Let's Talk About Books | Yellowface, The Bromance Bookclub, Warrior Girl Unearthed, Ducks

Let's Talk About Books  | Yellowface, The Bromance Bookclub, Warrior Girl Unearthed, Ducks

Let's Talk About Books will be a new series on my blog. Instead of writing a full-length post for each book, I'll include a few books to talk about. You'll notice I like to read a different type of book once I finish a book. I think grouping them into groups of four will give readers a great recommendation selection. If I read the same genre over and over, I will get burnt out and fall into a reading slump. This way I can keep reading and keep myself engaged. Happy reading!

Yellowface by R.F Kuang (Purchase)

This was my first R.F. Kuang book, I had previously heard about Babel, and I was curious about her writing and finally decided to try Yellowface this year. It seemed like a book that was easier to jump into since Babel was a fantasy book and has quite a few pages. Let's jump into this book. We have June and Athena; two acquaintances who knew each other since their days at Yale. They both graduated and published their first novels around the same time; Athena became a literary star and June's book didn't even get a paperback release. When the two almost-friends get together for drinks, Athena dies in a freak accident and a horrified June steals her latest manuscript. June finishes the book, polishes it up, and decides she's going to publish it as her own. June convinces herself that this story deserves to be told, and it's just as much hers as it is Athena's since she's worked so hard on it. As the book hits shelves, June finally begins to feel what success in the literary world is like but soon enough the internet starts to buzz with speculation. I really enjoyed this story, and the writing was captivating. This really piqued my interest in Kuang's writing and I plan to read more. I thought it was very interesting that I would feel bad for June and how she was being treated, but then I would snap out of it and remember that she was in the wrong. She should have never stolen the manuscript, to begin with. I really stayed glued to the pages, wondering what was going to happen next. Would June be able to continue with her career, would the truth come out? This was a great read, I rated it four out of five stars and highly recommend it. 

The Bromance Bookclub by Lyssa Kay Adams (Purchase)

I went into this book not really sure what to think about it. I had read some mixed reviews, but I also knew it would be a 'marriage in trouble' book and I would be rooting for the couple to work through their issues. I ended up loving this book! Gavin, a professional baseball player realizes his marriage is in deep trouble. His wife has asked him to move out and he's very distraught and hurt. When Gavin is offered help by his best friend, he's shocked he's being asked to join a romance book club. How will this fix his marriage? He doesn't have many options, and he decides it can't hurt any more than it already is. All of the characters and side characters really made me love this book. It was memorable, funny, realistic, and very well written. Told from both Gavin and Thea's perspectives, we also get glimpses of the Regency romance that Gavin is reading and trying to figure out how to apply this to his real life. I rated this one five out of five stars. There are other books in this series, and I hope to get to them soon. 

Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley (Purchase)

I wasn't new to Angeline Boulley when I went into this book, I previously loved her debut Firekeeper's Daughter and I was excited to dive into this one. We have Perry Firekeeper-Birch who intends to spend her summer relaxing, fishing, and definitely not working. However, when she has a small accident with her Jeep, she has to pay her Aunt back for the repairs, and her perfect summer is ruined. Her Aunt sets her up with an internship at the local community center on her reservation and she has no choice in the matter. This internship opens Perry's eyes up to the very real issues that Indigenous communities are fighting for today. Perry learns about the remains of her ancestors being held at the local university and the hoops that repatriating them entails. She also learns that many non-Indigenous people have remains and other artifacts for their own personal collections. She vows to give these remains a proper burial and do what she can to help bring them back to their communities. 

I love Indigenous authors and I constantly seek them out. While you can find many non-fiction books, I think it's just as important to recommend Indigenous fiction books as well. You capture a different audience and can still teach them through these stories. Many times non-fiction is overlooked, or you know you're going into a heavy memoir. When it's fiction, readers will be curious about what is fact and what is fiction and they may do their own research. 

This was a great read, Perry is impulsive, she's not afraid to speak her mind and she has a heart of gold. Her knowledge of her culture and people was inspiring. Angelline Bouley is an immediate autobuy author for me. I rated this one four out of five stars, put this one on your wishlist- please. 

Ducks: Two Years In The Oil Sands by Kate Beaton (Purchase)

Ducks is a graphic novel by Kate Beaton where she tells the story of her experience living for two years in the oil sands of Alberta. Kate went out to Alberta after graduating from University and hoped to make quick money to pay off her student loans, and while the money was nice it was very lonely for her. The oil sands are a male-dominated industry where a large number of employees come from Atlanta Canada. A culture of a booming industry, long work hours, days living in camps, and a goal of making money while being away from home. There is a deep sense that these workers wish they could go back to their hometowns but they're caught up in this lifestyle that's hard to leave for various reasons. This won Canada Reads in 2023 and I really wanted to give this a try. I thought it was very well done, and interesting. I don't think Kate speaks for all workers in the oil sands but I did enjoy her story. If you're interested in this, it's a quick read- give it a try. I rated this one four out of five stars. 

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