Author: Fredrik Backman Publication date: September 8, 2020 Genre: contemporary literary fiction My rating: 5/5 stars
When I picked up this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect from it–a lot of popular titles kind of miss the mark for me, so perhaps my wariness was justified. But let me tell you: this one COMPLETELY lives up to the hype. This narrative is warm, wise, and witty, alternating emotional sucker-punches with laugh-out-loud commentary on the ridiculousness modern life, and it is one of my favorite reads of this year so far.
Author: Emily X.R. Pan Publication date: March 20, 2018 Genre: young adult, contemporary, magical realism, fantasy My rating: 4/5 stars
In four words, this book is: beautiful, painful, vibrant, and important. I must admit, I had to stay up two hours past when I planned to go to bed in order to finish this one. It wasn’t because it was a page-turner; truly, I wanted to go to sleep and resume it in the morning. But it brought up some really vivid memories and deeply intense feelings of pain and sadness that I thought I was past by now. I needed to get to the end, because I knew I wouldn’t sleep well if I went to bed in that emotional state. It took some processing, and while I expected it to be good, it was even more devastating than I expected a book about a girl and drawing and a magical bird and mental illness and suicide and family and friendship to be.
In honor of this being Banned Books Week, this week’s Thoughts on a Thursday will be specifically focusing on topics related to banning books. Hopefully these won’t be the same points everyone shares all week, about intellectual freedom and all that jazz, though those are very important things to consider. Instead, I have some personal quibbles with, queries about, and quizzical glances at some specific titles and concepts in the world of challenged and banned books. Brace yourself. There’s some hot tea here.