Mid-Year Book Freak Out

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Original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03gz6k0IB-Y // https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_Wh0rPGfRg&t=6s

Please let’s not talk about how I’ve been absent for half a year, okay, thank you.

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017.
To Kill a Mockingbird. Man, does this one even need an explanation?

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017.
Haven’t been reading much in terms of series (I’m saving all my fantasy for July & August), but The Hammer of Thor was really, really good. It was also my first ever book with a genderfluid character, which I loved immensely. Can’t wait for the last book this fall

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.
The two Trials of Apollo books that came out so far, other than that – I don’t even know, I’ve mostly been reading classics this year, with an occasional contemporary novel that came up in one of my games on LiveLib.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
The Ship of the Dead. Riordan all the way!

5. Biggest disappointment.
I’ve got two books that were huge disappointments. First is The Catcher in the Rye. For whatever reason I had quite high expectations for this one and it turned out to be TERRIBLE. One of the worst books of the year.

The second one is Watchmen – I know, right??? It’s basically a staple, a must-read for all comics/graphic novel lovers, and yet, and yet, I just felt so detached. The characters were boring, some I downright hated, like Nite Owl II (but Rorschach was great and Dr. Manhattan was cool up until the very end.. ugh). There was just too much packed in those 400+ A4 pages. Too much.

6. Biggest surprise.
The Yellow Wallpaper. It’s tiny. Go read it.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)
That’s a hard one. I read a lot of stuff by new authors, a lot of which I really enjoyed, but I only read one novel by each, or a couple of short stories, so can I really count that? Maybe next thing by them I read I hate completely, you know? Anyways!

Truman Capote – I’ve read three autobiographical short stories and his writing is BEAUTIFUL, I’m so excited to read more.

Thomas Hardy – that one needs a looong explanation and I’m not really feeling it, but I plan on reading at least one more novel of his this summer, so maybe then.

And I would also love to read more Margaret Atwood and Maya Angelou, absolutely.

8. Newest fictional crush.
I rarely ever have book crushes, so my new ones are all old ones re-introduced through new books of the series they are parts of, if that makes sense. For example, Bigby Wolf (*What a Man by Linda Lyndell starts playing*) and Sam Vimes (*the song gets ten times louder*). I just love decent men, what can I say?

9. Newest favourite character.
Atticus Finch. See #1

10. Book that made you cry.
All The Light We Cannot See made me cry a rIVER. Also No Matter the Wreckage was beautiful, Mrs. Ribeiro always makes me tear up, no matter if I read it or listen to it.

11. Book that made you happy.
… And this is me realizing I read a lot of angsty stuff this year. So I guess we’re back to Rick Riordan. Oh, and Oh, boy! It was so so so lovely.

12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year.
So far this year I’ve seen Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Wonder Woman, and all three of them were amazing and technically count, right? If they don’t, A Monster Calls was beautiful, if a tad bit boring. But I loved the animated parts to bits, they were gorgeous.

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year.
I’m still shit at writing reviews, but I’ve actually been writing them! In Russian though, on LiveLib. Here they are. All of them are bad. You’ve been warned.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
It might actually be A Little Life – I absolutely adore the gorgeous simplicity of this cover.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I’ve actually been keeping up with my Top 17 Books to Read in 2017 list! So far I have eight left: The Nightingale, Vanity Fair, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Beloved, Brideshead Revisited, A Room of One’s Own, Half of a Yellow Sun, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. I think I’m doing quite well, all things considered.

Best of 2016

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I wasn’t planning on writing anything this year, but in the end decided to compile a quick list, just for myself, with no explanations. It was quite a nice year for me media-wise, with comic books, Hamilton and MCU dominating most of it. Also it’s so easy to forget by the end of the year all the things you loved at the beginning of it, jeez.

