I’m cranking out videos this week before I drop away from the blogosphere to enjoy my holidays. Today it’s all about books, hauls and deckled edges…Enjoy!
As promised – the bookshop vlog! Here I visited four bookshops (and also fell into a book buying frenzy), my personal favorite being Canty’s because it had such an awesome range at a cheap price. My friend, who you might see popping up occasionally, agreed!
Later in the week I’ll be uploading a book haul, because BOOKS!
It’s Independent Booksellers’ Week this week and I’m going to celebrating with a tag, and a bookshop tour vlog later in the week (look forward to that)!
1. What book(s) are currently in your bag?
As I don’t carry a big bag with me anymore (to carry books) – the only answer I can give you is my phone, which I’m currently reading Arcadia by Iain Pears on. Or listening to a very long history lecture ‘Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History’ by Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius. 4 hours to go!
2. What’s the last great book you read?
I absolutely adored Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler, a powerful novel tackling religious beliefs and the degradation of society. If you love dystopian novels with a strong, complex woman at the front – this is a wonderful novel to sink your teeth into.
3. What book have you gifted the most?
I’ve gifted quite a few novels, but never the same one twice. I personally would love to discuss The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne with more people, a very strange and surreal piece of fiction. So if given the chance, I would like to gift that novel.
4. What’s your favourite independent bookshop?
Paperchain, a bookstore in Canberra. Which I will be visiting in my vlog this week.
5. What’s been your favourite book recommended by a bookseller (or fellow Booktuber)?
The Tenant of Wildfall Hall by Anne Bronte. It did the round on Booktube awhile back and I’m so glad I read it, it might actually be my favorite Bronte novel. A toss up between it and Jane Eyre.
6. What’s your favourite bookshop memory?
My bookclub does a meetup once a year (we discuss online via google hangouts) and one of my favorite activities with them is our annual book scavenger hunt. We are given 20 prompts and then have to find a book for each prompt, take a picture and upload it to Twitter under a specific hashtag. It’s super fun.
7. What do bookshops mean to you? What do you love about them?
Although the majority of the books I get are online via place like the Book Depository and Kindle, I do love bookshops. It’s a very pleasant, calm experience browsing through the shelves, even if you don’t manage to find any book you want or can take, online cannot match the physical experience.
8. What are the books that made you? Which books have most affected or influenced you?
I think each and every book I’ve read has influenced me in some way, but I’ll note two books. The first is the one that got me into Fantasy – Magician by Raymond E Feist. The second is the one that made me fall in love with the Chinese culture and history – Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah.
9. What book do you recommend readers gift for Father’s Day?
My dad is not a reader, at all. He had problems as a child that couldn’t be helped as he was constantly moving from one place to another, one school to another. But he loves a good story, one full of heart and action. So I would recommend for him and other dads ‘Old Man’s War’ by John Scalzi.
10. What book is currently at the top of your TBR pile?
I really want to read The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley. I love essay collections and musings about geek culture. This totally sounds like the book for me.
May was a lovely reading month for me, I found a new favorite author and indulged in some re-reading.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I started light this month with a wee little book based off a popular Ted Talk. We Should All Be Feminists is a culmination of Adichie’s views on feminism and anecdotes. If you are looking for an in depth discussion on feminism – this isn’t it. But it is an interesting sampler – particularly as it’s from a perspective we don’t get to hear too often: an African woman. I thoroughly enjoyed it – but with a lot of short books, I wanted to read more of Adichie’s experiences, as an African woman and writer.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J.K Rowling
I’m enjoying the Harry Potter journey, noticing things I had missed or forgotten from the first time I read the series. Although I have to admit, despite being a good novel – I think it is still my least favorite installment in the series. Which I believe is because of the format – I don’t really care about the Triwizard Tournament (probably because I don’t care about things like the Olympics or the Rugby World Cup). Also – plot points that weren’t in the movie (SPEW and some Rita Skeeter things) felt a little bit too overcrowded, but I still enjoyed what was added to the worldbuilding.
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
I think I’ve found a new favorite author. I love Maugham’s warm, beautiful prose and how he makes somewhat unlikable characters sympathetic. The Painted Veil, a story about a woman who cheats on her husband and then is subsequently taken to the middle of a cholera outbreak in mainland China (sort of as revenge) is such an emotional, yet poetic journey. I saw the movie first, which I loved and I’m kind of glad I read the book afterwards as they take completely different turns half way through the story. Both endings are bittersweet, yet I don’t know which is the better one. They were both wonderful and I cannot wait to read more of Maugham’s work.
Up at the Villa by W.Somerset Maugham
Another Maugham novel, yes. But after struggling through the new Guy Gavriel Kay novel (which I’ve dropped for now) – I thought Maugham would do the trick. And he did. Up at the Villa is like The Painted Veil, set in the 1920s, however this time the story revolves around a widow living in Florence. Her dear old friend proposes to her, she tells him “mate, give me a couple days to think, eh?” (Said a lot more eloquently than that). He goes away and of course she gets in a big pickle surrounding the pleasures of life. I think this would be an interesting novel to study in regards to gender issues and sexuality – and although I didn’t particularly agree with what happened in the end, I enjoyed the characters and how they dealt with the situation. It was a fun, short book and a nice respite from the heavy book I had been reading.
