10 Recommended Books for Latina Teens

Posted May 3, 2016 // 1 Comment
10 Recommended Books for Latina Teens

I remember, very clearly, the first time I read a novel about a teenaged Latina. For me, reading had always been something that I did for fun, not necessarily that I “connected” with. Lots of people talked about how “relatable” books were, but I never got that. And probably this was because my life as a teenager was so different from the average teenage protagonist. I still don’t have to […]

Book Review: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Posted April 20, 2016 // 0 Comments
Book Review: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me is an intimate and honest letter from a man to his son, discussing race and the concerns a father has for how race in the United States will affect his son’s life. Though the book discusses many things, some central topics are literal and figurative “disembodiment” experienced by black people, the concept of race as a false construct, and the ways in which […]

Book Review: Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein

Posted April 2, 2016 // 0 Comments
Book Review: Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein

In her latest book, Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape, author Peggy Orenstein discusses, well…girls and sex—young women and how they are affected by society and its attitudes towards sex and female sexuality. Backed up by statistics, research, and personal interviews (mostly with white, heterosexual, middle-class girls), this book offers a good overview of the subject from a variety of angles, without every becoming too academic or too commercialized. […]

Diversifying the literary canon

Posted March 1, 2016 // 2 Comments
Diversifying the literary canon

The purpose of any education is to learn what’s worth learning, and education within the humanities is no different. But often, what’s worth learning—at least by the standards of academia—reflects only a small portion of the human experience. Since the beginning of the 20th century, scholars have been assembling and promoting the concept of the Western Canon, a list of works that answer the question “What is art?”. This list […]

5 Lady Writers Who Changed My Life

Posted February 28, 2016 // 2 Comments
5 Lady Writers Who Changed My Life

It’s sometimes hard for me to point out particular books or authors that have legitimately changed my life, but these ladies were absolutely easy picks for me, and they’ve definitely affected my outlook or inspired me or what have you. Laura Ingalls Wilder — While as an adult I can recognize the problematic nature of the Little House series, nothing changes what those books meant to me as a little […]

Book Review: Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet

Posted February 15, 2016 // 4 Comments
Book Review: Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet

I think any work of fiction has the potential to touch someone, to impact them, regardless of content. However, those books where you see your own experience mirrored in characters’ lives tend to mean more. They validate you, make you feel less alone. For me, Make Your Home Among Strangers was one such book. The story of its protagonist, Lizet, was one I could easily identify with, one that made […]

6 books by authors of color I’m looking forward to in 2016

Posted February 5, 2016 // 3 Comments
6 books by authors of color I’m looking forward to in 2016

As we all know, I’m not much of a reader of new releases. Not in any timely sense. But I do keep an eye on what books are releasing, and today I thought I’d share some 2016 publications I’m looking forward to that are written by authors of color. (If you’re new to the blog, you can read about why racial/ethnic diversity in fiction is so important to me—important enough […]

Don’t knock what you haven’t tried: in defense of genre romance

Posted January 29, 2016 // 7 Comments
Don’t knock what you haven’t tried: in defense of genre romance

Though it happens less in the social circles I frequent, there is no denying the social stigma against mainstream genre romance. We all know these books, those paperbacks at the drug store with half-naked, spray-tanned men and wasp-waisted women whose ballgowns are 1 second from becoming a puddle on the floor. It’s easy, especially among academic circles, to deride these books as low-class trash, though often these same critics have never […]

A lover of stories

Posted January 24, 2016 // 0 Comments
A lover of stories

We think we tell stories, but stories often tell us, tell us to love or hate, to see or be seen. Often, too often, stories saddle us, ride us, whip us onward, tell us what to do, and we do it without questioning. The task of learning to be free requires learning to hear them, to question them, to pause and hear silence, to name them, and then become a […]

Best Books of 2015

Posted December 15, 2015 // 3 Comments
Best Books of 2015

It is that time of year, once again, to wrap up the last 12 months of reading and talk about the truly great books I discovered and read. As usual, my list is organized by genre/category. This list does not include re-reads from previous years. Literary Fiction Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis She Weeps Each Time You’re Born by Quan Barry Ruby by Cynthia Bond An Untamed State by Roxane Gay […]

Sleuthing with Nancy #4: The Mystery at Lilac Inn

Posted November 20, 2015 // 0 Comments
Sleuthing with Nancy #4: The Mystery at Lilac Inn

One of my great bookish ambitions has always been to read all the Nancy Drew novels. So we have Sleuthing with Nancy. I probably won’t read all the Nancy Drew books—there’s about 500 at the moment, with more coming out every year! But I’d like to at least try to read them all. #4: The Mystery at Lilac Inn The Mystery Nancy is off to prepare for a friend’s wedding, but calamity strikes! The […]

DNF Roundup: August-November 2015

Posted November 19, 2015 // 1 Comment
DNF Roundup: August-November 2015

Unreviewed Reads Roundup (or DNF Roundup) is a feature that highlights books I didn’t formally review on the blog, as well as DNFs. Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins This was just REALLY AWFUL. And I mean that in the absolute nicest way I can. But this is bad. The writing is horrendous, the characterization is shallow and inconsistent, the romance itself, or what I read of it, moved at ridiculous […]