WWW Wednesday – July 22, 2020

WWW Wednesday

Since I’m really enjoying checking in here weekly, I’m going to continue doing the WWW Wednesday tag hosted by Taking on a World of Words. I like having a chance mid-week to share what I’m reading and see what you guys are up to, as well.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. This is another Libby hold I’ve been waiting for so I wanted to go ahead and get to it before I have to return it. This is a thriller which follows a group of friends who go on a New Year trip and get stuck at a secluded hunting lodge when a blizzard rolls in. Oh and someone is murdered. I’m only two chapters in, but it already feels a lot like The Guest List. I really enjoyed that book so I expect I’ll either also love The Hunting Party, or I’ll be unimpressed by it. We’ll see!

I finished four books since last Wednesday. First, I finished Black Enough which is a short story collection edited by Ibi Zoboi. I really enjoyed every single story in this collection and that is rare in short story collections. I love that not every story was about pain and suffering; readers get to see Black joy which I think is incredibly important. Some of the stories that stuck with me include “Black. Nerd. Problems” by Lamar Giles and “Kissing Sarah Smart” by Justina Ireland. Definitely pick this up if you’re interested in discovering new black authors; it’s a great way to sample over fifteen in one go.

I also finished The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. This is a non-fiction book that discusses the fact that even though the US had a Black president, we aren’t past racism. Specifically, Black men and their communities are suffering the effects of continued mass incarceration. I listened to this on audio while I was cleaning and doing laundry. I definitely want to pick this up physically at some point. There is a ton of information in this book and I know I missed some pieces. This is a little more dense than some of the other nonfiction I’ve read recently so I went through it pretty slowly but it was worth it. I think Alexander offers a huge piece to the puzzle that is the current situation in the US (and globally).

I also read continued my read-through of the Percy Jackson series with Rick Riordan’s The Sea of Monsters. I can’t say too much without spoiling the first book but I will say that I think this sequel brings the same comedy and action that I love in the first book. I only wish it was longer! The ending of The Sea of Monsters really has me pumped to continue the series next month. Also, I really love Tyson and want him to be protected at all costs.

Additionally, I finished Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. I listened to this on audio while reading along and I definitely have some thoughts. This play follows John Proctor and Abigail Williams who live in Salem, Massachusetts during the witch trials. Everyone’s being accused of being a witch, the girls are acting weird, and there’s total chaos. I read this in high school and had a good time with it. This time around I was more in tune with the connection to the Red Scare of the 1950’s but I had some problems with the way women and people of color were talked about. I’ll definitely have a little more to say in my July wrap-up, though.

The last book I finished this week, I just finished last night. That was Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward. This is a nonfiction memoir where Ward tells the stories of the men in her life she lost to suicide, drugs, accidents and also talks about her experiences growing up poor in the southern US. This book has an interesting narrative structure that, on paper, sounds confusing, but really works. Ward’s writing is powerful and beautiful while telling a truly heartbreaking story about a world that just doesn’t work in favor of, or value, Black men.

Next up for me has to be The Rise of Kyoshi by F. C. Yee. This is on my original TBR for the month and I just haven’t had a chance to get to it yet because of all my Libby holds (oops). This is part of the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe and follows Avatar Kyoshi, a female Avatar who existed before Aang. The second book in this series is out this month and I’m just excited about having more Avatar content in my life.

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading? If you participate in WWW Wednesday, link me your posts!

WWW Wednesday – July 15, 2020

WWW Wednesday

Since I’m really enjoying checking in here weekly, I’m going to continue doing the WWW Wednesday tag hosted by Taking on a World of Words. I like having a chance mid-week to share what I’m reading and see what you guys are up to, as well.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Black Enough which is a collection of short stories edited by Ibi Zoboi. I know I said I was reading this two weeks ago, but as you might know, a ton of my library holds came through at once and I had to put this down for a bit. I am now able to get back into this collection. There hasn’t been a story I haven’t enjoyed yet which is rare for anthologies, I think. Additionally, I am listening to the audiobook for The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. This non-fiction work discusses the ways in which the US prison system works to maintain racial control. The New Jim Crow is both frustrating and enlightening. Seeing the same events continue to happen over and over again will certainly make you angry considering how much everyone preaches that we shouldn’t forget or erase our history.

