voice silenced and dismissed, while her rapist had his voice amplified and taken as the true account of events, even when the claims were ridiculous. His sentence was even more ridiculous. Continue reading
There are several reasons why a lot of readers shy away from SciFi: maybe you think it’s dry and boring and too tech-y; maybe you would rather read character-driven, emotional stories; maybe you prefer down-to-earth books and can’t relate to fantastical worlds; maybe you associate it only with alien-shooting and wars between planets (which, fair).
BUT. I brought the good stuff today! SciFi can go in so many directions, and doesn’t have to be the dry action-packed books that are so stereotypical of the genre. If you think you don’t like SciFi, maybe you just haven’t found a book that suited your personal reading tastes – there’s really all kinds of SciFi out there!
I’ve compiled a list with some fun, light-hearted stuff, some character-driven and emotional reads, some thrillers, and some cozy reads, too. Maybe you’ll find something that fits your reading taste!
The Power by Naomi Alderman / Goodreads
This is a bit of a divisive read, but I really enjoyed it! In The Power, women wake up one day with the power of electricity, shifting the power balance and changing who gets to lead the world. If you like dystopias, you might enjoy this Women’s Prize for Fiction winner! Continue reading
In case you didn’t know, I’m Brazilian! I know I hammer this into people’s heads, but it’s a big part of my identity that I am not sure shows on my blog very often, especially on my reading. It’s recently come to my attention the glaringly obvious fact that I read mostly books from US & UK – in fact, I might read more Irish books than Brazilian. Which is unacceptable.
Realizing this was a reality check and so I’ve been taking steps to read more Latinx books. To do that, Michelle is helping me come up with a TBR according to my personal taste. In case you didn’t know, she is a wonderful blogger (and fellow Latin American, from Venezuela!) who’s offering TBR-picking services for bookworms! Not just of Latinx books 🙂
If you, like me, want to diversify your reading, she will choose a few books for you and email you her picks according to your personal taste & what you’d like to read – I asked her for some Latinx books, especially some written by women, and she delivered! I’m excited to read books that were not on my radar at all or that I hadn’t considered picking up before. I’ve only read 1 so far but I loved it already and it’s always so exciting to get her emails!
(I am advertising this because she absolutely deserves it, but I haven’t been neither paid nor asked to do this. I used her service, paid for it myself and really enjoyed it. For full disclosure, we are friends for a few years now.)
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
Julia Alvarez is a Dominican-American author, and this book is about the Mirabal sisters with a fictionalized accounting of their lives, from childhood until the day three of the sisters are murdered by Trujillo men. This is a fascinating, heartbreaking but also very inspiring read and such a gem! (And recommended by Michelle!) Continue reading
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 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! Continue reading
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!
If you liked Normal People, try Exciting Times
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
As you might have seen already this week, Callum, Emily, Hannah, Marija, Rachel, Sarah, Steph and I got together after ranting more or less forever about the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020 Longlist (underwhelming) and came up with a whole new list of what books we think would have made a far more exciting list!
Obviously this is based on our personal tastes, some books we’re really excited for and some we really loved and thought were truly powerful reads. We followed the same rules as the original prize, so that this list is quite comparable to what the WP could have been, if we’d been the judges (hint, hint). This is just for fun and was decided quite spontaneously, so obviously the list isn’t perfect and neither is this all very serious. We all love the Women’s Prize for Fiction and love finding new books every year with it!
The squad has some posts talking about our longlist:
Emily: 2020 Women’s Prize Take 2: Blogger Edition
Callum: What If? | Women’s Prize [Squad] Longlist
Sarah: The 2020 Women’s Prize Squad Longlist
They’re all fantastic and really, you should follow all of us and see what happens! Maybe we’ll have some flops, for sure we won’t love all of them, but AT LEAST there’s no Greek retelling this year and maybe only a limited amount of books about how motherhood sucks! Instead, we got murder, dark academia and even YA, which is really exciting for me.
If you wanna follow us on Twitter while we read and talk about the longlist, you can use #womensprizesquad.
Today I’m writing something a little different. I listen to audiobooks quite often, and a good narrator can make or break a book for sure, and there are a few particular narrators that I really love. My favorite narrator of all times is the one I’m talking about today – January LaVoy. I first got to know her work through her famously fantastic narration of The Diviners series by Libba Bray, and have picked up other books I hadn’t considered before just because she narrated them!
I love the way she makes different voices, accents and I kinda love it every time she sings (she sings a lot in The Diviners series). It brings a story to life and adds personality to each of the characters. She’s my favorite for good reason, she is highly talented!
Here are some of the books she narrated:
These aren’t the best times for anxious people, and we all try to deal with is in different ways – I particularly enjoyed reading Severance, by Ling Ma during this time, but I admit reading this kind of book during our current times might be a bit too much for some readers. If you’re looking for fun, light-hearted books, here are some that I found very soothing! A few of them are romances, thankfully the romance genre completely Gets It that sometimes all we need is low stakes fluff. I hope you enjoy them, and let me know in the comments if you have more book recommendations!
[Edit 04/04/2020] This post ended up published before I finished due to my conflict in personal appointments, so I’ve edited now most of the content below! Enjoy 🙂
Other bloggers have posted their lists, too, which are pretty cool:
Callum McLaughlin – Let’s Recommend | Feel-Good Nonfiction
Readable Life – MY TOP FIVE COMFORT READS
Reading Ladies Book Club – Lighter Reads During Stressful Times
Running is a hobby I never expected to pick up in my lifetime – I am short, with the kind of body that builds muscle more easily than it does aerobics, and I’m famously terrible at breathing (I have asthma) and at not fainting (I have vasovagal syndrome). However, I’ve been running for about a year now, and it’s for sure because I picked up this book:
It’s Not Like It’s a Secret, by Misa Sugiura
I’ve been reading a lot more F/F lately, and thought I’d share with you my favorite books where the main character is Sapphic (so, lesbian, bisexual, pan etc) and the main romance (if there is any) is F/F. Not all these books are romances or have romance at all, and the genres are sort of everywhere. Since there is #FFFeb next week already, I thought it’d be timely to post this!
It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura / Goodreads
This is an adorable YA contemporary about two girls who fall in love, one with Japanese heritage and the other with Mexican heritage. This is lovely and made me try running!
Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole / Goodreads
This novella is from the Reluctant Royal series, which I absolutely adore. It’s a second chance romance with a strong but loyal main character who’s still in love with the sweet, beautiful girl who once ghosted her.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid / Goodreads
I think at this point most people in the book blogging community know of this book, the story of a glamorous, retired Hollywood star who has always been secretive about her life. Evelyn Hugo has many secrets, and she agrees to give a young journalist the book deal that will launch her career – but why her? Why now? This is a fantastic book. Continue reading