Category: Diverse Reads

Stay With Me by Ayòbámi Adébáyò

I found this book about a marriage in Nigeria fascinating and meaningful, although it wasn’t quite what I expected. The story begins with a married couple who now live apart.  Yejide is going to see her husband after many years for his father’s funeral. Then the story takes us back to the early years of…

Science Fiction and Fantasy Mini-Reviews

This summer I’ve been reading a lot of great science fiction and fantasy.  This batch is all science fiction, although I’m finding the distinction is somewhat blurred in a lot of what I read.  I suppose that’s because I don’t read too much traditional science fiction (which I think of as relying on technological and…

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

I recommend this short but moving first novel by Rachel Khong about a woman caring for her father with Alzheimer’s.  This is a prospect I find absolutely terrifying, whether for my parents and for myself.  It seems to me that almost any physical ailment would be less scary than gradually losing one’s mind, knowing that…

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Sympathizer is a first novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which won last year’s Pulitzer Prize for literature.  It’s a fascinating look at the Vietnam War and its aftermath from the perspective of the Vietnamese.  Right away it makes you realize how much Americans only see the Vietnam War from our own perspective, not those…

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The world feels very wrong right now. Between shootings, terrorism, and the horrible people that are governing our country with seemingly no ethics or empathy whatsoever. I’ve been trying to write a review of this book for a while, and it’s especially relevant right now with this week’s acquittal of Philando Castile. On top of…

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

A Raisin in the Sun is a play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959. The New York Drama Critics’ Circle named it the best play of 1959. I read this powerful work for the Classics Book a Month challenge.   It’s the story of the Younger family, an African-American family living in…

The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

I read this book for the Read Around the World challenge, where a specific country is selected for each month.  May’s selection was Colombia.  Vasquez is a noted author in Colombia, having won numerous awards, primarily for this novel and for The Informants.  He studied law in Bogotá, Colombia and studied literature in Paris at…

Literary Links: looking for some good science fiction and fantasy?

Warm weather means outdoor reading, and if you’re looking to pick up some new science fiction or fantasy, these links will help. If you’re looking to diversify or change up your science fiction and fantasy reading, here are two links with recommendations.  SFF Book Reviews has a two-part list of favorite diverse science fiction and…

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

This is a really thoughtful, moving novel about a Chinese family that is torn apart in the United States.  Peilan grows up in China in a small village but dreams of exploring the world, so she travels to New York for factory work at better wages.  She has Deming while still very young herself, and…

The Last Days of Café Leila by Donia Bijan

Part of my Reading All Around the World Challenge, this is a book written by a chef in the U.S. who was born in Iran.  Café Leila tells the story of an Iranian family that experiences terrifying changes in the country after the revolution and establishment of the Islamic Republic in the early 1980’s. The…

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero

With the current news about deportations and ICE arrests, it felt important to me to read a book from the perspective of someone who has experienced it firsthand.  Guerrero is not an immigrant herself, but her parents and older brother were born in Columbia.  Guerrero’s parents were deported when she was only fourteen years old,…