Posted in reading, update, writing

Tiny Navajo Writes: February Update

Hey guys! I know, another writing post, but this post should have gone up on Monday but I got distracted and wrote a review instead, so you get the February Update post today! And I will say that I lost another two weeks of my life thanks to the huge winter storms that blew through OK those middle two weeks of February. Everything in our house is safe thankfully, but I still think it’s distantly February. Similar to how I thought it was two months behind what it actually was last year due to shut down.

Anyway, we’re not here to talk about that, we’re here to talk about all the reading that I did in February. And I wasn’t too shabby, if I do say so myself. I read a total of 7 books this past month, with 2 audiobooks, a ARC and 4 books. I read this month Remote Control, The Paris Library, Wings of Ebony, A Pho Love Story, Everything All at Once, Lost Boy, and All the Girls I’ve Been. All of these books were excellent and I’m glad I got to read them this month. I hope to be able to read more books throughout March, and I do have a four day weekend coming up so we’ll see how much reading I actually get done this month.

Currently reading and overall reading goal for 2021

What books did you read this past month? Did you enjoy what you read? Comment below and let me know! Also, what are you plans for reading this month? It’s always good to have others out there to be reading what you’re reading so maybe find someone to pair up with in the comments and check in on them. Or don’t, you know, I’m not your mother 😛

Posted in books, reading, writing

Tiny Navajo Writes: Top Five Book Characters Jobs I’d Like

Hi guys! It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! TTT was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

My dudes! It’s a late Tuesday post for me, and I’m tired and just so excited for the weekend to come so I can sleep and just rest and get me some sunlight! There is so much sunlight now and I want ALL OF IT!!!

Anyway, today’s topic is all about the jobs of book characters I wish I could have. And while I love my job, there are some other jobs I would love to try out. So, here we go!

  • Tiffy Moore in The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. Books and publishing so that sounds like it’d be interesting at least.
  • Gideon from Gideon the Ninth because being the swole bodyguard seems like it’d be interesting at least.
  • Jess Brightwell from Ink and Bone as he’s got a job in the Library of Alexandria that never burned down. Though the circumstances is very weird and I’m not sure I’d like it for a long time, but I would like to see the Library.
  • Lady Isabella Trent from A Natural History of Dragons becaues show doesn’t want to work with dragons!? I would love to study dragons and make that my career!
  • Adventurer in Dragma’s Keep by Vance Pumphrey. Granted, this review is not that good (holy shit, this is how I used to review!?!!?!?) but I have started playing D&D and I would love to explore a fantasy world and being an adventurer in some sort. That would be AWESOME!

These are the top five jobs I would like to try out at least, some normal and some fantastical, either way they would be great jobs! What types of jobs would you like to try out? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in audiobooks, book reviews, reading

Tiny Navajo Listens: Everything All at Once

Everything All at Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap Into Radical Curiosity and Solve Any Problem by Bill Nye, narrated by Bill Nye

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*Published July 11, 2017 by Recorded Books, Inc.*

I saw this while doing some weeding in my nonfiction audio section at the library I work at and thought, “I liked Bill Nye the Science Guy TV show when I was younger, and I need a new audiobook to listen to.” So, I started listening to it, and it was nice to listen to Bill Nye again and to learn how his problem solving process works.

Everything All at Once by Bill Nye

Bill Nye has been the public face of science for more than 20 years. In Everything All at Once, the New York Times bestselling author urges readers to become activists and agents of change.

Everything All at Once is an exciting, inspiring call to unleash the power of the nerd mindset that exists within us all. Nye believes we’ll never be able to tackle our society’s biggest, most complex problems if we don’t even know how to solve the small ones. Step by step, he shows his readers the key tools behind his everything-all-at-once approach: radical curiosity, a deep desire for a better future, and a willingness to take the actions needed to make it a reality. Problem solving is a skill that anyone can harness to create change, and Bill Nye is here to teach us how.

Each chapter describes a principle of problem solving that Nye himself uses–methodical, fact-based approaches to life that aspires to leave no stone unturned. He explains how the nerd mindset leads to a richer and more meaningful life; far more than that, it can help address hunger, crime, poverty, pollution, and even assist the democratic process. Throughout the book, Nye draws on his own experiences-leavened with his trademark humor and self-deprecation–to show how he came to think like a Science Guy, and how you can, too. By the end you will be ready to sort out problems, recognize solutions, and join him in “changing the world.”

