Alright, so apparently it’s August, although I’m still recovering from March and in denial that April is over. At this point I am 98% sure that 2020 is just a fever dream, really, but at least I’ve been reading some great books (yay…?).
I finished Disappearing Earth, and now have the dilemma of whether to buy the next two books (I’m in a bit of a book buying ban) or to wait, because I DO have lots to read, but ALSO I want to finish the longlist in the next couple months. I picked up and finished The Guest List – I really enjoyed this book and it goes so quickly! It also helped that this weekend was more chill and I had more time to read. I’m a bit over halfway through with It Would be Night in Caracas and I hope to finish it soon! I read it in small bursts in breaks going to work or when I’m picking up my lunch, so it takes a long time to read. As I finished both physical books I was reading, I picked up The House of Spirits next. Do you guys also do this – having a book you read at home, one for commute, one that you’re kinda-reading for the past year etc? I think I’m reading like 4 or 5 books at the moment.
I like talking about my reading plans for each month to try and maintain a semblance of order and not let my ARC Reviews fall too much behind. So, my Reading Plans for August:
I posted my Tentative August TBR yesterday, in case you missed it, in which I discuss the books I’d like to read for the Women in Translation month. My priority WIT reads are:
Those are Priority 1, but of course I’d like to read everything I listed on the post from yesterday. I am also attempting this month to read at least 3 ARCs, namely:
I’m excited for all three (and just received Hysteria from Edelweiss). AND I would also like to read Hamnet, my last Women’s Prize Shortlist book.
So, in total there are seven books I would really like to read this month (plus finish It Would be Night in Caracas, my current read) and it sounds ambitious but I’m keeping my hopes up, especially as next weekend I might do a reading sprint, time allowing.
So by finishing Disappearing Earth I officially need to buy more books to complete the Squad Longlist. At the same time, I haven’t read any of the books I last bought so I’m feeling guilty about that and will take a few weeks more before buying more books! But I expect sometime until September to be actually finished with it! Very excited. I also finished Throwaway Girls, which was a regular thriller and checked all the boxes for a quick / fun read! I enjoyed the noir vibes it gave (and the fact that it was F/F), even though it didn’t wow me. Next I picked up It Would be Night in Caracas and it’s really, really good so far!
I finally got a copy of The New Jim Crow in eBook and I’m very pleased. It’s a really great book, so I wanted to have a copy anyway! This was a fantastic read and made me so damn angry. I’ve picked up a few anti-racist reads from Brazil as well, since it strikes me as lacking (and hypocritical) to only read about what happens in other countries. I’ll look for some German reads, too. I finished also Space Race, which was so good but also problematic so I deducted a couple stars. I started and DNF-ed Each of Us a Desert (sadly), and started both Throwaway Girls and Disappearing Earth!
I’ve also decided to stop putting links to Goodreads on my reviews. I do this for every review, and have a few times also added links to Skoob (Brazilian Goodreads) and once or twice to The StoryGraph. But, unless I want to spend a lot of time searching links for other platforms as well, or add at least these three which I use more or less, it’s quite unfair to put only Goodreads, especially considering its link to Amazon. As I’ve been trying to slowly disconnect myself from shopping through Amazon, promoting Goodreads doesn’t make much sense. A few posts I’d already prepared and scheduled, and will still have the links, but I think people don’t even use those to add books to their TBRs, so hardly something that will be missed.
I got a bunch of eBooks on my favorite Brazilian bookstore:
In my defense, I had a discount code and a lot of these were on sale (Policarpo Quaresma & Carta de um Defunto Rico were free!). I received a new discount code but I have a semblance of self control and won’t get more books! Probably. Maybe. Actually, I promise nothing. I’m dying to get to one of those asap but first I must read a few eARCs since I’m getting rather late with those. *sigh*
This week I decided to go back to my exercise routine, and that took quite a toll on my reading! I’m normally so tired when I get home I just want to have dinner and spend time with my husband and cat. It probably also doesn’t help that we’ve started with Season 2 of Dark. But that’s fine, since I wanted to scale down my reading anyway.
This week, I finished In The Time of the Butterflies, which was such a great read! It tells the story of the Mirabal sisters during Trujillo’s dictatorship until 1960, when three of them were murdered. I went on a bit with Space Race, which I think will take me longer to read than I’m used to for a book this size – perhaps another week or two. Then I picked up and DNFed The Price of Paradise. I first got it thinking it was a Latinx book (1940s Cuba), but it’s not! The author and main character are Spanish (it is set in Cuba, though), so I’m a bit upset this was advertised as Latin American. I read it for a couple chapters but ended up DNF-ing it. There were a few small things that kept annoying me during the book and I just didn’t think it was worth the effort to continue.
Next this week I will be picking up:
All of the eARCs above are F/F, in case you’re looking for some ideas of 2020 releases to read! I have so many ARCs still to read oh my gosh.
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:
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 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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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:
From Netgalley I received:
I also bought:
It hasn’t been the easiest week in the world, and my heart broke reading the news about George Floyd. If you would like to help, there are lots of people sharing how you can do that:
It’s important not to “stay neutral” in times like these. Staying neutral means you passively let things happen, therefore by default siding with the oppressors. You of course don’t have to donate or anything, but please make an effort to educate yourself regardless. There’s a lot of books and articles you can look for (I saw this list on Buzzfeed just yesterday – also please feel free to share in the comments if you have suggestions!). This kind of stuff happens everywhere, so please don’t just brush it off if you’re not American and think racism “doesn’t exist in your country” because it does. Educate yourself, make a difference.
Okay, back to bookish stuff! I can’t believe it’s June! The year is going by so fast, and so slow at the same time. It is the weirdest thing.
From Scribd I downloaded: