My week in books

My reading this week was dictated by my library loan due dates and book clubs, but it turned out well for me! Books I finished this week:

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black Goodreads

An excellent end to a really fun fantasy series. I love the characters, the action, the writing… I especially love that it didn’t make me roll my eyes even once, and Holly Black knows how to stop a series before it just gets redundant. One of my favorite book friends suggested this series to me earlier this year, and considering I’ve now read and loved them all, clearly she knows what I like. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

The Library of Legends by Janie Chang Goodreads

I got this book for 2 reasons: 1) I loved Chang’s Three Souls and 2) the cover is gorgeous. The book itself didn’t disappoint, although I can’t say I’m as in love with it as I was Souls. Janie Chang writes beautifully and poetically. The story was a bit slow in parts, but overall I loved Lian’s story as well as the fantasy elements. I recently read about the Japanese invasion of Nanking, and that’s where this story starts. #bookserendipity ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali Goodreads

A very engaging story, if a bit repetitive and manipulative at times. I enjoyed the glimpses we got of the political upheaval in 1953 Iran and the subsequent years, and would have loved if the history played into this a little more than it did. I was rooting for Roya and thought the love stories very sweet. I absolutely loved the food and cooking in this book, even if I have been craving jeweled rice for days. ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson Goodreads

This was my favorite fiction of the week. I liked it so much, I blogged about here on the blog. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi Goodreads

“One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of “not racist.” The claim of “not racist” neutrality is a mask for racism.”

Great information in this book. I appreciate Kendi’s writing style and his inclusion of his own experiences to show racism in many of its forms. I’m looking forward to his online event 7/20/2020. If you’re interested, here’s a link to attend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander Goodreads

“The nature of the criminal justice system has changed. It is no longer primarily concerned with the prevention and punishment of crime, but rather with the management and control of the dispossessed.”

To say this book is eye-opening is an enormous understatement. I knew our justice system was broken, but I had never connected the dots to see how it truly has maintained a racist caste system in the United States. This book should be taught in American schools. This is a long quote, but an important one:

“The genius of the current caste system, and what most distinguishes it from its predecessors, is that it appears voluntary. People choose to commit crimes, and that’s why they are locked up or locked out, we are told. This feature makes the politics of responsibility particularly tempting, as it appears the system can be avoided with good behavior. But herein lies the trap. All people make mistakes. All of us are sinners. All of us are criminals. All of us violate the law at some point in our lives. In fact, if the worst thing you have ever done is speed ten miles over the speed limit on the freeway, you have put yourself and others at more risk of harm than someone smoking marijuana in the privacy of his or her living room. Yet there are people in the United States serving life sentences for first-time drug offenses, something virtually unheard of anywhere else in the world.”

This book is beyond informative. It’s infuriating and heartbreaking and will make you feel seen. If you only read one book about race in America, please make it this one. And then do something to help change this mess. The ‘war on drugs’ needs to end, and we need to stop saying we are colorblind and start caring about other human beings—we are all equal and deserve to live that way. By far my favorite nonfiction of the week…and the year so far. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I have a little bit more flexibility in my reading this week since I’ve got my library loans under control. At least until a bunch more holds come in. 😬

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