Which historical event would you like to know more about?

This book vaguely explores the crimes committed against the Indigenous people of Australia, such as the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families due to various government policies. The forced removal of indigenous children were part of the policy, Assimilation, in which the taken children were to be assimilated into the white community. They were taught to reject their heritage and forced to adopt white culture. Some children were adopted by white families while others were placed into institutions. The generations of children removed from the families under this policy become known as The Stolen Generation [1910-1940] ( @australianstogether ).

I wish the book would go more in depth of the crimes as it barely broke the surface. I like Isobel’s story because it was writte in verses. I got more out of the story than what I got from Beth’s story. Having Beth as a narrator really affected us as a reader because Beth’s father protected her from the true nature of the crimes. Whatever thoughts or conclusion he came to, he kept to himself. I give this book a 3 ⭐⭐⭐. I probably would have rated this book a 4 if we got to know more about the crimes being committed rather than being left in the dark.

Which was the last book that took you on an emotional rollercoaster?

My last book was A Man Called Ove, but before that it was Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls. The original idea for this book was by Shiobhan Dowd, who was terminally ill with cancer herself and died before she could finish writing it. The book was heart-wrenching, raw, and powerful. You feel for Connor, the 13 year old boy, who is struggling to cope with the consequences of his mother’s illness, bullying at school, a grandmother he can’t stand, an absent father, and the monster that comes calling each night at 12:07. The monster, a force of nature, is truly the magical part of this story. He comes bearing three stories, and in turn Connor will tell him the fourth. The ending had me in tears. It all made sense: Connor, his mom’s illness, and the monster’s call.

Which book has the most enchanting cover on your shelf?

Although there are many becautiful covers on my bookshelf, I’d say this is the most enchanting. There’s something on this cover that just draws me in. I don’t know if it’s the color of the background, the color of the the font, the picture of the whirling dervish, or all three. Nevertheless, this book was mesmerizing. The story is about how Rumi, the great Persian poet, came to be the poet he is through the bond and knowledge he shared with his master, Shams of Tabriz. There was a certain level of mysticism and spiritulism attained throughout this book. In some parts, I was able to reach a state of tranquility 😌😌.

Initially, this was not the cover I had in mind when I went to go search for it. I heard of this book from a friend who lives in Bangladesh and she was raving about it so much, I thought I’d give it a try. Thankfully I found the book at Barnes and Noble and oh my word, the cover was just as beautiful. Thank you @shafakelif for such a beautiful book.

Rule 40

“A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, eastern or western…divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.”

Book Review

Title: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Genre: Histotical Fiction
Pages: 391

“How foolish to believe we are more powerful than the sea or the sky.”

Set during WWII(Winter of 1945), Ruta Sepetys documents the journey of four ficional characters to tell the true story of the deadliest  disaster in maritime history, the sinking of Wilhelm Gustloff. The Wilhem Gustloff was carrying wartime personnel as well as civilians,  with an estimated five thousand being children.

“The Wilhelm Gustloff was pregnant with lost souls conceived of war. They would crowd into her belly and she would give birth to their freedom. But did anyone realize? The ship was christened for a man, Wilhelm Gustloff. He had been the leader of the Nazi party in Switzerland.He was murdered. The ship was born of death.”

I knew what lay ahead before I even began this story. This story is raw, it’s emotional, beautiful but at the same time heart-wrenching. Emilia, Florian, Joana, Klaus, and Poet seemed so real to me. I laughed with them and I have cried with them….through everything. If you know about the goat scene, you know what I’m talking about . I could not at all relate with Alfred. I tried very hard because after all he shares a good part of the book, but I just couldn’t. My favorite pair was Emilia and Florian and the relationship they shared. I don’t want to give too much away but I literally choked up with what Florian did to try to encourage Emilia to accept her baby . It was just so beautiful!


Has anyone else read The Salt To The Sea? What are your thoughts? 

Book Review

Wink, Poppy, Midnight

Author:April Genevieve Tucholke
Genre: YA Mystery
Pages: 256

 “In a hundred years, who will care about my unicorn underwear? Who cares right now? There are bigger things to think about.

Bigger things like what?

Battles and wars. Lost causes and lost loves. Unsolved mysteries and magical rings and Here Be Dragons. Fairy Paths. Child-eating witches and child-saving witches. Tinder boxes and saucer-eyed dogs.”

While perusing the shelves of Barnes and Noble, this book caught my eye. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes it’s all it takes for me to delve right in. This book is about a boy and two girls. Wink, Poppy, and Midnight. A hero, a villain, a liar. Who’s who?


Wink reminded me of Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl. They are very similar in terms of personality and mysteriousness. The story captivated me in such a way that I read it in one sitting. It was truly magical.  Do you buy any books based on its cover?

Stargirl

“She laughed when there was no joke. She danced when there was no music. She had no friends, yet she was the friendliest person in school. In her answers in class, she often spoke of sea horses and stars, but she did not know what a football was… She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a cork board like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.”

– Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl

You know the type of stories that take hold of your hand and pull you right in? It is as if it is saying, “Yes, yes, I know who you are. Come in, come in, settle down, make yourself comfortable.” And as soon as you start, it’s as if you were there all along, all cozied up. Stargirl is that type of story. As soon as I knocked on its door, I just couldn’t stop. Just one more chapter. The character of Stargirl is one my favorite characters. She’s always out there, being our inner us. Dancing in the rain during school hours, singing Happy Birthday songs during lunch hour, cheering for the opposite team during games or even caring when someone from the opposite team gets hurt. She shows that she is just a human being. Her caring nature shines through so much that she does not see that there are “social rules” that everyone follows. To be honest, she reminds me of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. Luna also didn’t have a lot of friends because everyone thought that she was so out there, but those that took the time to understand her, became some of her closest and dearest friends.

I have a love and hate relationship with Leo, the male protagonist in this story. He supports Stargirl when they are to themselves but abandons her when his peers isolate him from everything. Although I do feel sorry for him when Stargirl leaves; he realizes too late of what really mattered. But, as the years passed by, he seems to have picked up some of Stargirl’s quirks such as dropping a quarter in the street, walking in the rain without an umbrella, reading the newspaper all over, etc. But in the end he knows that he is not alone and that just like he did not forget about her, she did not forget about him.  Because a day before his birthday, he received a gift-wrapped package in the mail. It was a porcupine necktie.

The One and Only Ivan

” I think for awhile. It’s hard to put into words. Gorillas are not complainers. We’re dreamers, poets, philosophers, nap takers.”

The One and Only Ivan

Finally, I took it upon myself to read this book. Despite it being a quick read, it was an emotional journey. The emotions itself were raw and powerful. They shook me. I cried for Julia. I felt Ivan’s rage as he beated his chest, over and over again. Inspired by a true story of a gorilla in captivity, this story explores the power of friendship, identity, and creativity.

Tsundoku (n.)

tsun•do•ku  [tsun-doh-ku]
(n.) from Japanese- the act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piled up together with other unread books.

I do have the habit of being a Tsundoku  。(*^▽^*)ゞ  I bought all these but never seemed to actually read them or I may have started, but didn’t get all the way through.

  1. Children of the Lamp: The Akhenaten Adventure by Philip Kerr

     

I didn’t actually buy this one. Baba drove by a book sale the other day and thought I might like it. So, he bought it for me. Thank you baba! ♡〜٩(^▿^)۶〜♡ He knows me so well. Apparently, this book is the first book of its series and it is about a pair of twins stumbling upon the world of djinns. Oooh, can’t wait to crack this book open.

  1. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling

I know, I know. Usually I’m quick to gobble up HP related books, but this one came amid my student teaching and grad classes. So… it got put off the side. On the plus point, I did start it though.

  1. Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Actually, I finished this right after I took this picture. I had finished a third of the book when I had stopped reading it. After I picked it up again, I ended up staying the entire night to finish the book. Now I can relate with people who has already read it ^^”

  1. The Zoo Keeper’s Wife by Diana Ackerman

I became intrigued after I saw the movie trailer actually. I’m all for a good Holocaust related story. I believe that each Holocaust story is just one piece of a whole story. I like hearing and experiencing the different stories out there. I did take it to Bangladesh when I visited, but it never peaked my interest to just sit down down and read in the hustle and bustle.

  1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

I picked this up at my local library. They’re always having a book sale. You can get three paperbacks for a dollar! I’m currently reading this one now, after finishing Wonder.

  1. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I never got the chance to read this. That’s the disadvantage of going to Barnes and Nobles… the books call you over, you buy them, and now they’re sitting on your shelf intend of theirs.

  1. Billy Creekmore by Tracey Porter

This book was on sale at the school I student taught at. It looked interesting so I did it.        I bought it    m(_ _;;m

  1. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

I also bought this at the above book sale mentioned above. But, I promise, I’ll get to this one soon. This year, no new books until I finish all these first.

Books to read (and re-read)

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

I came across this at Barnes and Nobles while waiting for my tutoree. It seems magical and an interesting read. I can’t wait to devour this one.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

I know, I know. I’ve been hanging on to this one for quite a while. I can’t just seem to get a good grip on this book. I start reading it, and then something just happens to distract me. Maybe there is too much going on in my mind.

The Zoo Keeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

And don’t even get me started on this one. I’m really into Holocaust stories but i just never got the chance to sink my teeth into this one.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

This is one of those books that you get introduced to in school. My 6th grade teacher read this out loud for us and I had fallen in love with it ever since.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

One of my most favorite books of all time. I had a blast ripping it apart when I used it for my undergraduate thesis paper. And to those of you who don’t know, Frankenstein is the scientist that made the creature, not the creature itself.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Another favorite. Out of all the books we were required to read in 11th grade, this was the best one. I hung onto each word as I read though every page of this book. I loved it.

Your Soul is a River by Nikita Gill

You carry both lightning and thunder in that space between your bones and soul. Become the storm you are hiding from, a hurricane does not run from the rain.
– The Space Between