Winter TBR

Friday, 5 January 2018

School finishes in April, and while I'm really excited about the books I'll be reading, I'm also trying to focus on reading for pleasure. While the semester will have its ups and downs work wise, I hope to have a little bit of time here and there to do some reading! So instead of separating my year into quarters, I've put it into 3rds: Winter, Summer, and Fall. So here are the books i'm hoping to read in the Winter!

School Books

For my 4th year seminar on Michael Ondaatje:

For my 4th year seminar on aesthetics and ethics, Is Beauty Just?


& For fun

2018 New Years Resolution

Monday, 1 January 2018

2017 was a wild ride. I finished my 3rd year at university, and started my final year. I wrote my thesis. I lived in London for 5 months, and I went to 12 countries this year, I read 80 books. I saw 5 West End shows, and 2 broadway shows. I started meditating and reading tarot. But I grew apart from friends. I struggled with mental illness and self motivation. I fought with people, and I struggled through situations. but that's life, and it moves on. 

I want to really try and make 2018 the best in all the ways I can. I know there are things that are out of my control, obviously, but I've set myself some resolutions for 2018 that I'm excited for!

Read 50 Books
In 2017, I read 80 books, but that was mostly because of professors who just like creating huge reading lists. I only have 2 english courses this semester, and then i'm done my degree, so I'm setting my sights on the classic 50 book challenge. I have no set TBR, but I do want to accomplish some goals with my reading. Which brings me to...

Focus on Consuming More Diverse Media
I want to read more books by POC, Queer Authors, or authors of other minorities. I want to listen to more music by diverse musicians. And I want to watch more movies with POC and more diverse actors at the lead, and behind the scenes. I am open to recommendations as to where I should start, and I'm excited to make this a focus of mine.

Review Every Book I Read
I'm really bad at keeping up with reviews, but this year, I want to review every book I read, before I start the next book. I want this blog to be more a collection of my own thoughts on books, for me, rather than me just talking on a surface level about books. I think that by keeping up with reviews, I'll be able to collect my thoughts better.

Read More Tarot
I started reading tarot cards about 8 months ago, and I fucking love it. I find myself turning to the cards more often than not, and call me whatever you want, I do believe that there is something there. There are a few books on the tarot I want to read (more on that in another post), but I want to do more readings for myself, for others, and get my cards read some more.

Visit 5 New Countries

I was so spoiled this year to get to travel as much as I did, but i've been bitten by the bug, and I'm not ready to stop. I want to add 5 new countries to the list this year, and while this is a little more out there, and maybe the least possible, I'm adding it in anyway. I want to go to Italy, Russia, Ireland, Australia, and Portugal, but who knows where this year will bring me.

Post 52 Times in 2018
I want to post once a week. I want to be more involved in a community i've been involved in since 2012. I want to comment more, and read more blogs, and watch more videos, and I want to be an active contributor to this community that I'm so glad I get to be apart of.

Those are the goals I've set for myself in 2018! Please let me know what your goals are, link me to your blogs so that I can follow more bloggers, and recommend me some diverse reads!

Thanks for sticking around. Happy 2018. Let's crush it.

The Power by Naomi Alderman | Book Review

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Book: The Power

Author: Naomi Alderman

Publisher: Penguin

Pages: 340 Pages

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased at Daunt Books

Rating: 5/5 Stars

In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there's a rich Nigerian kid who larks around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.

This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world.

The Power is a slow building yet fast paced thrilling story about the violent shift from a patriarch to a matriarch, and I am in love with this story. The story starts with a world that is totally recognizable -- it is our world. And then girls start developing Skeins, which bring with them the ability to produce electricity, and the ability to awaken the Skeins in the bodies of other older women. This allows women and girls to rise up and revolt, something which starts slowly before escalating to a spectacular climax.

I don't want to give away spoilers for the book, because I went in knowing almost nothing and i'd love for people to read it that way. I was blown away by the way this book was written and the way each and every piece came together. From the broader stories of Mother Eve and the connection with religion, to the inclusion of Tunde, a young Nigerian man turned reporter, and our only male narrator, almost everything in this book felt necessary, and it all fit together like an unsettling puzzle. There were sections that were so graphic that I felt myself feeling sick, and there were scenes where tables were turned in their world, and I couldn't look away. Alderman is asking the questions that all women think of in this day and age and she voices it and holds back no punches. "What would happen if men were afraid for their physical wellbeing?" she asks. "What would happen if the women who have been wronged would be able to get their revenge?"

This book was stunning and an absolute powerhouse of emotion. I felt moved by each and every character and with each twist and turn, and with every moment of subversion and every step closer to the center had me leaning in more and more. The only thing that i'm not too sold on is the framing of the novel. But I know people who are in love with this, and i'll leave that for you to decide. For me, it didn't really add anything for me.

Please go read this. God, do it. This is a dark, twisted, eye opening, life changing read. I am so in love with this. 

On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher | Book Review

Friday, 3 November 2017

Book: On The Other Side

Author: Carrie Hope Fletcher

Publisher: Little Brown and Company

Pages: 345 Pages

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased at Waterstones

Rating: 4/5 Stars

A love story like no other, this is the debut novel from Carrie Hope Fletcher, author of the Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller All I Know Now.

Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It's the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she's become her twenty-seven-year-old self and the door won't open.

Evie's soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it's too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow , some way, she may also find her way back to her long lost love . . .
On the Other Side will transport you to a world that is impossible to forget. Powerful, magical and utterly romantic, this is a love story like no other from everyone's favourite 'big sister', Carrie Hope Fletcher.

This was the perfect mix of romance, magical realism, and just absolute joy that it made for such a lovely read. When I picked this up I was really hopeful that it would fulfill the need that I had for a sweet romance with a bit of angst, and the little bit of magic that I always look for in the summer, and lord it filled up that hole perfectly.

The story of Evie Snow and Vincent Winters is one that i've never heard before. The intensity of their love creates high stakes for the story, which were heightened even more by the fairytale-esque wicked stepfamily vibes that Evie's parents brought to the story. While I wish the parents, specifically her mother had been more fleshed out, I understood why they needed to stand as 2D characters. The family elements of the book, while interesting, were not what really held my attention. 

The secrets on the other hand, those captured my attention and held onto it from the first moment. I won't go into detail, but the way that Evie has to communicate those secrets to her loved ones who are still living made for such an interesting situation. Carrie did a wonderful job of creating a bit of suspense; Evie did her job, but whether or not it was enough to get her loved ones to figure it out, we don't know just yet.

And of course, I can't go through this review without discussing my favourite part - the romance. It was a bit manic-pixie-dream-couple, but honestly? I didn't mind it in this. The relationship felt natural and the magical realism in the novel made the quirky backstories more believable. The relationship was sweet and beautiful and gave me little butterflies all while I was reading it. Carrie is a girl after my own heart - a true romantic.

The only negative part about this book was that, at certain moments, it almost felt as if it was trying too hard to be quotable. Sometimes the sentences sounded weird, or moments went on a bit too long. I'm chalking this up to this being a fiction debut, as I have also read All That She Can See and it's a lot less to nonexistent in that one!

All in all, this was a wonderful summery read that was exactly what I needed when I picked it up. If you're looking for a bit of an angsty romance with lovable characters and a sprinkling of magic, pick this up. 

4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading!