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December Recap: My Blog Levels Up and… I Level Up(?)

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Hi friends! How are we all?

You may have noticed – or I hope you’ve noticed! – that my blog looks a little different… hopefully a little better! I’ll discuss the changes in my recap for December! This recap will be a little shorter today because we’re in the heart of the festive season, so I’ll keep it short-ish for everyone!

However, I want to highlight that I am inviting book bloggers to recommend four books to commemorate a cultural festival that is important to them! It’ll be a¬†Festive Book Recs¬†guest post, so if you are interested, see the details below!

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21

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

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I had the privilege of winning this book through the author’s giveaway! Many thanks to the publisher for providing an advanced readers copy.¬†

Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking‚ÄĒall while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn‚Äôt want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman‚Äôs son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn‚Äôt always a choice you can make.

Have you ever felt that pure sense of contentment after finishing a book? That’s how I felt after reading¬†The Secret of a Heart Note¬†by Stacey Lee. What a lovely, lovely book.

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17

Merry Christmas!

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I hope you all had/have a lovely and relaxing Merry Christmas or a very happy holiday!

Today, I spent quality time with my family and partner and because it is summer in New Zealand, we celebrated by having a BBQ with extended family.

Whatever you do today, spend it with the people you love and care about most.¬†‚̧¬†Have a splendid day, friends!

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Book Recs: Dongzhi Festival & The Importance of Family

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Something I’d like to do is to make¬†Read Think Ponder¬†more personal. Sharing details about my life (aside from my Monthly Recaps!)¬†isn’t really my style, so I thought: why not incorporate cultural festivals or holidays that are meaningful to me into my blog and do something bookish¬†to celebrate?

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Book Recs: #OwnVoices of 2016!

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My book recs posts, to me, are more than recommending books that I adore and hope to share with you. Recommending books is also a way for me to highlight truly great books that have meaningful stories to tell, an opportunity for me to help diversify your reading, and to celebrate books by authors of marginalized identities.

One of my regrets is that I didn’t commit myself to reading diversely earlier. Thinking about it now, I only started consciously choosing diverse¬†books after I wrote my discussion post,¬†My Problem With The World ‘Diverse’. From that discussion post alone, I found and met so many people who had an amazing passion and commitment to diversity. The rest is history!

Something I discovered along the way was this thing called #OwnVoices. In a nutshell, from Corinne Duyvis’s tweet: ‘, to recommend kidlit about diverse characters written by authors from that same diverse group.‘ Reading OwnVoices has opened up an entirely new world of reading – the world is brighter, more beautiful,¬†and more profound.

For my last book recommendation of 2016, I want to highlight four fantastic #ownvoices books I read this year and were published in 2016.

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #4

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Welcome to my fourth¬†Diversity Spotlight Thursday! ūüíô¬†This wonderful weekly blog meme was created and is hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks! For more information about the meme, please read the announcement post here.

My participation in this meme is to help me with one of my reading goals: to read books with a variety of perspectives, especially ones different from my own. Every two weeks I will share with you:

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

This week’s theme for Diversity Spotlight Thursday is:¬†the immigrant narrative/experience.

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20

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang

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Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer–a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.

Video gaming and MMORPGs (massive multiplayer online role-playing games) have a special place in my heart. I was the kid who stayed at home playing video games with my friends in the summer instead of being outside — and I don’t regret those days at all; in fact, I would say they were integral to my growth as a person. In a way,¬†In Real Life¬†touched on themes and ideas that you¬†knew¬†about when you played MMORPGs, but you didn’t give its real life social and economic implications any thought.

So, here is why you should read In Real Life.

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