[I've been 

Frenemy Nations: Love and Hate Between Neighbo(u)ring States   book icon  
by Mary Soderstrom (2019)

read: 29 October 2019
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Such a great exploration at how two places can be right next to each other geographically, but worlds apart. I picked it up for the NH/VT chapter, but enjoyed DR/Haiti, Algeria/Tunisia and Scotland/Ireland. There’s a personal story interwoven about how Soderstrom left the US to move to Canada and observed the differences. She’s been to many if not all of the countries she talks about. Good info, well-explained.

Guts   book icon  
by Raina Telgemeier (2019)

read: 26 October 2019
rating: [+]
categories: graphic novel, ya

Another memoir of Telegmeier’s growing up. This one about her anxiety disorder that manifests itself as eating/digestive issues. This is all about how she and her family tracked down and diagnosed her issues and partly about going to therapy. Her growing up in California with her parents' slightly non-normative lifestyle (all three kids shared a bedroom until Telegmeier was in her teens) and her extended family all play into this. Tense at times but some nice lessons learned (about school, about family, about growing up) and wraps up well with some words from modern-day Telegmeier.

In Waves   book icon  
by A. J. Dungo (2019)

read: 24 October 2019
rating: [+]
category: graphic novel

A super poignant and sad memoir about a young woman and the boy who adored her. She learned to surf and this story is partly about the history of surfing and partly about her eventual death (spoiler!!) from cancer. I was not expecting a cancer story and I was expecting a surfing story so I was a little surprised at the direction this took but it was a well-told and really great story nonetheless.

White Bird: A Wonder Story   book icon  
by R. J. Palacio (2019)

read: 23 October 2019
rating: [+]
categories: graphic novel, ya

Other than the fact that this didn’t look like a WWII/Nazi book when I picked it up, I liked this. It takes someone who is a sort of side character in the Wonder world and explains a little bit about the history of that person and their family. Ultimately, this is a story about a Jewish girl in WWII who has to hide out in a barn for a really long time to escape the Nazis. There’s a lot more to it than that, but it definitely is worth reading, though a little graphic at times.

The Future of Another Timeline   book icon  
by Annalee Newitz (2019)

read: 22 October 2019
rating: [+]
category: fiction

A fun time travel romp with the central conceit being “Hey if you could go back in time to right some historical wrongs, but on a more subtle level than killing Hitler, what would you do?” This is a feminist tale through and through and while there is time travel with restrictions, explaining how it works is not what this book is about. Soft science and heavy history (you’ll notice favorite feminist icons along the way) with a little bit of graphic assault, in case that’s something you’re concerned about.

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