Book Review: A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

Posted 28 August, 2015 // 0 Comments
Book Review: A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

Padma Venkatraman’s verse novel, A Time to Dance, is an exploration of art and spirituality and determination, told by Veda, a classically trained dancer who loses her leg in an car accident. This is a beautiful, uncomplicated story of recovery and passion, told in simple free verse that captures the narrator’s emotions very well. Themes of music and God (not the Judeo-Christian one) run throughout the book, and the author […]

Book Review: Delicious by Sherry Thomas

Posted 27 August, 2015 // 2 Comments
Book Review: Delicious by Sherry Thomas

This is my second novel by respected author Sherry Thomas, and I think my favorite (thus far, of course). Delicious is a charming, sexy romance novel about fairytales, second chances, and love in disguise. The relationship between leads Stuart and Verity was wonderful, slightly unconventional, and full of chemistry—I definitely loved that both characters were in their thirties and had more experience in all areas of life. Sure, some aspects […]

(Re)Introducing: Make Me Read It — where YOU get to tell me what to read and review

Posted 26 August, 2015 // 10 Comments
(Re)Introducing: Make Me Read It — where YOU get to tell me what to read and review

So, loooongtime followers of Respiring Thoughts might remember a feature I used to have where you guys would tell me what to read, and then I’d read it and post my review up here on the blog. I found some really great reads via that feature, like The Demon King and Letters to Jackie, and in general I just really enjoy getting recommendations and making my reading experience more interactive. […]

Book Review: The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Posted 23 August, 2015 // 3 Comments
Book Review: The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan

For me, what this book comes down to is the fact that the author doesn’t really show a lot of talent for fiction writing. She has impressive credentials and clearly knows what’s what in terms of Bosnia and Srebrenica, and I like that she brought those things into her debut. However, The Unquiet Dead is poorly written, sloppily constructed, and very troubling in relation to female representation and the attitude […]

Book Review: The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin

Posted 22 August, 2015 // 0 Comments
Book Review: The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin

I’ve always like N.K. Jemisin. I’ve been a fan of her books every since I first picked up The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and I really liked every book that came after that. However, I think that this book, The Shadowed Sun, has just blown way past every Jemisin-related standard  I had. This is fantasy at its best, no other way to put it. For me, this was a one-sitting read, and […]

Renae Recommends: Books by Authors of Color

Posted 20 August, 2015 // 11 Comments
Renae Recommends: Books by Authors of Color

As we know, this month (August 2015) I’m reading only books by authors of color. It’s a pretty exciting project and I’m looking forward to talking more about it as soon as the month’s over. Until then, you can take a peek at what’s on my to-read list for the month. But, in the meantime, I thought I’d recommend some books, all by Authors of Color! At Night We Walk […]

Book Review: The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

Posted 19 August, 2015 // 0 Comments
Book Review: The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

I love long books (where the length feels justified) and I love books that focus on a family. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, a literary debut by Mira Jacob, is both. It’s about Amina Eapen, a first-generation American and the large, makeshift family she’s formed among other Indian immigrants in Albuquerque. The book alternates between different crises in Amina’s life, one involving her older brother, Akhil, and one involving her […]

Book Review: Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

Posted 17 August, 2015 // 0 Comments
Book Review: Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

Eleven years old, Kimberly moves with her mother to New York from Hong Kong. In spite of a language barrier, she quickly becomes the best student in her class, but struggles to balance her life at a fancy prep school with her life as an illegal worker in a Chinatown sweatshop. In a coming of age tale that’s something like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the 21st century reader, […]

Book Review: The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

Posted 16 August, 2015 // 0 Comments
Book Review: The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

“There is a goddess of Memory, Mnemosyne; but none of Forgetting. Yet there should be, as they are twin sisters, twin powers, and walk on either side of us, disputing for sovereignty over us and who we are, all the way until death.” With this epigraph, a quote by Richard Holmes, author Tan Twan Eng captures the mood and themes of The Garden of Evening Mists, a quietly profound novel […]

Bout of Books 14.0

Posted 15 August, 2015 // 8 Comments
Bout of Books 14.0

It’s Bout of Books time! Hooray. In case you weren’t aware, Bout of Books is my favorite bookish event on the internet. I’ve being do it since Ye Olden Days and it’s just a bunch of fun. It’s a readathon plus games plus GREAT community and hilarious tweeting. AKA, the best. Bout of Books 14.0 runs from 17 August to 23 August, and it’s going to be one great week! […]

Book Review: The Opposite House by Helen Oyeyemi

Posted 14 August, 2015 // 0 Comments
Book Review: The Opposite House by Helen Oyeyemi

In this novel, Helen Oyeyemi presents a disquieting, dreamlike story, told from two perspectives: Maja, a Black cubana dealing with pregnancy and her heritage and her mother’s Santería; and Yemaya Saramagua, an Orisha (a minor god in both Santería and Nigeria) living in a “somewherehouse” between Cuba and Lagos. Both characters’ stories seem to have things in common, but I didn’t quite get how or why the author chose to […]

Book Review: The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh

Posted 13 August, 2015 // 2 Comments
Book Review: The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh

This book has all the things I love: complex female relationships, family dysfunction, a protagonist who works her way through her mistakes, and also real-life preteen issues. The Truth About Twinkie Pie is a story that’s both adorable and serious, the kind of book that really just makes me happy to be a reader. Kat Yeh’s debut novel about a girl and her new school and the mother-shaped hole in […]