When Reading Isn’t Challenging: Discussion

We read for a variety of reasons; to escape, to experience dangerous things safely, and clichely, to expand our minds. So my question to you is this: what do you do when books just don’t surprise you as often as they used to? When you feel like you’ve read this before, or that this book just isn’t at the reading level you want it to be?

I’ve tried a couple things. The Rory Gilmore Reading list is something I’ve been chipping away at for years, and I’ve found some gems. Others just aren’t my type. I’ve also expanded the variety of books I read, mostly because I only have access to the uni library during the pandemic and they are selective in the books they get. So I’ve read a lot more nonfiction and adult fiction, and found my new favourite but not strictly classified genre: the speculative fiction literary, non American… Yeah, just think Margret Atwood, M.R. Carey, and Never Let Me Go. Usually British/Canadian/Japanese fiction that has an element of dystopia but has more passive MCs than Katniss or Tris. If you have recs please let me know!

I’ve also looked at summer reading and bestseller lists. These are lists designed to combat the Summer slide- the theory that low-income students come back to school in a worse place academically than they were when school was let out. They basically loose the learning gains they made in the last month of the last school year. Only these lists usually stop after grade 12- while there may be lists of recommendations for college kids or reading lists for specific classes, there aren’t really age and skill specific rankings like you get in k-12.

(not really) fun fact- most American adults have an 8th grade reading level. Our education system sucks. And maths is worse.

But at least we’re in the bookish community and we take charge of our education, right?

Thanks for any recs you have! I’d love to know your thoughts- what can adults do to keep our books challenging?

Folklore Book Tag!

I’m not the biggest Taylor stan, but I do really enjoy some of her music and Cardigan is just *chef’s kiss.*

This tag was created by Ilsa @Whisper Of Ink  Thanks Ilsa!

RULES

  • Link to the original creator: Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink
  • Tag at least 3 people.
  • Declare the rules and list of prompts in your post
  • Thank whoever tagged you and link to their post.

The 1 ~ An ending that left you speechless

I decided to listen to the songs while doing this and it was a mistake.

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If We Were Villains; A skull

I LOVED the ending, which I feel is a bit of a different reaction. I love endings that are complicated/realistic, similar to the ending of Allegiant. I feel as if the endings we’re used to are too formulaic, and real life doesn’t end with all of the answers known or with everyone happy. This ending in particular implies plenty of adventure beyond the story we’re told.

Cardigan ~ A book that makes you feel happy and sad all at once

I might literally cry if I listen to one more of these songs.

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They Both Die At The End blue cover

I loved this book, but obviously it was the saddest book I’ve ever loved. 

The Last Great American Dynasty ~ A fascinating and well-told story

Yes, an actual Happy song

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Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me; Cool

And a not-so-happy book. But it’s truly a Look into manipulative relationship, and is especially important to convey that w/w relationships can be harmful too.

Exile ~ A book you wish you hadn’t read

Strange how a song impacts you differently each time you listen.

Girl, Woman, Other– I deleted every photo I had of this after what happened. It’s great for most of the book, but then you get to the non-binary character and TRANSPHOBIA. ALL THE TRANSPHOBIA. It really shocked and hurt me, and I haven’t seen anyone mention this even though it should be a trigger warning for anyone who might read and be impacted by this.

My Tears Ricochet ~ a book that made you cry uncontrollably 

My feelings are just numb at this point.

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History Is All You Left Me

I have to go with more Adam Silvera. He’s such a good Sad writer. I hated the book he co-authored with Becky. Adam is Sad King, and nothing else will compare.

Mirrorball ~ A book that feels like it was written just for you

Who broke Taylor Swift’s heart cause I’m coming after them.

Couldn’t think of a book that wasn’t If We Were Villains, so here’s some shows/youtube.

Seven ~ A childhood book that makes you feel nostalgic

Is this Taylor’s coming out album? Is she f-ing gay?

