Blog

Weekly Wrap Up April 16th

Time for my weekly wrap up. So compared to last week it’s fair to say that this week kind of sucked. For a little glimpse into my life, I was busy for the last week pricing out and planning our vacation in September. Seems simple enough buy it seemed to take my boyfriend and I many many hours and conversations, but I think we are finally ready. But for my reading this week:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – I am glad I read this classic. As you guys may have noticed, not a lot of classics come up on my currently reading list. This one was really good. I really liked the way he described the character, he created a very vivid story in just 124 pages. I always fear boredom with classic literature, and I can safely say that was not an issue for this novella.

One Hundred Shadows by Hwang Jungeun translated by Jung Yewon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Probably not so well know. This is a fantasy book, set in the slums of Seoul. It follows the awkward new relationship of Eungyo and Mujae. Where the shadows start to rise of the people in the slums. Leaving you to infer what is happening with their shadows. I really liked this novel it is short, but really well written. To be completely honest, this isn’t a very busy books, but man there is an atmosphere. Her writing is just beautiful, you become enveloped in their world. Partly just enjoying the writing and story and partly figuring out what exactly is going on.

So that is it for my reading accomplishments this week, two short books. But they were both four star reads for me. Since I literally just finished up One Hundred Shadows I don’t exactly have a currently reading. But I did just pick up two books from the library so I think I pick those up next. I got Winter Cranes poems by Chris Banks, CanLit yay 🍁. Also Fun Home A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. Well that what I have next in line.

Let me know what you guys are reading this week:)

Advertisements

Weekly Wrap-up

So I thought I would try doing a weekly wrap-up. I was going to post this yesterday but I dot distracted by Netflix. So I’m off to a great start. I read quite a few books, but I don’t review them all. I just don’t alway have anything to say, especially if it was a 3 star book.

This week went alright. Felt like I spent a lot of time reading, since I had no internet for a few days. Thanks to a bored puppy and some cords within his reach.

What I’ve read this week:

 Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari – ⭐️⭐️⭐️  This is a book about the pros and cons of dating in the modern world. Lots of stats, research and focus groups. This book is pretty good, I found it quite interesting. Plus if you have seen the show Master of None on Netflix, you know there will be some humour thrown in. As I was reading it I could hear his voice in my head, which makes it more entertaining. The info in it felt a little repetitive, but it was over all pretty interesting. It may have been a bit more interesting for me because my boyfriend and I met through online dating, but I would recommend this book.

I haven’t decided if I am going to review this one let me know if you guys are interested.

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  This is her story of growing up in Canada with Indian parents. I is a mixture of funny stories and very serious issues. I really liked that it touched on the funny parts of growing up with parents that immigrated, and the different expectations. But then she talks about the very serious issues, of drinking, rape culture, sexism, and much more. I think this is a great book for men and women, plus Canadian author so I’m a fan of that for sure.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield – ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Chris Hadfield is a Canadian astronaut, really well known to us. His book is basically how he became an astronaut and some general life advice. Over all I thought this book was pretty good, there is some really interesting stuff space and the program. Especially in part 1 I found some of the info to be a bit repetitive, but over all worth a read.

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G.Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona(Artist) -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  A muslim teenage girl suddenly gets powers. I really like that they used a muslim girl. It just felt like a nice change too me. Then again I don’t read a lot of graphic novels. I think the second one will be better, this one felt like quite a bit of set up. But I really enjoyed this one and would recommend it if superhero stuff isn’t usually your thing. Give this one a try.

For my currently reading I just stared A Christmas Carol, but given that it is only 124 pages I should be done it in no time. Next I plan on picking up One Hundred Shadows by Hwang Jungeun, traslated from Korean. I actually tried out a book box that I ordered and it was one of two in there so I am excited to give it a shot. Plus I am always trying to read more translated works. That’s the plan anyways feels almost like a TBR.

