Book Review: White Fragility by Robin Deangelo

Title: White Fragility
By: Robin Diangelo
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 187
Release Date: June 26th, 2018
Publisher: Beacon Press
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary from Goodreads:

Groundbreaking book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when discussing racism that serve to protect their positions and maintain racial inequality

Antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo first coined the term "white fragility" in 2011, and since then it's been invoked by critics from Samantha Bee to Charles Blow. "White fragility" refers to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially. These include emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors including argumentation and silence. In this book, DiAngelo unpacks white fragility, explaining the underlying sociological phenomena. She'll draw on examples from her work and scholarship, as well as from the culture at large, to address these fundamental questions: How does white fragility develop? What does it look like? How is it triggered? What can we do to move beyond white fragility and engage more constructively?




Review:

I've found that you either love this book or you hate it. Its either a wonderful insight into the minds of white people who struggle with racism, or its so simple and plane that we should be ashamed of ourselves for reading it. No matter what you thought about this book, you still read it, didn't you? Because you wanted to know why white people, why you, have a hard time talking about racism. 

I did enjoy reading this book and maybe that makes me a simple person, but it still makes me a person that wants to understand and to move forward to create a better world for my children. 

This is as political as I am going to get on this blog and I hope you all have taken your own steps toward understanding. No matter how you get there, just get there and teach the next generation to be better than we are.

June 2020 Wrap Up


Its time for the June 2020 wrap up. I managed to read 16 books last month, which is not as much as usual, but still a good amount of reading. There were a lot of wonderful books last month, several five stars and I don't give away those lightly. 

Let's get into the stacks, shall we?


The Prisoner's Wife

Inspired by the true story of a daring deception that plunges a courageous young woman deep into the horrors of a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.
In the dead of night, a Czech farm girl and a British soldier travel through the countryside. Izabela and prisoner of war Bill have secretly married and are on the run, with Izzy dressed as a man. The young husband and wife evade capture for as long as possible--until they are cornered by Nazi soldiers with tracking dogs.
Izzy's disguise works. The couple are assumed to be escaped British soldiers and transported to a POW camp. However, their ordeal has just begun, as they face appalling living conditions and the constant fear of Izzy's exposure. But in the midst of danger and deprivation comes hope, for the young couple are befriended by a small group of fellow prisoners. These men become their new family, willing to jeopardize their lives to save Izzy from being discovered and shot.
The Prisoner's Wife tells of an incredible risk, and of how our deepest bonds are tested in desperate times. Bill and Izzy's story is one of love and survival against the darkest odds.

Defending Jacob

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - "A legal thriller that's comparable to classics such as Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent . . . tragic and shocking."--Associated Press

SOON TO BE AN ORIGINAL STREAMING SERIES - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Entertainment Weekly - Boston Globe - Kansas City Star

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life: his wife, Laurie, and their teenage son, Jacob. Then Andy's quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy's own son--shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.

Andy believes in Jacob's innocence. Any parent would. But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. The neighbors' contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy's family. It is the ultimate test for any parent: How far would you go to protect your child? It is a test of devotion. A test of how well a parent can know a child. For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, it is a test of guilt and innocence in the deepest sense.

How far would you go?

The Henna Artist

by 
Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel.


Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…



Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.

The Unready Queen
(The Oddmire #2)
Human and goblin brothers Cole and Tinn are finding their way back to normal after their journey to the heart of the Oddmire. Normal, unfortunately, wants nothing to do with them. Fable, the daughter of the Queen of the Deep Dark, has her first true friends in the brothers. The Queen allows Fable to visit Tinn and Cole as long as she promises to stay quiet and out of sight—concealing herself and her magic from the townspeople of Endsborough.

But when the trio discovers that humans are destroying the Wild Wood and the lives of its creatures for their own dark purposes, Fable cannot stay quiet. As the unspoken truce between the people of Endsborough and the inhabitants of the Wild Wood crumbles, violence escalates, threatening war and bringing Fable’s mother closer to the fulfillment of a deadly prophecy that could leave Fable a most Unready Queen.










45/50 Books in my Read Around the Country challenge
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17/196 in my Star Wars Legends challenge
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7/20 in my Scotland challenge
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40/341 Gilmore Girls challenge
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39/100 in my 100 books before you die challenge


I'm looking forward to the books on my July TBR pile. 

Book Review: Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison

Title: Look Me in the Eye
By: John Elder Robison
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 304
Release Date: September 27th, 2007
Publisher: Crown
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary from Goodreads:

Ever since he was small, John Robison had longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits—an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother in them)—had earned him the label “social deviant.” No guidance came from his mother, who conversed with light fixtures, or his father, who spent evenings pickling himself in sherry. It was no wonder he gravitated to machines, which could, at least, be counted on.

After fleeing his parents and dropping out of high school, his savant-like ability to visualize electronic circuits landed him a gig with KISS, for whom he created their legendary fire-breathing guitars. Later, he drifted into a “real” job, as an engineer for a major toy company. But the higher Robison rose in the company, the more he had to pretend to be “normal” and do what he simply couldn’t: communicate. It wasn’t worth the paycheck.

It was not until he was forty that an insightful therapist told him he had the form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way Robison saw himself—and the world.

Look Me in the Eye is the moving, darkly funny story of growing up with Asperger’s at a time when the diagnosis simply didn’t exist. A born storyteller, Robison takes you inside the head of a boy whom teachers and other adults regarded as “defective,” who could not avail himself of KISS’s endless supply of groupies, and who still has a peculiar aversion to using people’s given names (he calls his wife “Unit Two”). He also provides a fascinating reverse angle on the younger brother he left at the mercy of their nutty parents—the boy who would later change his name to Augusten Burroughs and write the bestselling memoir Running with Scissors.

