Weekend Reading: 9/7/2018

Hi, readers!

Happy Friday! Today I’m sharing five books that I’ve been reading lately and will be picking up this weekend. I like to mix up my book selections by choosing from new releases, backlist books, and different genres. Today’s post has a wide selection of choices!

This weekend I’m reading…

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army.

Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton’s Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he’s facing his deadliest mission yet—risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia.

Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction—Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy’s favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it means losing each other . . .

Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

The great Dorothy L. Sayers is considered by many to be the premier detective novelist of the Golden Age, and her dashing sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, one of mystery fiction’s most enduring and endearing protagonists. The third Dorothy L. Sayers classic to feature mystery writer Harriet Vane, Gaudy Night is now back in print with an introduction by Elizabeth George, herself a crime fiction master. Gaudy Night takes Harriet and her paramour, Lord Peter, to Oxford University, Harriet’s alma mater, for a reunion, only to find themselves the targets of a nightmare of harassment and mysterious, murderous threats.

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.

As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on… and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This chance meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, a journey on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost…

What will be the cost of their ambitions? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?

In this spell-binding story of curiosity and obsession, Imogen Hermes Gowar has created an unforgettable jewel of a novel, filled to the brim with intelligence, heart and wit.

Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich

When the Swedish Academy awarded Svetlana Alexievich the Nobel Prize, it cited her for inventing “a new kind of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions—a history of the soul.” Alexievich’s distinctive documentary style, combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, records the stories of ordinary women and men who are rarely given the opportunity to speak, whose experiences are often lost in the official histories of the nation.

In Secondhand Time, Alexievich chronicles the demise of communism. Everyday Russian citizens recount the past thirty years, showing us what life was like during the fall of the Soviet Union and what it’s like to live in the new Russia left in its wake. Through interviews spanning 1991 to 2012, Alexievich takes us behind the propaganda and contrived media accounts, giving us a panoramic portrait of contemporary Russia and Russians who still carry memories of oppression, terror, famine, massacres—but also of pride in their country, hope for the future, and a belief that everyone was working and fighting together to bring about a utopia. Here is an account of life in the aftermath of an idea so powerful it once dominated a third of the world.

Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan

In “I Don’t Know,” Corrigan wrestles to make peace with uncertainty, whether it’s over expected invitations that never come or a friend’s agonizing infertility. In “No,” she admires her mother’s ability to set boundaries, her liberating willingness to be unpopular. In “Tell Me More,” she learns something important about listening from a facialist named Tish. And in “I Was Wrong,” she comes clean about her disastrous role in a family fight–and explains why saying sorry may not be enough. With refreshing candor, a deep well of empathy, and her signature desire to understand “the thing behind the thing,” Corrigan swings in this insightful book between meditations on life with a preoccupied husband and two mercurial teenage daughters to profound observations on love and loss.

In channeling the characteristically streetwise, ever-relatable voice that has defined Corrigan’s work, Tell Me More is a meaningful, touching take on the power of the right words at the right moment to change everything.

That’s it for today! Have you read any of these books? What are you reading this weekend?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!
Posted in TBR

Women in Translation Readathon TBR

Hi, readers!

I’m excited to participate in a readathon that starts August 25 at midnight and ends on August 31 at midnight, with all times being in your time zone. I discovered this readathon on YouTube and you can watch the announcement video here. There are four prompts for this challenge and two bonus prompts. I sincerely doubt I will read six books in seven days. But I enjoy putting together TBRs for readathons and finding new to me books!

My TBR for this challenge includes…

Read something that is not a novel: Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez

In these wildly imaginative, devilishly daring tales of the macabre, internationally bestselling author Mariana Enriquez brings contemporary Argentina to vibrant life as a place where shocking inequality, violence, and corruption are the law of the land, while military dictatorship and legions of desaparecidos loom large in the collective memory. In these stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortázar, three young friends distract themselves with drugs and pain in the midst a government-enforced blackout; a girl with nothing to lose steps into an abandoned house and never comes back out; to protest a viral form of domestic violence, a group of women set themselves on fire.

