I listened to sooo many audiobooks last month. I’m hooked, at least when they’re free and from the library!
I’ve been really enjoying trying to read more diverse books this year, and I feel like I am finally in a good groove. Most of these are recent releases. There are a five books based in Asian cultures, two books with body positivity as a lovely focus, and quite a few other options for a more varied reading experience to build your cultural knowledge, empathy and ability to relate well. I’ve been enjoying my reading so much more since I started paying attention to what voices I am reading. I enjoy knowing that even when I am reading fiction I am learning things. It is a good way to raise your awareness of issues and differences so you can be more intentional about helping your kids navigate the world in healthy and kind ways.
I hope you find a few books to request at your library or to add to your collection!
- Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy – 5 stars. Friendship, taking on the social constructs, humor, relationships, highschool, and body image. Such a body positive read and the audiobook is fun. (content for young adults, not young teens)
- America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo – 3 stars. I really enjoyed learning more about the Philippines and emigration to the US. Some difficult content, but really good. I would have abandoned it because of too much adult content had I not been so invested in the story.
- That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam – 4 stars. choices, adoption, motherhood, love, race, and belonging. Beautiful, insightful, and thought-provoking.
- What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan – 4 stars. Set in Shanghai with a gradually revealed backstory that keeps you completely enthralled.
- The Poppy War by R.F Kuang – 5 stars. This. was. magic. A fantasy/dystopian world set in China with all the surrounding cultural history. I am definitely going to following up on the rest of the series as it comes out!
- Solo by Kwame Alexander – 3 stars. Good story, it just didn’t stick with me in any memorable way. Racial justice, music, relationships, parents. Oh, but if you do read it. You must listen to the audiobook. There is music.
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – 5 stars. I loved this one. Korean culture, cross-cultural challenges, grief, family, highschool romance, adorable and delightful characters. I have the next book waiting for me at the library.
- Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata – 4 stars. This book was fun. I love how the main character’s sister was so instrumental in helping her navigate her world and how the main character unabashedly found her place.
- Room by Emma Donoghue – 4 stars. Oh my goodness, this book was semi-terrifying, horrifying, shocking, but light and whimsical and beautiful at the same time. About a woman who is abducted, raped, has and then raises baby while being confined to one room for 6 years. Told from the child’s perspective. The room is all he knows. The audiobook is good, but just be warned you won’t be able to abandon it even though it is so disturbing.
- Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza – 4 stars. I read this the same weekend as the Kavanaugh trial. I liked hearing more about political process and this story of campaigning as a woman. Good characters with complicated relationships.
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling – 4 stars. So entertaining. Though reading this after Dumplin’, the first chapter about diets and growing up a “chubster” was just not as funny. The rest was a fun read.
- The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor – 5 stars. I loved this book. The cover is beautiful and the book is just heartening and freeing for self-love. Also: do the audiobook so you can hear the author read this. Worth it.
- It’s All Under Control by Jennifer Lee Dukes – 5 stars. If you’ve ever found yourself trying to control all the outcomes, feeling a little out of place because of how motivated you are, or constantly taking on way too much, this book is for you. My full review is here!
- Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life by Cleo Wade – 5 stars. Encouraging, wise, beautiful. I wish I had the print book to underline, but the audiobook was calming and inspiring.
- Bilingual is Better by Ana L. Flores and Roxana A. Soto – 4 stars. Well-researched book of personal essays and arguments for raising your children bilingual. Targeted for native speakers looking for support/reasons to teach their kids spanish and cultural belonging. Inspiring for non-native speakers of spanish as well.
What have you read recently? What have you enjoyed? Have you read any of these?
I’d love to hear in the comments! Also catch me on instagram where I try to share bookish things a little more often!
This month I am joining the #write31days community to explore the idea of the Whole Together Family because I believe we get be who God created us to be – together. Find the whole list posts here or click on the image.