Ultimately, this is the story of Robison’s journey from his world into ours, and his new life as a husband, father, and successful small business owner—repairing his beloved high-end automobiles. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account—sometimes alien, yet always deeply human.




Review:

This book was an amazing look into the mind of someone with Asperger's. I have three sons with autism, one of them as Asperger's. Toward the end of the book, the author starts to talk about how he processes normal life situations, like marriage and even the way he sleeps. He likes to sleep in a pile. I watched my kids sleep that night and found that my oldest sleeps on top of a pile and my two your sons sleep under a pile. It was interesting to notice this situation manifest in each on of my children. Although they are different, they are the same in many ways.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about the inner workings of the Asperger's mind, or if you have someone close to you that has autism. Its a must read.

Book Review: The Queen's Almuner by Tonya Ulynn Brown

Title: The Queen's Almoner
By: Tonya Ulynn Brown
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 330
Release Date: June 30th, 2020
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary from Goodreads:

Sometimes loyalty to the queen comes at a cost.

Thomas Broune is a Reformer and childhood friend of the young queen, Mary Stuart. When Mary embarks on a new life in her estranged homeland of Scotland, Thomas is there to greet her and offer his renewed friendship. But the long-time friends grow closer, and Thomas realizes his innocent friendship has grown into something more. Yet he is a man of the cloth. Mary is the queen of the Scots. Both of them have obligations of an overwhelming magnitude: he to his conscience and she to her throne.

When he must choose between loyalty to his queen or his quiet life away from her court, he finds that the choice comes at a high price. Driven by a sense of obligation to protect those he loves, and crippled by his inability to do so, Thomas must come to terms with the choices he has made and find a peace that will finally lay his failures to rest.



Review:

Happy release day to Tonya Ulynn Brown!

Historical fiction has a special place in my heart. Its right along side my Scottish heritage. So, when the two collide, I tend to fall hard. Brown has taken one of Scotland's infamous tragedies and turned it into a story full of love and pain, the lines that a good story is drawn on.

We watch Mary, queen of the Scots, through the eyes of the man who loves her, but could never be with her. If only he had, maybe things would have turned out differently. I ached for Mary and for Thomas as they watch the world tumble in around them. No way out, no hope for salvation. And even though Mary succumbs to her fate in the end, as is true to her natural story, Thomas is there in the end to pay homage to his lost love.

This was an amazing read that anyone with a love for historical events would love. I devoured the story within a day and am honored to have read it.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Weekly Menu #358 And The Book Of The Week


Hey Monday, welcome back. It has been a long week. A wonderful week. A busy week. I'm glad that it's over... but, dang...

This weeks read is Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell. I've been making my way through this series and so far, I've liked most of what I've read.

Lets get on with the good stuff, enjoy!

 MENU 


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday
4th of July

Sunday
Leftovers Night



Sunday Confessions #50


Sunday! Another week of confessions. I can't believe we made it this far.


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Weekly Menu #358 And The Book Of The Week
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Book Review: Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison
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Book Review: White Fragility by Robin Deangelo
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Sunday Confessions #50


Nothing new this week.


45/50 Books in my Read Around the Country challenge
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17/196 in my Star Wars Legends challenge
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6/20 in my Scotland challenge
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40/341 Gilmore Girls challenge
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39/100 in my 100 books before you die challenge


Back to reading. I hope you have a wonderful start to your summer. I know the weather is nice and warm here in Oregon for a change, but the rain will soon return. I'll enjoy it while I can.

Book Review: The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick

Title: The Girls with No Names
By: Serena Burdick
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 336
Release Date: January 7th, 2020
Publisher: Park Row
Rating: ★★★★★

Summary from Goodreads:

The Girls with No Names pulls readers into the gilded age of New York City in the 1910s, when suffragettes marched in the street, unions fought for better work conditions—and girls were confined to the House of Mercy for daring to break the rules.

Not far from Luella and Effie Tildon’s large family mansion in Inwood looms the House of Mercy, a work house for wayward girls. The sisters grow up under its shadow with the understanding that even as wealthy young women, their freedoms come with limits. But when the sisters accidentally discover a shocking secret about their father, Luella, the brazen older sister, becomes emboldened to do as she pleases.

But her rebellion comes with consequences, and one morning Luella is mysteriously gone. Effie suspects her father has made good on his threat to send Luella to the House of Mercy and hatches a plan to get herself committed to save her sister. But she made a miscalculation, and with no one to believe her story, Effie’s escape from the House of Mercy seems impossible—unless she can trust an enigmatic girl named Mable. As their fates entwine, Mable and Effie must rely on each other and their tenuous friendship to survive.

The Home for Unwanted Girls meets The Dollhouse in this atmospheric, heartwarming story that explores not only the historical House of Mercy, but the lives—and secrets—of the girls who stayed there.




Review:

I originally picked up this book for my mom's birthday, hoping it would be a fantastic read for her. I was overjoyed when my mom recommended this read to me, being one of the best books she's read this year.

There were so many layers and mysteries to this story that I wondered what had happened to the older sister. It took me no time at all to read through this suspenseful story and then in the end to still feel sad but satisfied with how the book wrapped up. To think that this was a reality back in the day, its unimaginable now.

This was a great historical fiction that should be made into a movie for sure.