Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s theme is a freebie, which is exactly what I needed! I have had to take an unplanned mini-break from blogging since this Tuesday, after I received some amazing, overwhelming, emotional, conflicting, and practically impossible news! I’m not ready to go into details yet, but if you have ever watched This Is Us….let’s just say I have been a walking, talking episode, playing the part of Randall. Plus, the latest book to be added to my TBR queue will give you another big hint of what’s going on.
For this week’s freebie, I chose to focus on the last ten books added to my Goodreads TBR list.
The Ten Latest Books to Find Their Way On to My Ginormous Goodreads TBR List!
This Is My Lemonade: An Adoption Story by Robert Mulkey. Added 22 January 2017. (Non-fiction memoir)
Why did it make it on to my list? Okay, I’ll give a tiny bit more info. On Thursday, a DNA test I took two years ago matched to someone who turned out to be a half-sister I didn’t know existed!!! In the hours that followed, I was connected with a large portion of my biological family, including two younger half-sisters who are also adopted. This is HUGE, and I am still processing everything that I have discovered in the past few days. Searching for someone who has gone through a somewhat similar experience, I stumbled upon this book.
This is My Lemonade,” a memoir by Robert Mulkey, follows an unusual 34 year adoption journey. It is an international story involving identity, acceptance, abuse and redemption and the uncomfortable intricacies of not one, but three families.
Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well With Food Allergies by Sloane Miller. Added 19 January 2017. (Non-fiction memoir).
Why did it make it on to my list? In addition to the news mentioned above, I was also finally diagnosed with a coconut allergy last week. I’ve suspected for years, but never had any food allergy testing done. What have I realized? Coconut is in everything. I’m now on the FODMAP diet to look for other food insensitivities, intolerances, or possible allergies. Hence, the addition of this book to my TBR list.
Food allergies affect nearly 12 million people in the United States, including 1 in 17 children under the age of three. Allergic Girl offers the reader practical and helpful advice for identifying and coping with food allergies. Sloane Miller’s anecdotal commentary about her own food allergy trials and tribulations teaches and directs readers how to live well with food allergies.
A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley. Added 18 January 2017. Non-fiction memoir.
Why did it make it on to my list? I promise, not every book is going to be a non-fiction memoir! I want to read Saroo’s book before watching the movie based on it, Lion, which I have heard wonderful things about. Lion also stars Dev Patel, an amazing actor who confronts the issues of stereotyping and a lack of diversity in the entertainment industry head-on. I’m a big fan.
At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia.
Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.
A Long Way Home is a moving, poignant, and inspirational true story of survival and triumph against incredible odds. It celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit: hope.
White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg. Added 17 January 2017. Non-fiction, Politics, History, Sociology.
Why did it make it on to my list? When I started reading Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, I quickly realized that I had the wrong impression of the book, and it was more memoir than sociological analysis. Many reviewers of Hillbilly Elegy mention this book in their review – also recently published in 2016 – as an alternative to Vance’s memoir.
In her groundbreaking history of the class system in America, extending from colonial times to the present, Nancy Isenberg takes on our comforting myths about equality, uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing––if occasionally entertaining––”poor white trash.“
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. Added 17 January 2017. YA Contemporary.
Why did it make it on to my list? I have heard so many great things about this book on Book Twitter, and I am planning on reading it for #DiversityBingo2017.
A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of The Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. Added 16 January 2017. Non-fiction, History, Science, Biography.
Why did it make it on to my list? The movie was absolutely fantastic, and made we want o go out and immediately buy the book!
Set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow South and the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program—and whose contributions have been unheralded, until now.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Added 12 January 2017. YA Fantasy, Dystopia.
Why did it make it on to my list? Because I should have read it last year!
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera. Added 12 January 2017. YA Contemporary.
Why did it make it on to my list? This is another book that I have been hearing a lot about on Book Twitter.
Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.
This Is An Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the Twenty-First Century by Mark Engler and Paul Engler. Added 14 January 2017. Non-fiction, Social Justice, Activism.
Why did it make it on to my list? I have been a human rights activist and participant in non-violent protests for more than a decade, most recently attending one of the Sister Women’s Marches and a BLM protest. This book, published in 2016, really caught my eye when I happened upon it on a reading list recently.
There is a craft to uprising—and this craft can change the world
From protests around climate change and immigrant rights, to Occupy, the Arab Spring, and #BlackLivesMatter, a new generation is unleashing strategic nonviolent action to shape public debate and force political change. When mass movements erupt onto our television screens, the media consistently portrays them as being spontaneous and unpredictable. Yet, in this book, Mark and Paul Engler look at the hidden art behind such outbursts of protest, examining core principles that have been used to spark and guide moments of transformative unrest.
With incisive insights from contemporary activists, as well as fresh revelations about the work of groundbreaking figures such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Gene Sharp, and Frances Fox Piven, the Englers show how people with few resources and little conventional influence are engineering the upheavals that are reshaping contemporary politics.
Nonviolence is usually seen simply as a philosophy or moral code. This Is an Uprising shows how it can instead be deployed as a method of political conflict, disruption, and escalation. It argues that if we are always taken by surprise by dramatic outbreaks of revolt, we pass up the chance to truly understand how social transformation happens.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith. Added 10 January 2017. Contemporary Literary Fiction.
Why did it make it on to my list? I loved White Teeth and hated On Beauty. So it has taken me a while to give Zadie Smith another chance. I think I’m ready again.
Two brown girls dream of being dancers–but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, about what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.
Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.