Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (#43/50)

If you have read my reviews of the original series, you know I’m a big Harry Potter fan. Unfortunately, I just didn’t feel the same magic in this book.

Title – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author – J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Page count – 308

Goodreads rating – 3/5 (liked it)

**SPOILERS – I won’t include specific details, but stop now if you don’t want to know even general events/concepts that come up** Continue reading “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (#43/50)”

Like Water for Chocolate (#42/50)

The expression “like water for chocolate” comes from the idea of boiling water to make hot chocolate. You have to be careful not to let it boil too rapidly, or it will overflow and spoil the recipe. The lesson I took from this story is that emotions are the same in that you must keep them under control; too much passion will boil over and burn anything that gets in the way.

Title – Like Water for Chocolate (Como agua para chocolate)

Author – Laura Esquivel

Page count – 241

Goodreads rating – 3/5 (liked it)

This book is set during the Mexican Revolution, and it is a tale of love and betrayal, romantic relationships and familial ones (particularly between the women in the house). Each chapter is set up for a different month of the year and begins with a recipe. Continue reading “Like Water for Chocolate (#42/50)”

Give the gift of books…

Y’all…I LOVE giving books as gifts. My most consistent recipients are the tiny humans recently birthed by my friends. One of my favorite memories from my childhood is my sister and I each getting to pick out a book and Mom reading them before we went to bed. Ferdinand the Bull is one I would pick over and over just because my sister didn’t like it. 🙂 Other favorite children’s picture books I like to give are Chicka Chicka Boom BoomThe Snowy Day, and Chrysanthemum.

Need some more ideas? Here are a couple lists from the New York Public Library and WeNeedDiverseBooks. And if you want to explore options for adults (or yourself), here is a playlist from a youtuber I like named Rosianna. Scroll through for reviews, gift idea lists, and more.

But it’s not enough to start kids early! There are so many good books for older kids and young adults, and if they’ve gotten to a point where they say they just don’t like to read, maybe they haven’t found the right genre. Some people don’t consider themselves “readers” until their interest is piqued by a graphic novel or a biography about their sports hero or a manual on how to fix cars – all totally valid forms of literature!

Unfortunately, it’s not just a lack of interest that keeps young adults away from books. Sometimes it’s because they don’t have access, whether they don’t have the resources to buy books or transportation to go to the library. And sometimes it’s because they’re incarcerated.

To be clear, this is NOT a sponsored post. Liberation Library is just an organization I recently learned about that helps match books to youth who are in prisons in the Chicago area. As their mission statement says: “Liberation Library provides books to youth in prison to encourage imagination, self-determination and connection to the outside worlds of their choosing. We believe access to books is a right, not a privilege. We believe books and relationships empower young people to change the criminal justice system.”

I know a lot of people this time of year are looking for ways to donate their time or resources to a non-profit/charitable organization, and this one looks like it might be a good fit for all you book lovers out there! What I like about them is that they fulfill specific requests for books these kids are actually interested in. If this looks like a cause you would like to support, go check them out!

The Fate of the Tearling (#41/50)

This book was published literally less than two weeks ago. You may remember that I read the first two books in this series almost a year ago. As soon as I found out when the final installment was scheduled to come out, I requested it at the library and put my name on the waiting list. People close to me know well my disappointment in the final installments of recent three-part series (*cough*DivergentHungerGames*cough*), but I’m pleased to say this one was different.

Title – The Fate of the Tearling

Author – Erika Johansen

Page count – 475

Goodreads rating – 5/5 (it was amazing)

**SPOILERS warning – nothing for this book, but I will include information/events from the first two**

Kelsea is the Queen of the Tearling, and she spent the first two books ascending to the throne and learning how to rule amidst discontent within her kingdom and threats from the neighboring Mort kingdom. At the end of the second book, Continue reading “The Fate of the Tearling (#41/50)”

Gospel According to the Klan (#40/50)

So…this was an alarming book. At first it was just weird with names for Klan leadership like Imperial Wizard, Grand Dragon, and Exalted Cyclops popping up like a bad sci-fi/fantasy novel. But this is no fantasy, and the Klan is not a fringe movement of the past. Like, I knew the KKK was still a thing, but I had no idea how deeply rooted and widespread the Klan’s beliefs were/are. If you are a white American of Christian faith, especially if you consider yourself patriotic (God and Country and all that jazz)…you need to read this book. Just know that what you’re going to hear will (or should) make you feel *very* uncomfortable.

Title – Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930

Author – Kelly J. Baker

Page count – 264 (And it’s a heavy topic. I had to read pretty quickly because of library due dates, but I would recommend alternating with something light and definitely fictional.)

Goodreads rating – 4/5 stars (really liked it)

The author was incredibly non-judgmental throughout the book. Her approach was to present the beliefs, narratives, and documents of the Klan Continue reading “Gospel According to the Klan (#40/50)”