Life Update

Hello Everyone,

I know I have been MIA for 3 weeks now, but I think I finally have a new routine set up to make time for reading and blogging again. In case anyone is curious I give you the story on why I have been missing.

So, I accepted a second job for the summer working for the government,  I am currently doing my best to work two full time jobs for the time being. While I was training, my brain was sort of feeling like it was going to explode haha. But I think I have things figured out and am now slowly reading some more and I plan to try and get caught up on my long overdue blog hopping this week. Sorry if I miss anyone I will do my best.

Part two in Asia’s life: I knew I needed another ankle surgery and I hadn’t gotten a phone call…..Turns out some paperwork was lost, and they found a spot to get me in last minute, so surprise!! I am still on the mend from that plus working from home on evenings and weekends I have been stretched pretty thin.

Part three: I am now considering going back too school. I currently work in payroll and finance. Lots of numbers, invoicing and data entry. I am now looking at getting a diploma in human resources and then slowly working toward a bachelor in commerce. Lots of things going on all at once, but I am finding my bearings.

I think by this point I have read maybe 200 pages since I started the new job about a month ago, so I won’t have as many books to review or posts to make but I’ll do what I can. Don’t forget about me 🙂 Okay, long life story now complete.

I’m Back…. Finally

Hello everybody,

I am back, and happy to say that my absence was because I got to go on vacation to Seoul, South Korea….To meet my boyfriends parents. And, I am pleased to announce it went great!! So we spent two weeks in Seoul and we went to watch an Olympic hockey game in a nearby city.  I got to be a tourist with my boyfriend and his mom giving me a personal tour. I got to see all lots of stuff: from museums and a palace to a themed cafe. I though I would share some pictures for you guys:

Thanks for checking it out, and I’ll have a few book reviews coming, they are written just need some editing:)

2018 Reading Goals or Lack Thereof

Last year I made a bunch of reading goals and I have realized that it doesn’t really matter, because I don’t even remember them all. This year I am keeping it simple. I will try to 100 books and I will read whatever I want. I have a couple of books for review that I haven’t read yet, but once those are done I am going to drastically cut back on what I accept maybe one or two a year if I think I will absolutely love them.

I hate feeling obligated to read or write. I know lots of people have a goal to make schedules, but I am going to be a bad blogger and just read and write when the mood strikes.

I would call it a goal, but I enjoy reading diverse books so I don’t need to push myself too hard to achieve that. I also want to be better at reading the books I own, which is crazy a amount that are unread….Probably best if I don’t count haha.

My goal, is for my reading to be as relaxing as a cat laying in the sunshine.

cat sleeping

I’m Back!!

Hello booknerds,

I am happy to say I am home from vacation, it was so much fun, but very busy and I am glad to be home. Also I missed all my bookish conversations with all of you guys:)

I read a total of one book while on planes and trains. What can I say I was tired. I’m hoping jump right back in, now that my jet leg is finally gone.

Not much else to tell you guys but I’m glad to be back and I hope to start posting again right away.

Here are a couple of pictures :

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Vacation Plans

Hello boys and girls,

I am off on a vacation to Italy, and I’ll be gone for two and a half weeks. I will do my best to keep reading, and I’ll try to check my e-mail while I’m there. I’m bringing with me three e-books from Netgalley so I should be coming back with some reviews to be written and some stories to be told 🙂

 

Talk to you all soon

University Required for Blogging?

Hello everybody, I have a bit of a random chat this time. But I received my first negative comment on one of my posts (figured it was about time). I don’t find myself particularly bothered by the fact that someone doesn’t like my opinion/blog whatever it may be. What I was annoyed by was the fact that they asked me about my education. They asked if I went to university because the blog post was badly written. In case you were curious it was my bookish post about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Ok, so I want to start off by saying, I don’t care that they don’t like my blog. But my personal opinion on that is: then don’t read my posts. If you have something constructive to say, go for it or disagree with me. I can take it. Implying I am uneducated isn’t helping anyone. They then went on to tell me that I lacked insight because I described the character of Sherlock Holmes as fun. According to them he is intended to be stoic.

So the real purpose of this post… What does everyone think about education and blogging about books?

I have never thought to ask a blogger about their education. Does it really matter what degree they have, or don’t have? I don’t think it changes an opinion about a book. An arts degree, for example, may influence how you analyze it or break it down. But I don’t think it changes how personal experiences evoke different emotions when reading.

The truth of it is, most people read for pure entertainment, not to sit down and discuss the themes and symbolism. In the end most people reading a review just want to know if it is worth their time. Was it entertaining? Did you learn something? Was it predictable?

In the end we all read, blog and review differently. I guess just do what you want is what it all comes down to. I know I won’t be changing anything based on that comment.

Have you guys had similar questions? How do you reply, or not?

