This is going to be a really difficult introduction to my wrap up.
Unfortunately, on September 18th my dad passed away. He was only 50 years old. I won’t go into details because of how personal it is, but he was in hospital a majority of the month before he passed. I’ve taken a year suspension from University for the time being.
It has been a really difficult time for myself and my family. I’ve turned a lot to books and blogging to offer a way to occupy my mind which is why so many things still seem to be coming out, but I cannot say that this will hold up after the funeral.
As I schedule so many posts, a lot of what came out this month has been written since around mid August and I did not find the time to stop the University posts before they were released. I won’t be deleting them.
I hope you’ll all understand.
THINGS I’VE READ
- An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley– My sister gave me her copy she used for her GCSE’s. Such a great play with revelation after revelation, left me on the edge of my seat. While I knew the core plot twist, I didn’t predict that ending.
- Mob Psycho 100 Volume 1 by One– This was kind of meh. It’s one of my best friend’s favourites, so I’ll carry it on eventually, but I don’t really feel the urge to pick volume two up just yet. I will say I like how the anime tackles the same events in a different order to save major revelations for backstory– that was really interesting to pick up on.
- I Call Upon Thee by Ania Ahlborn– I really didn’t like this! Lacklustre and very cliched, feel like it doesn’t really offer anything other than annoying ending and characters who go through absolutely no development at all.
- Kissing Tolstoy by Penny Reid– An OK romance that actually has discussions surrounding reading and books that don’t feel forced. I found this easy to read even though I’ve never read any Russian Lit, and I actually want to read it more now. Like that it discusses age gaps and issues of the power dynamic too.
- Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee– Finally finished this one, and it only took me 3 months. A very cute and heartwarming story about a boy who makes a wish and falls in love with a Selkie. Does get ridiculous at the end, I must say, but I was happy with the payoff.
- The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill– Katie O’Neill creates such amazing narratives that have wonderful messages about society and being true to yourself and your wishes, pursuing something that you love and encouraging others to do the same.
- Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin– How can I ever trust a single man or old person after this book? Tell me.
- Please Undo This Hurt by Seth Dickinson– Don’t really rate this short story. It bored me and I hated the main characters, not even in a good way. Just perpetuates the ‘I can save you from your mental illness’ narrative that is dull and overdone by this point.
- My Hero Academia Volume 20 by Kohei Horikoshi– Gentle Criminal and La Brava was so boring, the School Festival arc was fabulous, and Endeavor finally got his ass kicked! Yay!
- Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer– I have a review of this coming out soon for National Poetry Day in the UK, but if you don’t want to wait, I have a review here!
- The Quiet Boy by Nick Antosca– I read this after watching the trailer for Antlers, and I thought it was pretty neat! Very thrilling, although I’m bothered by changes being made in the film that I feel could detract from having Julia as one of the main characters in the film.
- I Am Not Your Final Girl by Claire C. Holland– A collection of poetry centring around fictional women from horror films, exploring their empowerment and agency in a genre and a wider culture and society that seems willing to beat them down until they break.
- Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink– I have a review of this linked later this post! Full of body horror and emotional trauma, this is a really solid read great for fans of the podcast and Welcome to Night Vale.
- In the Shadow of Spindrift House by Mira Grant– I love this terrible cover! Keep an eye out for my review of this, it’s coming out soon.
- The World’s Greatest First Love Volume 1 by Shungiku Nakamura– The publishing elements and the main character were GREAT, but there is prevalent sexual assault in this that is never addressed and is incredibly insensitive in its treatment, so I don’t recommend this manga.
- Dead Voices by Katherine Arden– I didn’t enjoy this one as much as Small Spaces, but it’s still really freaky and a great middle grade read. I love that Coco gets her own POV in this, too, and that it doesn’t take stereotypical routes with some of its plotlines.
- No One Is Too Small To Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg– This is a collection of speeches Greta Thunberg has made addressing climate change, as well as her own position as an advocate for the cause. Moving and a must read, in my opinion. It’s only £3 in Waterstones at the moment for anyone who wants to pick it up!
- Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury– A fascinating collection of essays written by Bradbury about his writing process and some of the more popular works he’s published. I honestly felt really inspired and motivated after reading this, I highly recommend it especially for creative writers, but just be warned it is very oriented around the white male experience.
