Bookish posts · Readathons

24 in 48 Readathon: My TBR

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Update: This readathon is over! Done! Finito! Want to know how I did, read my wrap-up post!

I’m doing a readathon for the first time in forever! I used to be really into these, and I still love them, but I haven’t participated in one for well over a year. If you want to join in the 24 in 48 readathon, where we try to read 24 hours total in the weekend of January 27th and 28th, the signups are still open! Also make sure to check out the updated How To Readathon post.

The readathon will start at 12:01AM ET on Saturday and will end at 11:59PM ET on Sunday. I’m six hours ahead of this timezone, so I’ll actually start my readathon during the quiet Saturday morning at 6AM! I will be updating my blog after the weekend ends to let you guys know how I did, but if you’re curious to read my updates throughout the weekend, make sure to follow my Twitter. I will be tracking my time using a stopwatch. And although I’m highly skeptical that I’ll actually read for 24 hours total, the main goal for me is to read more than I usually would, and readathons are such a fun way to do that!

So without further ado, here is (ahem) my overly ambitious TBR for this overly ambitious readathon!

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They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera
The contemporary young adult novel They both Die At The End is about two teenagers, Mateo and Rufus, who are both experiencing their last day before they die. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. I don’t know much else about this book, other than that Mateo and Rufus supposedly met through an app, and that it’s obviously going to be a sad book. However, this is getting great reviews, so I’m curious and excited to read this!

the lotteryThe Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson was first published in 1948 The New Yorker, and created a huge backlash of hatemail at the time. So naturally, I want to read it. This collection contains The Lottery and 24 other short stories by Jackson. I’ve been wanting to read this for a while now, and I thought it would be a good idea to throw some shorter stories into this readathon to break things up.


Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-26 om 16.26.16I’ve actually already started this book and I’m currently about halfway through. It’s a lovely mix of fiction and non-fiction. We follow Sophie, a teenager who finds two questions in her mailbox: “Who are you?” and “Where does the world come from?” From there, we go on a journey through the history of philosophy. This is not a quick read for me, because I want to make sure that I actually understand every aspect of the story and how it fits into history as a whole. So I’m definitely not expecting to finish this in the upcoming weekend, but I hope to at least make some progress in it! Continue reading “24 in 48 Readathon: My TBR”

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Bookish posts · opinion

Discussion: When Diverse Characters Are Only Defined by Their Diversity

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Diverse books are important. Reading diverse is important. Representing all human beings is important.

And I feel many books are getting better at being diverse, especially in the YA genre. Finally, because I can’t really phantom why a lot of books struggle to represent minorities. When I go about my day, I see and speak so many different kinds of people, but lot of books still don’t reflect that. And they should! Let’s talk about all the different human beings. Make your books relatable and don’t be scared to talk about taboo-topics. (Because, you know, that’s how they become less taboo). 

And like I said, while we are definitely not where we’re supposed to be yet, diversity is becoming a bit more prominent. Progress! But there is something that bothers me about a lot of diverse books being published right now.

A lot of diverse characters are defined by their diversity. 

And I also want to read books where diversity is a part of the character, but it’s not the entire character. I want books like: ”Oh yes, this is my best friend Tim, he is bipolar. But hey we are going to save the world now.”

I feel like most books that represent diversity are all about the diverse aspect: “And this is a story about a blind girl and how goes about her life” etc. Continue reading “Discussion: When Diverse Characters Are Only Defined by Their Diversity”

Bookish posts

The Art of The DNF: Why It’s so Hard to Abandon Books And How to Deal With it

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Let me paint a – probably – very familiar picture for you: You see a book. You read a little bit about the book. You might scroll through the reviews, and see some people raving about it. Your friend tells you that you need to read this book. So you do. You start it. You get 50, maybe a 100 pages in. And you’re just not feeling it. 

So you kinda want to quit. But at the same time, you really really don’t want to quit. you might feel this weird sense of guilt. I know I do.

Soooo.. What do you do? Do you finish the book because dangit, you’re not a quitter? Or do you decide that this book that you’re just not feeling, is not worth your time when your TBR is already never ending?

Feeling Guilty About DNF’ing

There are a couple of reasons why you might feel guilty for abandoning a book. If you spend your hard-earned money on it, you want to get your money’s worth! But there is another reason that I find very interesting, and that is that allowing yourself to DNF a book might be an acknowledgement of your own limitations. Especially if it’s some kind of classic that is just hard for you to get through, and you feel like it’s the type of book that you ‘should’ read.

For the longest time, I never DNF’d books. I hated quitting a book. I was not a quitter. I would push through no matter what. Abandoning a book felt like giving up. But gradually, as my TBR pile kept growing and my days got busier and busier, DNF’ing became a little easier. I realized how little time I actually had, and that I wanted to use that time to read books I actually enjoyed. Continue reading “The Art of The DNF: Why It’s so Hard to Abandon Books And How to Deal With it”

Poetry

Poetry Review: The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace

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Title: The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One (Women are Some Kind of Magic #2)
Author: Amanda Lovelace
Pages: 208 pages
Genre: poetry, feminism
Publication date: March 6th, 2018

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

2016 Goodreads Choice Award-winning poet Amanda Lovelace returns in the witch doesn’t burn in this one — the second book in her “women are some kind of magic” poetry series. The collection of poetry deals with heavy subjects like misogyny, abuse, body issues and rape. But also with self-love and intersectionality, all while using the imagery of witch trials to portray to oppression of women. Schermafbeelding 2018-01-19 om 16.37.24

I liked how the author used witch trials as a metaphor since the horrific events themselves are a very fitting portrayal of how women were murdered for not falling in line, to the point of being accused of being witches. It’s a recurring theme within this collection and, while every single poem is definitely it’s own work, makes it really feel like you’re reading a collection of poetry that all fit together.

I really loved some of the poems. Especially the poems in the first two chapters, called the trial and the burning, evoked emotions in me. I enjoyed the longer, slightly more complex poems. My favorites are the ones about eating disorders and body acceptance, like the one I decided to share here.  Continue reading “Poetry Review: The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace”

Bookish posts · personal

My Weird Reading Habit: Why (And How!) I Annotate My Books

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I used to treat my books like sacred beings. And it was normal, most other booklovers I know were this way. They are these precious, beautiful vessels that hold a story that we must protect with our lives. They give us so much, so the least we can do is to keep them clean and perfect.

But.. it’s exhausting. The whole keeping your books pristine thing is exhausting. It got to the point where I would feel nervous putting books in my backpack and would have to carry them in my hands so I could keep my eyes on them at all times. I would make sure tables were totally clean before I set them down, and it was just so impractical.

So, I just kind of stopped caring. I started breaking the spines of my paperbacks (it’s much more comfortable to read that way), dog-earing the pages and.. writing in them. And I love the way it looks. Every single page that I read has been ingrained in the book itself. For me, a read book doesn’t only tell the story that’s printed in the book, but also the story of how the reader read the book.

Why I annotate my books

I already mentioned this above, but I love making the book my own. By annotating a book in one way or another, I’m having an active conversation with the author and I’m transferring some of the thoughts I had in a specific moment onto the pages. That way, I can look back and see what I had thought the first time I read something. It’s a way to see how I first experienced the story.

I love seeing how my thoughts have evolved upon rereading the book later. I might think about a passage in a certain way now, but future me could totally disagree with past me! In a way, my book notes are my literary flow chart. It shows how I’ve grown and matured as a person.  Continue reading “My Weird Reading Habit: Why (And How!) I Annotate My Books”

personal · Travel

Why You Should Visit The Montjuïc Cemetery in Barcelona

I like cemeteries, I’ve always been fascinated by them. Whenever I travel to a new city, I always like to visit at least one cemetery; it’s a way for me to acknowledge significant events of the past related to that city.

When I went to Barcelona, my boyfriend and I visited the Cementiri de Montjuïc, one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever visited.

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The History

The cemetery opened in 1883 and is located on one of the rocky slopes on the Montjuïc hill in Barcelona. The use of the 56-hectare space on the side of Montjuïc Hill was part of an initiative to expand and improve the city, which was growing exponentially at that point. The chief designer of the cemetery was architect Leandro Albareda. There have been over 1 million burials at this cemetery, and there are currently more than 150,000 graves.

Why You Should Go

Many of the more prominent and wealthy families of Barcelona requested the construction and design of their own mausoleums. It resulted in some of the city’s best architects playing a role in constructing some spectacular pieces. Many of the larger mausoleums and monumental tombs have little signs next to them with some information about the architectural style.

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The place is honestly breathtaking. It’s huge, bigger than I could ever show you with photo’s. The monuments and massive mausoleums make it feel more like a miniature city than a cemetery. Continue reading “Why You Should Visit The Montjuïc Cemetery in Barcelona”

Books · Self-development

Book Review: We’re All Mad Here by Claire Eastham

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Claire Eastham’s (blog here) book We’re All Mad Here promises to be a complete, no-nonsense guide to living with social anxiety. And in a lot of ways, that’s exactly what this book is. And in a lot of other ways, it’s not. In short, I have a lot of feelings about this.

First, let’s talk about the good

Claire is a very personable, witty author. I admire her honesty and vulnerability when talking about her own mental health. She isn’t scared to share funny little anecdotes where she might have made a bit of a fool of herself, and I thought that was great. More than once, this book made me laugh out loud. It’s like you get to know Claire just a little bit better, and I really enjoyed that.

“At this point most people would probably accept that shit was about to go down, but not me. I like denial land – I’m all about denial land!” 

I also though that most of the advice she gave was very actionable and clear. Claire never leaves you hanging with the question ‘What can I do about this problem?’ I particularly liked the advice she gave about the cognitive behavioural therapy exercises that she likes, as well as what she had to say about public speaking. In the book, Claire also reminds you that you’re never alone. That, for example, It’s normal to feel nervous when you get into an important meeting – plenty of people feel the same way. I really appreciated that.

But there were also some things I didn’t like..

Don’t get me wrong. I thought this book was okay, and some parts I even liked, I would probably rate it 2.5 out of five stars, but I didn’t love this book the same way as some people love this book. Even though I tried really hard. There were a couple of things in this book I took issue with.  Continue reading “Book Review: We’re All Mad Here by Claire Eastham”