WW Wednesday- June 19,2019

I saw this awesome idea for this meme that takes place every Wednesday, where the w’s happen. This is hosted by Sam of Taking on a World of Words

What are you currently reading?


What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think I will be picking up something that I have to read for my book club and read an ARC from net galley at the same time too. I’ve been in the habit of reading multiple books at the same time now, but i’ve been managing them really well.

Review: Show Me all Your Scars: True Stories of Living with Mental Illness- Lee Gutkind

Title: Shoe Me all Your Scars: True Stories of Living with Mental Illness

Author: Lee Gutkind

Publisher: In Fact Books

Pages: 320

Rating: 5/5

As a person who suffers from mental illness, I always look for any kind of book that sheds light on mental illness. For many years Mental Illness has been treated as a sort of taboo subject. There’s so much stigma surrounding it and honestly I don’t understand why people don’t want to educate themselves on it. This book contains 20 powerful essays written by some pretty amazing and brave souls. For some it’s hard to convey in words what they’re feeling, but for others…writing is their therapy and they want their writing to reach those that need help and for those people to able to relate as well. I must warn you that the stories may be triggering for some. This books gives you an insightful glance into the lives of people living with mental illness, as well as the people who live with or know someone with a mental illness. The essays cover bipolar disorder, eating disorders, anxiety, self-mutliation, and others. I recommend reading a few stories at a time, as you will need time to regroup your thoughts (or maybe I’m too sensitive lol). 
I encourage you to read this book because it will not only help in informing and educating you, but you can also utilize some of the methods they used to cope and help with their mental illnesses. 
There aren’t many words to describe a book like this, accept just give a try.

Book Tag- Book Addiction

I came across this book tag from the amazing Ashley from Socially Awkward Bookworm . Let’s get to it.

Questions:

1) What is the longest amount of time you can comfortably go without picking up a book?

I think for me the longest amount of time for me has to be a month for me to feel somewhat comfortable without not reading something. Sometimes it’s no fault of my own. Life sometimes just overwhelms you.

2) How many books do you carry on your person (or kindle) at any one time?

Once upon a time when I was going to college. I had a bus and three train ride. I would carry around with two books because by the end of the day I would be finish with one. Now it’s easier. Even though it’s convenient to carry around e-books (I have about 1000 in my Kindle app and 300 in my iBooks) I still prefer the feel of a physical copy in my hands. Now I travel light, with only one book. It’s harder for me to read on the bus and train nowadays.

3) Do you keep every book you buy/receive or are you happy to pass them on to make space for more?

Now I’m pretty cautious with the books I buy and make sure I actually want to buy it (if not I borrow it from my job). Lately I’ve been trying to declutter what I don’t want anymore and am planning to put them in a donation for Better World Books .

4) How long would you spend in a bookshop on a standard visit?

I usually spend two to three hours at a time if I go to Barnes and Noble, but I’m really looking forward to going to an independent bookshop and really take my time browsing everything. You never know what treasure will be around.

5) How much time per day do you actually spend reading?

Not as much as I would like because I’m constantly working. But, I usually on a day off I will read all day on and off. When it’s a work day, I average in about two to three hours a day.

6) Where does the task ‘picking up a book’ appear on your daily to-do list?

Whenever I have the chance to really. I have an open schedule at work so my working hours vary from week to week. Usually it’s after I get home from work and settle down for the night.

7) How many books do you reckon you own in total (including e-books)?

Man oh man, physical copies I must have a little 500 books. That’s not including the ones that I had to leave behind in storage because according to my aunt they were “damaged from a flood”. As far as e-books are concerned, between my kindle app and iBooks I have over 1200 books.

8) Approximately how often do you bring up books in conversation?

Considering that I work in a bookstore, I talk about it everyday, even when I’m home with hubby. As far as having a conversation with regular schmegular people, I occasionally bring it up.

9) What is the biggest book (page count) you have finished reading?

That would have to be Stephen King’s It, which was 1,116 pages.

10) Is there a book you had to get your hands on against all odds (i.e searching bookshops, online digging, etc.)?

When I was in my teens I got hooked on the Harry Potter series and it was very popular back then (This is when Waldensbooks and borders was around) and they were always sold out. I pestered my aunt about going to the midnight releasing of Harry Potter 7. I was finally next in line and my aunt made me get out and go home and come back the next day for it. I was SUPER pissed. The next day I went to get it my damn self.

11) A book you struggled to finish but refused to DNF?

I don’t think I’ve done this before. Usually if a book doesn’t appeal to me I just let it go because life is too short to force myself to read a crappy book.

12) What are 3 of your main book goals for 2019?

Read more books than my goodreads challenge of 50 books, try to read more books out of my comfort zone, and continue writing my reviews for those books. I’m doing a good job thus far.

13) Have you ever had the privilege of converting someone into a reader (maybe via inspiration or incessant nagging)?

Yes, a few people actually. This includes my hubby.

14) Describe what books mean to you in five words.

Books Keep Me Truly Sane

If You guys want, try this tag out. I really enjoyed doing it.

For now this is my little set up.

Hooray for More Reading Time!

Hello All!

I can finally keep up with my blog and focus on a whole LOTTA reading. I, unfortunately can’t finish school because of my financial situation so I’m focusing on my career with books. As of right now I work at a bookstore so, my love for reading and being around books is only going to get even stronger. Honestly, I’m so relieved to finally be free of school work because I was truly getting tired of it. I’m just not school material anymore. I just want to be a free spirit and find my calling, which I’ve already established and it’s not going to be by me going to school. Besides I’m way too deep into debt already and honestly don’t want anymore piled on top. To me it’s okay if certain things weren’t going the way you wanted it to. Sometimes it’s good to look at things from a different perspective. I was just honestly tired of always having to work on a dead line and having to rush from work to do homework and try to make it to live workshops. I hate living my life in a rush.

I’m looking forward to devouring more books and writing a whole lot of reviews. So stay tuned.

January + February Wrap-up

Wow! These past two months have flown by really quickly. I’m really proud of myself because I have managed to read 13 books so far this year and it’s only Feb. That’s way more than I ready the whole entire year last year. I guess it helps too that I work at a bookstore and it feeds my addiction of purchasing new books. These are the books I’ve read so far. Not pictured are 5 more that are e-books.

These are the books I’v read:

January Titles

  1. Becoming- Michelle Obama…. 5/5
  2. Maid- Stephanie Land….5/5 (A.R.C)(e-book)
  3. 23/7: Kramet Reiter….3/5
  4. The House of Impossible Beauties- Joseph Cassara….5/5 (A.R.C)(e-book)

February Titles

5. Grief Sucks, and I just Want to Feel Better!- Stacey St. Holder….3/5 (e-book)

6. Getting Grief Right- Patrick O’Malley….3/5 (e-book)

7. I used to be The Sun- Valeria Eden….5/5

8. Selena’s Secret- Maria Celeste Arraras….3/5

9. The Girls at 17 Swann Street….5/5

10. I’ll Be There For You- Kelsey Miller….5/5 (e-book)

11. On The Come Up- Angie Thomas….5/5

12. Parkland- Dave Cullen….4/5

13. Prison Torture in America- Paul Singh….4/5 (A.R.C.)(e-book)

There you have it guys. I’m really excited to continue my reading journey for the rest of the year.

Review: The Girls at 17 Swann Street- Yara Zgheib

Title: The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Author: Yara Zgheib

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 384

Rating: 5/5

I borrowed this book from my job (because they’re that awesome) and I absolutely loved it. The Girls at 17 Swann Street was a perfectly written book about 7 young ladies who deal with physical and mentally exhausting eating disorders. All these young ladies are at a treatment facility because they need help. Some of them have heartfelt stories about their journey dealing with an eating disorder. This novel takes you on a emotional roller coaster and while I know Anna is dealing with a lot, at times she made me super frustrated and I just wanted to jump through the pages of the book and give her a little shake and tell her to realize what she’s doing to herself. Of course, that’s why the author wrote this a novel with such a controversial topic; to make those that don’t understand, understand. 

These girl’s stories made me so emotional and I really felt bad for all them, especially poor Valerie. Honestly that shocked me the most. I highly recommend everyone to read this book and hopefully you will learn as much as I did. It’s moments like this that I appreciate authors who can make you feel so many emotions while reading their writing.

Review: 23/7: Pelican Bay and the Rise of Long-term Solitary Confinement- Keramet Reiter

Title: 23/7: Pelican Bay and the Rise of Long-term Solitary Confinement

Author: Keramet Reiter

Publisher: Yale University Press

Pages: 312

Rating: 3/5

I REALLY wanted to like this book, but it lacked a lot of content. Even though it gave you some background on how Pelican Bay and the SHU came about, I just felt it was too statistically out there. The author focused mainly on two individuals. While it gave you a little glimpse on the inside of what these prisoners have endured, I still wish she would’ve used more inmates’ personal experiences. This book does give you some great research ideas and does give you an idea of the life of a prisoner, but I wanted more. 

If you do want to read about Solitary Confinement and some perspectives from a few inmates, check out:

Hell is a Very Small Place: Voices of Solitary Confinement- Jean Casella, James Ridgeway, and Sarah Shourd (no endorsement for this book)
I really feel like you get that more personal, in-depth look you want in the life of a solitary confinement prisoner. 

I really wanted to write more in this review, but there’s only so much you can write about something you didn’t really enjoy.

ARC Review: Maid-Stephanie Land

Title: Maid

Author: Stephanie Land

Publisher: Hachette Books

Pages: 288

Rating: 5/5

I was seeing this book floating around on Goodreads and then I happened to come across it on Netgalley as a ARC and I’m so glad I chose to review this. This book is more than just its Social Science context, it’s a deep look into the life of a woman whose life hasn’t been all peaches and cream. 

Life hasn’t been very kind to Stephanie and her daughter Mia. Without the help of Stephanie’s parents and Mia’s father, Jamie, things spiral out of control for Stephanie. Maid is about her journey to provide a better life for her daughter Mia while getting bits of help from our rather broken public assistance program and the low pay she received from her being a maid. When you hear the word maid, you instantly think of the rich and their black and white starched uniforms, talking all proper. In reality being a maid is washing dirty drawers, picking out pubes from a dirty bathroom, scrubbing and cleaning every dirty crevice you can imagine. Yet, these maids are looked down upon as the lowest of lows, not treated with respect and earning a ghastly wage, on top of that looked down upon those with fancy desk jobs or who were fortunate enough to not know the word:”struggle”. Unfortunately, Stephanie was a single mother and public assistance only took her so far, constantly going through food shortages because of lack of funds, constantly wondering where she was going to leave her daughter, wondering how much she would make everyday. It’s really a grueling situation trying to figure out how to pay your next bill or figure out your next meal on a measly pay. I know exactly how it’s like, because me and my husband have found ourselves knocking on evictions door. It wasn’t because we weren’t doing what we were supposed to do, it’s more of his job not doing their part in paying him while he was on a disability leave; 3 months back pay from his disability leave company. I honestly was very upset at the fact that Stephanie’s parents (although sometimes they helped) didn’t give her that support that she needed. They were judging the hell out of her and they seemed to choose their new partners/family over Stephanie. Another thing that bothered me was how much of a piece of crap Jamie was to Stephanie while she was trying to her very best to get up everyday and go to work. He boasted about being a great parent and a better person than Stephanie, but he would be abusive and say hurtful things to the person that’s supposed to be the mother of his child. 
I personally don’t judge anyone that needs public assistance or anything like that because there are legit people out there who need it. There’s people out there who pay their taxes and work, but it still just isn’t enough. Don’t think because a person makes $20 an hour, that that is it. NO! You have to factor in how much taxes they’re taking out, you have to factor in their bills, they food, if they have a kid etc. It’s not easy, and I really hated how much of a hard time they would give Stephanie at the grocery store because the used a WIC check or EBT card; the looks given by other people because she was getting help from the government. As a former cashier for supermarkets, I always treated people with EBT and WIC checks with respect and never any differently than those who paid with a credit/debit card and cash. If I saw someone with a WIC check, I would close my lane for the time I am with the customer and I make sure to tell any other customer that approaches my line that I’m closed for the moment to do some paperwork (I know sometimes people don’t like for other people to know they use it…because…duh!…Stigmas).If they get the wrong thing, I just go get it quick and efficiently, no need to shame them. I admire Stephanie for all her hard work and determination, as well as writing about her experiences. Often times people may say people who blog or write about their lives are whiners and complainers, but I beg to differ. Writing is an outlet for many; sometimes it’s the only thing they have. Because of that, people got to see what she truly went through and how she felt. How everything she did and continues to do is for the well-being of her daughter. I hope that she continues being successful and she gets everything she deserves. I really enjoyed this book and it made me really open my eyes to how hard maids have it; how much they sacrifice. I would recommend this book to everyone, especially those who believe the stigmas of those less unfortunate to be wealthy.

Publication Date Expected: 1/22/2019