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Book Recs: Feminist Reads for Women’s History Month

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Every March is Women’s History Month; a time for us to remember, celebrate, and commemorate the contributions and achievements women have made¬†in history and in modern society.

I chose this month’s¬†Book Recs¬†theme to center around feminist reads not only because it’s Women’s History Month, but also because I understand that, for those who want to learn about feminism, it can feel like a daunting and overwhelming task. Where do I start? What’s a good start for an individual interested in feminism? Who do I listen to? Though I cannot answer those questions – as feminism can look different to different groups of people and cultures – my advice is to, a) begin with history, b) read widely, c) listen to a diversity of authors/activists/academics, and d) ensure your feminism is intersectional.

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Let’s Talk About: Characters With ‘Difficult’ Names

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Full title: Give me characters with ‘difficult’ names – I’ll give them the love they need

I want to talk about names today.

Names, or specifically my name, was something I struggled with during my childhood and well into my teen years. Today, I want to talk about this struggle, but more importantly, how my name was Рand is Рso important to my identity. And then, I want to talk about names in fiction, particularly non-English names for characters of colour.

As a disclaimer, my discussion post today will address how names are construed and perceived in Western societies, as that is specific to my experience.

(Note:¬†I do not condone names that are offensive or overly bizarre, e.g. ‘Lord’ or ‘V8’ – I wish I was kidding.)

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Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson – Mesmerizing poetry and beautifully told

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Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

I picked up this book because I¬†fell in love with Woodson’s story in¬†Flying Lessons and Other Stories called¬†Main Street.¬†The narrative¬†in¬†Main Street¬†was achingly beautiful, nostalgic, and poignant, and so on a whim, I picked up¬†Brown Girl Dreaming¬†at my library without so much as a glance at what it was about – just in time for Black History Month too.

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #7

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Welcome to my seventh¬†Diversity Spotlight Thursday! ‚̧¬†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:¬†books by Asian authors!

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Flying Lessons and Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh – A treasure for the youth of now and for generations to come

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Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold anthology‚ÄĒwritten by the best children‚Äôs authors‚ÄĒcelebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.

In a partnership with We Need Diverse Books, industry giants Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Pe√Īa, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, and Jacqueline Woodson join newcomer Kelly J. Baptist in a story collection that is as humorous as it is heartfelt. This impressive group of authors has earned among them every major award in children‚Äôs publishing and popularity as New York Times bestsellers.

From these distinguished authors come ten distinct and vibrant stories.

I loved¬†Flying Lessons and Other Stories.¬†This book was the perfect book to start off 2017 – it filled me with so much joy, reminded me of the ups and downs of youth, and filled me with so much¬†hope — hope, because kids¬†with marginalized identities may read this book and find themselves in the stories’ characters. And I cannot emphasize how important this is – and consequently how this makes¬†Flying Lessons and Other Stories¬†so important and successful.

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Festive Book Recs: Happy Lunar New Year!

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Happy Lunar New Year, friends!

Today, on the 28th of January, is the first day of the lunar calendar, else known as the Lunar New Year. For a lot of us, Lunar New Year is a very important day – one that is filled with celebration, spending time with family and the ones we love, and eating a lot of delicious food. For those of us with Chinese heritage, we call Lunar New Year¬†Chinese New Year —¬†and it’s the Year of the Rooster too!¬†However, today is also Korean New Year, Mongolian New Year, Tibetan New Year, and Vietnamese New Year. (And a happy new year to you too, my friends!)

I am super honoured and delighted to have¬†three book bloggers contribute to today’s¬†Festive Book Recs¬†– Lili, Jeann, and Alex – and share with you what Chinese New Year means to them and what they do to celebrate! In the end, Lili, Jeann, Alex¬†will also be recommending two books each that relate to Chinese New Year.

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Book Recs: Fantasies by Asian Authors

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One of my goals for this blog is to make some truly fantastic book recommendations. To work in line with this goal, I want to start recommending more diverse books.¬†Something I have noticed as of late is that the same books are recommended over and over again. And whilst that’s¬†not necessarily a bad thing because it is probably a fantastic book, I feel like I can do my part and shine a light on diverse books that are just as brilliant, if not better.

Fantasy is one of my favourite genres;¬†I love the feeling of transcending reality and being teleported to an author’s imagination-scape. Give me magical worlds, awesome powers and magic systems, and inspiring adventure narratives.

For this month’s book recommendation post, I am going to share with you four wonderful fantasies written by Asian authors.

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