Books I Read Last Month – August 2020

Hi, friends! Happy September! It is wild that the Q3 is almost over, but I am excited for fall and cooler weather. Here are all the books I read in August:

Photo credit: Su’s Food News

MINOR FEELINGS by Cathy Park Hong

This might be my favorite book of the year. I saw this book on Ali Wong’s Instagram page and put a hold at the library immediately. In her collection of essays, Cathy Park Hong discusses race and shares her personal stories. Reading this as a Korean American woman myself, I felt seen and understood in this specific way for the very first time. If you have ever doubted yourself/wondered if you were being gaslighted as a non-white person in the context of racism, this book will be validating. I am recommending this to everyone I know.

THE IDEA OF YOU by Robinne Lee

Bad on Paper is one of my weekly podcasts listens, and if you are a listener as well, you know The Idea of You has been referenced approximately 10,000 times. At her ex-husband’s last minute request, Solène Marchand takes her daughter to a boy band concert where she meets Campbell Hayes, one of the August Moon members, with whom she develops an intense relationship. It’s widely known as Harry Styles fan fiction, and as someone who never fangirled over OneDirection or read any type of fan fiction (not even Harry Potter ones), this book was fascinating! It gets steamy very fast and stays steamy throughout the entire book.

MIRACLE CREEK by Angie Kim

Set in rural Virginia, Miracle Creek revolves around an explosion of a hyperbaric chamber at an alternative treatment center run by a Korean immigrant family and the trial that follows surrounding who started the fire causing the explosion which killed two people. The story is told by different narrators of the Miracle Submarine community, from the owners Young and Pak to Elizabeth, a mother of an autistic boy who is accused of setting the fire to kill her son. There is a lot of tension throughout the book not solely from the trial but also from the secrets people keep from each other, especially within families. It does a superb job of the challenges of motherhood, especially parenting a child with disability.

MEN EXPLAIN THINGS TO ME by Rebecca Solnit

A collection of essays, Men Explain Things To Me is not only about mansplaining (though that is how the very story begins). These essays really discuss the patriarchal society’s war on women and how the obsession with perpetuating gender roles endangers women and girls. To quote my Grassroots Organizing professor from college, this book puts fire in your belly. The book ends on a hopefully note. It is a short read, and I recommend it.

WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adapted from a TED Talk she gave, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes about feminism, gender roles, and power differentials between men and women. My favorite part of this short “book” was when she explains why we need to call feminism feminism. If you consider yourself a feminist and have had to defend yourself for saying so, We Should All Be Feminists will be an incredibly affirming read. P.S. I recently read Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and it’s one of the best books I read this year!

THOSE WHO KNEW by Irda Novey

Lena, a university professor in Cuba (though it’s simply referred to as the “Island”), was acquainted with Victor, a young, powerful senator in her college days and suspects the senator to be involved with the death of a young college student. The book has other interesting characters like Olga, Lena’s friend who owns a bookstore and also sells weed, and Freddie, Victor’s gay playwright brother. Throughout the book, you see the aftermath of the previous regime—the guilt some of bourgeoisie are feeling (Lena) and hopelessness (Olga) and rage (Victor) of those who lost their loved ones. The story comes back to itself at the end, and I enjoyed reading this!

What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

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