First Lines Friday ~ 9/17/21

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

“I sit with my wrists cuffed to the table and I think, But that I am forbid/ to tell the secrets of my prison-house/ I could a tale unfold whose lightest word/ Would harrow upoun thy soul.

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A bit cheesy, but this is a tropey book.

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It is If We Were Villains by ML Rio!

So You’ve Finished… Special Topics In Calamity Physics

Special Topics and The Namesake in a stack.

This is the second in a series? Maybe? It didn’t get a lot of attention, but I enjoyed writing So You Finished…The Anthropocene Reviewed, in which I actually opened an email from GoodReads to see if they had taste. They did rec me Special Topics, so they probably don’t. But if you can’t tell by the theme of the month, I really, REALLY need Dark Academia recs. And twitter isn’t giving me any, so it’s off to the second worst place to get book recs.

I can already see If We Were Villains on this list, which I love. While we’re going in the right direction, GR should already know that I’ve read this… So why is it rec’ing me this? Black Chalk is also on my TBR list, as is The Lake Of Dead Languages, which I don’t remember adding it, but it sounds intriguing with a side of this-could-go-cringe fast. I’m not sure if it could actually be cringe or if i’m still clenching from the mess that was Special Topics. The only problem is that one of the characters have the same name as one of my professors, so I may be picturing a little old lady whenever this 20? something pops up.

I can’t look at any of these because of how cringe they sound.

WHY IS FINDING A GOOD DARK ACADEMIA HARD

The Bellwater Revivals sounds good but it’s heterosexual so I probably won’t read it.

The Pale Blue Eye looks oddly intriguing. It’s a detective story set in 1830, one of the detectives being Edgar Allan Poe. I am disgusted by the real Poe but am fascinated by the Poe Aesthetic, if that makes sense.

Fated also sounds good. It follows a male personification of Fate as he is generally miserable and in love with a human. It probably isn’t gay, but I can let that slide if it’s satire. Herterosexuals are made up, after all.

The list isn’t as DA as I’d like, it’s more of a blend between Cringe, Detective, and Literary. It’s filled with male protags and smells of isms/phobias. I just want a queer, dark humorist take on academia. While I am writing one myself (periodically, at least) it’s not a fun time to be lacking in books but relishing in internet spaces. Why isn’t the online trend translating into books in my paws?

Not to say that there are NONE- Ace Of Spades and Jake Livingston are two that came out recently. I’m not sure about Jake Livingston anymore, since it sounds very trigger-heavy. But I really want Ace Of Spades but haven’t the spare money to get it.

DO YOU HAVE RECS?!?!? I NEED THEM!

College Is Weird ~ A Dark Academia Discussion

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You’re expected to know everything about a profession you chose in your late teens within a 4 year span. At least enough to get you started on the bottom rungs. Most college movies feature frat parties and lots and lots of drinking. But for me, at least, dark academia novels like Bunny and movies like Dead Poets Society seem closer, although not close to the reality. 

People do drink; I have drunk, although I don’t have a high tolerance and tend to avoid it lest I do stupid things like email my ex or come out to my mother. I don’t actually know how accurate college movies like Neighbors are, although I sure wouldn’t want to live next to or in a frat house.

I’m thinking of Bunny, how a very small group of girls get together and do demented things. I’m thinking of If We Were Villains, when the gang would stay up late studying in the common area and let out a few grunts in class the next morning. I’ve sadly not encountered a murder (although there was one the semester before I came here.) But people, my people at least, tend to take college seriously enough because they genuinely care about the things they’re learning. They rave about their favourite classes and wonder how to explore the subject further. 

That is what Dark Academia conveys best: people go to college because they’re passionate about something. It gets to the root as to why so many of us get sick in our college years; if you devote yourself to study or your gang to the point where you loose sleep and skip meals, you will get sick. In real life it can result in mental health complications. In books, it leads to murder. 

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I love Bunny and If We Were Villains. But I haven’t read another DA book that I loved, or even liked. I avoid many because I know that the systemic racism, sexism, elitism, etc. that pervades IRL university systems seep their way into these books and go unchallenged. We read to be critical of the world around us and the institutions we engage with. 

I am not a patriotic college student. I was on the newspaper for a year, and that’s part of the job. But it’s more than that; there are problems with my university that I’ve never been able to ignore. How the dining hall still underfeeds vegan students despite high marks from PETA and emails/petitions from vegan students like myself. How it claims to be a leader in environmental issues, despite watering the sidewalks everyday during the worst drought in CA ever. How the best professors are the least rewarded because of how much time they spend on students rather than research or winning awards. How they cut the budget for humanities as it prepares to bloat the sciences. 

I want to see some of these IRL issues addressed in these DA books. I love the murder, please keep the murder. And the books, and the passion. But I want a book that addresses the elitism and other systemic issues. I want a book where the admin and professors are realistic people driven by money and selfishness. I want to see students fighting for their right to an education that both enlightens them and prepares them for the future. 

Do you, dear reader, have Dark Academia recs? What’s a book that reflects uni life well? 

Rory Gilmore Reading List- 2021

Ah, September. Time to return to school, sharpen the pencils, and hit the library. To recap, I did this in 2020 and 2018. I’ve read 31 books on the list, highlighted like this. The books I have on my physical TBR or on request at the library are underlined. And if you’re wondering why it’s broken up like this, ask why WP decided to get rid of Classic despite the justified backlash.

1.) 1984 by George Orwell- DNF
2.) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3.) Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll   6/12
4.) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
5.) An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
6.) Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
7.) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
8.) Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank  10/12                                       

9.) Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
10.) The Art of Fiction by Henry James-I’m not sure about this one, it sounds familiar and it’s the kind of book I’d read.
11.) The Art of War by Sun Tzu
12.) As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
13.) Atonement by Ian McEwan
14.) Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
15.) The Awakening by Kate Chopin
16.) Babe by Dick King-Smith
17.) Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
18.) Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
19.) Bel Canto by Ann Patchett


20.) The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath  12/12 LOVE
21.) Beloved by Toni Morrison
22.) Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
23.) The Bhagava Gita
24.) The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
25.) Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
26.) A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
27.) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
28.) Brick Lane by Monica Ali
29.) Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner


30.) Candide by Voltaire
31.) The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
32.)Carrie by Stephen King   6/12
33.) Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
34.) The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger   9/12 Well written, if misogynistic 
35.) Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White  11/12 SAD.
36.) The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
37.) Christine by Stephen King
38.) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 
39.) A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess


40.) The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
41.) The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
42.) The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty
43.) A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
44.) Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
45.) The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
46.) Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
47.) A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
48.) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas Père
49.) Cousin Bette by Honor’e de Balzac


50.) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
51.) The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
52.) The Crucible by Arthur Miller
53.) Cujo by Stephen King  8/12
54.) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
55.) Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
56.) David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
57.) David Copperfield by Charles Dickens 
58.) The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
59.) Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol


60.) Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61.) Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
62.) Deenie by Judy Blume
63.) The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
64.) The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee,
America by Erik Larson
65.) The Divine Comedy by Dante
66.) The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
67.) Don Quijote by Cervantes
68.) Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
69.) Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson Good, I guess? It wasn’t enthralling or anything but it had it’s moments.


70.)
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe I read this in the back of His Hideous Heart and found out that my favourite story is The Pit & The Pendulum
71.) Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
72.) The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
73.) Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
74.) Eloise by Kay Thompson
75.) Emily the Strange, Roger Reger, 12/12 LOVE
76.) Emma, Jane Austen
77.) Empire Falls, Richard Russo
78.) Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective, Donald J. Sobol
79.) Ethan Frome,  Edith Wharton


80.) Ethics, Spinoza
81.) Europe through the Back Door, 2003, Rick Steves
82.) Eva Luna, Isabel Allende
83.) Everything Is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
84.) Extravagance by Gary Krist
85.) Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury 10/12
86.) Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
87.) The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
88.) Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World, Greg Critser
89.) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson


90.) The Fellowship of the Ring: Book 1 of The Lord of the Ring, J. R. R.
Tolkien, 7/12
91.) Fiddler on the Roof, Joseph Stein
92.) The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom
93.) Finnegan’s Wake, James Joyce
94.) Fletch, Gregory McDonald
95.) Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes
96.) The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem
97.) The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
98.) Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
99.) Franny and Zooey,  J. D. Salinger, 10/12


100.) Freaky Friday, Mary Rodgers 9/12
101.) Galapagos, Kurt Vonnegut
102.) Gender Trouble, Judith Butler
103.) George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our
43rd President, Jacob Weisberg- Never, Ever reading this one!
104.) Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
105.) Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
106.) The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
107.) The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
108.) The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
109.) Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky 8/12


