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Showing posts from 2020

Favourite Reads of 2020

  Here are my favourite reads of 2020! I include in this list all the books I gave 5 starts to this year. These are the books I felt in love with, that made me feel all the feels. I have list them in order of reading: The Unseen World by Liz Moore. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune. The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dar茅. Which are your favourites this year?

2020 Reads | Honourable Mentions

Since I only include in my favourites those books I give 5 stars I decided to do an honourable mentions post with a bunch of incredible reads I read this year. I highly recommend all of them. Here is the list: Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. Beloved by Toni Morrison. The Deep by Rivers Solomon. Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong. Lovely War by Julie Berry. almendra by Won-Pyung Sohn. Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud. Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola. Pandora's Jar by Natalie Haynes. Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall. Any reads that didn't make it into your favourites but deserves a mention?  Let me know!

Currently Reading #1

  It's been a while, hasn't it? I have been reading but neglecting everything related to blogging. So I wanted to do an update for my current reads. My reading pile at the moment consists of 4 books although one of them I've been reading in and out since it's a collection of the original Grimm Brothers' Fairytales  and it's not one to read in one go. The other three are The Vanishing Half , The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue  and Anna Kar茅nina . How are you all doing?

Grown & Women, Race and Class | October Reads

  Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson . This one was tough and upsetting to read. Made me extremely uncomfortable, angry and furious. Enchanted is an aspiring singer and in a singing competition she meets Korey Fields, and R&B superstar. He is immediately into her and promises her a career in the music industry. He is 28 and Chant, 17. He knows. After they meet, they start texting each other and a relationship that could be described as mentor-apprentice turns romantic. Things don't feel right though. We know he is a wolf in sheep's clothing, we know he is grooming her but Chant doesn't realise what he is doing; how could she? She believes he's her fairytale. But the fairytale soon enough becomes a nightmare. Tiffany D. Jackson doesn't shy away from showing the horror of what Chant goes through and she goes through a lot. And the worst of it all is that what she is exploring is not really fiction and it was just a difficult read overall. Trigger warnings for grooming,

September Books | 2020

  September is over and here are the 10 books I read this month (3 of them are ebooks so they aren't pictured here but I have listed them below): Summerwater by Sarah Moss ( 7/10 ). Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West ( 7.5/10 ). The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson ( 5.5/10 ). Writers & Lovers by Lily King ( 7/10 ). Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr. ( 7.5/10 ). SLAY by Brittney Morris ( 8/10 ). The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune ( 9.5/10 ) -> a new favourite. Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola ( 8/10 ). The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty ( 5.5/10 ). The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang ( 8/10 ). Hope your reading month was as good as mine :) Follow

Writers & Lovers, Letter from Birmingham Jail & SLAY | September Reads

Writers & Lovers by Lily King . I ended up enjoying this novel although at the beginning I had issues with the writing style and wasn't particularly keen on the main character. However, page by page she got under my skin and I learnt to care for her. She is not only dealing with grief but also trying to find her place in the world alongside navigating life, making mistakes and being unable to understand fully your own self. It's not a book for everybody but I am glad I read it. Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr . This is the first in the Penguin Modern boxset - I am attempting to make my way through all 50 titles - and contains as well the sermon 'The Three Dimensions of Complete Life'. I will say I enjoyed the first one more than the second one mainly because is more religious-focused which is not something I connect with. However, the issues he raised in both essays are very important and I do recommend reading this one. SLAY by Brittney Morr

Summerwater & The Year of the Witching | September Reads

Summerwater by Sarah Moss . Okay, so here is what I liked: one, the interior monologue; it was so interesting to read what each character was thinking and how we are all morally compromised one way or another. We follow quite a few characters and each and every one of them had a distinctive voice. This is probably the most impressive element of the story in my opinion as there is so much to unpack throughout and two, the dark atmosphere accomplished. Now onto my main problem: the rushed ending; what was the point of it all? Not just the rushing per se but what the actual ending was. It was such a big contrast to how the story was being built and how atmospheric everything was to then boom, done... and I don't know, it felt flat for me and not at all impactful. I am pretty sure Moss intended the ending to be as it is but whereas it might work for some readers, it didn't for me. As a whole it reads more like a connected short story collection than a novel. The Year of the Witchi

