Category Archives: Book Reviews

Thomas’s Top Ten 2020 Reads

Though 2020 sucked on a broad scale, I tried to make the most of what remained within my control, which I feel like I did well by healing from a rough friendship breakup that happened toward the end of 2019, celebrating and further cementing my close friendships with folx I love, and forming new community. I also read 96 books. As I wrote about last year, I do not read for the sake of finishing some grand number of books. Rather, I read as a way to practice self-care amidst lots of time with clients and students, as well as to feel connected with people from various similar and differing social identities than mine. Over the past few years, I have made a more targeted effort to read books by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and this year I continued that trend by reading 76 books by BIPOC authors. This year was the first I actually counted and I will say I felt surprised seeing how many books by white folx I read. Furthermore, for the first time in awhile I felt really impressed and emotional about the fiction I read more so than the nonfiction I read, which has not happened in awhile (the love stories between queer BIPOC in #2 and #3 and the friendship breakup between two BIPOC in #1 probably did me in, ugh my poor gay non-amatonormative heart). Anyway, I included links to my full Goodreads reviews of each book and links to past years’ top ten lists for easy reference at the bottom.

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Thomas’s Top Ten 2019 Reads

In 2019, I visited my closest friends who live in Charlotte and Seattle, danced to “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” on a tennis court, and read 81 books! As I get older,  I want to keep trying my best to live a full life, where I value myself based on a combination of what I contribute to society, my relationships, my hobbies, etc. So my love for reading contributes to that goal. It’s not about the number really – I don’t want to glamorize reading more or less for the sake of it – it’s about how it fits into what feels healthful and revitalizing for me. Amidst defending my master’s thesis and attaining my master’s degree, providing more therapy, and learning more about what qualities I value most in my friendships, reading these books have provided a safe and intellectually stimulating solid ground for me to fall back on. While this year’s selection does not feel quite as stellar as past years’ top tens, I still love all these books for the emotions they evoked within me and the lessons I learned from reading them. As always, I included links to my full Goodreads reviews of each book as well as links to past years’ top ten lists for easy reference at the bottom. Please let me know what you’ve read, what you haven’t read, and what you’d recommend. Here we go! Continue reading

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Thomas’s Top Ten 2018 Reads

2018 has been an excellent year for reading. This year I managed to get through 91 books, all while finishing my first and starting my second year of graduate school, staying connected with close friends, stanning Ariana Grande and BlackPink nonstop, and getting back into tennis. I feel kinda bad for the books both on and off this list because I read so many stellar books this year and the competition to emerge on this list was intense not like any of these authors or books actually cares about getting onto this list lol I just like to derive some vague sense of self-importance from what I put out into the world ok anyway. I chose to cut off my honorable mentions at ten per category just to keep the list a little more manageable. I included links to my full Goodreads reviews of each book as well as links to past years’ top ten lists for easy reference at the bottom. I’d love to know what you’ve read, what you haven’t read, and what you’d recommend. Without further ado: Continue reading

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Thomas’s Top Ten 2017 Reads

Hello friends! It is that time of year again – the end of the year, which means another annual top ten reads list. Wow, time sure does fly when you exist as a queer Asian American in Trump’s America and use reading as a mechanism to escape the persistent problematic actions and beliefs that catapulted Trump into office. I only read 72 books this year, a record low I contribute to grad school interviews, my senior thesis, starting grad school, and watching Ariana Grande and BlackPink music videos on repeat until the end of time forever and ever. Still, I read a ton of fabulous books within these 72 titles, so I want to share them and see if any of our top picks match up. I also included links to past years’ top ten lists for easy reference. So, without further ado: Continue reading

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Thomas’s Top Ten 2016 Reads

Hello all! As per tradition, here lies the top 10 books out of the 114 I read in 2016. While the United States’s political climate may have sucked this year, I did read a ton of stellar nonfiction, so that served as a coping mechanism for me to escape the bigotry and prejudice so prevalent within our country benefits this blog post, at least. Fiction, on the other hand, did not satisfy me as much this year – perhaps because I read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara in 2015, a masterpiece that has ruined my ability to appreciate less-than-stellar writing forever. I would love to see if any of our top picks match up, so without further ado: Continue reading

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Thomas’s Top Ten 2015 Reads

Friends, welcome to my top ten books out of the 103 I read this year! Because I stopped posting the book reviews I write on this blog, I included a link to each book’s full review on Goodreads to force you to get an account yourself. You will see lots of books about mental health as well as feminism, and I have to say, choosing between the top ~15 stellar works of nonfiction I read almost slayed me to bits. Now, without further ado: Continue reading

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Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide by Kay Redfield Jamison

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

*Note: I do not post all of my book reviews on this blog. For more, check out my Goodreads page.*

“Suicide is a particularly awful way to die: the mental suffering leading up to it is usually prolonged, intense, and unpalliated. There is no morphine equivalent to ease the acute pain, and death not uncommonly is violent and grisly. The suffering of the suicidal is private and inexpressible, leaving family members, friends, and colleagues to deal with an almost unfathomable kind of loss, as well as guilt. Suicide carries in its aftermath a level of confusion and devastation that is, for the most part, beyond description.”

A gripping, masterful book about a topic shrouded in horror and sadness. Continue reading

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Personal Update: Abortion, Missing Reviews, Goodreads, New Semester

A post in four parts:

Abortion: Yesterday morning I finished Pro by Katha Pollitt, a fabulous work of nonfiction that I reviewed on Goodreads and even made a Facebook status about. I could sing so many praises for Pollitt’s impressive research and incisive writing, but at the center of it all she does a remarkable job of focusing every argument on how the war on abortion acts in truth as the war on women: on women’s rights to equality in every sense. If you feel any ambiguity toward the pro-choice movement, read Pro. Trust me.

Breakfast in Williamsburg with Pro. Feels good to be back.

Breakfast in Williamsburg with Pro. Feels good to be back.

 Missing Reviews: So why did I not post my review of Pro on this WordPress blog? Continue reading

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Thomas’s Ten Top 2014 Reads

Sometimes I forget that I should write about books on this blog, so here we go with a list of my top ten 2014 reads (as in, books I read in 2014, not just books published in 2014)! I have split them up into fiction and nonfiction, the latter of which I notice I read more of as I get older. The list contains a healthy mix of genres, or at least I like to think so. Without further ado, here starts the list: Continue reading

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An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Once upon a time, in a far-off land, I was kidnapped by a gang of fearless yet terrified young men with so much impossible hope beating inside their bodies that it burned their very skin and strengthened their will right through their bones.

Damn. I read An Untamed State over a period of two weeks, taking in the torturous first half at a snail’s pace, speeding through the second half in an emotion-filled haze. Continue reading

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