18 January 2018

Non-Fiction Review: This Land is Our Land by Linda Barrett Osborne

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 128
Publication: April 12, 2016
Source: Library E-Book
Genre: Non-Fiction
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

American attitudes toward immigrants are paradoxical. On the one hand, we see our country as a haven for the poor and oppressed; anyone, no matter his or her background, can find freedom here and achieve the “American Dream.” On the other hand, depending on prevailing economic conditions, fluctuating feelings about race and ethnicity, and fear of foreign political and labor agitation, we set boundaries and restrictions on who may come to this country and whether they may stay as citizens. This book explores the way government policy and popular responses to immigrant groups evolved throughout U.S. history, particularly between 1800 and 1965. The book concludes with a summary of events up to contemporary times, as immigration again becomes a hot-button issue. Includes an author’s note, bibliography, and index.

I don't know how to really feel about this book. It's important because it addresses immigration which is such an important aspect of our history especially now. I think the information was thought provoking and it enlightened me on various aspects of immigration that I wasn't familiar with. For example I knew that there were exclusions to certain groups in terms of immigration but I had no knowledge of the quotas that were set that kept out immigrants of certain ethnicities and socioeconomic status' out. It never fails to amaze me that a place that is supposed to be the melting pot of the world could be so dark and grim towards people that are different. It's so sad to read about the millions of people who are just trying to make a better life for themselves but are faced with discrimination because they are different or have different cultural practices. It's the same type of gross feeling I get when people say that Latino/Hispanic immigrants need to learn English because they're now in America. It's a disgusting fear based on the idea that people won't or can't assimilate because they still want to hold on to certain traditions from their native country. At the end of the day we all have immigrant origins.

Okay so enough of me and my soapbox, like I stated before the book contained so many interesting bits of information and history; however, the writing was disjointed and parts of chapters didn't really seem to connect with each other. What I did like is the fact that a lot of topics discussed in the chapters were told with examples of actual immigrants and how the US's immigration laws or lack thereof impacted them and their families. I wouldn't say that this book is the ultimate answer to all things related to immigration; however, it is a good place to start. It is written for a middle grade to teen audience so I don't know if adults would ultimately find it appealing.

Overall, I did enjoy the information and it really pushed me to think about some things especially how immigration is currently handled and discussed. I didn't enjoy the authors writing style and felt as though the story could have been laid out in a more attractive and interesting manner.

Side note: the photographs in the book were AMAZING

17 January 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday #25, Hotel Silence by Adur Ava Olafsdottir

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa over at Wishful Endings She has taken on a similar meme to Jills Waiting on Wednesday over at Breaking the Spine. Since Jill hasn't posted in a while I'm going to join in on this meme. To participate all you have to do is spotlight upcoming publications you're eagerly anticipating. Keep reading to see what I have chosen for this week.

Series: N/A
# of Pages: N/A
Publication: January 9th, 2018 
Goodreads | Amazon
Winner of the Icelandic Literary Prize, Hotel Silence is a delightful and heartwarming new novel from Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, a writer who “upends expectations” (New York Times). Told with grace, insight, and humor, this is the story of one man’s surprising mid-life adventure of self-discovery that leads him to find a new reason for being. Jónas Ebeneser is a handy DIY kind of man with a compulsion to fix things, but he can’t seem to fix his own life. On the cusp of turning fifty, divorced, adrift, he’s recently discovered he is not the biological father of his daughter, Gudrun Waterlily, and he has sunk into an existential crisis, losing all will to live. As he visits his senile mother in a nursing home, he secretly muses on how, when, and where to put himself out of his misery. To prevent his only daughter from discovering his body, Jónas decides it’s best to die abroad. Armed with little more than his toolbox and a change of clothes, he flies to an unnamed country where the fumes of war still hover in the air. He books a room at the sparsely occupied Hotel Silence, and there he comes to understands the depths of other people’s scars while beginning to see his wounds in a new light. A celebration of life’s infinite possibilities, of transformations and second chances, Hotel Silence is a rousing story of a man, a community, and a path toward regeneration from the depths of despair.

Okay so this book is technically already released; however, my library does not have a copy of it yet so I'm really looking forward to picking it up as soon as they purchase a copy. I'm really trying hard to read more translated works this year and I think that this one sounds amazing!

What are looking forward to this Wednesday?

16 January 2018

Top 10 Tuesday: Bookish Resolutions/Goals

Happy Tuesday everyone! That means it is time for another Top 10 Tuesday! Top 10 Tuesday has now been passed from The Broke and the Bookish to The Artsy Reader Girl . This week we're discussing our bookish resolutions and goals; however, since I'm not pressuring myself to complete a certain amount of goals this year I'll be able to relax. As a result my Top 10 Tuesday is actually going to be a Top 5 Tuesday haha. Here are my few and very relaxed goals for 2018.