On This Bookish Day: April 10th-The Great Gatsby was Published

Hello bookworms,

Welcome back to On This Bookish Day, where one day of the month I will honour an 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:

April 10th- The Great Gatsby was published-1925

The Great Gatsby is considered to be a literary classic and a great American novel. When it was published in 1925, it wasn’t a great success. It received mixed reviews and only sold 20,000 copies in it’s first year. Turns out that it didn’t become popular until World War II, when it was sent over seas to the soldiers and then became part of American high school curriculum. Sadly he did not live to see it’s popularity grow. The Fitzgeralds moved to Long Island in 1922, after the birth of their child. He was inspired by the parties he attended while visiting the north shore. He then started planning it out in 1923. Fitzgerald wrote 18,000 words, but edited most of it out, which then became a short story “Absolution” published in 1924.

A Few Random Facts:

  • At the time of its publication in 1925, the novel cost just $2.
  • Zelda Fitzgerald wrote that the silent film based on the novel was “ROTTEN and awful and terrible and we left.”
  • The poet who “wrote” the novel’s epigraph never actually existed. He was a character in Fitzgerald’s previous book, This Side of Paradise.

So this one had a super short bit of history, but there isn’t quite as much to say about a novel. But since it was the day that book was published I wanted to talk about the novel not the person, well this time I did.

The Great Gatsby

★★★★☆

This one was a four star read for me. It wasn’t quite as good as I had been expecting, but just because it seems that everyone gives it five stars. I thought it was going to blow me out of the water. Don’t get me wrong it’s a really good book, I just have issue with hyped up books, so I probably did this to myself.

I found the beginning of the book to be pretty boring and it had me a little worried. The start is all about people spending money on big parties. The people are just so superficial, they only care about things and where you’re educated and who you know.

**Spoilers ahead**

Once the story moved on and it was about Gatsby and Daisy, I was much more interested. I’m not someone who reads love stories, but it wasn’t about that. For me it was so hard to read about Gatsby, he just tried so hard. Daisy just care less it seemed, she says she loved him, but really she wasn’t interested when he didn’t have any money. Then she just seemed to give everyone the run around. After all that he went through and taking the fall for the car accident, I felt so bad for him when it ended with his death.

***Spoilers done***

I can totally see why this became a classic. The way it describes the 20’s. Also as I found out with the bit of research I did, the inspiration that he saw from the mixture of “old money” and “new money”.  I really enjoyed this novel and I hope to read some more of his work.

What did you guys think of The Great Gatsby?  

The Sims Book Tag

Sims Book Tag.jpg

So I thought I was tagged to do this one, but can’t seem to find it if it was. Then again maybe I wasn’t either way tags are fun. If you tagged me and I forgot sorry about that. The original tag was created by Hailey in Bookland.

The Original Sims – The best author debut

The Martian

I loved this book. It’s so funny and dorky at the same time. I’ assuming it not really plausible, but still a great read.

The Grim Reaper – The saddest character death

wenjack

If you have been following my blog for a while you may have heard me mention this, well every chance I get. This is a novella and my favourite book at the moment. But this book destroyed me. In case you wanted to hear me rave some more click here for my review.

Sims Getting Stuck – A character that just got in the way.

the-catcher-and-the-rye

I was sure what to put for this one. So I picked The Catcher in the Rye because well I hated the main character Holden Caulfield.

Simlish – A book with amazing writing

The house on mango street

This was a recent read for me. I found the writing to be amazing, it just flowed so beautifully. It was almost like reading poetry.

Expansion Packs – A series where the books keep getting better

Harry Potter.jpg

I am way behind everyone else, and have just finished reading the 5th book in the series. I am confident though that they will continue to get better for the last two books.

Sim Romance – The worst case of insta-love

Everything, Everything

This is why I don’t read a lot of YA. My biggest pet peeve is insta-love, I know a lot of people just loved it and thought it was cute, but it wasn’t for me.