This was a fascinating book as it gave me a look into the life of one of my favourite TV people when I was little: Bill Nye the Science Guy! That TV show was something that I could actually watch after school and not get my parents mad at me for it because it was educational. I loved it! I loved the way Bill Nye spoke, I loved the way he talked to us (the audience) as if we were intelligent people, and not just kids, and I loved that he made science interesting!

Science is still interesting to me, and while I may not be able to learn in a classroom, I can take what Bill Nye has stated in this book and learn from the world around. I can educate myself and I can use that education to help others learn about the world as well. And while how I learn about the world may not always been hard science, the processes he outlined in this book can be applied to any science, hard or soft.

And what this book, and Bill Nye’s TV show have shown is that we are never too late to start learning and we can learn from everyday things. As long we endeavor to better ourselves and the world around us, then we can learn from a myriad of things. We can then apply what we’ve learned to future projects and help others to figure out where to start their own learning process. How to you continue to educate yourself? How do you apply what you learn to your day-to-day life? Comment below and let me know! Also, did you watch Bill Nye the Science Guy? What was your favourite episode? I’m curious to know and I kind of want to start watching it again.

Posted in books, reading, writing

Tiny Navajo Writes: Time to Rearrange My Shelves

Hey guys! It’s Thursday, almost the end of the week and I am so excited for that as it means that I get to rest soon! With the libraries being closed for two weeks because of weather, it means that this week we have all been scrambling to get two weeks of work done within a single workweek. It’s been exhausting and there are still somethings that I need to do, but I also want to write and this gives me time to think and breathe and not worry for just a little bit. So, that is what I’m going to do. Just breathe, relax, and write.

As this year continues to fly on by, I’m starting to receive books that I’ll need to read for the Sequoyah Team that I’m a part of. And that means that I’ll need to make room for them on my shelves. Which also means that I need to go through my shelves again and weed my own personal collection of books. It’s something that I’ve taken to doing every few years, once I’ve seen that I have start to run out of room on my shelves, and once I’ve started to see that there are more books that I haven’t read than I have read, that I need to go through my shelves again and remove the books that I know I won’t read, have had them for many years and still have read, or have read and know that I won’t read again.

I only have a few personal criteria for the books I keep on my shelves: 1) does it make me happy to have?, 2) do I remember what the book is about?, and 3) do I actually plan on reading it within the next little while? That last part is always a bit vague and can be what gets me in trouble when trying to decide what stays on my shelves and what needs to go. But I have gotten better over the years at not keeping what I know I won’t read/won’t read again, and have gotten better at giving my books away. But as these next few years, I’ll be receiving more books than I may know what to do with, so I need to have the room and the ability to give away the books I won’t read.

How do you keep your physical bookshelves under control? Or do you pile books and books on top of each other until your home is full of books? Comment below and let me know how you keep your books organized and under control. Or not under control, as things go.

Posted in book reviews, books, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: A Pho Love Story

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

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*Published February 9, 2021 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers*

This was such a sweet book! And I love pho, so a love story about two warring pho families with their kids having no idea why they’re fighting, a savory Romeo and Juliet! Only no one dies at the end!

A Pho Love Story by Loan Lee

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese-American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.

If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee. Not ideal.

If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and spark and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.

For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring phở restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.

But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao together despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.

Can Linh and Bao find love in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?

This is probably one of the sweetest books I’ve read in a long time. I read it all in one day in fact, that can tell you how much I enjoyed this book. It has food, it has gentle romance, it has an age old family feud, it has FLUFF!!! And sometimes, you just need to enjoy the fluff of a good book. There is a lot more to this book than fluff though! Underneath all the fluff is all the hard stuff about being the sons and daughters of immigrant families that just want the best for you.

For Bao and Linh, living up to their parents expectations is one of the hardest things for them to do. Bao, as he’s not sure what he wants to do after high school, and his family just kind of wants him to pick something so that he’ll be taken care of. Linh, she loves art, the drawing, the painting, the creation of it all, but her parents don’t see that as a viable option for a career. It’s a “good hobby,” but it won’t keep her secure after graduation.

