by Angela Smith June 06, 2023
by Kate Jaworski May 02, 2023
The Monsters We Defy by Leslye Penelope
This historical fantasy is full of mystery and African American folk magic. Penelope weaves together real pieces of history and gives the reader a glimpse into 1920's Black Washington society full of fancy soirees, bootleggers, lady gangster bosses and jazz musicians.
Old Babes in the Woods by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood is my favorite author. I read Handmaid's Tale when I was in high school and have been devouring her books ever since. This new collection of short stories is classic Atwood - it's beautifully written and showcases deep relationships with a thread of humor and humility throughout.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
This is a beautifully written domestic fiction told from multiple perspectives. Gray develops characters that are complex, sympathetic and frustrating against the back drop of the the matriarch’s trial for defrauding the community she claimed to be helping.
Shrill by Lindy West
Shrill is a collection of essays that are also the memoir of Lindy West in which she focuses on modern feminism, politics, body image, learning to take up space and use your voice, choosing how you want to show up in the world and how to take care of the people who are often left behind by society.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
I stayed away from this book for a long time because it was so popular and I was skeptical about all of the hype. But my curiosity won and I must say I am really enjoying reading it (I am just over half way through). Untamed is also a memoir that consists of a collection of musings by Glennon Doyle in which she uses her life experience to show what it takes to unlearn everything that society tells you in terms of how to act (especially for women) and how to show up and live your life from an authentic space.
by Kate Jaworski April 07, 2023
by Kate Jaworski March 27, 2023
by Kate Jaworski March 27, 2023
Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett. Quote: "A quirky, lush little novel that's perfect for readers who love a stream-of-consciousness style."
Rest is Resistance by Tricia Hersey. Quote: "A great resource for unpacking the problems of grind culture and finding alternatives."
Farthing by Jo Walton- speculative fiction murder mystery set in an alternate timeline where WWII ended in a peace accord between Britain and Nazi Germany.
Jesus and John Wayne by Kristin Kobes Du Mez- nonfiction about the relationship between conservative masculinity and white Christian evangelism.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler - dystopian sci-fi that takes place in 2025 and eerily relatable to today's society.
The Iron Flower by Laurie Forest - YA fantasy. 2nd book in the black witch chronicles. The magic school has opened up to a full fledged rebellion/war.
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal - YA middle-eastern fantasy about a girl who's an assassin.
French Lieutenants Woman by John Fowles - Written in 1969, this is the story of a Victorian love triangle as well as a critique of the Victorian and modern time period or mores.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult - This page-turner "tackles race, privilege and prejudice" in a court-room drama.
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar - Time travel, sci-fi, fantasy with queer love. I wish I understood more about each character's world and why they were fighting the time war. But as soon as I finished, I wanted to re-read to find all the things I missed the first time!
KATE & ANG'S BOOK CLUB:
Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Kate didn't finish this one. She struggles to read books that aren't plot-driven. Ang, on the other hand, really enjoyed the rich characters and writing style of this one.
Tongue Party by Sarah Rose Etter - Collection of quirky short stories. Etter has an incredible ability to unapologetically immerse the reader into an absurd world. Her stories are imaginative and delightfully disturbing. This is a MUST READ.
by Alex Inga March 10, 2023
In today’s world, we have countless choices when it comes to what we pick up and read. In addition to traditional paper books, we have phones, tablets, Ebook readers, and audiobooks. So why are we better off reading used books? While we believe all books are great, there is just something special about a recycled book. From the smells to the feel of the pages, what could be better than diving into a well-loved book? Here at Recycle Read Repeat, we love sourcing high-quality pre-loved books curated just for you, our readers. Below we share several reasons you should opt for a previously owned book instead of a new one whenever possible.
The most obvious reason to choose a used book is that it will save you money. A used book is likely cheaper than a brand-new one, even if the author is a household name. Remember, the words are the same whether the book is new or has been previously loved by someone else! And if you’re worried about funding for local libraries, at Recycle Read Repeat, we source about 90% of our books through library sales, thus helping to support community libraries.
Because recycled books cost significantly less than new ones, you can stock up and keep your bookshelf full of new reading material. We find there’s nothing that motivates us to read more than a fully stocked bookshelf!
