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Do Graphic Novels and Manga Count?

comics

Just wanted to ask you guys your opinion on something. When you look at your reading count and your goals, do you include graphic novels and manga?

Part of me feels a little guilty counting them – it takes an hour to read and it counts for another book read. There is a big difference between reading 2 novels and 2 comics. I will say that there is definitely something to be taken away when you read GF’s. It is, I think, a type of literature. I just have a hard time comparing GF’s with say something written by Harper Lee for example. I am fairly new to reading them so maybe I still feel like they are comic books that 8 year old boys read and not graphic novels.

In my New Years resolution goals I was specific, saying how many books I wanted to read not including any GF’s. But do you guys count them or do you distinguish?

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On This Bookish Day: February 11th- Sylvia Plath Dies

Hello bookworms,

Welcome back to On This Bookish Day. Where one day of the month I will honour and important literary date in history. I’ll tell you a little about the author and review one of their books.

So, on this bookish day:

February 11th- Sylvia Plath Dies, 1963

Sylvia Plath was a poet, novelist and short story writer. She excelled at Smith College, where after her third year, was given the position of guest editor of the Mademoiselle magazine; for a month, in New York City. It was not at all what she expected, but it was the inspiration for her novel The Bell Jar. After her first attempt at suicide, she spent six months in psychiatric care, where she received electric shock therapy. After what was thought to be a good recovery, she returned to school and graduated with highest honours.

Eventually her depression returned and then worsened. After several suicide attempts, she was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning. She was 30 years old.

And a few random facts:

  • At the age of 12 her IQ was recorded at 160, literally a genius.
  • Plath had her first poem published in the Boston Herald at the age of 9.
  • She worked her way through Smith College even though she had been accepted to Wellesley for free. She worked on a farm doing manual labour.

There are many more interesting facts about her. But after reading about her depression and death I wanted some happier facts. To honour her I chose to read and do a quick review of her only novel The Bell Jar.

the-bell-jar

★★★★☆

I had originally given this book three stars. But after I sat with it a bit and I think let it soak in, I decided to change it to a four star book. This was a short and very powerful book for me. Her writing is phenomenal, it flows beautifully. She has a way of describing that kept me engaged.

The book is about a young woman who goes to New York City for a month on behalf of the magazine she writes for in college. When she comes home from the trip she goes into a depression and is hospitalised…..Sound familiar.

The first half of the book is her experience in New York City, and it was pretty much a let down.  The first half of the book honestly didn’t really interest me, she wasn’t whiny or annoying, I just found it kind of boring. I was expecting this thought provoking book about depression. Near the end of her trip you could see some depression beginning to show.

Well that brings me to the second half of the book. You get what seems to be a real look into what depression feels like. The thought process they go through. The parts where she describes the electric shock therapy, seemed very real. Keeping in mind this would have been treatment from the early 50’s, it still sounds pretty traumatic. The second half of the book was what really hooked me, it was seeing depression and treatment form the inside. I won’t give you guys any more because with a short book you can’t say much without spoiling.

I have seen a lot of mixed review for this book, some people just couldn’t seem to identify at all with the main character. The ones that loved it seemed to be people who had suffered from depression themselves in the past. Although I haven’t experienced it myself I do find psychology interesting, so I really enjoyed this book.

I would recommend this to anyone interested in depression, or have perhaps experienced it. Or really anyone who wants to read a modern classic, I would just warn that the first half was slow for me, but I felt it was worth it.

African-American History Month Rant

Hello bookworms,

This one is going to be a little different from my usual posts, but I thought it was something that could use discussion. I’ll also do a tentative TBR for February.

Okay, so for the rant part. Last year on Booktube and when I was just reading blogs I remember seeing a lot of black history month TBR’s or African-American literature recommendations. This year I have seen two on Booktube and one or two on the blogs. Not that I think this is mandatory or anything, or even that you should make yourself read books because of the month. I just really enjoy it when people make up lists for black history month, or just talk about their contributions to literature. I like the discussions they bring.

