2021 Bookshelf Tour | an overflowing mess

Hello, my loves! Thank you all so much for taking the time out of your day to be here!

Ever since I started this wonderful blogging journey, I’ve been dying to make a bookshelf tour. Somehow or another, every time I tried to write one, it always came out clunky and awkward. I was never satisfied with the pictures, and my words kept failing me.

Alas! The new year has filled me full of confidence and inspiration, and I feel equipped to take on this challenge once again.

Welcome to my 2021 Bookshelf Tour!

I hope you enjoy your stay. x

Advertisements

The Tippity Top

I have an awful love/hate relationship with the top of my bookshelf, so I figured I’d knock it out first.

The Books

The top of my bookshelf mainly consists of overflow (I’m in desperate need of another bookshelf). Since it kind of acts as a more decorative shelf (does anyone else think this way, or am I just coming up with things?), I decided to place my fancy/old editions of classics and anthologies in a stack on the left to show them off a bit — they really don’t get enough love — and to save some room. Plus, in my head, at least, I figured that if I placed them upright, they were bound to fall off because I never think to buy book ends. At the end of the day, I’d rather be safe than sorry when to comes to my precious book babies!

Next to my beautiful books, we have my original childhood copy of Roger S. Baum’s The Silly Ozbuls of OZ trilogy. Mainly because they are too tall to fit just about anywhere else. Now that I think about it, I don’t remember one thing from these books, or even remember reading them at all. I believe I smell a future review/reaction coming along …

Last but not least, we have my incredible Harry Potter series fancy castle-spine box set that I bought before realizing the author is an actual disgrace and embarrassment to the book community. Nevertheless, I can’t get rid of them because they’re so nice to look at on my shelves. This set was also just hella expensive, so it feels very special to me — or maybe it’s guilt? Either way, they’re staying on my shelf for now!

The Decor

Since the special editions do most of the decorating, I decided to keep the fun knick-knacks to a minimum. Next to the Harry Potter series, I have a couple of shot glasses from my friends and when I previously worked in a liquor store — the only positive was getting free glasses — and a fake succulent plant from TJMAXX.

Perhaps the weirdest thing on my bookshelf, I also decided to throw a pig stuffed-animal up there as well. Why? I have no idea. But one day I threw it up there, and it hasn’t moved since. Will it ever move? Stay tuned.

The Classics

The Books

Now, onto the actual shelves, we have my absolute favorite section of my bookshelf — the classics.

If you’ve been following me for a while, or even my last post, you know how much I adore classics. Ever since I began reading classics in undergrad, I’ve always created a special shelf for my favorite literature. As you’ll see later, I’m not one to organize my books by genre, but classics are so sentimental to me that I create almost a shrine for them on each of my bookshelves.

Other than being grouped by genre, the books are placed purely for aesthetics. When organizing my books, I simply move them around until I like the way they look on the shelf. My brain often groups a bunch of books together, then places them in even smaller categories. For example, this shelf contains all of my classics, but I specifically put together all of my B&N Classics editions because they matched, and then I organized them by color. I also stacked all of my Signet Classics together and organized them by size and color. And, typically, I put heavier/taller books on the ends because I like the way it looks. Plus, it helps with weight distribution so the shelves don’t bend or snap (Legally Blonde, anyone?). As they say, there’s always a method to the madness.

Out of all of the books on this shelf, I’ve read:

  • Jane Eyre
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  • 1984
  • Animal Farm
  • Never Let Me Go
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Brave New World
  • The Time Machine
  • Inferno
  • Purgatorio

The Decor

Because my shelves are overflowing, I don’t have much decor at all. But I think my classics shelf has the best decorations out of all of them!

On the left, I set up this cute, cottage-core-esc postcard that I picked up from an annual art sale that my college holds — I always find the coolest pieces for great prices. I’m not sure what this exact style is called (please let me know in the comments if you do!), but it is my absolute favorite. It’s very Renaissance, but with a modern twist. I love it!!!

Next, I have a funky little smoking man made by my boyfriend out of polymer clay. I bought some polymer clay around Halloween with the intention of making some earrings, but we instead made some figures and sculptures like this little dude. I’m now thinking that he might need a friend to chill with …

Lastly, I propped up my Milton Marathon button from when my Milton class organized the event — an all day reading of Paradise Lost. That class was the most stressful, but most rewarding class I’ve probably ever tackled. I like to keep my Milton Marathon button in a place where I can see it to remind me of my journey with the great John Milton.

Advertisements

The MISCELLANEOUS

The Books

Unlike the last shelf, the miscellaneous shelf doesn’t really have any organization. At first, it did start out as a TBR/currently reading/recently read shelf. The books lined up on the left consisted of my top TBR books, as well as the books I’m currently in the middle of. The books stacked on the right consisted of my recent reads — particularly the ones I’ve featured/want to feature on this very blog. However, I’m a depression-filled procrastinator, so the organization didn’t last long. At this point, I’m just going to wait until I get another bookshelf to re-organize this chaotic mess.

The books I’ve read on this shelf include:

  • 11/22/63
  • Adele
  • The Secret Life of Bees
  • The Rum Diary

And the books that I’m currently in the middle of are:

  • Candide
  • Catcher in the Rye
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • His Hideous Heart
  • Eileen
  • Metamorphoses

These books have officially become my pile of shame, and I need to get them finished ASAP!

I also don’t know why I have a random copy of Catching Fire, but it’s there!

The Decor

The only thing I have for decoration on this shelf is my cute cactus mug filled with my bookmarks. Cactuses/succulents are my absolute favorite, so I had to grab this mug when I saw it at TJMAXX. It even has a cute little flower!! My heart!!

Sadly, the rim of the mug is awkward as hell, so I can’t drink out of it without making a proper mess. Instead of getting rid of it, I decided it was the perfect holder for my bookmarks! It’s perfect because I lose more bookmarks than I do hair ties — which is a fuck ton.

The Black and Red Books

The Books

Once again, my aesthetics have taken over this shelf. I really don’t know what to call this shelf other than the black and red bookshelf, since that’s all they seem to have in common. You win this round, aesthetics.

From this cohesive shelf, I’ve read:

  • all of the Fifty Shades of Grey series
  • The Twilight Series
  • A Stranger in the House
  • Flowers on the Moon
  • V for Vendetta

(Almost the entire shelf!)

The Decor

Not much decoration on this one, but I do have another cool postcard with an add for “Reefer Madness.” I truly couldn’t pass it up when I saw it at the art sale, and the bright red fits perfectly with the red on some of the books!

The Miscellaneous II

And just like that, we’ve stumbled upon yet another miscellaneous shelf full of miscellaneous books! However, unlike the first miscellaneous shelf, I haven’t read any of these books. I guess you could call this more of a TBR shelf, but I’m really not in any hurry to get to them. Some of these books are my required reading for school — The Children of Men, The Power — and others are gifts from my parents.