But alongside the black magic and disturbing disappearances, these stories are fueled by compassion for the frightened and the lost, ultimately bringing these characters—mothers and daughters, husbands and wives—into a surprisingly familiar reality. Written in hypnotic prose that gives grace to the grotesque, Things We Lost in the Fire is a powerful exploration of what happens when our darkest desires are left to roam unchecked, and signals the arrival of an astonishing and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.

Read a book about childhood: The Impossible Fairy Tale by Yujoo Han

The Impossible Fairy Tale is the story of two unexceptional grade-school girls. Mia is “lucky”―she is spoiled by her mother and, as she explains, her two fathers. She gloats over her exotic imported color pencils and won’t be denied a coveted sweater. Then there is the Child who, by contrast, is neither lucky nor unlucky. She makes so little impression that she seems not even to merit a name.

At school, their fellow students, whether lucky or luckless or unlucky, seem consumed by an almost murderous rage. Adults are nearly invisible, and the society the children create on their own is marked by cruelty and soul-crushing hierarchies. Then, one day, the Child sneaks into the classroom after hours and adds ominous sentences to her classmates’ notebooks. This sinister but initially inconsequential act unlocks a series of events that end in horrible violence.

But that is not the end of this eerie, unpredictable novel. A teacher, who is also this book’s author, wakes from an intense dream. When she arrives at her next class, she recognizes a student: the Child, who knows about the events of the novel’s first half, which took place years earlier. Han Yujoo’s The Impossible Fairy Tale is a fresh and terrifying exploration of the ethics of art making and of the stinging consequences of neglect.

Read a book with red on the cover: The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami

Objects for sale at the Nakano Thrift Shop appear as commonplace as the staff and customers that handle them. But like those same customers and staff, they hold many secrets. If examined carefully, they show the signs of innumerable extravagancies, of immeasurable pleasure and pain, and of the deep mysteries of the human heart.

Hitomi, the inexperienced young woman who works the register at Mr. Nakano’s thrift shop, has fallen for her coworker, the oddly reserved Takeo. Unsure of how to attract his attention, she seeks advice from her employer’s sister, Masayo, whose sentimental entanglements make her a somewhat unconventional guide. But thanks in part to Masayo, Hitomi will come to realize that love, desire, and intimacy require acceptance not only of idiosyncrasies but also of the delicate waltz between open and hidden secrets.

Animating each delicately rendered chapter in Kawakami’s playful novel is Mr. Nakano himself, an original, entertaining, and enigmatic creation whose compulsive mannerisms, secretive love life, and impulsive behavior defy all expectations.

Read a book translated from a language you haven’t read before: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila.

Bonus Prompts!

Read a book that was translated posthumously: Half a Lifelong Romance by Eileen Chang

Shanghai, 1930s. Shen Shijun, a young engineer, has fallen in love with his colleague, the beautiful Gu Manzhen. He is determined to resist his family’s efforts to match him with his wealthy cousin so that he can marry the woman he truly loves. But dark circumstances–a lustful brother-in-law, a treacherous sister, a family secret–force the two young lovers apart. As Manzhen and Shijun go on their separate paths, they lose track of one another, and their lives become filled with feints and schemes, missed connections and tragic misunderstandings. At every turn, societal expectations seem to thwart their prospects for happiness. Still, Manzhen and Shijun dare to hold out hope–however slim–that they might one day meet again. A glamorous, wrenching tale set against the glittering backdrop of an extraordinary city, Half a Lifelong Romance is a beloved classic from one of the essential writers of twentieth-century China.

Read a text written by a Nobel Laureate: Secondhand Time by Svetlana Aleksievich

In Secondhand Time, Alexievich chronicles the demise of communism. Everyday Russian citizens recount the past thirty years, showing us what life was like during the fall of the Soviet Union and what it’s like to live in the new Russia left in its wake. Through interviews spanning 1991 to 2012, Alexievich takes us behind the propaganda and contrived media accounts, giving us a panoramic portrait of contemporary Russia and Russians who still carry memories of oppression, terror, famine, massacres—but also of pride in their country, hope for the future, and a belief that everyone was working and fighting together to bring about a utopia. Here is an account of life in the aftermath of an idea so powerful it once dominated a third of the world.

That’s all for today! Will you participate in this readathon? What books by women in translation would you recommend?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!
Posted in TBR

25inFive Readathon TBR

Hi, readers!

I thought I’d share my TBR for the next few days. I’m participating in the 25inFive Readathon! The only ‘rule’ for participation is to read for 25 hours over the course of five days. The readathon begins today and ends on August 13. You can find more information about this readathon on their Instagram page. I enjoy readathons as a way to read more than usual or to read books I normally wouldn’t choose. Will I read 25 hours in the next five days? We shall see!

And the books on my TBR are…

The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles

Skinny, nine-year-old orphaned Dores is working in the kitchen of a sugar plantation in 1930s Brazil when in walks a girl who changes everything. Graça, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy sugar baron, is clever, well fed, pretty, and thrillingly ill behaved. Born to wildly different worlds, Dores and Graça quickly bond over shared mischief, and then, on a deeper level, over music.

One has a voice like a songbird; the other feels melodies in her soul and composes lyrics to match. Music will become their shared passion, the source of their partnership and their rivalry, and for each, the only way out of the life to which each was born. But only one of the two is destined to be a star. Their intimate, volatile bond will determine each of their fortunes–and haunt their memories.

Traveling from Brazil’s inland sugar plantations to the rowdy streets of Lapa in Rio de Janeiro, from Los Angeles during the Golden Age of Hollywood back to the irresistible drumbeat of home, The Air You Breathe unfurls a moving portrait of a lifelong friendship–its unparalleled rewards and lasting losses–and considers what we owe to the relationships that shape our lives.

Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester

The first time Isabel meets her father-in-law, Omar, he’s already dead—an apparition appearing uninvited on her wedding day. Her husband, Martin, still unforgiving for having been abandoned by his father years ago, confesses that he never knew the old man had died. So Omar asks Isabel for the impossible: persuade Omar’s family—especially his wife, Elda—to let him redeem himself.

Isabel and Martin settle into married life in a Texas border town, and Omar returns each year on the celebratory Day of the Dead. Every year Isabel listens, but to the aggrieved Martin and Elda, Omar’s spirit remains invisible. Through his visits, Isabel gains insight into not just the truth about his disappearance and her husband’s childhood but also the ways grief can eat away at love. When Martin’s teenage nephew crosses the Mexican border and takes refuge in Isabel and Martin’s home, questions about past and future homes, borders, and belonging arise that may finally lead to forgiveness—and alter all their lives forever.

Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor was working on Everything That Rises Must Converge at the time of her death. This collection is an exquisite legacy from a genius of the American short story, in which she scrutinizes territory familiar to her readers: race, faith, and morality. The stories encompass the comic and the tragic, the beautiful and the grotesque; each carries her highly individual stamp and could have been written by no one else.

The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride by Victoria Alexander

The bride and groom cordially request the presence of…

The bride’s sister, Delilah, the very proper widowed Lady Hargate, and Samuel Russell, the groom’s friend, a very eligible, slightly improper bachelor, at their upcoming wedding.

Lady Hargate and Mr. Russell, previously acquainted during one unforgettable night in New York City when caution–and clothing–were thrown to the wind will choose to pretend they have never met before.

The lady plans to avoid love and its complications at all costs.The gentleman intends to change her mind.

Guests are invited to enjoy the many diversions of Millworth Manor–delightful grounds, lavish drawing rooms, secluded corners–and the chance to discover that one night may have been only the beginning. . .

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?

That’s it for today! Will you participate in the 25inFive Readathon? What are you reading this weekend?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!
Posted in TBR

Weekend Reading: 7/27/2018

Hi, readers!

Happy Friday! Anyone have fun plans this weekend? I’m thinking maybe a movie, and definitely lots of reading time! Today I thought I’d share three books I’m hoping to read this weekend. I sincerely doubt I’ll finish all three of these by Monday, but it’s always nice to have a goal!

This weekend I’m reading…

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

The Santiago family lives in a gated community in Bogotá, safe from the political upheaval terrorizing the country. Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to this protective bubble, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation.

When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. But Petrona’s unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal.

If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim

When the communist-backed army from the North invades her home, sixteen-year-old Haemi Lee, along with her widowed mother and ailing brother, is forced to flee to a refugee camp along the coast. For a few hours each night, she escapes her family’s makeshift home and tragic circumstances with her childhood friend, Kyunghwan.

Focused on finishing school, Kyunghwan doesn’t realize his older and wealthier cousin, Jisoo, has his sights set on the beautiful and spirited Haemi—and is determined to marry her before joining the fight. But as Haemi becomes a wife, then a mother, her decision to forsake the boy she always loved for the security of her family sets off a dramatic saga that will have profound effects for generations to come.

The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel

At thirty-six, Hope McKenna-Smith is no stranger to bad news. She lost her mother to cancer, her husband left her for a twenty-two year old, and her bank account is nearly depleted. Her own dreams of becoming a lawyer long gone, she’s running a failing family bakery on Cape Cod and raising a troubled preteen.

Now, Hope’s beloved French-born grandmother Mamie, who wowed the Cape with her fabulous pastries for more than fifty years, is drifting away into a haze of Alzheimer’s. But in a rare moment of clarity, Mamie realizes that unless she tells Hope about the past, the secrets she has held on to for so many years will soon be lost forever. Tantalizingly, she reveals mysterious snippets of a tragic history in Paris. And then, arming her with a scrawled list of names, she sends Hope to France to uncover a seventy-year-old mystery.

Hope’s emotional journey takes her through the bakeries of Paris and three religious traditions, all guided by Mamie’s fairy tales and the sweet tastes of home. As Hope pieces together her family’s history, she finds horrific Holocaust stories mixed with powerful testimonies of her family’s will to survive in a world gone mad. And to reunite two lovers torn apart by terror, all she’ll need is a dash of courage, and the belief that God exists everywhere, even in cake…

That’s it for today! What are you reading this weekend?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!
Posted in TBR

5 Star Review Predictions: Round Two!

Hi, readers!

I hope your week is treating you well. I just finished a fantastic work of nonfiction that I can’t wait to review here! Earlier this year I shared five books from my shelves that I thought I would award five stars. I’ve shared one round of 5 Star Predictions previously on the blog, and you can read my selected books for that in this post and then my reviews of those books in this post. I really enjoyed this project and am excited to announce another round today! I’ll be using this round to read some backlist books. Nothing too new to see here!

I’ll be reading…

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

Two years after the events of Case Histories left him a retired millionaire, Jackson Brodie has followed Julia, his occasional girlfriend and former client, to Edinburgh for its famous summer arts festival. But when he witnesses a man being brutally attacked in a traffic jam – the apparent victim of an extreme case of road rage – a chain of events is set in motion that will pull the wife of an unscrupulous real estate tycoon, a timid but successful crime novelist, and a hardheaded female police detective into Jackson’s orbit. Suddenly out of retirement, Jackson is once again in the midst of several mysteries that intersect in one giant and sinister scheme.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…

The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel

At thirty-six, Hope McKenna-Smith is no stranger to bad news. She lost her mother to cancer, her husband left her for a twenty-two year old, and her bank account is nearly depleted. Her own dreams of becoming a lawyer long gone, she’s running a failing family bakery on Cape Cod and raising a troubled preteen.

Now, Hope’s beloved French-born grandmother Mamie, who wowed the Cape with her fabulous pastries for more than fifty years, is drifting away into a haze of Alzheimer’s. But in a rare moment of clarity, Mamie realizes that unless she tells Hope about the past, the secrets she has held on to for so many years will soon be lost forever. Tantalizingly, she reveals mysterious snippets of a tragic history in Paris. And then, arming her with a scrawled list of names, she sends Hope to France to uncover a seventy-year-old mystery.