110.) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
111.) The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
112.) The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
113.) The Graduate by Charles Webb
114.) The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
115.) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 4/12 Want to reread to see if being nonmandatory helps
116.) Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
117.) The Group by Mary McCarthy


118.) Hamlet by William Shakespeare 8/12– My favourite Shakespeare! And the only one I’ve liked thus far.
119.) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling 5/12
120.) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling 10/12

121.) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers 9/12 
122.) Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
123.) Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and
Curt Gentry
124.) Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
125.) Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
126.) Henry V by William Shakespeare
127.) High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
128.) The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
129.) Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris


130.) The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
131.) House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III (Lpr)
132.) The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
133.) How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
134.) How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss 12/12
135.) How the Light Gets in by M. J. Hyland
136.) Howl by Allen Gingsburg
137.) The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
138.) The Iliad by Homer read sections of it for a class, and some parts were confusing- why was Achilles in the Underworld but Heracles in Olympus?


139.) I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
140.) In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
141.) Inferno by Dante Also read for a class- could be boring in parts but others were super descriptive
142.) Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
143.) Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
144.) It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
145.) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
146.) The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
147.) Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
148.) The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
149.) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair


150.) Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
151.) The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
152.) Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
153.) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
154.) Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
155.) The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
156.) Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
157.) The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
158.) Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
159.) Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
160.) Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken


161.) Life of Pi by Yann Martel 8/12
162.) Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
163.) The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
164.) The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
165.) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
166.) Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
167.) Lord of the Flies by William Golding 0/12 HATE, BURN ALL  COPIES
168.) The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
169.) The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold


170.) The Love Story by Erich Segal
171.) Macbeth by William Shakespeare
172.) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
173.) The Manticore by Robertson Davies
174.) Marathon Man by William Goldman
175.) The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
176.) Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
177.) Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
178.) Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
179.) The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer


180.) Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
181.) The Merry Wives of Windsdor by William Shakespeare
182.) The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
183.) Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
184.) The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
185.) Moby Dick by Herman Melville
186.) The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
187.) Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
188.) A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
189.) Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret


190.) A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
191.) A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
192.) Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
193.) Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
194.) My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
195.) My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
196.) My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
197.) Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
198.) My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
199.) The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer


200.) The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
201.) The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri – DNF, enjoy the writing style but hate babies. Loved In Other Words by same author.
202.) The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
203.) Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
204.) New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson 12/12 I LOVE THIS WOMAN.
205.) The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
206.) Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
207.) Night by Elie Wiesel
208.) Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
209.) The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan


210.) Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic
Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
211.) Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
212.) Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 1/12 DESTROY THIS BOOK
213.) Old School by Tobias Wolff
214.) On the Road by Jack Kerouac
215.) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
216.) One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez DNF F this sexist sex book
217.) The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan- rereleased as Where The Past Begins
218.) Oracle Night by Paul Auster
219.) Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood 12/12 LOVE


220.) Othello by Shakespeare
221.) Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
222.) The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
223.) Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
224.) The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
225.) A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
226.) The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
227.) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky LOVE
228.) Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
229.) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde 12/12 DARK LOVE


230.) Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
231.) Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi 
232.) Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian
McCain
233.) The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
234.) The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
235.) The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
236.) The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of
Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
237.) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen  9/12
238.) Property by Valerie Martin
239.) Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon


240.) Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
241.) Quattrocento by James Mckean
242.) A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
243.)Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers 7/12
244.) The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe 9/12
245.) The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
246.) Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi DNF- haven’t read enough books referenced
247.) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
248.) Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
249.) The Red Tent by Anita Diamant


250.) Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
251.) The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
252.) R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
253.) Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
254.) Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
255.) Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton
256.) Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare 1/12 SEEK AND DESTROY
257.) A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
258.) A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
259.) Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin


260.) The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
261.) Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
262.) Sanctuary by William Faulkner
263.) Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
264.) Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
265.) The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
266.) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
267.) Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
268.) The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
269.) The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd 9/12


270.) Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
271.) Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
272.) Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
273.) A Separate Peace by John Knowles
274.) Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
275.) Sexus by Henry Miller
276.) The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
277.) Shane by Jack Shaefer
278.) The Shining by Stephen King
279.) Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse


280.) S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
281.) Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
282.) Small Island by Andrea Levy
283.) Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
284.) Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers 8/12
285.) Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
286.) The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
287.) Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de
Burgos
288.) The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
289.) Songbook by Nick Hornby


290.) The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
291.) Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
292.) Sophie’s Choice by William Styron- DNF during HS, might reattempt
293.) The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
294.) Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
295.) Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach-Took a long time, but was full of fascinating information
296.) The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
297.) A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
298.) Stuart Little by E. B. White 7/12


299.) Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
300.) Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
301.) Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
302.) Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
303.) A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
304.) Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
305.) Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
306.) Time and Again by Jack Finney
307.) The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
308.) To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
309.) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 4/12


310.) The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
311.) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
312.) The Trial by Franz Kafka
313.) The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
314.) Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
315.) Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
316.) Ulysses by James Joyce
317.) The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
318.) Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
319.) Unless by Carol Shields


320.) Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
321.) The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
322.) Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
323.) Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
324.) The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
325.) Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
326.) Walden by Henry David Thoreau 3/12 BORING
327.) Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
328.) War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
329.) We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel
Sinker


330.) What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
331.) What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
332.) When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
333.) Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
334.) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
335.) Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire DNF
336.) The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum 7/12
337.) Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë 
338.) The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
339.) The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

September Is Dark Academia Month

Heeeeey It’s Tanyx from the passsst.

Seriously, I’m writing this in August in anticipation of the chaos that is uni life. Throughout September I have prewritten several posts on the majestic aesthetic known as Dark Academia. You probably already know what it is- the glorification of the stressful mania of students in the throes of passion for their chosen major- usually something like Literature or Philosophy.

It is old-timey suits and collared sweater vests. It’s a gang of clashing individuals debating on the subject that brought them together as they rush across the greens to get to their next class. It is British. It is towering spires of dusty stone buildings. It is books, books, piled up and shelved in a cozy circular library with an ill-advised fireplace. It’s a mess of paper and lots, and lots of tea. (The tea part is accurate to college life.)

I still don’t have the entire month planned out- just three posts over five weeks. I’m hoping that fellow dark academians can make suggestions here- What draws you to Dark Academia? What are some topics you wish were covered more, and most importantly, WHAT ARE YOUR BOOK RECS?!?!?

May the madness consume you,

Tanyx

End Of Summer Book Tag/Recap!

Yes, it might be early for you but school starts on Monday and there’s no way I’m getting reading done with 6 classes.

What book can you not stop thinking about?

Never Let Me Go ruined me for all other books. I would say it sent me in a book slump, but I’ve been able to read a ton of fanfic. Authors outside of AO3 need to step up their game. And if you have recs after hearing the title Never Let Me Go, please let me know, I can’t read without them.

Which book would you rather not have read?

I’ve DNF’d a fair few, but 100 Boyfriends was the sex-crazed scrunch of paper that was the beginning of a series of disappointments. It was just a recount of a bunch of sexual things. I picked up this book because I saw it in one of Bowties & Books videos, and I really need to start doing more research before I commit to a book. But it’s hard to not be spoiled that way.

What genre did you read the most?

This has been the Summer Of Fanfiction. The first fanfic I read was Four Letter Word For Intercourse in June, a Destiel fanfic where they meet silently in the library during the day and loudly over a phone during the night. In July I read To Know & To Be Known where John Winchester’s A+ parenting takes the form of abusing his werewolf son with a silver collar. After John’s death Cass takes him in to learn how to love his werewolf self. Thus far in August I’ve read 7 complete fanfics and one incomplete one, including Novak Wears Prada and the Sabriel fic My Dagger Or Yours. But I really need to scream about Aria For An Angel, a CasMick Destiel endgame fic. Watching Cass fall for Mick is the cutest thing ever, and for one Cass feels, and in fact is, an equal partner in their relationship. We all know Dean Winchester keeps everything bottled up, and Mick is the total opposite. While they’re not soulmates, and I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a CasMick shipper, they are good together.

Which book surprised you the most?

Never Let Me Go. I heard nothing of it before my friend rec’d it, and I’m offended that none of the 532,416 people who’ve read it bothered to tell me about it before then.

Which book disappointed you the most?

Special Topics In Calamity Physics. I really just want another dark academia like Bunny or If We Were Villains, but there are none. This book was just a slew of made-up references and pretentious hard-to-know characters. There were many times I worried over the potential teacher-student relationship, but I thankfully bowed out before it could reach that point.

