Book 59 of 52: We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story by Simu Liu

Let’s take a trip with a very handsome man! Simu Liu, who is most known as the lead in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings. He has quite a story to tell in We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story. And most of it is not about Hollywood. Liu is a Chinese-Canadian actor who spent the first four years of his life in China with his grandparents, as his parents scraped their way to establishing a new life for the three of them in Canada. When Liu was finally able to join them, it wasn’t a perfect reunion. Not only were his parents essentially raising a small child they didn’t know, but they also pressured him to succeed in sometimes cruel ways. No way around it: they beat him, and did things like lock him out of the apartment if he was bad. They made him feel worthless if he was not at the top of his class, and beyond, in everything. I thought a lot about book 44 in this series, I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy. The big differences are that his parents didn’t want Liu to have anything to do with performing while her mother did, his abuse was mostly physical and psychological (not sexual) and he reconciled with his parents. He even interviewed them for the book. My parents weren’t a big part of my memoir, and even those bits were uncomfortable writing. I can’t even imagine the courage it…

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Book 58 of 52: The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

I’m getting ready to leave on a trip, so this will be a short post — which is apt as The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan is short! It’s a novella about the parents of characters in her The Brothers Sinister series (I’ve read most of these — recommended!) This story is about finding happiness after trauma and abuse. I don’t want to say exactly what happened to our hero and heroine because their stories unfold over the course of the novella, but it’s not…

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Book 57 of 52: Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro

Signal Fires, a new novel by Dani Shapiro, starts with a death. Sarah Wilf, 17, is too drunk to drive, so she asks Theo, her 15-year-old brother, to drive for her. He ends up crashing into a tree in front of their home, which kills their friend Misty, who was a passenger. Signal Fires is about the after, and how secrets can be an acid that rips someone apart. The story focuses on the Wilfs, and also the Shamkmans, who move into the house across…

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Book 56 of 52: Murder, She Wrote: By the Time You Read This I’ll be Gone by Stephanie Kuehn

My exploration of the Murder, She Wrote universe continues! Did you know there’s now a YA branch of the Jessica Fletcher world? I didn’t either By the Time You Read This I’ll be Gone by Stephanie Huehn, the first entry into a series of books about Fletcher’s great great grand niece, dropped last month. It’s an interesting endeavor. The protagonist here is Beatrice Fletcher, a high school student and anonymous contributor to TrueMaine, a true crime blog. This particular mystery starts when her friend Jackson,…

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Update on Books 37 and 51

Hello readers! As promised, I have updates on books I previous read on the blog but didn’t say too much about because I would be discussing them further for work. Book 37 of 52: Streets of Gold: America’s Untold Story of Immigrant Success by Ran Abramitzky and Leah Boustan: I interviewed Boustan for Princeton Alumni Weekly. I also found this letter written in response to the article, which you may find interesting as well. Book 51 of 52: The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by…

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Book 49 of 52: Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I hate to add another review in a long line of reviews of "it's fine!" but once again I am here. Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor...
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Book 48 of 52: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

I first learned about Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty via the Hulu adaptation. Yes, I'd read Big Little Lies and thought it was fine...
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Book 47 of 52: Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

I am back from my trip to the National Parks of the upper midwest, which was lovely. Please see this photo. I took Sea of...
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Book 46 of 52: Murder, She Wrote: Debonair in Death by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

After discovering that the Murder, She Wrote mystery novel series not only exists but is still active, I figured I should try one of the...
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Book 45 of 52: Hoot by Carl Hiassen

Another boat, another Carl Hiassen book. Hiassen's Stormy Weather was book five in this series, from alllllll the way back in January. I snapped a...
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Book 44 of 52: I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

I listened to the audiobook of Jennette McCurdy's I'm Glad My Mom Died while packing for and then starting my road trip to the national...
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