Inbox // Outbox 3/22/17

I was supposed to put this out on Monday, but forgot to polish it up over the weekend.  It’s a big list this time around… Enjoy!  What have you been reading this week?

Inbox:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I keep seeing things for this book everywhere!  It hasn’t even been out a month and there is already a movie lined up.  I saw that the audiobook was available through Overdrive at the library and decided to jump on the bandwagon. The book was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and tells the story of a teenage girl who was in the car when one of her childhood friends is shot by a white police officer.  So far, although Star’s story is very different than my own, I really appreciate the perspective this book gives.

The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit

I’m about halfway through Solnit’s book of feminist essays.  This is a book I can only read in short bursts, but it’s good.  I absolutely loved the essay on silence.

Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber

I was introduced to Nadia Bolz-Weber a few years ago and loved her book, Pastrix.  She, like Anne Lamott, Rachel Held Evans, and Sarah Bessey, offer a broken and beautiful picture of Christianity. Books like these help me sort through the baggage of the fundamentalist evangelical church of my childhood. They help me stay true to my faith and grow in new directions.

salt. by Nayyirah Waheed:

I’ve been reading contemporary poetry lately and love what I’m reading so far.  Waheed’s collection came highly recommended by a friend and I’m glad that I followed through.

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Outbox:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

This was cute, fluffy, typical YA.  I wasn’t blown away, but it was still enjoyable.  I think the cover art is absolutely beautiful.

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

I absolutely adored The Lunar Chronicles and this graphic novel is a welcome addition to the series!  The story focuses on Iko, the peppy, lovable android and takes place shortly after the end of the final book.  Iko is such a delightful character and I can’t wait to see where they go with her from here.  While the medium is different, the continuation feels natural.  All the wonderful characters from the series make appearances.  I enjoyed Wires and Nerve so much that I think I’m going to go back and reread the whole series.

Me & Earl & the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

This book has been on my radar for a while and I finally got around to it.  I listened to it on audiobook on my commute this week.  It’s a short book–only took about three days to get through.  Frankly, I didn’t care for it.  Cancer stories really aren’t my thing in the first place, although I did really appreciate the way the story addresses the issue in a way that feels a bit more genuine.  It feels more honest.  Still, the protagonist was a jerk and none of the characters were interesting.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

I’ve been seeing things about Kaur’s poetry all over and decided to give her a whirl.  There were some things I really liked about this collection–her vulnerability, raw emotions, and honesty.  I also liked the art.  Structurally, though, I was underwhelmed. The poems themselves just seemed like emotionally charged sentences formatted in a way that looks like poetry.  It felt too easy.  It’s funny because I watched Kaur read some of her poems on YouTube and had a very different reaction.  Maybe these poems are meant to be spoken, not read.  Maybe we don’t have enough shared life experience to make the poems meaningful.  I don’t know. I just wasn’t that impressed.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hilton

Every once in a while, I’ll look at a classic book and be like, “How have I not read this?!”  I had this moment with The Outsiders and proceeded to listen to the audiobook during my commute.  I’m so glad I did because I loved it.  It’s a wonderful blend of class critique and coming-of-age tale.  It’s not a perfect novel, but I now understand why it’s read in classrooms across the country.

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Queen of Shadows, Empire of Storms, and The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Over the past month, I have read pretty much everything Maas has published.  It took only about three weeks to get through the Throne of Glass series.  While the first few books weren’t that good, Maas’s writing improves with each book.  The characters really begin to grow in book three and, after that point, I had a hard time putting the series down.  By Empire of Storms (book five), plotlines merge and the story reaches an epic scale.  Maas hits my drama threshold just right–with juicy romantic tension, sprawling battles, and tense conflict.  There’s plenty of deus ex machina going on, but honestly?  I don’t even care.  The Assassin’s Blade is a collection of novellas that take place before the events of the first book–I found them very  helpful in explaining the protagonist’s backstory and expanding the world.  I had a weak moment at Target last weekend and purchased the Throne of Glass coloring book, which I am now happily working my way through.  Anyways, Maas has worked her way to the top of my favorite YA writers list and I will likely read anything she publishes from this point forward.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This book has appeared so frequently in these posts that I wanted to let you know that I finally finished it!  I blaze through so many books and this one was worth taking my time on.  It disturbing, familiar, timely, and beautiful.  I’m so glad I read it.

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My next Inbox // Outbox will be on 3/20/17

Like bookish travel?  Read about my Literary Pilgrimages

For more of my reading adventures, add me on Goodreads

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