Nonfiction: Evaluate Your Life With These Books

Evaluating your life now. Turn it into a day. Sounds ominous and pretty heavy for a Tuesday, but it’s a kick start on those New Year’s Resolutions. It’s nothing to worry about really; it’s just a day to take the opportunity to reflect one’s life. Simple. We are constantly on the go and accomplishing so many things, that we rarely take the time to breathe and to see if we are leading the life that we wish to have. A good way to start is to look at areas in your life to evaluate: Finances, School and Job Performance, Clothes, relationships, and other areas that you want to look at.

Yet, for me, evaluating my life can sometimes bring me down. Especially if I feel I didn’t accomplish all that I wanted to do; so I seek inspiration from none other than books. Books that help in giving me a different perspective on life and the understanding that life isn’t perfect, but that getting up and trying is the greatest thing we can do for ourselves. It’s a challenge that I love to do every day. So here are some of the books that I have read that really helped me jump start evaluate my life:

Brunette AmbitionYou First Journal Lea MicheleBrunette Ambition and You First: Journal Your Way to Your Best Life by Lea Michele
I absolutely LOVE Lea Michele. Ever since I first watched that pilot of Glee, I have been a fan of hers and when I heard she was releasing a book I jumped at the chance to read it. Brunette Ambition is at its best an auto biography, but it offers helpful advice on how to balance a busy schedule and maintain a healthy lifestyle in your life. Michele continues with a journal that walks the reader through exercises and advice for readers like me to reach my overall goals in life; a perfect read for Evaluate Your Life Day. Continue reading Nonfiction: Evaluate Your Life With These Books

Diverse YA Titles to Look for at ALA Annual

Photo Jun 22, 6 52 28 PMAs a follow-up to Hannah Gómez’s post #DiversityatALA about the current movement to be vocal about the need for more diversity in YA literature (#weneeddiversebooks), and Kelly Dickinson’s post featuring LGBTQ titles, I’m here to list some upcoming YA books that contain non-white, non-heterosexual, non-cisgendered or differently-abled characters that you should be on the lookout for. If you are attending the ALA Annual Conference this weekend in Vegas, ask the publishers about ARCs for many of these. Not all of them will be available as ARCs because some aren’t being published until 2015, but publishers’ reps should still be able give you the scoop on them.

To start, I’m including a few recent notable books that you probably know about and a few that aren’t as obvious because the reviews might not have mentioned their diverse content, or you can’t tell from their jacket flaps.

Photo Jun 23, 2 15 16 AMFreakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark (2014 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults) is a novel about a transgendered boy while a strong pick for a nonfiction book about transgendered teens is Susan Kuklin’s Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out.

I wasn’t aware that  the main character Chevron “Chevie” is descended from the Shawnee Native American tribe in Eoin Colfer’s Warp: Book 1 the Reluctant Assassin until I started reading it. The second book in the series, Hangman’s Revolution is coming out today. Park in Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (2014 Printz Honor book) is half-Korean.

In Stick by Andrew Smith the main character “Stick” is differently-abled because he was born without an ear & his older brother is gay. Chasing Shadows by Swati Avashi has a main character of Indian descent and there’s a lot about Hindu mythology in the book.

Photo Jun 19, 11 31 11 AMPadma Venkatraman’s A Time to Dance is about a classical Indian dance prodigy whose life seems to be over after she becomes a below-the knee amputee.

Erin Bow’s Sorrow’s Knot is a fantasy flavored by Native American cultures and Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore features a lesbian character.

Now that you’re up to speed on recently-published diverse titles, here are some upcoming books with diverse content to keep an eye out for at ALA Annual and other conferences:

  • Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco (Sourcebooks, August  2014) is Photo Jun 22, 11 44 43 AMa ghost story about Okiko, whose spirit has wandered the world for centuries delivering punishment to monsters who hurt children,  but when she meets teenaged Tark, she tries to free him from the demon that invaded him.
  •  Blind by Rachel DeWoskin (Penguin, August 2014) A 15-year-old teen girl loses her eyesight the summer before high school after a firecracker misfires into a crowd.
  •  Positive: a Memoir by Paige Rawl (HarperCollins, August 2014) (NF). Memoir of Paige Rawl, HIV positive since birth, who was bullied in school once she disclosed her HIV-positive status and from that moment forward, every day was like walking through a minefield.  Continue reading Diverse YA Titles to Look for at ALA Annual