Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In seven sentences: Dystopian YA fiction is meant for summer reading. It's escapism at its best. This book was fast paced and intriguing. The book might have even been a four star read, but the ending was just not what I expected or wanted. And I can't tell if I 'm mad because I feel manipulated into the next book or because I somehow expected more positive outcomes despite this being clearly marked as a dystopian book. Either way, Oliver is clever and worth your time.

As always, happy reading and happy summer!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Born a Crime

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African ChildhoodBorn a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Short and simple: I was blown away by this book. Noah's life experiences are extraordinary and his candor remarkable. I think the audio is essential because of how many languages and accents that Noah can share and how true and natural his voice is. This is one of those stories that summing up any of the details does not do justice. Truly his life story is stranger and more powerful than fiction.

One more thing- I only knew vaguely of Noah as the new Daily Show host. I have maybe watched two or three clips of him speaking ever. You don't have to know his work to appreciate this book.

Happy reading and happy risk taking- Noah wouldn't have it any other way.

People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.”

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Hate U Give

The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

George Eliot said, “The only effect I ardently long to produce by my writings, is that those who read them should be better able to imagine and to feel the pains and the joys of those who differ from them in everything but the broad fact of being struggling, erring human creatures.” It's interesting to note that George Eliot was only Mary Anne Evan's pen name, and that she perhaps understood better than many why empathy and appreciating others' differences were essential to the human experience.

Angie Thomas' "The Hate U Give" is one of the most powerful stories I have ever read. Every step of the way, it challenged my assumptions and my life experiences and gave voice to issues that demand our attention. I'm not sure I would have read it had I fully known what the subject matter was, but I am so glad that I did. Thomas' main character Starr comes to life in a way that I felt like I was with her as she walked through Garden Heights and listened to her incredible mom navigate an impossible parenting situation.

Raw, poignant, and brilliantly alive, "The Hate U Give" will stay with me for a long time. Describing it in more detail would not do justice to the impactful narrative, Thomas has created. It is almost better to go in with no expectations. That said, the language and the violence are jarring and may not be to everyone's tastes, so I add that caution as you're making your own reading selections.

It's perhaps corny to say, but I am exceedingly grateful that we get to hear other people's voices through reading. C.S. Lewis said, "We read to know we're not alone." While I 100% agree with Lewis, I also would add, we read so we can help others not feel alone. This is our blessing and our responsibility.

As always, happy reading and happy living--

Monday, June 5, 2017

What Learning Leaves

What Learning LeavesWhat Learning Leaves by Taylor Mali
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Taylor Mali puts into words how teaching and education feels - something that I often try and fail to do. I love him for that. His word play is exceptionally clever, and I'm glad to have finally started working through my "to be read' shelf at home. There are really good books I've had tucked away for ages.

Happy summer and happy reading--

*"To Be Read" Shelf Book No. 3