Living in Tennessee, Jefferson Bass and his research on the body farm is a local commodity. So, naturally, my dad kindly passed on some of his copies to me. I’m not usually into crime/forensic books, but I might give them a go one day. If anything, they’re always there to remind me of my dad whenever I start feeling home sick.

The Decor

Who could’ve guessed? Another postcard! This postcard reminds me a lot of the first one, but with a more 40’s – 50’s twist to it. The bright yellow grabs your attention immediately, and the dress she’s wearing is stunning.

Along with the postcard, we also have another succulent! My college roommate gifted me this during undergrad, and I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it. Like the postcard, I love the yellow pot that the succulent sits in, and the cute flower on top matches the cactus cup! Everything comes full circle.

Advertisements

The Academics

The Books

The bottom and final shelf of this tour contains all of my heavy academic editions and anthologies that I’ve read for school. Even though I love all of my shelves, this one makes me the most proud and happy. These books have been thoroughly studied, analyzed, annotated, and, most importantly, loved. I constantly find myself reaching for books on this shelf because I just adore them so much, and they make me feel so wholesome and complete.

I also think all of the books fit nicely on this shelf: the stacked anthologies, the matching Norton editions, the chunky Divine Comedy books. They just look spectacular to me.

The only book on this shelf that wasn’t for school is The Holy Bible: KJV. Growing up in the Bible Belt is such a surreal fever dream, but my mom gifted this Bible to me a few years ago. I’m not a very religious person — spiritual, yes, but not religious, so I don’t think I’ve cracked it open once.

I have had this idea to start a Sunday Bible scripture/book review from an English majors point of view, but I never get around to doing it. What do you all think? (It’d also have to have a punny name because that’s just me.)

The Decor

Sadly, because this is the bottom shelf where my dogs often wreck havoc, I’ve refrained from garnishing my lovely academics with decorations. Maybe one day I’ll find something that would fit perfectly, but, alas, that day has yet to come.

The Overflow

The Storage Cubes

Even though I’ve shown my entire bookshelf, I figured I would also include where my books overflow. Once I get a new bookshelf, hopefully this won’t be a problem any longer!

Let’s all agree to ignore the never-ending dog hair covering the bottom of these boxes, pls and thx. 🙂

I currently have two storage cubes filled to the brim with more of my childhood books, as well as a small section in my TV stand. I can’t wait to free these little guys from these boxes and let them breathe. It would also make it a lot easier to show you all the rest of the books I own.

Because they’re cramped up in these containers, I truly don’t remember what’s even in here, other than my House of Night series. I wonder what I might find when cleaning them out — it could be a treasure chest, for all we know!

Advertisements

The End

It is finally complete!

I hope you all enjoyed seeing the chaotic and strange organization skills that I seem to possess!

My bookshelf, much like other readers, holds a special piece of my heart, and I love sharing it with all of you. Once I finally get another bookshelf put up and organized, I’ll be sure to make a part 2 of my 2021 Bookshelf Tour.

Let me know if you saw any of your favorite books, books you’re curious about, or, really, just any opinion on any book!

Stay happy and kind, my sweet peas! I’ll see you in the next one. x

21 Books I Want To Read In 2021

Happy New Year, my angels!! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!

It’s my favorite time of the year (the end, that is) where I get to make a gigantic list of books that I may never get to! I’ve loved looking through all of the books everyone is excited for in the new year, and I couldn’t pass up making one myself.

With all of the shit that we have and continue to endure this year, I need some wholesome book discussions to distract me from the harshness of reality. What better way to do that then ranting and raving about 21 books I’m excited to read? (There’s not one.)

Judging from last years 20 Books I Want To Read In 2020, and the fact that I’m starting grad school in January, I doubt I’ll read every book on this list, but this is all about having fun! Plus, I hope making this list encourages me to read books outside of school, which I rarely ever do, and maybe I won’t feel so burned out like I did during undergrad — fingers-crossed!

Now, enough of my incessant blabbering. Let’s get into my 21 Books I Want To Read In 2021!

Advertisements

The TBR

As you probably guessed, my list contains a ton of classics, but I made it my mission to throw in a few contemporaries and fantasies to: A) spice up my typical reading style and B) have options other than classics in case grad school puts me in the mood to set them all on fire haha!

(Disclaimer: I would never in my life want to Fahrenheit 451 my books — this is an exaggeration.)

Enjoy!

Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

Much like the foods that look too good to eat, I tend to save the books I’m most excited about for a rainy day. Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca is a prime example of this.

I’ve been wanting to read Rebecca ever since I discovered du Maurier, but I keep putting it off for the “right time.” What better time will there ever be other than the present? 2021 is going to be the year that I read all of the books I’ve been meaning to for years, mark my words!

Anxious People – Fredrik Backman

Not a specific book that I’ve been dying to read, but an author I’ve been dying to read!

Fredrik Backman is an author I’ve always wanted to try out, mainly based on his beautiful book covers, but, for some reason, I have yet to pick up anything from him. When Anxious People released, I decided it was time to give ol’ Backman a go. As a person who is absolutely riddled with anxiety, I’d like to see what this book is all about. I’ve heard only good things about Backman’s writing, and I’m excited to finally give his books a try!

The Memory Police – YĹŤko Ogawa

As a lover of George Orwell’s 1984, it would be a disgrace to not include The Memory Police in books I want to read in the new year. From what I’ve heard and read, Ogawa’s dystopian novel resembles and includes a similar state surveillance/mind-altering theme to 1984, which is right up my ally. I am a little scared because I’ve heard a few mixed reviews about The Memory Police, but I’m trying my best to keep it unbiased!

Les MisĂ©rables – Victor Hugo

The remarkable and gigantic French Revolution tragedy: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.

Future Zoe here. This book is actually about the June Rebellion of 1832 (thank you mphtheatregirl!), not the French Revolution. Always double check your research, kids!

When the film adaptation released in 2012 with Anne Hathaway, I feel like everyone and their mother was talking about this story. To be honest, I never watched the movie (yikes, I know), but I like to blame my ignorant adolescence for that. 15-year-old Zoe was more interested in Breaking Dawn Part 2‘s release, apparently, but I can’t really blame her.

I’ve been studying French and French culture for the past few years, and it’s inspired me to read more French literature (how many times do I need to use the word “French” in one sentence?). I’m not gonna lie, the popularity and hype over the film Les MisĂ©rables made me choose this novel as my first French book — mainly because I love comparing the book to the movie (especially if it’s good!). I would really like to finish the book before watching the movie, and it’s a whopping 1400+ pages, so I better get started pretty soon!

Anna Karenina – Leo tolstoy

Are you all tired of seeing Anna Karenina as much as I am?? I feel like I’ve put this book in a lot of TBR’s, and I still haven’t picked it up! I don’t know if it’s the size of the novel — it’s a hefty book, as well — or the fact that I don’t know much about it, but I’m always intimidated to read it. I’m thinking I need to bite the bullet and just start reading it — maybe tonight?

Hopefully, Anna Karenina won’t be popping up on anymore future TBR’s!

