Saturday, August 8, 2020

Book Reviews - All the Feels (Again)

Well, hello there. I'm back with another quartet to share as I do. One note that won't impact things too terribly much is that in on my bookstagram (@clubbookmobile), I'm going to start sharing books as singles. However, I'm also going to keep up with quartets here and sharing on my personal page. We'll see how this goes. All things subject to change. And speaking of process, reading these gems was also a process in the best way. I learned through the experiences, and I felt so many feels. This is one of those quartet I love because I feel like people need to read all four!

Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West was a powerful piece on generational trauma. This type of trauma is something I've recently learned about and to further learn about through such an emotional read was powerful. The story begins with Ruby's mother being murdered. Her best friend Layla wants to be there for her as best she can, but she encounters some pushback on this from her father. This is particularly surprising given her father is a pastor. What then follows is an exploration of the stories and experiences that led everyone in the story to the place they now are. Some of this is told in the present, but the true power and revelations come in the stories from the past. Various narrators share their perspectives and pain. Of all the narrators, I actually found the most powerful one to be the physical church building. It was very much an "if these walls could talk" reveal, and there was much to reveal. This is an emotional story of the continued impact of secrets and trauma through relationships and years. Thanks to NetGalley for the look at this recent release!

So, You Want to Talk about Race? by Ijeoma Oluo is a book I'm working my way through with a volunteer team I serve on. I haven't read and learned in this way for awhile, and I've appreciated the opportunity to process and grow with a group. What I really gained from this book was the way it looked at different topics that are dimensions of the conversations about race. The book works through common questions and arguments then provides answers. With these answers, it explains complexities, statistics and lived experiences. Throughout, there is such an intentionality as she took the time to work through questions in multiple ways to further enhance understanding. Some of the ways she explained concepts I had not seen before, and they made so such sense! This book is outstanding and should be required reading for anyone wanting to learn about race. Also, this book isn't about how to always get it right, rather it's acknowledging sometimes you're going to get it wrong, and here's how to continue to do the work and have the conversation that matters. 

I Left the House Today by Cassandra Calin was an absolute delight of a comic collection. Y'all, I'm not sure how I've not known about this artist until now because I related so hard to so much of what she sketched. There was this comic about smudges on eyeglasses, and that is me every damn day! This was just one of those reads/looks that put a smile on my face. The humor was in the simplicity, relatability and honesty about everyday things. This one came into my life when I just needed happy packaged just like this, and I love, LOVE, LOVED it.

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate was incredible in all the ways. I think I loved it even more because I now have a dog. This is the sequel to The One and Only Ivan, and just as that is told by a gorilla, this is told by a dog. Y'all, if a dog could write a book, this is absolutely the book he would write. It was a story just full of so much heart. I was drawn into this story, and again so much of that was because it was a dog telling his own story. It was truly the way he interpreted the world. I also loved that it gave some of his backstory, and that came into play at the end in a way that was just so, so wonderful. I could go on and on saying in all different ways that this is just the most amazing book. If you love dogs, and you just want to get all up in your feels, this is a book for humans of all ages to find their way to!

Onto the next ones!