The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by: Grady Hendrix

Well hello there! It has been a hot minute since I last put up a blog post, but no worries I am here and I have a new book review for ya’ll.

I found The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires completely by accident. I was scrolling through what was available for audiobooks at my library and saw it and decided why not. I haven’t read much fiction/storyline books so I borrowed it and here we are.

I really only took a chance on this one because it had slaying vampires and southern in the title. I really thought it would be an quite an adventure to have a vampire running around in Georgia and some book club ladies hunting it.

a picture of a phone with the cover of the book. it has 2 peaches on it with 2 puncture wounds on one of the peaches. As if a vampire bit the peach. THe phone is resting on a desk beside a keyboard and a mouse pad.

So for a little synopsis, the book follows the main character Patricia, a stay a home mom who is part of a book club. When a neighbor’s nephew moves into town a few things start to happen around the area. People are going missing, little children are being attacked in the woods and then killing themselves. No one knows what is going on. Then, one day Patricia witnesses something she can’t explain.

I don’t want to give too much away because I really liked this book. For just a random shot in the dark I really truly liked it. Most of the time that I try a book at random I can’t get into it. and stop reading it. This book really enthralled me.

Like I said before, I got this as an audiobook, and the reader did a southern accent for all the characters which also made it really good.

I definitely give this book 5 stars. I found it very well written and exciting. There was one part that made me feel slightly uncomfortable, but I think it was because I was going through a particular stressful time and the situation in the book didn’t help me.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who would like a little fiction and adventure. This book kept me on edge the entire time and I really enjoyed it.

Until next time

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

The latest book for me to review is Untamed. There is a pretty good chance you have probably seen it or heard of it because it is quite popular. The only reason I am able to write this review right now is because I got a skip the line copy from the library ( I dunno how it works but sometimes they show up and I snag them). I full didn’t expect to be writing this review till like next year sometime.

a picture of devan's phone which shows the cover of Untamed and the play button. The cover is full of swirls of different colour and sparkles. The cover evokes a feeling of magic.

I won’t lie when I saw this book and everyone raveing about it I was definitely thinking, Uggh another white mother who is telling us how we need to change and then goes on to say how they found themselves. I have read enough of those books to really start hating them (I was apart of a book club and that was most of the books we read.)

Now I wasn’t completely wrong about my assumption, she is white, she is a mother, and she does find herself. However I felt like this book was more of her discovering how societies “norms” really are just stupid. Which I think is great because I am not a huge fan of the “normal”. By discovering that we don’t have to adhere to these norms she finds herself.

I will also say that this book is a little bit different because she talks about her marriage ending and how she falls in love with her now wife. I should preface that her first marriage was hetero. Which I love that she found herself and figured out that she liked women. This isn’t the norm for most books like this so I was very pleased about that.

There is a lot of “a-ha” moments in this book which I really liked. I believe that most of them had to do with what society deemed as normal and realizing na that isn’t right like I have said a few times by now.

One of these moments is in the chapter called tick marks. Glennon goes into detail about how she performed voter fraud on the high school homecoming votes just so she could be one of the “golden ones” (her words not mine) because we are conditioned to think that we need to be the popular kids for our lives to be happy then you don’t get picked on or made fun of.

We then are taken back into present day and Glennon realizes how much money she has spent just to look how society has told her she needs to look. Also how harsh society is to those who don’t maintain that standard. This story just attached itself to me. I have felt this way for soooo long it really just hit home.

There were so many other stories and examples that Glennon talked about that just made me be like YES!!!! please more people need to hear this!

I really really liked this book. I believe that everyone should read it because it is amazing and points out so many things that we are conditioned to do, like not leave a situation when you feel uncomfortable in because you were told to not leave ( it is a story in the book that makes more sense just don’t want to spoil it).

I felt like this book was written really well and even though it may not be chronological, it made sense the way it was written. I followed along easily.