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

Much like Fredrik Backman, Toni Morrison is another author that I’ve been dying to read. I somehow made it through 15 years of school without being assigned The Bluest Eye, and I feel like I’ve missed out on a ton. Since this is Morrison’s first novel, I decided it would be a good place to start! Hopefully, this will be one of many Toni Morrison reads!

The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller

I first read Circe by Madeline Miller a couple of years ago, and I absolutely loved it! — I even wrote a paper on it for school. I’m a mega simp when it comes to Greek mythology, and Miller’s feminist retelling of Circe, the witch of Aeaea, was both beautifully written and thought-provoking. Like, you all seriously need to pick it up if you love classical antiquity retellings — it’s incredible.

Since I adored Circe so much, I have a pretty good feeling that I’m going to love The Song of Achilles, especially since the reviews are fantastic. I think this is going to be one of those books I read in between school readings to relax a little, and I’m stoked!

Advertisements

The Italian – Ann Radcliffe

I don’t know much about Ann Radcliffe, other than Jane Austen adored her and she wrote Gothic fiction. Apparently she is “the Shakespeare of romantic writer,” so that intrigues me even more — what a title!

I read Jane Austen’s Northanger Abby, a parody of the Gothic novel, last year and adored it. Since I loved Austen’s version, I’m interested to see the work that inspired her. I know The Mysteries of Udolpho is Radcliffe’s more well-known work, but there’s something about The Italian that makes me want to pick it up first. We’re going purely off of vibes with this one, people!

The Farm – Joanne Ramos

Joanne Ramos’ The Farm was pretty popular on BookTube, and it’s caught my eye for the 2021 year. The Farm gives me Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World vibes because it’s about an exclusive amenity-filled retreat that pays you to stay there, but the catch is that you belong to the Farm and are monitored for 9 months while you dedicate all of your time to producing the perfect baby. That sounds fucking bananas, right?? I’m so excited to get to this book!

Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

My boyfriend and I recently watched the Hulu adaptation of Catch-22 and absolutely loved it!

Like I said earlier, I usually read the book before I watch adaptations, but I truly never thought I would want to read Catch-22. I don’t typically pick up books about warfare because it doesn’t appeal to me that much, even though I do find the WWII era incredibly interesting; however, once we finished the series, I immediately knew that I had to pick up this book soon. I’m not sure how accurately the series follows the book, but if it’s anything close to it, it’s going to be a stellar novel.

Honestly, the only thing I’m kind of afraid of is the writing. I’m not trying to bash any writers by any means, but, personally, I’ve noticed novels written about war tend to have somewhat dry and dull writing, even though the events and characters are intriguing. Of course, this is simply my own opinion, and I’m hoping Joseph Heller proves me wrong.

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath’s life has always both fascinated and saddened me. I’ve been meaning to read one of her works since high school, it seems. My friend, Matthew, read The Bell Jar recently and said I had to read it; therefore, it’s included in this list!

Since The Bell Jar is semi-autobiographical, I’m looking forward to learning more about Sylvia Plath’s life, as well as just listening to what she had to say.

Olivia – Dorothy Strachey

Funny enough, I randomly came across Olivia by Dorothy Strachey on Goodreads, and I knew it was something I had to read. The blurb on Goodreads states that Olivia is “considered one of the most subtle and beautifully written lesbian novels of the century” (yes pls!).

The 1949 novel follows Olivia as she develops an infatuation for her headmistress at a finishing school outside of Paris while also observing the romance between her headmistress and the other head of the school. I haven’t read many LGBTQ+ books, but I definitely want to change that, and Olivia sounds like the perfect start. Olivia is definitely high up on my reading list for the new year!

(Also, pls send more recommendations for LGBTQ+ books — classics, if possible!)

Poems and Fragments – Sappho

Much like Dorothy Strachey, Sappho is another author that I found while precariously scrolling through Goodreads that I immediately decided “I need to read their works.”

Sappho was an Ancient Greek lyric poet, and it could be my ignorance, but I haven’t heard of many female poets of classical antiquity. I’m interested to see how her poems differ from the more common poets, like Homer and Vergil. Plus, I’ve been in the mood to read more poetry lately, so we’re killing two birds with one stone!

Milton in Purgatory – Edward Vass

Yet another book that I found unexpectedly while perusing Goodreads. I think we’re all aware that I’m obsessed with Dante Alighieri and his Divine Comedy, so as soon as I saw Edward Vass’ novella inspired by Purgatorio, I immediately added it to my TBR. It’s a pretty underrated book, with only 69 ratings on Goodreads, but they’re overall positive reviews.

Also, even though it doesn’t say anything about John Milton, I’m curious to see if there’s any allusions to him or Paradise Lost since the main character’s name is Milton. Could be a stylistic choice, but it’s rad either way!

Advertisements

The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov

Another BookTube favorite! I’ve heard great reviews about The Master and Margarita, and it’s one that I’m constantly seeing all over Instagram and Goodreads — probably from the stunning cover. I’m not too sure what it’s about, but I’m curious to see why everyone likes it!

Beautiful Boy – David Sheff

In 2021, I’d like to read more nonfiction books — especially memoirs. Reading and learning from others’ journeys through life can be inspiring and so rewarding.

I’ve been wanting to pick up David Sheff’s Beautiful Boy ever since the movie adaptation starring TimothĂ©e Chalamet and Steve Carell was released, but I never set it as a top priority of mine. Beautiful Boy is a memoir that follows a father coping with and attempting to help his son’s addiction to crystal meth. It definitely is a heavy topic (trigger warning for drug abuse), but I think it’s an important one to discuss.

Sheff’s son, Nic, also wrote his own memoir, Tweak, about his journey with addiction that I also really want to read. These are going to be some tough reads, emotionally, but I’m still excited for them, nonetheless.

The Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon

I’m going to be honest with you guys, as I always am, and let you know that I want to read this purely based off of the cover. I want this book on my shelves so bad it hurts! It’s just so fucking beautiful.

Cover aside, I’ve heard The Priory of the Orange Tree is one of the best fantasy standalones in the book community. I typically don’t read fantasies because the really good stories are usually super long series, but I finally found a fantasy book that’s a standalone, even if it is still a massive novel. The only thing I really know about The Priory of the Orange Tree is that it has dragons, and, honestly, that’s all you have to tell me.

Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living – Manjula Martin

Trying to break into the writing industry has been challenging for me, to say the least. Since making a living from writing is a weird, taboo concept, it becomes a difficult field to try and navigate. To help improve my overall understanding of writers and their livings, I’m dying to pick up Manjula Martin’s Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living.

Martin’s Scratch combines personal essays and interviews with popular and up-and-coming authors on how writers make their living. I’m hoping their stories and journeys both inspire and educate me for my (hopefully) future writing career. I’m normally not a fan of nonfiction books, but I’m super excited to read this in the new year!

The Stand – Stephen King

Coronavirus completely obliterated 2020, taking hundreds of thousands of lives and ruining millions; there’s no secret about it. The entire process has been chaotic, confusing, and stressful. Naturally, I’ve been finding myself wanting to read books (fiction and nonfiction) that explore pandemics, illnesses, etc. as a result.