Non-Fiction Gateway Books

Hello everybody,

I have called this post non-fiction gateway books for a reason. That is pretty much how it happened for me: I read one good memoir and then I was hooked. Now I read about two non-fiction books a month. So I thought I would make up a list for you other book lovers who are always trying to get into the genre.

Graphic Memoirs

Fun Home

This is a great one, where she describes growing up a lesbian from a very young age. It covers her before and after she realizes her sexual orientation. Very well done overall.

Persepolis

I have only read part one so far and it was really good. It is the story of a girl growing up in Iran during the Iranian Revolution, showing how so much changed and the freedoms she lost. Also a really good movie.

Mental Health

Brain on Fire.jpg

This is one of my favourite memoirs about mental health. Actually one of my favourite memoirs period. It is the story of a New York reporter who slowly became mad to the point where she was catatonic. She doesn’t remember any of it, so it is written from her interviewing friends, family and doctors. Her being a reporter, this worked very well. I don’t want to give anything away, but it says a lot about mental health as well as a bit of a science mystery.

Look me in the eye

I find Asperger’s very interesting and this one really helped me understand a bit more how they experience the world. I realize there is a whole spectrum and this is just one person’s experience, but I still really enjoyed it. If you are curious about Asperger’s this memoir is really well written. Robison gives you a good idea on how his brain works and he can be pretty funny.

Both by Jenny Lawson, and both hilarious. She is just funny. But she also has to deal with depression, anxiety and a few other issues. These books are a very fun and entertaining way to learn about the more serious aspects of common mental health issues.

The Reason I Jump

This is a really short book, that is just a Q&A of all the common questions this autistic boy is asked. Simple things that I would have no idea about, but really helped me to understand what they are going through and how they see the world.

 Science

What if

This book is just fun. He has really funny stick figures to show all the crazy scientific questions. Also the answers to these super crazy and funny questions are very real. If you are dorky like me and like science, pick this up: it will make you laugh.

Grunt

This is a really interesting book, too. Mary Roach has written a bunch of science books, she does a bunch of research on something she finds interesting and writes it all down. This one is about the army, some of it is crazy and others just plain fascinating. Like the amount of tests they need to do on a button for it to be approved for the army. If I remember right it was a 13 page document. And much more about things you had never asked before.

Funny

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This is exactly like it sounds. His dad says they funniest things. Not a lot to take away from this one, just really funny read.

Inspirational

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This is a beautiful memoir. This is the story of a sales rep. in Manhattan and a homeless 11-year-old boy. He was pan handling and she was going to keep walking. But she stopped and they had a meal together, this soon became a weekly event. This tells the story of their friendship that has lasted for decades.

wild

This was my gateway memoir. It happened to be the bookclub book at my library, so I took one home and read it in two days. This is a story about a woman who needed to find herself, and she did it by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. I found this to be interesting and touching. I might be biased, because it was my first memoir that I loved.

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I wasn’t sure where to put this one, but I knew I had to include it, because it is just amazing. It is a hard read, but man can this woman write. She talks so simply about overcoming so much. I find her inspiring, she talks about horrible things with no anger. I would also recommend listening to her talk on YouTube, because her voice is amazing and that alone will inspire you.

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This one is more inspiring in a work towards your dreams sort of way. Chris Hadfield talks about everything he had to do to become an astronaut, the things he had to give up and the focus required. He has in general lived a pretty interesting life and has a pretty good sense of humour.

History

Night

This book is so amazing. This is written about the Holocaust. It is brutal and heartbreaking. But it happened so I think it is important to read about it.

lawrence in arabia

This book is packed full of information. With how complicated things are in the Middle East right now, I think this is a really important one for people to read. The book is long and can be a bit dry in a couple of places (and it took me a month to read it) but it was worth it. People are quick to judge the Middle East and this book really explains some major contributing factors.

Feminism

One Day

This is a collection of essays. I’m still not sure I would put it under the category of feminism: she touches on so many important subjects. But I just feel like feminism is where I want to put this one. This looks at many important issues including race, cultural differences (not really an issue but it does cause some misunderstandings), sexism and alcoholism. And a bit of humour mixed in.

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This is my first book my Gloria Steinem. This really shows what a lot of women have gone through for equal rights over the many years. It is a great little history of what she and many other women have done for us all.

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Ok so Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is awesome. She is strong and is a great speaker for women’s rights. Plus her name is super cool. This was originally a TED’s talk that she later turned into this little book. It’s great and inspiring with a bit of humour. I would really recommend watching the TED’s talk: the humour comes across better.

Race

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This is the only one that I can think of that really stood out for me about race alone. Trevor Noah is so funny. Actually his mom is even funnier. This is a great mixture of funny and very serious. He was born during the apartheid, so his very existence was illegal. I have been told (thanks, Mom) the audiobook is extremely well done, he narrates it.

