May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which gives bibliophiles 31 days of perfect opportunities to add one, two, or possibly a few more books from Asian Pacific American writers to our ever growing TBR Lists. Whether you are still celebrating National Poetry Month, are looking for the next great novel by an Asian American author, or want to meet an awesome Asian American YA protagonist, we’ve got a round-up of books from various genres to satiate your diverse reading appetite. Happy Reading, y’all!
A moving story about the simple event of fishing and the relationship between father and son. Before starting his long workday, a father brings his son to a small Minneapolis pond to fish for enough food to feed their family for the day while sharing stories about their homeland of Vietnam.
Dumpling Days by Grace Lin Loosely based on Lin’s Taiwanese American childhood, Dumpling Days follows Pacy as she takes her first trip to Taiwan to visit distant relatives and learn more about her parents’ home country. This book captures Pacy’s journey of experiencing a new culture while trying to better understand herself and her family.
Hush!: A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho (Author) and Holly Meade (Illustrator) In this perfect bedtime story, a mother tries to put her baby to sleep, but the sounds of nearby animals keep disturbing them. By the end of the story, the lizard, monkey, and water buffalo have finally quieted down, so will mother finally be able to get the baby to sleep?
Today’s post combines a love of all things bookish, money, and quotes. For Top Ten Tuesday, the topic is thought-provoking book quotes, and since April is Financial Literacy Month, we are combining our love of books and money to bring some bookish money quotes that will make you go “Hmmm …”
If you’re also all about having bands in the coupe, then keep reading and delight in some of the best money quotes from the wide world of literature because Reel Literature is all about the Benjamins, baby!
I am not one who “plays the numbers” on a weekly basis, but I have to admit I buy a ticket when the jackpot gets really big in the dumb hope I’ll become an instant millionaire and finally reach financial freedom. Until then, I will abide by this money quote from Ambrose Bierce’s The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary. It’s better for current me and future me if I just put that money in the bank instead of wishing on a star and blowing money fast.
Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does.
We all know that family and money doesn’t always mix well, but the wise Ms. Austen lets us know that money in friendships may fare the same in Emma with the above bookish money quote. It’s best to keep money where it belongs… supporting your new favorite bookish blog. 😉
Of all the icy blasts that blow on love, a request for money is the most chilling.
This bookish money quote from Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert reminds me of a line “And you have the audacity to even come and step to me; Ask to hold some money from me until you get your check next week” from the still relevant Destiny’s Child hit “Bills, Bills, Bills.” I am no one’s Suga Momma. Go get your own Playboy!
Of course I mind, Ms. Wharton! But I was not born into the elite of New York high society like Lily Bart’s friends and associates in The House of Mirth, and I have a crapton of student loans to pay off. I also like makeup. Please don’t turn this into Sophie’s Choice.
For I consider brains far superior to money in every way. You may have noticed that if one has money without brains, he cannot use it to his advantage; but if one has brains without money, they will enable him to live comfortably to the end of his days.
The Scarecrow is really dropping truth bombs on us lowly readers in The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum! The old adage is time is money, but that is not true. We can always use our brains, get our hustle on and make more money, but time is a finite resource we can never get back. #Message
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.
Ayn Rand, The Darling of American Conservatism, does make a reasonable point in this quote from Atlas Shrugged. Money is just a tool essential to survive this provincial life. YES, it is a tool constantly toying with our emotions, but it is a tool nonetheless, and you must be the boss of it if you wish to thrive.
It’s easy to say you don’t care about money when you have plenty of it.
Truer words have (probably) never been spoken from unlikely bookish voice of reason, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. You don’t really have to think about money when your money in the bank is sitting with more than a few significant figures.
Credit is a system whereby a person who can’t pay, gets another person who can’t pay, to guarantee that he can pay.
When it comes to money, credit can be your best friend or your worst enemy. If it is your nemesis, then it may be due to you living this quote from Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. You’re basically robbing Peter to pay Paul. Stop it!
No one wants to be like Carrie Bradshaw, unable to buy your rent-controlled apartment because you spent all your coint on Manolos and Chanel. Give a financial boost to future you, take some off the top, and put that ish in the bank! Sophia Amoruso speaks nothing but the truth with this bookish money quote from her memoir #GIRLBOSS.
Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness.
This bookish money quote from Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Album is letting us know money may equal power, but none of that will give you affection. I guess, just like your degrees, your money can’t keep you warm at night … unless you burn it in the fireplace.
There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge. Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.