Hope’s emotional journey takes her through the bakeries of Paris and three religious traditions, all guided by Mamie’s fairy tales and the sweet tastes of home. As Hope pieces together her family’s history, she finds horrific Holocaust stories mixed with powerful testimonies of her family’s will to survive in a world gone mad. And to reunite two lovers torn apart by terror, all she’ll need is a dash of courage, and the belief that God exists everywhere, even in cake…

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?

That’s it for today! Have you read any of the books mentioned above? What books on your shelves do you think you’ll give five stars?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you hoose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!
Posted in TBR

TBR: June 2018

Hi, readers!

Happy June! Anyone else busily making summer reading lists? I’m aiming for a mix of unread classics and brand new reads. There are so many great books I want to pick up that I’m already setting aside some serious reading time in June. I’ll be sharing some great summer reading ideas in the next few weeks here on the blog. This month, I’m hoping to finish a few books I’ve been slowly reading, as well as set aside time for some quick reads.

Here are three books I’m hoping to pick up this month:

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I won’t lie. I’ve decided to read Sharp Objects now because of the impending HBO series. This story follows Camille, tasked with reporting on the murders of two girls in her hometown. It’s a murder mystery that sounds like it will be all kinds of intense and scary. I loved Gone Girl and am excited to give this a try!

Trouble the Water by Jacqueline Friedland

Abigail, a young British woman, is sent to America to work for Douglas Elling as a governess twenty years before the Civil War. But when Abigail learns Douglas is helping a slave to escape, her entire life changes. I think this story will be quite emotional but it’s well reviewed.

Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard

A plane crash in 1960s Atlanta leaves a city bereft. It is now up to the residents left behind to move Atlanta forward. I’ve heard mixed things about this book but it’s received a fair amount of hype. We’ll see if it lives up to expectations!

That’s it for today! What books are you hoping to read in June?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!
Posted in TBR

TBR: May 2018

Hi, readers!

Happy May! This month, I’m committing to reading books written only by authors of color. I’m doing this in part to boost my own reading stats, as I set a goal to read more books by authors of color this year. You can read more about my 2018 reading goals in this post and in this first quarter follow up. I’m really excited about the books I’m sharing in today’s post! Some of these have been on my shelves for some time now and I’m eager to dive in, finally.

Here are six books I’m hoping to pick up this month:

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

This YA fantasy/magical realism story is about a young girl who travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal family after her mother commits suicide. Astonishing touches on grief, culture, family history, and love. This book comes very well reviewed and I’m sure it will be quite the tearjerker!

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Here’s another YA story! Combining historical fiction and sci-fi, Ireland tells the tale of a young black woman named Jane, who was born just before zombies walked during the Civil War. Nation also comes highly rated and should be an interesting reimagining of our country’s past.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Daughter follows Julia and the impact on her family of a horrible accident that killed her older sister. This book takes place in Chicago, which is where I’m from, and tenderly looks at the cultural norms and experiences of one Mexican family, and how much courage it takes to truly be yourself.

Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts

Full disclosure: I did start this book several weeks ago, but was bogged down by other books and personal events and never made any real progress. I want to get back in my habit of reading one non-fiction book per month, and I this will be an excellent choice for May. This book takes a hard look at the reproductive rights of black women in America and I know will be both shocking and informative.

Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang

Earlier this year I was gifted a copy of Literary Witches, which profiles women writers both famous and less so. It was through this book that I discovered Eileen Chang, who was born in 1920. Love in a Fallen City is a short story collection that focuses on love, the balance of family life, and sexuality. I enjoy reading one short story collection throughout the month, as that extra time allows me to savor each story and consider the collection as a whole.

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

This well-reviewed historical fiction novel just came out yesterday! Map follows two girls living 800 years apart, each searching for home. Their journeys parallel in what I’m sure will be heart wrenching ways. This story is about family, the Syrian refugee crisis, and adventure.

That’s it for today! What books are you hoping to read in May?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!
Posted in TBR

Tome Topple Update & Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon TBR

Hi, readers!