Being aware of climate change and being more environmentally conscious is becoming more and more critical in helping the planet. Did you know about 320 million books end up in landfills every year? When you opt for a recycled book or used book subscription service, you will help to keep these books out of landfills and protect the environment. Used books reduce the number of new prints, eventually reducing paper usage and carbon emissions.
Whether browsing your local library or favorite bookstore or waiting for your reading subscription in the mail, it’s almost like embarking on a treasure hunt. You never know what you might find or receive. Some used books have unique vintage covers, while some have margin notes and highlighted passages. You never know who owned them before you, which is part of the charm and excitement of an old book.
If you ask us, books are like wine; they get better with age. As they pass through the hands of readers, the crisp, white stain-free pages begin to yellow, rumple, and tear. You don’t need to worry about breaking in a used book; the spine is already cracked, the page corners are folded, and there’s likely spilled coffee already adorning the pages. Plus, they come with that unique “old book smell!”
by Alex Inga February 22, 2023
Book lovers everywhere can rejoice with the increasingly popular trend that’s taking the subscription box world by storm: book subscription boxes! As a purveyor of books and environmental sustainability, we are thrilled to see this movement of monthly book boxes making their way to people everywhere. At Recycle Read Repeat, we receive many questions asking if book subscription boxes are worth it, and we are here to tell you that YES, they are absolutely worth it. Below you will find several reasons you should consider subscribing to one of these boxes.
Subscription boxes are a recurring delivery of different books to read each month. Depending on the subscription box, you can receive anywhere from one to a few books of different genres and authors. At Recycle Read Repeat, our monthly book subscription boxes are so much more than your typical “Book of the Month” clubs; we only source pre-loved books curated just for you based on your preferences and ship them in the most eco-friendly packaging, using reused or reusable materials. You never know what will show up at your doorstep, but we guarantee it will be something you love! If you’re still wondering why you should subscribe to a book subscription box, keep reading to find out more.Different books to read each month.
After enrolling, each month, you will receive a book chosen to suit your personal preferences. That means you’ll always have something new to read. Most subscription box services also include something extra to make delivery day a little more exciting. At Recycle Read Repeat, we always add fun surprises to each box, such as stickers or bookmarks.
Struggling to find the motivation to read? With a book subscription box, you receive books delivered right to your door, so there’s no reason to put off reading. You’ll have more reason to dive into a new book with Recycle Read Repeat because we are a company of readers for readers!
Reading similar books can be a fun way of connecting with people. You can share your thoughts on the books, what you liked about them, and what wasn’t your favorite part. At Recycle Read Repeat, we consistently update our “Currently Reading” tab so you can see what our staff is reading this month, and you can follow us on social media to see what fellow subscribers are reading too!
by Kate Jaworski June 23, 2022
This month is Pride and Audiobook Appreciation Month. Kate and I are reading (listening to) Marlon James’s Moon Witch, Spider King, the second in his Dark Star trilogy. We did not intentionally decide to listen to a book by a gay author, but we are.
Notice that I said we are reading the book yet we are listening to it. If you are one of those people who think listening to a book does not count as reading, I beg of you to change your mind.
As established readers (though there is a ton of merit to using audiobooks with struggling readers, but this is not the platform for that) we are not reading to practice phonics. We are not proving ourselves to teachers. We are exploring foreign lands, making connections, learning about the world, escaping and growing. It is not the actual reading that is challenging us. It is the thinking.
Audiobooks get a bum rap.
But they are delicious, especially the ones recorded in the last 2 decades. These are actors reading the book. They make each of the characters come alive through different voices or inflections.
The readers of Marlon James’s books are amazing. While listening, I sometimes remember that it is only one person reading all of these characters, so many characters, Marlon, and I am impressed all over again.
Audiobooks layer another form of art on top of our favorite form of art, fiction.
Once you can swallow that listening to audiobooks is actually reading, you will be freed. Seriously. You will suddenly realize that you have time to read because you can read while you are driving or walking the dog. You can read while washing the dishes or while your partner is asleep in the bed next to you. You can read just about all the time!
Sure, sometimes you space out and daydream while you are listening. Maybe I am alone in this (nah), but that happens during reading also.
I will say there are two things I hate about audiobooks. 1. I keep and display all the books I read. I love looking at them and remembering. I love people to ask me about them. 2. I like to write in my books.