What was your favourite cover?

Most fanfics don’t have covers, and all of my library books came with a strap over them. His Hideous Heart looks pretty, even if I only enjoyed two of the stories.

What was your favourite summer release?

*stares in poor*

I did read One Last Stop since I preordered it, but it was the only one. It’s a good book that had me exploring punk for a minute, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best book to have hit the stratosphere. Maybe the best queer one (better than Simon or Call Me By Your Name) but there are lesser known queer books that should’ve hit higher. (Felix Ever After, May The Best Man Win, Ameila Westlake, etc.)

What books did you plan on reading, but never got around to?

I never got to a few things on my T10T ~ Summer ’21 TBR but the one I’m most worried about is Outlawed. I want sapphic cowgirls, but Read With Cindy has said that it has some transphobia. I don’t know if I’m really going to read it now, at least not until I’m on a better headspace.

Which books do you plan on reading this fall?

Oh, boy. I’m actually betting on not being able to read a lot, as I have 6 planned classes. Two of my classes are more technical, which isn’t that fun for me but it’s part of being a journalism major. Two other classes are most likely to be text heavy, but I might have to drop one because I know the professor is a stickler for the camera. (this is zoom era if you’re reading this in the distant future.) One other class sounds like it has reading but the prof is pretty easy, and the other is gym. So it doesn’t really sound like downtime time, but I do hope to read Echo After Echo for sapphicon.

First Lines Friday ~ 8/20/21

What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

“Ellie bought the life-sized plastic skull at a garage sale (the goth neighbors were moving to Salem, and they could not fit an entire Halloween warehouse into their black van).

Not me getting absorbed in a book when I should be typing!

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Hint: Ghost dog

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It is…

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Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger!

University Tips & Tricks

Goal

 So these are my general tips for school and life that you’ll maybe find useful but it’s probably pedantic? I guess if you’re a struggling student you’ll hopefully find something useful, but these might also just be common sense. I also started this before the pandemic happened so some may not be available rn. Let me know in the comments if you found something helpful!

 It pains me to say, I am a 22 yr old junior Journalism major, with a double minor in Philosophy. For reference, the mates I came in with freshman year graduated last spring. 

 Why? I had to go back home midway through my first year and continued to have medical and financial difficulties that prevented me from coming back. During my time away, I worked at a city tree care organization, took two semesters at community college, found out that the meds I was on were making my problems worse, and was rejected by my university three times. (one an internal mistake)

Tip #1 

 Find an internship or volunteer organization that will connect you with jobs. There might be one in your school. I went through one that served 16-25 year olds- if you are in that age range there’ll likely be one available if you live in or near a city. There were posters at my local library, along with tons of other job and scholarship opportunities, a lot of them for coding programs. Bonus tip: check your library website or other community bulletin regularly. 

Trick #1

 Notebook doesn’t have pockets? Cut a page in half and tape it to the bottom of cover or divider paper. Had to do this for a class on “others”- a general overview of the ways queer, POC, and disabled peopled are put at a disadvantage. We had to submit half-sheet mini essays and this was perfect for holding spare papers since I didn’t want to tear up my notebook. 

Gay pins and stickers

Tip # 2

CONNECT WITH YOUR ADVISOR. I didn’t connect with my major advisor until I took a class with her, and she became overly concerned after I wrote an essay on using the food bank. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and even if you don’t think you need help now, it’s always a good idea to have a strong connection with someone in your field. 

Trick #2

Put your RA or housing office number in your phone. Uni dorms can get pretty wild and you never know when someone will get in a fight, lose their key, or set off the smoke alarm. 

Tip # 3

Pick a Fun class. You should be enjoying your major classes, but those are also the classes you’ll have the most pressure to excel in. Pick something you’re curious about or have a hobby in, but won’t hurt you if you don’t get an A. (AND PREPARE TO GET FEWER As OVERALL) This should be a class to let of some steam and just enjoy yourself. I’ve done a playwriting class, death class, and music class. There’s also other other creative classes like dance or art. 

Trick #3

The uni library has more fiction than you think. If it has won an award or has hit bestseller’s lists there’s a good chance they have it, even if it looks like rows upon rows of technical nonfiction books. They won’t have everything, but they’ll likely be a designated area for those books. Depending on your uni system, you can also request books from other unis. When searching online, make sure you expand your search to include all universities in your system. 