Today I’m covering two topics: my Tome Topple project for 2018 and the upcoming Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. That’s right, I finally (finally!) finished The Odyssey! I’m also really looking forward to the readathon this weekend as a means to make some serious progress on my reading for the month. In April, as you’ll see in my forthcoming April Wrap Up post, I finished two big books this month, each of which were over 500 pages. While I’m definitely proud of this accomplishment, it has impacted the quantity of books I read this month. I’m hoping to boost that number this weekend!

But first, let me share some thoughts on The Odyssey. I am not at all ashamed to admit this book took me months to read given its impressive page count and detailed story. I especially enjoyed this translation because Emily Wilson provided fantastic notes and book summaries that really went a long way to help me understand the story and countless references. Also, Wilson’s text is very straightforward, which made the language much easier to understand. I definitely recommend Wilson’s translation for these reasons. The Odyssey is lyrical, epic, tumultuous, moving, and intense. If you’ve never read it before, you should definitely try reading it soon!

As for my next Tome Topple choice, I think I’ll read Jane Eyre. To be honest, I’m a little embarrassed to admit I’ve never read this one! I’m looking forward to reading it at last. You can also read my Tome Topple TBR post here, in which I highlight the four big books I want to read this year.

Finally, I’m sharing my TBR for the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. It starts this Saturday, April 28 at 8:00AM EST. The goal for this readathon is to read as much as possible in 24 hours! This weekend I plan to read…

American Panda by Gloria Chao

I’ve had an ARC of this for awhile now and am excited to finally read it!

Every Other Weekend by Zulema Renee Summerfield

This is a newly released library hold that I discovered courtesy of Book Riot’s Ready, Set, Hold series.

She Caused a Riot by Hannah Jewell

This is also an ARC. It’s full of short entries about famous, infamous, and not at all known women throughout history. I think this book will be a great way to break up my reading throughout the day!

That’s it for today! Are you participating in the readathon this weekend? What book(s) will you read?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

TBR: April 2018

Hi, readers!

Happy April! I always love the start of a new month because it means a new reading month has arrived. Per my reading goals update post, I’m re-committing myself to achieving my goals for the year. My big focus right now is choosing more books written by people of color. White authors have a tendency to dominate the shelves, especially in the US and I want to be better at reading diversely.

Here are three books I’m hoping to pick up this month:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time now! Americanah is a modern star-crossed lovers story. I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about this book and I’m positive it will deliver.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

I picked this up in February when it first came out and have been eager to read thus YA fantasy novel. I’ve read great reviews! This first book in what will be a series follows Camellia, as she navigates a world in which beauty is a commodity. Of course, nothing is as it seems, and Camellia will be forced to make life-altering choices to save her community.

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

This book, the first in a trilogy, follows Nahri as she discovers magic is real and learns about a new world. It’s epically long and sounds like an excellent introduction to a high fantasy series. This, too, has been extremely well reviewed and I, really looking forward to actually reading it!

That’s it for today! What books are you hoping to read in April?

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Posted in TBR

TBR: March 2018

Hi, readers!

Happy March! I’m really excited for all the great blog posts I have planned for this month. There’s so much coming over the next few weeks! But today we’ll start with this month’s TBR picks. February’s TBR picks did not go over so well. I didn’t read any of the selected books! This month I’m highlighting three library books, which will hopefully make me more inclined to pick these up this time. Also, each of these books have been on my TBR for a while now and I’m excited to actually read them! Here’s hoping these three choices fare better.

And now, on to the books!

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

I’ve yet to read any Tessa Dare books, but I’ve heard great things about her books. I love Regency era romance novels, and this one promises to have everything I love: a rogue duke, a bookish heroine, and two stubborn protagonists. I’m pretty confident this will be a fun read!

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

This is a middle grade graphic novel about two friends who always do everything together, until one one summer when they end up in different camps! This book sounds like it will be heartwarming, charming, and delightful.

Spinning by Tillie Walden

This is a YA graphic novel about a teenager’s life on the ice rink and in figure skating competitions. The illustrations in this book are beautiful and I’ve had my eye on this coming of age story for quite some time.

That’s it for today! What books are you hoping to read this month?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!
Posted in TBR