Reading Challenge Update: Read the Rainbow

It’s time for my third #readtherainbow check-in and I’ve officially read the rainbow three full times!

My current tally is:


I definitely need to read some more purple books, so please let me know if you can recommend any!

Are you doing any reading challenges this year?
If so, how are they going?

Book review: Dear Ijeawele… by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Teach her that if you criticize X in women but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women.

When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s friend gave birth to a baby girl, she reached out for suggestions on raising a feminist daughter. The result is this book, a list of fifteen suggestions that should apply not only to your daughter, but also your son and any child that you come into contact with.

I read We Should All Be Feminists last year and was blown away. I was equally impressed with this book.  I hope that I can pass on these suggestions, many of which seem to be common sense, to all the children in my life, and the children of my own that I will hopefully have someday. If all children were raised with these fifteen simple suggestions in mind, I think it’s safe to say that the world would be a better place.

Final rating: ★★★★★

#mm18: diversify your reading
#readtherainbow: violet

(Sorry that it took so long to post this review! I read this book on January 28, 2018.)

Book review: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

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A quick note before I begin: This isn’t the screenplay! That’s a totally separate book that has about a million holds on it at my library, but eventually, I’ll read it. This is the textbook from the Harry Potter universe.

Another quick note before I begin: I haven’t seen the movie! I know! What kind of Harry Potter fan am I?!

Anyway, two notes aside, Fantastic Beasts is a quick, entertaining encyclopedia of all the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. I enjoyed all the side notes and being part of this world even for a little while longer.

I listened to this on audio and Eddie Redmayne did an excellent job. The studio also did an excellent job, making this right up there with the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to. There are sound effects, voice effects, and little musical interludes, ensuring that the book (which is essentially just a catalog of magical species) never gets boring. I can’t comment on the physical book but the audiobook is definitely worth your time.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

#readtherainbow: red

Reading Challenge Update: Read the Rainbow

It’s time for my second #readtherainbow check-in and I’m pleased to report that I have completed this challenge! I’ve read a number of colorful books so far in 2018 and I hope to complete this challenge many more times over the course of the year. Below are examples of just a few colorful books I’ve recently read.

These are only 24 of the 50+ books I’ve read so far this year! (I honestly can’t believe I’ve read so much this early in the year.) I’m hoping to read the rainbow at least three times before the end of the year.

Are there any colorful books you can recommend to me?


Book review: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

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Like my grandmother always said, “Your opinions are valid and important. Unless it’s some stupid bullshit you’re being shitty about, in which case you can just go fuck yourself.”

I remember when this book showed up in the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards. I didn’t know what it was about, but I knew it had a big, smiling raccoon on the cover and it was in the humor section, so I threw it on my TBR and promptly forgot about it for two years. Flash forward to January of 2018 when I decided to start reading (or listening) to more nonfiction. A memoir about dealing with mental illness sounded like a good choice, and oh, look, there it is in a dusty corner of my TBR list.

I knew nothing about Jenny Lawson when I started reading (listening) to this book. I just knew that she was supposed to be really funny and this book was supposed to be very good. So, it was really funny at times (I laughed out loud on more than one occasion, particularly in the chapter about possums) but also really serious and sad at the same time. Jenny toes the line between sarcasm and sincerity, but I think that she always stays on the right side. (That said, it’s her memoir and her life and she can be as flippant about it as she wants!)

Continue reading

ARC review: The Green Unknown by Patrick Rogers

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Here’s a fact about me that you probably don’t know: I have zero sense of direction. Like, I need to use my GPS to be able to find the correct major highways to get to my friend’s house… even though I’ve been there several times. I once got lost in the woods behind my house and made a seven-mile circle as I looked for the correct trail. Right after I got my driver’s license, I tried to visit my grandma who lived about 120 miles northwest. I somehow ended up 70 miles northeast, bawling on the side of the road with no cell phone service. Like I said, zero sense of direction.

So when I read a book like this, where the author willingly dumps himself in the middle of nowhere, a remote region of the world where he barely speaks the language, actually gets where he’s trying to go using hand-drawn maps (that are actually wrong!), puts himself fully at the mercy of the locals, and finds amazing things along the way, I’m a little impressed.

Also, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it in quite a while, but I have a degree in linguistics and the idea that these villages can be so close together and yet have such wildly different languages is just so interesting! I would love to know how that happened and if I were still a linguistics student, it would make a great research project. Unfortunately, I am Officially Old and have to focus my daily life on my real job.

Traveling stresses me the heck out, but this book makes me want to drop everything and head to a different country and just hope for the best.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

I received a free copy of The Green Unknown from the author in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

#readtherainbow: green
#mm18: travel the world

Book review: Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

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I first fell in love with Anna Kendrick back in 2007 when I watched Rocket Science. In general, it’s just a really great movie that you should definitely watch, but in it, Anna plays a debate team queen. Also, I was just on the IMDB page for it and it turns out that it actually takes place in the town where I now work? What are the chances! Anyway, it’s been eleven years of fangirling over this girl and I finally read (or, well, listened to) her memoir.

I’m not clear on whether she wrote this memoir on her own or if she had help from a ghostwriter, but I can tell you that it’s funny. She tells the story of her first big break in musical theater, her first film, her big move to LA, and growing up along the way, but it’s neither braggy or boring. Anna Kendrick is one of those people that never quite seems untouchable, regardless of how famous she gets. She feels like she could be your best friend.

Hats off to Anna Kendrick for one of the best celebrity memoirs I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

#rtr: blue