Tuesday, October 29, 2019

NonFiction November Challenge and TBR

This will be my 3rd year doing NonFiction November. I participated in 2016 and last year. What's NonFiction November you ask? Run by Booktuber abookolive, the aim isn't to read only nonfiction but to read more nonfiction than you usually do. So if don't read nonfiction, then reading just one nonfiction book will suffice. If you read one a month, try to read two and so on and so forth. There are also 4 one word prompts for you to try complete as well. The beauty of the one word prompts is that it's open to interpretation, you can bend the meanings to fit your own reading habits and likes. Olive does a great job of going through the prompts and their meaning so you can check out her video here if you'd like. The prompts are as follows:
  1. Design
  2. Sport
  3. True
  4. Voice
Here are some of books I'm thinking of reading for these prompts


-Semicolon is unsurprisingly a book about the semicolon, one I wanted to read a few months ago as it was a Book of the Month for the Rick O'Shea Book Club. I thought it suited the prompt as punctuation is a design element of language.

-Microtrends Squared is something I'm kinda twisting to fit the prompt to be honest. Mainly because I'm reading it for Book Riot Read Harder and need to get it finished by the end of the year! But economics and trends can shape the world we live in the how things are designed to work.... yeah it's a stretch but I'm keeping it!

-Sex on the Moon is about breaking into a NASA centre to steal moon rocks, I'm sure there's plenty about the lead up and design of the heist!

-Toast and Marmalade is by Emma Bridgewater, who designs pottery. The cover has some of her designs on the front too!


-Not going to lie, this is the hardest one for me as I'm not a big sports fan and while I had a few ideas, I ran into hiccoughs like the books being hard to get or the reviews not being great. While making my list the other day I Am the Secret Footballer went on sale on Audible for 99p so I decided to just get it!

-Inverting the Pyramid is one of the only sports books I own, purely because the book was on the free book table at work. I'll either find this book on football tactics incredibly interesting or really boring!

-Walking's a sport right? I'm counting it! London Overground is a walk around the Overground system in London. If it's not counted as a sport in the physical sense, then it most certainly is in the adventure/fun sense.

-If walking around London doesn't tickle my fancy then maybe Circle Line, a book on sailing around London will appeal to me?!


-The Library Book is about an arson in a library, I picked it mainly because I need to read a nonviolent true crime book for Book Riot Read Harder (Sex on the Moon will also count for this)

-Something I can not get enough of is stunt journalism, doing something for the pure fun and thrill of it. I picked up A Chip Shop in Poznan while in London back in July.

-I already have The Book of the Year 2019 on preorder and can't wait to listen to all these true facts!

-If you're a book lover and haven't heard of Educated then you're head must be in the sand as it's such a hyped up book, the true story of Tara Westover and her family


-Last year I read Feminists Don't Wear Pink and this year I'm thinking of reading It's Not OK to be Blue, essays and accounts about depression and mental health

-No One is Too Small to Make a Difference is such a great book for this prompt, one person's voice on climate change, that inspires people and proves that one person can make a difference

-Notes to Self are essays from Emelie Pine which I've heard so many good things about and I've really been enjoying reading books about women and their life experiences

-Talking as Fast as I Can is a memoir from Lauren Graham and I liked the fact that it had talking in the title too!

Obviously I won't be reading all these books in November, I'm good at reading but not that good! I chose these books most because I own them! But also because they fit some other challenges I'm doing and I think there's a good mix of different types of nonfiction. I have other books I might chose instead, especially audiobooks as I love them when I'm commuting and crafting. I also have some books due to come in to the library but I don't think they fit these themes.

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Downstairs Girl by Stacy Lee Book Review

Set in 1890's Atlanta, Jo Kuan is a 17 Chinese-American girl who lives with Old Gin, who took her in and raised her after her parents abandoned her. By night, they live secretly in the basements beneath newspaper publishers. By day they both work for one of the richest families in Atlanta; Jo as a lady's maid for the daughter of the house and Old Gin in the stables. When she overhears the publishing family saying they're struggling with all their competition in the market, Jo secretly pens an advice column for them to print under the name Miss Sweetie. As she comes up against all sorts of racist and sexist struggles in her personal life, she uses Miss Sweetie to channel her frustrations and shake up what society thinks of women and people of colour. But the overnight success of Miss Sweetie soon becomes a problem for Jo, as people are dying to find out who Miss Sweetie is, for better or for worse. Can she risk being found out?

I loved this book! It's such a smart and funny YA book that can be enjoyed by everyone. Jo is such a dynamic interesting character and I loved seeing her channel Miss Sweetie into her own life and push herself to do more. The secondary characters felt well thought out too. There's so many different plots going on that all feed into each other and never get too complicated or felt like too much. This book highlights feminism but highlights how white feminism was in 1890s. It's a great book for younger readers to highlight racism and sexism in those times as it's done so well. Despite these heavier themes, everything is nicely balanced by the wit and humour. Refreshing, informative and fun historical YA novel.

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