Stephen King’s The Stand has been on my radar for a few years, mainly because of the raving reviews, but I’ve never really wanted to pick it up until now — Coronavirus is partially to blame. King’s post-apocalyptic novel follows the world after a weaponized strain of the flu kills 99% of its population.

Like many of King’s novels, The Stand is a thick and hefty bitch — my edition tops out at 1440 pages!!! Even though the size intimidates me, the amount of hype and love surrounding this book motivates me to give it a go! Let’s just hope it doesn’t take all of 2021 to finish it.

The Plague – Albert Camus

Speaking of stories that center around pandemics, The Plague by Albert Camus is another book I’ve had my eye on for the upcoming year. Much like its title suggests, The Plague takes place in the midst of the Bubonic plague as it overtakes France. Not only is this story set during a worldwide pandemic, but it’s also written by a French author, so it hits both of my reading goals! A double whammy, if you will.

At first, I was going to pick up The Stranger by Albert Camus, since it is his most popular work, but The Plague popped up on my Goodreads, and I knew it was fate. Given the circumstances and the state of the world, The Stranger will have to wait.

Wuthering Heights – Emily BrontĂ«

Last, but certainly not least, we have the classic Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontĂ« to end this enormous list. Surprisingly, I don’t know much about this book, even though everyone seems to rant and rave about fantastic it is. I think it’s a love story, or maybe a tragedy? Either way, I’m interested to see why Emily BrontĂ«’s novel has captured and adored so many hearts.

Unlike all of the other books on this list, I will be reading Wuthering Heights for sure because it’s part of my required reading for grad school; however, I was planning on reading it in 2021, so I decided to include it anyways. I feel like BrontĂ«’s book is one of those books you have to read in your lifetime, and I’m looking forward to checking it off!

Advertisements

The Inspiration

2020 has been such a shit year — probably the shittiest year of my life, tbh — but the new year has me excited for new memories, opportunities, and reading!

I hope 2021 feels your life with love, happiness, joy, and the best books imaginable.

Let me know what you’re hoping to read in the new year!

My Wintry TBR | more classics & character analysis’s

hello, my loves! I hope you all are doing well and staying safe!

I recently watched Jess from sunbeamsjess’ Wintry Book Recommendations, and it inspired me to create my own wintry TBR. I don’t typically choose my reading lists based on the seasons, but what the hell! It’s never too late to try something new.

I realize it’s not winter for everyone, but I hope you all can still find some decent recommendations.

Without further adieu, onto the books!

Advertisements

The Books

Since I’m not a seasonal reader, I’m not exactly sure what makes a “winter read,” so I’m kind of winging it. Personally, I’m in the mood to read longer books, quite a few classics, and books set during the winter time, of course, so that’s exactly what this TBR contains.

Enjoy!

A Tale of Two Cities & Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

Much like Jess said, it wouldn’t be a true winter reading list without some Dickens, so I decided to include two!

I’m not going to lie, I’ve never read a Dickens novel — I tried starting A Tale of Two Cities a few months ago, but I ended up putting it down (mood reading, amirite?). Of course, I know the plot of A Christmas Carol thanks to the movie adaptations, but I’m ashamed I’ve never read a Dickens book.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to finally put one of these beauties on my Goodreads “read” shelf!

Eileen – Ottessa Moshfegh

To be fair, I technically have already started reading Eileen — well, a page or two.

I have no idea what this book is about, but I’ve heard wonderful things about Ottessa Moshfegh’s other book, My Year of Rest and Relaxation. Funny enough, I didn’t even realize Eileen was one of her books until I took a double take at the cover — not much gets by me, obviously.

Even though I’m unfamiliar with the plot, I decided to incorporate it into my wintry reads solely based off the cover: the isolated car, the snowflakes falling, the red and black contrast. I love it all!

I’m also super stoked to pick this up simply because it gives off character analysis vibes, which we all know I LOVE. I mean, it’s called Eileen, so what’s this woman all about?

Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

If you’ve been following me since the beginning of my blog, you’re probably tired of seeing Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina plastered on a ton of my TBRs. Hopefully, this will be the last!

Around the winter time, I always have the urge to read hefty, chunky books or a small series, so what better time to pick up Anna Karenina? Plus, the snowy buildings on the cover, as well as the outfit, screams winter season!

Anyone up for a buddy read to keep me motivated? Or maybe I can host one on my Instagram? Let me know if you’d like to see that!

A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess (Reread)

Before I get called out and dragged in the comments, no this is not a very “wintry” read, but hear me out.

I read this last year for my dystopian British novel course, and I completely fell in love with Burgess’ violent British society, as well as our “humble narrator,” little Alex.

I decided to include A Clockwork Orange into my wintry reads because it deals with a lot of reflection, which I seem to do a lot of when daylight savings hits and the days get shorter and shorter. With discussions of free will, violence, and a deep-dive into Alex’s complex character, A Clockwork Orange is a perfect read for my winter season. Plus, it’s a pretty short read.

Wuthering Heights – Emily BrontĂ«

Forgive me for my horrid copy of Wuthering Heights — I really need be on the lookout for a single copy soon.

Much like Dickens, I’ve never read Wuthering Heights — cue the “boo’s.” It’s yet another one of those novels that I’ve been meaning to get to, but never got around to it. I always see this book recommended for the fall season, so I’m going to see if that also rolls over into winter (fingers crossed!).

Advertisements

The End

I’m feeling very hopeful about my reading endeavors for the next few months!

I’ve had a lot more time and motivation to read lately — I can only thank the cold weather. Do you all feel more productive during the winter, or is it just me? I’ve been feeling a lot more creative, and I have so many ideas to do so many things. Tis the season of reflection!

Let me know what you all are excited to read in the next few months! Stay safe!

The Anonymous Bookaholics Tag

Hello, my darlings! I hope you’re all having/had a wonderful day!

I recently saw Shawshank from Void If Removed do the Anonymous Bookaholics Tag, and it made me want to tag along — get it? (I’m so sorry for the terrible puns, but I simply cannot help myself). Honestly, I’ll find any excuse to talk about books and how much I love them, because why not?

I tried to do some deep-diving to find the original creator, but I couldn’t find them. If you know, please tag them or let me know so I can give them the credit they deserve!

Without further ado, let’s get into the questions!

Advertisements

1. What do you like about buying books?

Right off the bat, I have to acknowledge my own capitalistic, egotistical desires? Well, let’s dive in.

Buying books, or buying anything in general, often feels like filling an unsatisfied want or void that you may not even know you have. I’m definitely a retail therapy type of gal. When I’m depressed or feeling down, treating myself to a new book or a cute sweater gives me that hit of dopamine that I’m practically begging for. “Treat yourself” is a motto I stand by whole-heartedly — in moderation, of course.