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
The last thing I read in May was a short story – because I like Okorafor and wanted to read some of the Hugo nominees. Again, like a lot of Okorafor’s work, I loved reading the perspective from an African woman. I liked how she dealt with race issues throughout the context of the story, and also how that relates to aliens. It’s basically a story about a young woman, the first of her people to travel space to a prestigious university. Of course along the way she comes across a race of aliens bent on hurting the human race for hurting them, and it’s with her own experience of alienation and culture that she is able to create friendly ties between her and these aliens. I enjoyed the short story – but again as with a lot of short stories – I always want more of the world and the characters! Sigh, sadly short stories and poetry are not my forte.
Favorite book of the month: The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
So what was your favorite book in May?
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Today I have some movie recommendations for you guys, so if you are like me and enjoy quirky films, the majority of these films will appeal to you. Again, slowly learning how to edit seamlessly – one day I will be brilliant at this. Maybe…
Where has time gone? It seems like the last two weeks have passed by me like the blink of an eye… I’ve finished all my university assessments, did my final internship shift managing a big event for an iconic Australian museum (it was awesome!) – where I also met the two time coffee world champion. Cool, aye?
My ego is bursting…Kill it with fire.
So although I’m annoyed at myself for not posting anything here for awhile, I have to realize I’m not perfect and sometimes you don’t have enough time to do everything.
I also won’t be posting a So Not Bookish post this month as I didn’t get around to a lot of things in April. But I will mention briefly that I really enjoyed playing the survival game Sheltered and discovered an Australian youtuber called Sophie Carlon…Who is amazing, has a pet snake and talks about books. I might just have become an internet stalker – following her everywhere on social media. Haha.
So without further ado, let’s talk about the books I read in April.
Warlord by Jennifer Fallon (Wolfblade Trilogy #3)
The final book in the Wolfblade Trilogy, Warlord is a fitting conclusion to a wonderful trilogy about family drama, politics and magic. Although not all plot points were solved, I still felt satisfied and couldn’t bear to part with characters like Marla and Wrayan. It would have been a perfect novel for me, however a certain character felt too evil to my taste (with a lack of nuanced motives and actions). It’s only a nitpick – but had they felt more complex, I would have given this novel a 5/5*
Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething’s (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood by Alida Nugent
I was pretty bored with this audiobook. It seemed like a light read that I might enjoy (as I am in my twenties) – but the humor in the novel felt trite and bland. Insights about life in your twenties were average with nothing really special to add and most of the time I tuned out because in the end I didn’t care. The beginning was fun, but in the end the anecdotes were not enough sustain that interest. Meh.
Medalon by Jennifer Fallon (Demon Child Trilogy #1)
As you can tell I’m on a Jennifer Fallon binge. This time I decided to do a re read, reading the sequels to the Wolfblade trilogy. And the book was just as I remembered, not as perfect as the first time that read it, but still fun and having that background information from the Wolfblade trilogy really helped.I loved being on the journey with R’Shiel, Tarja and Brak again and I look forward to finishing the trilogy so I can read the first book in the sequel-sequel trilogy: The Lyre Thief.
Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti
I don’t read a lot of poetry – I prefer short stories, or even better – novels. But learning that one of my favorite authors, Kate Forsyth, was writing a fairytale inspired story about the Pre-Raphaelites – I needed to do my research! Christina Rossetti was apart of this famous literary movement and I was intrigued to learn more about her and the work she had produced. I adored the poem ‘Goblin Market’ – a beautiful, lyrical piece about women, sexual desire and the consequences. All of the poems were lovely, but honestly Goblin Market is the one that stands out and that is probably why it is the title of the novel.
The Trouble with Women by Jacky Fleming
If you are looking for a satirical graphic novel about the roles of women in society – The Trouble with Women is a wonderful novel to binge over a lazy afternoon. It mainly focuses on the Victorian ideals: women couldn’t do anything because their brains were tiny, plays up the concept that men (and only men) were ‘geniuses.’ I loved how the novel poked its tongue at all the crazy assumptions people had of women, and its dig at famous men like Charles Darwin.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (Earthseed #1)
This is easily my favorite novel so far this year. Parable of the Sower tells of a dystopian world, where political and social unrest is rampant after the 2016 US elections (uncanny, eh?). It follows the story of a young woman who has the power to feel what others are feeling (pain, pleasure) who lives in a gated community, ‘protected’ from the rapists, arsonists and thieves of the outside world. She feels quite cynical and eventually develops her own religious beliefs of the world. I won’t spoil anything more, but this was a wonderful, introspective novel full of complex characters and thrilling tension. I highly, highly recommend this and I might just do a full review.
Favorite book of the month: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E Butler
Stay up to date with what I’m reading and my ratings by following me on Goodreads.
I’ve started a YouTube channel! (Get ready for my dodgy editing)
Basically it’s a space for me to drabble on about the finer points of life and vlog about my various adventures. I’ll be documenting my travels in Thailand – so stay tuned for that!