In 2021, a subscriber and now friend suggested that I read the Heartstopper graphic novel series by Alice Oseman. So I read it and this way, found one of my favorite series of all time. In hindsight, 2021 was a great year for finding favorites. This one especially touched a part of my heart and filled it with warmth and goodness. When the TV adaptation came out earlier this year, I knew I had to watch it, but I couldn’t at the time. Months went by and plans of rereading the series and watching the show were razed to the ground because of our move to Sydney.
But Sydney saw me getting the paperback copies of these graphic novels, a matter of utter pride for me that I own them now. So I decided to go ahead and reread them and watch the show while making a whole reading vlog out of it. The video went up today on my YouTube channel: Rereading Heartstopper and Watching the TV Adaptation.
I feel like a lot of these Blogtober posts have started with me putting out the disclaimer that I am an introvert. And as much as I want to apologize for the repetition, I also understand that I need it for context. Moreover, what am I even apologizing for? For a part of myself? For being me? So, I’ll keep my introductions as they are, thank you very much. In fact, I’ll start off this blog post by talking about how much of an awkward introvert I am. Like I said before: context setting is important.
Earlier this year, I had the extremely transformative experience of reading Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. I didn’t think it would affect me the way it did, especially since Woolf’s To the Lighthouse was a disappointing one for me. But as I progressed with A Room of One’s Own, I was consumed by it. I read in awe as Woolf detailed the sexism that women writers face in a time when women didn’t have the freedom to do as they wanted. So many scathing points written sometimes with detached politeness, other times with undisguised annoyance, and at yet others narrated stoically – they sit with you for all of eternity, like they’ve settled down in my mind.
And what a way to condense the book into one sentence:
A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
Books make life more understandable. They give us the time to think about every possible thing in the world, mostly about people and their behavior. They explain to us calmly whatever they are trying to say. We can pause and reflect on what the author is saying without having to rush on with the next point in the flow. Which is why I love reading to no end. It makes me, me. As I mentioned in the previous post in this series, I’m not nothing without books and reading, but a huge part of me would be missing if reading wasn’t in my life. Reading makes me a better person.
And while I read, I give my all to it. I maintain a notebook to note down my thoughts about the books that I am reading, and I jot down the quotes that I like. I later transfer them to another notebook that’s specifically for these quotes. I’ve filled up 4 so far and have started on a fifth, which might give you an idea about how long this series is going to be. The short answer is: very long. 😛
There are some books that enter your life just like that but leave lasting impressions on you. They might not be what you’d prefer to read but they’re strong enough and sure enough in themselves and the lessons they are giving you that you appreciate them for what they are. I came across one such trilogy a couple of months ago when I read the All for the Game trilogy by Nora Sakavic. The name of the trilogy might seem all easygoing, all in fun. But trust me, it’s got the heaviness of a thousand truckload of bricks raining down on you.
The first book in this trilogy is The Foxhole Court; the second is The Raven King; and the third is The King’s Men.
Trigger warnings: rape, violence, abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, murder, homophobia.
One’s introduction to social media is so exciting, isn’t it? Oh, we can connect to friends on social media! Oh, I’m going to meet so many new people on there! Oh, my favorite artists are only one click away and I can interact with them! Oh, I’m going to become a phenomenon overnight because I’m going share and share and share and talk and talk and talk! And only one of these isn’t true. Because despite all the positives that social media extends to us, it can also be a draining experience. The constant need to put oneself out there and keep on top of the trend and stay updated takes something out of us.
A lot has already been said about social media, its pluses, and its minuses. So instead of piling on top of the content that’s already there, I’ll just talk to you about my own experiences.
So we’re in October of the year and usually, now’s the time when, while the world is actually prepping for Christmas, bookworms start panicking because they haven’t reached their Goodreads goal yet. We start looking for short books to read or try to cram in as many books from our TBRs as possible in a bid to cross that frontier. So a couple of years ago, I decided to make my followers’ job easier by giving them more than 40 book recommendations of quick, easy reads that would help them smash their Goodreads goal with time to spare.
Two years have passed since that video, a duration in which I’ve read more of such books that I ended up loving. So I thought I’d do an upgraded version of it on my channel. The video will go up soon and it will have more than 60 book recommendations – something I decided to put up here in written form as well. Some of these books are part of the old recommendation list, many are new. I hope that this list will help you out while you’re looking for short, quick reads to smash your Goodreads goal.
Bear with me for a long-winded introduction because I need to lay the foundation for how this idea germinated in my mind.
I’ve been watching a series – finished a second and third loop, too – that has some great acting, some great premises in there. Some characters can be annoying, as is the case everywhere, but some are simply brilliant. The layers to them are so great to watch because underneath all these characters is a strong foundation of what makes them. The female main character especially is a firework in a best meaning of the word. She is badass, she is impulsive, she won’t take sh*t from anyone, she is persuasive, and she is the kindest and most understanding person you’ll ever meet. But cross her and you’ll see!
If you’ve been following me on social media – at least since 2021 – you’ll know that I found one of my absolute favorite series of all time that year. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve gone on adventures, I’ve smiled in understanding, I’ve experienced the characters’ pain – everything – as I read the fantasy series, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. There’s footage of me crying like a baby and there was more that I didn’t add to that video where I was even hiccupping because I was crying so hard. Sabaa Tahir has that quality in her writing where she makes you feel a world of emotions. And call me a masochist or whatever, but I am someone who loves books that make me emotional.