American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

This is NOT a review of the book. I haven’t read it, and I don’t plan on doing so. This post is to inform you why.


For the past few months, I have seen this book around everywhere. I even thought it had already been published because of the way people have gone on and on about it. At first glance, I wasn’t interested. Even, dare I say, I was uncomfortable. But the hype got to me and I added it to my TBR.

Then I saw something in one of the facebook groups I am a part of that completely validated my original feelings toward this fictional novel. 

According to the book description, the story is about a mother and son that flee Mexico and head for the U.S. Yeah, okay. A book about immigration. That’s cool. The thing is, this white author received a seven figure advance for this story. Millions. For a poorly written book (according to a reviewer at the NYT). 

Look, I’m glad that this book seems to be bringing the immigration issue into the spotlight. What peeves me is that she is making millions off a story that has been written before by #ownvoices authors. If you ever needed proof that we are marginalized, here it is. This book is the proof. We shouldn’t need a gringa to sell a book about immigration. Yet, here we are. 

I am beyond upset. Surprised, no. Disillusioned, greatly so. It just reinforces my goal to only read books by people of color. Because this Latina está cansada. So fucking tired of all this bullshit. Tired of our voices being silenced. 

So, read the book. Don’t read the book. You do you! And if you want to read an #ownvoice book about immigration I have 3 recommendations for you to consider:

Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite With His Mother by Sonia Nazario


The original newspaper series won 2 Pulitzer’s. The book details the journey of a young Hondureño named Enrique as he travels north to the U.S. It is a long and dangerous journey. A harrowing read but one I would recommend.

The Book of Rosy: A Mother’s Story of Separation at the Border by Rosayra Pablo Cruz and Julie Schwietert Collazo


The expected publication is June.1.2020 and for some odd reason not getting the hype it so deserves. Hm, wonder why… Anyway, from the description, the book will detail Rosayra’s trek from Guatemala to the States. And will also cover the forced separation from her young daughter endured at a U.S. border detention center.

We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories From Refugee Girls Around the World by Malala Yousafzai


Analisa is one of the young girls featured in this book. She is Guatemalteca, and talks about how/why she fled her homeland for the U.S. All of the stories in the book are important and should be read. 

Now, there you have it. 3 books by 3 distinguished authors. A Pulitzer Prize winner, an advocate for immigrants, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Highly doubt any of them received such a huge sum of money for their books. Who knows, I could be wrong. But to loosely quote Ta-Nehisi Coates: for Americans to elect a black president, he had to be highly educated and have political experience. All Trump needed was white bluster. 

Let’s be real though. This book wasn’t written for me. It was written with the white gaze in mind. For the “color blind” readers. For the ones that only perpetuate the problem. Es obvio. She doesn’t care about the issue at hand. She’s exploiting it for her own personal gain. 

To Flatiron books, the publisher of this novel, come caca. And thank you for showing the world what we the oppressed already knew. 


Minority voices may not matter to you, but we will continue to scream at the top of our lungs until we are heard!

READ #OWNVOICE AUTHORS!!

I also encourage you to read this post as well. The writer does a waaaay better job of explaining why the latinx community is up in arms…

New Year, New Bookish Resolutions

It’s been about 6 months since I last posted. Half a year. That was… unplanned. 

LIFE UPDATE
At the time, I talked about struggling with disordered eating due to my anxiety. I am very proud to say that I’m doing so much better now. I am at a healthier weight. Still not where I’m supposed to be, but fairly close. I’m still in therapy, seeing a nutritionist, taking meds, working, and reading to my hearts content.

READING CHALLENGES

Goodreads

According to Goodreads, in 2019 I read 142 books. That’s a lie. I read 145. Audiobooks make all the difference haha. I don’t set a number goal because I already read a lot of books as is. Don’t need the pressure. 

Popsugar

Last year, I worked on the POPSUGAR reading challenge for the second time. In 2018 I completed it. Last year? Nope! I had 6 prompts left. I’m planning to roll them over to this year’s challenge. Which I’m doing differently. Going to use one book for multiple prompts. Let’s see how that works out. 