Napoleon Hill drops this quotastic money gem in Think and Grow Rich. Overall, this quote makes me remember dealing with money is emotional and to have success we have to change our money mindset away from the broke mindset to the wealth mindset. And I definitely know that is easier said than done.
Let the church say “Amen” to this quote from Agatha Christie’s The Man in the Brown Suit because money can actually buy happiness when the struggle is real, and it’s hard to make it through the long month with a short check because money buys options.
So…did you appreciate our bonus bookish money quote for Top Ten Tuesday? What is the best money quote you’ve read lately? Are you a baller shot caller? Let us know in the comments! |RL
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Title: Becoming Author: Michelle Obama Publisher: Crown Publishing Group Publication Date: 2018 Summary: Michelle Obama shares the experiences that shaped her world, from her childhood in the South Side of Chicago to her nearly decade residency at The White House as the first African American First Lady.
Forever My First Lady
To me, Michelle Obama will always be my favorite (and the best) First Lady, and I say that as someone who knows nothing about most of her predecessors and current successor. I say this unequivocally, and nothing that any dissenters might say will change my mind. And, I felt this way BEFORE I read Becoming. Reading Becoming just validated my opinion. There were so many times when I saw myself in Michelle, and I saw what I could become if I fully embraced and cultivated my strengths. Michelle Obama is the First Lady we never deserved, but I am grateful that I experienced her greatness during my lifetime. The are so many young girls and women who were touched by her optimism and encouragement, and I can’t wait to see the future leaders she has inspired. Everyone who reads Becoming will most certainly be inspired to reach their fullest potential and fulfilled all of their unrealized dreams.
She IS Me
While reading Becoming, there were so many instances where I saw myself in Michelle Obama. The smart brown girl who told adults she wanted to be a doctor when they asked. That was me. People telling Michelle she sounded like a white girl. Yep, I got that too. The high school guidance counselor doubting her talents and telling her she wasn’t “Princeton material.” I got that from my guidance counselor too, except in my case, he didn’t think I was good enough for Governor’s School (even though I was #1 in my class). We both even had a life-changing experience in Africa, Michelle’s in Kenya and mine in Ghana. We also got ALL of the degrees, then realized we might want a different path. I’m inspired by Michelle’s ability to pivot, and I’m hoping to one day do the same. Reading Michelle’s story made me feel so connected and seen, and I couldn’t get enough of it! The only Michelle-ism that I don’t also have is her warm and winning personality and people skills. I am basically a robot who can sometimes pass the Turing test.
This book made me smile, made me laugh out loud, and brought me to tears. I enjoyed every bit of reading about Michelle Obama’s life through her own eyes and in her own words. I loved reading the stories of her formative years that helped her become a determined and successful working mom. She was the country’s first black First Lady, and I appreciated how she acknowledged the importance of the cross she had to bear while staying true to herself. Everyone should give this book a read! The Stans will most certainly enjoy learning a bit more about our Queen, and the detractors may learn some things too.
The Final Grade
Carpe Librum: I have no bad things to say about this book. I unabashedly stan for Michelle Obama and Becoming. I loved the book from beginning to end, and I am sure you will love it too!
So…have you read Becoming yet? Is Michelle Obama your favorite first lady too? Let us know in the comments! |RL
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We are almost half way into April, the Most Lit Month of the Year, and National Library Week 2019 is underway! If you don’t know what this bookish celebration is all about, National Library Week is an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians, and library works play in transforming lives and strengthening our communities.
The theme for National Library Week 2019 is Libraries = Strong Communities with the goal of showing how libraries are the heart of our towns, cities, and schools by providing critical resources, programs, and expertise while also giving community members a public space to come together. Philanthropist Melinda Gates is the 2019 National Library Week Honorary Chair.
National Library Week 2019 celebrations include National Library Workers Day, celebrated on April 9th, and National Bookmobile Day, which is TODAY, April 10th, and the Wednesday of every National Library Week. Today is also the official day for financial giving with #LibraryGivingDay, a one-day fundraising event that encourages book lovers who enjoy public libraries to donate to their local library system. Book lovers can also use Take Action for Libraries Day on April 11th to advocate for libraries and share your library story with #MyLibraryMyStory.