I used to never think twice about buying an enormous stack of books every time I visited a bookshop, but after taking a mind-altering college course covering literary theory (which I’m still trying to grasp, so be gentle with my chaotic explanation), I thought a little bit more seriously about my buying habits.

You see, capitalism is fed by consumers — the main goal is to make you, the consumer, spend as much money as possible; therefore, they advertise their product in a way to make it appear as if that product will complete your life and fulfill that void altogether. In reality, the new excitement for that product will eventually die out, and another product will come along to attempt to complete you of your new desire (at a price, of course). And thus, the cycle continues of feeding into your own egotistical wants while others — specifically huge companies and corporations — profit.

Because of this, I try to purchase from small businesses and individuals so I know the profit is going towards people that need it rather than big corporations that want to rule the industries. I also try not to mindlessly buy books in bulk anymore for the sake of my wallet, as well as trying to not feed into my egotistical “I need to own every book known to man to feel fulfilled and accepted” side.

Now, if you would like a less depressing, more positive answer than my joy-sucking thoughts on capitalism, I guess I can provide that, too.

What I love most about buying books is the excitement that comes with the unknown of a new story. Every book contains its own world, people, adventures, lessons, etc., and there’s nothing quite like experiencing a book for the first time. The anticipation to dive head first into a new book that you’re amped to read is the best feeling in the world.

2. How often do you buy books?

As you can probably tell from my previous question, not very often. I do go through random spells of book-buying and hauling, but I try to remind myself that I already have so many unread books on my shelves that need some love and attention.

If I was asked this same question just a couple of years ago, I would have a completely different answer. I used to buy books on the regular — at least once or twice a month. But, once I took that literary theory course, and it pried into the depth of my own unfulfilled desires, I cut my spending a lot in general.

3. Bookstore or online shopping: which do you prefer?

I definitely prefer bookstores since I buy the majority of my books that way, but I also love online shopping for when I’m looking for a specific edition or title that my local bookshop doesn’t have or carry at the time.

I think I prefer bookstores the most for the atmosphere. There’s something homey and comforting when browsing, what feels like, endless amounts of shelves stuffed and overflowing with books, the smell of paper and ink occasionally wafting across your nose, surrounded by a galore of stories waiting to be heard.

Bookstores are beautiful safe spaces.

4. Do you have a favorite bookshop?

I do! Mr. K’s Used Books, Music, and More is my favorite local, used bookshop. They have an enormous selection of used books, textbooks, video games, music, etc. at amazing prices. The best part about Mr. K’s is that they accept books for trade credit, so it’s not hard to ball out on a budget if you have some books you want to donate!

5. Do you pre-order books?

I don’t think I’ve ever pre-ordered a book in my life. I think it’s because I’m constantly trying to keep up with my overflowing TBR, along with my previous thoughts on capitalism, but I’ll spare you all another rant lmao.

6. Do you have a monthly buying limit?

Nope. I go with the vibes — it really depends how much I’m in the mood to read that month.

7. How big is your wishlist?

Enormous. Never-ending. Infinite. And all the other synonyms.

8. Which three books from your wishlist do you wish to own right now?

Only three??? Are these types of questions super difficult for anyone else?

After taking an entire day trying to decide which three specific books I would want right now (we love being a libra and not being able to make even the simplest of decisions), I’ve finally decided on the following ones:

Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

I’ve had this on my TBR for a couple of years now, yet I somehow keep forgetting to pick it up! The recent talk over the new adaptation starring Armie Hammer has bumped Rebecca to the top of my TBR — I might even head to the bookstore after I’ve finished writing this.

Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

Another book that’s growing fictional dust from sitting in my mental TBR for quite some time — really ever since I first read Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Other than Tess, this one seems to be another highly talked about Hardy novel, and I just need more of his stories in my life.

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

Yet another read that’s been on my TBR since I can remember. I’ve never read anything from Toni Morrison — somehow my high school completely skipped over her — and I’m ready to fix that! The Bluest Eye is probably one of Morrison’s, if not THE one, most popular and talked about books, so I hope to read this one first.

Advertisements

Tag! You’re it!

I had so much fun participating in this tag, and now I’m tagging, not one or two, but all of you!

I know you’re suppose to tag specific people, but where’s the fun in that? Let’s all have a turn!

The Realities of a Mood Reader | books i need to finish

Hello, my loves!

I’m back yet again after a long break — I promise I can explain. Life has been stressful and busy, and my mental health hasn’t been the best. I wasn’t reading anything, and what I did read was never consistent (as you’ll see in a moment). I felt like I had nothing to write about!, and I ended up falling into a self-deprecating abyss. I decided it was time for a little break for rejuvenation purposes, and I think it helped quite a bit, even though I am a bit nervous to be writing again, tbh.

But enough about my inconsistent and hectic life; we both know you’re here for the book content!

A Change in Reading Pace

I’ve always been a read-one-book-at-a-time gal (except while in college, of course), but I’ve now found myself with quite a hefty stack of half-read books. I’m not sure if it’s my habit of reading at least 4 books all at once in college for classes, my poor attention span, or if I’m simply developing into a mood reader.

There’s so many books that I want to catch up on reading, and my reading seems to show that. Why read one at a time when you can read all of them at the same time? At least that’s what my brain has been asking me.

Plus, I’ve been picking up books when I’m in the mood to read them rather than planning to finish a single book before moving on to the next. In all honesty, I’m just experimenting with the way I read to see what works best for me. Of course, it’s a little jarring and stressful trying to keep up with each story plot/characters and the anxiety-inducing feeling that comes with hardly ever finishing a book, but it has helped me read a lot more. If I’m not feeling a book, instead of DNFing it and giving up on it completely, I simply put it down for the time being and pick up something I’m actually in the mood for. So far, this change has been a great way to tackle my reading slump because I’m reading what I’m enjoying at the time rather than forcing myself to finish a book I’m really not feeling.

10/10 recommend experimenting with your reading process!

Advertisements

The Reading List

This list mostly consists of classics, along with a short story anthology. As you might notice, a few of these books have been included in past posts, but your girl hasn’t read much in the past few months. Cut me some slack!

Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy (ReRead)

In times of stress, you tend to stick with the familiar. That’s exactly what made me pick up one of my all-time favorite books, yet again, Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

I’m pretty sure Tess was the first classic I ever read — thank you, E. L. James, for the introduction — and I’ve held it close to my heart ever since. With the anxieties revolving around the election (thank god we’re finally done with dumby Donnie) and the stresses that naturally come along with being a part of society, I desperately needed a comfort read to distract me, and Hardy has provided yet again! Since I already know and love the story, it’s effortless to kickback and enjoy.

I have a good feeling I’m going to be finishing Hardy’s novel very very soon!

The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

I definitely have a love-hate relationship with this book; because of that, I haven’t picked it up in about 2 months. However, I refuse to DNF it! Even if it sits on my shelf for months, or even years, to come, I have a strong intuition that I’m going to finish The Catcher in the Rye one day.

