So, for the past couple of months, I have had a difficult time finding time to record and edit videos. Because of this, my book recaps on YouTube disappeared. While I will be doing a short one for May just so I can stay on track, I didn’t want to backtrack too much, so instead of a video, I will be doing blog posts catching you up on the books I read these past couple of months.
If you like this format, let me know, so I can do this as well as the recap videos.
In March, I began reading at a steadier pace than I had previously. While I wasn’t at the same pace as I was in middle school and high school, with the inclusion of audiobooks, I believe that I can get better at consuming the stories that have been sitting next to my desk for a long time.
When it comes to the audiobooks I do listen to, I tend to move more toward nonfiction because if I lose focus when listening to it, I can still get the main idea. This is seen by the fact that I have three nonfiction books. THREE! That’s the most I’ve read in a long time.
If you have read any of the books I have listed below, let me know what your thoughts on them are.
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Various Authors
This book is a collection of short stories written by Black authors about the Black experience from the view of young adults in America. This book covers a range of topics all providing a voice to this group.
The representation throughout the collection was great. While all of the main characters in the stories are Black, they represent so many different aspects of what people normally see in the media. Seeing this was so refreshing, and I really enjoyed those different depictions.
Not only was the representation varied, but it was also powerful in the stories told. There were multiple stories that featured Black youth in the LGBTQ+ community, stories that dealt racial tension within the Black community, and other stories that captured my attention with the emotion they portrayed.
The different authors featured in this collection are popular ones that I’ve come across before, and with some of them using personal experience, the stories become even more fleshed out.
Overall, I gave this a 5 out of 5 stars. Seeing these different type of representations made me so happy, and I loved reading the different stories scattered throughout the book.
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
The Geek Feminist Revolution is a series of essays covering feminism, geek life, and writing. While some of the essays featured in the collection were written specifically for this project, many of them were ones which were previously written.
One of the negatives of this collection of essays is that it’s not as cohesive as it could be. While the collection had a theme, there were a few essays that didn’t fit the theme. For example, there was one essay that focused solely on her experience with the healthcare system, without tying it back with either feminism or geekdom. In other cases, the order of the essays didn’t work in creating a good flow of information. Despite this lack of cohesion, just by reading (or in my case listening to) the essays, I could tell that with each topic she covered, she was passionate about it.
Another positive, that has a slight negative, is the inclusivity. Hurley is inclusive in some aspects, such as the writing groups she mentions. As stated before, one of her main topics is feminism, and she makes sure to shout out all of the women who came before her to set the path. She is also a part of the LGBTQ+ community, so she discusses authors in that field as well. However, when it comes to the materials she uses to set an example for readers. While I understand she grew up in the 80s, that doesn’t mean all of the references have to be about 80’s movies.
Overall, I gave this a 3 out of 5 stars. While some of the essays did a good job in capturing the topic that she wanted to, I zoned out too often to really find it relatable.
Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life by Kelsey Miller
Refinery 29 writer Kelsey Miller chronicles her life as a big girl and the depression and eating disorders that she suffered. This memoir reveals her journey and thought process as she grows to love herself and her body.
This book was a random checkout. I had no intention of reading this book, and I had never heard of this before. However, as I was checking in books, I saw it and it caught my interest. This random checkout was actually very impactful for me as I go through my journey to become healthier. I have always had issues with my weight, and while I tried going on diets or exercising more, I always gave up pretty quickly. Just before I began reading this book, I went through a thought process change on how to approach my health journey. When I began reading this book, I discovered that Miller’s process was similar to the one I was going through. So, to read someone else going through this process really helped me.
Not only was it impactful, Miller was also relatable with the anecdotes she would tell. Even though she went through so many different experiences than I did, at the core, the way people treated her because of her weight is similar to how people treated me. My favorite parts of the book was when she reflected on a thought process she had when she was younger, and then she would resoundly shut those thoughts down and questioned why she even had that thought process.
Overall, I gave this a 4 out of 5 stars. This book gave me the motivation to keep going on the path that I was even when it got difficult.
Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life
Comedian Ali Wong dedicates this book to her two daughters. Through the multiple heartfelt letters, she covers various topics all while maintaining her signature humor.
Even though I have seen one of Ali Wong’s specials, it wasn’t until I listened to the audiobook of her memoir that I realized how vulgar her language and humor were. Throughout every chapter, she constantly discusses her sex life in great detail. While the language she used didn’t bother me too much, it was the details she went into. I never felt comfortable listening to any comedian when they get into those type of details, and she is no different.
However, despite the content of her book, it was hilarious and down-to-Earth. I found myself equally laughing out loud in my car, as well as darting my eyes side to side to make sure my volume wasn’t too loud. Because I watched one of her comedy specials and watched the movie she starred in, a lot of the stories she told had an extra connection. Not only was this funny, but it was at times insightful. Because this serves as a letter to her children, there are many lessons she tries to teach her children. While on the surface, many of them seem ridiculous, they all tie back to experiences she had when she was growing up.
Finally, the epilogue was one of the most heartfelt pieces of content in the book. The epilogue is written and read by Ali Wong’s husband, and the words he said were extremely sweet.
Overall, I gave this a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I found myself interested in her humorous stories, but because of the graphic descriptions, I won’t be reading this anytime soon.
*Score is different from Goodreads since I can’t mark half stars.
Medea by Euripides
This Greek tragedy is a continuation of the myth surrounding Jason, the leader of the Argonauts and his wife, the sorceress Medea. During the course of this short play, Jason abandons his wife and two children, and Medea carries out her revenge.
Reading this play was kind of disappointing. When I was in college, our theater department put on a production of this play. I had heard great things about the actress playing Medea, and I assumed that the material she was working from would be great as well. Unfortunately, it was not. Throughout the entire time I read the play, I was more interested in backstory than the one currently happening. Every time there was a mention of what Medea did to help Jason or about her powers, I wanted to read that more than anything.
The current story being told wasn’t helped by the long monologues that felt like they went nowhere. While the play was short, the monologues made it drag on.
Overall, I gave this a 3 out of 5 stars. It was barely interesting enough to keep my interest, and it wasn’t long enough to draw more irritation.