However, I have come up with solutions to those problems. 1. I design my own book jackets around books that I find at yard sales for cheap. I decorate and paint and write on a piece of paper. The book jacket is essentially my book report, and then I put it on the bookshelf.
If it is a book I want to write in, I will buy the book and after each listening session I will go to it and make my marginalia. Problems solved.
Besides anything written by Marlon James here are some awesome books to listen to:
Milkman by Anna Burns
The Dutch House by Ann Patchet
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Miracle and Wonder by Malcolm Gladwell (only available on audio)
No One Goes Alone by Erik Larson (only available on audio)
by Kate Jaworski June 03, 2022
And now we are watching schools ban books, especially those that address LBTQIA issues and feature LGBTQIA characters.
It is terrifying. And we must fight on several fronts, of course. But one way is to lift these voices, to read these books and share these books. The more books we have in our repertoire the more we can convince others that these books are not propaganda, but rather they are stories. About people. Who exist.
So here is our small contribution to the fight to lift all voices. Here are some books by LGBTQIA authors or those featuring stories of LGBTQIA characters that we love.
by Kate Jaworski May 13, 2022
Our book club is reading Ghost Bride for May, which is great because it is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I am pretty sure we did not plan that, but it works out beautifully.
Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo was chosen because we all loved her Night Tiger, which was chosen because we all have a deficit in our Asian/Asian American authored books repertoire, and we wanted to rectify that.
Kate and I were thinking that maybe some of you need recommendations for Asian American authors like we do, so we decided to take the month of May to introduce you to some of our favorites while asking you to tell us about some of your favorites!
I was in the 11th grade when I read The Joy Luck Club. I remember loving it. I remember my teacher making a very specific point to add authors of color into our American Lit class (while still a novel idea in 2022, it was even more so then).
When I entered college in 1996, I again was lucky; I was required to take a class called Ethnic Literature (sure the name could have been better), but the class was right on. We confronted our own privilege; my professor shattered the whitewashed history we were previously taught; we explored different cultures and the literary devices used to convey those stories. The first Asian American book I read in that class was called Women Warrior.
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan and Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston are two books that will stick with me forever.
I am not sure that these two books should be paired, but they are paired in my head as they are the first two I read by Asian American authors. And they do share similarities. They are both written in a memoir style. They both address children of immigrants. And they both focus on the importance of language and culture. And of course they are both written in sections that can be excerpted.
I also read Donald Duk by Frank Chin in this college class. This is a great coming of age novel, and a constant struggle for our twelve year old protagonist is his name, Donald Duk, a name which his parents King and Daisy Duk are very proud of. The book explores the generation gap, especially that of immigrant parents and their first generation American children.
After these first three books by Asian American authors, I was excited to read more and expanded the definition of Asian.
Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Sun are on this list of my favorites because they are also from my favorite genre, historical fiction. Nothing makes me feel dumber than learning I know nothing about the world. The Kite Runner is a beautiful and violent story of tragedy, politics, coming of age and forgiveness set in Afghanistan spanning from before Russian rule, through Russian rule, into the rise of the Taliban. A Thousand Splendid Suns illustrates the life of women and girls under the Taliban during the contemporary era. These are not for the faint of heart; some of the very realistic violence sticks with me, but I am thankful for those vivid memories that help remind me regularly the suffering and survival of people.
Namesake and The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, an Indian American author, are about Indian and Indian American families, friends and lovers. Lahiri has been celebrated for giving diversity to Indian and Indian Americans through her stories. The Interpreter of Maladies won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 2000.
There are others on our list, and just because I did not write about them does not mean they are not worthy. These specific ones, I chose because they changed me in a way, maybe because of when I read them in my life, maybe because of the book, maybe a little of both.
Kate is a lover of Celeste Ng-- if she liked writing blogs as much I as I do, she would love to tell you about her books. So take it from me--if Kate says they are good, they are good!
Here are some other books we can recommend
Our book club read and enjoyed The Leavers by Lisa Ko.
After reading The Joy Luck Club, I rushed out to read The Kitchen God’s Wife; loved it.
The Night Tiger is a great mix of Chinese and Malaysian culture with a lot of mystery.
Good Talk is a graphic novel. It is a great story and the illustrations are mixed media, a bit of a different take on the graphic novel.
Share with us some of your favorite books/stories by Asian American and Pacific Islanders!
by Kate Jaworski April 15, 2022
by Kate Jaworski March 11, 2022