You can watch Earl’s Live One-Take KidLit Book Reviews on my YouTube channel.
I’ll be posting there every Sunday and Wednesday.
A highlight of July was meeting up with friends for Kidlit Quarantine Book Club for Adults via Zoom.
We discussed From the Desk of Zoey Washington by Janae Marks. You can watch my review here.
The next KidLit Quarantine Book Club for Adults pick is Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros. We’ll meet Thursday, August 13th at 6pm. (New time!)
I decided to continue cooking a Filipino dish a month after taking last quarter off. I made arroz caldo (or aroskaldo) which is a kind of rice porridge comfort food, flavored with garlic and ginger. I topped it with a hard boiled egg and scallions. As usual, I didn’t put enough liquid or broth but, at least, the rice was flavorful.
It was also my eight-year anniversary at work.
I first heard about civil rights hero Congressman John Roberts Lewis after reading his graphic novel memoir, March. I have been inspired ever since by his willingness to cause good trouble during bad times. I was comforted by the fact there were people like him fighting for what’s right and what’s decent. So it was with shock and sadness that I read of his passing. May we mourn his loss and celebrate his life. Let us cause good trouble as I’m sure he would want us to do.
I watched the wonderful documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble. It’s available to rent. You can watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/z_oEkOdIXdo
I also included a list of books by and about John Lewis. Shop online supporting independent bookstores here: https://bookshop.org/books?keywords=John+Lewis
There’s also a petition to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge after Rep. John Lewis. Add your name here: https://johnlewisbridge.com/
And, remember to vote this upcoming election. Register or your check your status here: https://www.vote.org/
Get into some good trouble!
So far this year, I’ve read 254 books. The breakdown is:
7- Adult novels
12- Adult non-fiction
22- Graphic novels
42- Middle Grade novels (Goal: 52)
164- Picture Books and Board Books
7- Young Adult novels
40- Nonfiction Pictures (Goal: 104)
23- Audio Books
And, now for book reviews…
Even though I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy for work awhile back, I was hesitant to actually read Three Keys since I loved Front Desk so much. But I needn’t have worried because Kelly Yang delivered an equally engaging story with this one.
The stakes are definitely higher but Mia Tang is determined to rise above them. Readers will be cheering her along as she makes sure her voice is heard against the injustices she and the people she cares about are faced with.
I was surprised by the complexity of the characters and how certain stories played out. I can’t wait until the book is released in September so people can experience it for themselves!
Readers who love stories within stories will want to take a bite out of When You Trap a Tiger. Real life problems and Korean folktales are interwoven together in a captivating tale about a shy girl and her family who have to move in with her eccentric Halmoni (grandmother) and the sudden mysterious sightings of a might-or-might-not-be real tiger.
The artwork and storytelling style reminds me a lot of Studio Ghibli. But Katie O’Neill manages to make something unique as well. I like that she always incorporates LGBTQ elements into her story but she doesn’t make a big deal out of it. I really enjoyed The Tea Dragon Society so was pleasantly surprised there was this follow up, really more of a companion, with the next and final one being a direct continuation of the first.
The artwork and storytelling style reminds me a lot of Studio Ghibli- and Ponyo, for this one. But Katie O’Neill manages to make something unique as well. I like that she always incorporates LGBTQ elements into her story but she doesn’t make a big deal out of it. And in this one she also has a strong message of taking care of our environment, especially our oceans.
What a rollercoaster of a read! At first, I was excited to see what all the buzz was about with this book, which sometimes has the effect of me not wanting to read a book. Then, it seemed a bit too fanfictiony and pandering but that could be my distaste of good-looking people having problems. I was annoyed that the characters had flaws that weren’t flaws at all- like the main character was short in the sense that he’s average height and his love interest was taller than him. Plus, as a gay man, I had other issues with some of the other depictions. I was tempted to give up after reading some of the negative reviews but I’m actually glad I stuck with it. If there was going to be another predictable rom-com novel, at least it featured gay characters, and they need these kinds of stories, too.
I listened to the audiobook and Ramon de Ocampo did a great job.
***= Liked It
You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.
Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!