weekend reads | 04.09.20

happy weekend & happy reading!  Follow

August Books | 2020

August is over. And I read a ton of books. I am quite surprised myself... and on top of that, there was only one 'so-so' book and the rest were all amazing reads *throws confetti around* 馃拑馃拑 Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud (8.5/10). Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert (9/10). Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi (10/10). Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garc铆a (7.5/10). Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell (9.5/10). Pew by Catherine Lacey (6.5/10). Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb (7.5/10). The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter (8/10). The Deep by Rivers Solomon (9/10). I read this one twice and I highly recommend it. Once you know how everything connects you can fully focus on the themes explored. Almendra by Won-pyung Sohn (8.5/10) [translated into Spanish by Sunme Yoon]. How was your month? Follow

weekend reads | 28.08.20

  Happy weekend & happy reading! Bloglovin

My Reading Routine

  I used to be a 'one book at a time' kind of gal but since last year I have realised that I prefer to be more than one because although sometimes it feels as if you are not making progress because you may not finish a book a week, then a few days later you finish three at once. In truth, since reading more than one book at a time I am getting a lot more reading done but at the same time I truly take my time with each and every title and on the long run, I prefer it. Since going on holidays I kinda created a reading routine that works for me and I thought I could share it with you all. First, let's start talking about nighttime. I love reading at night. I normally read for 30 min to an hour and after that I close the book and go to sleep. Reading at night relaxes me but doesn't put me to sleep so it's a win-win situation because I get some reading done and then I sleep better. And for the most part I pick up shorter books or novellas; recently though I have decided

Hamnet | August Reads

"Hamnet, here, on this stage, is two people, the young man, alive, and the father, dead. He is both alive and dead. Her husband has brought him back to life, in the only way he can. As the ghost talks, she sees that her husband, in writing this, in taking the role of the ghost, has changed places with his son. He has taken his son's dead and made it his own: he has put himself in death's clutches, resurrecting the boy in his place [...] He has, Agnes sees, done what any father would wish to do, to exchange his child's suffering for his own, to take his place, to offer himself up in his child's stead so that the boy might live." You better believe I got emotional typing that quote. Maggie O'Farrell has destroyed my heart but also mended it at the same time. Her writing is gorgeous, so fluid, so lyrical. Hamnet  is divided into two parts. The first one we have alternating chapters going from the time Hamnet and Judith get sick, to when Agnes and her soon-to-

Last Now Next #4

LAST - Pew . I honestly don't know what to make of this book. I loved both the writing - I highlighted several passages - and the themes explored (identity, race and religion among others). However, despite a very strong beginning and my own drive to see where the book would take me, the ending completely underwhelmed me, to the point where I am wondering if I actually understood what the author was trying to do. NOW - Rage of Dragons . This is military fantasy and it is indeed quite heavy on the military training and the military divisions. However, I am really enjoying it. The societal class system, as well as the magic one, are extremely complex and I am fascinated by all of it. It also has a glossary at the end which is life-saving as I do tend to look at it here and there for certain words. NEXT - The Deep . I am keeping my promise and focusing on the books I received from my birthday - so far I've read Pew, Mexican Gothic (review soon) - and in truth I am 20 pages into th

Stamped from the Beginning | August Reads

  This book has been on my shelves since last year but I always felt extremely intimidated by it; not just in terms of size but also in regards to the writing. Heavy academic non-fiction is always the hardest to pick up in my case. However I decided to join the readathon going on during june and july. It took me two months to read it completely but it is one of the best books I've read this year, one that I will go back to: to my notes and the pages and pages of highlighted paragraphs. There is not a single page that remains untouched. And it was a tough reading experience for sure. I thought I knew about racism in American and turns out I knew some things but not enough, or I didn't know the whole picture. A fitting example is Lincoln and the Civil War. We studied it at school but I can tell you, not in the right way. It was all simplified. North vs South. Good vs Evil. Lincoln and the North fighting to end slavery and free the enslaved. And one can say: well, he indeed accomp

