May Wrap-Up and Reality Check

Hi everyone!

So, here’s my reality check… I can’t do all the things in the time I’ve got and still have enough rest and wind-down time. I’m going to take a brief breather from making YouTube videos and focus on reading and working on the outline for my novel. (the cover photo for this post is from a local spot that’s important in my novel)…. đŸ™‚ I also want to get outside more and start remembering how to socialize. (I vaguely remember being in public with groups of people??!)

I did get some good reading done in May, following prompts for the #asianreadathon and reading some Edgar award winners!

I will also continue my pattern of lifting up non-profits that I started on my YouTube Channel. Today I’m donating to the Native American Youth and Family Center “Founded by the community, for the community, NAYA is a family of numerous tribes and voices who are rooted in sustaining tradition and building cultural wealth. We provide culturally-specific programs and services that guide our people in the direction of personal success and balance through cultural empowerment. Our continuum of lifetime services create a wraparound, holistic healthy environment that is Youth Centered, Family Driven, Elder Guided.” Donate to NAYA and follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

I also want to recommend Libro.FM – an audio book service that partners with local bookstores – that you can choose! – and Libro.FM shares the proceeds of the purchase with that bookstore. You can select local bookstores, and/or search by LGBTQ owned, Black owned, AAPI owned, or Woman owned. Check it out!

Here are the books I read in May…

5 stars!

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B.Alston – THIS is the book about a teen going to a magic school that we need! I really hope this becomes a long series. Twelve-year-old Amari goes to a summer camp and winds up rooming with a were-dragon – but her biggest goal is to find her missing brother who everyone believes to be dead. You gotta read this book!

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole – A love-story/thiller set in Brooklyn where gentrification and missing neighbors are ominous. I couldn’t put it down and my heart was racing!

Even This Page is White by Vivek Shraya – a short book of poetry and other text exploring racism from the point of view of a Canadian artist of Southeast Asian descent. Explores anti-brown, anti-indigenous, and anti-Black racism and brings up thought provoking points.

4.5 stars

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara – a mystery following a nine-year-old boy in India and his two friends as they play detectives to search for kids that go missing. Beautiful setting and characters, but also moments of tragedy.

4 stars

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino – a Japanese murder mystery involving cat and mouse with a mathematician and physicist. A good suspenseful tale!

The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne by Elsa Hart – Lady Cecily Kay in 1703 London finds herself investigating the murder of her host, collector Barnaby Mayne. A fun cozy. I didn’t start out loving the protagonist, but she grew on me.

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi – A Middle Grade fantasy with beautiful writing, fabulous diversity, and a serious topic. CW: abuse.

3.5 stars

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu – A unique novel in 2nd person that is written in script form. A good commentary on assimilation, family expectations, and the Chinese immigrant experience.

Who’s Vera Kelly by Rosalie Knecht – I thought this would be a Mrs. Pollifax-style mystery, but it was more of a literary fiction novel with a female spy protagonist.

June …..

I haven’t yet picked my books for June. Maybe I’ll do a little mood reading? I’m hoping to continue to read more diverse books, as well as explore the mystery genre.

What about you? What are you reading? Do you agree with my star ratings?

Happy reading!

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