September Recap: Lessons from my work life & celebrating the book community

recap-september

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 I was bedridden sick for a week, and then felt more introverted (and withdrawn) than usual. ūüė∂¬†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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.

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Books read in September (and my thoughts in three words)

1. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman Рheartwarming, has dragons

2.¬†Morning Star¬†by Pierce Brown –¬†the perfect ending

3. The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel Рfun, silly dystopian

4. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay Рimperfect but thoughtful

5. Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman Рinterestingly, unexpectedly good

6. The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie Рkaijus + 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 Рprofound, moving, raw

12. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson Рinsightful and honest

Short stories:

1. The Moth and the Flame by Renee Ahdieh Рmaterial for ships

2. The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho – hauntingly beautiful, evocative

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Reviews and blog posts in September

1. PLAY THIS GAME: Read This? Play This Game! (Part 1) РAs 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.)

therosesociety

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.

diversity-catch-22

4.¬†LET’S TALK ABOUT:¬†The Diversity ‚ÄėCatch-22‚Äô ‚Äď 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 РI recommended my top four dystopian novels; books that featured a dystopian society and are inherently critical.

hex

6. REVIEW: Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt РCreepy and sinister, Hex is a book full of horrors but nothing is as terrifying as what humans do to each other Рand themselves Рin times of utmost fear and desperation. Super scary, but super good.

7. THE SOCIOLOGY OF: Hex, Fear, and the PanopticonI 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.

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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.

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Blog Updates

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.

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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)

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.

GREAT REVIEWS

  • 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!

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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 Рsome 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?¬†‚̧
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38 thoughts on “September Recap: Lessons from my work life & celebrating the book community

  1. Hey :) How are you?

    Thanks so much for the link! I appreciate it :) What were some of your thoughts on ACOMAF? I was completely taken by surprise at the depth of the writing and issues discussed. Also, Rhys is bae

    Fantastic post!

    • Hi Lissa!

      I am okay, how are you? Reading any good books? c:

      You’re welcome! I really loved your review and I HAD to share it.

      I really, really enjoyed ACOMAF! I didn’t like ACOTAR at all, but ACOMAF was a massive turnaround for me. I enjoyed the fantasy and the worldbuilding elements, and I liked that Feyre had more substance as a character. I like Rhys, even though he’s not perfect and has erred a lot. I didn’t like Tamlin in ACOTAR, but even I can say that how he was villainized (esp towards the end) was a bit extreme!

      Hehe, thank you so much. <3

      • Hi :)

        I’m pretty good (thankful that it’s the weekend). I’m not currently reading anything, but I recently finished “Graceland”, “The Raven Cycle” and the “Splintered” trilogy – all of which are absolutely fantastic! I’m actually currently writing up my September wrap-up, so there will be more details in that if you want to check it out (once I post it).

        I’m flattered! Again, thank you! ^_^

        I’m glad to hear it! I wasn’t the biggest fan of ACOTAR, but ACOMAF is one of my favourites of the year! I totally agree :) I’m super interested to see how the last book turns out.

        :)

        • That’s great! I hope you had a good weekend!

          Oooh, I’ve heard so many good things about the Splintered series, and I know all my friends adore TRC (I’ve only read the first one though).
          Thanks for telling me! I’ll check it out once I get through all these comments. XD

          Ooh, I really want to know what happens in ACOTAR3. It’s probably going to break me into pieces (in a very good way). :’)

          • You too :)
            They’re honestly fantastic! Definite favourites ^_^
            Same here! I’m a mix of excitement, anticipation & dread tbh – also sad because the series will be over (though she is doing a spinoff trilogy, so that’s awesome!)

  2. September kind of sucked for me so I’m hopeful October will be much better. I read Labyrinth Lost this month and I really hope you enjoy it. Though my favorite book this month has to be The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, which is like Criminals Minds in book form. So good!

    • Hi Sarah!
      Aw, I’m so sorry that September sucked for you. It kinda did for me too, but that’s another discussion for another day. But, I want you to know that my Twitter DM is always open if you need someone to talk to. <3

      I finished it a few days ago and I loved it! Will you be posting a review soon?

      Oooh, that sounds interesting! I've watched a few seasons of Criminal Minds, and I enjoyed it. I will check it out; thank you! <3

  3. I love everything about this post, especially the lessons from work life. I used to think and believe that you should not choose something that you love as your job because you’ll grow to loathe it, but now I think it’s possible to actually like your job for whatever reasons. I saw a tweet a couple of days ago (I forgot who posted it) that misery is not a criteria for choosing a job, and I agree wholeheartedly. Having said that, I also agree that you have to make time to do things that make you happy or feels important to you during your free time.

    I have only read a couple of posts from other bloggers that you listed, but I will check out the rest. Thank you for taking your time to share them. <3

    • Hi Windie!

      Thank you so much. It’s funny you mention that, because I grew up believing that too. More so, a lot of the people around me in high school were pursuing careers that gave them prestige/respect or power, and I had that terrible mindset for a time too.

      It was my pleasure. All of them are splendid posts. I hope you enjoy reading them!

