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Saturday, September 02, 2017

new ones + classics // winter book haul

Helloo, peoples of the internet! For us in the southern hemisphere today spells the beginning of spring and, for me in the tropics nothing much will change. Even so, I like the idea of seasons (hence the post title) and I also like the idea of book shopping (if, for some strange reason, you hadn't already worked that out). These last few months, I decided I really wanted to get some wonderful-sounding 2017 YA releases and hardbacks, and, the day before yesterday, in perfect timing for this post, part of my Book Depository order arrived. (I took so long to choose which books to buy it wasn't even funny. Oops.) A couple of secondhand classics have joined my bookshelf, as well. (And my phone is dying; while I wait for a new one to arrive we'll have to make do with aesthetically pleasing, cosy photos courtesy of unsplash.com okay?)

from unsplash.com

W I N T E R  B O O K  H A U L  2 0 1 7

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein // In my next closest town there's this lovely independent bookshop (which sells chocolate and colouring books, too) and I love to visit whenever I can. Last

Monday, August 14, 2017

a wall, a telescope, + spray paint // going over by beth kephart #bookreview

People who hide don't want to be found, Omi says. But Savas is just a little boy, and maybe hiding is not what Savas wants, and maybe what happens next will be my fault: I shouldn't have let him vanish. And maybe, also, I should confess to this: Mailing a word like now across the border wasn't exactly Stasi smart. - Going Over by Beth Kephart

My first thought when I bought Going Over: So it's like Romeo and Juliet in 1980s Berlin. I expected the romance to be tacky  and hoped for the beautiful writing style I'd loved in another of Beth Kephart's novels, One Thing Stolen, to save the story. I didn't expect the setting and mood to be so authentically German/Russian and I clearly didn't expect the love story to be both a whisper in the background and an important piece of the backbone of a novel about courage and trust and vibrantly clashing worlds within a history that's only really barely a generation old. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

sometimes i read and i don't feel a thing

(photo by me.)

(Also entitled: ideas for getting out of a reading slump [when books have let you down] or a book hangover [when books have heightened your expectations way too much]. Maybe it's for the times when your brain is too crowded with important life stuff and reading feels like a job instead of escaping, too.)

The thing is I read mainly because I want to feel things. I want to feel sad, happy, confused, mad, hopeful, whatever the story makes me feel. I want to get excited about amazing writing. Emotional reading (if that's even what you call it) should be a given, yeah? Except that's not how the world works, so I have a list which I made last time (actually recently) I felt meh about every novel I picked up. It's:

a small list of the kinds of books to try reading when you don't really feel like reading
(and maybe [hopefully] at least one of them will make you feel excited about reading once more)
X Re-read a favourite book. Either the best book you read in 2016 or you own childhood classic. The point is you're reading something you know you'll love, even if you already know the story inside out. Your faith in great literature will be restored. Also, reading a favourite book is like a hug, really. (i.e. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery, The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock) 
O Read the sequel to a book you really liked. This is like a welcome home party where you snuggle up in bed with tea or lie on the grass trying not get eaten by mosquitoes; take it fast or slow. There's less pressure on you to learn about a whole new world and cast of characters, and, I think, you already trust the author to deliver a wonderful story. (i.e. Gemina by Amie Kaufman + Jay Kristoff, Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson) 
X Ask a friend or family member or bookshop owner or librarian for a recommendation. (Ask anyone really.) Sometimes deciding on your next book is too much, so why not take a chance on someone else's ideas? Especially if they know you well, they'll know the kinds of books you like to read or they'll help you discover something new. Also, you can discuss the book when you've finished which can be great fun (depending how opinionated you are). (i.e. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkein)
O Read a biography/memoir/autobiography about or by someone who interests you. The few times I've read biographical books I found them to be quite rewarding. Although it might be hard to get through, at the end, you can feel knowledgeable or inspired or proud. Learning, people, is always a good idea. Also, real people's lives can crazily be as interesting as fiction. (i.e. Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear)
So tell me this: do you ever feel down about reading and what helps you get the happiness back?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

we'll polka for the folk along the parapets

just a small string of thoughts if you care to join this trip through the present state of my mind. a state which includes the Little Women musical soundtrack, hence this post's title. also, if recent Pinterest activity doesn't show one what's going on in another's head, what does? :)

Shout-out to authors who create the worlds and stories for which I could really, truly leave reality. Since I started working full-time, reading has been way more of a  here-and-there, lunch-break, chapter-before-bed kind of thing, so I feel like I'm appreciating novels that engage, fascinate and inspire in a whole new way. I'm loving worlds that can just as easily pull me inside for ten minutes and make me hate myself for leaving as they can satisfy me for hours on end. I'm loving whimsical fantasy, intertwined with history, and not completely serious characters. In particular, I'm loving The Colours of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty.
- - -
Like four and a half months into working at the library (time flies, seriously), my two favourites about all of that are: 1) The fact that books (from State Library and other libraries we're connected to) arrive almost everyday in the mail. It's like trading because we send books back everyday, too, but it's also a bit like Christmas most mornings. 2) There are little display shelves at the end of sets of regular shelves for showing off books from that particular section. Choosing and changing the books on those display shelves is the best fun. Especially in March when we changed all of them to green for St Pat's Day. Especially the YA section's display, which I've sort of adopted responsibility for. They were rainbow a few weeks ago; now they're all red covers. If I can round up enough yellow-covered YA fictions, that'll be next.
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Right now it's nearing four in the afternoon and my toes sticking out from too-long jeans feel like ice cubes. Last night we had a small fire in the backyard and roasted marshmallows and cheerios. Tomorrow I plan to edit two more chapters of my WIP and possibly buy some books (as a reward, of course). I'm currently reading Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, my first ever venture into steampunk and it's glorious.

What's going on in your life? What did you last pin on Pinterest? What're you currently reading?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

one of my favourite places // the library lovers book tag

hello people! 

This week I'm doing a tag I found through Google and on Amber's blog. The tag is all about libraries, which makes my heart happy for two reasons: 1) libraries mean books that you get to keep for four weeks and pretend they're your own and also places filled with books which honestly is really calming (anyone else find book calming?) + 2) I don't know if I've said this before, but I actually started working at my local library this year which is all kinds of freaking out amazingness. Three and a half months in, I still get excited about every day of work, though there is hard work involved. But it's one of my favourite places and I'm grateful to work there with some pretty cool people. Anyways, onward to the tag (to which I added a final bonus question which I hope is allowed?) ...

photo by me who doesn't own a great phone and is still figuring out the art of self-timer photos. but, you know, at least, I didn't drop the books.

T H E  L I B R A R Y  L O V E R S  B O O K  T A G

How often do you visit your local library? // To work, five days a week, haha. If I wasn't working there, it'd be once a fortnight, I think.
Are you the type of person who checks out more books than you know you can read or are you someone who only checks out the exact amount of books you intend on reading before they are due? // Um, I basically always borrow too many books, then stress that I'm not going to finish them, then renew the loan period, then still don't read them all, so two weeks or a year later, I'll re-borrow the same book. *sigh* It's a downward spiral, I know, but there are so many lovely-looking books. Also, I reserve a lot of books on my library's online catalogue, then they all arrive at the same time (which, you know is completely out of my control).