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August 2020 Reading Roundup

Yaaaay! I remembered how to read again!

I tried to be more organised, and sat down and put markers in my books to show roughly how much I needed to read each day to get them finished by the end of the month. Some days I read more, because I couldn’t put the book down, and other days I read less because I had the attention span of a two-year-old – but it gave me a general guideline to stick to.

It seemed to work, so I will try again next month and see if I can keep it up!

My year total now stands at 51 out of 75 books.

What I Read (Books & Audiobooks):

  • Sweetpea (Sweetpea #1) by C J Skuse: I barely know how to begin describing this book. It isn’t quite like anything else I’ve ever read. Written in diary format, you find yourself in the mind of Rhiannon, a snarky, independent woman who likes Chihuahuas, Beyonce, growing plants on her balcony, oh, and murdering people. Yup, Sweetpea is the diary of an unrepentant serial killer and it is compulsively glorious. I couldn’t put it down and I really, really want book two already because for reasons I can’t quite fathom, Rhiannon’s diary is addictive. 5*
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X Kendi: The YA ‘remix’ of Ibram X Kendi’s bestselling Stamped: From The Beginning, this was a very accessible look at America’s past, explaining how it shaped the America of the present. I raced through it, because Jason Reynolds works magic with words and rhythm – it is perfect for teens, young adults, and not-so-young adults who usually struggle with non-fiction books. 5*
  • What Is Race? Who Are Racists? Why Does Skin Colour Matter? And Other Big Questions by Claire L Heuchan and Nikesh Shukla: I shared this brilliant little book with Tori. Broken down into short, easy to digest sections, it offers answers to questions that are often considered ‘awkward’, a selection of real-life stories from people who have been affected by racism of all types, and prompts to encourage the reader to think about their own experiences, feelings, and attitude. It was gentle but firm and perfect for opening up a conversation about having to ‘unlearn’ racist things that sometimes we don’t even realise we have learned in the first place until it is pointed out. A great way to introduce the idea of being anti-racist rather than just ‘not-racist’. 5*
  • Hidden Figures (Young Reader’s Edition) by Margot Lee Shetterly: I have been reading this out loud to Tori and Arthur, and we all really enjoyed it. The style was easy to read and it struck a good balance between using the scientific/mathematical vocabulary and easier terms. Everything was explained without talking down to the reader, and I didn’t feel like I missed out from reading the Young Reader’s edition rather than the original, adult text. Tori and Arthur were fascinated by the behind the scenes stories of aircraft development and the Russian-American Space Race, and it introduced them to the history of segregation in the US and how that affected everything at the time as well. They were both disappointed when I got to the end, they wanted to know even more! 5*
  • You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson: Liberty bought me this for my birthday and I absolutely loved it! It was so much fun, and left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, like all good romances should. Even the cover just makes me smile – a beautiful story about love, life, family, and friendship, all wrapped up in a prom-worthy bow with cherries on top! 5*
  • They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera (Audiobook): *anguished wail* This book is beautiful and thoughtful and emotional and… does exactly what it says on the tin. Set in an alternate reality where everything is pretty much the same except you get a phone call between midnight and 3am on the day you’re going to die, letting you know that today is The Day. You don’t know how, or why, or when, but some time in the 24 hours just started, you are going to die. This story follows two teenage boys who get that call on the same day and meet through an app designed to find people a ‘Last Friend’ to spend their final day with. Needless to say, you spend the whole book wishing for a miracle… but if you got one, then the title would be a lie. I cried. Approximately 37 buckets full. 5*

What I Listened To (Podcasts):

  • Earpediea: Plants by Sue Perkins: 13 bitesized episodes, each focusing on a different type of plant, from the familiar (cocoa) to the unfamiliar (Titan Arum – looks like a penis, smells like a bin). The facts are brilliant, interspersed with comic skits, all brilliantly presented. This was perfect for sticking on whilst I was doing odd jobs around the house and wanted something to listen to. I felt both educated and entertained. 4*

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