Love Is Blind: Reunion Reaction post

*Spoilers! (duh!) *

Ya’ll Netflix is good at reality shows. They choose the right mix of people- some for the drama, some for the actual aim of the show. I personally prefer The Circle, but the anniversary episodes of Love Is Blind just dropped, and just how do they squeeze that many episodes out of one party?

So I think the three main dramas are Gigi’s and Damien’s whole thing, Carlton’s whole thing, and off-screen, Mark’s cheating problem.

But first, I just want to say how good for each other the Hamiltons and Barnetts are! Whatever else happens, they seem really right for each other. I’m glad Barnett chose Amber because they fit and complement each other, even if they come across as annoying sometimes. And ofc Lauren and Cameron are #CoupleGoals if your goal was to be heterosexual.

First, this whole cast showed a decent range of how to be in, and approach, a relationship. Some are more open and trusting, while others respect the boundaries their s/o asks of them. And the ones that don’t, well…

I actually like Damian and Francesca together. (raises shield) They seem to really like each other, and Damian got all soft and sweet when talking to and about her. But she stormed out, as she should, after realizing Damian wasn’t being honest. Damian’s brain and heart seemed to be in two different places; he was making it work with Gigi and cared about her, but he went and fell for Francesca without consciously realizing it. Both women were right to leave him and should go off to be gay. (at least Francesca, Gigi has shown to be straight.)

Also, whyyyy did you die your hair? It looked so good black.

Carlton- I get where you’re coming from buddy, but you need some therapy. Work on ways to deal with that anger! Diamond is definitely in biphobic waters and it’s obvious Carlton was coerced into making up with her at the first reunion. But Carlton’s anger problem makes it too easy to blame it all on him- you don’t start screaming every time something doesn’t go your way. They are both at fault for their blowup, and I hate that the queer guy became the villain.

What was the last one? Mark. Mark, Mark, Mark. *sigh* Honestly, good for him for not showing up, and good for everyone else involved. If you want an open relationship, you need to be open and communicative with your partner. Not straight-up going behind their backs to be with your seven side-pieces. No wonder someone got pregnant.

Ugh.

So I’m done talking about these dramatic messes. What were your thoughts?

So You Finished…The Anthropocene Reviewed

Sometimes, maybe not often, maybe not rarely, but sometimes, you finish a book. You log it on GoodReads and then you get an email.

“You’ve just finished Never Let Me Go. Here are some ideas on what you can do next.” “You finished One Last Stop. What’s next?” “You’ve just finished The Anthropocene Reviewed.… And so on and so forth.

Today I’m going to look at some of these recommendations and see if GR really cares and pays attention to the kinds of books that I might actually like, or is it just spewing the same sponsored content it does for everybody else?

For The Anthropocene Reviewed the first couple of books are The Midnight Library, She Who Must Not Be Named’s mystery book, (can you block an author on GR?) Talking To Strangers, and The Mars Room. Other than the terf’s book, I can see why some of these were rec’d. There’s probably a decent number of Nerdfighters who are readers and would love something like Midnight Library. I myself am mildly interested but I’m not going to go out of my way to get it. Like if I found it while I was walking through the library I’d pick it up, but I’m not going to buy it unless I read it and love it and also magically have more space on my bookshelf.

I don’t want Talking To Strangers, but I can see why that might have a Nerdfighter vibe. The Mars Room Looks interesting; it’s about a women’s prison in CA. I placed a request for it at the library but it had that weird mark where they say “We’ve heard of it, but we may not have it” so I have to wait and see if it goes though. Why do libraries list books they don’t have? Just admit you’re not a good library and do better.

It also lists The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice And Virtue, which I read a few years ago and enjoyed it at the time, but now that I’ve read more queer books (made queer books my life) I’d like to go back and see if my perception changes. I did not like Loki by the same author, and I LOVE Loki. Which is probably why I’m reluctant to allow just anyone to use him as a character. (Should I review the series here?)

There’s also a few children’s books… Why? Do they just not know how to promote children’s book so they just throw it wherever?

I hope you enjoyed this little installment! Do you look at GR’s emails or nah? Have you ever found anything worth reading on those lists?