Cheats – A book that was entirely unrealistic

The Ritual

I just didn’t like this book. It was just one thing after another, seemed like he just made stuff up to make the plot move along. It was just so random.

Needs Fullfillment – A character that made all the wrong decisions

The Great Gatsby

I would have to say that Gatsby kept making the wrong decisions. He just kept trying to get Daisy and she didn’t care.

Error Code 12 – A series that started off well but went downhill from there.

Divergent Series.jpg

Not going to lie, really liked it at the beginning. But I had to make myself finish the series.

The Sims Vortex- A series that completely engrossed you

Saga.jpg

It was either this one or Harry Potter again. I wanted to pick something else so I went with a graphic novel. It was the first graphic novel I picked up and I’m hooked.

I don’t think I am going to tag anyone for this. But if you want to do give it a shot, go for it.

On This Bookish Day : March 26th-Walt Whitman Dies

Hello bookworms,

Welcome back to On This Bookish Day, where one day of the month I will honour an 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:

March 26th-Walt Whitman Dies, 1892

Walt Whitman, the father of free verse. He was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. His work was considered very controversial for its time, especially Leaves of Grass, for the sexuality. Whitman’s most famous work Leaves of Grass, was supposed to be for the common person.

Walt Whitman started off by working in the print industry, but had difficulties finding work due to a fire in the printing and publishing district. Then he moved on to teaching intermittently, but ultimately decided it was not satisfying. He then decided to start up his own newspaper, called the Long Islander. He worked as the editor, distributer, publisher and even did home deliveries. After ten months, he sold the newspaper, then wrote a number of editorials for three newspapers in New York.

The first edition of Leaves of Grass was printed in June of 1855. Critics considered it to be trashy and obscene, to the point that after the second edition was already printed they considered not releasing. Once the Civil War started he continued to write poetry. He wrote of his experiences from the war, seeing mass amounts of amputations and wounded soldiers affected him quite deeply.

He suffered a paralytic stroke in 1873, but continued with his work. Whitman produced other copies of Leaves of Grass over the following years, in 1891 he finished his final edition nicknamed the deathbed edition. Afterwards he wrote “L. of G. at last complete—after 33 y’rs of hackling at it, all times & moods of my life, fair weather & foul, all parts of the land, and peace & war, young & old”. He died in 1892, he was 72.

A few random facts:

  • Walt Whitman volunteered as a nurse during the Civil War.
  • He paid for the first edition publication of Leaves of Grass.
  • He denied any one faith was more important than the others.

That was much longer than I was expecting, I thought there wouldn’t be that much information about him. Turns out there is a ton of stuff about him. If you guys are interested there is so much more to know about him, but I didn’t want this to be 17 pages long.

Leaves of Grass

★★★☆☆

So for this one I gave it three stars, and I found it really hard to pick a rating for this one. It’s a collection of poetry so I can’t say anything about plot or characters. But I can talk about writing style.

I completely understand why his writing was considered for the common American. This was probably the easiest poetry I have read so far. Then again I have barely scratched the surface of the poetry genre. It seemed to be written mostly like a narrative, not abstract at all, which I can appreciate. I especially liked his descriptions of nature and the outdoors in general. He has a way to paint a very beautiful picture, so vivid.

So that all being said, this wasn’t an amazing collection for me. I could appreciate the writing, and I understand why this is a classic. But the poems were long….Very, very long. I just don’t think I can concentrate on a poem that long; the first poem was around 60 pages. For a person who doesn’t even like 20 page chapters in a novel, that’s just too much. They also seemed to be divided up a little weirdly for me. Within the poem they seemed to be split up into numbered sections, it seemed like they would have been individual poems. They seemed to jump around a bit in subject matter, but yet they were all the same poem. So I found it a little confusing, but maybe I just don’t know enough about poetry at this point.