As they both struggle to figure out how to navigate their families’ feud, as well as figure out their own lives, Bao and Linh start to realize that they may have found what they’re looking for in each other. Not the career paths or anything, but just getting to know each other as friends and knowing that each has a similar childhood having grown up with parents building up their restaurants and they can empathize with each other as well.

When Linh’s friend and Bao’s classmate (same person) assign them a new beat for the school newspaper, they both discover what they truly love doing; Bao sees that he has an ability and love for writing, while Linh further sets her heart on pursuing art anyway possible after high school. But as Linh struggles to figure out how to get her parents to listen to her and believe she wants and needs to pursue art, Bao has a slightly easier time telling his mother that while he has made a choice for his future, it may not be the one his parents like, but they understand that it’s his choice.

And all of this is happening while their families are basically gunning to put the other out of business for a reason neither Bao nor Linh really know, and when they try to find out, their parents state it’s not for them to know, only grown-ups should worry about it. Which is a frustrating thing to hear when you’re treated as an adult in other aspects of your life. It’s when Bao and Linh start to dig into their families’ pasts a bit more that they realize there is a LOT more going on than either set of parents let on, and it goes back a long ways.

Parental expectations and trying to find your own path battle inside Linh and Bao and how they deal with it is different for both. As they continue to figure out their lives and their families live, they start to struggle to see how they can be together, even just as friends. So, when the past comes back to bite, it takes more than it probably should have, and Bao and Linh need to figure out how to process everything.

I won’t tell you the ending, as it’s interesting to the story and to them. But it does go to show that you don’t always know what’s going on with your family, even if you have grown up with them. And what is buried in the past will eventually come to light and it may not be the best things you have ever heard about your family. Either way, everyone will need to deal with it eventually.

I really loved this book and while I may make it sound like a downer here, it is a really nice book, with parts that made me laugh and parts that made me feel for both Bao and Linh as they try to figure out their own ways to live their lives, and how to tell their parents no. I highly recommend you read this book if just to get some perspective that what we see is not always what we get.

Posted in books, comic books/graphic novels, reading, writing

Tiny Navajo Writes: Top Ten Books That Made Me LOL

Hi guys! It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! TTT was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

My dudes! These past two weeks have been some of the weirdest that I have ever experienced and I am NOT a fan! As you probably read in my posts last week, OK was experiencing a lot of extreme winter weather that lead to my library system essentially being closed for the last two weeks. And when I mean extreme, I mean extreme for OK. We had below freezing temperatures, snow up to my knees, a large chance of our pipes freezing and losing power. Thankfully for us, I grew up in Idaho and know mostly how to deal with the weather itself, but that doesn’t mean our house is built to deal with said winter weather. So, I had to prep our house to deal with very cold temps. Things turned out okay, and I’m back at work now so yay! Also, you couldn’t tell this by looking outside today, but nearly all of the snow is gone…just the drifts and piles from plows are left.

Anyway, onto today’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday! It’s all about the books that make you laugh out loud. And I have several that I turn to when I need a good laugh, but you’ll just have to take a look through my list to see what I’m talking about.

  • The Martian by Andy Weir. Seriously, one of the funniest books I own and all thanks to the way Mark Watney is written and the way that R.C. Bray brings him to life.
  • Sourdough by Robin Sloan. Loise speaks so clearly and her descriptions are spot on and hilarious. It’s definitely a book that gets quite a few laughs out of me.
  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. While this is a book that deals with some dark themes, it is most a light fluffy book about two completely different people seeking to make the best of their situations and talk to each other through sticky notes posted around their shared apartment.
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. Again, the main character, Clay is a sharp wit and he uses that to his advantage to bring the book to life. His descriptions of the people who use the bookstore are great, and I really really want to visit this bookstore to find Clay and Mr. Penumbra and explore their fabulously tall space.
  • Saint Young Men, Omnibus Vol. 1 by Hikaru Nakamura. This is a great manga as it explores what Jesus Christ and Buddha would be like if the were vacationing on Earth in modern day Japan. I love their characterizations and how they act and they perceive certain things concerning their own religions.
  • The Way of the Househusband, Vol. 1 by Kousuke Oono. This is a hilarious book about a former mob boss turned househusband. And he still has the same personality of a mob boss, he’s just now using it to keep wife and home happy.
  • Sass and Sorcery (Rat Queens Vol. 1) by Kurtis J. Wiebe and John “Roc” Upchurch. A wonderful graphic novel about a group of adventurers who adventures don’t always end up well. If you like D&D, you’ll definitely enjoy this!
  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. I just love Gideon’s voice and how she talks about what’s going on in her work, it’s hilarious and I want to be her friend.
  • Here There Be Gerblins by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, and Travis McElroy. An illustrated comic based on their podcast D&D adventures! Very good and very funny and I kind of want to listen to their podcast now so I know what the voices sound like.
  • Bloodlust and Bonnets by Emily McGovern. If you haven’t seen Background Slytherin floating around on social media, then you need to read that and then you need to read this because how else do you get Lord Byron, vampires, and a bloodthirsty girl all in one story?