Boxcar Children and Magic Tree House were the two series I’d read devotedly as a kid. It was then I also learnt to be disappointed by the library selection, as I’ve never read the entire series of either. RIP Mary.

August ~ A book that reminds you of summer

Yet another gay song- set in college this time.

 

I don’t think The Last Bust To Everland is actually set in summertime, but it does have summer vibes. Everland is a magical place to get away from reality and be a part of only the fun, childlike aspects of humanity. Much like summer is a time to get away from school.

This Is Me Trying ~ A book that deals with loneliness & sadness

Well, I felt that.

TheLifeAndDeathOfSophieStark

I don’t really see this book talked about, but it’s basically the story of a bisexual movie director who puts her art about all else, to the detriment of her relationships and her own mental health. Much to my frustration, it’s told from the viewpoint of everyone but Sophie.

Illicit Affairs ~ A book that gave you a book hangover

Meh.

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If It Makes You Happy, photo cred https://www.instagram.com/killedbyabook/

I could say that everything I binged in 2019 gave me a hangover- I haven’t really reached that level of reading this year, except for this past month. I had to take summer classes to stay in the dorms, and only really got to reading during the Reading Rush-which was a mess, but also my first week of summer. For a specific book, I’d say If It Makes You Happy, which was my first read of the year and was unmatched until I read Gallery Of Unfinished Girls and Felix Ever After. 

Invisible String ~ A book that came into your life at the exact right time

Isn’t it just so pretty? Yes, yes it is.

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My book love

Raise your hand if you saw that coming.

Mad Woman ~ A book with a female character you adore

Vicious, VE Schwab
Vicious, VE Schwab

I adore Sydney! Plus, she has such an amazing power.

Epiphany ~ A book that was haunting

Gallery of Unfinished Girls got to me. It had me in that thinking state of wonder, pondering how one creates art.

Betty ~ A book couple that fills you with yearning

I ain’t gonna hope like that. Don’t make me.

Bunny
Bunny, Mona Awad

This might be a strange one, but Ava + Samantha in Bunny- there was so much yearning and the ending- I can only wish for a “best friend” like this. Plus, I really love dark academia but this and If We Were Villains might be the only ones I’ve actually read. I’ve been looking at Secret History, but I’ve heard it has a lot of problems. Please rec me some?

Peace ~ A book character you’d die for because you love them so much!

wHY ARE YOU SO RELATABLE 

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I would die for Sherlock Holmes.

Hoax ~ A book that you thought you were going to love but didn’t

T Swift got me tearing up again like why???

Also, I could just do Girl, Woman, Other again because the transphobic betrayal so late in the book… Like, I was invested. And the stuff she was writing came suddenly, as if she had no awareness of trans people during the early chapters, but something clicked and all of the ignorant hate came pouring out…

Anyway! Have you done this tag? Let me know! Do you want to do this tag? Do it! Did any of my books match yours? 

*If you are a regular, please fill out this short survey! I’d love to know what you’re thinking!*

Reading Rush 2020~ Mid-Week Burnout Ramble

RR-Stats

Hi friends, frenemies, and mortal enemies! (I know you’re out there.)

I spent what felt like the majority of the day reading and very little to show for it. I did read 11 ages more than yesterday, but -147 pages compared to Monday. But technically I cheated on Monday because I started May Day a few days before than put it off once I found out that it would fit the birthstone reading challenge. (73 pages)

It’s currently Wednesday 8.51 pm as I type this. Technically midweek would be Thursday because it started on Monday, but it’s already Thursday somewhere.

Most, or at least some of you know that I’m currently at University, and I found out that my dorm next year will be atop this massive hill. To prepare for this I’m exercising more so it won’t be an all-at-once thing and my muscles won’t hate me. It’s been three days, and my muscles hate me. 