  • Usually I set my Goodreads goal to be rather high; however, towards the end of last year I realized how stressed I was as a result of setting my goal so high (it was 200 books and yes I did reach it). This year I decided to play a little psychological game with myself and only set it to 25 books. This means that I know that I will definitely reach my goal and I can relax a little instead of stressing about numbers. 

  • This is a challenge/goal that I'm so excited for. I realized how much I loved audiobooks in the past year and it definitely has kept me motivated during some slow days at work. I'm a huge advocate for audiobooks and I plan on listening to at least 10-15 this year although I'm sure it will be more than that. 

  • This is the challenge that I'm probably most excited for. I failed last year, but if you didn't know I've been attempting to read a book from authors from every country in world. The process is slow and I don't expect to accomplish this goal anytime soon; however, it is one that I think is beneficial to myself and to the individuals that follow this blog. 

  • Yes I know this image is from 2017 haha but I couldn't find a more recent picture. I'm participating in the 11th annual graphic novel/manga challenge which is always a great thing fro me since I read so many comics, graphic novels, and manga. I set my goal for 52 again this year, but knowing me that will change rather quickly by the middle of the year. 

  • My last bookish goal/resolution is to keep up with some sort of consistency on this blog. It's hard and life gets in the way, but as I go into my third year of blogging I want to focus on really building my readership and releasing quality information. 
What are your bookish goals/resolutions for 2018? 

14 January 2018

Sunday Post #14

Happy Sunday fellow bloggers and readers. I am back with another Sunday post hosted by the lovely caffeinated book reviewer

Okay let's start with my week in a complete recap. This felt like the longest week known to mankind. I don't know if it was the fact that is was my first full week back at work or if it was because I had so many crazy things going on at work from planning programs to meetings. Anyway with that being said, I am happy that tomorrow is my day off and I can relax and prepare for the school semester to start on Tuesday. Gahhh I can't believe school is already back in full swing. I think that this semester will be better because now I know what to expect. Other than that, I'm hoping that this week doesn't feel as intense as last week. 

Dear Martin (5 Stars): This was such an amazing book although I will admit it was hard not to compare certain aspects of it to THUG. What I will say is that it offers such a new and important perspective to YA literature. If you haven't read this but you've read THUG definitely check it out. Can I Touch Your Hair? (4 Stars): This was such a great picture book. I didn't know anything about it until one of co-workers told me to read it. It's filled with amazing poetry and a diverse look at two different racial groups. Under the Udala Trees (4 Stars): Such a beautiful book about the LGBT community in Nigeria. It's such an important book and it definitely made me look at issues faced by this community on a global scale. Food Wars Vol. 20 (4 Stars): Another great installment to this amazing series. I can't say much about it because it's the 20th volume, but you definitely need to pick it up. 

  • Mini Comic Book Review (1st Volumes)
  • Top 10 Tuesday: Bookish Resolutions & Goals 
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review: This Land is Your Land 
  • Friday #56
  • BookRealmReviews & Film 

How was your week? 

12 January 2018

Friday #56, #45 Dear Martin by Nic Stone

The Friday #56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's VoiceJoin in every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you've been reading. Here are the rules:

  • Grab a book 
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader
  • Find any sentence (or a few, don't spoil it) 

**Be sure to post the links to your Friday #56 below!

Happy Reading!!

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 210
Publication: October 17, 2017
Source: Library Book
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Goodreads | Amazon 
Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut. Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out. Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack.

So this week I'm finally getting the opportunity to read and finish Nic Stone's Dear Martin. I've heard nothing but good things and I'm going to attempt to read it without comparing it to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. If you've read it let me know in the comments below.

"She takes a step closer. He can tell she's not convinced, but that's the thing about Melo: if she wants something, she'll do whatever it takes to get it." 
What are you reading this weekend? 

11 January 2018

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 230
Publication: September 12, 2007
Source: Audiobook/Library Copy
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

Once again this is another book that I’ve had to read for my Young Adult Materials class. I was looking forward to this book because I heard that it was both hilarious and heart-wrenching. And surprisingly it was just that. I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I thought I would, but it definitely gives insight to the experiences of Native Americans in the United States. While I am a person of color, I was not aware of the experiences of those that identify as Native American. Although I won’t go into my personal feelings about the way that Native Americans have been treated in this country, I will say that Sherman Alexie gives you a pretty damn good idea. And as much as people may want to avoid the truth behind those experiences, it is a reality that everyone should face. Alexie delves into racial, intellectual, and economic experiences faced by Native Americans. Most I expected; however, there are others that I didn’t. I definitely related to his difficulty in leaving the reservation and attending a predominantly white school. He had these feelings of not fitting in with either group simply because he was attempting to make something of himself. I’ve had that same experience when I decided to take honors and AP classes at my high school. Although the school itself was split down the middle between whites and blacks, I found that most of the honors and AP classes were predominately white. I didn’t fit in with the kids in those classes and then I didn’t fit in with the rest of the black community simply because they thought I believed I was better than them. There is nothing worse than attempting to make a change in your life and then facing ridicule no matter what decision you make. Alexie really illustrates the issues that Junior had to face based on the decisions he wanted to make.