Feel Good

HONY

This is just as the title would appear: photos of random people from New York City. The Photography is beautiful and there are quotes and little stories about the people and it’s just really cool. I want to read the sequel next where it is more focused on the stories.

lion

This came out fairly recently as a movie, so many of you may have heard of it. It is the memoir of a boy in India who got lost on the trains, couldn’t find his way back home, and eventually was taken into an orphanage. He was adopted by an Australian couple and this is the story of how he got lost and also how he found his long lost family many years later as an adult.

This list was a lot longer than I thought it would be, there are just so many good non-fiction books out there. I hope this list may have helped any of you looking to venture into the non-fiction genre.

Reading Types

Hello everybody, I have been noticing something that I find a mixture of interesting and funny. I know everyone has their own style when it comes to reading, whether it by genres you like, frequency, speed, whatever it may be. But what I have noticed in my family is the way people see themselves as readers and the way they actually read (judged by me).

I’ll start with me.

The obsessive reader. I may be similar to most of you that have blogs, I read everyday no exceptions.My boyfriend Matt likes to make fun of me when I bring a book to go grocery shopping….You never know when you might be stuck waiting. I give myself goals and push myself to read more in volume and diversity.

The average reader. This most people. They read when the mood hits or for a book club. A lot of times they are looking at best sellers lists. Or perhaps when I hound them to read something I think is amazing. I would guess these people read 10 plus books a year.

The sleepy reader. Remember the boyfriend I mentioned earlier, Matt, he is the reason this category exists. Always saying they “should” read more. But he picks up a book and in less than 10 pages he will be snoring…..Also no exceptions.

The retired reader. You would think I mean that people retire have lots of time now so they entertain them selves with reading, nope not for this group. These are the busy people that used to read probably quite a bit. But now there is always something else to be done so their books new and old sit on a dusty shelf. They have for the time being retired from reading. This would be my moms group.

The distracted reader. This group also exists because of Matt, you’re going to feel like you know him by the end of this post. The people that stop to talk while reading, either about the book or anything else that happens to pop into their mind. I would say that Matt can’t make it through one page without saying something to me or checking his phone. Because yes his e-mail is that important…..on his days off. Maybe that is why he is so tired after 10 pages.

What do you guys think, do you agree with my reading groups? Are there some that I missed? Small family so not to many groups.

Judgy Readers

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After watching a discussion video on Booktube, about readability, and reading the article that started the whole debate, I have decided to write my thoughts down on the subject.

The video link here

The article link here

So I really enjoyed watching the video, it was thought provoking. But I won’t get into her opinions. It’s the article that has pissed me off. As you may have been able to tell I do not agree with the article at all, and I will explain a little what it’s about and why I think it’s bull.

So to sum it up really quickly, in the article Ben Roth is saying that a book being considered readable should be an insult, saying “it isn’t good, but you’ll be able to finish it”. He continues on to explain that books considered readable are full of clichés and that you only need to skim them to be able to absorb them. He also says that because of this people are writing shorter and shorter articles, and professors are choosing shorter books to study. Ben starts and finishes the article by comparing books and authors he doesn’t feel are up to snuff to big name “drinkable” beer with no substance.

Ugh. This article comes across to me as elitist, pretentious, and snobby. You have no idea how much it frustrates me to sit there while he shits on everyone else’s reading habits, preferences, and choices…because those books aren’t up to your standards, REALLY!? First of all who cares what people read; it’s none of your damn business. Second of all people read for different reasons. Not everyone is sitting there pondering a book for a month to have long philosophical discussions. Lastly not everyone is at the same level as you and your scholar buddies.

A lot of people genuinely have crazy, busy lives. Whether it be work, kids, and/or community. Actually it doesn’t really matter what they find more important than your pre-approved reading list. People don’t always have time to sit and savour a novel. For those busy people that wish they had more time to read, those “readable” best-sellers are a great way for them to get a little reading in. You could even call it a gateway book to better reading if you want.

Realistically that’s not the point: people read to escape and relax as well. Yes, you can learn from reading. I love coming away from a book that made me think, and I feel like a better person afterwards. But is that all I read, no….hell no. Sometimes I read graphic novels, Stephen King, YA – whatever I happen to be in the mood for. And if Donna Tart (who writes a book about every decade, so clearly she’s just pumping them out for the pay cheque) and Zadie Smith aren’t considered substantial enough for you, Mr.Roth, then guess what? Most of my reading wouldn’t. And you know what I wouldn’t change a thing.

My final thoughts for Ben Roth would be to mind your own damn business. People are going to read whatever they want, and you know what? They SHOULD!

Ok rant over, I have now taken a deep breath and want to know your opinions. Do you agree with me? Did you read the article and not come away as offended as me? Let me know down below.