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Diverse Summer Reading Recap + A Giveaway

summer reading

Earlier this week, I reached the deadline for my Diverse Summer Reading Challenge. My goal was to read 8 books that featured non-traditional representation and/or diverse themes. I also tried to restrict my choices to authors of color and women as much as possible.

Let's see how I did:

Diverse Summer Reading Challenge

Results: not so good. I am such a slow reader.

Pantomime was a fun read about a runaway who joins the circus as an aerialist. I loved the characters and world-building, but wasn't thrilled with the pace and felt that the marketing didn't do it justice. You can read my thoughts in-depth here.

The Summer of the Mariposas is an alternative re-telling of the Odyssey with a touch of magical realism and Aztec folklore. It tells the story of five sisters who are struggling as a family after the sudden disappearance of their father. I felt the author did a great job giving las hermanas distinct voices and personalities, even if their bickering wore me out. It was a cute read rich with culture and history.

Beloved interweaves the personal narratives of a group of former slaves and the grim past that haunts them. Morrison doesn't pull any punches with this one; it's uncomfortable and depressing and maddening. I enjoyed it insamuch as one can derive pleasure from such a tough subject. That's not meant to detract from its value—it was an excellent albeit devastating read.

I started reading Kafka on the Shore but ran out of time. I haven't read enough to have formed an opinion about it.

So what the heck happened with my goal? To be completely honest, I got hung up on Beloved for over a month and a half. It was a difficult read in more ways than one, and I probably re-started it three times in a single week. I was also lured away by temptation in the midst of all the August end of summer sales (thanks a lot Emily Books!) and ended up reading through a few of my purchases instead of sticking to my syllabus. For shame!

The good news is I'm giving one of those books away because I'm just a nice person like that.

How To Get Into the Twin Palms

How To Get Into the Twin Palms by Karolina Waclawiak is about a young Polish-American woman who feels displaced by both cultures. Her identity is conflicted; she feels no deep yearning for her Polish roots and no strong connection to her American present. The novel is not a traditional immigrant story. Instead of seeking reconciliation, she wishes to reinvent her identity by passing as Russian in order to to gain entry to the exclusive Twin Palms. The writing is concise and sparse, making it flow like a light, airy read for such a deep and nuanced subject. Even so, Waclawiak paints a vivid narrative without the aid of superfluous descriptors and flowery language.

If that sounds like your idea of a good time, enter the raffle below to win a DRM-free digital copy for your Kindle. (It's a .prc and will work with all Kindle devices & apps.) Good luck!

A Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Sounds cool! :D

  2. Abigail Fernandez SongcoOctober 28, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    any, i'd like to read something new not just all my nursing books please!

  3. My fall TBR is The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Chatto & Windus) By Richard Flanagan

  4. Cant wait to read it! xx

  5. anne rice books would b great !

  6. Ma. Christina NicolasOctober 30, 2014 at 6:38 AM


  7. Little Prince. I don't believe I'll ever get over this amazing book.