Books of the Month: July 2020

Can you believe it’s August? Summer is basically over, Christmas is basically here, and it’s much closer to the end of 2020 than the start. I’m not mad about this year going quickly, it’s a bit insufferable, if I’m being honest.

I started this month reading Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay, and I will be up front with you, I just couldn’t get into it. I loved the first section where Gay describes her time in becoming a professor; I really like her writing style and found many things interesting in what she had to say. The next section about Gender, was weird? She only recapped and reviewed books, mostly on gender, but I don’t know what I was supposed to get from that? I skipped around the book a bit more, but just couldn’t keep going with it. I did find her reviews of the movies, The Help and Django Unchained extremely insightful as to why they weren’t great movies for explaining the history of racism. Has anyone else read this book? I’m curious for other reviews.

Next, I read The Last Flight, which was a great book. It’s about 2 women, both on the run, who cross paths at an airport and trade tickets for each other’s flights. It’s a strong female novel, touching on domestic violence and women standing up to take down powerful men. Huzzah!

I then read The Vanishing Half, and you all need to run out and find this book. It’s 5 stars, an excellent story across multiple generations, with well developed characters. It tackles issues of race, gender, class and so much more. It was such a well written book, I immediately sought out Bennett’s other book, The Mothers. The Mothers was a great book touching on all types of relationships, lovers, friends, father/child, mother/child, and so on. The ending was sort of left unwritten which I typically am frustrated by but in this book, I liked it.

Next, I read Such a Fun Age. It was a story about a twenty something black woman being accused of kidnapping the white child she was nannying. The story was interesting, especially the character and backstory of the white mother. I feel like she had white savior tones, but it was the point of the story; overall, I thought it was well written and made you think. Finally, I read Educated and I can’t even begin to describe how quickly you need to go out and find this book to read it yourself. It’s such an incredible coming of age story, detailing the insane life and family of Tara Westover. It makes me want to hug my parents and honestly cry for all the things she went through. I’m also amazed at the person she turned into, after suffering all that?

I would most recommend The Vanishing Half and Educated, without a doubt. Actually, make sure you read both of them ASAP!

The Last Flight: A Novel by Julie Clark

The Vanishing Half: A Novel by Brit Bennett

The Mothers: A Novel by Brit Bennett

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Educated by Tara Westover

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay

I didn’t get to read Poet X this month like I mentioned in last month’s post, there is a very long hold for it on my Libby app. Maybe next month! Has anyone read anything good this month? I would love to hear the recommendation!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Seven: Week 29

Hello friends! Another Sunday, another week gone by. I’m on my THIRD book of this week, 32nd of the 2020 year (ugh I know, I’m the worst), so I’m quickly typing this up so I can get back to my book. I’m currently reading Such a Fun Age, and would really recommend, it’s pretty good so far! Nothing much else happened this week. I wish I had a more exciting life for you all!

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Very beautiful plate of chicken parm I made this week, see below for my thoughts on bucatini ❤ 
  1. I made these vegan chocolate thumbprint cookies this week, I love The Loopy Whisk for plant based recipes. I am not personally vegan (butter is wonderful), but I do try to include more plant based recipes in my life.
  2. I loved this piece from Stacey Alderman, The Only Way Out is Through. It’s a very honest piece and I found comfort in someone else  being about 5 seconds away from losing it on some days. I also loved hearing her and her husband’s story and how they’ve overcome hardships that life has thrown at them. I can’t wait to read the next part!
  3. On that note, here is a great read about practicing self care during COVID should be a marathon, not a sprint. We need to educate ourselves on the growing list of prominent social issues (new this week, child trafficking), but we also need to prevent burnout. It’s OK if you take a break from social media, it’s OK if you tune out, no one is going to ‘cancel’ you.
  4. I’m sure everyone is well aware, but Rep. John Lewis passed away this week. I loved Obama’s statement about his passing, reminding us all of the importance of voting, and how Lewis’s legacy will live on, in those who continue to imagine and fight for a better America. And also, please take note and remember those senators who posted tributes with pictures of black men who weren’t even John Lewis. *smh*
  5. Barilla took a step forward in sustainability by removing the plastic window from their pasta packaging, making it easier for consumers to recycle packaging. I mean, honestly, now that I think about it, we don’t even need the window, we can usually tell what the pasta looks like if there’s an image on front of the box. I really hope other brands follow suit!
  6. Since we’re on pasta, my favorite carb, here is a great ranking of pasta types. I personally love bucatini that I buy from Domenico’s Foods at the farmer’s market. What’s your favorite noodle?
  7. Finally, what’s your favorite condiment? If it’s sriracha, then this video might interest you on how sriracha is made.  Very interesting that the peppers that go into it only grow for 4 months out of the year!

That’s all folks. I’m off to walk on the beach because I live in California. I’ll think of each of you while I look out to the ocean and send good vibes your way for the week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann