Before I knew it, I’ve already signed up for my first Readathon, a Harry Potter-themed one hosted by Aentee of Read At Midnight! If you are a reader and a Harry Potter fan yourself, you are welcome to join me and many others as well! I’ve never been this excited in such a long while over reading–and it’s almost as if I am reading books with friends in a cozy library!
Anyway, the Winter Readathon, also called Dumbledore’s Army Readathon, will be running from Sunday, January 1st, 2017 to Sunday, January 15th, 2017. It will focus on diverse books! Aentee has already given us book prompts, all 7 of which are inspired by magic spells that Harry and his friends had practiced, and you get to also earn points for the house you are a part of! On Pottermore, I was a Slytherin, and so, I felt obligated to join the Slytherin house. Sign up will remain open for the rest of December.
If you have a blog, you are welcome to join us by signing up or if you have a Twitter account, you can use the hashtag #DAReadAThon (Dumbledore’s Army Reathathon) as a way to participate also! If you are unable to join but you are interested in keeping up with my journey and the progress of other participants, follow the hashtag on Twitter–follow me–or subscribe to this blog for updates! Do whatever works for you.
As of now, this is my TBR list from the 7 book prompts:
The two families, the Palomas and the Corbeaus, have always been in a feud for years. In addition, they are also traveling performers in rival shows–one in mermaid exhibitions and another in tightrope walking. Lace Paloma knew that she should stay away from the Corbeaus–but one day, Cluck Corbeau saves her life–and she starts falling for him.
This is a diverse book featuring an important issue to both me and my fiancee, because we are in an interracial relationship, and the story revolves around two characters who are in a similar position. It makes both Lace Paloma and Cluck Corbeau relatable to us. Also, the fact that this story has a POC protagonist involved in a interracial relationship is pretty refreshing.
After the passing of her father’s death, Ash would often read fairytales by a fire as it was the only thing that brought her comfort and joy. Left with her wicked stepmother and with two parents dead, Ash wanted the fairies to take her away from this–and Sidhean, a dark fairy, might actually grant her wish. But one day, she meets Kaisa, the King’s huntress, and her will to live and love soon reignites. With this, who will she choose in the end: Sidhean or Kaisa?
Though I have read mixed reviews about this book, I’m more skeptical of the negative reviews when it came from readers who…are very biased and traditional. Honestly, I have never picked up a book about lesbian love before, and so, this really excites me! As someone who supports all of her LGBT friends and family members, I am glad to see more LGBT representation in all types of media: art, books, movies, TV series, and others. The mere thought of how positive representation can make them all happier makes me happier also.
Though nine-year-old Kati had always lived her life with her grandparents, a reoccurring thought would often come up: Where is her mother? For five years, Kati hasn’t seen her mother and not a soul would tell about her current whereabouts. Then, one day, Grandmother tells Kati that her mother has had Lou Gehrig’s disease during all these years and would like to spend her last days with Kati.
For those who are new to #OwnVoices, #OwnVoices are stories about diverse or marginalized identity by an author of that same diverse/marginalized identity as well. For more information, you can refer to the original hashtag starter, Corrine Duynis. Since “The Happiness of Kati” is about a Thai girl written by a Thai woman author, I thought that this would make the best fit for me–and the fact that I rarely come across books by Southeast Asian writers.
In 2009, Rebecca Traistor decides to research and interview the diverse masses of American single women for her book, “All the Single Ladies.” It was the year when under 50 percent of overall American women were married and the average age of first marriages leapt from the early 20’s bracket to 27 years old. In 2016, only 2o percent of Americans are married by the age of 29. Covering class, race, and sexual orientation, “All the Single Ladies” is a book documenting the historical progression of women everywhere to how we got here.
To be honest, when I first stumbled across the title, I was reminded of Beyonce’s single hit “All the Single Ladies.” When I went to see what the contemporary journalism work is all about, I instantly became interested to know how we American women came to this point. Being part of a first-generation Asian American group, I know how it feels to be pressured to get into a heterosexual marriage at a young age, thanks to the constant verbal reminders that I’m in 20’s by my mother. But I didn’t give in, because we are living in a nation where we are now given options beyond marriage, and that includes the opportunity of pursuing higher education. Though I have a feeling that I may already know some of the answers, I am still going to pick this book up and confirm them myself.
After the Vietnam War, the Hmong were being massacred for siding with the Americans, and as a result, thousands of Hmong families made their way into the United States and a few other countries, who also welcomed them with opened arms. Lacking a written language, these first-hand accounts were often recorded by others. After her grandmother’s passing, Kao Kalia Yang made a tribute to the woman whose strength held the family together during the hard, brutal times, starting from captivity and the family’s escape into Thailand to her birth in the refugee camp and new life in America.
As a Hmong-American, I often heard stories about the Vietnam War while growing up and would sometimes find a peer from the same ethnicity group, who was born in a Thai refugee camp and immigrated to the United States at a very young age. But despite all of that, I have only read one book about the Hmong experience and it wasn’t even written by a Hmong author. With this book, I will be reading my first Hmong nonfiction story by a Hmong woman, and I can say that this makes me feel proud of how far my people have come and the sacrifices made by my parents during their escape into Thailand.
It’s been on my TBR list for too long, and well, I should really get to finally reading it!
In the recent past, I have seen some hype about Aisha Saeed’s work, “Written in the Stars”, a story about a girl who is being pressured into an arranged marriage by her parents. When Nalia falls in love with Saif, her parents are outraged, because they believe that they should choose her future husband as tradition dictates. Then, what started out as a family vacation to explore her Pakistani roots becomes a nightmare when her conservative parents demand that she marry their chosen husband now!
I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of arranged marriages, and so, when I came across this title on the Internet, I knew that it was time for me to come out of my comfort zone again and read it. The book cover is magnificent and eye-catching to me, the title is beautifully thought out, and well, I’ve never read books written by an author of Pakistani descent. It’s all the better reason to change current reader I am into the future reader I want to be.
The story revolves around a Native American girl named Indigo, who was taken from her tribe, the Sand Lizard people, by white soldiers and placed into a government school where she is to learn the ways of a white child. With her home and family destroyed, Indigo had nowhere to run to until she is adopted by a kind couple, Hattie and Edward, who wants to turn her into a proper young lady.
Written by a Native American author, I am impressed by the fact that this book is addressing the 19th century US boarding school system, which was based on the Carlisle Indian Industrial School where Native American children were forbidden to speak their native languages and encouraged to abandon their Native American cultures. In all of my years, I cannot recall a time when my history teachers actually talked about this in class and if they did, they merely skimmed through that part–like they did with me about the Vietnam War. This will be my first time reading anything written by a Native American author, and I am looking forward to it!
Regarding other updates, though, it seems that I will not be able to read the Korean-translated book, “The Vegetarian”, written by Han Kang for December 2016. I am currently being waitlisted for the book, and so, instead, I will be reading Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns.” I’ve recently come across the title multiple times on the Internet, and I thought to myself: “Why not?” The title is what captured my attention and interest, it chronicles 30 years of Afghanistan history, and the story of how two women, Mariam and Laila, become close friends through unlikely circumstances. I have seen raving reviews about Hosseini’s work, and it has piqued my curiosity.
Have you ever participated in a Readathon? If so, feel free to share your experience below in the comments or if you enjoyed this post, like it! Stay tuned for future posts!