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Pop Culture

Why Every “Books To Read for Quarantine/Lockdown” List is Trash

Out of all of the digital content that was released during our government mandated lockdowns, all of the articles, videos, and tweets being released of what books to read during quarantine bothered me so much. LIKE WHAT WHY?

I underststand that because most of us have time on our hands because of unemployment, working less, or just working from home, and we need ideas of what to do with our time. I just don’t appreciate the message behind it.

Most of my agenda is trying to push forward the message of why we must read in a fast paced world. While others are telling you to read only when you have down time. Which is a good message don’t get me wrong, it’s just that many people would read that and say, “Oh well im busy and I don’t have time to read.” Although reading is great for when ever you have time for yourself, but reading requires effort for you to make time for it out of your busy schedule. 

During the first few weeks I was even motivated to creating a list of books to read during quarantine, but my whole blog is an escape to reality! It would be pointless for me to compile a list of books to read in quarantine when literally any book or genre is good to read during quarantine. 

Here are my reasons why every “Books to Read in Quarantine” list is trash:

1. Every book allows us to escape
A lot of the books of that are mentioned in these lists are books that are made for you to escape the harsh reality of COVID-19. Which is a dumb idea because literally EVERY FICTION BOOK IN THE WORLD is an escape to reality. Books are made for us to escape into the world of every book. Any book published before March of 2020 is a book to escape reality. 

2. The recommendations
Most of the book recommendations on these lists are so broad. Everyone has different tastes and there’s no way that a list has a book for every person in the world to read. There’s a reason to why these books are being recommended, which brings me to my next point.

3. They Announce New Releases
Most of these lists recommend new releases, books that are affecting sales due to COVID-19, so they are trying to advertise these books for you to read. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great new releases, but there are also great books that were published a year ago, or a decade a go, or even a century. Publishers are trying to hit their projected sales quota. 

4. They recommend books that are on the NYT Bestseller lists.
Most of these books that are recommended are on the bestsellers list and that’s because they wanna recommend books that you’ve heard of or are popular. Which is a good idea on paper, but there are hundreds of books that were once a hit, and still are a hit. There are also some very good books written by indie writers who don’t have a huge publishing house behind them to promote their books. Not only that, most good books don’t make the New York Times bestseller list because it’s a list of 20 books out of the thousands of books released within the past two years. 

5. Book Bias 
I’m sure that the recommended books that Ted loved are good, but will I like them? Ted, you don’t know me. You don’t know my tastes, and what kind of
books that I like. Many of these picks are picks by one person. 

6. More pictures, no words.
Lots of these lists do very little in talking about why this is a good book, and they give you a short synopsis, and show you a huge picture of the book. Rather than telling you what books to read, it tells you which pretty cover to read. 

Do these lists work? Have you been tempted to read a book from a recommended publisher? Let me know down in the comments!

Categories
Book Tag

📚😬Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 😬📚

It’s the middle of the year and woah, what a year! This year, my reading has been very versatile and distinct that I often have to check back onto my Goodreads and remind myself, oh yeah I read this! I would of loved to have read more books, but if anything this post has motivated me to read more books and reach my goal of reading 50 books this year. So here is a summary of my reads thus-far.

Best Book Of The Year- So Far

You can access my book review here, but I really loved this book. This book had it all. Romance, humor, and kept me on the edge of my seat.

Best Sequel Read So Far in 2020

You can access my book review here. I read this in the beginning of the year and it was so good. After reading the ACOTAR trilogy, I read Throne of Glass and didn’t love it and so I was unmotivated to read the next book in the series. But, I heard it only gets better and boy, I loved it. This book really enriched the world, and developed Celaena into this force of nature that cannot be messed with. I can’t wait until I read the next book in this series.

Newest Release I Haven’t Read Yet, But I Want To

I bought this book on release day, and I haven’t had the chance to read it yet. Mostly because it’s 800+ pages and big books give me anxiety, especially first in series since they often world develop and info dump the reader into the world. But I have to read this book. I have to. It’s Sarah J. Maas. The queen of fantasy.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

Even though Stephenie Meyer has sparked some controversy, I’m still curious for this depiction of Edward. As a former die-hard twilight fan, I’m excited to dive into the series that made me a bookworm.

Biggest Disappointment

My most read book review up-to date, this book was bad. This book relies on so many Mexican sterotypes and downfalls that it really doesn’t capture thee migrant story. This book had the potential to inform readers unto our humanitarian crisis of Latinx members fleeing their country for a better life. Instead, it tells the successful story of a middle-class Mexican with a huge bank account, crossing the border illegally through to Arizona. I don’t recommend.

Biggest Surprise

I bought this book at my local thrift shop and decided to give it a shot and boy, I was surprised this book still holds up. I have never read any Narnia book, so this book really surprised me in it’s rich detail unto the world of Narnia. I was expecting a simple, watered down fantasy novel about talking animals, but boy, this had elements of horror, suspense, and sci-fi. Something I didn’t expect in a children’s fantasy novel. 10/10 recommend.

Favorite New Author

You may access my book review here. I’ve read Toni Morrison’s essays and excerpts, but never a complete novel and this was simply great. It made me laugh, cry, and interested into the world of Pecola. A young girl who prays for the bluest eye, in hopes that she is accepted into society as a beautiful black girl.

