July and August 2021 #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge (plus why I read for fun)

I’m participating in the #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge, hosted by SueDonnaJo and Debbie.

Up until this year I have not read much but I think that’s because I tried to treat it like the way I would watch Netflix — binging it. As of this year, I started doing Gretchen Rubin’s read 21 minute in 2021 to help me read more. I found doing this practice manageable and sustainable because reading 21 minutes a day is achievable. Now I can’t imagine a day where I am not reading 21 minutes.

I’ve been reading more for the mental health benefits and how to process difficult emotions especially as I go through life as being a new mom. Also because of the pandemic as there are significantly fewer events and people are less inclined to go anywhere, reading has provided an escape where I can still have this sense of human connection and empathy. Reading is one of the simple pleasures that has centered me because there have been many moments when I have felt overwhelmed especially on some weeks when my husband is out doing army training.

I keep at least three current reads happening at any one time. One is a physical book because I LOVE the feel of physical books. One is an e-reader — it’s slim enough to keep in my purse and allows me to read on the weekends when we are out of town. An e-reader also comes in handy when I read before bed and my husband is already sleeping. The third one is an audiobook when I know I absolutely DON’T have time to read — if I know I have to be on the road for a long time, working on a project for most of the day at home, etc. I always have something to read on-hand.

I also participate in the Bout of Books challenge where I would read three 30-minute sprints per day in a week. I’ve attempted to participate in my library’s read-a-thon and other community read-a-thons, but I always forget it’s happening. But I don’t think I would be able to read that much in one sitting at a read-a-thon. The Bout of Books sprints are more flexible for me.

Books I finished in July and so far in August:

  • Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (for the book club) – I loved this book! I’ve gushing about it in my previous posts (See #1, #2). Since I bought the book for book club, I’d be happy to lend this book out to someone!
  • Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nerfertiti Austin (borrowed from the library) – I learned about the fostercare and adoption system. It also made me think about how parenting differs based on race and socio-economic backgrounds. If you were seeking a parenting book — this is not it. It’s more like a memoir of a professor who decides to start a family by adopting a black boy and raise him on her own.
  • Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Hong Park – This is another book I bought and would be willing to lend out too. I enjoyed this book a lot because she is an Asian American creative and she pursued this path at a time when there were almost no Asian American creatives out there. She writes so beautifully and I want to read the rest of her work!
  • The Dry by Jane Harper (borrowed from the library) – This was a good book. I related to the feelings and frustrations of living in a small town as I have grown up in one. I also see it in the Facebook posts from my high school classmates who have never left.
  • The Vacationers by Emma Straub (borrowed from the library) – The story was ok. I should have panned it. I guess I was more drawn that the story took place in Mallorca and I was dreaming traveling to Mallorca.
  • The House by the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (borrowed from the library) – This was a feel good book. Strangely it made me understand kid more — someone who is candid and full of curiosity and imagination. I enjoyed the main character’s development.
  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (in audiobook, from the library) – This was a loaded book that has pulled me all different directions emotionally.

Books I am currently reading:

  • A Promised Land  by Barack Obama (in audiobook, from the library) – I was so lucky to get this audiobook renewed immediately. I usually wait several weeks until I am able to renew.
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson – This was a book I had to read for book club last month but I did not want to speed through to finish. After each chapter, I like to research her findings. It’s an incredibly fascinating book!
  • From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding by Jesse Thistle (borrowed from the library) -I heard about this book from another book club. It is a memoir and so far there are quite a bit of parallels between this and Firekeeper’s Daughter.

6 thoughts on “July and August 2021 #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge (plus why I read for fun)”

  1. This is a great post Julie, thanks for joining in with us all! Of the books you’ve mentioned I’ve read Jane Harper’s The Dry and really enjoyed it. Have you read any others from her?
    I am interested int he Gretchen Rubin 21 minutes idea so will look it up. I have seen some great quotes from her that resonate with me.
    I will include your link into my post, hope to see you next month 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have not read other books by Jane Harper. I think one of her first books that came to the U.S. was “The Dry.” I believe “Force of Nature” is a sequel to the “The Dry” and I’ve heard good things about it.


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