Tag Archives: The Vanishing Half

Challenge Update, March 2021

1 Apr

I have so many books going at once right now that it’s hard to feel like I made any progress this month. Two ain’t bad, but I’m hoping for a windfall in April to make me feel better about it all. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in March:

Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies by Deborah Halverson
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Two physical books! What a change from other months. And I’m caught up on reviews. I’m almost proud. I just wish that list was longer.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

6/12
Nothing new this month, but I’m not concerned. Being half way through a challenge after a quarter of the year has passed is pretty good and I’ll take it.

Goodreads Challenge

8/45
Hm. I’m now two books behind schedule. I’m not a fan of this, I’ll be honest. Between not running and being at home a lot due to an injury, I’m not getting in a lot of audiobook time, which is usually my fastest read. It doesn’t help that my current audiobook is 22 hours. I’ll keep my fingers crossed about finishing some other books here in the near future.

HalfBook of the Month

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett was just brilliant and I’d be remiss not to include it as my Book of the Month. My reading buddy and I loved this one and we met much more often than we ever have before, even with the craziness of life getting in our way at times.

Added to my TBR

I’m down a bit to 38, and nothing new added this month! I’ll be adding a few in the near future so I know that won’t last, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

How are your challenges going? I hope your year is starting off well. If you’re interested in the When Are You Reading? Challenge for 2021, I’m hosting again so you can click here to learn more and let me know if you want in.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 31-March-2021 (My Birthday!)

31 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Lateral

It’s my birthday! I hope to find some time to read more today (and eat cake).

Currently reading: I got through a chapter or two of Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono while waiting at my doctor’s office this week. It was great to get through a chunk of it. I think I’m getting close to the end but the page count is making me think I’m only half way done. I think there’s a lot of images toward the end that will go quickly.
Still nothing with Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All the Way Down) by John Green but I think I’ll be back to it soon!
I can’t wait to get back to The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. I need a fun read and I’m sure this will be one!
The Overstory by Richard Powers is starting to feel like a bit of a slough. It’s well written, but it’s a bit preachy and really long. I’ll be happy when I’m done with it, honestly.
I’ve made good progress Expecting Better by Emily Oster and really enjoying it. I love the research Oster did about conventional pregnancy rules and myths and how well she explains what she’s found. It’s helping me feel more comfortable with my pregnancy and making decisions about it.

HalfRecently finished: I flew through The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett after my last meeting with my reading buddy. We were both chomping at the bit to get through it! Great read and I was able to post my review on Monday. I gave the book a full Five out of Five Stars.

Reading next: I’m going to leave this blank one more week and give myself time to catch up on the double-duty reading I’m doing before I think about what could be next for me.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Book Review: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (5/5)

29 Mar

I’m not sure how my reading buddy and I are so consistently lucky to find amazing books. We found a real gem with this one. I shouldn’t be so surprised with the press this one has gathered and that it was the top seller of 2020 at my local bookstore. What an engrossing read.

Half

Cover image via Amazon

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Summary from Amazon:

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

The characters Bennett created in this one are really remarkable and made me fall in love with the book early. It’s tough to decide how you feel about Desiree or Jude from the beginning, but I loved Early almost immediately. Then you learn about Jude as an adult and her amazing relationship with Reece and by then, I was head over heels with these people. I’m never sure how I feel about Stella and Desiree but the supporting characters were easy enough to love that you wanted to keep reading about everyone. The story became a lot less about Desiree by the end and I didn’t even mind.

The characters in this book felt very real to me. Especially Desiree and Jude. I felt that the struggles they had were very grounded in the reality I’m familiar with. The things Reece and Stella went through were a little more niche but the story was told in such a way that you cared and sympathized with them. I thought it was really incredible what Bennett was able to do with this story and a situation that seems so otherworldly at times. I really applaud her storytelling skills.

Reece ended up being my favorite character. He was so loving and devoted to Jude that it broke my heart. I think his struggle to love himself was one of the best arcs of the novel and I loved how he let Jude in and let her help him in the end. I was always rooting for them and when I thought things weren’t going to work out, I was devastated. I think Reece was a great character to parallel Stella and talk about a chosen identity in another way that worked well.