So I didn’t really exercise today; I had to walk to the grocery and carry a bunch of cans because my cat is almost three months old and still won’t eat dry food exclusively. Later in the evening I did take a short walk to get some fresh air that including going down a set of stairs, but not up. But I’m still a bit sore and my leg’s been cramping a bit.

I wanted a lazy day today. I didn’t even feel bad about it, in this economy. 

So I was probably reading a bit slowly even though it felt fast. My enjoyment might’ve also been a factor. I normally read faster when I like a book, so I arrogantly had the assumption that I would get through it quickly and didn’t need to put in a great deal of effort.

But the thing is, 73 pages is good. I haven’t read that much fiction since last December, when I was still in community college and was challenging myself to read 100 books that year. I ended up reading 99, but I found that I wasn’t really enjoying short books as much. My goal at the start of this year was 48, but since the pandemic I changed it to 36. I’m at 47%, so a little behind but the Rush should pick the slack up.

Now I’m realizing that I should be more strict with myself if I’m serious about that goal, but… I’m not? The important thing is that I enjoy or get something out of each book that I read. I’m glad that I learned this while reading 100 99 books last year. I feel like it’s something a lot of people learned last year, so let me know if you felt that.

I’m glad that I had that experience. I had a lot more free time that year, and still lived close to a big library. Now the opposite is true, and I want to feel more relaxed during my time off rather than still feeling the pressure of completing an arbitrary reading goal.

Anyway, I still want to read the books that I picked out, but maybe it’s more realistic to give myself an extra week or so.  I almost said an extra month but I have two nonfiction books that I  took out from the school library with a current due date next month, but I suspect that they’ll be extended due to the plague, so I’m not too worried.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re reading, I hope your goals make you happy and you’re successful at them. 

Reading Rush 2020~ TBR

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I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do the Reading Rush this year because I had summer courses that ended last Friday. As is, I do feel like I have enough time to finish my rewatch of Yuri On Ice and maaaybe finish Cemetery Boys before Monday, as I couldn’t fit it into a prompt.

If you’ve seen my bookstagram, you already know what these are, but in case you don’t or want to know more about the books, here it is: 

January Birthstone + Different Continent: May Day

I got this as an ARC and started it. I put it on pause when I realized it fit a prompt so I could finish CB before the Rush starts. It’s a vampire book about a bisexual/f/f lean vampire detective whose team is trying to catch a vampire that’s gone rouge and is killing humans at public events.

THE: The Curse Of The Black Cat

I honestly don’t know much about this except that it’s gay and has black cats. It’s also super short. 

Touch: Hearts Unbroken

I got this when I was doing an Indigenous media assignment for a class. I wasn’t happy that the teacher assigned Sherman Alexie and tried to give her other Indigenous alternatives. This is about an Indigenous teen in high school that’s part of her school’s newspaper.

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Want To Read More Of, Magical Realism: Wild Beauty

I actually had a copy that got damaged due to the setup of my previous place. I’ve actually only read When The Moon Was Ours by the author and loved it. When I went (back before Corona) to the bookshop, I was looking for The Deep And Darkest Red but found this instead.

Movie Adaption + Outside: Miles Morales/ Into The Spiderverse

I’m not sure where I’m going to read this yet. There’s lots of benches on campus, but they can be uncomfortable to sit in for long periods of time. I might also try the cemetery and just sit on an unsuspecting dead body. ~ I have read Spiderman comics before, but I haven’t read about Miles before. If the movie is a good reflection of the comic, it should be really good. 

I’m also not pleased that May Day is set in the UK. I love books set in the UK, but I think that the prompt is more about reading something less West-centric. so I also have Murder Under The Bridge, which is set in Palestine. 

If I can read the first 5 books before the week is up, I’ll feel accomplished and try to fit Murder as a 6th book, or read it after the Rush.

