My bread and butter books

Reading books is like wearing on clothes or going to a favorite restaurant. Or watching your favorite TV show. You choose what you like and more importantly for a creature of habit like me, you know what you like!!!! This batch of books describes what I like pretty well. I like middle grade books, some kind of fantasy or magic realism element, fun YA books, and books that take you to a different locale.

I liked The Dreamway by Lisa Papademetriou a lot! It reminds me of The Phantom Tollbooth and Alice in Wonderland. A sidenote about this book: I go to Goodreads a lot to seek out books to read next and put them on a hold, but once in a while it’s good to judge a book by its cover and pick out an unknown book! This was that book for me when I went to the Garden Grove Library. It was a New book and it looked interesting. I’m glad I picked it!

On the other hand, What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein HAS been on my TBR list for a long time. I’m a bit of a Disney fan and I love that they publish books. This book about elephants set in Nepal was published by Disney and it was a unique story. First, I think elephants are magical and beautiful creatures. They definitely know things we don’t! They are so wise and peaceful. I love Nandu’s special connection to elephants and the research and personal experience that went into this book. Adding the sequel to my list!

I love contemporary YA too and Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno is one of them. A YA book not about romance but about sisterhood and female friendships? YES, PLEASE! To be honest I wasn’t sure what was driving the plot, but when I got to the end it all made sense. I love the slow build. Don’t let the cover fool you, this is not a beach or summery read at all. It is really about protection and strength.

I already talked about Love & Luck and Secrets of Worry Dolls but they belong in this pile because I just love those two books that much. I love stories about women and finding your true self. LOVE!!!!

What is your favorite genre/ what kind of books are always on your Currently Reading list?

Soul books

Are there any books that speak to your soul? The books in this batch spoke to mine.

I read these in January when I was home alone, deciding whether to quit my teaching job or not, recovering from a sickness, and in general feeling like something big was happening, but that things would get worse before getting better. It seemed like these books describe that same change/emotions in life.

The one that spoke to me the most, and possibly one of my favorite books ever now, is Secrets of Worry Dolls by Amy Impellizzeri. It sounds silly but I think the universe had Amy write this book so I could read it at this particular time in my life. I relate to both Mari and Lu. I am Mari because my life has been difficult but I have a big heart, and I relate to Lu because she is pretty much exactly like me, lol. It was so healing and satisfying to read this. I feel so honored to have read this story and it is one I will re-read at various points in my life <3. Thank you, universe, for bringing this book into my life.

I have no business reading any love poems but I did. Nikki Giovanni is so creative and fun. I think this is what people mean when they say someone is “young at heart.” Love is love, Nikki Giovanni definitely knows that. If you are going to read love poems by anyone, read the ones by Ms. Giovanni.

Another African-American author that I love is Jacqueline Woodson! All of her books sound so gentle and have a 90s vibe. You will feel it when you read it. I adored If You Come Softly. I thought it could have been written today and been equally relevant. I love Jeremiah and Ellie. I love their gentle love story but was not prepared for the end. (who is ever prepared for the end of a truly sweet relationship?) This is a book I wish I could share with everyone.

Lastly, I read Small Country by Gael Faye. It was also a novella about a boy, Gabby, growing up in Burundi. (I guess I’ve been reading about a lot of Gabbys lately.) I’m so glad I got to read this! It was on my TBR list for a year or so and it’s another step in my journey as a reader to read translated works. I’d like to read more coming-of-age stories set in other countries. Not YA in especially, but memoirs. I’m on a memoir kick lately.

Unfortunately I DNF Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart. I love graphic memoirs, especially ones about loss (see The Best We Could Do), but given that I am going through a hard time personally, this book was not right for me at the time. I may back to read it again someday. In a way, this book also spoke to me.

What books speak to your soul? What is your “lifetime” book?