This is my first quarterly wrap-up because it’s been over 3 months since the last time I wrote a blog. It’s been longer than that but I’m not going to think about what I didn’t do in 2016. I’m a terrible, terrible blogger now but it is what it is. So here’s my wrap-up for January, February, and March.
- Books I’ve Read in 2017… So Far
My favorite book so far (and probably for the rest of this year) is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. If you live under a rock and haven’t heard about this book yet, it’s a fictional but very accurate account of the Black experience in America, for those of us who grew up in predominantly Black low-income neighborhoods. It stems from the Black Lives Matter movement. The story is told from the perspective of 16-year old Starr Carter, who witnesses the murder of her childhood friend Khalil by a white police officer. Although most people focus on the BLM aspect of the book, it really is so much more than that. It’s the catalyst that sends the protagonist on her journey of self discovery, but Angie Thomas did an amazing job of recreating this environment that most people who aren’t forced to live in don’t see or understand. I could easily call to mind classmates, friends, and relatives who could easily be any of the characters in this book, mistakes and all. Most importantly, it really challenges readers to look past the ideas and misconceptions that you have about Black people based on what they look like or where they’re from. It challenges the images that the media constantly shoves in our faces that demonizes Black victims. And this is so important for people, Black, white, or whatever, who have grown up in the suburbs and with certain privileges–people who’ve gone their whole lives without meeting a Khalil, or meeting a Devante, or even meeting a Starr–a character that I see so much of myself in. I hope that everyone reads this book with an open mind, and that when you’re done with it, your heart is more open too.
My least favorite book so far was Zipped by Laura and Tom McNeal. I actually decided to DNF this book. I hate read my way through another novel by these authors last year hoping for a payoff that never came. I decided I’d save myself the trouble this time. It was just so boring. It was also really creepy. The main character had this weird crush on his step-mom. My last straw was when he decided to spy on step-mom by going through the dirty laundry to inspect her underwear–he suspected she was having an affair–because he knew her underwear schedule and what kind she wore depending on the occasion. I think he sniffed them, but my mind may have invented that because I was already creeped out by this point. If that’s not enough, there were too many characters with shifting POVs, none of them interesting by the way. It was just all bad.
Other than Zipped, I loved all of these books for varying reasons. You can check out my Goodreads for thoughts on most of them. Others I’d highly recommend right after THUG are The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber and The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli.
- 2017 Book Haul… So Far
Between January and February I only bought 3 books, 2 of them were digitals on sale for $1.99 each: The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee and Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. I bought a hardcover of Deep Blue by Jennifer Connely used.
But then in March things got a little… out of control. Here’s a picture of what I got. I think the titles/authors are pretty clear so I’m not going to list them because laziness wins. I didn’t spend as much as it looks like though. Chamber of Secrets was given to me as a gift and We Can Be Mended was a Carve the Mark pre-order gift. Six of Crows was a trade. The Casual Vacancy was another cheap used buy. The rest I bought but they were part of really, really, really good sales.