Saturday, June 12, 2021

Review: A Woman is No Man


(Way overdue for this review...)

By Etaf Rum
*TBR book

In Brooklyn, eighteen-year-old Deya is starting to meet with suitors. Though she doesn’t want to get married, her grandparents give her no choice. History is repeating itself: Deya’s mother, Isra, also had no choice when she left Palestine as a teenager to marry Adam. Though Deya was raised to believe her parents died in a car accident, a secret note from a mysterious, yet familiar-looking woman makes Deya question everything she was told about her past. As the narrative alternates between the lives of Deya and Isra, she begins to understand the dark, complex secrets behind her community.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Little Free Library Adventures #14

 


Here are some various LFL's I encountered earlier this year in California:


La Mirada/La Habra:

Monday, June 7, 2021

Update: June 7th

 



I'm on summer break!!! Woo hoo!
And wow, what a school year!

This school year was the toughest school year so far for me. Not only did we start the year with distance learning, but I was split between two schools: my home elementary school and a middle school. My school district decided before the school year started to not hire a replacement for the RSP teacher at the middle school. They thought it wise to split the caseload between two teachers. What could go wrong? Aye...

And things got super interesting once we went from distance learning to hybrid in April, plus we went forward with state testing. *double sigh*

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Mini Reviews: Women's History Month--Children's Books

 



I am always on the lookout for children's books to add to my classroom library. Since it's Women's History Month, I read three books that I must add to the library:



She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History by Chelsea Clinton & Alexandra Boiger
 
This was a wonderful book! I loved the illustrations and I loved how each snippet was written to captivate the reader. This book focused on 13 different women from around the world, such as Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Caroline Herschel, Marie Curie, and Leymah Gbowee. I loved how it focused on women that are not always talked about. Usually with these types of books, I tend to read about the same women but not with this one. In fact, I was happily surprised that it began with Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a woman that I only read about while doing by undergrad for Chicano, Latino Studies. Clinton brought awareness to individuals I never heard of. I rate this: 4 stars!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Audiobook Review: Concrete Rose

Written by Angie Thomas
Read by Dion Graham
Duration: 7 hours 17 minutes

*spoilers*

If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.

Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.

Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.

When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can't just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.


Thursday, March 4, 2021

His and Her Review: Jurassic Park

By Michael Crichton

(TBR book)



An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind’s most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them—for a price.

Until something goes wrong. . . .

In Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton taps all his mesmerizing talent and scientific brilliance to create his most electrifying technothriller.


Monday, March 1, 2021

February 2021 Wrap-Up



We are now in March so that means it's time for February's Wrap-up! I thought this was going to be a one time thing but I continue to find myself on a roll with my reads despite the heavy workload. So yes, I want to brag. :D

I read six books in the month of February! Yay!

Here's what I read:

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Friday 56: Feb. 26th

 

 


Friday 56 
is hosted by 
Freda's Voice . The idea is to share a sentence from the 56th page of the book you are currently reading 


RULES:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to Page 56 or 56% on your ereader.
*Find a snippet, short and sweet.
*Post it, and add the url to your post to the linky on Freda's page.


Here's my snippet:

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Review: Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists

 By Mikki Kendall and A. D'Amico



The ongoing struggle for women's rights has spanned human history, touched nearly every culture on Earth, and encompassed a wide range of issues, such as the right to vote, work, get an education, own property, exercise bodily autonomy, and beyond. Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists is a fun and fascinating graphic novel-style primer that covers the key figures and events that have advanced women's rights from antiquity to the modern era. In addition, this compelling book illuminates the stories of notable women throughout history--from queens and freedom fighters to warriors and spies--and the progressive movements led by women that have shaped history, including abolition, suffrage, labor, civil rights, LGBTQ liberation, reproductive rights, and more. Examining where we've been, where we are, and where we're going, Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists is an indispensable resource for people of all genders interested in the fight for a more liberated future.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Friday 56: Feb. 19th

 


Friday 56 
is hosted by 
Freda's Voice . The idea is to share a sentence from the 56th page of the book you are currently reading 


RULES:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to Page 56 or 56% on your ereader.
*Find a snippet, short and sweet.
*Post it, and add the url to your post to the linky on Freda's page.