I’ve somehow finished three books since I last checked in. First was The Deep by Alma Katsu. Last week I mentioned that I wasn’t sure if this book contained too many plot elements in one story. Those feelings didn’t change. I found myself unsure about why some scenes and even characters were included in the story. I also think the ending was a bit confusing and drug out. I will definitely talk about this more in my wrap-up but generally, I was pretty disappointed with this one which sucks because it had so much potential.

I also read another one of my Libby holds, Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. This is a romance that follows Chloe who is just trying to “get a life” after a near-death experience. I don’t read romance. Ever. But other people I know who don’t really read romance seemed to be enjoying this one so I thought I’d give it a try. I definitely wasn’t disappointed. It had those cheesy romance moments but also tackled important issues such as chronic illness and recovering from an abusive relationship. It’s also definitely got some STEAM! I don’t think I’m going to turn into a serious romance reader or anything but after this experience, I’m definitely more likely to pick one up.

I also FINALLY read a book from my original July TBR this month! I picked up Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling and it was such a joy! I was at my mom’s this past weekend and I wanted to bring a smaller book to throw in my bag and this seemed like the best option. I really enjoy reading books by hilarious women and this was no exception. Not only did I laugh, but I also want to watch The Mindy Project again because she mentioned that the male lead, Danny, is inspired by Mr. Darcy and now I feel dumb for not seeing this show as a modern Pride & Prejudice. Plus, I just want to laugh at Morgan Tookers some more.

Next up for me is probably The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan. I started the Percy Jackson series for the first time back in May and I had SUCH a fun time. I’ve been excited to continue the series but it just wasn’t in the cards for me in June so I definitely want to make it happen this month. I put it on my TBR specifically to ensure that I actually get to it. I’m beyond ready to jump back into this magical, mythical world.

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading? If you participate in WWW Wednesday, link me your posts!

July 2020 TBR

TBRs

It’s that time again; let’s talk about my reading plans for July! This month, I’m taking a break from reading groups and readathons to completely focus on reading my bookcase of unread books. Some of the books on my TBR for July are ones I specifically wanted to read this month, but I have some that were picked by a random number generator. As always, I am only holding myself accountable for five books. This way, I have some room to read other things if my mood changes. So without further ado, here’s my July TBR!

The first book on my July TBR is Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America. This is a YA anthology of short stories that includes authors such as Ibi Zoboi, Tochi Onyebuchi, and Nic Stone. I picked this up during the #BlackPublishingPower initiative because I generally enjoy anthologies and want to continue being conscious of the diversity on my shelves as well as my blog and my Instagram feed. I think the stories in this collection will introduce me to new voices that I can further explore.

In May, I read the first book in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series for the first time, and I am excited to continue this series in July. I don’t want to say much about what The Sea of Monsters is about if you haven’t read the first book yet. Still, I am delighted to continue with what has proven so far to be a magical, fun, and compelling series.

I love the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe and am itching for more content. Good thing there’s quite a bit of it! I picked up The Rise of Kyoshi by F. C. Yee this past Sunday and am so excited to dive into it. This is the first book in a series chronicling the life of Avatar Kyoshi of the Earth Kingdom and the Kyoshi warriors. That’s all I really know about this book, but since the second book in this series comes out later this month, I want to go ahead and read this one.

I have a spreadsheet of all my unread books, and I had my partner pick a random number for this next book. He chose The Crucible by Arthur Miller. This was one of just a few texts I read in high school that I actually enjoyed, but I essentially marked it as unread so that I could reread it as an adult. This is a play that takes place in Salem, Massachusetts during the witch trials and exposes the chaos and hysteria of the time. I haven’t read a play in quite a long time, but I am ready to experience it again.

I used a random number generator to pick my last book, and I got Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. This is Kaling’s second memoir, and I thoroughly enjoyed the first – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – so I decided Why Not Me? would be a fun, fast, summer read to enjoy outside in the sun. 

Those are the only books I’m holding myself accountable for this month, but I will likely be able to read quite a few more. I am excited about all of my choices this month. What are you guys reading for July? Have you read any of these? Come chat with me in the comments ❤