By Jess Bazaldua
Web Content Contributor
Since working from home, I’ve found myself reaching for social media on a more frequent basis. Something that stood out to me was this hashtag called #MyThreeBooks. This tag generated from Publishers Association, who launched this campaign in April of this year to bring readers and publishers together during a time of social distance. The rule for posting under this tag is to list three books: a book you loved as a child, a book you love at the moment, and a future read you’re excited for. Since reading is a great passion of mine, I figured I would use this opportunity to discover my own three books and understand what they say about me as a person.
Book I Loved as a Child
I will spin the rules and mention two books for this section, instead of one. The first book in this section is Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. This book was handed to me as a rite of passage from my mother in a dimly lit aisle at Goodwill. I was nine years old and going into fourth grade. As the first book I stayed up reading all night, Blume’s Margaret has its own shelf in my heart. For those unaware, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret follows a young girl as she battles the newest challenges of puberty, school, and God. Before you ask, yes, this is the period book. Also, it is so much more.
The second book in this section is The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler. Imagine the world of privilege: New York penthouse, wealthy parents, private high school. Now add a fat girl. Mackler’s novel delves into the life of Virginia Shreeves, a plus-sized high schooler who never fits in. Still, secrets and shame come out eventually and Virginia realizes that standing out isn’t such a bad thing.
These two books came to me in different times of my life. The first was right before I got my first period and was one of the few girls in my class already wearing a bra. The second was a reread that I didn’t understand until the second time around when I was facing my own life as a fat girl in high school discovering her sexuality and what it meant to find my own ground. These two books are from my formative years and can really help one understand why I advocate for self-discovery at such a young age.
Book I Love Right Now
Ever since I started college, I lost interest in reading. In an attempt to get back to my “book a week” past, I stocked up on digital and physical books, plus the ever-growing reading list. Needless to say, I have been in-between books for a while, with only a handful of novels finished. Mark my words, there is a book I will begin this week and I can tell that I already love it.
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli is the sequel to the popular LGBTQ novel, Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda (Love, Simon for those who know the movie). The description illustrates a bisexual only child to a single mom, which is the story of my life in ten words or less. Blatantly out bisexual characters are not a difficult find but are sometimes referred to in hushed tones of uncertainty. I hope this and other books, young adult or not, can help change that.
Book I Can’t Wait to Read
There are so many new releases on the way, but one stands out as it has been on my wishlist since earlier this year and will not be released until October. Shine by Jessica Jung is the story of a Korean pop idol trying to become a star in the intense entertainment world. Those who are familiar with Miss Jung know her from her past as a member of Girls Generation, one of the highest-rated girl groups of all time. Although marketed as fiction with a possible movie adaptation in the works, the book has been described as an exposé of Jessica’s story from within the idol world.
As a big fan of SMTOWN (Jessica’s former musical collective) I am ecstatic and intrigued about how this book will portray her life, her story, and possibly some of my other favorite artists (such as SHINee). As an author, she describes her story as Gossip Girl meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, which makes this debut novel an automatic win.
As Matilda Wormwood would say, I love to read. Whether I’m transported into a luscious private school, a deep fantasy with dragons in space or a horror novel that makes 2020 look like Sesame Street, I’m enamored with the words as they fall off the pages and pull me into a cesspool of imagination. I recommend you take a look into your favorite books or check the hashtag out on Instagram or Twitter and see what others have to say.
Featured image by Jess Bazaldua.