  4. These lessons from work. I want to print these and FRAME them to remember them all the time. It’s so, so true. I really want to find a job that makes me happy, but it’s just so hard. Because there’s the job, but there’s life on the side and other complications. Where is the job that makes me happy? How to make time, after working + commuting (50 hours per week), for the things that I actually love without losing sleep, or my mind for that matter?! These questions are a lot on my mind lately. Anyway, I just wanted to say I love this post so, so much.
    Thank you so much for sharing so many great posts as well from around the blogosphere, I will definitely keep these for a blog hopping session.
    And I would LOVE to read more of these sociology kind of posts, they are all kinds of brilliant, really, I love them <3

    • Hi Marie!

      Oh, I’m so glad you relate to them! I completely understand what you mean. I want my dream to fit somewhere in reality, and I want to make it work somehow. But it’s hard, and feels impossible sometimes.

      Oh gosh! I want to lose my mind sometimes too. I feel stretched thin (as you said, work + family + friends + relationship + hobbies + READING = blahhh), BUT, if it means anything, I think you’re doing an amazing job. You’re so busy but you always find the time to put a smile on people’s faces. <3

      Thank you so much Marie, for your support and your kindness. You are awesome. <3

  5. My September was good until the end of the month. A few days ago I found out my best-friend’s dad is in the hospital. he had a heart attack. He’s fine right now. I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas either.

  6. Thanks for the shout out CW! =) And I totally know what you mean about saying “sorry’s”, I definitely use to do that a lot and I realized, “why?” I had two new jobs this month and I’m always restraining myself haha but I always have to remind to never apologize for being new and learning on the go. Lovely wrap up CW =)

  7. This was such a great reading month for yoy, congrats <3 I only managed to read 6 books but that is the average amount I read to be honest haha so I was super proud to read that much while being super busy !
    I really love the life lessons you learnt, as I came to some of the same conclusions at some point in my life. Especially when you talked about how we should challenge ourselves. I think that if I didn't do that I wouldn't go very far, like reading for exemple, I've been reading outside my comfort zone lately and that introduced my to so many great books that I wouldn't have read otherwise. But most importantly, in my studies. As a medstudent, there are A LOT of things that I get to do for the first time especially this year, like examining a patient, doing a full on interrogatory etc.. if I didn't challenge myself and just do those things instead of waiting around for someone to take me by the hand, I wouldn't learn anything.

    • Hi Fadwa!

      Oh thank you so much! It was a great month for me! Usually I read 6 – 8, but because I was sick, I got to stay home and rest by reading! But 6 is great! To be honest, anyone who has a busy life but finds time to read are hero/ines.

      Oh, thank you for sharing that with me. Yes, I can imagine how being a med student will open so many new and unexpected doors. But I think that’s wonderful, and good on you for taking upon all those challenges.

      Have you read ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi? I think you might enjoy it.

      • Aaah okay ! I hope you’re feeling better now ūüėä
        That is true ! Sometimes finding time to read can seem impossible but well, we do what we have to squeeze in reading because we love it haha, right?
        Oh and I actually haven’t read it, I’ve had the ebook for months now but I yet have to get around to it. I might read it soon though.

        • Aw, thank you Fadwa! I am feeling much better! c:
          Haha absolutely! And without reading, I think I wouldn’t feel as happy. We all need to make room in our lives for things that make us happy!

          Oh, I highly recommend it! Let me know if you ever get around to reading it? ^_^

          • Good! I’m glad to hear that ūüėä
            Exactly! It is so so important to do things that make is happy, even if they’re the smallest, most insignificant things.
            Oh yes I will ūüėä I’ll try to get to it in the next month or so because I’m really curious about it now !

    • Hi Fay!
      Oh, thank you so much! I unfortunately relapsed and my symptoms came back in full force (which was terrible), but I am slowly on the mend. I’ll be okay!

      Thank you so much, and I hope you have a wonderful October!

  8. I’m so happy you enjoyed Illuminae ‚ô• I love the Work Life tips you posted, too! Even though I can’t work at the moment, they’re still super helpful and definitely apply to day-to-day life. And the new feature sounds so interesting!

    • Hi Lauren!

      Me too! I had a feeling I wouldn’t like it because I wasn’t a fan of the Starbound trilogy, but Illuminae really worked.

      Thank you! In hindsight, the work life stuff was a weeeee bit cynical but I’m glad you found them helpful. :)

  9. Wow! This is a great post. It’s my first time reading one of your recap posts, and I love the format. I can’t imagine trying to describe the books I read in three words… I might go crazy trying to do that with some.
    I can’t wait to read more of your The Sociology Of posts. That said, don’t feel pressure to blog– if you need your downtime, you need your downtime. I can completely relate.

    • Hi Jackie!

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. c:
      Haha, the three-word thing was to stop myself from rambling, which I tend to do! I did find myself sitting on a few of them – particularly the ones I really liked.

      Oh, I’m glad! I hope to write more in the future, though it’s a matter of me finding books to write about. I don’t anticipate it being a frequent feature, but I will try my best. :)

      Thank you so much. I really needed to hear that. I’ve been less active because I’ve been sick for a month now? which has completely shattered me and my routine. But, things are looking up now. Thank you for your understanding though. <3

  10. Pingback: October Recap: Being real; my journey with health & learning from my failures | Read, Think, Ponder

  11. Oh, so many books! I love love LOVE your 3-word reviews, and I’m glad (at least, it seems like) you liked The Book of Ivy! I actually just purchased/received (it was free from the library) that book and its sequel. :-)
    -Amy

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