I found myself relating best to Jude. Maybe it’s because I feel like I knew Kennedy growing up, or because I went off to college on my own or because she was a determined woman. She was a great character and I liked her arc of finding a place she fit in and learning to love who she is no matter what others think of her skin. Her relationship with Barry was great and I think a big part of how she came to be as confident as she was.

Bennett

Brit Bennett Image via Wikipedia

Jude’s time in California was my favorite. I liked how she developed relationships with Reece and Barry while she was in school. How hard she worked to balance school, track, and job was amazing and I respected her so much and fully believed she’d crush med school with that work ethic.

Stella’s story was a bit hard to read at times. You want to feel bad for her because she’s clearly depressed, but something held me back from sympathizing with her. I think it was because I felt like she abandoned her family and I didn’t understand how a person could do that. I also didn’t understand how she could bite her tongue and lie to Kennedy the way she did. It started to upset me by the end.

So much of Stella and Desiree’s lives hinged on how they were perceived. This started to branch out to the people around them. Jude was viewed unfavorably by her classmates because her skin was dark. Kennedy and Reece struggled with how they saw themselves and it affected relationships they had for much of their lives. There were a lot of parallels in this book. Most obvious was Stella and Desiree but Reece and Stella were very similar. Early and Jude had a lot in common as well.

Writer’s Takeaway: Bennett didn’t hesitate to write about things that can be hard to talk about. She wrote about race, gender identity, and abuse without holding back. As a white woman, this book helped me empathize and realize the choices some people make to change how I perceive them and how influential that can be. I think hearing more stores from people who have different experiences than me helps me realize what can and should change in our world.

This book really took me for a ride and I enjoyed it a lot. Five out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Related Posts:
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett | The Geeky Bibliophile
The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett | A Bookish Type
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett | Of Books and Reading

WWW Wednesday, 24-March-2021

24 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Not much with Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono this week. Swimming’s been put on hold because of a pregnancy complication that will hopefully resolve soon and will let me get back in the water. Fingers crossed!
Paused with Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All the Way Down) by John Green. Hang on.
Regrettably also on hold with The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. I wanted to get back to this sooner but my book club audiobook is taking a lot longer than anticipated. Grumble grumble.
The aforementioned book club pick is The Overstory by Richard Powers. This book is epically long and I feel like my baby might be born before I finish this book. (Seeing as I’m only at 20 weeks, this is still a possibility.)
I’m loving and rushing throubh The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett with my reading buddy. We met over the weekend to discuss the first half and I’m already closing in on our next chunk. I had a lot of rest time this weekend to read and it helped me get ahead a bit.
I started Expecting Better by Emily Oster and it’s going faster than I thought which is a welcome surprise. Oster is very funny and clearly well researched which is making for a fun read. I’m not as nervous about trying a sip of my husband’s beers on our upcoming babymoon now!

Recently finished: With all the books I’m in the middle of, it should be no surprise I haven’t finished anything. I’d be ecstatic to finish anything this next week but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Reading next: I’ll try to finish something before I make any plans for the future. That all seems too far away at this point.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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WWW Wednesday, 17-March-2021

17 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I got through another chapter of Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono on an unlucky Friday morning when I had to wait fifteen minutes for a lane. Oh well, there was an upside so it’s all fine.
An even longer pause on Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All the Way Down) by John Green is coming. Stay tuned.
Also on hold with The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee but I’m really hoping to return to it soon because I was really enjoying it.
I’m still working on The Overstory by Richard Powers and I feel like I will be forever. This is taking a long time to get into so I’m slogging a bit. I hope it turns around soon and I can push forward.
I’m focusing on The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett just now, hoping to get to the next stopping point that my Reading Buddy and I have agreed on. I’m enjoying this, though it took a turn different from what I expected. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Recently finished: I finally wrapped up Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies by Deborah Halverson! The review went up yesterday so you can all see my thoughts. I gave the book Three out of Five Stars. Parts of it were amazing, Five Star territory, but there were some elements that dragged a bit and brought it down for me. You can’t win them all.