I would recommend this for people to try out. It is very different from the more modern poetry I have read so far, but still very accessible. It’s a classic, and it’s quick, so give it a try. Have you guys read this yet or is there more classic poetry I need to try?

Milk and Honey

milk-and-honey

★★★★★

This must be one popular book. I had to wait two and a half months for this to come in at the library. But I will admit it was worth the wait. I am now planning on buying my own copy one day as well. Me being super cheap I will wait for a sale.

This collection of poetry is divided up into four: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. Not much of a recap I can give you here, I’m still trying to figure out how to review poetry.

So first off it opens with the hurting. This part, was very real and very raw. She describes some very horrible and unfortunately very true experiences for some. I could feel the hurt reading this part, I could see the trauma that this would cause, as well as the anger that this would bring up.

It then jumps into the loving. Even in that part I felt like it moved well. It starts off talking about the love between parents and children, then being in love. It was a nice break, moving into something a little lighter and happier. The emotions to me were definitely just as strong, they were just on a happier note.

Moving into part three: the breaking. This part is probably the one that I “got” the most. I’m not sure how to explain this except, I found myself saying : “wow, that’s so true” to myself while reading. It’s more the sad truth, but not the traumatic sad like in the hurting. It’s more of a that’s life and it sucks but it happens, kind of sad/truth.

Then flowing into the healing. This was by far my favourite part, because it was the inspirational one. It was like I could feel her strength while reading it. And I loved that. It just goes to show that after all the crap you may have gone through, you can still keep going.

I loved this collection, as with anything that is a collection, some I liked more than others of course. But the whole feeling of the book was just great for me. I found some to be a little too short as if it was an inspirational quote you may have read on your Facebook feed that morning. But overall I thought it was great, very easy for me to read, not so abstract as to sit there figuring it out. I could just read, feel and experience.

 

Have you guys read this collection? Or do you have any other poetry collection recommendations for me, as I am new to exploring this.

Push by Saphire

push

★★★★☆

This book I came across completely by chance. I went to pick up a book at the library and it was for sale with the used books…. I got it for 50 cents. It’s a really short book and I thought it could be the perfect addition for my African American History month reads.

A movie has been made based on this book, it was pretty big I believe, called Precious. The plot of this book is very devastating. It is about an illiterate 16 year old girl, who is repeatedly raped by her father and beaten by her mother. The book follows her journey of education, with one teacher who really pushed her to learn. She taught her not only how to write but also to write about her life, and a way to start to process her childhood.

This book got a ton of mixed reviews on Goodreads. It seems it is a love it or hate it type of book. I read a lot of people say that they found it way too graphic and it made them feel like they were raped too. Well if you ask me that is a little extreme. Yes, it talks about rape. Yes, it describes rape. Yes, it is hard to read. But no, it didn’t seem to be overly graphic to me. For anyone who is concerned, there are a few descriptions, and the longest one would be about a paragraph, or 1/3 to 1/2 a page. If that isn’t something you feel comfortable with by all means skip this book, there are trigger warnings for sure.

If you are like me, I enjoyed reading about the changes she went through. The positive changes. In this short novel I got to watch this broken down girl grow. She learnt how to read and write and more importantly, how to come to terms with her childhood. Precious also grew so much stronger through the book. She learnt to stand up for herself to her mother, how to value what she had and to push herself to do better than what has been expected of her. If you can get past the descriptions of rape and abuse in this book, I found it to be quite an amazing story of character development.

I would not recommend this book to everyone, I enjoyed it and could take away the positive from this otherwise horrible life the protagonist had. I would say again there are major trigger warning for rape and abuse. If you go into this book, be warned that is all I am saying. I honestly flipped through it quickly first to make sure the descriptions wouldn’t be too much for me. Ultimately I am glad I read this, though I do understand the mixed reviews, this is not a book for everyone that is for sure.

What do you guys think, is it alright to have graphic descriptions in books if you feel like it adds to the story? Or do you think it should be implied more, we don’t need the nitty gritty details?