Waiting to Exhale (Terry McMillan)

This is what I’d consider a good “beach read.” I tried not to analyze it too much because I was so drained from my last book – which was interesting but, let’s be honest, a bit pretentious. This one was an easy, fun read about female friendships, love, sex, and how to navigate (in both healthy and not-so-healthy ways) the frustrations of romance and men. Keep in mind that it was published in 1992 so there are some truly funny dated pop culture and technology references.

Title – Waiting to Exhale

Author – Terry McMillan

Page count – 409

Rating – Borrow

This book weaves together the stories of four black women in their mid-thirties living in Phoenix: Continue reading “Waiting to Exhale (Terry McMillan)”

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou)

If I hadn’t read the back cover, I wouldn’t have realized this book is autobiographical. She writes with such humor and feeling that you forget these things really happened to her. You want to root for her, even – or maybe especially – when life makes it seem like she’s a bird trapped in a cage with no way to escape.

Title – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Author – Maya Angelou

Page count – 290

Rating – Borrow, although I bought mine at a used book store and will probably keep it because I need to read it at least one more time.

CW: rape/sexual assault. If reading a rape scene could trigger flashbacks for you, make sure you’re in the right mental space before reading this book. Continue reading “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou)”

Beauty Queens (Libba Bray)

This was a fun read. I’ve heard it described as Lord of the Flies but with teenage beauty queens. But instead of tearing each other to pieces, they work together to overcome the obstacles set before them. Girl power at its finest!

Title – Beauty Queens

Author – Libba Bray

Page count – 390

Goodreads rating – 3/5 (liked it)

**I will NOT give away any major spoilers. Some things may not make sense if you haven’t read it, but I won’t reveal anything important.**

This story begins with a plane crash on what appears to be a deserted island. The plane was full of teenage beauty queens headed Continue reading “Beauty Queens (Libba Bray)”

Another Brooklyn (Jacqueline Woodson)

This was a beautiful story to explore. I almost feel like my experience is incomplete having only read it once. This is a book that needs to be savored again.

Title – Another Brooklyn

Author – Jacqueline Woodson

Page count – 170

Goodreads rating – 4/5 (really liked it)

I’ll give as much description as I can, but it needs to stay vague to avoid giving anything important away. It’s really better if you discover the secrets and answers for yourself.

This book is fictional prose, but the author’s background in poetry is clearly evident. Our narrator’s name is August, and in this story we learn about her life through current events and flashbacks…but it’s not always immediately clear where we are in time. Continue reading “Another Brooklyn (Jacqueline Woodson)”

milk and honey (rupi kaur)

I’ve never read a whole volume of poetry straight through before. I tend to skip around in them as the whim comes to me. I did alternate back and forth with a more traditional volume of fiction I’m also reading right now, but perhaps reading an entire book of poetry from start to finish is something I should do more often because this one was quite good.

Title – milk and honey

Author – rupi kaur

Page count – 204

Goodreads rating – 4/5 (really liked it)

The book is divided into four sections: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing. Obviously these are simplifications but: the hurting is about abuse; the loving is about sensuality and relationship; the breaking is about loss; the healing is about putting yourself back together. Femininity is strung throughout all of this. Continue reading “milk and honey (rupi kaur)”

All the Single Ladies (Rebecca Traister)

Single women should read this book to know they are not alone or defective. Single men should read this book to understand why their potential marriage partners are no longer willing to settle. Married people should read this book to understand why their experience is not the only real and valid one.

Title – All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation

Author – Rebecca Traister

Page count – 309

Goodreads Rating – 5/5 (it was amazing!)

This book covers so many topics related to the marriage and (romantic) relationship patterns of women, especially focusing on how women and their singleness have shaped America: our political contributions, geographic living choices, non-romantic relationships, non-married sexuality, and parenthood. This is a chronicle of how the political, economic, and social status of women (single, partnered, married, divorced, etc.) has changed as women have no longer needed to be married to be financially secure. Traister strikes a balance between Continue reading “All the Single Ladies (Rebecca Traister)”

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)”