Here's my snippet:

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Audiobook: Pushout

Written by Monique W. Morrison

Read by Kristyl Dawn Tift

Fifteen-year-old Diamond stopped going to school the day she was expelled for lashing out at peers who constantly harassed and teased her for something everyone on the staff had missed: she was being trafficked for sex. After months on the run, she was arrested and sent to a detention center for violating a court order to attend school.

Just 16 percent of female students in the USA, Black girls make up more than one-third of all girls with a school-related arrest. The first book to tell these untold stories, Pushout exposes a world of confined potential and supports the growing movement to address the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures.

For four years Monique W. Morris, author of Black Stats, chronicled the experiences of black girls across America whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged—by teachers, administrators, and the justice system—and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Morris shows how, despite obstacles, stigmas, stereotypes, and despair, black girls still find ways to breathe remarkable dignity into their lives in classrooms, juvenile facilities, and beyond.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Review: The Duke and I

 By Julia Quinn

(TBR book)


In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince—while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable… but not too amiable.

Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.

Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.

The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule...

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Audiobook: The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling

By Wai Chim

Read by Christina Ho


An authentic novel about growing up in a migrant Asian family with a mother who is suffering from a debilitating mental illness.

Anna Chiu has her hands full. When she's not looking after her brother and sister or helping out at her father's restaurant, she's taking care of her mother, whose debilitating mental illness keeps her in bed most days. Her father's new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren't right at home, she's starting to feel like she could be a normal teen.

But when her mother finally gets out of bed, things go from bad to worse. And as her mother's condition worsens, Anna and her family question everything they understand about themselves and each other.

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling is a heart-wrenching, true-to-life exploration through the often neglected crevices of culture, mental illness, and family. Its strong themes are balanced by a beautiful romance making it a feel-good, yet important listen.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Friday 56: 2.12.21


*It has been years since I've participated in these meme*

Friday 56 
is hosted by 
Freda's Voice . The idea is to share a sentence from the 56th page of the book you are currently reading 


RULES:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to Page 56 or 56% on your ereader.
*Find a snippet, short and sweet.
*Post it, and add the url to your post to the linky on Freda's page.


Here's my snippet:

Monday, February 8, 2021

Mini Reviews: Selena & Cranes

 




Here are two small reviews, an ebook and audiobook: 


To Selena, With Love by Chris Perez



Selena Quintanilla. I grew up with this legend and after watching the first season on Netflix, I wanted to read Chris Perez's version of what happened. In this book, Chris Perez, Selena's husband, recounted how he came to be the guitarist in the band Selena y los Dinos and how he fell in love. Though they were both very young, Selena and Chris loved each other tremendously. It was sad to read all of the hopes and dreams they had as a married couple only to know that it would never happen. Along with describing his life with his wife, Chris also gave a lot of details of Selena's family, especially of her father.  Though it was an easy read, it had a lot of heart. I felt Chris's pain of losing Selena and I felt his continued devotion to keep her memory alive. I rate this book: 4 stars. 

***

Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar
Read by Dani Gonzalez

Oh my goodness! This book had me crying and had my blood boiling! This story was told through the eyes of a nine-year-old girl in prose. Her father gets deported and her and her mother get placed in a cage for "violating" their asylum papers. The young girl described the fears for her father, the anger of being torn apart, and her fear and confusion as she witnessed the atrocities of women and children in filthy cages. There was a lot of anger, hope, sadness, and despair in this story. Though it was fictional, the young girl's story was based on true facts that happened (and continue to happen) at the border. I gave this 5 stars. 

Monday, February 1, 2021

January 2021 Reads


Hello everyone!

I usually don't do end of the month reading wrap-ups but I had to brag a bit...so I did one for January. 

I read seven books in the month of January! Yay! I've been in a major reading slump for a few years now and I tend to read more during the summer time when I'm on vacation. So reading more than two books in a month is a major plus for me!