I guess it isn’t even a rant, because I’m not mad or annoyed, I guess I’m just curious as to why there seems to be the sudden drop this year. I have never done anything in the past for black history month from a literary point of view, but I have never really done a TBR before either. So for this year I decided to do one up. I’m not going to lie I had to look up old videos to find some good recommendations. I have never picked a book based on race. I usually didn’t even know the race of an author.

So for my African-American history month reading list I have chosen quite a few and I’ll see how many I can actually get through.

  • Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange’s

Anyone who would like to join me, or maybe even do a buddy read is more than welcome to join in. Some of those I have mentioned are on order so they won’t be here for a week or two.

The Paper Menageries and Other Stories by Ken Liu

the-paper-menageries

★★★★☆

Right off the bat I am going to say that I have never been able to get into short stories. So the fact that I rated this 4 stars might just be a miracle. A Booktuber (The Poptimist) I really enjoy likes this collection and told me it could be a good starting off point for me to jump into short stories, and he was right.

I have no idea how to do a summary for a short story collection. I’m just going to say that there are a lot of different genres in this book, the stories range from science fiction, fantasy, to historical fiction and a sort of weird combination that seems to work. I personally would probably classify this book as science fiction.

To start off the book, I found the story to be a little to literal for my liking. I didn’t hate it but I was a little worried about liking this author. But I pushed through and they just seemed to get better the further I got. My favourite story was most definitely the one the book was named after, The Paper Menageries. I won’t ruin it for you guys, since it is a short story I think giving you any plot would be a bit of a spoiler. I’ll just say that I thought it was just going to be cute little story, and it had a lot more substance than I was expecting. For people who don’t read collections and just the odd short story, I would recommend this story to everyone.

It is so odd for me to try and review a collection of short stories, every story is so different, and I have different feelings about them all. I really liked almost all of the stories. But I did find near the end of the book for the last three stories or so, I was getting tired of reading short fiction. Thinking about it now, I probably should have put it down and come back rather than pushed through. There is one story that is about 100 pages long and I just couldn’t get into it and I think that’s the reason I had sort of lost interest. But I know now to put the stories down and come back if I’m getting bored. It’s not like you can forget what was happening like in a novel.

I have never had good luck with science fiction really, and haven’t been a fan of short stories in the past. But I think science fiction might be best in short story format, for me anyways. I think people should at least give this book a try, and to read past the first story because it gets better.

Let me know if you guys have any short story collections you would recommend, or if you just can’t seem to get into them like me.

Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest

hold-your-own

★★★★★

I am fairly new to the poetry world, but I have to say that I am becoming a huge fan. I probably won’t be very analytical, since I don’t really know what I am talking about, but I can tell you that I loved this collection of poetry.

The collection is broken down into four parts: Childhood, Womanhood, Manhood and Blind Profit. It centres around the blind prophet Tiresias, the poetry seems to link the ancient greek mythology with modern day. Or could be described as a modern retelling. She pretty much touches on everything: youthfulness, sex, love, community, PTSD, bullying. There just seems to be something for absolutely everyone in here.

This poetry will bring a lot of different emotions with it, some will make you smile, and other could make you cry. Kate Tempest has a way of touching on many emotions, while keeping a sort of simplicity to it. I love that this poetry isn’t abstract, you don’t have to sit there an analyze it. Anyone can pick it up and just experience it!

This book got my first five star review of the year, and it has definitely earned it. I would urge everyone to pick this up and give it a try. Even if you don’t think you like poetry, or have no idea where to start. I am new to this world and am glad to say that I am enjoying it so far.

Does anyone have any suggestions on where I should go next in the poetry universe? I was thinking Milk and Honey next since I have only heard great things so far.

Ringing in the New Year Book Tag

I was tagged by Always Booking, you should all go check out her blog if you haven’t already. Her New Friend Friday posts are an awesome way to discover new blogger.

Best book/series you’ve read in 2016

Okay, so surprisingly this is an easy one for me. I know, I know there are so many amazing books out there. But there was one that stood out from the crowd, and for the time being I think this is my favourite book of all time. If you would like to hear me go on and on about it you can always check out my review.

wenjack

Authors that you’ve recently found and would like to read more of in the new year.

