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I started a #bookstagram because I simply love books and have been looking for more bookish people to talk to. Since joining my #TBR has gotten a little out of control. ?⠀

I’m a mom to a two year old and I live in Southern California with my partner, two dogs, bearded dragon, and one fish. We also harvest Monarch Butterflies to help regrow their population. I’ve been teaching fourth grade for five years, going on six.


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The Cool Moms

The Cool Moms

Enjoy. @sona.rukmani and @climatejusticeteachermom I was tagged by @readwithneleh and inspired by...

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Looking for a creepy read for October? This one definitely had me unsettled as I read it. I don’t gravitate towards horror or even scary books often but for some reason I was compelled to read this one. It was weird and creepy. If you like stories about secret societies and cults then look no further. It’s a doorstopper clocking in at just over 600 pages but I found myself deeply engrossed. A combination of things I think worked really well here: 1) The setting of Argentina during and after the military dictatorship I thought gave this book a darker tone. The true horrors of living during this time were always just scratching below the surface waiting to break out. 2) The characters are all well written. There’s not much to root for here, but you have to know what happens to them! And 3) The horror elements were not overdone. Enriquez gave you little peeks at times to keep you guessing or described scenes with such brutal detachment it somehow made it worse.

I would like to read more horror in this vein. It had just the right amount for me, and gave me a new appreciation for the genre. #horrorbooks #scarybooks #octoberreads #spookyreads #creepyreads #ourshareofnight #weirdbooks #bookstagram #bookstagrammer


So many books. Too little time. The end of 2023 approached (which just blows my mind) what should I prioritize?

#bookstagram #booksbooksbooks #alwaysreading #reading #readmore #readmorebooks #nonfiction #fiction

Phew. The rage in Elie Mystal’s Allow Me to Retort is so thick you can hammer it with a meat cleaver. But rightfully so. Look, my high school education was incredibly white washed. My US history teacher, his favorite president was ANDREW JACKSON. so yeaaaaaah. The only thing I remember about my US government class was learning about checks and balances which we all know is bullshit. There is no such thing.

Reading this helped me fill in a lot of gaps and I learned a ton about the Supreme Court. It is a bleak read. Mystal does not sugarcoat anything, he’s realistic. He knows and understands the fight ahead, and I appreciate how he lays it out. He really helped me make sense of things you see on the news every day. It’s one I find myself going back too if I need clarification about certain Amendments and what they REALLY mean. It helps that he’s also quite funny. I highly recommend this one for people who want to understand how we got here and where we go from here. If I taught high school I would definitely pull some of these essays. I would’ve actually paid attention in class if this was part of the reading.

#allowmetoretort #nonfiction #usgovernment #history #alwayslearning #alwaysreading #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #learnushistory #readmorenonfiction

Yesterday was #talklikeapirateday and I totally missed the opportunity to post this gem. The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty was a perfect summer read. Badass female pirate in her forties and a mother? SIGN ME UP. My only complaint (and it’s always THE complaint) is it went too long. Nevertheless if you’re looking for something fun and purely entertaining, then this book will be there for you.

But seriously, can we please get more fantasy with main characters like Amina?! I loved that she had this internal struggle of loving her daughter and being a mother but also loved being a pirate and going on adventures. That struggle is so real! (I mean I wish my job was that of a sea faring pirate but alas I’m just a classroom teacher) I loved seeing that internal struggle all working moms go through represented in a really creative way here. I will definitely be checking out book two.

#piratebooks #fantasybooks #fantasynovels #badassbooks #bookstagrammer #adventurebooks #funbooks #novels #booksbooksbooks #bookstagram

Three books I read this summer that I loved:

The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty snuck up on me. I don’t know what I was expecting but I ended up completely captivated with this novel. It’s beautifully written and slightly weird. Taking place in a crumbling midwestern town called Vacaville we follow several different characters whose lives intertwine in different and unexpected ways. The more distance I have from this book the more I like it and want to revisit.

The characters in What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez pop off the page. I loved all these women and I was rooting for them the whole time. Two sisters and their mom try to uncover what happened to their missing sister, as they move along the journey they discover more about themselves and their love for each other along the way. This slim novel packs a punch, and I highly recommend this one.

All My Rage is a YA novel that had me ugly crying when I finished it. Reading this was a cathartic experience and I loved it so much. It won the National Book Award for Young Peoples Literature and I can see why. I love that it’s YA too. File under books I wish I had when I was a kid.

I loved all three of these and I would recommend them to anyone.

#booksrecommendations #fictionbooks #booksbooksbooks #ilovereading #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #summerreading #therabbithutch #whathappenedtoruthyramirez #allmyragesabaatahir #greatbooks

Recently made a National Book Award longlister (like the Oscars for book nerds for those who don’t know), Chain-Gang-All-Stars is sure to start making the rounds again, and deservedly so.

In Americas increasingly profitable private prison industry, convicted inmates are allowed to enroll in a program called CAPE, or Criminal Action Penal Entertainment. They fight like gladiators to earn one thing: their freedom. We follow Loretta Thurwar and Hamara Stacker, better known as Hurricane Staxxx who are the stars of the “show.”

