What I’ve Been Reading Lately

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I’ve shared some of my reads thus far into 2018 but wanted to touch base and share some of my favorite recent reads. Since I last posted, I’ve read (and loved):

Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
Today Means Amen by Sierra DeMulder
i love you 2016 by Shy Watson
Cheap Yellow by Shy Watson
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Bird in the Machine by Eve Jones
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
I’ll Build Us a Home by Emily Paige Wilson
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Quicksand by Nella Larsen
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor

I will soon be reviewing these, individually, so stay tuned! I’m currently reading Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, Torch by Cheryl Strayed, and Bark by Lorrie Moore.

Have you read any of these titles? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Book Review: “Call Me By Your Name” by André Aciman

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While the statement, “the book was better”, is almost always the case, André Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name was one of the most prominent examples of this. This is not to say that the adaptation was lacking in beauty, accuracy, or craft, but the book was just so, so, so much better. It holds a depth that a film simply cannot capture. Internal thought played a massive role in Elio and Oliver’s story and, without that, it isn’t the same. I enjoyed the movie as a complement to the book, but feel genuine sorrow for those who didn’t have the backstory and deeper rooted understandings of these characters prior to their viewing experiences. The film was all surface, while the book was made up of eye-opening, universally relatable, poetic prose. This book is being added to my “most treasured” list. It meant so much to me and I highly recommend it.

Here is the synopsis, for those interested in seeking out this book:

“Andre Aciman’s Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. It is an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time.”

You can purchase André Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name here.

Have you read and/or watched Call Me By Your Name? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

February 2018: Current Reads and My Favorite Book of the Year (So Far)

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Thus far into 2018, I’ve read six (almost eight–finishing up two more right now) books. In the past month and a half, I have read the fourth installment of the Runaways comic series, helium by Rudy Francisco, Peluda by Melissa Lozada-Oliva, We Slept Here by Sierra DeMulder, Glass, Irony, and God by Anne Carson, and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.  I am currently reading Still Me by Jojo Moyes, What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons, Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon, Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson, and Apathy and Paying Rent by Zach VandeZande. I recently posted a video on YouTube that covers my most anticipated reads of 2018, which you can watch here:

Though I haven’t yet read much so far this year, my favorite, at this point, is Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. In fact, it quickly became one of my favorite books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Here is the synopsis from the back of the book:

“From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.”

This book has received a ton of praise and it is well deserved, in my opinion. It will be pretty tough for a book to top this one as my favorite read of 2018. You can purchase Little Fires Everywhere here. I’ll keep you all updated on what I’m reading this year with recommendations and reviews, so stay tuned!

Have any of you read Little Fires Everywhere? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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My Top 20 Favorite Reads of 2017

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Last year, I read some incredible books and I wanted to take the time to share some of my favorites with all of you. In 2017, I read 88 books. The previous year, I read 41 books and in 2015, I only read 29, so it’s safe to say that I am making steady progress. Though many of those 88 changed my life, I’ve decided to narrow it down to my top 20 favorites, in no particular order. Without further adieu, here they are:

  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  • My Only Wife by Zhock Zhimpse
  • Self-Help by Lorrie Moore
  • Before a Million Universes by T.W.R. Shelton
  • Fondly by Colin Winnette
  • The Mothers by Brit Bennett
  • The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
  • The Peacock Door by Wanda Kay Knight
  • Girls Like Me by Nina Packebush
  • Play it as it Lays by Joan Didion
  • Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg
  • You Can’t Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Say by Phoebe Robinson
  • Depression and Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim
  • The Girls by Emma Cline
  • Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
  • New American Best Friend by Olivia Gatwood
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts by Maya Jewell Zeller and Carrie DeBacker

    It was a great year of reading and I’m eager to share what I’ve been reading so far in 2018. I highly suggest you all get your hands on these 20 books. Feel free to check out my “read” list on my Goodreads to see the other 68 titles I read last year.

    Which of these have you read? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Book Review: ‘The Peacock Door’ by Wanda Kay Knight

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Credit: Read, Sav, Read. 

The Peacock Door by Wanda Kay Knight

Warning: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Continue reading “Book Review: ‘The Peacock Door’ by Wanda Kay Knight”

Book Review: ‘Girls Like Me’ by Nina Packebush

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Credit: Read, Sav, Read. 

Girls Like Me by Nina Packebush

I just finished reading this book and am at a loss for words. This book is revolutionary! Here is the synopsis included on the back of the book:

“Sixteen-year-old queer-identified Banjo Logan wakes up groggy in a juvenile mental ward. She soon realizes that the clueless therapist and shiny psychiatrist can’t help her come to terms with her genderqueer boy/girlfriend’s suicide, the fetus that’s growing inside her, or answers the question of why she cuts.

She’s befriended by two fellow patients–a strange and slightly manic queer Ethiopian girl and a shy, gay boy disowned by his born-again Christian parents. Girls Like Me is a powerful coming of age story of a pregnant gay teenager who realizes that friends may make the best medicine.”

Being a queer teen mom, reading this book was moving, to say the least. It’s a struggle to be different–to be an outcast. When you fall on the outskirts of society’s pressured norms, you end up feeling really alone. I am a major bookworm and find it really special when I can relate to a story in a way that makes me feel less alone in my experiences. With that being said, this is the first book that has applied to that particular area of my life. I so, so wish that I could have gotten my hands on a copy of this book four years ago when I was pregnant. However, I am overjoyed that queer teens and teen moms and queer teen moms will have this book to comfort them. Girls Like Me was diverse, in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, mental health, social class, and so much more. I appreciate Nina Packebush for telling a story that has desperately needed to be told.

This is a book that I couldn’t stand to put down and I highly recommend that you all buy and read it as soon as possible! You can purchase your own copy of Nina Packebush’s Girls Like Me here.

Hooray for diversity and representation. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Book Review: ‘Before a Million Universes’ by T.W.R. Shelton

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Credit: Read, Sav, Read. 

Before a Million Universes by T.W.R. Shelton

Warning: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Continue reading “Book Review: ‘Before a Million Universes’ by T.W.R. Shelton”