Newest Fictional Crush

Kaz from Six of Crows. Kaz is such an interesting character. He is dark, mysterious, a huge thief, but he has a dark past, protects those who he loves, and is determined. He also has a sense of humor that is like no other YA character I have ever read.

Newest Favorite Character

Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff is like that epic villain you cannot stop looking at. Even though he is violent, rude, and abusive, he is a trainwreck you cannot stop looking at. I often caught myself feeling bad for him at how mistreated he was in the book. He’s an orphan, hated by his foster family, laughed at for being a gypsy, and abandoned by his soulmate because he didn’t have the social ranking Cathy was looking for. Not only his own kids love him! Truly a character that is often forgotten about.

Book That Made Me Cry

Without giving much away, the ending made me cry. It’s even making me cry thinking about it. But this is one of those books where you cry at what could of happened but didn’t happen. Also this book was a really good depiction at anxiety and how anxiety overtakes your decision making.

Most Beautiful Book I’ve Bought This Year

I haven’t read this book yet, but this book has one the most prettiest and captivating book covers I’ve seen this year. This is a book that I bought by judging it’s cover.

Books To be Read By The End of The Year

Like every year, I have lots of books in my TBR pile. But here a few that must be read, without an exception.

As a huge fan of Cassandra Clare, I must read this book. I loved Lady Midnight so much that I cannot procrastinate this trilogy any longer.

As a fan of Pride & Prejudice, I can no longer procrastinate her books and this book is without exception. I’ve heard so many good things about this book that there is no excuse as to why I should not read this.

I need to read this and find out what’s the hype. This book has been widely read this years, and it’s all everyone talks about. I only want to read this book to see what’s the hype and why it’s everywhere.

This book has been on my TBR pile for YEARS. I loved the movies, and I’ve always wanted to read this. I’m probably very late to the party, but I’m excited to read this book this year. (I’m in house Ravenclaw btw)

Hows your mid-year reading going? Let me know in the comment section down below!

Categories
Book Recommendations

🌞☀ Summer Reading 2020 ☼🏄

We might not be traveling this summer, but you can still travel by diving into a book this summer. As the majority of the world is practicing social distancing, the only mode the transportation is by reading. In your imagination that is. As the heat is making us tired, stressed, and exhausted, reading could be a tool used to relax your mind and make you smarter. Below are this summer’s must-read books.

Create a Reading Schedule

Before you pick up a book and start reading, you gotta make sure you read it. Think of a time where you can squeeze in reading into your schedule and make it a habit. For example: I do most of my reading in the evenings. At 7PM, I set everything aside, pick up my book, and read on.

Don’t Miss Out and Be Informed

I started reading this book the other day and it was captivating from the start. This book reads like a textbook, but with a prose that keeps you enthralled. This book is a look upon racist ideas since the beginning of America until the present, and how/why racism has systemically oppressed minorities. A must-read.

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other.In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Be On The Edge of Your Seat

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner  – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast. 

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

Read the book before it hits the theaters! Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Get Out of This World

Coming soon on June 30

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.   
 
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
 
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. 
 
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

Fall In Love With Your Summer Fling

Literally the only book that has ever made me ugly-cry. Seventeen year old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father…until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.

The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels–first love, love between parents and children — that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts . . . and heal them.

At 12 years old, Azere promised her dying father that she’d marry a Nigerian man and preserve her culture. Years later, her mother has done everything in her power to ensure that Azere does just that. But one night at a bar, Azere meets Rafael, a handsome stranger who happens to be white. When their one night together turns into more, Azere must choose between her heart and the promise she made long ago.

Solve A Mystery

When Jan awakens in utter darkness, chained to a wall, a manacle around her wrist, her echoing screams only give her a sense of how small her cell is. As she desperately tries to reconstruct what happened and determine who is holding her prisoner, dread covers despair like a hand clamped over her mouth. Because, like the Minotaur in the labyrinth in Greek myth, her captor will be coming back for her, and all the lies will catch up to her. 

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face?

What are you reading this summer? Comment down below your summer reads!

Categories
Book Recommendations

Black Lives Matter: Here are 7 Books To Remind Us About Injustices ✊🏿🤎☮️📣

All proceeds from my Amazon Affiliate account will go towards a split donation group between 70+ community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizers. Donate here.

Ever since the death of Gorge Floyd, our country hasn’t been the same. Racism and police brutality has always been there even before the murder of George Floyd. This idea wasn’t new, but the movement of Black Lives Matter has surged. All fifty states participated in protests to raise awareness to the black lives that have been murdered by the police.

I created this blog to be a voice for the marginal voices in society. I have always, and will forever continue to blog about black writers and their work. As an undergrad, I was lucky enough to be taught that black writers are a huge part of American Literature and how we cannot erase their past. I stand with the black lives matter movement and you should too.

Being a non-racist isn’t just enough. We must use our voices, on social media or in protests, and speak up about these injustices. Here are 7 books that everyone must read: (All purchases from my amazon affiliate account will go towards a split donation between 70+ community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizers)

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Most important of all, it has spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Michelle Alexander’s unforgettable argument that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” As the Birmingham News proclaimed, it is “undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S.”

Widely heralded as a “masterful” (Washington Post) and “essential” (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. A groundbreaking, “virtually indispensable” study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history (Chicago Daily Observer), The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past.

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America.

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.

Some Americans insist that we’re living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America–it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial inequities.

In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.