I will admit I was a bit frustrated at first with this novel because I felt like it was almost overly detailed. It starts off with a lot of world building. There are chapters dedicated to side characters that range from very important to never mentioned again. To be frank, I think I was expecting something a bit more action packed. The fact that it wasn’t maybe led to my deflation but I’m ashamed to say that probably says more about me than it does about the novel. Was I expecting more violence and bloodshed in a novel about this country’s prison industrial complex so I was entertained? YIKES VIV. Once I recognized that and let go of those expectations I was able to find my footing. And once I was in, I was IN.

And really the ending had my jaw to the floor. I had to read it three times to make sure I understood it because I was simply so shocked. It is one I turn over in my head from time to time, it haunts me. It was like the end of season one game of thrones with Ned (IYKYK). But there will be no season 2! Sheesh. Guess I will always wonder what next? It’s a bold ending and it makes sense.

Have you read this one? What did you think?

#chaingangallstars #novels #fiction #booksbooksbooks #bookstagram #bestbooksof2023 #nationalbookaward #dystopianbooks

Every time I peel back another layer of American history I will never fail to be utterly disgusted with the foundations of this supposed “great nation.”

I read this because I have always been meaning to since it came out and now with the movie right around the corner I figured it was time. David Grann does an excellent job of unraveling this particular part of American history. For those who do not know, the Osage Tribe was once the richest group per capita IN THE ENTIRE WORLD due to the vast oil fields found beneath their reservation. I’m sure you can guess which group of people were displeased with that fact. When members of the Osage tribe are murdered one by one the federal government must get involved to solve the grisly crimes. What they uncover is a conspiracy beyond comprehension.

This is an excellent book and deserves all the notice it has been getting. David Grann’s research is thorough and it’s clear he had the trust of the Osage to further investigate the crimes and tell part of their story to the wider audience. Still, I can see why people are concerned that the movie will suffer from a white savior narrative as the lead detective does take center stage. But at the end of the day as the title suggests, this is also about the birth of the FBI.

An important book worthy of your time, I hope some good will come out of it as the movie comes out and this part of history is brought into the light. The Osage deserve reparations and justice, but I doubt anyone is holding their breath. My only hope is that as more people become aware of this story perhaps the needle will move a little bit in the right direction.

#killersoftheflowermoon #booktomovieadaptation #nonfiction #truecrime #greatbooks #alwaysreading #bookstagram #bookstagrammer

What’s happening #bookstagram? These are some books I’ve read this summer. I have probably had the best summer reading in a long time. So many new favorites I want to review on the grid but oh time. Where art thou? Also I was today years old when I learned how to press enter on Instagram captions.

Look, I did it. I pressed enter. Yes I am an elder millennial why do you ask?

Did everyone have a good summer of reading? Any here that we have in common or you want to know more about?

#booksbooksbooks #alwaysreading #summerreading #lovetoread #fiction #nonfiction #poetry #readersofinstagram #readmorebooks

I was hesitant to read this because the first reviews that came out were kind of mixed, but I absolutely loved this one! A novel about a Taiwanese American woman named Ingrid feels helpless and stuck in her academia career. Pursuing something she has absolutely no passion for has left her depressed and feeling adrift. But when she discovers a shocking secret about the poet she’s writing about chaos reigns, answers must be sought, and demons must be confronted.

My favorite parts were with the white boyfriend. I found them so funny (and sadly relatable) that I read some passages to my husband. I also love that this book seems ridiculous, but this stuff has totally happened! If you know you know. This novel is full of heart and showcases a woman coming to terms with who she is and her place in the world. It felt like a coming of age story, and I absolutely loved it.

#Bookstagram #Disorientation #Satire #SocialCommentary #FunnyBooks #ReadAsianAuthors #BooksByAsianWomen #GreatBooks #Novels #AlwaysReading

“She didn’t want to keep sitting with him the way she used to, not expressing what she was thinking so strongly that it seemed like he had to know it. But she was old enough to recognize that wasn’t how things worked. People were their own individual planets, spinning in their own orbits, and to reach someone else you had to throw a meteor sometimes”

I figured being nine months pregnant was the perfect time to read this collection of short stories centering motherhood in some way. Some were about people really wanting children, others were about the decision to be childless, infertility or infant loss. I feel like one thing I loved about this collection is that the author captured longing so well, longing for a future that won’t happen or a past that whipped by too quickly.

There is this weird longing I have as a mother, a wistfulness. Sometimes it is a desire for more time. More sleep. More silent moments. But I also feel such intense joy and fear at the same time that is indescribable, and if I sit too long with it makes my heart feel swollen where I have to remind myself to breathe. Moments where I want time to slow down so you stay this age forever punctuated by feelings of eagerness to see who you become but also please just give me a moment of silence already and let me get through one conversation without interruption and for the love of god and all that is holy can you just eat one vegetable already?

Anyways, All that to say. I loved this book of short stories. Each story was short but the message concise. A lovely one.

#Bookstagram #ShortStoryCollection #StoriesAboutMotherhood #Motherhood #Shortstories #alwaysreading


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