It’s Monday & I’m smashing my stack while listening to Lin-Manuel Miranda

It’s Monday & I’m smashing my stack while listening to Lin-Manuel Miranda

This past week, I read: Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card My rating: 2 of 5 stars This was fine, but a little dry mostly because it’s very interior and about a kid who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else thinking about how much smarter he is than everyone else. The only problem is that set up leaves little room for interaction with other characters and is, you know, kind of boring. But it was interesting enough for me to finish, so. Sister Carlotta’s sections were pretty great, though. And I wasn’t that fond of the chapter beginnings. They were unnecessarily vague in places and would have worked better as actual scenes.   Royal Wedding Disaster by Meg Cabot My rating: 4 of 5 stars Suuuuuuper cute with lots of laugh out loud moments. I am extremely tickled that Olivia finds Grandmère to be a comforting presence, but that’s the […]

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default whiteness

default whiteness

Posted May 20, 2016 by Akilah in Real Life / 1 Comment

So I read this tweet the other day and it kind of shook me to my core. Mainly because I realized that I still default to white. STILL. And I have been reading a lot of books for a long time, and I know better. But when I read a book (esp. if it’s written by a white person), I automatically think the characters are white. In fact, I did this HARDCORE with a series I finished recently. In the first book, there are hints that a character isn’t white, but I brushed them aside until it was explicitly stated that she was brown in the last book. And even then I was waffling about whether or not to count it for the Diversity on the Shelf Challenge (which it’s still not too late to sign up for!) because of that. THAT IS CRAZY. I know better. And yet. So […]

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#SmashYourStack: Reading My Own Books for the rest of May

#SmashYourStack: Reading My Own Books for the rest of May

Posted May 18, 2016 by Akilah in Reading Challenges / 4 Comments

I know I’m past the halfway point of the month, but I have decided to participate in the Smash Your Stack challenge, which encourages readers to read their own books in May. I’m moving this summer. Moving = packing boxes. Packing boxes means figuring out which books make the cut. I have a ton of books that I bought from the library book sale that I want to read so I can re-donate. I also have some books that I have been gifted that I haven’t ever read. Now is the time to read them all, so I can scale back and not lug books up and down stairs that I have no interest in rereading. So! I’m checking in all of my library books today or tomorrow so I can concentrate on the books I already own. It’s hard work, reading all of these books, but somebody has to […]

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? (5/16/16)

It’s Monday! What are you reading? (5/16/16)

Posted May 16, 2016 by Akilah in Book Reviews, Young Adult Lit / 3 Comments

This past week, I finished: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan My rating: 4 of 5 stars This was super fun. Apollo is a great narrator because his arrogance is beyond belief, yet he’s also kind of likable because he is hilarious. To wit, this is a thing he actually thinks: “If she could do it, then so could the brilliant, fabulous Apollo.” And that’s AFTER his character has exhibited some growth. So. Lots of laugh out loud moments and two of my favorite characters in the whole series showed up (as well as Percy Jackson, naturally). View all my reviews Last week, I posted:   As of today, I’m reading: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson are both selections for my summer book club. I told myself I would give any of the book club choices 50 pages to grab me before […]

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Armchair BEA 2016: Wrap-Up

Armchair BEA 2016: Wrap-Up

Posted May 15, 2016 by Akilah in Armchair BEA, Blogging Events / 1 Comment

Share your overall thoughts on the week, list your posts for the week, and/or share your highlights or favorite posts from fellow participants, then link up! My overall thoughts on the week: awesome! I had a lot of fun writing the posts and visiting different blogs. I suck, though, and didn’t save any of the ones I visited except Meaghan’s post on aesthetic concerns because I actually changed my blog’s font after reading the post. Life changer! My posts: I am super glad I did this. The more I engage with other bloggers and my blog, the more I like keeping up with my blog and the more ideas I have for my blog. And if I’m going to do this thing, I want to DO THIS THING. I’m looking forward to reading other people’s wrap-up posts because I know I’ll encounter some blogs I missed. Happy ABEA, everybody!  

