Cover Reveal – Spoonful Chronicles by Elen Ghulam

Welcome to my very first cover reveal, everyone!

Today, I’m hosting the cover reveal for Elen Ghulam’s upcoming book, Spoonful Chronicles, which will officially release on April 4th. It’s an #ownvoices novel about an Iraqi woman who seeks to unlock the purpose in her life by recounting everything she has eaten. An intriguing concept with food as a major component of the story? Sounds like recipe for success!

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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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Book Characters I’d Like To Meet Under The Mistletoe

I don’t usually do holiday-themed blog posts. Didn’t do any for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or any other holidays celebrated in the U.S…and I wasn’t planning on doing a Christmas-themed post either, but I was suddenly inspired to write one by Becca @ Becca & Books after I read her post on blogging prompts for December.

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2016 Book Releases by Native Americans To Read Before And After The Year Ends

This post is in honor of Native American Heritage Month, which runs all the through November. As with Latinx Heritage Month, I want to again stress that months of targeted celebration are important but we should never limit exploration of certain voices and stories to those months.

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Q&A With Yi Shun Lai, Author of “Not A Self-Help Book”

Last week I reviewed Yi Shun Lai’s Not A Self-Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu and let me once again recommend it to you all. If you’re a fan of epistolary novels, this book is a must-must read. It has a unique voice and plot, with memorable characters and complex relationships. The mother-daughter relationship is especially complicated and nuanced. If you read and review Not A Self-Help Book, I’d love to know your thoughts on this aspect of the novel. There’s also a good mix of humor and serious moments, with a dose of family drama to top it off. It’s difficult not to find something in this novel that you’ll like!

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Read Diverse Books Year-Round November Link-Up

November’s Read Diverse Books Year-Round feature is the penultimate one for the year. I considered continuing it into 2017, but I may do something else entirely. I haven’t decided on what yet, but what I don’t want this feature to feel repetitive. I’ll keep brainstorming and hope to find new and creative ways to encourage people to read widely and diversely.

My last link-up was another successful one, with 45 reviews in total! I want to once again thank all who participated. Keep doing great work and reviewing diverse books!

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Review: Stained by Abda Khan

Reading a novel about the rape of a young woman and how it changes her life irrevocably isn’t easy. Considering that nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped or have experienced attempted sexual assault, reading a novel that explores the subject would be even more difficult. But stories like Stained are an important aspect of the ongoing conversations around sexual assault and rape culture. It’s clear that author Abda Khan cares deeply about this issue and wanted to explore it with the respect and nuance it deserves.

The Improbable Rise of Paco Jones by Dominic Carrillo

Do you remember what it was like to be a 13-year-old in 8th grade? Did you breeze through those years without any awkwardness, teasing, or issues with confidence or self-esteem? Probably not –I certainly didn’t. Being 13 was one of the worst years of my life! Perhaps I’m being a bit dramatic, but I sure was awkward and confused. Many of us can relate to this experience, which is why reading a book like The Improbable Rise of Paco Jones is so familiar and immediately relatable.

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Season of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim – Unconcerned With The Western Gaze

Over the last year, I have discovered and read several talented Nigerian writers. It all started with Chimamanda Adichie, who is one of my favorite writers of contemporary literature. I fell in love with her voice and what she had to say about Nigeria and its people and their experiences. She sparked my interest in Nigerian literature and I was hungry for more, so I branched out and read Chinelo Okparanta, Nnedi Okorafor, Chris Abani, and now Abubakar Adam Ibrahim. Each of these authors taught me lessons and truths that I couldn’t have found in western stories, and for that I am thankful.

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