Mini-reviews because I’m way behind

Y’all I’m behind and there’s no way I’m catching up, so let’s do some mini-reviews! These are all books I read in December, so I guess this would be my normal monthly review/recap post, except I’m not going to talk about stats since I already did my 2016 wrap-up. Anyhoo, I read a lot of good things at the end of the year! So if you’re somehow still holding on to bookstore gift cards that you got for Christmas, you might want to consider using them on some of these.

I’m Judging You: A Do Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi – This, like many recent books by funny ladies, is a worthwhile humorous read in which Luvvie talks about how her friend’s need to choose better boy toys but also how we need to be better people in general – less homophobic, less racist, etc. There were some pieces that absolutely cracked me up and I highlighted and read out loud to people, but one of the bits that sticks out in my mind the most is when she talks about the teachers and kids in her (mostly white) school basically refusing to learn how to say her name (Ifeoluwa), and how her last name gives people so much trouble they barely try, but yet we can all pronounce Schwarzenegger with no trouble. I didn’t read this on audio, but I heard it’s GREAT, so maybe you should do that.

The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla – This is a collection of essays by British immigrant and POC authors about their experiences. Since I live in the US, the conversations and news about race are usually centered on American experiences – and weirdly, trying to Google to find out the race issues that other countries are struggling through doesn’t turn up much useful information. I’m so glad I got to read this, which gave me insight into some of the prejudices and microaggressions that are ingrained in British culture. This isn’t available to purchase in the US, even on Amazon, but you can get your copy from The Book Depository easy peasy.

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare – I haven’t loved a Regency historical romance this much in a long, long time. Charlotte is trying to avoid being thrown in front of eligible bachelors by her match-making mama, because she just wants to go on a traveling tour with her bestie. Piers is a marquess but also secretly a spy, who certainly has no interest in marriage unless it’s necessary to keep his cover from being blown. One night Charlotte and Piers are caught alone in a room together and mistakenly taken to be secret lovers. They’re engaged,Β unless Charlotte can prove who the real mystery lovers are. I giggled SO MUCH reading this, and actually really liked Charlotte and Piers – the character-building was fantastic and the romance was realistically built up. I can’t wait to read more Tessa Dare (if you’ve read more of her novels PLEASE give me recs on which ones to read next.)

How to Make White People Laugh by Negin Farsad – I saw Negin speak at Book Riot Live and immediately went to buy her book. She is an Iranian-American-Muslim lady, and her book talks about her growing up and wanting to be involved in activism and advocacy, and how she does that by trying to make people laugh. She discusses being a “hyphenated” person in a white-dominated society, and her work to use comedy to combat the irrational fear that some Americans have of anyone who identifies or looks Muslim. I really want to watch her documentary The Muslims Are Coming! soon.

The Wangs vs The World by Jade Chang – This totally deserves all the praise it’s been receiving. Chinese immigrant Charles Wang was a massively successful businessman who made his fortune in make-up- that is, before the recession of 2008 hit. Now the once-wealthy Wangs are broke and on a road trip across America, and it’s a bumpy, funny, heart-warming ride. The Wangs are flawed butΒ quirky and I had a great time with them, and was sad when the book ended.

Ghost Girl in the Corner by Daniel Jose Older – This is just a short little novella, but if you enjoyed Shadowshaper then it’s a must-read (especially since it’s only 99 cents.) I’m not going to go into any details because it’s such a quick read, but figured I’m mention it here in case you like Daniel Jose Older’s other books but didn’t know about this.

Have you read any of these?



  1. I’ve been meaning to read The Good Immigrant. So many great writers and the immigrant experience here is definitely different from the Canadian one. I often have to remind people that I’m an immigrant to the UK too, and am repeatedly told that it’s ok, I’m the good kind (read Canadian, white, English speaker). It infuriates me. I do have it better than most, but as a stay-at-home mom with no plans of getting a job, I am also a drain on the state,whereas the Spanish speaking immigrant who does manual labour is actually contributing to the tax base.


  2. Hooray mini-reviews! I very much want to read I’m Judging You. And The Good Immigrant. And How To Make White People Laugh. Man, you read lot of great books recently


  3. Re: The Good Immigrant – I recently read a book about the refugee crisis (The New Odyssey) that was written by a U.K. journalist and whose intended audience was definitely still the Western world, but more of a European focus. I found it refreshing in a way to read a nonfiction book where the topic is not being recentered to accommodate the American mind. I need to keep my eye out for more nonfiction books that were not initially written for an American audience, even if later they are marketed to the US. Thanks for putting Shukla’s book on my radar!


  4. I got such a kick out of Do You Want to Start a Scandal! I’ve been sort of hit or miss on Tessa Dare — sometimes I absolutely love her books, and other times I feel very lukewarm about them — but DYWtSaS was a total delight from start to finish. I remember enjoying Beauty and the Blacksmith quite a bit, I think?

    I keep hoping they’ll publish The Good Immigrant in the US! I really want to read it but I also have already spent way too much money this year and should not be spending any more. :p


    1. I’ll check out Beauty and the Blacksmith, I need to try more of hers.

      The Good Immigrant is only $15 on The Book Depository right now… just sayin πŸ™‚ It’s definitely worth the dollars to have a copy I think. Or do you want to borrow my copy? You can totally borrow my copy if you don’t mind underlining and stuff.


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