Well obviously Joseph Boyden I mentioned up above. But also Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Joe Hill, and Marissa Meyer.

Most anticipated book turned movie/TV show.

I’m going to say The Dark Tower by Stephen King, since I remember really enjoying the book, but I now can’t seem to remember what happens. Maybe it could be a way for me to get a bit of a recap. Then again I usually don’t watch a lot of books to movies, they are usually a let down.

dark-tower-stephen-king

Name a character that you wouldn’t mind sharing a kiss at midnight with.

Honestly there isn’t one that is coming to mind. I have never been someone who seems to fall for fictional characters. So I don’t know this one is going to be a non answer for me.

What’s on my TBR for 2017

Oh man where to start. I’ll give a few off my ever growing list.

the-underground-railroadmilk-and-honeythe-enchantedmy-life-on-the-road

How many books do you plan on reading in 2017.

I have set my Goodreads goal to 60 books, this should be doable I think. I try to up my goal a little each year but I don’t want to push it to much. I still want to enjoy what I am reading.

Will you participate in the Goodreads reading challenge or any other?

Well I guess I already answered the Goodreads question above. I usually do the the popsugar reading challenge too, but this year I have decided to focus more on getting my TBR down, as well as reading what is already sitting on my bookshelves.

Any New Years resolutions (bookish, blogging, or otherwise)?

Oh man there is a lot of stuff I want to work on every year. Read more, read better books. As for blogging, I’m still fairly new so I’m learning as I go so no resolutions for that quite yet. Personally, I’ll probably be working with physio to try and get back into shape after being in a cast for 3 months.

TAG

Well it might be getting a little late for a New Years post to be tagging a bunch of people, especially since I forgot to do this one up after I was tagged a while back. So anyone who feels the urge feel free to consider yourself tagged!!

The Entertainer Blogger Award

Oh man this is so exciting for me, this is my first time being tagged to do anything. They always look like so much fun, so I could wait to write this one up right away…..well as soon as I noticed I had been tagged that is. So first off I would like to thank MissAbigailSite, if you haven’t checked out her blog you should go do that now.

So here we go:

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Add these rules to your post.
  3. Answer all the questions below.
  4. Display the award picture in your post.
  5. Nominate 7 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring and most important of all ENTERTAINING!

And the reason you’re all here my answers…

Question 1.Why did you start a blog in the first place?

Hmmm, well obviously I love books and reading like all book bloggers. But I guess the reason is: I have an old ankle injury that got worse and I couldn’t do a lot. This meant I was reading way more than I had in the past, and to be honest I don’t know anyone who reads as much as me and wanted people I could talk books with.

Question 2. What is you favourite book?

Why? This is such a hard question!!The only reason I think I will be able to answer it is because I recently read a novella that I absolutely fell in love with. That would be  Wenjack by Joseph Boyden, if you are interested I did do a review where I basically rant about it non stop.

Question 3. What do you dislike the most?

Well I guess considering this is a book blog, I should probably pick something literary in some way, shape or form. One this that absolutely drive me crazy when I’m reading is when authors explain every little thing to you, readers are not dumb we can figure it out. The power of inference is great.

Question 4. What is your favourite food item from the mall?

This really depends on my mood at the time. But a safe bet would be tacos, I love tacos mmmmmmmmmm tacos.

Question 5. What is your favourite pastime?

Okay so obviously I love reading, but one of my favourite pastime is actually hiking. I haven’t been able too recently, due to my injury, but hopefully this summer I can get out there again.

I don’t know who has been nominated already and can’t remember who has done this so my apologies if this is a repeat.

Drum roll please ……

The Orang-utan Librarian

Books, Vertigo and Tea

By Hook Or by Book

Always Booking

The Tattooed Book Geek

The Book Heathen

Book Slayer Reads

On a side note I has some technical difficulties with the award picture, but I did my best. I think I did it right.