Honestly, I have no idea why I feel the need to complete this book, but I’m sticking with my gut feeling. Talking about it now makes me want to jump back in and contemplate whether or not Salinger had a bet with his friends to see who could use “goddam” the most in one novel. I quickly understood why this was once banned.

Candide – Voltaire

As a lover of French culture and satirical heroic quest stories, I had to start Voltaire’s Candide, and I’m loving it so far. Since it’s a short book, I thought I would be able to finish it in one sitting, but my slow reading brain said otherwise. I only have about 50 pages left, so I’m hoping to finish it pretty quickly.

The dark humor and Candide, the main character, reminds me a lot of Apuleius’ The Golden Ass (read my review of it). It has the same over-the-top, absurd plot points with an unlucky character as the start, but The Golden Ass made me laugh more than Candide so far. I can’t wait to do a full review of this one soon!

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

You guys, you don’t understand how happy I am to finally start understanding the memes and jokes surrounding Dorian Gray. They’re spot on, honestly.

With the extensive philosophical ideas and conversations embedded in this story, I’m definitely taking my time reading it so my brain can fully digest it. I have a feeling it’s going to be a while before I finish Dorian Gray, but I’m super excited to discuss it with you all when I’m done!

His Hideous Heart – Edited by Dahlia Adler

Edgar. Allan. Poe.

That’s all you really have to include in a book description and I will eat it up.

His Hideous Heart is an anthology composed of short stories inspired by Poe’s writings, as well as the Poe’s original works. I started it in October hoping that I would finish it in time for a Halloween-y post, but I had less time to read than I thought and ended up only getting through about half of it.

Even though I thought it’d be a faster read, I’m still enjoying the stories a lot! I love seeing Poe’s classic tales revamped and modernized by talented, popular writers. The fact that you also get all of the corresponding Poe stories in the same book is pretty awesome, too.

Honestly, I have no idea whether to finish this and put a review out immediately after or wait until next October to post my thoughts. Which would you all prefer?

Advertisements

The Future

As you guys might be able to tell, I have quite a bit of reading to catch up on. I’m in the process of adjusting my schedule to make more time for reading and writing, and I just wanted to thank you all for being patient with me! This year has been a whirlwind of a time, and my life feels scattered all over the place in return.

I’ve been feeling super inspired to write more posts lately, so I hope to have more fun content out soon for you all! ❤

Of course, I’ll be posting my thoughts about all of these books whenever I get around to finishing them. Stay tuned 🙂

11/22/63 – Stephen King | The Multi-Genre Manual

To this date, this is the largest book I’ve ever read!!! (I’m really excited about it, if you can’t tell.)

I don’t know what it is about finishing a long-ass book — a good one, in this case — but it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something great. As someone who reads slow as fuck and never finishes series, I’m super proud to have made it to page 842 (even if it did take me 4 months to do so).

I’m terrible at transitions and introductions, so let’s just get into the review!

Advertisements

The Details

Stephen King’s 11/22/63 is a multi-genre — Sci Fi, Historical Fiction, Romance, and a splash of Dystopian — novel that follows Jake Epping, an English teacher turned time traveler.

After his friend, Al, discovers a “rabbit hole” in his diner that travels back to September 9, 1958, Jake is tasked to try and stop the assassination of president John F. Kennedy. Once Al is diagnosed with cancer, he provides Jake with all of his notes and sends him into the past with hopeful ideas of a better future — specifically one without the death of Kennedy.

Advertisements

The Review

Why wouldn’t my first Stephen King read also be my longest read? It feels like it’s meant to be.

My first King book ended up being a 4/5, so that must mean I started with a good book. I’ve always heard very controversial opinions about Stephen King, whether it’s his endings or long descriptions, and I was a little skeptical picking this up.

Thankfully, 11/22/63 was the perfect first King read because it had all of the elements I love: marvelous writing, captivating characters, a unique plot, and an alluring, complicated romance. However, I do want to include a TW for male gaze because it made me pretty uncomfortable throughout the narrative, which is the main reason why this novel didn’t get a 5/5 rating (you can only hear so many descriptions of a woman’s breasts).

I now understand the hype surrounding Stephen King’s ability to craft complex characters where you genuinely feel like you know them. Other than Jake’s slight sexism, he has been one of the most 3-dimensional and interesting characters that I’ve ever read. The way he spoke of Sadie was both admiring, yet a little creepy, but I think that harmony is what makes King’s characters so great. He seems, at least in 11/22/63, to be very talented with implementing equally positive and negative elements within his novels. A ying-yang, if you will. As a libra, that is much appreciated.

Speaking of characters, I was shocked and surprised that King had me feeling sorry for Lee Harvey Oswald, the president murderer. This definitely doesn’t help the fact that my family and past coworkers label me as a “communist”, but seeing Lee as a “family man” — I use the term lightly — reminded me that Lee was still a human. Killing someone because they don’t share your opinion is messed up regardless, but I love an unlikeable character, and King portrays him in a light that made me feel bad for the poor guy. King probably made most of it up — he even put a disclosure stating that he’s not trying to explain what happened. Either way, I admire King’s ability to transform a hated man into a, somewhat, sympathetic family man.

Advertisements

Another aspect that I loved about 11/22/63 is how Stephen King includes multiple genres, like historical fiction, sci-fi, etc. It could’ve been the size of the book, but I feel like I read 5 different types of stories in one. With all the different plots, I feel like I lived a lifetime alongside Jake Epping, and I can truly say that I’ve never felt that way with any book or series. Maybe it’s the amount of description and details or my own personal reading experience, but I care a lot about this story regardless.

To be honest, I put this book down for about 2 months in between reading it — life was busy, as always –, but I didn’t have any problems picking it back up. It did take me a minute to remember the first half of the book, but King was wonderful at keeping me up to pace. Of course, I had moments of “wtf is happening? who is that?” but I usually found/remembered the answer within a few paragraphs.

Let’s conclude with the ending, shall we? No spoilers, of course.

The ending of 11/22/63 upset me so much, but in the best way possible. Now, I know King’s ending are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I admire his ability to catch his readers off guard. It’s something I keep thinking about, and those, to me, are the best types of endings; whether you like them or not.

The way things ended with Sadie and Jake broke my fucking heart, to say the least. I was more invested in their relationship than the main JFK plot, and the way things concluded for them hurt me wayyy more than the state of the world with an almost-assassinated Kennedy. Sadly, the dystopian world was very underwhelming, but I was on the edge of my seat (or bed) to see what happened to Sadie and Jake. Honestly, if Stephen King completely erased the JFK plot, I would probably like the book even more. Then again, it wouldn’t be a King novel without multiple story lines that may not even have any purpose at all? Of course not.

One thing I actually loved about the ending of 11/22/63 was the explanation of the Green/Yellow/Black Card Man. I never really knew what the man represented (I had my guesses, of course), and King impressed the hell out of me with his take on dimensions and time travel. His intelligence definitely shines through his writing and creativity.

Advertisements

The Show

I watched the Hulu adaptation of 11/22/63 because JaMeS FrAnCo, and I enjoyed it at the time. However, after reading the book, I’m disappointed in the adaptation.

It’s been a while since I watched the show, so I definitely need a refresher to write a thorough review. The one thing that bothers me is the fact that they gave Jake a helper, Bill. Bill’s brought up in the very beginning of the book for a few pages, but they attached him to Jake’s hip throughout the show. He didn’t even need him! I understand that it creates more dialogue since no one probably wants to follow one single guy just waiting for one single day to come up, but I think James Franco could have pulled it off and made it just as good.

I’ll have to rewatch the show to have a concrete review of it, but I don’t even know when I’ll get to it. Maybe one day!

The End

Even though I know King’s 11/22/63 won’t be for everyone — that’s King for ya –, I would 100% recommend it to anyone and everyone. I have always been terrified of larger books, but this book has me goggling at IT for Halloween time. It definitely has some faults and is a little dated, but the characters and writing are enchanting and phenomenal. A super enjoyable read!

August TBR | Big Books, Old Faves, and Quick Reads

July was the month of defeating the reading slump, and August is the month of catch ups.

As someone who typically makes super overly ambitious TBRs, I tried to switch it up a bit by making a more realistic list of books I want to get to. I’m hoping this takes the pressure off of me wanting to finish 10 – 15 books in a month — why do I do this to myself? I have no idea — and gives me some room to pick up some extra books that I might be feeling in the moment.

Basically, my reading is very sporadic and unpredictable, so I’m trying to adjust my TBRs accordingly.

Anyways, enough of my mindless babbling and more books!

Advertisements

The TBR

11/22/63 – Stephen King

I started King’s 11/22/63 this past April, got about halfway through it, and then sat it down for some reason. I believe moving in July was my main reason for putting it down, or it could be the size of this behemoth intimidates me, but, nonetheless, I’m picking it back up.

11/22/63 is what I’m reading currently, and I’m around 65% done with it. This is my first King novel ever, and I understand both why people love him and why people get frustrated with him. There’s definitely a lot of description and kind-of boring spots where it feels like I’m reading about paint drying, but King’s writing is so beautiful, so I don’t really mind the extra pages.

Whenever I finish this book, it will be the longest book I’ve ever read ever. I’m very excited, to say the least.

Insomnia – Stephen King

Yet another King book! Does this mean I’m becoming a Stephen King fan?

For some reason, I’ve been in the mood to read big books (500+ pages), and this one was calling my name. Whereas 11/22/63 is 849 pages, Insomnia is 912. Ya girl is working up her reading stamina so she can read King’s It and The Stand without taking all year.

The cover is what originally sold me on Insomnia. Just look at it! I love the deep red and the huge eye within the palm of the hand. It’s beautiful.

The main reason why I want to read this is because it follows a man suffering from insomnia (obviously), and he starts off sleeping a few hours to not sleeping at all. It reminded me of the Russian Sleep Experiment urban legend about scientists forcing people to say awake until they go mad. I feel like this is either going to be a disturbing in the best way possible or the worst. We’ll just have to wait and see!

The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

Honestly, I have no idea what this is about. I just know that it’s a once-controversial classic that people tried to ban from libraries.

I mean, I love books that legislatures have tried to ban simply because of curiosity. Why did people hate this book so much? What makes it unacceptable for schools and libraries? I have to find out.

I threw this book on my TBR mainly because it’s short. Plus, I’ve been meaning to pick The Catcher in the Rye for about 3 years now, and I need to do it already. Fingers crossed I finally get to this.

Advertisements

Twilight – Stephenie Meyer / re-read

So, you may or may not have heard about Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, but it’s the greatest YA emo paranormal to ever exist. This series completely consumed my hormonal and emotional pre-teen years, and I just want to immerse myself back into this world again.

Plus, if you didn’t know, Midnight Sun — a companion novel from Edward’s POV — was released yesterday. As a ride-or-die Team Edward Cullen gal, I’m obligated to read that, so I’m going to refresh my Twilight knowledge — as if I don’t know every detail by heart — before I grab Midnight Sun.

To be honest, I’d love to do a week-long Twilight readathon, but we’ll see if I even have the time for that.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

If you saw my Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone review, you’ll know I’m reading the series for the first time. I’m trying to finish the series by the end of December, but I didn’t realize I will have to double up two books in one month in order to do that. However, I’m still going to try and make it happen, but we’re sticking to one this month (again, realistic goals).

I’m super excited to hear about Harry, Ron, and Hermione, along with Neville, and ready to immerse myself back into the magical world of Hogwarts. I already know it’s going to be a 5/5.

Advertisements

The Excitement

I’m feeling so good about my reading going into August!

I’m excited to read some old favorites and big books, and, hopefully, to discover some possible new favorites.

Let me know what you’re reading for August and whether you were a Team Edward or Team Jacob ally growing up!

July Reading Wrap-Up | The Reading Rush and New All-Time Favorites

Now that I’m starting to read more consistently, I’ve given in to making the infamous “monthly wrap-up” posts.

July was the month that I defeated my reading slump! Huzzah!

I managed to finish 5 books — I didn’t even realize I read so many — and it’s been my reading habits have been uphill ever since. Even though I did read a lot, I’m still 9 books behind on my Goodreads challenge, so there’s no time for slacking.

I’m still really happy with how much I got completed, thanks to The Reading Rush, and I managed to find a few new favorites of (possibly?) all time.

Enough of my blabbering. Let’s get to the books!

Advertisements

The Wrap-Up

The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd | 4.5 / 5

The first book I finished in July was Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, and, honey, it rocked my world.

Set in 1964 South Carolina, this novel follows Lily Owens, a motherless white girl living with her abusive father, T. Ray. Her life has been molded from the traumatic afternoon when her mother was killed, and her black housekeeper, Rosaleen, has stepped in to help raise her. After Rosaleen insults a few racists in town on her way to register to vote, Lily decides to free them both and escape to Tiburon, South Carolina — a town deeply embedded with secrets of her mother’s past.

The Secret Life of Bees resonated with me so much, having been born and raised in the “Dirty South” myself, surrounded my racism and abuse almost daily. My mother is still alive, unlike Lily’s, but my relationship with her is pretty rough. Kidd’s story of this girl attempting to rekindle a connection with her lost mother helped me process my own feelings I have towards my own mother. With that, I hold this book pretty near and dear to my heart now.

This story discusses themes of grief, racism, and feminism throughout, and it’s a book I think would be very special in the right hands. It’s, perhaps, become one of my new favorites of all time. The only reason it didn’t get 5/5 is because the story did kind of drag, but that’s literary fiction for ya.

I’ve been meaning to do a proper review of this book, but I could never find the right words for some reason. Apparently it takes a month for my brain to fully process this story. Nevertheless, I’ll probably need to reread it before I do a review to fully digest my thoughts and opinions. Let me know if you all would be down to see that.

The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka | 4 / 5

After I finished Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, The Reading Rush began — you can read all about my experience, TBR, and more in-depth reviews in my previous posts.

I mean, what is there to say about this classic that hasn’t already been said?

