Book Reviews from Last Year! pt. 1

Last year between October and December, I checked out a big stack of books and did not get around to reading them. I finally am again! I will review and update as I finish each book.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

I loved this book! It’s about children being literally on fire whenever they feel angry, upset or a kind of strong emotion. I relate to how Lillian feels like a failure and deficient, and raising the two fire-children gave her a new sense of purpose. On paper, she’s the furthest thing from a parent, but she bonded with the Bessie and Roland because they are outcasts and weird, too. Wilson’s writing is wry and sentimental. I love Lillian’s straight-forward way of talking and her jabs at the propriety of Madison and Senator Roberts’ life. Her interactions with Carl were fun, too. Lillian reminds me a little bit of Ottessa Moshfegh’s female characters because she is so weird, yet it’s fun to follow her on this adventure of becoming the ~governess~ to a senator’s unwanted children. Kevin Wilson’s writing resonates with me, and I’ll be reading more of his books about families.

Flor and Miranda Steal the Show by Jennifer Torres

The whole time I was reading this book, I pictured the L.A. County Fair in Pomona. Flor and Miranda work the carnival: Miranda is in her family’s band, and Flor’s family runs the petting zoo. The problem is the carnival manager wants to cut the petting zoo to pay for Miranda y Los Reyes’ fees. It’s a nice rivals-to-friends story in a very specific setting, and I loved seeing them describe the carnival behind the scenes. Middle grade books about working families always bring me back to teaching for some reason! It reminds me a lot of students, and how they have a rich life with things going on at home that they don’t let on at school.

To be continued!

Shadowscapes Day 5: King of Pentacles

Today’s card is King of Pentacles.

I see a dragon and a man standing as a tree in the picture. It was hard for me to interpret, so I turned to Shadowscapes Companion, which said:

“When he sets his mind to an idea, it becomes polished brilliance. He is reliable and adept at what he does. He is a steady and solid support should you need someone to lean on. … He knows that wealth will be shared and shared again, and from those fruits, new seeds will sprout and grow to be mighty trees.”

I think this card is about regeneration and being fully grounded. It’s also about abundance from every resource around us: the loams of the earth, the ancient stones and bones of the deep. This speaks to me because I try to be resourceful and grounded however I can.