Saturday, April 7, 2018

Spring Update #MustReadin2018

At the beginning of 2014, I started participating in Carrie Gelson's #MustRead challenge. I love it because while I generally do several challenges a year, often they are number goals or a specific type of book, but with the #MustRead, we commit to specific books. This is a way to encourage myself to read books I have wanted to read, but never quite get to. It's also a way to keep certain books on my radar that haven't been released yet. Carrie does a great job encouraging us and reminding us to post about our progress

Here are the 30 books I chose for 2018

I've read almost a third of them so far:
Now that I have them here, I notice that almost half of these first books are non-fiction. I really enjoyed the three memoirs. When They Call You a Terrorist is a look at what it has been like for Patrisse Khan-Cullors to grow up in the U.S. as a Black woman and what led up to her part in the Black Lives Matter movement. It was not an easy book to read, but is a valuable perspective. I have enjoyed Roxane Gay's writing in the past so I put Hunger on my list. She shares her relationship to her body. She shares some very painful times so again, it wasn't a lighthearted, easy book. The Princess Diarist was less intense than the other memoirs. Much of the book is about the relationship Carrie and Harrison Ford had during the filming of the first Star Wars movie. She has a humorous way of telling stories so it's a fairly quick read. 

The other non-fiction book is So You Want to Talk About Race.  This book is for anyone, but seems to be aimed for White readers who want to learn more about issue surrounding race in the U.S., but don't know where to start or who don't want to ask questions that may make them look ignorant or worse - racist. She provides a lot of background and answers many questions that may be rolling around in the minds of White people. This is book would be a great place for someone to start if they are interested in dismantling racism.

After a few serious and intense books, I was super excited to pick up American Panda. The main character is Taiwanese American and is dealing with some family and identity issues so there are some serious moments. Overall though, it was a story that made me smile and laugh a lot. I appreciated the many opportunities to laugh.

Everything I Never Told You is a book to make you think. We never completely know what perceptions people have about us. At the beginning of the book, readers learn that Lydia's body has been found in the local lake. She's a Chinese American teen in a small town in Ohio. They don't know if it was suicide, foul play or an accident. As everyone works through their grief, they are also trying to figure out how this could have happened.

Rebel Seoul was awesome. This is what I wrote on Goodreads, "This was a fast-paced adventure in a future Seoul. I enjoyed the characters and the machines too. The friendships were awesome. I appreciated the romance, but the friendships were actually more of a highlight for me." 

I had a hard time starting Shadowhouse Fall. I think it works better to have read the first book without a couple year break in between. A couple of chapters in I was back into the setting and connected to the characters again. It's a fabulous urban fantasy.

Symptoms of Being Human is about a gender fluid teen who is not out yet. Riley's father is also congressman up for re-election so their family is sometimes in the spotlight. Riley begins writing a blog and feels a bit empowered there. The book was compelling and may also be informative for readers who are unfamiliar with gender fluidity. 

I'm happy to have this update because it got me to look at my list again. I'm really looking forward to some of these titles. Maureen Goo's book will be out soon and I may be able to go see her in St. Paul in May. I have really enjoyed her books in the past. They always make me smile. I'm currently reading Dread Nation so I'll have ten finished soon. Have a great time reading!! 


  1. You so often bring books to light that I am not familiar with at all, Crystal, so thank you for that. I have so many to read, but certainly have noted a few here, like Symptoms of Being Human and So You Want To Talk About Race. Thanks for all the brief descriptions, too!

  2. Yay, great progress! And it sounds like you enjoyed most of the books, which is also a plus.

  3. You have read a lot of nonfiction and some amazing titles it looks like. I always love your lists!

  4. Such an amazing list! Your posts and your progress to meet your goal will be powerful to share with students