September has been a great reading month and also quite the emotional roller coaster! I’m sorry that I wasn’t as active in the book community this month. I was bedridden sick for a week, and then felt more introverted (and withdrawn) than usual. 😶 I’ll do my best to be more active and involved in October – though, it depends on where life and chance will take me. (My fingers and toes are crossed for a good October!)
I want to highlight two things:
- It is currently Latinx Heritage Month; to celebrate, I am reading Labyrinth Lost. Make sure you hop on over to Naz’s blog and participate in his event!
- I am now a mod at the Keep It Diverse book club! We typically read #ownvoices books, and will have discussions about them. Join us on Twitter or Goodreads! Our book for October is The Girl From Everywhere.
Books read in September (and my thoughts in three words)
1. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman – heartwarming, has dragons
2. Morning Star by Pierce Brown – the perfect ending
3. The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel – fun, silly dystopian
4. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay – imperfect but thoughtful
5. Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman – interestingly, unexpectedly good
6. The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie – kaijus + kickass protagonist
7. Fullmetal Alchemist Vol 1 by Hiromu Arakawa – *sobs because Again*
8. Fullmetal Alchemist Vol 2 by Hiromu Arakawa – I CAN’T WAIT
9. Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee – IT WAS PERFECT
10. And I Darken by Kirsten White – vicious, amazing start
11. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – profound, moving, raw
12. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson – insightful and honest
1. The Moth and the Flame by Renee Ahdieh – material for ships
2. The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho – hauntingly beautiful, evocative
Reviews and blog posts in September
1. PLAY THIS GAME: Read This? Play This Game! (Part 1) – As a lover of games and books, I pair three games with some books and try my absolute best to convince you that my recommended games are awesome. (Has a modern fairytale, assassins, and dystopia.)
2. REVIEW: The Rose Society by Marie Lu – Deliciously dark, wicked, and has my most favourite anti-hero (ever), The Rose Society is a flawless sequel to The Young Elites. I can’t wait for The Midnight Star!
3. REVIEW: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – This book is filled to the brim with goodness, innocence, and teenage silliness. I adored this book, adored its wonderful characters, and the hilarious story.
4. LET’S TALK ABOUT: The Diversity ‘Catch-22’ – Misrepresentation vs. No Representation – I’m so grateful for the love and support for this post. Thank you all, as always. I talk about the ‘catch-22’ authors are faced with when writing diversity, representation, and my suggestions to authors (and readers).
5. BOOK RECS: Introduction to Dystopia – I recommended my top four dystopian novels; books that featured a dystopian society and are inherently critical.
6. REVIEW: Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt – Creepy and sinister, Hex is a book full of horrors but nothing is as terrifying as what humans do to each other – and themselves – in times of utmost fear and desperation. Super scary, but super good.
7. THE SOCIOLOGY OF: Hex, Fear, and the Panopticon – I blend books and Sociology, and critically analyse Hex with a sociological lens. In this post, I talk about the sociology of fear, as well as the concept and implications of the Panopticon.
Lessons I learned from The Work Life
1. You will master the art of fake (but convincing) laughter. So, find people who do make you laugh genuinely.
2. Find a job that makes you happy, content, and/or feel fulfilled. And then kick-ass in it.
3. Working for eight hours a day takes up a chunk of your time, so use your free time to do something meaningful and healthy to you. Whether it’s doing nothing at home, chilling with family, or pursuing a hobby, don’t just find time – make time.
4. Eliminate unnecessary ‘sorry’s from your vocabulary, and only ever apologize if you mean it. Eliminate ‘just’ from your emails.
E.g. Instead of ‘Sorry, but I was just wondering whether I could use this room?’, use ‘May I use this room?’
5. Challenge yourself. Don’t let yourself become stagnant. There’s comfortable, and then too comfortable – don’t be the latter. Personal growth is fluid and doesn’t stop at any age.
6. Do not be too eager to share parts of inner self to your colleagues. You will see these people often. Once you’ve shared, you can’t take it back.