I will say that I got this book as an audiobook and that was really nice. It was Glennon reading it so I got to hear how she intended everything to sound and where anger or sadness was that you wouldn’t necessarily have gotten by just reading it.

I am giving this book a 5 star review. I loved the whole thing and recommend it for anyone to read.

five pink stars

Keep your eyes on the lookout for my next blog post. I am not 100% sure what it will be about but I know it will be worth reading. Definitely check out my instagram to keep up with me and also so you know when new blog posts go up!

Until next time,

Between the World and Me by Ta-nehisi Coates

On my continued journey of unlearning societal racism and learning to be a better ally I came across the book Between the World and Me by Ta-nehisi Coates.

This book is different than any other book that I have read because it is a letter to Ta-nehisi’s son. Although this did confuse me for a bit because for some reason I thought it was written as a letter to himself from his father. I don’t know why I thought this… but I figured it out.

a phone on a white table with the cover of Between the world and me on it. The cover is an off-white with big bold black Ta-nehisi Coates at the top. A small black dash and then in the same font Between the world and me. On the left side of the cover it the is a small amount of text down the cover. The text is not legible

Between the World and Me tells the story of growing up as a black male. He describes a lot of the issues that many black males face. He also describes the differences between what he dealt with and issues that his son might/has come across.

One thing that I picked up on was Coates continually is telling his son about how someone could endanger his body. The wording really stood out to me because it put a different visual in my mind that I never thought about.

I think that he worded it this way because of the ongoing struggle that black people have in daily life. There is a constant fear that someone could easily harm them or kill them.

“I am ashamed of how I acted that day, ashamed of endangering your body. But I am not ashamed because I am a bad father, a bad individual or ill mannered. I am ashamed that I made an error, knowing that our errors always cost us more.”

this quote is referring to a part in the book where a white woman pushed his son and he called her out. It ended like a mob of white people threatening him with calling the cops.

In this quote he references endangering your body, knowing that there is a chance that someone could hurt/kill him (the cops). Just mentioning calling the cops is used by the white people playing on that common fear and they know what they are doing. This is a very similar situation like the Amy Copper issue in NYC (a more noteworthy and recent reference)

Further along in the book Coates references to a Mecca which is Howard University. This bit also confused me because the only Mecca that I knew about was Mecca in Saudi Arabia and its relation to the Muslim religion. Once Coates kept calling it the Mecca I figured it was because Howard University is a Historically Black University (HBCU). Come to find out Howard University is one of the most prestigious HBCUs and is referred to as the Mecca.

We see him referencing this while he is an adult once he had gone to Howard. This open him up to a whole new world and many experiences which I won’t explain here because you should really read it.

Anywho, this book is a great book like all the books I have written about before. I will say make sure that you can focus on the book wholeheartedly. I was really only able to read the book for a small amount of time because I kept distracting myself. This book is not very long, it should have taken me a day to read… it took me way longer.

Because of not being able to focus on the book I have requested it as an audio book and will be going back to listen to it.

I am going to give this book a 5-star review. It is a great book and it walks you through the life of a black man who faced a lot of racism. I liked it because that is something that I never experienced and it gives me a better idea of what others feel.

5 pink stars in a line

Now that it is October start looking for some spooky halloween posts! I am looking forward to writing them!

Until next time

Braiding Sweetgrass by: Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer

I have heard so many good things about this book! I kept seeing people suggest it and so naturally I was pretty pumped to get my hands on it.

When the time came and I got my notification from the library I was like YESSSSS! Unfortunately, I only had it for 14 days which was pushing it because I also was listening to another book at the same time.

Anywho let’s get to this book review, all I can say is WOW! I absolutely loved this book (as expected). I felt so calm reading it and if made me want to go and learn more about the earth around me and more about the Indigenous People that were here before the colonizers.

Each chapter was a story, which I love because it helps me keep things straight in my mind.

