Every now and again I share my thoughts on books and television shows. If you’re only here for the design talk feel free to skip this post. I’ll be back to my usual programming tomorrow. But today I’m dishing about a few of my recent reads and Netflix binges. So let’s have us a little chat friends!
Everything I Never Told You
I read Celeste Ng’s debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, in two days. And when I reached the end I wanted to say thank you to the author. This is a narrative we don’t hear much of, and I think we need more stories like this one. Asian Americans are often under and misrepresented, even in pop culture today.
This emotionally gripping story explores so many different themes from mixed-race marriage and losing a child to trying to live out your dreams through your children. The part of the story that hit a nerve with me was how children of mixed marriages navigate their formative years.
Unlike the 3 children in the book, I didn’t grow up in Ohio during the 1970’s. I was born in Southern California in 1978 to a Japanese-Mexican American mother and a Puerto Rican father.
I was 8 years old when a girl in my class asked me why my eyes were ching chong. In 4th grade a group of boys taunted me at recess one day pulling their eyes to look slanted and singing “we are Jap-a-nese if you please” like the song from the siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp.
There’s more I could tell you. But not even my closest friends know my stories. I don’t know if it’s shame or embarrassment, or if it’s because I feel like my stories hardly compare to the injustices that my black friends and family have faced, but I keep my stories in a safe place. And I don’t like to share them. However, if you read Everything I Never Told You it will give you a glimpse into the journey many mixed children have experienced on their way to adulthood.
I loved Celeste Ng’s writing so much that I bought her new novel Little Fires Everywhere as soon as I could get my hands on it…..though I’ve yet to have time to crack it open. I’m hopeful for this weekend!
The Glass Castle
I kept moving it to the back of my TBR because, well, I’m just not that big of a fan of memoirs. But after a few of you recommended The Glass Castle to me, curiosity moved this book to the top of my list.
Holy wow, did this memoir blow me away. While reading I kept thinking to myself, wait is this fiction or non-fiction? This can’t possibly be a memoir! What an incredibly, astonishing story of overcoming and triumphing against all odds. Jeanette Walls love for her parents despite their shortcomings and very unconventional lifestyle is very moving.
Have any of you seen the movie?
Stories I Only Tell My Friends
This was a book club pick by a friend. I have to admit I kind of gave the side eye to this pick….not just because memoirs aren’t really my jam, but also because celebrity memoirs are just sooooo ugh usually.
I was expecting this to be really self-indulgent and maybe even cringe-y. But it was surprisingly not. Maybe it’s because I was expecting the worst, or maybe because Rob Lowe himself reads it for the audible version, but I quite enjoyed his story. It probably doesn’t hurt that I had a bit of a crush on him in my younger years……but really, who didn’t? He seems surprisingly normal. Like he’s just this totally normal guy that happens to be a famous actor. I got a kick out of the fact that he wasn’t a “cool kid” in school. And shared that little tidbit with my son who was like, who’s Rob Lowe? Good gracious, nothing will make you feel older!
All in all, I enjoyed Rob Lowe’s stories. They weren’t as tell-all-y as I was hoping they would be. But there is some really entertaining stuff packed in there.
Moving on to Netflix. When friends mentioned Riverdale to me I was like, a show based on Archie Comics characters, yeah, let me get right on that. Insert side eye. It all sounded just a little too teeny bopper-ish for me. But I recently decided to give it a go. Call it curiosity, but I got sucked in. And I watched the entire first season in 3 days! God Bless Netflix!
This show….it’s just so hard to explain how great it is and not end up sounding like a freak show….but it’s good y’all. Trust me. Season 2 starts October 11th…..so you have time to binge season 1 now if you haven’t checked it out yet.
Anne with an E
I mentioned over the summer that my 11 year old girl and I reread Anne of Green Gables (her second time….my 115th 😉 ) so that we could dive into the made for Netflix series based on my beloved fictional BFF. I had been a bit cautious about the new series. Die hard Anne fans, well, we can be very protective of our red-haired heroine. Online reviews were a bit all over the place. Some raved about the new series and others were downright appalled.
But curiosity got the best of me this summer, and I decided my girl and I should give it a go.
Is it darker than the books?
Yes and no. If you read Anne as a child what probably stood out to you was her fiery personality and flowery way with words. Although rereading the story as an adult you find pieces woven into the subtext that aren’t exactly sunshine-y. This new series pulls from that subtext.
I personally didn’t feel like the dark parts took anything away from the uplifting and inspiring power of Anne’s story. I feel like the dark parts made Anne shine a little brighter.
Through rereading and watching this series over the summer my girl and I bonded in a very special way. It just feels so good when your child falls in love with a story and a character you hold so dear. We’re both eagerly anticipating season 2!
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So what have you read and loved lately? What are you watching right now?