Monday, November 18, 2019

It's Monday! What are you reading? 11-18-19

It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

My Monday posts are generally just a highlight of what I've been reading during the week so if you'd like to see all that I've been reading, follow my Goodreads page.

I recently reviewed:

Beautiful on the Outside by Adam Rippon
Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness

I recently read and loved:

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
This book made my foodie heart so happy (and hungry).

Know My Name by Chanel Miller
If you're a high school English teacher I'm going to need you to be brave and consider replacing one of those dusty old books by a dead white guy with this book instead. It is a book that every teenage and college-age boy needs to read. It is a book that will start conversations and make them consider, understand, and even FEEL what it's like to lose your own bodily autonomy and therefore understand what consent REALLY means. Chanel Miller's gift of writing is like nothing I have ever experienced and I have read a lot of books in my lifetime. I listened to the audiobook of this but I feel like I have to go back and read the physical book too just to savor her lingering words.

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar, illustrated by Alea Marley
A beautiful book that seamlessly weaves the story of a boy who practices Sikhism, but doesn't become didactic. It is the story of Harpreet Singh, a young boy who moves from California to a place that is cold and gets lots of snow. The colors he wears indicate his moods and feelings so when he moves to a new place and doesn't feel like he fits in, he no longer wears bright colors because he doesn't want to be noticed. I love the meaningful but brief note about Sikhism at the end to help better educate readers about Sikh identity and how that relates to their clothing.

Bob Ross and Peapod the Squirrel by Robb Pearlman, illustrated by Jason Kayser with Bob Ross
Bob Ross in a picture book? YES PLEASE!!!!

Currently Reading:

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Currently reading with my ears:

Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance by Emily Fletcher

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Audiobook Review: Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love by Jonathan Van Ness

If you don't know who Jonathan Van Ness is, stop reading this review right now and go watch the first season of the new Queer Eye. He is the grooming expert who managed to be sweet, unassuming, and fierce all at the same time. He will quickly become your favorite of the Fab 5. 

So do yourself a favor if you're going to partake in this book: listen to the audiobook. Hearing Jonathan narrate his own story is essential for making it the most fulfilling reading experience possible.

This book will take you on an emotional roller coaster. Jonathan Van Ness has gone through so much trauma in his life that it's amazing what a positive, sunny outlook he has. He can come across so sunny and cheerful on Queer Eye that in the back of your mind, a viewer might wonder if he lacks substance.

Well dear reader, you need not worry. Johnathan Van Ness has substance in spades. Just be aware: there are trigger warnings all over the place in this book: drug use, sexual abuse, prostitution, and death. If you've dealt with any of these things that you might not be ready to tackle, it is probably best you set this book aside until you are ready.

Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness 
Published: September 24, 2019
Publisher: HarperCollins
Physical book length: 288 pages
Audiobook Length: 5 hours and 50 minutes
Genre: Memoir
Audience: Adults/Queer Eye fans/LGBTQIA+ identifying and allies
Disclosure: Audiobook provided by publisher

If you buy this book or any book through Amazon, it is my hope that you also regularly patronize independent bookstores, which are important centerpieces of thriving communities. While I am an Amazon Affiliate, that by no means implies that I only buy my books through their website. Please make sure you are still helping small, independent bookstores thrive in your community. To locate an independent bookstore near you, visit IndieBound