I super loved that she told some stories that were about the classes she taught and others about her roots and her family. I really liked the variety of the stories that were told because they were all so interesting.

“We are referred to as the younger brothers of Creation, so like younger brothers we must learn from our elders. Plants were here first and have had a long time to figure things out.”

I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. I loved it so much I might buy it (not a common thing for me). So I highly recommend reading it. This books gets 5 stars because it was such an amazing read.

5 pink stars in a row

I probably won’t have a post next week because I have started a new day job. Getting back into working and having an influx of new information has really wiped me out. However, keep your eyes peeled for the week after!

Until next time,

Devan

Atomic Habits by: James Clear

Another Wednesday…another book review!

I am always looking for book recommendations so when a youtuber that I follow was reading it and suggested Atomic Habits I immediately when to put a hold on it at my digital library.

As I was reading this book I would have to periodically jot down some notes to keep things straight in my head. I am glad I did so I could also write this review and explain some of the methods that Clear suggests to form habits.

Atomic habits is a book about creating habits and keeping them. There is a lot in this book so I will try to keep this to a minimum because there is no way that I could really explain everything so I will try to just highlight the bits that really stood out to me.

Some of the things Clear talks about is increasing your improvement by 1% a day. So not going and running a full 5k when you haven’t gone for a run in years. Start slow with maybe a 1k walk and work your way up to that goal of 5k as an example.

Another topic that stood out to me was not having a goal first mentality to form a habit. An example of this would be thinking that you will be happy once you lose 20lb. Once that milestone is reached, most people revert back to old habits and end up back in the same place that they were before. This is because there is nothing motivating you to keep up with that habit.

The last thing that I will mention of the methods to build habits is the word association that goes along when creating habits. The example that Clear gave in the book was when someone is quitting smoking but is offered a smoke. In this situation a lot of people would just state that they are trying to quit. Instead say “I don’t smoke”. I can’t exactly remember how Clear explained it but I will explain how it makes sense in my head. With the second statement you are affirming that you no longer smoke and everytime that you affirm that you believe it more. Eventually you get to the point that smoking is not even in question. In the first statement it isn’t affirmed that you no longer smoke and therefore leaves a window to fall back into the habit.

I am a firm believer that wording is very powerful so this last method really stood out to me.

Like I said there was a few methods throughout this book and they are all categorized into 4 laws. Clear goes into much more details and ties them all together very nicely.

I found this book really helpful and I do plan on implementing some of these methods to create habits. I might even buy this book to go back to for reminders.

Overall I enjoyed this book because it will help me better myself. I highly recommend it if you are wanting to change some habits or are looking to make new ones.

5 pink stars

I am giving this book a 5 star review. I think this book can be beneficial to many. I know it has helped me.

Look toward the future expect to see fall posts! I am going full basic bitch for the fall.

Until next time

LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE BY: CELESTE NG

Here we are again! Another book review. I would like to pat myself on the back because I have been doing so good at reading all the books. Although I have also gotten super overwhelmed because I put a butt tonne of holds on books and they are all coming up to be read! Eeeek! Thankfully, I am able to delay them a bit. whew!

A bit about the author first! Celeste was actually raised in the city that is featured in the novel, Shaker Heights. This book is her second novel. Little Fires Everywhere was made into a TV show on Hulu in 2020.

I have not seen the TV show so I really didn’t know what this book was about. From stuff I had heard I thought this book was about something totally different so maybe I was thinking of another book? Anywho on to the review.

a photo of the cover of Little Fires Everywhere on a cell phone

Little fires everywhere is a book about two very different families whose lives get entangled because of their children. As soon as a museum picture is found of one of the mothers, the other is off on a journey to dig up her past and find out who she really is.

I really did enjoy this book, it has been a while since I have read anything that is more fiction and lighthearted. Don’t get me wrong there is some talk of abortion and some other stuff that might be a bit hard for some but such topics are not hard for me.