The TanyX Goffy Reading List~ Rory Gilmore Spoof

So you may have seen my recent post of the entire RG Reading List. As you may have noticed, I’ve read only a few of them, most of which I DNF’d or had to read but hated. The List is a compilation of all the references to books in Gilmore Girls, and could be argued, all of the media that Rory deems “essential reading,” which can vary from person to person. Here’s my list and why I think people should read them by the time they graduate HS or college!

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My book love

#1 I Wish You All The Best, Mason Deaver –Freshman Year HS

Yes, the writing leaves something to be desired, but it’s a great first glimpse into the nonbinary world, and the book that came out as I was questioning my gender, or lack thereof. I used nonbinary for a while, then shifted to agender  and later transmasculine. I now don’t have a preferred word and just say “I’m trans” or “I don’t have a gender.” 

Felizx
Read this. Hype this. Give me this.

#2 Felix Ever After, Kacen Callender- Junior/senior year HS

I just finished this and I know. I just know how important this 2-month old book is for the future of trans lit. It was so full of self-pride even when there was a serious incident of transphobia and Felix began to re-question himself.

#3 They Both Die At The End, Adam SilveraHS

You can’t enter your adult life without being devastated by deaths that are spoiled by the title. It teaches you the meaning of living life to the fullest or something, and that’s something young ppl apparently need to appreciate while they still can. This is BS but the book is not I’m just trying to give you a meaningful reason to reread this.

Christopher McCandless

#4 Into The Wild, Jon Krakauer- Junior Year HS

This is the only required reading that I absolutely, truly, loved. Our guiding reading question was “Is Alex Supertramp a hero?” and I say yes, because he left comfort and safety to follow his dream. So sad his bus was lifted and I’ll never get to visit it. 😦

#5 If It Makes You Happy, Claire Kann- HS

This book stands out in the sense that there isn’t really a strong moral lesson to be learnt, but as it’s something I will require suitors that will never exist to read, I consider it essential to me. It’s got great poly/ace/bi rep that might be educational for some, and a family situation that may leave some feeling empowered to stand up to fatphobic family members.

#6 Hamlet, Shakespeare- Senior Year HS

This is the one Shakespeare I read and truly enjoyed, although I am interested in reading Macbeth and Midsummer Night’s Dream when it’s safe to go to the library. Alas, poor Yorick set me off on a skull hunting spree and I was Hamlet for Halloween. That being said, I didn’t get to read it within a classroom setting and think I could’ve benefited from guided analysis. 

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I miss shoes from Payless

#7 Radio Silence- Alice Oseman- Senior yr HS/ Before College

This really questions whether college is right or necessary, and it would be great for anyone who isn’t sure about college. Also- Demiace rep! Aroace author! Bisexual protagonist! No romance! 

#8 Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle– HS

This is a classic and if you don’t read this, you’ll die.

Doriangrey

#9 Dorian Gray- Oscar Wilde- Senior Year of HS or freshman yr of college

This is another book I would’ve benefited from a guided analysis- an older gay friend told me how gay it is but I didn’t listen and now I’m gay. 

#10 Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell- Before or during freshman year of college

This is an accurate portrayal of college life- the constant library and computer time! I think reading it can be a great way to prep for it- although Rainbow does have a history of racism and I’d like a different “now I’m in college” book but I don’t know any.

#11 If We Were Villains, ML Rio- College Seniors

This is especially great if you’ve read a few Shakespeares before this- I’m told it’s largely Macbeth, but I’ve only read R&J, Hamlet, and The Tempest and see bits of all. It’s super reflective of how I first realized my sexuality and related hard.

#12 An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Hank Green- College seniors 

This could be construed as an after-college book for the modern era of social media. April May is in her early 20s and leaves a job she hates to be a social media Carl activist. Hank is far better than John, and uses surprisingly ownvoices bisexual rep to show the evils of social media and how it can be used to help aliens/ Carls.

So yeah. This are my “essential books.” This is the kind of list that changes over the years, but these are the books that have strongly impacted me. I also should’ve listed The Hobbit but I really need to list 12 books because I might have OCD.

Rory Gilmore Reading List-2020

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
70.) Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
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
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
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
139.) I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
140.) In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
141.) Inferno by Dante
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 1/12 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 Windsro 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
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
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- “currently reading” this book for 6 months now. Interesting, but have to take it slow
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

Mid-Year Book Tag~ 2020

What an awful year. At east it’s half over, but if recent history is any indication, things will get worse.

But anyway, as of June 30th, I’ve read 15 books. I failed. My Goodreads goal was set at 48, considerably lower because I’m back at college and wanted to try reading more bricks since reading 99 short books last year wasn’t that fun. But here we are, at university, during corona, at 31% of my goal halfway through the year.

What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2020?

The best book was also the first one: If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann. There’s so little support for this book! I will require it of any future suitors- not that there will be any, but if there were, i’d ask them to read this to get a good idea of what I’m looking for. There’s a polyam bi qpp. There’s protective big sister and family drama with grandma. Fat black girl protag and proud. Queen of the summer festival.

Favorite Sequel-

Gotta skip this one. I’ve literally read 0 sequels this year. I do need to read all of Heartstopper, the last volume of Fence, and An Absolutely Remarkable Thing’s sequel- which I believe is coming out as I type.

 New release that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited for

All of them? But I think Felix Ever After counts bc I only read one chapter. I know most ppl are “read in one sitting” but I had such a preset notion of what this book is- a trans poc Simon vs- and it does seem like it, but also has a more mature voice. Stuff like “F***ing ridiculous” and talk about getting high. I just had to take a minute to let my expectations let up so I can enjoy it for what it is, instead of being surprised as to what it’s not. My favorite quote though? “You two seem like very nice, gay boys.”

 Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

All of them? I already mentioned  A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor. Also Falling In Love Montage, The Black Flamingo, The Book Of Koli, A Song Below Water, Faith: Taking Flight, LOVELESS, The Fell Of The Dark, Darius Deserves Better… You get the idea.

Biggest disappointment

This just happened, but I was betrayed by the transphobia towards the end of Girl, Woman, Other. Thus I picked up a a super trans-friendly book like Felix. Or not, I heard he gets outed. But basically, GWO is about mostly black women, but then you have one nonbinary character, and then transphobia just explodes from there, even within themself. Not to mention that it’s sketchy to put one enby character in a cast of all women, and the very next chapter have a prominent character saying that trans women don’t deserve to be in women’s spaces. Ugh. 

 Biggest surprise

Probably The Gallery Of Unfinished Girls. I just dug it out of a book bin bc I wasn’t feeling anything on my prestacked TBR. I knew nothing, and heard nothing, about it, but it was discarded by the library a while back and something compelled me to pick it up. I’m glad I did! It follows a bisexual artist as she deals with her grief from having Abulea in a coma. has a nice magical realism aspect.

 Favourite new to you or debut author

Um, I haven’t read multiple books by the same author, extent John Green, and he ain’t new. I look forward to reading more from Claire Kann, the author of If It Makes You Happy, Elizabeth Acevedo (With The Fire On High), and Lauren Kratz (Unfinished Girls) although I think the latter is a one book author. I look forward to reading Clap When You Land and Let’s Talk About Love. I had the latter checked out from the library a while ago, but it was literally the same week I went homeless so I never got to it.

 Favourite fictional crush

Way to include aces. But yeah, I don’t really have any characters I would date. I guess I would hang out with Nico from Last Bus To Everland, but he’s a bit irresponsible for anything serious. 

New favourite character

Um, Nico I guess. There’s also Lilia, who would be my crush, but we realize something that makes it kinda ick later on. She’s the awesome queen in Unfinished Girls who introduces our characters to the Estate/magic.  

A book that made you cry

I don’t cry, although I did cry quite easily after The Bag died and may burst into tears now. Odd One Out made me cry in frustration. 

