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Cristy, Kim, Christy, Rox, me, and Jo. Don't even remember what I ordered, and it's there in the picture! All I can recall is a night of warm sisterhood with friends old and new! Last year I decided that I was going to start reading more and I read books. This year, I wanted to up my game a little bit and do more like a reading marathon and ended up the year reading books, a book for every day. Even though I am a pretty athletic person, I can't run because it hurts my knees. I am not as graceful and elegant as I would need to be for professional dance and sports has never interested me. But reading is the one thing I can do and I like to do at the gym, on planes, in bed, and in the bathtub primarily. I didn't read to show off but to escape the reality of our current country's political situation and to learn more about the lives and perspectives of others unlike me. I can say that I really enjoyed the vast majority of the books I've read and don't have any significant regrets for this reading marathon.
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As a physician buckling under the stress, my assigned counsellor who is also a church minister told me: So, what do I do with that. I also remember my father a stake president telling me the night before I got married that every single couple he had counseled through marriage struggles were not reading their scriptures or praying together every night. Mormonism is not meant to be a casual part of a Mormon's life but it is meant to be the center. With moonlighting included, my boyfriend sometimes works up to hours per week. He says he has put-in a lot of his life into his profession and his career is very important to him. If so, then step away from the internet and go look him in the eyes and take his hands and start asking him all the questions you asked me. This is a very interesting blog and I'm happy to have found it. You should not be trying to be exclusive with one person, so go on dates with as many people as you can. We are best friends. If it is already an issue in your relationship, then it'll amplify to an extreme if you get married.

Cristy, Kim, Christy, Rox, me, and Jo. Don't even remember what I ordered, and it's there in the picture! All I can recall is a night of warm sisterhood with friends old and new! Last year I decided that I was going to start reading more and I read books. This year, I wanted to up my game a little bit and do more like a reading marathon and ended up the year reading books, a book for every day.

Even though I am a pretty athletic person, I can't run because it hurts my knees. I am not as graceful and elegant as I would need to be for professional dance and sports has never interested me. But reading is the one thing I can do and I like to do at the gym, on planes, in bed, and in the bathtub primarily. I didn't read to show off but to escape the reality of our current country's political situation and to learn more about the lives and perspectives of others unlike me.

I can say that I really enjoyed the vast majority of the books I've read and don't have any significant regrets for this reading marathon. I should also note that, although some of these books did come out in , many did not. The following are my favorite books of this year that I read this year regardless of their original publication date. I know I am also probably forgetting some and I feel remiss in that too, but I spent hours writing the following even longer than that reading these and I hope some of you get some good recommendations of books you might also like to read or can connect with me on a book you have read.

Feel free to share your favorites as well! I am highly interested in having conversations about books and finding out about literature I may have had less exposure to living in America. This book is an astounding work that covers so many different states and personal backgrounds to reflect on race in America. If you like Humans of New York, this is a little like that in the sense that it explores what makes us human but it's a great more complex and thorough than that-maybe a Humans of America.

The fact that Guo and Vulchi were able to travel all across the US to gain an understanding of so many people and how their race has affected their lives is a daring and meaningful venture in and of itself but it's also clear that they make a concerted effort to explore the things these people like and enjoy so that there's a fuller sense to some things they have in common with others. In addition, the photographs of these people really add to a sense of them. We must change in our country. We must develop more empathy and patience.

We must be able to listen to others who we think we share nothing in common with and find the things we do share whilst respecting individual differences. This is the only way we will be able to heal and move forward. This is a harrowing read, especially because there is truth in the weight of our names as Americans being tied to the deep sins of mistreating other humans. This is also, however a very poetic read, haunting in its lyrical quality and in the way that Luiselli is able to adeptly convey the range of emotions she feels, desperate and distraught but also so very insightful.

You will read these pages wit your heart in your throat, worry that if you are not careful, you may actually end of swallowing it. Can Xue is not understood fully by probably most people and I myself had to read several sentences over again a few times, especially this work, the most esoteric of what I've read three novels and one short story collection this year. The imagery is especially potent here and you don't really know exactly what is happening in the way the human form can transform.

You really don't know quite what could be actually happening This would be a book I would read at the end of the world cuddled under a blanket and remembering the most imaginative humans could be then hoping there were some creatives still left out in the tundra of the world. Another new author I discovered was Karen Tei Yamashita and, though I also enjoyed reading a collection of her plays entitled Anime Wong, I even more so enjoyed reading this novel.

Yamashita is Japanese American but you get more of that specific perspective from her plays. Set between Japan and Brazil, this novel features a very vivid cast of interesting characters not to mention the protagonist that is the rotating ball in front of the Japanese train conductor's head. This is one of the most unique books I have ever read in my life and it's no surprise that the forward is from one of the most highly intelligent authors in the world, Percival Everett.

This novel is a real treat and is a riveting surreal adventure. I've spent many years not knowing very much at all about the lives of those who live in North Korea, much as the citizens of North Korea have spent their lives knowing not too much about others outside of their country.

This non fiction work follows the lives of North Koreans who escape into China and South Korea and manage to be granted refugee status and follows them up until the early s.

It's another book that disarms you in its brutality. Demick records the stories of their lives, how they bought into propaganda, and how they started to gather inklings of the truth while they were in their home country.

The depth of the poverty and brainwashing is immense from the time that these people are schoolchildren. Even if they were starving, if someone came by and saw that their picture of Kim Jong-il then Kim Jong-un weren't immaculate, they could be taken and forced into a labor camp. If they didn't weep loud enough at the death of Kim Jong-il, they were also suspect and no one could trust their neighbors, who could also very likely be government informants.

The only media that they had access to was North Korean and Russian propaganda films and even their literature was greatly restricted. In addition, even having a bowl of rice a day was seen as a great luxury.

