I had a decent January, not in the least because I got to celebrate my birthday with a trillion new books.
I read almost 30 books this month and I loved most, if not all, of them.
I wanted to see if I could narrow down my favorites to five books.
Though difficult, I managed.
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
While it’s a small niche, queer theological YA fiction is nonetheless one of my favorite genres.
I’ve learned it’s possible to be queer AND Christian AND passionate AND not a complete drip.
Faith isn’t limited to Bible trivia and abstinence pledges.
For anyone in need of a reminder of how much the closet sucks, look no further!
This book has my heart. I want to give it a hug.
Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal
HOW does a jokesy premise wring out quality jokes AND touching moments?
There are genius jokes about anxiety and bisexuality and just the sweetest friendships.
I will forever fly the flag of Beyoncé’s thighs.
Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free by Linda Kay Klein
In the words of Brene Brown, I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME.
Call me small-minded, but I didn’t realize other women struggled with gender expectations and outdated sexual beliefs the way I did (and continue to do.)
I thought I was a Problem Child. Others in my acquaintance certainly supported that belief.
Turns out I’m just a woman stuck in an outdated, shame-based, patriarchal system.
This book dovetails pretty perfectly with Nadia Bolz-Weber’s new book Shameless. I’m debating whether to buy that book now or wait for the paperback.
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
I’m calling it: favorite book of the year.
I could not stop crying.
How does one heal after the ultimate betrayal?
How do you pursue justice when your heart is split?
No one in this book was perfect – even Partner of the Year Charlie resorts to victim blaming at one point.
This book gave a complex issue its due.
Blake’s ending statement is so perfect, I had to include a portion of it here:
This may not be the book you wanted. In many ways, it was not the book I wanted. The book I wanted never had an Owen or a Mr. Knoll, and if it did, it had an Owen and a Mr. Knoll who paid justly for their crimes.
However, this is the book I needed, and I hope, in some ways, it’s the book you needed, too. This is the book that reminded me that despite a system and a culture that is perpetually against us, that lets our oppressors go free, that disbelieves our words, there is hope. There is love. There is comfort. There is healing.
There is life after abuse. A good life. It’s not an easy one. It’s not the same one we had before. But it is still ours. And nothing and no one will take it from us.
We are worth the telling. We are worth the fight. We are worth a good life and love after.
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
DECENT ACE ROMANCES EXIST. TELL YOUR FRIENDS.
I know I’m dropping a lot of morals in this post, but I love how this book explored the idea that love requires constant communication.
I love that Takumi, after rejecting Claire, came to a different conclusion after much thought.
I love how deeply the characters considered each other’s feelings.
I wanted all the relationships to work out.
I want what Alice and Takumi have.
This book was so sweet and fun and soft.
Read it in the bathtub. Expect tears of joy and laughter.
I have more exciting books on the horizon.
I just finished my Six of Crows reread, so I’m finally ready for Crooked Kingdom.
I want to give Ramona Blue a shot.
My friend Staci bought me Dear Evan Hansen as a belated birthday gift; she insists I HAVE TO READ IT.
I have a huge stack of non-fiction and speculative fiction that I can’t wait to touch.
January was great. February might be better.