One of the most heart-wrenching aspects of the book is found in Alexie’s discussion of alcoholism amongst residents of the reservation. Before reading this book I thought that the high rates of alcoholism amongst Native Americans were simply stereotypes; however, after doing further research I found that Native Americans are more likely to experience high rates of alcoholism due to economic disadvantages and culture loss/trauma. It is devastating to know that a group is experiencing such a rampant disease simply because of the effects of colonization.

Outside of those difficult parts of the book, I thought that the writing was excellent. Junior is an interesting character with a numerous amount of difficulties, but one thing he isn’t short of is faith. I love that no matter what happens, Junior always has this sense of courage and faith that things will get better. If you’re looking for an intriguing and interesting #ownvoices book, I would definitely recommend checking this one out.


10 January 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday, #24 All Out: The No Longer Secret Stories of Queer Teens Through the Ages

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa over at Wishful Endings She has taken on a similar meme to Jills Waiting on Wednesday over at Breaking the Spine. Since Jill hasn't posted in a while I'm going to join in on this meme. To participate all you have to do is spotlight upcoming publications you're eagerly anticipating. Keep reading to see what I have chosen for this week.

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 384
Publication: February 18, 2018 
Goodreads | Amazon

Take a journey through time and genres and discover a past where queer figures live, love and shape the world around them. Seventeen of the best young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens. From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene, All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored or forgotten.

I can't remember exactly how I found this book, but when I read the description I completely and totally fell in love. I'm super excited to see what is in store within the pages of the novel. There are short stories written by authors like Kody Keplinger, Robin Talley, and Shaun David Hutchinson. If you're looking for a new LGBT anthology to pick up like I am I would definitely recommend looking at this one.

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

09 January 2018

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Meant To Read in 2017

Happy Tuesday everyone! Welcome to another Top 10 Tuesday hosted by the ladies of The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks topic was made for us to focus on 10 books that we didn't get to in 2017. Thank goodness for me there are tons of books I didn't get to in 2017 that I'm eager to get to this year! It was difficult narrowing it down to just 10 but someway somehow I figured out a way to do it. 

The War I Finally Won. 2016 brought me The War That Saved My Life and I was so surprised when I learned that a sequel was coming out. I definitely meant to read this at the end of the year; however, I didn't get the opportunity to read it so it will be read this year.  The Seafarer's Kiss. I still have this checked out from the library. I don't know why I haven't read it. Beasts Made of Night. This book sounded so appealing and it is currently sitting in my locker at work. I need to do better. haha

The Bear and the Nightingale. I heard this book was AMAZING full of great folklore. I have no idea why I haven't read it yet, but I need to get on it because the second book has already been released. The Last of August. I really enjoy Sherlock Holmes and the first book in this YA adaptation was enjoyable. The Ship Beyond Time. I wasn't a huge fan of the first book; however, I'm interested and curious in figuring out where this story is going to go.

Trump Is F*cking Crazy. Okay I already started this one, but I haven't gotten the chance to actually finish it. Queens of Geek. This book has some of my favorite elements. I have no idea why I didn't read it last year. The Alchemists of Loom. There is no excuse for me not having read this book. The author released them so quickly that as of today I believe there are three books out.

Dear Martin. This one is sitting in the back seat of my car. It will be read within the next week or so. That's a commitment I'm making to myself. 

What books didn't you get to last year? 

07 January 2018

Sunday Post #13

Happy Sunday fellow bloggers and readers. I am back with another Sunday post hosted by the lovely caffeinated book reviewer

Okay let's start with my week in a complete recap. Things have been going smooth at work. It feels okay being back after the holidays, but I'm still attempting to get a little adjusted haha. School hasn't started yet, so I still have a little flexibility in my schedule. I plan on taking one short vacation before classes start and then I'll be head first back into school and work. I'm really excited considering I'll be taking a children's literature class which means that I'll get the opportunity to read a whole bunch of kids books. How has your week gone? 

Fables Deluxe Edition #5 (5 Stars): I'm continuing my re-read of the series throughout this year. I'm really excited to be able to get through the series and really enjoy it the same way I did when I read it a couple of years ago. Binti (4.5 Stars): This was such an amazing book. Keep in mind that I'm not a hug science-fiction reader; however, this book!! If you haven't read it please please please pick it up as soon as you get the opportunity. Food Wars Vol. 19 (5 Stars): You guys should know by now that I'm Food Wars junkie and I absolutely love the series. I'm finally getting the chance to catch up on all the latest volumes! This volume was just as amazing as the previous volumes and I can't wait to see where the series is going to go. 

  • Monday: 2018 Diverse Reads - 1st Quarter (Jan-Mar)
  • Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday - Books I Didn't Get To in 2017 
  • Wednesday: WWW
  • Thursday: Review - French Language Learning Book 
  • Friday: Friday #56 
  • Saturday: Currently Checked Out 
  • Sunday: Sunday Post 

How was your week in reading and blogging?