Kafka’s The Metamorphosis tells the story of Gregory, a traveling salesman who wakes up one morning as a giant roach. Rather than worrying about the repulsive state of his body, all Gregory can think about is not being able to work so he can support his family. The short story then follows Gregory and his family, and how they cope with Gregory’s misfortune.

I originally gave The Metamorphosis a 4/5, which I left above, but now I’m starting to think this might be a 3/5. It was a unique, memorable story that explores family relationships and the difference money can make, but the grammar errors that were intentionally left in disrupted my reading experience more than I would have liked. Maybe I should try reading a different edition? Or are all editions left original? Either way, it might need a reread. Thankfully, it’s only 50-something pages long.

Advertisements

Adèle – Leila Slimani | 4 / 5

After reading two literary fiction books, my brain needed a reboot. Naturally, I picked up a thriller — both easy to read and captivating.

Leila Slimani’s Adèle follows an unhappy married woman living in the heart of Paris, France, who only craves to be wanted. This character analysis dives into the complicated and secret sex life of Adèle, and the inevidable chaos that ensues.

I don’t want to spoil this novel since it is a thriller, so the summary is a bit shorter than usual.

Good news: another book I can add to my favorites of all time! July has been good to me, huh?

I love character analyses (I have no clue if I spelled that right; no judgement), especially when that character is unlikeable — Richard III, Alex from A Clockwork Orange, and the like — and Slimani did that. I feel like Adèle shows what it means to be human through her faults and mistakes, but Slimani pushes the boundaries of Adèle’s character, making you wrestle with whether she deserves pitty or punishment.

The only problems I had with Adèle is I wanted more of Adèle and her life and it tended to drag in a few spots. I was a little skeptical to pick it up because Noelle Gallagher said she hated it, but I think it’s just one of those books that you either love or hate.

Honestly, the more I discuss this book, the more I want to do a spoiler-filled review because I have so much to discuss, but I also don’t want to ruin it for people who are reading this that haven’t picked it up yet. Thoughts, anyone?

A stranger in the House – Shari Lapena | 2 / 5

If you’ve read my spoiler-filled rant about Shari Lapena’s A Stranger in the House, then you already know how much I didn’t like this book. This thriller had so much potential!!! Disappointments happen, I suppose.

Much like Adèle, I don’t want to explain A Stranger in the House too much because it’s also a thriller. In short, Lapena’s novel follows Karen and Tom Krupp, a newly married couple, after Karen has a car accident when fleeing from the wrong side of town. Diagnosed with anmesia, Karen is unable to piece together what happened the night of the car accident. Once a man is found murdered near the car accident, secrets from Karen’s past creep into the present.

I don’t know if it as the crime aspects or the writing style, but this was such a huge disappointment. My mom let me borrow A Stranger in the House and really hyped it up, saying she couldn’t put it down and she had to know what happened. Me, however, not so much. The writing was basic, the characters were flat and one-dimensional, and I simply didn’t give a shit what happened to Karen or Tom. Lapena had so much potential with Tom and Karen’s neighbor, Brigid, but it went in a completely different direction. If you ask me, this should’ve developed into a domestic thriller, not crime.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone | 5 / 5

We’re not going to mention or discuss the author because she’s a homophobic and transphobic bitch. Moving on…

I loved this book! Are we surprised? Absoultely not.

I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books (gasp!), and I decided that this year I was going to change that. How can you even say you love books and NOT have read Harry Potter? That’s the thing; you can’t. Okay, okay, enough of the hype.

Truthfully, this book tore at my heartstrings, made me giggle, and was overall an incredible and magical joy to read. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are the most precious group of friends, even if they did get off on the wrong foot. Nothing builds closer friendships than mutual trauma, or so I’ve heard. I’m excited to see their friendship blossom into something even bigger, and to follow more of their adventures and hoodwinks.

Advertisements

The Conclusion

What a terrific reading month, wouldn’t you say?

I’m super happy with how much I was able to read this month — goodbye, reading slump! — and I’m looking forward to seeing how much I can fit in for August. Hopefully I can catch up on my Goodreads challenge — fingers crossed.

Let me know what you read this month! Any goodies that I should be adding to my TBR?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone | A Poser No More

I’m 22-years-old and I’ve never read the Harry Potter series.

It’s funny how I already know I’m going to get so much shit for this, but alas, we will prevail. At least I’m getting to it now, right?

I’ve watched all of the movies and visited the theme park in Orlando, FL — I even bought an interactive wand — but I’ve never read the books! I might have started out as a possible Harry Potter poser, but I will finish as a true fan.

Advertisements

Author Disclaimer

With all of the controversy surrounding the author of the Harry Potter series (I refuse to acknowledge her name because she’s vile), I thought I would include a disclaimer in this post.

First off, fuck that bitch. I don’t agree with her views and morals AT ALL. Her transphobic and anti-LGBTQ+ tweets and opinions make me nauseous and enfuriated.

Even though I adore the Harry Potter movies and amusement parks, I wrestled with whether I should start the series at all. I don’t want to support the author at all; however, the Harry Potter world as it’s own entity is loveable, incredible, and heart-warming. So, what do we do about this?

In the end, I decided I would go ahead and start reading and reviewing the series simply for the love of the magical world and story. However, I don’t plan on putting the author’s name anywhere — of course, the book cover has it on the front, but that’s besides the point — and if I start collecting other editions of the series, I plan to only buy used/secondhand books. No royalities for her.

If you’re also boycotting the author, let me know what your plans are and any tips/advice you have!

Advertisements

The Details

If you happen to live under a rock and don’t know anything about the wonderful world of magic, this series follows Harry Potter, an 11-year-old orphan boy living under the stairs with his horrendous relatives, The Dursley’s.

Harry’s life has always been lifeless and dull; that is, until he receives a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. After discovering an unknown world, Harry embarks on a journey of self-discovery, friendship, and a lot of magic.

The REview

Of course, I gave Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone a 5/5 — is anyone even surprised? I doubt it.

I love the magic, the world, and, most importantly, the characters. Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s friendship is so adorable — trauma seems to lead to incredible frienships — and I can’t wait to watch it unfold throughout the series.

The magic system and world-building is impeccable, obviously, and each addition, whether it be the name of a store or a type of spell, just makes the world even better. Perhaps my favorite detail is the types of candies introduced; like, they really thought of everything, huh?

Even though I, and many others, absolutely love this book, I’m having a hard time discussing it for some reason. I guess it’s just one of those books that you have to read to experience fully.

I say that as if you, the reader, haven’t read this yet, but I’m assuming everyone and their mom has read this series front to back. Then again, you might be someone like me who lives almost 23 years without reading it; in this case, READ IT!

Advertisements

The Leftovers

Please feel free to bash me in the comments for not having read the Harry Potter series yet.

My plan, as if I ever stick to them, is to finish the entire series by Christmas, but I’m also not trying to binge each book and make it a chore, so we’ll see how it goes.

Check out my Goodreads to follow my journey in real-time through this magical series.