The Sociology Of – my new feature
As the title suggests, The Sociology Of is where I write about books with a sociological lens, and also talk about important sociological concepts and how they relate to the book. I have to admit – when I was writing The Sociology Of: Hex, Fear, and the Panopticon, I realized how long it had been since I graduated. So, writing my first The Sociology Of post was a very challenging task. It felt good to write about sociology again, but bear with me while I slowly get back into it. I hope to write more of these posts, but I’ll only discuss a book sociologically if the book’s themes offer content that calls for it.
On book art/illustrations
I made the decision last month not to illustrate book art for every book anymore. Whilst I really really really wish I could, drawing book art for my reviews take a looooong time (sometimes 3 – 4 hours?). I want to spend more time reading and doing other things, rather than struggle to draw for my blog all the time, so while I’m a little disappointed in myself, I think it is for the best.
Around the Blogosphere!
So, so, so many amazing posts this month! Readers and book bloggers (you guys!) are made of everything that is good in this world. I wish I could share all the wonderful posts I found this month, but here are some particularly memorable ones.
LATINX HERITAGE MONTH (SEP 15TH – OCT 15TH)
- EVENT: Read Diverse Books Year-Round – Latinx Heritage Month Edition hosted by Naz at Read Diverse Books is a great event, and I highly encourage that you participate too! I am reading Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova, and will post it before the event finishes!
- BOOK RECS: 20+ Books To Read During AND After Latinx Heritage Month — the title says it all.
POSTS YOU MUST-READ. RIGHT NOW.
- Bookish Judgement and Diversity Troubles? is a great contribution to the discussions around diversity. Daisy at Feminists Read Love addresses why we need diversity, and breaks it down in a simple, no-nonsense way. And I love it.
- Recs: Diverse SFF Short Stories is a wonderful collection compiled by Aentee at Read at Midnight. I took her advice and read A Cup of Salt Tears and it was wonderful.
- When “Diversity” Isn’t Actually Diverse, written by Jeann at Happy Indulgence, is a brilliant and nuanced post of why we need to look deeply into what diversity means and stands for.
- Is Age Just a Number? is a thoughtful (and very relatable!) discussion written by Carolyn at A Hundred Thousand Stories about character ages in YA fiction.
- Yet more things that are good is such a beautiful and evocative piece of writing Written by the lovely Topaz, her writing always touches the small places of my heart. I loved it. Please read it.
- Diversity in Books: Rants and Rambles, written by Ari at The Daydreaming Bookworm, is an eloquent, no-nonsense, and concise discussion on diversity that everyone should read.
- On The Practice of Banning Books is part of M’s Banned Books Week post series at A Blog of One’s Own. An absolutely necessary discussion, M explores banned books in a four part series, and I encourage all of you to read it.
- Lissa’s review of A Court of Mist and Fury – I enjoyed A Court of Mist and Fury immensely, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to describe the sense of wonder that book filled me with. Lissa, though, wrote a review that does the book justice, and her splendid writing packs an amazing punch.
- Paige’s review of Girl, Interrupted – I love Paige’s reviews, and I found this particular review very compelling. I haven’t read Girl, Interrupted, but her review of the book as well as her analyses of mental illness are thought-provoking and spot-on.
- Sarah’s review of Highly Illogical Behaviour – I loved, loved, loved Highly Illogical Behaviour, and I loved Sarah’s review of it just as much. She highlights everything good in the book – if her review doesn’t convince you to read it, I don’t know what will.
- Chantal’s review of And I Darken – Chantal’s blog is relatively new but wow, her reviews are amazing. I particularly loved her review for And I Darken; as with all her reviews, it is detailed, beautifully written, and thoughtful.
- Lydia’s review of The Lies We Tell Ourselves – When I read this review, I was floored. Lydia’s review is amazing, and I truly felt like I needed to read The Lies We Tell Ourselves. Go over, read it, and see what I mean!
Thank you everyone, for your support and love this month. Thank you all for taking the time to visit, for leaving your wonderful and thoughtful comments, and for being awesome. ❤
I have some great things planned for October – some discussion posts, reviews of #ownvoices books, and of course another book recs post. My October TBR is very exciting too, including finishing Labyrinth Lost, hopefully reading my first Junot Díaz book, and Crooked Kingdom!
So friends, tell me:
- How was your September? Can you believe we’re 15 weeks away from Christmas?
- Did you discover any new favourite books? (Tell me about it!)
- Seriously, how are you? ❤