The only thing that I didn’t enjoy in the book was when it the the sort of mystery was figured out, I did not get that oh damnnnnnn feeling. It was not powerful enough for me, I wanted a bigger mystery. The ending was also a bit underwhelming also. I won’t spoil it for anyone! Don’t worry.

I found that the book was very well written though and was smooth enough to keep me captivated the entire book. I just wanted more. It was still a great book and recommend it for anyone so it gets four stars!

Welp that is it for now look out for more book reviews cause I got those stacking up again. I am trying to incorporate other blog posts in between them though so look out for those also!

Until next time!

In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience by Helen Knott

It has been a hot minute since I have read a book, but I have finally finished one again and here is the book review!

The latest book I read was In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience by Helen Knott. In my personal goal of reading more books that are by diverse authors, I was pointed to this book by a friend and I am so glad that I got to read it.

A little bit about the author, Helen is Nehiyaw and Dene-Zaa woman. This book follows her journey of dealing with addictions and trauma to finding her roots in the Indigenous communities that she came from.

This book is divided into three parts, each dealing with a different part of her life. The first part is her addiction and all the trauma she had gone through. Honestly, when I was reading this part it was hard to read and was heartbreaking. She explains how she is feeling while she was high and drunk and her thought process. She eludes to her past rapes but does not get into them so much in this section ( later on she tells a bit more about them).

I think this book was such a good demonstration of the intergenerational trauma and hardships that indigenous people face all the time. Helen at one point even mentioned how going to a peyote ceremony goes against everything that she grew up believing. I think this is because her mother was Catholic and was told that Indigenous traditions were bad (way to go colonialism). I am guessing this is from one of the many horrendous things Canada did to the indigenous peoples.

This book really deep dives into a first hand account of a person dealing with trauma and addiction. This is a good chunk of the book so be prepared.

Spoiler alert
Helen eventually gets help by connecting with her roots and working through the traumatic events of her life. It really brings me joy when I read a book and an Indigenous person reconnects with their culture that was ripped away from them.

In the few books that I have read, all which have dealt with an Indigenous woman reconnecting with their culture, They have all had such a spiritual connection and it is amazing.

Overall I really liked this book. It helped me see the world through someone else’s eyes. I give this book a 5 star review. It was really well written and the story really flowed well together.

I have a bit of time off for the past while and is why I haven’t been as active on here. I hope to get to a more regular schedule and put out more stuff. If you are missing seeing what I post here, definitely check out my instagram!

Until next time!

BAD BLOOD BY: JOHN CARREYROU

Finally, my last book from the back log of books that I read over the past month!

I read this book firstly based on its title. It just intrigued me. Once I figured it out that it was about a silicon valley start-up, I immediately knew which company it was about only because my friend had made a reference to Elizabeth Holmes last year and I had to google her.

So if you haven’t figured it out this book is all about Theranos. How it started all the way up to how it ended. It did not end well and there is still legal stuff going on with this company just a FYI.

This book is written by the NYT journalist who started the story about how terrible Theranos was. This book is very interesting because it goes through different accounts of ex-employees and their stories of what happened behind closed doors.

While I was reading this book I truly was like how in the fuck as they able to do this?? I literally could not wait till I got to the end of the book and found out what ended it for the company.

When I say this book is good, I mean it. It gives you that feeling like “Ha! you deserve everything that is coming to you…assholes.” So you know a very satisfying read.

As a testament of this book, I saw that it was going to be returned to the library soon ( ebook probs) so I was like “I have to finish this book!” And I did, in one day. I took a whole Sunday and just read the book until it was finished. I would say that is a hard task if the book doesn’t peak your interest, at least for me it is. So the book peaked my interest, which can be hard.

I would not call it a “thrilling” book but you do want to make it to the end to see what happened. Like did the authorities catch them or did someone rat them out?

Overall it is a great book, I quite enjoyed it.

Five star rating!