Books

10 // The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

9 // The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

8 // The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

// Fables (vol.1-4) by Bill Willingham

6 // Au bonheur des ogres by Daniel Pennac

5 // A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

4 // Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

3 // Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

2 // Preacher by Garth Ennis

1 // Hawkeye by Matt Fraction

Music

16 // Little Mix

15 // Gabrielle Aplin

14 // Lauren Aquilina

13 // One Direction

12 // BTS

11 // Hedley

10 // TWICE

9 // The 1975

8 // Florence + The Machine

7 // Sara Bareilles

6 // All Time Low

5 // Panic! at the Disco

4 // Halsey

3 // New Politics

2 // Daughter

1 // Hamilton

Movies / TV

1 // Marvel Cinematic Universe (all movies + Daredevil, Agent Carter s1)

2 // Moana

3 // Deadpool

4 // Pride and Prejudice (1995 mini-series)

5 // Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

6 // Star Trek Beyond

7 // Arrival

8 // Clueless

9 // Monty Python and the Holy Grail

10 // Teen Wolf (but it’s No. 1 in my heart forever and ever and ever okay)

2017 Reading Plans

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I have a list of 58 classics I want to read in 2017. I will probably add a few titles to that list over the course of the year, so basically it means an average of 5 classics per month. And while some of them are essays and plays, some are huge, like Vanity Fair and The Forsyte Saga. I’ll probably do a quick check mid-year to see how things go, because to be honest, I’m not feeling very optimistic at the moment.

Also I want to read as much feminist literature as I can get my hands on. Some of the titles are already on my list, but contemporary ones are not. There’s also the fact that many of them I simply can’t get here, because I live in the most useless country in the world, ugh.

Anyway, here’s the list:

1. J. Milton, Paradise Lost
2. C. Dickens, Great Expectations
3. W.M. Thackeray, Vanity Fair Continue reading

T5W: Rainy Day Reads

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This is actually one of last April’s topics, but I never did it, and also today’s one (favorite first sentences) is not something I’m particularly interested in doing, since I’ve read most of the books in Russian, and besides, the only first sentence that stands out to me is “It is a truth universally acknowledged…”, because I’m THAT cliché. Also the weather here is crap. It’s my blog, after all, so Imma do what I want! (But please leave links to your posts with today’s actual topic below, I would love to check them all out!)

Please don’t try to make sense of my associative chains. There is none. I’m a Gemini.

  1. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. I read this book two years ago, so all I can remember is that they were always wet. I’m not kidding.
  1. The Elegance of the Hedgehog. First of all, look at that beautiful title. Do you really need to know anything else about it to read it? Because I didn’t. And I just read it. And it was lovely. And sad, which is why it’s a rainy book.
  1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s dark blue. It’s about water (sort of). It’s slightly creepy.
  1. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I could go with any of Murakami novels (or non-fictions, I think Underground is a really good rainy read), but this is one of my favorites, and also the one I would probably recommend to someone who wants to start reading Murakami and is not afraid of a little challenge (and if you want to play it safe – go for Norwegian Wood).
  1. The Book Thief. Because if the rain is loud enough, there’s a good chance no one will hear you cry.

T5W: Authors You Are Waiting on Another Book From

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Life is crazy. Life is so crazy I don’t have the time to stop and relax, and when I do I just crash. I want to do a collective summer wrap-up at the end of the month, and probably a tag or something before that, I just don’t have the strength to do anything else. I demand another summer after this one so that I’ll be able to finally have some rest. Ugh. Anyways! T5W!

  1. John Green – I don’t even know why I want another book by him. I absolutely love John as a person, he’s great, but I’ve read all of his novels and my favorite is Zombicorns. Really. The rest vary from ‘okay’ to ‘wtf was that’. I guess I’m masochistic like that.
  1. Jenny Lawson – I’ve read both her books this year, and both of them were great. I know that she’s releasing a coloring-but-also-more book in less than a year, but I would really love to read an actual book by her.
  1. Richard Siken – ‘Crush’ has influenced me in so many ways, and I got the title for this blog from one of his poems. Considering he has two poetry books published within 10 years of each other, I’m in for a long wait.
  1. Neil Gaiman – I still have quite a few of his novels to read, as well as short story collections, but really, you can’t have too much of a good thing, amirite?
  1. Haruki Murakami is up there with Terry Pratchett on the list of my favorite authors — and since sir Terry will not write another book anymore, Murakami is an obvious choice. I have read all of his novels and pretty much most everything he’s written.

