I love books with drama, history, turmoil, and war as much as the next person. But I also love really soothing books where maybe not a lot happens or the story takes place over a few days. Not every story needs to be a sprawling generational drama spanning two continents. (But those are really good too!)
The writer with the most soothing voice might be Jacqueline Woodson. If one word could describe her writing it would be gentle. Hush is about a young girl whose dad was an African-American cop. He had witnessed two of his white colleagues shoot a black teen, and as a whistle-blower, he and his family entered the witness protection program. It was very hard to read because it seems like it could happen today. It’s easy to say do the right thing, because clearly it is to take a stance against injustice. But I could feel what an extremely difficult situation he had to make– there is an unspoken rule that you don’t break the bond between police officers–surely, within their profession, rapport is stronger than any type of social justice. But he did. I think the father’s story and dilemma hit me far harder than the girl’s. We are frustrated by the lack of change within the police force and “blue lives,” and reading this book made me realize why almost no change will occur. Police officers will never speak out against each other. What a heartbreaking thing for both their profession and for the people they serve and protect.
Another heartbreaking book I read is Echo by Paul Mosier. What stood out to me about this book is that 1) it’s from the older sister’s perspective and 2) it’s based on the author’s daughters. And 3) the cover is beautiful. I like that Echo is super adorable and funny. El is the ultimate big sister who nonetheless is vulnerable. The book was very realistic about how being around someone with cancer can feel like you don’t have any excuse to be sad, ever. Life is already SO unfair, how could someone without cancer be sad? But they can be. There are no qualifications to being sad or happy except that you have to be human <3. Wonderful book, Paul Mosier!
I loved Holes and was excited to find that there is a sequel! It is Small Steps and it is about Armpit and X-Ray. You could say it;s a spin-off rather than a sequel. I actually loved that it’s about Armpit. Armpit x X-Ray = buddies for life. Armpit x Ginny = best duo ever. Ginny is really the stand out of this book. Landscape architecture is a close second. When I was reading I got the feeling that Kiara DeLeon is supposed to be Rhianna. LOL. “Red Alert” is TOTALLY a song Rhianna would’ve put out in 2006!
Best line in the whole book = “My body went to red alert.” – Ginny
If I was making a self-care book list, I’d put Essential Glow and Feathers on it. I went to a workshop for making homemade household products and we made toothpaste and mouth wash. The recipes were from this book where you could also make your own deodorant and so many other products!!! I loved it! It was pretty wonderful. And always, for a gentle and quiet voice to salve your heart, read Jacqueline Woodson.
What books would you put in a self-care kit?