For now I have fallen off reading. I am trying to read more about racism and everything to do with it, but apparently so is everyone else ( There is quite the waitlist at the library for a lot of books by black authors on racism). So I don’t know when I will have another review to write, but I will 100% have blog posts for my more regular content!

THE YEAR OF LESS BY: CAIT FLANDERS

Slowly, very slowly, I am working my way through the backlog of books to review. So let get to it and tell you about my second book The Year of Less by Cait Flanders. This book is exactly as its name implies, Cait challenges themself to getting rid of a good chunk of their possessions and have a shopping ban for 1 year.

For some people this might seem like an impossible challenge, but the way that Cait laid it out was very smart. I won’t spoil how they go about it but I think it was a good way.

I will say this book is very much about getting rid of stuff you no longer use but also Cait talks about life and how it was a similar challenge to quitting drinking and eating meat. Throughout the book they keep challenging themselves to new things and honestly it is amazing.

It was truly a walk through the year challenge that they where doing and how it helped them find what they truly wanted. Cait discovered things that truly brought joy into their life and saw things for what they were.

This book is kinda like a story/year memoir if that makes any sense. I have read a similar book, like almost the exact kind of story. Had to reduce their stuff for a year and also enjoyed it so I kinda knew what I was up for.

I enjoy reading things that are similar in my life. So this book appealed to me because of my more minimalist lifestyle. So naturally I felt inclined to read this and see how their year went and what they did. It was just a nice easy read (compared to the last book). I really didn’t have to think to hard and the concept didn’t seem impossible to me. I live a similar lifestyle so all in all it was good.

So I will say this book is a 4 star rating for me. It was good, easy read but it wasn’t a super exciting book. It is a different type of lifestyle that might intrigue others so I would definitely recommend this book.

I have 1 more book review to write up and then hopefully i will be back to a normal schedule? I have been focusing more of the current world climate so expect book review about being a better ally and anti-racism. There will also be blog posts about such things thrown in with some other stuff.

Untill next time!

Don’t forget to check out my Instagram and Pintrest that are linked below!

THE WITCHES ARE COMING BY: LINDY WEST

Another day and another book review! After a bit of a hiatus to do lots of learning to be a better ally, I decided that I needed to write again. There will be more to come about life and current world climate but I have a backlog of book reviews right now so that is where I am going to start.

The Witches are Coming is a book that talks a lot about the world climate right now. Lindy West honestly touches on so many different topics in the book I actually found it hard to keep up with it. I literally had to keep a note going about what each chapter touched on and even then they had many points that varied.

Just some of the topics that are in the book are:

Abortion

Why does Adam Sandler get to keep making movies?

Microagressions

Goop

Donald Trump

and many more topics.

Overall it was a good book that brought to light a lot of things that I never thought about. I really appreciate the book for doing that, however I personally found the book really hard to read. I really had to slow down and read every world to process what I was reading and keep stuff straight. Maybe that is what Lindy meant to do, make the reader slow the fuck down and really process what is going on in the world. I haven’t asked Lindy so I am not too sure on my theory.

I had to keep tabs on all the topics so that I could write this review because each chapter is basically its own book. The chapters also didn’t really come together for me and I really had a hard time with that. For me it felt really choppy.

I really wanted to love this book with all my heart because I do love Lindy West, but I just can’t. I will say I did make it to the end of the book which says something.

Usually if I find a book uninteresting or it is really hard to read I toss it. However I made it to the end, which means it had enough significance to get me there.

There were a lot of amazing points that Lindy made in this book that I had never cared to think of ( Why Joan Rivers disliked Lena Dunham and a few other points) and that put those things into perspective. There were other topics like climate Change, microaggressions, and so on that I was very aware of but gave me another way of putting these things.

Overall I give this book a three stars really only for my own selfish reasons. It has amazing points that anyone can learn from I just could not follow it very easily.

 Until next time!

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