So…have you visited the bookmobile today? Did you donate to your local library? What’s your library story? How are you celebrating National Library Week? Let us know in the comments! |RL
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Escape Room is not just the horror flick you’ve probably never heard of with the less than stellar Rotten Tomatoes score. It’s the worldwide phenomenon where participants use clues, hints, and strategy to solve a series of puzzles and riddles to complete an objective within a specified time limit. Of course, it wouldn’t be long before a popular form of entertainment gets an injection of that Harry Potter flavor because the Venn Diagram of two popular fandoms is obviously a circle, and who wouldn’t want to experience a little boy wizard wonder! Today, we have Harry Potter escape rooms inspired by Rowling’s world that received the highest ratings from fellow Potterheads. Plan your vacations, road trips, and bucket lists accordingly. Accio games!
Best Harry Potter Escape Rooms Inside the United States
Most of the highly rated and challenging Harry Potter escape rooms seem to be either in the Midwest or the Mid-Atlantic area. Well, you have to find some fun indoor activities to occupy your time when the weather is less than ideal nine months out of the year, right?!
From one of the most highly rated Escape Rooms in the Twin Cities comes A Very Potter Escape Room. Take a trip to the famous school for witches and wizards! Unfortunately, the beloved Headmaster is gone and a new regime has taken over. You have 1 hour to get the Elder Wand from the Headmaster’s office before it’s too late. Room Stats—Difficulty: Not stated; Price: $26 per person; Team: 2–10 players
In Harry Potter Escape, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to break out of Azkaban Prison and return to Hogwarts to save the school and your friends. Collect the Horcruxes in less than 60 minutes to finally defeat Lord Voldermort. This escape room is perfect fun for the entire family. Room Stats—Difficulty: 2/5; Price: $28 per person; Team: 2–8 players
Best Harry Potter Escape Rooms Outside the United States
As to be expected, most of the top notch international HP escape rooms are located in the UK, but there are a few gems for travelers whose adventures take them to Canada or other areas of Europe.
At The Department of Magic you have a choice of TWO magical 50-minute escape rooms, Prophecies Quest and Dark Lord Resurrection, or creating up to two potions in the Magic Potions Tavern! I would expect nothing less from an escape room located in Potterhead sacred ground. In the Prophecies Quest, you must assemble your order and collect the Prophecies the Dark Lord scattered throughout the Department of Magic. For wizards who walk a dark and crooked path, join the Dark Lord Resurrection and find the needed dark magical items to bring your Dark Lord back to life. Room Stats—Difficulty: Not stated; Price: £14–20 per person; Team: 2–5 players
Thanks to Coraline being a precocious girl and one of our favorite literary heroines, it is obvious we would find plenty of Coraline quotes to share in this quotefest!
Ask and Receive?
“I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted? Just like that, and it didn’t mean anything. What then?
What’s in a Name
“Now, you people have names. That’s because you don’t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don’t need names.”
“The names are the first thing to go, after the breath has gone, and the beating of the heart. We keep our memories longer than our names.”
“There was something irritatingly self-centered about the cat, Coraline decided. As if it were, in its opinion, the only thing in any world or place that could possibly be of any importance.”
“There are those,” it said with a sigh, in tones as smooth as oiled silk, “who have suggested that the tendency of a cat to play with its prey is a merciful one–after all, it permits the occasional funny little running snack to escape, from time to time.”
“Spiders’ webs only have to be large enough to catch flies.”
It is astonishing just how much of what we are can be tied to the beds we wake up in in the morning, and it is astonishing how fragile that can be.”
Liar Liar Pants on Fire
“Coraline knew that when grown-ups told you something wouldn’t hurt it almost always did.”
What is Brave?
“And, after all, it is always easier to be afraid of something you cannot see.”
“Because,” she said, “when you’re scared buy you still do it anyway, that’s brave.”
So…are there Coraline quotes you loved that didn’t make our quotefest? Let us know in the comments! |RL
P.S. Want more Coraline? Check out the book and movie reviews!
Title: Coraline Screenwriter: Henry Selick Director: Henry Selick Release Date: February 6, 2009 Synopsis: An adventurous 11-year-old girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.
From Coraline Rave …
One of the aspects that I absolutely love about the movie is the animation. Even almost 10 years after its release, Coraline is still visually stunning. I also appreciated that even though I recognized some of the actors, like Teri Hatcher, Dakota Fanning, Ian McShane and Keith David (who was perfection as the voice of The Cat), their voices weren’t distracting and didn’t take me out of the story. I don’t really like when animated movies use super famous actors to voice the characters for name recognition, but their distinctive voices don’t work. This was a movie where it worked!