Last Now Next #3

  LAST - Stamped from the Beginning . I still have a chapter + the epilogue left to read but it's safe to say this is a 5 star read. It is more on the academic side of non-fiction and it deals with a lot of information about racial prejudice spanning through centuries. Kendi's work is outstanding and opened my eyes to a loads of issues I had no idea about - especially about assimilationists and how their way of thinking has done more damage than good. This should be mandatory reading for everybody. It took me 2 months to get through it because I wanted to soak everything in. Most pages are highlighted and annotated. This is a must read. NOW - Hamnet & Mexican Gothic . I am halfway through both of them and enjoyed both. I'm typing this as I read another chapter of Hamnet that brought me to tears. O'Farrell's writing is a dream. And with regards with Mexican Gothic , I can say I am intrigued and disgusted at some scenes at the same time. Really atmospheric novel

Away for the holidays!

And I'm off! I arrived yesterday at my grandparents' place in the northwest of Spain and I plan to do absolutely nothing for the next two weeks. I tell a lie though, I should study a bit - but only a bit 馃檴. And I probably brought way to more books that I will probably finish but I like having options so... here is the list: Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi . I have 130 pages left of this one. I started it in June but I am not rushing it. It takes me 30 minutes to read 10 pages because I spend most of that time highlighting and annotating. It's an incredible read. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell . Another one I have started. Only 70 pages in. The writing is stunning! Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garc铆a . Started it last night and so far, so good. It's giving me Rebecca  vibes. The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter.  The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown. Pew by Catherine Lacey. The Deep by Solomon

Love After Love & Take a Hint, Dani Brown | August Reads

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud [tw: homophobia, domestic violence & self-harm]. This novel is beautifully written and devastatingly, yet hopeful. We follow three main characters and all of them got under my skin. They go through so much and it's nearly impossible not to care for them, even when their actions and decisions frustrated me due to lack of communication. If only they had sat down to talk things through... but alas, that is also life. Love and its multiple representations are done so well. I was an emotional mess by the end and it's gonna take awhile before I can say goodbye to Betty, Chetan and Solo. Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. I adored this. It had me rolling from page 1 and it's such an addictive story - it plays with the fake relationship trope which I love - that it was almost impossible to put down. Dani and Zafir were absolutely adorable and their banter was *chef's kiss*. Despite its light tone, Hibbert deals once again with ser

Birthday Book Haul

These are all the books my family (first picture) and friends (second picture) got me. I am so excited for all of them and I hope to read them all before the year ends - if I actually do so, might be the first time in years. So this post is the proof to hold myself accountable. Will it happen? We'll see in 2021! Follow

July Books | 2020

July has come and gone before I had time to blink. I read quite a few books, and I enjoyed all of them - which is always great.  La acusaci贸n by Bandi (translated into Spanish by H猫ctor Bofill & Hye Young Yu). As a whole, this collection paints the very bleak reality for millions of people in North Korea and it's worth your time ( 7.5/10 ). My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh . This was a ride. Dark, vulgar and compelling. The ending threw me off though ( 7/10 ). Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston . Cheesy and fluffy but fun. It has its problems but I wasn't expecting a masterpiece to be honest ( 7/10 ). Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi . A very complex novel and though not easy, it was really good. Not "westernised" which was extremely refreshing to see ( 8/10 ). Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert . Super fun. Although those steamy scenes were definitely not YA - which for some reason I though it was ( 7/10 ). Beach Read b

Last Now Next #2

LAST - You Should See Me in a Crown . This is a feel good type of book; it is cheesy and over the top but that's the point. It's a book that despite having characters dealing with difficult issues, gives you joy, steals a smile from you and makes you believe in good things happening to good people. I wish though Liz's and Robbie's relationship have been explored more because it was one of the elements I liked the most at the beginning of the book and thought the sibling's dynamic was going to be pivotal point but despite the reader knowing how much they love and care about each other, I wanted more scenes of them together, as well as with their grandparents. NOW - Stamped From the Beginning . I am going to focus on this book until I finish it. I went on a mini-holiday and didn't take it with me and so fell behind on my reading. It's a book you need to read slowly to be able to process everything but this one should be mandatory for everybody. .

Beach Read & Akelarre en Nueva York | July Reads

Akelarre en Nueva York by M. H. Gorostiza follows Lilith, an immortal witch who wakes up in present day New York to help British spy Benjamin Solomon to bring down a criminal organisation. I had a lot of fun with this one. It is true that it's a debut and as such it has some faults - for me, the most noteworthy is the excessive repetition of the same details throughout the novel - but the plot is intriguing from the get go and the author's writing style reminded me of Victoria 脕lvarez's. As a whole, the mix of fantasy (Basque mythology) and history is probably the element I loved the most; in fact, I wish there were more chapters focused on 1610's Navarre, the witches and Lilith's past - which it's something I hope is explored in the next installments as well as the rest of the character's backstories. Akelarre was sent to me by the author but all opinions are my own. Beach Read by Emily Henry . I really enjoyed this novel. It wasn't cheesy

Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi | July Reads

A multi-generational family saga which begins in 1750 when Kintu Kidda, a clan elder and leader of the Kintu clan in the Buganda kingdom, unleashes upon himself and his descendants a terrible curse. I would describe Kintu as a compelling yet extremely complex novel. My only criticism is that I found the ending too abrupt. Throughout the novel we follow some of his descendants and how "the curse" has affected them. I found the way she uses said curse to explore different issues - from mental health problems to the HIV outbreak, but also parental abandonment and religion among others - and how it is the perfect excuse to justify certain problems the characters are facing absolutely fascinating. Most of the descendants are aware of the curse as well so it is interesting to read about how each of them deals with the different problems in their lives. I didn't find all storylines equally engaging and I wish some character's stories were longer than others but all

Get a Life, Chloe Brown & Red, White and Royal Blue | July Reads

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert . I really enjoyed this. For some weird reason I thought this was YA but no, definitely not YA considering all the steamy, graphic scenes. I will say I wish the story was longer so certain issues would have been explored a lot more since the problems both main characters were facing were incredibly important (Chloe has fibromyalgia and Red is dealing with the emotional/psychological consequences of a previous abusive relationship) but I also understand that despite all that, this book is meant to be about two people realising they are perfect for each other. It's supposed to be light-hearted, about the joys of finding the one, without forgetting that Chloe is dealing with a chronic illness and Red with psychological trauma. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston . I enjoyed it despite being cheesy and fluffy because all characters were adorable and I had a nice time reading it. It has its problems but as romance is not rea

Last Now Next #1

LAST - Red, White & Royal Blue . Finished it last week and it was cheesy and fluffy and sometimes over the top but I enjoyed it overall. NOW - I am almost done with Kintu (the plan is to finish it today) and I am also halfway through Get a Life, Chloe Brown. It is a light-hearted romance (so far) but at the same time it deals with difficutl topics such as abusive relationships, ableism and we have a disabled main character. NEXT - Look at me reading all the romance! (honestly, who am I?) I picked up Beach Read due to the great reviews and since I am going away for a few days with my best friends to just relax, I thought this one could be great to read while on the swimming pool. Follow

weekend reads | 10.07.20

Happy weekend & happy reading! Follow

My Year of Rest and Relaxation & La acusaci贸n | July Reads

La acusaci贸n by Banti (translated by H茅ctor Bofill & Hye Young Yu). I normally don't read short story collections because they tend to be a hit or miss for me but I was intrigued by this one. As always, I enjoyed some stories more than others but, as a whole, the collection is a worthy read and it paints the very bleak reality for millions of people in North Korea. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh . This novel was a ride for sure! Very dark, somewhat vulgar and extremely compelling for sure; however, the ending threw me off completely and although it might have worked for some readers, it didn't for me. What I "liked" (for lack of a better word) the most was the depiction of depression through both the main character and her friend Reva - two different people dealing with the same malady in such different ways. Follow

weekend reads | 3.07.20

Happy weekend & Happy reading! Follow

June Books | 2020

June was a very weird month for me, reading wise. For the majority of it I was pretty slumpy (the first book I finished was on the 13th); luckily, I got out of it during the second half of the month. The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta . A wonderful coming of age story (8.5/10). White Rage by Carol Anderson . A tough read, not only on the subject matter but also in how academic it is (9/10). Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender . Adorable read. It has its cheesy moments but I loved this book due to Felix's journey towards self-love and self-acceptance; it was beautiful to read. (8.5/10). The Complete Chi's Sweet Home, Part 2 by Kanata Konami . I needed something that would make me smile and this graphic novel did the trick. Read it in one sitting and it was as adorable as part 1 (8/10). Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron . A bit disappointing. The elements I enjoyed the most were the world-building and the magic system alongside the mythology. My main problems were th

