Category: Diverse Reads

Reading Around the World: Mini-Reviews of Three Apples Fell From the Sky, Burnt Sugar, Convenience Store Woman, and The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba

I don’t always read as many books from other countries as I’d like, and I often find reading translated works challenging. This summer and fall I read quite a few books set in other countries, so I wanted to share these mini-reviews. I try to read books that are by authors that are from those…

Review: O Beautiful by Jung Yun

O Beautiful is a story about America – a specific part of America, but it reflects attitudes and issues found nationwide. So it’s fitting that there’s a lot going on in this novel. Maybe a bit too much at times, but it definitely held my interest.  Elinor is a Korean-American in her early forties, previously a…

Review: Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan

This book is Pan’s memoir of a year when she decided to challenge herself to live like an extrovert.  She explains that there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, only she’s an excessively shy one (a “shintrovert” as she calls herself), which means she’s probably missing out on friendships and career opportunities by not engaging…

Review: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s books should be made into movies. I’ve read three of her books by now and thought the same thing each time. Her writing is so visual, and her stories are atmospheric and full of action. She also takes common genres and tropes but then infuses them with Mexican culture, history, and mythology. And…

Reading about Race: Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

This summer I read two powerful books about race that I’d encourage everyone to read, particularly those interested in U.S. history and racial issues. This is a discussion of the first of those two books. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson, is a book you’ve probably already heard much about. I found it…

Review: Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

I picked up this book partly because I saw Zauner interviewed on the Daily Show, and partly because it was recommended in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide. I was intrigued by the title and the subject — it’s a book about family and loss, about being biracial and the daughter of an immigrant, and…

Reading the 2021 Women’s Prize Longlist – Mini-Reviews

A few months ago I posted about the 2021 Women’s Prize longlist.  At the time I had only read two of the books, Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (both excellent). Since then I’ve read four more of the books from the longlist: Piranesi, Luster, How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps…

Review: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Angeline Boulley is a former co-worker of mine, and though I don’t know her well, I was excited for her first novel to come out, and even more excited to receive an advanced review copy.  I hoped I wouldn’t be disappointed, and I wasn’t. In fact, this book was everything I could ask for, with…

Review: Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

As I began reading Eve Brown, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like it as much as Hibbert’s previous two books, which I loved so much I read twice (rare for me).  Eve is an event planner who’s just finished a wedding where a few things went seriously wrong, so her latest career…