Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Book of Rosy

A firsthand account of just how inhumane and despicable conditions are at the US/ Mexican border. Rosayra Pablo Cruz tells her harrowing story of the conditions that led her to flee Guatemala with two of her children and the consequences of her trying to file asylum in the United States. Having crossed the border once a few years prior Rosayra wasn't prepared for what awaited her this time, renewed anti-immigrant rhetoric flamed cruel policies that led to her being locked in a cold cell and separated from her boys. Thankfully an organization of moms, lawyers, and volunteers started working to pay the bail on this mothers in captivity and their efforts got Rosayra out and reunited with her boys. It's insane that this is happening right now in America but it's inspiring to see that people are working against it. There is also a section in the back with useful ways for readers to get involved. This book is suggested for anyone who wants to know about migrants coming up from Central America and is a good first hand account for anyone that read American Dirt.

Snowflower and the Secret Fan

I wasn't expecting this book to be such a heavy read, but despite it's flowery language and lush setting; it's really pretty bleak. Set in nineteenth century China; Lily is born into a house that is neither wealthy nor extremely poor. When Lily is young it is determined that she will have the smallest and most gorgeous bound feet so she will be able to marry up and change her future (and her families) for the better. In the process she is given a pen pal of sorts, a laotong. Snowflower is the same age but from a more prosperous family; from the age of six til their death they will be "old sames" closer to each other than with their husbands. They undergo foot-bindings together, they learn the rites of womanhood, and they share all of their secrets. This book follows their childhood all the way through motherhood and beyond. But even though they have each other, things aren't always easy. They suffer unbearable tragedies and only have each other to rely on. Very bleak, somber, yet beautiful and educational. I highly recommend the audiobook!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Confessions of a Sheba Queen

Sultry, seductive, and wonderfully written; this Historical erotica was impeccably researched and wonderfully naughty. Unable to put this down, I finished it in one day!

Bilqis, a beautiful young woman is half Jinn and with it comes the powers of seduction. Hidden in a small desert town in the ancient lands of Saba, Bilqis and her mother are comfortable and happy. When her Jinn mother is brutally murdered under the orders of a corrupt King, Bilqis knows it's time to chase her destiny. As a young child an oracle foretold great things about her and now it's time to see if they will come true. Bilqis seeks vengeance  so she decides to travel to the capital using her feminine wiles to exact revenge and gain new friends and lovers along the way. Achingly beautiful, witty, and in full command of her body (as well as everyone elses) Bilqis is admired by all (even her enemies want to bed her rather than kill her). Filled with trysts, conquests, surrenders, and blush inducing scenes; this is one of the best eroticas I've read in years! I look forward to reading more of Autumn Bardot's historical erotic romances!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dangerous Alliance

If you're a fan of regency novels, Jane Austen, and teenage romance you will eat this book up! Set early in the nineteenth century; this novel follows Vicky, a young well off lady who is disheartened that her life isn't more like a Jane Austen novel. She wants the romance and intrigue; instead she gets herself in laughably dangerous situations and her former childhood friend (now sworn enemy) seems to keep showing up at the right moment to rescue her. She can take care of herself, thank you very much! To make matters more complicated, her older sister is seeking a separation from her husband and in order to protect the family estate from her bully husband, Vicky must get married and do so quickly. Witty, charming, over the top, and so much fun. I hope the author writes more just like this.

Monday, February 10, 2020

American Dirt

I legitimately could not put this book down. I was hesitant to pick up this book because of all the controversy around it, but I'm so glad I did. It's a powerful, important, and timely book. As a penance for reading this book (because I know a lot of people will judge me for it) I plan on reading a book writing by a Hispanic American writer (The Book of Rosy: A Mother's Story of Separation at the Border by Julie Schwietert Collazo and Rosayra Pablo Cruz - so go ahead and hold me accountable!). American Dirt delivered on the hype it received. The action/violence started on page one and it never slowed down. It was a non-stop ride of terror, hope, and overwhelmingly bad odds. Filled with murder, rape, torture, and child endangerment; this book highlights the brutality of the cartels in Central America. People are willing to do anything to escape the violence, even if means becoming a migrant and trying to go North. Train hopping, rape, theft, and murder plague migrants at every turn; yet many are still willing to risk everything on the long trek north just to escape the horrors of their home. Lydia had a pretty comfortable life but that all changed when sixteen of her family members were killed at a cookout. She and her son escaped by hiding, but the cartel leader knows they are alive and will stop at nothing to find them. She's desperate to survive so she and her son join other migrants and hope to get as far away from the cartel as she can. Her journey is anything but easy. This book..... just goes to show the kind of hell that people have to go through just to try and make it to the US. It's horrific. This book is eye opening and I hope it sparks discussion and people reading more Latino authors. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Sansei and Sensibility

I liked the scope and uniqueness found in these short stories; from powerful grandmothers, to bathtubs, to dental hygienists who know too much, to interment camps this book has a bit of everything in it. The first half of the short stories aren't related to Jane Austen but are still profound and enjoyable. The second half of this collection turns each classic Jane Austen novel on it's head and gives it a Japanese American twist. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say they were very clever and were the most unique takes on Jane Austen that I've read in ages! Filled with beautiful prose; these unique short stories are worth a read!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Serpent & Dove

Give me the sequel and give it to me now! I haven't been this obsessed with a young adult fantasy/adventure for years and I'm ALL IN!

A witch is forced to marry a witch hunter... who doesn't know she's a witch. How can this possibly go wrong?! Delightful and full of characters that just reach out to you from the page and right into your heart. Funny, inventive, and endlessly witty. I won't say much more than that, other than I read this book in like one day. I couldn't put it down! As a final note, I will say I pictured the Archbishop (head of the witch hunters) as Frollo from Hunchback of Notre Dame. You're welcome.