A book that made you happy

Happiness is a lie. If It Makes You Happy was the fluffiest book I read tho. 

Blog-LoveVictor

Favourite book to movie/tv show 

I was going to put in Handmaid’s Tale (Yes, I’ve only just started watching.) but decided Love, Victor counts since there wouldn’t be Love. Victor without Simon Vs. I love Love, Victor! I ship the best friendship! So wholesome! Too wholesome!!! I love the gay camera frame: that’s how you know he’s really gay and not bi. Although it would’ve been interesting if he was bi. I. Can’t. Wait. For. Season. 2!  The cliffhanger was too cruel! 

Favourite post that you have written

I hate myself and my writing. Is it weird that I honestly think I was going a better job in High School than now? Although I was doing community based things like the poetry collective and I Heart Characters. Maybe I should start up my own meme. Would any of you be interested?!

I Don’t Know These People!~Statistical Character Test:

I thought this was pretty good, I even watched the first episode of … something which was interesting enough for an episode but I didn’t feel invested enough to continue. 

“Voted Most Likely” Writers Tag!

This was good for my writing in theory, but I haven’t actually gotten much writing done since.

If I Were Rich: Scholarship Contests

I’m thinking of doing another If I Were Rich. Maybe I should try to make more series posts, like If I Were Rich or TED Talk Tuesday. It might keep my brain more engaged in crafting better posts, rather than throwing whatever sometimes.

What is the most beautiful book that you have bought

I have to go with Felix again. A follow-up would be Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. 

Please do this if you haven’t already and link me your post! I wanna seeeee

I Should Have Read That! Book Tag!

A Cascade Of Books  did this a while ago, and since my TBR will not run out as long as I live, I thought, why not?

Ni

A book that a certain friend is always asking you to read.

Hmm… I don’t have IRL friends who really read. I was recently rec’d To Night Owl From Dogfish by someone on twitter. It’s a gay dad Parent Trap. 

A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t picked it up.

All Of Them? According to Goodreads, it’s The Count Of Monte Cristo, the 1276 page prison escape. Yay.

BTOH

A book in a series you’ve started, but haven’t gotten round to finishing yet.

I liked The Black Tides Of Heaven, but even with the short lengths, I haven’t finished the series. I don’t think I knew it was a series until recently, and it’s a bit too late to go back to the library.

A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but never actually read

Hmm, classics are a hit or miss with me, and I’ve read Carmilla and Dorian Gray, so I feel mostly set. I have yet to read Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Nights Dream, and that’s supposed to be the gayest Shakespeare. The only Shakespeares I have read are R&J, Hamlet, and The Tempest. I actually went as Hamlet for Halloween in 2017, but I despise R&J. I don’t really have strong feelings for The Tempest, so Shakespeare is sitting at zero velocity. 

A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read.

Um, 6 Of Crows, Cinder, any YA sci-fi/fantasy that is not Strange The Dreamer. But I don’t really have much interest in SFF right now. A popular book that I actually want to read is The Secret History. I love dark academia! I loved Bunny and If We Were Villains! W H Y haven’t I read this?

GO

A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but you just haven’t read it yet.

GOOD OMENS! 

A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet.

Let me scroll… nope, read, read, plague meme, Wizard Of Oz puzzle (read the book), looks triggering, no, never seen before, cat, drag, read,

Ok! This pic has Scythe on a bookshelf with many other books, but it counts! The Scythe series is really popular but i’ve never read it. It is something I’m interested in. 

Update: My cat has a growth on his lungs that’s slowly killing him. I have posts scheduled through mid-may but after that, I might be quiet for a while. If you’d like to help with pain and appetite meds, we have a Ko-Fi

note: My cat has since died. 

Queer Asian TBR!

If you watch booktube, you’ll know Cindy, and if you know Cindy, you’ll know she’s hosting the Asian Readathon throughout May. Being me, only enjoying queer books, I put together a list of queer asian authors and reads.


