It’s Monday! What are you reading? (1/17/16)

January 18, 2016

A lot is what I’m reading. My eyes have been killing me from looking at the computer screen, so I spent this past weekend on a no-screen diet (…or a very limited screen diet), which included no computer, no phone, and no TV. Which meant lots of books.

This past week, I finished:

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked the first part of this book (once I got past the introduction), but the last half dragged. Yes, yes, family history, etc. But I wanted more Oscar, Lola, and Beli. Also, probably more Yunior, too. (Yunior!)

View all my reviews


Recovery RoadRecovery Road by Blake Nelson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can’t remember if I found out about this or the TV show first. Either way, I read it, and I dug it. I’m looking forward to the show.

ETA: Added this to my to-read in 2013, so that answers that. Probably the TV show caused me to bump it to the top of the list.

View all my reviews


I Am Princess XI Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is solid. Fun mystery, interesting characters. Bonus: no romance. It’s allllll about the power of friendship.

View all my reviews



Goodbye StrangerGoodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is all about friendship, which is definitely my happy place. This probably would have been five stars except I didn’t really care for the second person section, though I did like the material/situations covered there. Bonus points for being sex positive in an age-appropriate way.

View all my reviews


Last week, I posted:

[wrap-up-posts week=”2″ year=”2016″ listtype=”ul”]


As of today, I’m reading:


I started The Shadows of Sherwood by Kekla Magoon today, so should be done with it tomorrow. I like it so far. I especially like that it’s a Robin Hood retelling that recasts Robin as a black girl, the Sheriff of Nottingham as a woman, and some of the other characters’ roles have either been reversed gender- or race-wise. I’m not that familiar with Robin Hood, but so far, I am digging this more than the other Robin Hood retellings I have encountered.

I am still listening to Crazy Rich Asians. I really like the narrator, but I am having a hard time keeping all of the characters straight. Also, this book is LONG. I have been listening to it for about a week (off-and-on, to be fair), and Rachel STILL hasn’t made it to Singapore yet. I thought I was much farther along in the book than I actually am.

Original now hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date. Children's lit version hosted by Jen Vincent @ Teach Mentor Texts & Kellee Moye @ Unleashing Readers.

Original now hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date. Children’s lit version hosted by Jen Vincent @ Teach Mentor Texts & Kellee Moye @ Unleashing Readers.


Okay, my computer/writing time is up for the day. I hope by this time next week, I am feeling a lot more relief eyeball-wise. If not, I anticipate finishing a lot of books again before my next post.

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  1. Cheriee Weichel @ Library Matters

    I’m looking forward to reading I am Princess X. I’m glad to read your review here that it is good! I’m going to feel better about handing it off to my elementary school readers knowing there isn’t anything I have to worry about. I loved goodbye Stranger, but then, I love anything by Rebecca Stead!

    • Akilah

      There is some violence in Princess X that may be troubling, but nothing more than a student might encounter on the news.

      Rebecca Stead is pretty great. She’s a very evocative writer.

  2. Jane

    Goodbye Stranger has been really popular with the kids I work with, definitely very current and contemporary without being so on-trend as to be out of date in a year or two!

  3. Stefanie

    I have that Kwan book on my TBR. I’m curious about it since I am Chinese but know the lifestyle of the characters is totally different from how I grew up.

    • Akilah

      Yeah, “crazy rich” is a total understatement when talking about the kind of wealth the characters have.

  4. Aaron

    I have been really looking forward to Shadows of Sherwood. It always seems to be about the fifth book on my Next Up list. Something always comes up before I pick it up. It sure looks great!

  5. Lindsey

    I still haven’t read Rebecca Stead somehow, but I’ve been meaning to do it for a while now. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Goodbye, Stranger!

  6. Crystal

    I enjoyed Wao too, but I liked the second part more than the first. 😉 Princess X was a fun one & I too appreciate it when not all ya books have a romance. I read Goodbye Stranger as an ARC ages ago so don’t remember the details, but I do remember I enjoyed it. Stead is able to create fabulous stories.

  7. Myra from GatheringBooks

    I really am intrigued by Crazy Rich Asians – and would like to start reading it soonest – I also have a copy of China Rich Girlfriend (did you know there was a sequel?) so really looking forward to that.

  8. Elisabeth

    I’ve bought Shadows of Sherwood but haven’t read it yet. My son keeps picking it up and looking at the cover, so I’m hoping he’ll choose it as a read-aloud for us. He was also intrigued by the cover of Princess X, so that might be in our future too. I wonder if the Yunior in Oscar Wao is the same Yunior in This Is How You Lose Her. I have a small obsession with that collection of stories.

  9. Sharlene

    I know a lot of people seem to love Crazy Rich Asians and its sequel. But maybe its because I’m from Singapore, I just didn’t really like it. (Maybe I set standards too high for my own people!) So I haven’t bothered with the second book.

  10. Melinda

    My friend just got on me again about reading “Crazy Rich Asians” so I’m hoping to get to that one soon!

  11. Andi

    I read Diaz’s This is How You Lose Her last year, and I absolutely loved it. But something makes me put off Oscar Wao. I’m gonna read Drown next and see how it goes.


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