What did I read? 
(In the order read)

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Mini Reviews: 2 Audiobook Memoirs

  



Here are two small reviews of two audiobook memoirs that I listened to:


Still Foolin' 'Em written and read by Billy Crystal


This was a fun memoir to listen to! Billy Crystal narrated his story through the different decades in his life. He talked about getting into comedy and getting into Hollywood. He was honest with his feelings; they were both touching and hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud many times when he talked about getting old, I was fascinated to hear his experience in making his movies, and I teared up when he talked about the close people in his life. What made this audiobook production interesting was how some chapters were recorded in front of a live audience while others were in a studio. I really enjoyed the ones he did in front of the audience because the audience's laughter added to the humorous tone of what Billy was reading. Billy Crystal is a either a hit or a miss for some people, but he was a hit for me. I rate this audiobook: 4 stars. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Mini Reviews: All things yellow

 



Here are two small reviews of two books that happen to have yellow covers:


The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell'Antonia
(This is a TBR book)

This was a tale of two restaurant rivalries that began with one family. I enjoyed reading how the restaurants evolved, learning the truth behind the rivalries, how the Food Network was involved, and learning about the behind the scenes of food shows. This story centered around two sisters that have grown apart and could not get along. Their sibling rivalry was realistic but yet at times annoying. If only they swallowed their pride and talked to each other! Things would have worked out way differently! Though the ending was pretty abrupt, it was still a good ending to bring the sisters together. I rate this book: 3 stars. 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

His and Her Audiobook Review: Fool

Time to catch up with reviews. Here's the first book of 2021!


By Christopher Moore

Read by Euan Morton

Duration: 8 hours 40 minutes

(TBR book--I owned the physical copy for over 5 years)

Christopher Moore, much beloved scrivener and peerless literary jester, now takes on no less than the legendary Bard himself (with the utmost humility and respect) with a twisted and insanely funny tale of a moronic monarch and his deceitful daughters, as seen through the eyes of a man wearing a codpiece and bells on his head.

Pocket has been Lear's cherished fool for years. So naturally Pocket is at his brainless, elderly liege's side when Lear demands that his kids swear to him their undying love and devotion. Of course Goneril and Regan are only too happy to brownnose Dad. But Cordelia believes that her father's request is kind of...well...stupid, and her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.

Well now the bangers and mash have really hit the fan. And the only person who can possibly make things right . . . is Pocket. Now he's going to have do some very fancy maneuvering: cast some spells, start a war or two - the usual stuff - to get Cordelia back into Daddy Lear's good graces, to derail the fiendish power plays of Cordelia's twisted sisters, and to shag every lusciously shaggable wench who's amenable to shagging along the way.

Pocket may be a fool...but he's definitely not an idiot.


Monday, January 11, 2021

Bout of Books Wrap-Up

Bout of Books

 

I did my best to participate in the Bout of Books readathon. I was really hoping to start off the year with a bang! Did I meet my goals? Well, yes and no. My main goal was to actually read one physical book from my bookshelf but subconsciously I wanted to read two. Well... I read one, but I did listen to two audiobooks and started an e-book.
Here were my reads:
Physical book

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Author Event: Marie Benedict

With Lauren Willig

Presented by Strand Book Store



Hola! I attended my first author virtual event of the year on Monday and it was a good one! I was excited for this event because I highly enjoyed Marie Benedict's book, The Other Einstein, and I love the Strand, an independent book store in New York. 

This was a fascinating event as both Marie Benedict and Lauren Willig discussed Agatha Christie. For instance, I had no idea that Mrs. Christie disappeared for eleven days nor did I know that she wrote a collection of romance books under the name Mary Westmascott. All of the information that was shared during the event really peaked my interest in Mary Benedict's book, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie. I have now added it to my wish list. 

Though this event was centered on Marie Benedict's book, I got a glimpse of Lauren Willig's work. She too is a historical fiction writer. I'll have to keep an eye on her books. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Audiobook Review: Waiting for Tom Hanks

Written by Kerry Winfrey

Read by Rachel L. Jacobs

Duration: 8 hours 33 minutes


A rom-com-obsessed romantic waiting for her perfect leading man learns that life doesn’t always go according to a script in this delightfully charming and funny novel. 

Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.

When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days...can he?

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

It's 2021!


 

Happy New Year! I hope you are all continuing to stay safe and are surrounded by books (and loved ones). I took a break from technology the first few days of this new year and it felt great! It gave me a chance to reflect what my priorities are, especially since we are still in a pandemic. 

Like many, I created goals for this year that I really hope to stick with. I tried to make them as realistic as possible. 

Personal goals:
  • Start dancing again--try to belly dance an hour a week and increase it during my vacation time. 
  • Study for the BCLAD--Bilingual Authorization
  • Continue to hike (safely of course)
  • Continue to find ways to be more green

Book goals: