Reread Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

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For years, my new years resolution has been to reread Harry Potter. This year, I finally committed! Or.. to the first book at least.  I will let you know right off the bat, I ended up giving the book (only?) three stars. Continue reading

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Let’s do a library haul

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I love love LOVE my local library. I became a patron again last year and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. I have the ‘plus’ membership, which means I get to keep the books for a year if I want to (which I never do, but it’s nice to not be on a time crunch constantly).

I never really do library hails, but since 2019 is about blogging more (for me), and I enjoy reading these posts at other people’s blogs, why not do one?

schermafbeelding 2019-01-19 om 18.05.48Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
I’ve never read a Brandon Sanderson book (yet!) I’ve also heard great things about his books. I’m someone that looooves character-driven stories and extensive world building, so his books are always recommended to me. I’ve heard that Warbreaker is a good place to start (before diving into the mistborne trilogy) so that’s the one I got from my library. Super excited to dive into this one!

 

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We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
In 2017 and early 2018, this book was all the rage on Goodreads and Booktube. Not that crazy, considering it has a GORGEOUS cover. I saw this in my library and picked it up, because I wanted to see what this (old..) hype was all about! A lot of people whose reviews I trust have rated this book high, so I’m excited to try it.

 

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Book review: Becoming by Michelle Obama

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I was never hugely into audiobooks, but I have finally found a kind that I like: autobiographies narrated by the person the book is about. ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama is exactly what I was looking for.

This story, told in chronological order, starts when Michelle is just a kid. Of course, I knew a little bit about the former first lady before I listened to this, but not a whole lot. I loved the portrayal of the south side of Chicago, and learning how Michelle dealt with a world that was – and is – divided in so many ways. I loved hearing about her father and how his disability was handled in the family.

I was hoping to also learn about how Michelle handled law school, as I’m currently in law school myself. Unfortunately, she kind of skipped over this part. It’s funny, because Michelle never wanted to be a lawyer. It was super interesting to hear how her career went as she steered away from law as someone with a law degree. In that way, I still got something out of that portion of the book. Continue reading

Should we stop writing negative book reviews?

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It seems that the bookish community has had a shifting opinion on the idea of book reviews and what they should be. It might just be my tiny Twitter bubble, but it seems to be that more and more people think that writing negative book reviews is rude. And that if you didn’t like a book, you shouldn’t write about it, or even rate the book at all.. Continue reading

My 2019 Reading Goals

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After updating you on how I did on my 2018 reading goals, I thought it would be only fitting to let you know what I’m planning on working on during 2019. I loved holding myself accountable through the blog posts I have written about my goals. Here’s to 2019. 🙂

Goal 1: read all the books I still have on my physical TBR
Right now, I have about ~23 books on my shelves that I haven’t read yet. In 2019, I finally want to read most, if not all of them. Of course, I will probably also buy a bunch of books this year. I’m not counting these as part of the physical TBR, however, I do want to end up with less books on my physical TBR at the end of the year than I started with.

Goal 2: diversify my reading even more
In 2018, I think I did a pretty good job diversifying my reading. But at the same time, I think I started to see some holes into the diversity I did read. So, in 2019, I want to focus specifically on the following:

  • Read more books by black authors and with black main characters
  • Read more books with disabled characters
  • Read more books set in Australia and Africa.

Goal 3: read more classic fantasy
Here’s a confession for ya: I have never read a Brandon Sanderson book in my life. I want to get more into fantasy in 2019. I always see those ”top 100 best fantasy books” lists online with the same books on them. So yeah, I think it’s time to read some of those. Continue reading

2018 Reading Goals Wrap Up: how did I do?

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At the beginning of this year, I made a post with some of my (unconventional) reading goals for this year. And then, in the middle of the year, I wrote a mid year goal update. Since the end of the year is upon us, I thought it was time to wrap-up my goals and see how I’ve done.

Goal 1: stop worrying about how much I’ve read, or haven’t read
In 2018, I wanted to get rid of the feeling of competitive reading. As I said in my original post, I sometimes feel pressured to read ”x amount of books” and it can stress me out. In my mid-year check-up I said that I found it SO hard to let go of the pressure I put on myself to read a ton of books. But since I went back to school in September, it’s been easier because I’ve had less time to think about it. I ended up reading 42 books this year. I was silently hoping to get 52, but I’m okay with not reaching that number.

For 2019, I’m putting my Goodreads challenge at 1 book. This way, my Goodreads will still track all the books and pages I read, but I won’t pressure myself in reading a certain amount of books. I really want to focus on the quality of the books I read instead of the quantity.