Many starved to death and were happy to have less mouths to feed in their family. The clothing women could wear was also severely limited. This was and possibly still in many ways is a super suppressed society from the point of view of an American especially. I'd be curious if anything has changed and what but really what honestly struck me is how the government deliberately misled their citizens into thinking that they were producing things they weren't and that the rest of the world was under the same amount of hardship. This is a government who would rather see their people starve than to stoop to accepting aid from abroad.

It's eye opening and terrifying for me to think of the people who have suffered and died under these regimes. There has been a real paucity in literature of valuable and unique human perspectives and this work of nonfiction is an incredibly valuable addition to the canon of literature as a whole and adds to our collective human empathy and understanding of the range of experiences one can have while being alive.

Keah Brown is a woman like none other-honest about the world and her own growth as a human, friend, and twin sister, insightful about the racism and ableism in our current present world and humorous in her observations of pop culture. Keah Brown has a different ability level and many might say she has a disability.

I say she has an ability that most other people do not possess and may not ever possess. But, it does mean that we would all be wise to learn from her perspective. One of the most astounding books of fiction I read this year was a book that feels incredibly brave and is loosely based on actual incidents that happened in the Rodney King riots of LA. Steph Cha is Korean American but it became widely clear from this novel that she is very invested in promoting healing between the Korean and African American communities.

The novel goes back and forth between and and explores racism with a deep and personal delving that made me literally at times gasp out loud. This is the kind of wholly relevant novel we can all learn something from even despite it being technically fiction. There are still lots of truths to be found here. If you live in America and are even remotely aware of the racist systems and acts of violence that are committed against those in the African and African American communities, you should be appalled.

The fact of the matter is, most of the time these acts are not even classified as terrorism and yet they are just as damaging and politically motivated. This book explores the heartache and mobilization of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the police brutality and death and the systems in place that keep white people especially profiting. It is shameful. There should be reparations. This is a must read for all humans who want to come to a better understanding of what it takes to make a movement and the real human damage to what has occurred in several cities across America where the blood on our hands cannot ever be washed off.

Miriam Toews comes from a Mennonite perspective and often her stories focus on Mennonite life with some personal anecdotes seemingly inserted here and there. This novel feels much different and offers an important aspect of feminism in terms of exploration of the human female mind after the real life events taking place in Bolivia in when these women were raped consistently by men in their Mennonite community and were basically told by these men that these abuses were not happening and that these women were psychologically unsound.

Most books of this nature explore the deep wounds of being a victim. This book offers a different sort of perspective. While still putting a human face to the damage done by men, it focuses more on the action of these women in discussions and meetings to decide how they will solve this problem going forward. Will they kick out the men? Will they leave completely? If they leave, will they take the children including the male children? At what age does a male stay behind? These are complex and very real questions and all choices are intellectually explored with great discussion.

It made me feel the strength and empowerment of women vs. Well worth the read! This is a daunting read. Ellmann clearly was going for a marathon level of stream of consciousness when she wrote this one. But, there is also the overarching story line of being a mother, a daughter whose mother has passed away of Cancer, remarrying after divorce, and oddly enough being a pie baker.

I do think this book is worth reading, especially if you can get in the groove and feel the pulse of the first person female protagonist but you do need to obviously put in a huge time and emotional commitment. In order to help things flow more smoothly for you if you decide to take up this challenge as a reader, I suggest reading about pages for 11 days straight or 50 pages a day for 21 days straight.

If you do this, you manage to get into a certain groove by page or so. But, I understand being caught in a state of almost helplessness about what my country has become and what I witness in terms of how people act towards each other. Anyway, a lot of people have abandoned this but it might be the perfect book to add to the next time capsule. Hopefully, things will get better in the new year. So many of my co-workers went to high school with Gina Rodriguez and always talk about how nice she was to everyone which is literally the opposite of what most people say about you in high school.

I found this autobiography brave, brutally honest, and even at times a little funny but mostly I found this to me about the power of perseverance and not giving up no matter what, not just in the struggle for survival, which was very real for Guerrero, but also in the struggle to do what you love and follow your dreams and actually make it.

Guerrero is talented, that is for sure, but she is also a sort of superhero as well in what she has overcome and she has given us all a real gift of letting us glimpse the power of her human spirit. What makes this book more unique than many immigrant fiction or pseudofiction is the exploration of the human mind and exploration of mental health and illness within the protagonist as well as this family unit. What also makes it worth reading is the sense of a celebration in Nigerian culture vs.

There were insights and information in this book that really astounded me, even having lived in this country all my life though, to be fair I have never been to Utah. I enjoyed all three of these works but I liked The Memory Police by far the best…the concept that you slowly lose the memory of everything around you and hold dear and the including literally parts of yourself-limbs, for instance, and that anyone who still has the ability to remember is not safe but is taken and separated from society at the very least is a really intriguing concept but where the book really succeeds is in its exploration of memories in the sense that they make us human and are truly a part of us.

I really enjoyed the strong sense of mood and contemplation on the nature of existence. This is a mixed sort of book between prose and poetry with some aspects of experimental fiction as well. One cannot help but fall in love a little bit with Guerra as she travels to Mexico, falls in love with an actor, tries to escape persecution from the Cuban government who are constantly monitoring every move she makes, and above all keeps writing as she attempts to discover the truth of the death of her parents as well as gain a sense of her place in the world as a woman, a poet, a human.

Lefteri is British but has worked with immigrants in Athens, which is where this story takes place at least in part. This is a really harrowing fictional account of a Syrian husband and wife who have lost their child and are each coping with it in their own ways the mother soon after goes blind and the father suffers from delusions and hallucinations.



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