May Books | 2020

Here are all the books I read in May. The majority of my reads were written by Asian authors due to the Asian readathon. I have post mini-reviews here for some of them and also on my instagram if you fancy having a look. Some of the books I read were ebooks and since my e-reader died on me and I'm too lazy to charge it, they are not pictured. The Complete Chi's Sweet Home, Part 1 by Konami Kanata (8/10). All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison (8/10). The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi (6.5/10) The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar (DNF). The Magical Language of Others by E.J. Koh (8.5/10). Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (7/10). Emma by Jane Austen (a reread - 8/10). Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong (9/10). On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (5.5/10). A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (9.5/10). How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C.Pam Zhang (7/10). Of the ebooks I have purchased a physical copy

Asian Readathon Reads #2

The Magical Language of Others by E.J. Koh . Koh's parents left for South Korea to work when she was 15. She and her brother stayed in the United States. Using her mother's letters as an unifying thread, Koh explores how abandoned she felt and the difficulties she faced all alone and the consequences the move had on her and her family. Dealing with mental health issues, racism and identity, The Magical Language of Others is written in a beautiful, lyrical manner. I highly recommend it. Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong . An essay collection blending many genres all at once. Every single essay was brutal and I love how they felt like a memoir since she links the issues she explores (mental health issues, racism, East-West history, colonialism and art/literature among others) to her own experiences. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong . Unfortunately I have mixed feelings about this one. The writing I found beautiful alt

Asian Readathon Reads #1

The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi . My feelings towards this book are mixed. Whereas I thought it was worth my time, and I enjoyed it as a whole and will probably read the sequel containing the last two books, I also had some issues. First of all, this is translated from the Japanese and I have to say it's a good one; it never felt out of place and the language was fluid and felt natural to me. In terms of the story, I enjoyed the first half way more than the second half - where I found the main character became very passive towards what was happening around her and consequently, behaved in circles. And for a character that appeared to be very smart, her lack of action got to my nerves. Most of the time she remained silent when it was necessary for her to speak up and she endangered herself when it wasn't necessary. The highlight of the story for me was how much she cared for animals and how well she treated them. It's a great message the author conveyed.  The Co

Asian Readathon TBR

I have decided to take part in the asian readathon. I am aware there are some prompts to follow but I pretty much believe the books in my list fill them perfectly. The only prompt I will not be doing is reading Little Fires Everywhere mainly because I have already read it and it's not a book I'm interested in rereading. Here is the physical list: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi The God of Small Things  by Arundhati Roy On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Voung The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan However, there are some other titles I own as ebooks that will work as back up in case I finish my physical TBR: The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob Anna K by Jenny Lee Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha The Immortals of Tehran by Ali Araghi The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai The Beauty of Your Face by Saha

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

It's that time of the year again! The clock struck 2pm and the Dewey's 24 hour readathon has oficially began! I will be posting my progress here, on Twitter and on Instagram stories. Here we go! 3pm  - I haven't done much reading actually... but i'm finally sitting down to make so progress on Beloved by Toni Morrison. It's a slow read but one I'm enjoying. 4: 49pm  - read 53 pages of Beloved and reached part II of the book. I'm taking a break and then I'm gonna start 84 Charing Cross Road. 6: 04pm  - decided to do a 40 min sprint and ended up reading 51 pages of 84, Charing Cross Road. It's such a lovely episotolary book. 8: 49pm  - took a break to have some dinner and paint my toenails and watch some booktube. Then, will got back to my books. I have 70 pages left of Beloved and haven't read anymore of 84, Charing Cross Road but I'm planning on reading that one during the night. 10: 40pm  - I finished 84, Charing Cro