Back to the Classics

Failed this one too! Had one prompt left, which I will roll over to this year’s

Reading Women

Another fail! Even though more than half of my 2019 reads were written by women, I still had 3 prompts left. And yes, these are getting rolled over as well. 

Bookish

Fail! I had 3 prompts left over. Yeah, you know the drill. Getting rolled over. 

2020 RESOLUTIONS
Besides working on all the reading challenges listed above, I will also be working on my own personal challenge. This year, I am only reading books by POC. I realized that even though I am Latina, I don’t read diversely. In 2017, 5% of the books I read were written by POC. In 2018, that number slightly increased to 14%. And 2019 was 22%. Yeah, I need to change that. It’s for my own personal growth. 

IN CONCLUSION

So that’s where I’m at right now. Continually working on myself. Healthy, happy, and reading. 

Thank you for all of your kind words. I’ve missed all of you and will see you around the blogosphere again soon! 

HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE! 😀

Let’s Get Personal: Mental Health Month

There’s a reason why I haven’t been active around the blogosphere a lot lately so this being Mental Health Month and all, I figured this would be a good time to address why 🙂

All the way back in March, I paid my  doctor a visit. Just for a general check-up with a new physician. All was fine and dandy. Now, my new doctor is in the same network as my therapist. So he looked at my file and asked if I had ever had my thyroid checked. My anxiety coupled with “my small frame” (his words not mine) might be due to that. I said no, it had never been checked and scheduled some blood tests. My blood tests came back normal. Yay! 

Now, a bit of background. I’ve been underweight pretty much my whole life. I eat a lot of unhealthy food but don’t put on weight. So my being thin, isn’t new. The thing is, I saw my weight. That first day I saw my doctor, I saw the scale and it scared the shit out of me. So when my doctor and I discussed my blood tests and my mental health he asked me if I thought I had an eating disorder. I replied no (the truth), because I’m not looking to lose weight I’m trying to gain weight. He said good, that’s what I wanted to hear, added a note to my file for my therapist, and prescribed me some anti-anxiety medication.

At my next session, my therapist and I talked about my doctor’s appointment. She ended up referring me to a nutritionist. Great! My first meeting with the nutritionist was basically another therapy session. It was intense. She told me there was a difference between an eating disorder and disordered eating. Apparently I fall into the latter category. The good news is that I left with a lot of information and a plan. 


And that’s what’s been going on. To deal with my anxiety disorder, panic disorder, mild depression and disordered eating, I have regular therapy once a month, nutritional therapy every 2 weeks, and medication to be used sparingly. Its been an adjustment. I fought medication for so long but I see that what I was doing before obviously wasn’t working. I told myself I was fine, because I wanted to be okay. And the medication has actually been helping me. I follow my meal plan as well as I can. I want to be healthy, both mentally and physically. I’m basically a work in progress. Aren’t we all? 

What does this have to do with blogging? Well, with all of this going on I’ve stopped commenting on all of your lovely posts, replying to comments and just been a terrible blogger. The funny thing is, I have been reading your posts! I read the emails every morning and throughout the day and they put a smile on my face. Sometimes (very rarely), I even do comment and like a post! [Check out Brianna’s post on books with mental health rep HERE & read Sophia’s wonderful take on Daenerys after that one episode HERE]. But because my mental health isn’t at its best, I’ve found it really difficult to engage with all of you. It’s me, not you!

I am reading tons of books though. Lately, I have been feeling a bit of a reading slump coming on, so I’ve been sticking to short books. Or books that I know I’ll enjoy. Writing long reviews has been overwhelming so mini-reviews have been great. 

So that’s it. That’s what I’ve been dealing with these last few months. Every day brings its own challenges, but I’m pleased by the progress I’ve made. I am relatively happy. Still scared shitless (Because seriously. It’s frightening ya’ll). But I’m sort of happy. And I think that’s a pretty good place to be. I’ll take sort of happy over not happy any day of the week! 


If you read this all the way through THANK YOU! You beautiful patient soul haha. You are much appreciated ❤ 



HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE!
😀