- Heartstopper Volume 2 by Alice Oseman– I adore Heartstopper and I love this second volume. Great progression in the relationship between Nick and Charlie, and we’re getting to see more outside of their relationship and into their friendships and family dynamics, too. I still love Tori Spring!
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle– Finally got a hold of the MASSIVE audiobook where Stephen Fry narrates all the Holmes stories, and it honestly made the experience so much more enjoyable. I think Doyle’s skill lies more in shorter fiction than longer fiction, I think there’s less opportunity for… not useless, per se, just unneeded waffling.
- Giant Days Volume 9 and 10 by John Allison– These two volumes take place around the tailend of the girl’s second years and follows their accommodation location, the progression (and breakdown) of relationships, and them finally making it to third year intact. I honestly can’t believe there’s only three or four volumes left in this series, its been a constant companion for me since 2016 when I first started and I really don’t want to let it go.
- No Touching At All and Even So, I Will Love You Tenderly by Kou Yoneda– Of the ‘older’ manga I’ve read that focus on the relationships between two men, these two are definitely in the ‘recommend’ pile. Other than the beautiful names for the volumes and the artwork being really pretty, I really enjoyed the developing relationships and the conversations had about workplace homophobia and ostracization in Japan, although that wasn’t the main focus. They do include some questionable attitudes towards identification of sexuality– two characters in both volumes are probably bisexual or on that spectrum, but are referred to as straight more than once for liking women and only the man they enter the relationship with. It’s complicated, but nothing in either volumes ever feels targeted or hateful, just lacking education on the nuances of sexuality.
- I found this article about Friends great as it breaks down issues I’ve had with the show for years. I don’t have a lot of attachment to it, honestly, I mostly just put it on in the background, but I think I’ll stop now. I’ve always found the handling of gender and sexuality damaging in Friends, as well as the overwhelming fatphobia.
- I really enjoyed looking through this list The Guardian did of the 100 best books of the 21st century. I don’t know why, I’m just a big fan of lists!
- Before reading this article, I can honestly tell you I knew nothing about Susan Sontag beyond her name. It’s deconstructing her queerness and how her aversion to accepting her own sexuality ultimately ruled a lot of the work she produced in her life.
- God, this article was fascinating. I can’t even tell you what it’s about, really, other than that it’s an interview with Christeene, a punk drag artist who is just really cool, honestly. There are some buttholes for anyone who… wants to avoid butts? Or reading this at work?
- There was a massive conversation in August that carried into September regarding the rise in men adopting pseudonyms to get their thriller novels published. This Atlantic article particularly captured the issues I have with men who do this, who are almost trying to fool an audience of women who trust women writers to not approach the suffering of women through a misogynistic lens, as is so common in modern society.
- An older article by The New Inquiry, Coming out of the Coffin offers an insight into the fraught relationship between Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde. A really interesting read, I’m just sad I discovered it 7 years after its release!
THINGS I WATCHED
- I don’t do music sections on these wrap ups anymore, so I’ll put this here: the GRAACE cover of ‘Complicated’ by Avril Lavigne completely transforms the song and adds such an amazing depth to it
- I decided to binge watch Fleabag and it’s most definitely the best decision I’ve made all year. Fleabag follows the titular woman as she navigates her life as a thirty year old woman whose entire life is in flux, and has been since the death of her mother. There’s a lot I could say about this show, honestly. What really stood out to me was how much I could relate specifically to the emotions Fleabag and her older sister Claire feel in relation to each other, and their grief. Seeing them still come back together even after such a significant loss, their dependency, really gives me strength to get through what I’m experiencing at the moment, so Fleabag has been something I can relate to and look at as hope for a future where I can begin to wrap my head around the terrible things going on around me.
THINGS I POSTED
- August Wrap Up
- TTT: Books Outside My Comfort Zone
- 50 Bookish Questions Tag
- Music I Enjoyed This Summer
- Connie’s Personal 101 Guide For Personal Survival of University
- Bookshelf Tour Part 3: TBR & More Manga/Comics
- Book Review: I Call Upon Thee by Ania Ahlborn
- TTT: Books on my Fall TBR
- Book Review: Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink
- Bookshelf Tour Part 4: CDs&DVDs
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