I haven’t shared my thoughts on what I’ve been reading lately because, quite frankly, I haven’t been reading a lot. I’ve been reading a ton for my job, and I think that’s part of the problem. I edit stories all day (and sometimes night) long—and by the end of the day, my eyes are usually killing me and the last thing I want to do is read.
But lately, I haven’t exactly been in a reading slump. In fact, I desperately want to read so many of the books on my shelves; I just don’t have the time or eye muscle strength (that’s a thing, right?).
But I’m coming out of the fog. My schedule is getting back to normal a bit, which means I’m reaching for a book more often than not. The only problem is that I’ve been juggling so many incredible books, I don’t know which one I should pick up!
Here’s what I’m currently reading:
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Most YA lovers know that this book is all over the place right now, which makes my heart so happy. Angie Thomas is changing the world, y’all, and I’m so thrilled to be able to watch it happen from Twitter. The Hate U Give is about a sixteen-year-old girl named Starr who happens to be the only witness to the fatal shooting of her best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. This book is incredibly relevant right now and captures the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement. I am only about sixty to seventy pages in, and I can already tell it’s going to be a favorite of mine. It’s already a best seller and (!!!) has a movie deal in the works.
Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
Moloka’i is a heart-wrenching tale of a young girl named Rachel who is separated from her family and taken to a quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka’i. I started reading this with a few other bookish friends but couldn’t, unfortunately, keep up. I’m still really enjoying it, even though I’m only about 140 pages in. It shocked me how deeply emotional I am while reading this book. I knew it would be horrifying and painful to read about, but I didn’t anticipate how connected I would feel to the main character and her family. There’s something so unsettling about the whole thing, and I find myself having to skip over some gruesome scenes because the writing is so realistic. I’m excited to continue with this book, but I definitely have to be in the right mood to pick it up. I find myself wanting to read more about the history of Moloka’i and the history of leprosy.
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
I read Raven Boys last month and was OBSESSED. It seriously had everything I could ever want in a YA book . . . a bit of fantasy/magical realism, a slow-burning love story, friendship, weird family secrets, adventure/mystery, murder, and so much more. I’ve been told that Dream Thieves is even better, and I just can’t wait. I’m not very far into it (maybe seventy pages?) but I know I’m going to breeze through it once I let myself GO for it. I love Gansey so much and I really, really can’t wait to see what happens. This book/series is about a girl named Blue who grows up with a family of women psychics. Her life “strangely” collides (that’s all i’m going to say to avoid spoilers) with a group of boys from a local all-boys private school, and they’re known as the Raven Boys. All you know going into the book is that Blue has been told her whole life that she will be the reason her true love dies . . . and she’s very close to falling in love. That’s all I needed to know to be hooked.
Monstress by Sana Takeda—and other graphic novels
My friend Paul recently let me borrow several of his favorite graphic novels to help me dip my toes in the world of comics and graphic novels. I have to say, I’m thankful for the nudge; it’s intimidating to get into graphic novels when you don’t know where to start! A lot of the ones he gave me are older—from the nineties—but a few are newer, such as Paper Girls, volume one, by Brian K. Vaughan, which I already finished and loved. I honestly don’t know anything about any of these graphic novels, especially Monstress, but I’m excited to get into them, and I trust my friend’s judgment. They were expertly curated based on my interests, so hopefully they’ll be fantastic. 😉 Neil Gaiman blurbed Monstress, writing that it was “remarkable: a beautifully told story of magic and fear,” so, I mean, I’m here for it.
Yes Please! by Amy Poehler
I’m listening to this funny, touching, and empowering book on Audible. It’s the perfect audiobook—it grips you and keeps you entertained without getting too heavy or too caught up in descriptions, which can be hard to focus on when listening to an audiobook. This is a book of personal essays about Amy’s professional and personal life, and it’s full of her perfect humor throughout. I’m convinced the audiobook has to be better than physically reading the book, because not only does Amy narrate her own book, but some parts are narrated by other beloved characters, including her BFF Seth Meyers. She’s just so hilarious. I love all of her reflections on Parks & Rec, funny little anecdotes about her childhood, and her thoughts on women in the workplace, motherhood, childbirth, and getting started in comedy.
Rising Strong by Brené Brown
I’m also listening to Rising Strong on Audible, which is also narrated by the author. I am LOVING this book so far. I read Daring Greatly and want to read all of her other books ASAP. My friends and I are reading this together, and it’s all about vulnerability, strength, and the reckoning, rumble, and rising moments of life. She’s taught me so much already about how I view vulnerability, empathy, and sharing the wounds before they become scars, which is something we’re taught by society to run from in life. Brené has the best anecdotes, like Amy Poehler, except Brené’s really stay with me for a long, long time. Pretty much everything about her research spills out into my every day life, and I have those explosive “a ha!” moments every single chapter. I’m almost done with this, book, but I strangely don’t want it to end.
There are a few others on my TBR that I’d like to get to sooner rather than later, but these are the books I’ve actually started/almost finished. What are you reading? Are you juggling a million books, too?