T5W: favorite character names

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Here’s a tip for you all: don’t start a blog right before the start of your finals, especially when said finals last from early May and up to the very end of June. I hate life so much right now, I really just need to write something so I stop feeling like a disappointment. I’ve also opened a bookish instagram, but it’s not like I have time to post there (and not like I read anything).

Anyways! Favorite character names! I should probably start this by saying that if I could, this list would consist entirely of the names of Terry Pratchett’s characters, and technically I can, but like yay, diversity.

  1. Adrian Ivashkov. And I suppose Dorian Gray, since they sorta go together in my head, and let’s pray I never have twin boys, because they will hate my guts for naming one of them after an alcoholic (true story: Adrian is my biggest book-crush, like, ever, at least in the VA series, because in Bloodlines he totally sucks), and the other after, well, Dorian effin’ Gray.
  1. Shadow Moon. I know it’s not his real name, but it’s the one he uses and it’s really cool.
  1. Aelin Ashryver Galathynius aka Celaena Sardothien. Don’t ask me to pronounce it if you don’t want me to kick you in the teeth, but, like. So cool. Aelin is a gorgeous name. Celaena would also be pretty cool if it weren’t, y’know, just Selena on drugs.
  1. Tiffany Aching. First of all, all the Aching puns. Second of all, she is the reason I want to name my future daughter Tiffany, and I live in a Russian-speaking country so it’s probably not the wisest of choices. Whatever. A great character with a great (and simple, which makes it even better) name, I don’t know what else you might need.
  1. Moist Von Lipwig. I don’t understand the problem that the English-speaking world has with the world ‘moist’, especially when they have no problem using ‘loofah’, which, in my opinion, is a bajillion times worse. Also, Moist is a great character, so. Bonus: his girlfriend Adora Belle Dearheart, who is absolutely badass.

 

 

T5W: Favorite Mothers

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April 27th topic is Favorite Mothers/Maternal Figures!

The thing about mothers is that authors really, really, really love to kill them off. I’m being absolutely serious here. I went through my entire list of read books on Goodreads, and most of the time mothers were either dead or really messed up. So here’s a teeny-tiny list I came up with and at first the fifth place was totally a joke until I realized that he is actually a better mother than, like, 99% of book mothers. There must be a metaphor somewhere in there. (P.S. This is not proofread whatsoever, because ain’t nobody got time for that, sorry).

  1. Molly WeasleyHarry Potter. No comment. Really. I mean, really. Come on.
  2. Miss PeregrineMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Miss Peregrine basically created a whole new world to keep the children safe, and if that doesn’t define a great mother, then I don’t know what does.
  3. Granny WeatherwaxDiscworld. Granny Weatherwax is an independent woman who don’t need no man. She’s smart, she’s sharp, she’s strict – she’s also very, very caring. In my mind she’s Discworld’s ultimate mother. While Miss Peregrine creates a world to protect her children, the child that Granny protects is the world. It made more sense in my head. Oops.
  4. Miss HoneyMatilda. Miss Honey is extremely nice and sweet and she cares for Matilda more than Matilda’s own parent ever did. She basically saves Matilda’s life, and isn’t that what real mothers do?
  5. Benjamin MalaussèneAu bonheur des ogres. He takes care of his five younger siblings, and he does a great job of it, considering everything he goes through in the book (and in the series, but I’ve only read the first book because the series is so good I don’t want it to end so I don’t read it– yeah). The book is brilliant, by the way, have I mentioned that? Because it is. Also: watch the movie. It’s not even half as good as the book, but. Two words: Raphaël Personnaz.