Book List for the First Year

I love doing book reviews but it can be incredibly stressful. So I will write a list of books of first year of service.

January 

  1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  2. Self Inflicted Wounds Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation by Aisha Tyler
  3. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
    I am reading the sequel Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children 
  4. The Constant Queen
  5. I Sat Down By The River Pheadra and Wept by Paulo Coelho
  6. The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak
  7. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
  8. Kitchen Myths (Peter Aitken)
  9. Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive On Ideas Alone (Bo Burnham) 
  10. Beware of the Dog (Roald Dahl) 
  11. Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Jeff Lindsay)
  12. A Shadow in Summer, Shadow and Betrayal Series (Daniel Abraham)
  13. Starfire (B.V. Larson and Thomas LeMay)
  14. End of Secrets (Ryan Quinn) 
  15. Cutting For Stone (Abraham Verghese)
  16. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Now this is a book.

white teeth

This is a book that will rival many books you have read in your lifetime.

It will churn your insides in disbelief and contemplation.

I finished this book still not understanding much about the purpose of the story and wanting more of the ending but those are not at all signs of a bad book.

Zadie Smith knows how to write. Reading this book really humbled me and made me feel as if writing might not happen because this girl is too good.

She knows how to weave a story and write a language and method and style unique to her stories.

Read this book. Not even a suggestion. It is a must read.

Three families are brought together as three children grow up to fathers old enough with too many paternal strings pulling at their lives and imposing so many views as their lives deal around fate, faith, love and lack of it all. It is a story that shakes you and I promise you it will because it made me feel so lost at the end. Not confused but just mesmerized at the effects our pasts can have even if it is not our own past that pulls at the road we take in our lives.

 

Alanna: The First Adventure

alannaI plan to write many books in my career but fantasy books are my dream world. I have one manuscript ready and going to be sent out to be edited and read but if you want to be a writer, you have to read a lot.

So I compiled the largest collection of fantasy books and books altogether before I came here and I finished my first one. Tamora Pierce is a woman I admire.

Her characters are not at all like any characters I have read as a child. No girls playing roles as scared or unequal. There are strong women in her writing but her writing reminds me of a quote I kept along with my writing to fuel my heart and mind for the power of the written word.

“Screw writing “strong” women. Write interesting women. Write well-rounded women. Write complicated women. Write a woman who kicks ass, write a woman who cowers in a corner. Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband. Write a woman who doesn’t need a man. Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who don’t take no shit, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks. THEY ARE ALL OKAY, and all those things could exist in THE SAME WOMAN. Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people. So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong. Write characters who are people.”

Tamora Pierce does that. The voices of her characters are the voices of a person filled with every flaw and quality not the typical women character.

Alanna Trebond was born as a twin to her brother Thom but as her mother died in childbirth, her father disintegrated into mourning, hating the use of magic. Except the twins both have the gift. Alanna is afraid of using her gift but her great power as a
Healer she is warned that her dreams will require her to use her gift. She dreams to be a female knight and tear the land in adventure and honor. But her gift as a healer would make up for the lives she takes. Her brother however wants to be a sorcerer which would only gain the hatred of his father. So the twins decide. Alanna is to be sent to a convent to be a lady and Thom to become a knight. They decide to switch places and Thom will ride to become a sorcerer and Alanna cut her hair to become Alan, a future knight.

As a story, I felt it was too simple a read for me but as a growing girl, this story would be perfect to set my mind for daydreams about adventuring on my horse as a warrior. Not some princess in a dress.

I read till the end and it made me want more of fantasy books. To imagine a different world than our own. Tamora Pierce’s world is brilliantly set and interesting especially with the politics that she brings into Alan’s story.

It’s a cute read but I would rather read it to a girl young enough to inspire. But It did inspire me to search for women fantasy authors that would challenge me further like Mercedes Lackey.

Here’s to Alanna Trebond, a lady knight of the realm.

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen

Lies_my_teacher_told_me

This is a book I wish many people could read. It really opens up your mind to what our children and ourselves have learned in our history classes. One of my favorite thoughts and quote from this book is how history books always have a sense of extreme nationalism and pride while chemistry books are titled chemistry. There is no chemistry book titled The Pride Of The Molecule.

History books are not flawed completely. Just authors take such liberties from the wording and even the truth of much of American history. They take away the blame and make it seem as if forces were beyond their control to cause such decisions.

This book opens up with the glimpse of what history we’ve missed out on. We are given such perfect images of presidents and even Helen Keller that we are taught to has one mind view on American history. Be proud and support your nation of heroes. Constantly on the cover with nationalism and incredible knowledge, history books are usually a plethora of factual information being twisted. Not extremely but just to avoid controversy. Children don’t enjoy history when pretty much every year their classes do not even reach history of America in the 1960s.

How about George Washington owned slaves or that Helen Keller was all about socialism? If we know these things, does their messages become tainted? They still caused huge change in this world and will forever be known? And their decisions made at their time should not be whitewashed and covered in ethos and emotional idol worship. For they were humans who made decisions bad or good based on what they wanted.

Maybe if we start seeing our American heroes as humans with large mistakes as the rest of us, we would stop always trying to achieve perfection.

Snow Flower and The Secret Fan

1103

 

Finished my first book this week and it took less than twelve hours. A good read and really moving. It was not the greatest I’ve read but definitely a book that keeps your attention.

A great read. Some moments with the friendship of the two friends reminded me of my best friend back home and our plans in our lives that we made (our 30th, our first children, godmothers, etc) just to make sure that we stay together. I cried at moments when I realized that something simple can tear the greatest of friends apart.

It was a read that I devoured and I love books that I just submerge into.

Good for the first week.