These are the top ten books that have made me laugh out loud and some that will continue to make me lol. Have you read any of these books? And if you haven’t what books have you read that make you laugh out loud? Comment below and let me know! I’m always up for a good laugh.

Posted in book reviews, books, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Wings of Ebony

Wings of Ebony by J. Elle

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*Published January 26, 2021 by Denene Millner Books

This book has an interesting fantasy aspect and it parallels modern societal injustices and I found it a good way to talk about racism in a fantasy and contemporary way.

Wings of Ebony by J. Elle

“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders.

Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life.

Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.

I will say that this book was a good book. It just took me a while to actually get into the book and enjoy what I was reading. Once I did get into it, I enjoyed the story and where it was going. While the main bulk of the story took place over about a week’s worth of time, we do get some flashbacks to what happened to Rue a year ago, when her mother was shot and her absent father came to take her away to live in Ghizoni.

For the most part, we see that Rue doesn’t really know where she belongs anymore. She stands out in Ghizoni as being the only person of colour, other than her father. She doesn’t know the history of the country she has been brought into, she doesn’t know the culture or customs, and she is struggling to make sense of what she is doing. Yet when she hears that there is someone out there who is trying to destroy her neighborhood, to destroy East Row, to make it a world where no one can live their lives normally, then Rue decides to do what she can to not only save her sister, but to save all of her family that is East Row. But in order to do so, she has to let her hurt and anger out just a little bit in order to listen to what her father has to tell her about his heritage and what it means not only for her, but for ALL of East Row and Ghizoni.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the emphasis on relationships and connections. You are who you are based on all of your connections, both blood and chosen. You can choose who your family is, you can choose who your family isn’t, you can choose who to trust, and you can change your choices over time. Rue chooses at first to ignore her biological father, as he left her and her mother on their own. He never came, never showed up, never even let Rue know who he was until her mother died. But as Rue and her father try to talk throughout the book, you can see that he regrets not being with them, but Rue also acts like you’d expect a girl without a father to react when he suddenly shows up out of the blue; not wanting anything to do with him or what he has to say.

As we continue to follow Rue though, and how she has to interact with her father, we start to see how she starts to choose to listen to him, just a little. We see her choose to start to love him, we see Rue choose to turn to him, when she doesn’t know where else to go. Life is all about choices, and what we make of them. We can learn from our mistakes, and the mistakes of others and makes choices that can be better than we make before. It’s the choices we make in life that make us who we are, and we can always learn to make better choices. It’s never too late to start.

Posted in book reviews, books, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Remote Control

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

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*Published January 19, 20201 by*

I love Nnedi Okorafor’s writing and I really enjoyed this one! It was beautiful and distant and otherworldly. Simply wonderful!

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

An alien artifact turns a young girl into Death’s adopted daughter in Remote Control, a thrilling sci-fi tale of community and female empowerment from Nebula and Hugo Award-winner Nnedi Okorafor.

“She’s the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Beware of her. Mind her. Death guards her like one of its own.”

The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa—-a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past.

Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks–alone, except for her fox companion–searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers.

But is there a greater purpose for Sankofa, now that Death is her constant companion?

This wonderfully weird, beautiful, fantastical book about a young girl touched by Death and adopted by Death. She wanders Ghana seeking, seeking, ever seeking out a small seed/stone that calls out to her, having been stolen from her before she forgot her name. Once the stone is stolen from her and Death touches her, her own touch becomes death. She walks and walks and walks, and never is closer to the stone than she was when it was stolen from her.

Sankofa has a power that none have seen before, she is able to pulse with a green light and all those in the vicinity die when the light touches them. She can control it some, has gotten better at controlling it all the years that she walks, following the stone. But it’s not until she learns to fully embrace herself and her power as Death’s Adopted Daughter that she learns that she is so much more than anything thought she was. And it’s fantastic!

I love that Sankofa is the one with the power, the Adopted Daughter of Death. It very easily could have gone to her older brother, but the best thing about Nnedi Okorafor’s writing is that the women and girls of these worlds are the ones that have the power and the ability to change the world for the better. Sankofa is one of those girls and she is still allowed to act like a teenage girl. She is emotional, she misses her family even if she doesn’t remember their names, she wants to be able to settle and live a normal life, she wants to be left alone, and she wants to be included. She is all of these things and many more. And I truly love that once she embraces the full range of her powers, she fully becomes more herself. She settles into who she is supposed to be, who she sees herself being and I love all of this. I highly recommend you try out Remote Control or any other of Nnedi Okorafor’s books!

Posted in books, reading, writing

Tiny Navajo Writes: Top Ten Books on My TBR

Hi guys! It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! TTT was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

My dudes! Guess what?! I haven’t been in for work since Saturday, and I hadn’t worked a day of work the week before that because of abnormal winter weather here in the OK. You probably know some of what’s going on if you’ve been reading my posts this past week. So, I was supposed to work Sunday and Monday, but due to a winter storm warning that’s was in effect from Saturday night to Monday morning, and we’re due for anywhere from 5-10 inches of snow. This is unusual weather for OK, so my library system decided to close for Sunday and Monday to keep us safe. So, I haven’t really worked a whole lot this past week and I’m not mad at it. But I do hope to get back into the building this week again. I got some things that I can only really do while at the building, but we’ll see what happens.

Anyway, as you can see, today is Tuesday and it’s time for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday which is all about the Spring TBR list. Now, I don’t keep a quarterly or even seasonal TBR list, I’m a book goblin in that matter that every pretty book I see that has a good synposis goes immediately onto my TBR read list. But! I do have specific books that I need to make my way through in the near future, if only so they can get back into circulation at my library. So, here are the top ten books I need to read! Soonish…

Here are the top ten books that I should read soonish if only because they’re going to keep staring at me until I do. Here’s hoping I can get my attention span under control in order to get what reading I can done and still enjoy what I’m doing. What’s your TBR list look like right now? Anything that you plan on reading soon? Or is your attention span saying “NO!” as loudly as it can, like mine is? Comment below and let me know what your plan is! I need help!

Posted in book reviews, books, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Chlorine Sky

Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne

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*Published January 12, 2021 by Crown Books for Young Readers*

A book that is in consideration for a the Sequoyah Award, I enjoyed it and I loved the voice of the character in it more than I thought I would.

Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne

A novel-in-verse about a young girl coming-of-age and stepping out of the shadow of her former best friend. Perfect for readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Nikki Grimes.

She looks me hard in my eyes
& my knees lock into tree trunks
My eyes don’t dance like my heartbeat racing
They stare straight back hot daggers.
I remember things will never be the same.
I remember things.

With gritty and heartbreaking honesty, Mahogany L. Browne delivers a novel-in-verse about broken promises, fast rumors, and when growing up means growing apart from your best friend.

This book in verse was real. It felt real, it talked real, the characters were real. It felt almost like I was reading a diary of our main character. A young black girl trying to figure out where her place in the world in, who her friends are, how to shine enough and be her true self. As we travel with Sky throughout her story, we find that the people we thought to be our friends aren’t always our friends; our family will tear us down at any chance they get, and family will also teach you how to hold your head high; those who say they like you and want to go out with you aren’t always infatuated with you, though it is nice when they are; that you have to be yourself in order to shine.

I love how real this book is, that you can see and hear her speaking to you. There is a rhythm to the way that Sky writes and speaks and I can hear everything! It’s like she’s sitting right next to me and talking to me, telling me about her friends and her family and her life. I really want to get to know Sky more. I think that’s what I love about novels in verse, they sound more real, they have more emotion in their writing and telling of their story. This is probably my second or third book that was written in verse and probably my favourite one. What books in verse have you read? What did you enjoy about them? Comment below and let me know!