Goal 2: read more classic novels
Let’s make a list of all the classic novels I read this year:

  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Although I’m quite happy with this list, I do realize this list is just as long as it was during my mid-year reading update. I haven’t read any more classics since making that post! I think part of that has to do with starting law school and wanting to only read ‘easy’ fiction. I do have a few more classics on my shelf, which I will list on in my upcoming 2019 goals post. Continue reading

The 6 most disappointing books I (attempted to) read in 2018

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As of right now, I have read 42 books this year. I was on track to break 50, but then law school happened and it all went downhill from there. But hey, 42 books is still great! And many of those books were wonderful. Others, not so much.. Today I want to share the books that disappointed me this year.

‘Disappointing’ doesn’t mean they were the worst books that I came across this year, it simply means I had just such high hopes for them and ended up not loving them nearly as much as I had hoped.

Schermafbeelding 2018-04-30 om 15.03.46The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
In 2018 I finally tried to get into Maggie Stiefvater and it did not go well. I always say that I need to understand the motive of the characters to care about the story and that’s where this book completely fell flat for me. Some rich spoiled private school kids search for a Welsh King and somehow it has to do with psychic energy but like, why? I made it halfway through and it’s still not clear. Which made me not excited to pick this back up again.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret AtwoodSchermafbeelding 2018-12-23 om 16.49.08
I wanted to be blown away by this book SO BAD. But I just wasn’t. A story set in a theonomic military dictatorship formed within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America. But I just felt so MEH about the execution. The first 100 pages or so are kind of slow, and we don’t really learn about much at all. I just felt like I was groping around in the dark, trying to figure out what was going on and how we got there. Continue reading

Revisiting Old Favorites: Matilda by Roald Dahl

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2018 is the year I started giving my local library more love. And it’s been amazing. One of the greatest things about the library is that they allow me to revisit my old favorites more easily: books that I once read but (no longer) have in my possession. I don’t always want to spend money on these books because I know the story so well, but I would like to reread them. The library is the perfect solution.

Matilda by Roald Dahl is such a book. Just like so many other children, I loved this book when I was younger. I think Matilda might be one of the first characters I related to. I was also a child that loved reading, did incredibly well in school compared to my peers and thus stood out. Although my classmates weren’t as nice to me as they were too Matilda, it was comforting to know that characters like hers existed and I wasn’t the odd one out. (It’s funny how back then being ‘different’ meant something negative, but now I  love it).

There is another reason why I love Matilda so much. It is one of the very few children’s books I’ve read that deals with abuse well. I’ve read some negative reviews from people saying that kids shouldn’t read about this, and that this book makes it sound like almost all adults are terrible. I disagree. I think Matilda is a great introduction into the tough and often unfair world of adulthood. Although the adults in this book – like Matilda’s parents and Ms. Trunchbull – are completely unrealistic and over the top, the problems that Matilda has to deal with are very real. Emotional neglect and adults that enjoy bullying very much exist, and this book shows us that Matilda is much stronger than them.

Above all, this book values kindness more than anything. Matilda and Miss Honey end up together in the end, which is heartwarming. It’s just one of those books that always puts a smile on my face. And even now, about fifteen years after I first read it, I still love Matilda.

Unpopular Bookish Opinions

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Anything that goes against the grain immediately grabs my attention; maybe that’s why I love listening to unpopular opinions so much. Sharing them has been a thing on Twitter lately, and it inspired me to write this post!

Katniss should’ve ended up alone
People are either Team Peeta or Team Gale.. and here I am sitting quietly, by myself, in the ”Katniss should’ve ended up alone” team. Before you crucify me, let me explain. Katniss never made a choice. People were pulling at her from different angles, and she was just falling for the person that happened to be right in front of her. I never felt like she was one hundred percent going for either or. Ending up alone would have fitted her independent personality.

Floppy mass marker paperbacks are the best
I know a lot of people don’t like these, but I LOVE a good floppy mass market paperback. Especially the really thick ones that look like bricks. There is something about them that makes them so lovely to read and go through. But then again I don’t mind breaking the spines of my books, so I think that helps a lot.

Highlighting books and dog-earing them is okay
I actually talked about this before, but I wanted to mention it here because I do feel like most people disagree with me here. I love annotating my books, and I love when they look all beat up. It just makes my books look so loved. Going back to books that I annotated ages ago makes me feel nostalgic inside, in the same way that looking at an old journal might do.

Rainbow shelves stress me out
Writing this, I realise that this definitely fits with my previous point. Maybe I’m just not neat enough, but rainbow shelves kind of weird me out. I feel like it’s not how a bookshelf is ”supposed” to look. I like the messy book bookshelves have, and it’s how I prefer mine. But hey, to each their own.  Continue reading