… To Coraline Rant
Now, it’s ranting time! Yoooooo! Can we talk about how terrible this movie portrayed Coraline’s parents? I was really disappointed with the interaction between Coraline and her parents during the movie. The movie made it seem like she was the most unwanted child ever, and that was not the case in the book. The book makes it more believable that Coraline would want to save them from the Other Mother, and it seems like the movie needed to be beat the audience over the head with an overbearing tension between Coraline and her parents that would make Coraline wanting to stay on the other side a logical conclusion.
Why must the audience be beat over the head with tension between Coraline and her parents? Yes, her parents are busy working and doing all the adult things, but they still show their daughter some semblance of love and affection. The movie lacks those aspects of Coraline’s relationship with her parents that makes her want to save them from the Other Mother. If I was to just go by the movie’s portrayal of Coraline’s parents, I would wonder why Coraline wants to save them at all!
Who Run The World?
Although I didn’t like how one-dimensional the movie made Coraline’s parents, I absolutely HATED the addition of the story’s most unnecessary character Wyborne. I don’t care what my beau says, Wyborne does not move the plot, and he doesn’t provide necessary exposition. Wyborne was shoehorned into the plot for the boys who can’t relate to a story that centers around a girl. I recognized it immediately because I’ve seen it before in the movies about marginalized characters.
The story includes a character from the dominant culture that is actually not needed for the story because the bigwigs in charge think people from said dominant culture could not possibly related to a marginalized character, even though marginalized people do it ALL THE TIME! I recognize it most when it involves a white character being centered in a black story (i.e. The Blind Side). In the case of Coraline, it was the boy saving the day when the story was actually about a clever girl who used wit and bravery to save herself and her parents from a most certain death.
Can I say that I wasn’t excited about watching this movie? But, if you were able to get through my rant, then you are obviously not surprised. In all honesty, I wasn’t blown away by the book, so I was avoiding the inevitable movie watch. The only thing that motivated me in finally watching the movie was remembering catching a glimpse of Wyborne in the past while someone else was watching the movie and that character not being in the book. We all know I am not a fan of adding unnecessary character in the movie. All in all, the movie was is absolutely beautiful, but I just couldn’t get into this story.
The Final Grade
Burnt Popcorn: In addition to the movie completely tanking Coraline’s parents and her relationship with them, for absolutely no logical reason, Wyborne was added to the story. His addition took away key plots of the story where Coraline got to be the hero. For that point alone, this movie will be a forever fail for me.
So…are you a fan of the movie version of Coraline? Let us know in the comments! |RL
Title: Coraline Author: Neil Gaiman Publisher: Harper Collins Publication Date: 2002 Summary: Coraline lives with her preoccupied parents in part of a huge old house. Within the house, there is a door special door that opens into an alternate universe that has everything she has ever dreamed.
An Unexpected Heroine
The one factor that made me enjoy Coraline as little as I did is the titular character because I absolutely love just about everything about her. She speaks her mind and is not afraid of always being herself. I love Coraline’s curious nature, even when it lands her into some precarious situations. I love her honesty and bravery is all situations, no matter how difficult. She used her wits against The Other Mother, and I enjoyed this story of a young person solving problems and bravely facing adversity on their own terms.
Coraline is an amazing character that is sure to inspire and delight kids of all ages, especially middle school age kids who will most certainly see themselves in her. She shows all of us it’s okay to be scared in scary situations because being a brave heroine doesn’t mean not being scared. It just means facing your battles in spite of it. Coraline is the epitome of heroism.
I have heard nothing but great things about Neil Gaiman’s books, so I have been looking forward to reading Coraline for a while. When it took so long for the book to become available at my local library, I took that as a sign to expect quite the enjoyable read. However, I’m afraid to say that this book fell mostly flat for me. The only aspect I loved was that Gaiman held no punches when it came to the creepiness factor. I felt the tension as Coraline battled with The Other Mother, and I wasn’t sure if she would succeed in her quest. Although this book doesn’t get top marks from me, I think it’s a worthwhile read.
The Final Grade
Laborious Literature: I definitely did not love Coraline, but I didn’t hate it either. All in all, I would recommend anyone read this book at least once because I love the message about independence and bravery.
So…have you read Coraline? Are you a Neil Gaiman fan? Let us know in the comments! |RL
In honor of the 2019 celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we are sharing a few March 2019 books about girls and women written by women that are hitting the bookshelves this month. Happy Reading Reel Lites!