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Armchair BEA 2016: 4 Fictional Places I Want to Visit

Armchair BEA 2016: 4 Fictional Places I Want to Visit

Posted May 14, 2016 by Akilah in Armchair BEA, Blogging Events / 1 Comment

  1. I hate to be predictable, but, obviously, I would want to visit The Wizarding World from Harry Potter: Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, The Burrow, etc. The saddest fact of my life is that I live SO CLOSE to Orlando and yet. (I also like to recycle jokes. SUE ME.) 2. I would also like to visit the Kingdom of Cello from The Colors of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty. But only during one of the nice color storms, please. And if I get to tour the palace, Jagged Edge, and the Farms with my girl Princess Ko and the rest of the Royal Alliance. 3. I would love to visit Camp Half-Blood and/or Camp Jupiter from the Percy Jackson series, but only during one of the down seasons when no campers are disappearing or being chased by monsters. So this may actually be one of those worlds I would […]

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Armchair BEA 2016: On Audiobooks & Book Clubs

Armchair BEA 2016: On Audiobooks & Book Clubs

I love audiobooks, but I have to admit that I was nervous to start listening to them. My concern was mostly that I wouldn’t pay attention and would miss a bunch of stuff as a result. However, I found that to be the exact opposite of my experience. Still, my first foray into audiobooks started with me listening to a book I had already read: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I figured that was a safe way to figure out if audiobooks were for me or not. Because, hey, if I found that I couldn’t pay attention, it wouldn’t really matter since I had already read the book. Well, I paid attention, and I was hooked. In fact, listening to HP in the car is how I finally got my daughter into the books. We listened to the whole series as we did road trips over the course of […]

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Armchair BEA 2016: On Aesthetics

Armchair BEA 2016: On Aesthetics

Posted May 12, 2016 by Akilah in Armchair BEA, Blogging Events / 6 Comments

For a period of time back in the early 2000s (aka before the blog), I refused to read book jacket flaps or the back of the book because they always, always seemed to spoil a major plot point. I would go into a book thinking that the basic premise was whatever was written on the flap and then that thing that I thought would be part of the set up would happen three-fourths of the way through the book. Oh, it made me so angry. So I stopped reading jacket flaps and plot synopses and started picking books based on the cover and title. So, a few of the books I encountered that way are: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray Jason and Kyra by Dana Davidson Luxe by Anna Godbersen Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba (part of the Royal Diaries series) Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill […]

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Armchair BEA 2016: On Diversity Fatigue and Rage

Armchair BEA 2016: On Diversity Fatigue and Rage

Okay, so I was initially going to be pretty glib in my response to the diversity questions because I have a bit of diversity discussion fatigue (but probably not for the reasons you think). I was just going to post a link to the Diversity on the Shelf challenge I host (which it’s still not too late to sign up for!) and let that be that. But then this weekend someone called my daughter and her best friend the n-word when they were at the Dairy Queen, and I realized that I can’t afford to be glib.     Here’s the thing: I am tired of talking about diversity because, for me, it is something that I have spent my whole life thinking about and being angry about. I AM TIRED OF TALKING ABOUT IT. I think it’s good for white people to get in on the action, though, but […]

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Armchair BEA 2016 Intro

Armchair BEA 2016 Intro

Posted May 11, 2016 by Akilah in Armchair BEA, Blogging Events / 4 Comments

I’m Akilah, and I’ve been blogging here about books since 2009, though I did blog about books on my LiveJournal going back as far as 2002. So, yeah, I’m not new to the game. However, this is only the second time I’ve participated in Armchair BEA (the first was way back in 2013). Now, onto the questions (I kept the original numbering. Clever or annoying? You make the call): 2.  What is your favorite genre and why? My usual answer to this would be contemporary realistic YA lit, but, well, see #8. 3.  If you could recommend one other book blogger, who would it be and why? I follow a lot of great bloggers, but today I’m going with Crystal @ Reading Through Life. She is a voracious reader who also helps run Rich in Color, a blog devoted to diversity in YA. Also, and more importantly, I discovered her blog […]

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