[Review] The Mothers by Brit Bennett

“The Mothers” are a group of elderly women who frequent Upper Room Chapel, a focal point and social hub for the small town of Oceanside. Their voices frame the narration — they open and close the story — as they gossip about and recount the history of their town. This narrative choice aptly captures what it’s like to live in a socially conservative town, where your business is everyone else’s and judgment is freely doled out. The social dynamics of the community fascinated me and made for a riveting reading experience.

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Books With LGBTQIA Asian Protagonists – #ReadDiverse2017

When I created the original post for #ReadDiverse2017, I promised to provide monthly lists of potential books to read with specific types of representation. I want make specific book lists to make it easier for people to find the books they need. For example, LGBTQIA Asian readers who are seeking fiction with LGBTQIA protagonists can simply Google “Books With LGBTQIA Asian Protagonists” and immediately find what they’re looking for. You won’t be surprised to hear that there are not many book lists dedicated to these specific marginalizations.

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[ARC Review] The Night Of The Virgin by Elliott Turner

The Night Of The Virgin tells the story of Emmaneul “Manny” Hernandez, a young soccer prodigy living in Texas who one day wants to become a professional soccer player. There’s one big problem, though — he’s undocumented. But his legal status will not crush his dreams entirely. One day, he and his best friend Hector leave their lives in Texas behind and head to California to see what surprises and opportunities life has in store for them there. Over the course of the novel, we will see Manny grow from a brash young man into a loving father, but before he gets from point A to point B Manny will experience many triumphs, failures, mistakes, and regrets.

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The Best Books I Read In 2016

According to Goodreads, I read 91 books in 2016 – well above my goal of 75 books. I had started the year with a goal of 50 but quickly realized that I’d surpass that number easily after I started my book blog. 2016 was my best reading year yet! I almost tripled the number of books I read in my previous highest reading years. But 2016 wasn’t a great year for me just in the number of books read, but also in the quality of the books I read.

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My Lit Box – December Unboxing

Last month, I introduced you all to My Lit Box and essentially gushed about how much I love this book subscription box and how honored I was to promote it on my blog for a few months.

If you’ve never heard of My Lit Box, please visit their website to learn more about it. But in short, it’s a book subscription box that highlights writers of color and aims to take the guesswork out finding quality literature written by marginalized authors. The books will be delivered right at your doorstep along with bookish goodies.

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Review: Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Juan Gabriel Vásquez’s Reputations was originally published in 2006 in the author’s native Spanish. Ten years after publication, English-speakers finally get the chance to read this novel by the award-winning and often-lauded Colombian writer. I don’t read nearly enough translated fiction, especially from South American authors, so Reputations sounded like the perfect book for me.

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[Review] Not A Self-Help Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu – by Yi Shun Lai

I have never read a self-help book myself, at least not all the way through, but I’ve heard that they’re a multi-billion dollar industry just in the U.S. alone. It seems Americans are willing to spend big money on self-improvement or ways to “fix” themselves. I can certainly see the appeal. Who doesn’t want to be the best version of themselves? Some people’s problems run too deep, however, and may need more than a couple of self-help books found in the Barnes & Noble bargain section. Marty Wu is someone with a complicated life who also sees the appeal of self-help books. In fact, this novel itself is a collection of diary entries that were motivated by a self-help book she found in the used-book section of a local bookstore. This book is called “The Language of Paying Attention to YOU,” which has a silly title, but has resonated profoundly with Marty Wu, as she constantly refers to the advice it offers.

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Review: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

At 26 years old, Yaa Gyasi debuted on the literary scene with one of the most impressive releases of 2016. Homegoing is a multi-generational epic that covers such a large scope in only 300 page that you’re left wondering how anyone could accomplish this marvelous feat of storytelling so brilliantly and concisely. But Yaa Gyasi did accomplish this feat and was rewarded handsomely for it with a seven figure advance. I’m thrilled to meet Gyasi the writer at this point in her very promising career. You can be certain I will be watching everything she does, as I am already anticipating her next novel!

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Black Women As Heroes And Role Models – A Reading List

There are countless books that feature strong, heroic, inspirational, and fearless girls and women. I cannot possibly know them all nor do I claim to. The list I am providing only includes the books I am familiar with personally or ones that have been recommended to me by trusted sources. I must make this clear because I am far from an authority on this topic. But I do want to commend and recommend these incredible works that feature black women and girls as heroes and role models.

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