Twelve-year-old Shayla just wants to follow the rules, make it through 7th grade, learn to run track, and have a cute boy fall for her. But now the rules have seemed to changed, and Shay is scared to do the wrong thing (and even more afraid to do the right thing). (March 12, Balzer + Bray)
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski The explanation that finally lets us know why women experience burnout differently than men is finally here! Burnout provides a simple plan (based on science) to help women minimize stress, so they can prevent burnout and live a life filled with more joy. (March 26, Ballantine Books)
If, Then by Kate Hope Day Four neighbors in Clearing, Oregon begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Seeing a beautiful coworker in her bed causes Ginny to question the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, sees impending devastation and his increasing paranoia threatens his family’s safety. As Samara mourns the recent death of her mother, she sees herself with a healthy and vibrant version of her mother. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with new motherhood, sees herself pregnant again. (March 12, Random House)
Seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents have been forced into an internment camp for Muslim Americans, but soon Layla begins her fight for freedom with the help of her friends within the camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected ally. (March 19, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
The Island of Sea Womenby Lisa See Mi-ja and Young-sook are best friends living on the Korean island of Jeju. When they are old enough, they join the village’s all-female diving collective led by Young-sook’s mother. (March 5, Scribner)
The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara Uncover the life and work of Milicent Patrick, one of the first female animators at Disney and the woman who created one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters. O’Meara places Patrick in her rightful place within film history while calling out the Hollywood culture that has mostly remained unchanged. (March 5, Hanover Square Press)
A couple keeps their fifteen-year marriage alive by getting away with murder in this Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith debut thriller. (March 26, Berkley Books)
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams One of the most anticipated from the March 2019 books on our list is this Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah novel. Twenty-five-year old Jamaican British Queenie Jenkins deals with working at a London newspaper while recovering from a messy break up with her white boyfriend and making one questionable decision after another. (March 19, Orion Publishing)
The Scar: A Personal History of Depression and Recovery by Mary Cregan At 27, Mary Cregan was living in New York and working in book design when she gave birth to her first daughter Anna who dies two days later. The Scar depicts the pain and stigma of clinical depression while offering hope to those who suffer from it. (March 19, W.W. Norton Company)
Mona’s planned time for relaxation is thrown for a loop when her brother’s friends show up unexpectedly, including Abram, the guy she ghosted after one week of dating. While trapped under a mountain of snow, Mona will have to find a way to coexist in the chaos with Abram. (March 11, EverAfter Romance)
The Women’s War by Jenna Glass When a revolutionary spells gives women the ability to control their own fertility, the consequences rock their patriarchal society. Two women in particular find themselves at the crossroads of change. (March 5, Del Rey Books)
So…which March 2019 books on the list are you reading in celebration of Women’s History Month? Who is your favorite women writer? Let us know in the comments! |RL
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Black History Month is going strong, and we want to keep it going by celebrating the contributions of black Americans with action and not just re-posting another #BlackHistoryMonth fact. Although, there’s nothing wrong with that, we’re excited to share some amazing black creators and businesses with bookish flare that definitely deserve your coins because “Reparations or bust!”
This title may scare a lot of people away, but as Solange told me, “I got a lot to be mad about.” If you’re wondering why a lot of us black girls (and women) are so angry, this collection of essays on race, gender, and America may clue you in. If you’re ready to dive deep into blackness, also check out Jionde’s The A–Z Guide to Black Oppression for informative and entertaining essays that highlight the systems of oppression that have and continue to endanger black Americans.
Black by Kwanza Osajyefo (Author) and Jamal Igle (Illustrator) Brought to us thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Black is a 6-part graphic novel series based on the novel question of “What if only black people had superpowers?” In this first issue of the series, a young man miraculously survives being gunned down by police. He must decide if it is safer to keep this secret or if the truth will set him free.
Dear Black Boy by Martellus Bennett This letter of encouragement is for all the black boys who think sports is the only way to have a better life. Bennett is here to remind them that with the right preparation, every black boy can win the most important game, The Game of Life. Dear Black Boy is available at The Imagination Agency.
The story about two strokes, one boy, and one girl in a series of thoughts and conversations between Mugabi and Philomena, the girl he was supposed to be, about the year he survived two strokes.
Gilded Girls by R.K. Johnson This book immediately caught my eye from the cover alone, and the premise in this YA historical fiction novel is totally Gilded Age Girlfriends! In the fall of 1883, four friends are determined to become members of the Firebirds Club, Washington D.C.’s leading social organization for ladies. However, before they can join, Hazel, Countess, Poppy, and Missy must put on the club’s annual masquerade ball while balancing their friendship and potential suitors.