Yesterday was the last day of the DiverseAThon and I can say that it worked pretty well to get me into reading. I’ve started January with loads of exams so I didn’t really have the time to read nor the enthusiasm. I’ve only just picked a few reading challenges and started listening to audiobooks but for me, audiobooks are a thing only when it comes to memoirs and I really missed my fiction! I’ve also took the time to read some graphic novels which are usually my companions during exams. There’s also a cooking book in the mix for when I was still thinking: Oh, here’s a new year and I still haven’t figured out what’s healthy and what’s not! I need to pick a book and learn more about healthy food. *eats tons of chocolate*
For the DiverseAThon, I have managed to finish 5 books. All of which were really good! I also really appreciated the chats that were hosted by Monica, Joce, Christina Marie and Simon. There were questions that directed the chats and lots of participants with genuine answers that taught me a lot. I don’t know how frequent are the DiverseAThons to be honest but I would love for it to be another one really soon. I had a pretty non-definite TBR. I’ve picked up 12 books to choose from + the common book chosen which is The Underground Railroad. I ended up reading 4 books from the list + rereading The Underground Railroad which I’ve mentionned before was one of my favorite books of 2016 + Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe. Without counting the reread = 5 books which is more than I expected. I know that most books on the list are short but still, I don’t think I’ve ever done that much reading in the space of a week.
I’ll start by talking about the books I’ve read first (graphic novels + essays + cooking book) and then tackle the DiverseAThon reads.
The first book I’ve finished in January was “Deliciously Ella” by Ella Woodward. I know nothing about cooking and I can’t say I’ve tried any of her recipes but she writes in a very enthusiastic way and that just did it for me. Also, she doesn’t use incredibly hard to find ingredients. I know that where I live even what is mentionned to be inexpensive and available everywhere is not but at least, it exists and many of her recipes are based on the same ingredients which is not something I find in every cookbook. It also suits beginners. I try my best to find resources for healthy eating but I can’t seem to find the right motivation. I hope that I’ll get to try one of her recipes, she makes it sound so easy!
Next, I’ve listened to “Bossypants” by Tina Fey which I’ve already read and reviewed here. I pretty much loved it and would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a fun quick read. Bonus points if you listen to the audiobook! The third book I’ve picked up is a collection of essays by Rebecca Solnit: “Men Explain Things to Me”. I don’t know why but from the title I was expecting a fun read about feminism. I’m not saying that the book is not good, on the contrary! I just don’t know why in my mind I’ve just figured that it’ll actually be about men explaining things to women which is a thing that happens quite a lot, sadly. It is a lot more darker and serious than the title lets it sound. Not all the essays were great, I’d say 3 out of the 7 in the book got my entire attention and the others were just too slow and not very engaging so there were some parts where I just skimmed, ouch. I’m not sure if I would recommend it to anyone, I’m not even sure I’d recommend it to myself if I could time travel and meet myself in the beginning of January sooo meeh…
Next we have three graphic novels. “Giant Days” Volume 1 and 2 by John Allison and the first volume of “Monster” by Naoki Urasawa. Let me start by talking about the latter: “Monster”. I really really loved this! It’s just WOW! Definitely one of my favourite mangas/graphic novels. It starts kinda slowly but then… You just can’t put it down! The artwork’s amazing and I love the main character which is Dr. Tenma so I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next volumes. I can’t recommend this highly enough! Even if you’re not a big fan of mangas,you should read it. As for “Giant Days”, they’re my next favorite graphic novels coming right after “Monster” for this month. I’ve heard lots of people rave about it so I decided to pick the first two volumes and I did not regret it. It was really cute and the art: so great with loads of colors and a great palette. It was really fun at times and the characters are all really relatable. Also loved the diversity! I’m not sure if I like the second volume just as much or a bit less but either way it’s still a fun series and you should totally read it!
Last but not least and right before talking about my DiverseAThon reads, I’ll talk about “Medea” by Euripides, an ancient greek play. It follows the story of Jason and Medea who were married with two children but got separated after Jason decided to take on a new wife after Medea has done everything to protect him, including killing her own brother. How could he, right? And most importantly, how could she? It’s very tragic since there are lots of murders and it really surprised me. I wasn’t expecting that at all and it made me want to read more and more classics of its kind. I didn’t know what to think of Medea’s actions really. She shouldn’t have involved anyone besides her husband I think. It was monstruous, beyond all evil! Lesson learned?: To never upset a woman. Don’t you dare! Maybe your woman is a Medea and you don’t want the consequences!
Now here come the DiverseAThon reads! I will do a review for each and every book of these ( I have already done 3 and working on my 4th which will be for the group read) since I think all of these books gave me much thoughts and I would really love to discuss them. I have started the week by reading “Binti” by Nnedi Okorafor and “The Reason I Jump” by Naoki Higashida. Both books I’ve really enjoyed although the second is to be taken with a grain of salt since I find it quite “dangerous” for a person to be speaking for all autistic people. “Binti” presented a mix of culture and technology which I haven’t read or encountered in any other book before. Would love to read something like that that is perhaps a bit longer? I have yet to do my research.
Right after finishing both these books, I’ve started “A World Without You” by Beth Revis and “The Underground Railroad” that happens to be a reread. The first book is really nice. The writing? Marvelous! I only wish it gave more importance to the secondary characters. I’ve linked the title to the full review so you can click on it to see my full thoughts about the book. The second book is a gem. It’s really not easy to read though and not recommended for the fainthearted! I personally loved Colson’s writing and it fit perfectly the narrative. Of course there are some bad things like the fact that some characters weren’t fully developed (I’m really into characters!) but it didn’t matter much next to what “The Underground Railroad” really was. I am still very hesitant to publish my review because I’m afraid I won’t do it justice but in the same time I’m really excited to share my point of view sooo… It’s very powerful and heartbreaking. There were times where I just had to stop which is probably why it took me so long to finish regardless of the fact that I loved the book and that it was the reread. Still the same impact though!
I hope this doesn’t count as cheating but I’ve only finished “Citizen” by Claudia Rankine a few hours after midnight. I read it in one sitting and it is so powerful. Rankine’s writing is so elegant and is able to wrap you in, to get you hooked. I am not a big fan of sports but I was still really shocked of how Serena Williams was treated. Plenty of racism everywhere! It’s sad that we still have to fight for this. I didn’t realize it was poetry until I saw it on Goodreads. It felt like reading essays but then again I don’t know much about prose poetry. Would definitely recommend this book, even more if you’ve enjoyed “Between The World and Me”. And just before finishing “Citizen”, I have read “Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sàenz. I didn’t know it before but it’s narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda! That was such a great surprise! It was a beautiful and emotional read. The writing, the characters, the topics it discusses… I know I’ve just said that I did not listen to audiobooks if they weren’t memoirs buuut Lin-Manuel kept me going! It feels so nice to finally understand why everyone was talking about this book! You should definitely read it!
And that’s it for my January reads! I hope it wasn’t too long. Let me know if you’ve had any favorites during the month of January and what you’re planning on reading on February! Thanks a lot for tagging along!