Monday, July 3, 2017

Books Lately: June '17

June started off as a really productive reading month but my reading interest sort of fizzled out by the middle of the month.  I started three different books toward the end of June but couldn't finish any of them.  I've got a few long flights coming up so I'll probably be able to get a lot of reading done during that time.

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

Description from Amazon:
"Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. 

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life."

Jana from Jana Says posted about this book on IG in the beginning of the month and I immediately downloaded it to my Kindle (app).  This was one of those books that I found hard to put down.  Angie Thomas is an amazing author who writes a story that made me feel so many strong emotions throughout.  The characters are so real and down-to-earth that it makes it hard not to love them.  This is story sends a very strong political and emotional message in such a positive, constructive way, that it forces you to acknowledge the wrongdoings in the world and empowers you to join in the efforts of making a change.  I HIGHLY recommend you read this book and then share it with everyone you know.

A Woman of Integrity, by J. David Simons
**A copy of this book has been generously provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Description from Amazon:
"Finding herself to be on the wrong side of fifty for a female film star, Laura Scott's career is on the slide. She has an opportunity to reverse this downward spiral when she is offered the starring role in a one-woman play about the life and loves of Hollywood silent screen actress turned pioneering pilot, Georgie Hepburn. Laura jumps at the chance for Georgie is someone she has admired for her courage and integrity ever since she was a child. But as Laura discovers more about Georgie, she realises there is always a price to pay for integrity - in her own life as well as Georgie's.Acclaimed author J David Simons' fifth novel, this is a subtle and complex exploration of a creative life and the challenges faced when a person's desire to be authentic comes under pressure."

I really didn't think I'd love this book as much as I did.  It had been on my TBR list for a while and when I finally got around to reading it, I found it hard to put down.  The story of Georgie Hepburn was so fascinating and inspiring and I absolutely loved her character.  Laura Scott was quite a mess in the beginning of this book but her passion for learning about and retelling Georgie's life helped to put her on the right track.  It made me think about the choices in my life that I've made, good and bad, and how those decisions continue to shape who I am as a person.

The Recovery Letters, by James Whitley
**A copy of this book has been generously provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.** 

Description from Amazon:
"In 2012, The Recovery Letters was launched to host a series of letters online written by people recovering from depression, addressed to those currently affected by a mental health condition. Addressed to 'Dear You', the inspirational and heartfelt letters provided hope and support to those experiencing depression and were testament that recovery was possible

Now for the first time, these letters have been compiled into an anthology for people living with depression and are interspersed with motivating quotes and additional resources as well as new material written specifically for the book. This powerful collection of personal letters from people with first-hand experiences of depression will serve as a comforting resource for anyone on the journey to recovery."

As a person who lives with bouts of self-diagnosed depression, I appreciated this book quite a bit.  Suicide rates on Guam have been rising and it makes me wonder how many of those people could have been helped by a book like this.  I'm currently not going through a gloomy episode but I can understand how someone who is going through it can be helped by the letters written in this book.  Depression is like living in a dark and lonely bubble, where everything else around you is muted and seems unreachable, so having people who have been in their own bubbles and know what it feels like really does give you hope that one day your bubble will burst and you'll be "normal" again.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who suffers from and/or knows someone who suffers from depression.

Everything Reminds You of Something Else, by Elana Wolff
**A copy of this book has been generously provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.** 

Description from Amazon:
"Thin is the line between dreaming and wakefulness, wellness and disorder, here and there, this and that. Elana Wolff's poems illuminate the porousness of states and relations, the connective compulsion of poetic perception, in language that blends the oracular and the everyday, the elliptical and the lucent, the playful and the heart-raking. The de- and re-constructive workings of the poems in Everything Reminds You of Something Else argue for empathy and attentiveness. At the core of this work is the belief that art is the sanest rage."

I think I've burned myself out on poetry books because I wasn't really feeling this one so much.  There were a few poems and lines that I did like, but most of her references flew over my head.


  1. I really want to read the hate you give. Going to download now. Also, the recovery letters sounds like a great read!

  2. Books! Gimme all the books! :) The Hate U Give is at the top of my list, I can't wait to read it.

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  6. The Hate U Give is such a timely and fascinating book! I'll have to see if I can spot it around!

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