Tag Archives: books

Reading Wrap-Up: A Madness So Discreet

Mindy McGinnis’ “A Madness So Discreet” is about a young pregnant woman named Grace who is put in an asylum by her family in the 1800s. (I can’t say any more about that or I’ll give away important plot details.)  A doctor studying criminology is amazed by Grace’s intelligence and attention to detail.  They hatch a plan to get Grace out of the horrible asylum and into a different one that is much more humane and progressive than many asylums at that time.   Grace is allowed to work as the doctor’s assistant and she accompanies him to crime scenes.  Eventually the details of how she became pregnant and wound up at the horrible asylum come out of the woodwork.

My library classified this book as teen fiction, which kind of irritated me.  There’s this stereotype that teen fiction is code for “shallow and lame.”  I assure you the book is neither of those things!  (Side note:  I wouldn’t recommend the book for younger teens.  If this was a movie, it would definitely be rated R.)

I love this book so much.  It’s an emotionally difficult read, but it’s super well-written, and I felt like it handled the subject of asylums respectfully, unlike the “lunatic asylums as entertainment” mindset that is so prevalent in our culture.

 

BEDS Day 11: Diverseathon Reading List

There’s this readathon going on in the “Booktube” community called the diverseathon.  It runs from Monday, September 12th through the 19th.  The idea is you read books by people who are different from you, and/or people who identify as a minority in some sense.  I really want to participate but I’m also way too exhausted to make videos right now, so I thought I’d do blog posts.  Since reading can take me awhile, I’m going to give myself till the end of September to get through all the books on my list.

Diverseathon Reading List:

1.)  Days of Awe by Achy Obejas

A Cuban woman traces her identity back to Sephardic Jews who converted to Catholicism to stay safe during the Spanish Inquisition.  When most people think of Jews, they think of Eastern European Jews.  So I thought this would be an interesting read.

2.)  The Muslim Next Door by Sumbul Ali-Karamali

I realized I don’t know much about Islam, so I wanted to read this.  The author delves into common myths about Islam.

3.)  Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi

This is a coming-of-age story that takes place in Nigeria.  It’s about a 15-year-old girl named Kambili who has an abusive father.  She goes to live with her aunt and learns that there is so much more out there.  I read this about ten years ago and I can’t wait to reread it!

4.)  Sparks by S.J. Adams

A 16-year-old lesbian develops a crush on her religious best friend, and she bands together with a few other teenagers who don’t “fit in” and they create their own religion called the Church of Blue.

5.) Wandering Son by Takako Shimura

This is  a graphic novel about a girl who wants to be a boy and a boy who wants to be a girl.  I have only read a handful of graphic novels and books about people who identify as transgender so I’m really looking forward to this one.

6.)  Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Two half-sisters in 18th century Ghana lead vastly different lives.  One marries an English colonist and lives in comfort and affluence.  The other is captured and sold into slavery in America.  This book was mentioned in a few different YouTube videos I watched and I knew I had to get my paws on it!  I don’t want to say it sounds interesting because  it’s talking about slavery, but you know what I mean.

I’ll be back soon with Day 12 of the BEDS challenge, and if I can manage two posts tomorrow I will finally be caught up!  🙂

 

 

BEDS Day 3: Middlemarch Madness!

I’m doing my first read-a-long with Rincey Reads on YouTube.  For the month of August she chose George Eliot’s “Middlemarch.”  I’m only just getting to it now because of the whole spending-summer-in-a-furnace.  If anyone wants to do the read-a-long, you can check out her channel and use the hashtag #middlemarchmadness on Instagram.  I’m not too far into it, but so far I have mixed feelings.  I like the basic premise, but the going is a little slow at times!

I’m also reading “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” which I’m doing for another read along for the month of September.    Click here to check that one out!  I read it for the first time in high school and it’s one of my favorites.  It’s a lot more accessible than some classics and it touches on a lot of the social issues that were prevalent amongst working-class families in New York City at the turn of the century.

If you’ve read either “Middlemarch” or “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” let me know what you think in the comments!  Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you for Day 4!