Read

The Black Tides Of Heaven-  non-binary author, children choose gender at puberty, Singaporean, Adult

Darius The Great Is Not Ok-Depression, not verbalized as gay but made clear through certain feelings, Iranian, YA

Dragon Pearl-Friend uses they/them pronouns, korean, MG

 

TBR- I’ve the ones that really stand out to me, but see what takes your interest!

Our Dreams At Dusk-Outed gay boy, LGBT+ group, Japanese manga, YA

Shikhandi and Other Stories They Don’t Tell You- gender bending/trans stories, Indian, Adult

Stealing Nasreen- Lesbians, immigration, Indo-Canadian, Adult

Blue boy- gnc, gay? divine, indo-american, MG?

Shatter The Sky- Lesbians, fantasy, YA

I’m Afraid of Men,trans femme, nonfiction/memoir, Indo-canadian Gorgeous author, Adult 

If You Could Be Mine- Lesbian, Iranian, YA

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel-Lesbian, Persian, YA

They Called Us Enemy-Gay, Japanese concentration camps, graphic novel

Twinkle Twinkle-Gay man, Japanese, Adult

Given-Gay for music, Japanese manga, YA

My Brother’s Husband-Gay, Japanese manga

The Weddings- gay Chinese, short story 

Soft Science queer femme, technology 

The Never Tilting World, Lesbian, Philippino

Wicked As You Wish,Lesbian, Philippino

Long Live The Tribe Of Fatherless Girls, Lesbian, Hawaiian

The Year Of Blue Water-trans male, chinese american

Gorgeous White Female – trans fem, pakistani

Naturally Tan-Gay, Queer Eye, memoir, muslim

Funny Boy- gay boy, war, Sri Lanka

And Shall Machines Surrender- Lesbian, thai, sci-fi

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeousgay asian-american, Adult

Witchy–  witch comic

Straight Books- You know these are good If I must mention them

The Girl From The Well-Japanese, death, YA

I Am Malala- Pakistani memoir, YA

Confessions-Japanese, murder, 

The Memory Police Japanese authoritarian regime

 

T10T: I’m With The (Book) Band

T10T is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Click on the band titles to get it from your local indie!

 

Echo After Echo

A mystery murder on stage… I imagine this band to be big on performance and long notes. They might experiment a little with clothing styles and shadow acting.

Hidden Figures

The female mathematicians behind NASA… I imagine their songs to be about staying strong and taking no BS. Some nerdy lyrics and traditionally professional outfits.

Killing November

We are training to become assassins… This band would be super secretive and likely be a front for a mission.

Saving Hamlet

Time traveling to save two productions of Hamlet… I imagine Shakespeare clothes, songs that tell stories of madness, and constructing papier-mâché skulls on stage.

Heart Of Darkness

This mixed opinion classic follows a sailor that sells ivory to some mad dude… The musicians are broody goths with that one dude that always wears white. They use the sea as a metaphor for women and for their psyche. 

Bread And Roses, Too

This is the one book from this list I’ve actually read. It’s an MG book following a young girl and boy during the strikes in the Industrial Revolution. This would be a children’s choir whose first hits would be directed by the parents but move to independence as the adults strike, collecting donations.

The Glass Castle

This is a memoir of a nomadic-turned struggling family when the children realise they have to live on their own. This would be a family band singing about making it work, and loving your fam even when it’s difficult. 

The Merciful Crow

A fugitive prince ask the chieftain to protect him after faking his death… This would be a weird band that everyone believes to be high all the time, and some followers form a cult of Prince Jas. They sing about magic with a straight face in a literal tone.

Slayer

Yes.

Hummingbird Dagger

A carriage ride results in an amnesiac Beth… The songs would appear innocent to the passing listener, but the meanings leave you haunted. 

Have you read any of these books? What other book titles would make cool band names?