Reading next: I still think I’ll grab Expecting Better by Emily Oster before I return to Green. It’s a good time to be reading this and Green can wait until after baby arrives and still be relevant.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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WWW Wednesday, 10-March-2021

10 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’ve been lucky to not have a lot of waiting time this past week so I haven’t made progress on Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono. I’m in no rush so I’ll keep on keeping on with this one.
Still nothing on Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All the Way Down) by John Green. I may have to start this over when I’m ready to return to it.
Since I renewed Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies by Deborah Halverson I’ve slowed down on it a bit. I know I’ll finish, but I’m not as stressed about it as I was two weeks ago.
I have paused The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee to prioritize book club books. Boo! This was so fun and I can’t wait to return to it.
I’m still getting into The Overstory by Richard Powers. There are so many stories that I’m having trouble keeping everything straight. I’m getting a lot of Cloud Atlas vibes from it so far, which isn’t really a good thing for me.
Just to make this list longer, I started The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett. over the weekend. My reading buddy and I are going through the first three chapters so it’s not a lot and I’ll get a break to get back to my Dummies book once I finish the section. I’m enjoying it so far, still getting into the story a lot.

Recently finished: Nothing new this week, but I’m not surprised with all the books I’m in the middle of! I hope I can add one here next week, but that seems a long way off with how early I am in many of these books.

Reading next: I just can’t add any more here. I’d drown in books if I did. I have one idea, though. My husband bought me a book when we found out I was pregnant called Expecting Better by Emily Oster. I’d like to read it while I’m still preggo! I might pick this up after Dummies and make Mil veces wait even longer.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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WWW Wednesday, 3-March-2021

3 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I got through a few pages of Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono so this is still moving, though at a snail’s pace.
On hold with Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All the Way Down) by John Green. Stand by.
I’ve been able to renew Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies by Deborah Halverson so I’m not as stressed about finishing this one. I have a little bit of time that I can enjoy starting my Buddy Read soon!
I started a for-fun audiobook in The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee but I had to put this on hold because I realized my next book club audio is 22 hours! I’m really enjoying this so far, just trying to meet the deadlines I have.
So I started The Overstory by Richard Powers. I hadn’t heard of this one before and all I really know going in is that it has a natural world bend and it’s super long. Here’s hoping I can finish it in time for the book club meeting!

Recently finished: I stayed up late to finish Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe before the file returned. Totally worth it. This was one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in a while and I really enjoyed it. I wish I’d read this book before my husband and I visited Belfast in 2018. We decided not to do a Black Taxi tour because of our short time, opting for the Titanic Museum and the Giant’s Causeway instead. I’m wishing now we’d scheduled another day there to see more about the city’s history.

Reading next: I’ll be starting The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett soon. I think I need some fiction with so much non-fiction going on and I have a feeling I’ll fly through this one to our stopping points. It will be a nice change of pace and I’m looking forward to diving in.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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WWW Wednesday, 24-February-2021

24 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I read about a chapter of Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono while waiting at the pool. I think this is pretty steady progress so I’m happy with how this is going, even though it’s very slow.
On hold with Mil veces hasta siempre (Turtles All the Way Down) by John Green. Stand by.
I might not finish Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe before my hold is due. I’m trying my hardest, but time is working against me. I put a physical copy on reserve at my library in case I don’t finish in hopes I can wrap up the last few chapters in print before my book club meets.
I’m racing the clock on Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies by Deborah Halverson as well. I hope I can finish this one before it’s due because I don’t think I can renew it.

Recently finished: I’m disappointed that there’s nothing here for a second week in a row. I’m just hoping I can break this trend next week.

Reading next: My reading buddy and I finally decided on our next book which will be The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett. We went back and forth with some lists and finally settled on this one. I know almost nothing about it except that it’s gotten amazing reviews and I’m excited to discover why.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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