Turtles All The Way Down Review

Today was the release of John Green’s long-awaited new novel: Turtles All The Way Down. I wouldn’t be a Frenzied Fangirl if I hadn’t immediately run to the nearest Waterstone’s to grab myself a copy, and I’ve just finished reading it. Here are some thoughts. Please be warned that this review contains SPOILERS. Although it does not go into the plot very much, if you want to approach this book without any prior knowledge of its subject matter, leave now.

IMG_20171010_173450.jpgHere’s a picture of our cat, the book, and the awesome t-shirt and bracelet I also got.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Carry On, Simon

I first read Carry On before I even had a blog. Had I had one at the time, I would have written about it as once, but it was not to be. However, this book is so brilliant and fluffy and reassuring that I felt a strong urge to re-read it 0ver Christmas break (if you’re not reading about British wizards and/or detectives and speculating where they fall on the Kinsey scale, is it even really Christmas???) So I’ve re-read it, and here is my review. Contains Spoilers

Five stars. Brilliant book. Amazing. Such lovable characters. Give me more of the magnificent world of Mages, please. Carry On tells the story of Simon Snow’s final year at his wizarding school Watford. It addresses the difficulty of being the “Chosen One” and criticizes the Harry Potter universe in a way that is so respectful yet so accurate.

I’m going to oversimplify a little for the sake of making my point, but you’re going to have to deal with it. Continue reading

Dumbledore’s Army Readathon SCORE

For the first two weeks of 2017. I participated in the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon, and here’s my final score.

For the sake of clarity: “an own voices book is a book featuring a marginalised perspective, written by an author who shares the same marginalised characteristics.” says Read At Midnight.

Uncharacteristically, I read one whole book and parts of three more, because I was just that eager to get started on all of them. I’ll finish them soon though, promise.

Find out how many points I earned for Gryffindor House…

Continue reading

Goodreads Reading Challenge

I challenged myself to read 52 books in 2016 and (drumroll) I succeeded!

The longest book I read was Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire. The shortest was probably The Lady With The Pet Dog by Anton Chekhov. I read two books of poetry, one by Richard Siken and one by Alan Ginsberg. I read eleven books I would classify as Young Adult and only one play: Brecht’s Dreigroschenoper.

Here’s a top five of my favorite books I read for the first time this year.

5. Doktor Glas by Hjalmar Soderberg

4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

3. Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

2.  The Yellow Wallpaper & Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1. Americanah by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie

My least favorite book with absolutely no competition was:

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Here’s the full list of books I read in 2016:

Continue reading

Merry Christmas!

This is a very disorganized post listing all of my favorite Christmas-related pop culture. That means books, film, TV and music. All of these put me in the Christmas spirit Merry Christmas, y’all.

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG OF ALL TIME: Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl

Kurt & Blaine singing Baby It’s Cold Outside on Glee

Klaine was amongst my very first OTP’s. When this song aired, they hadn’t gotten together yet, and I was so sure they would in the Christmas ep, but then I had to wait even longer… Oh, the torture of being a frenzied fangirl.

 

A Very Sorry Christmas by The New Mendicants

I like this song. And I wanted to share a Christmas song that was not (yet) incredibly well-known, so here we are.

 

Studio 60  season 1, episode O Holy Night

Blogpost(s) about the absolutely crazy amazingness of Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip are forthcoming. I must first finish my West Wing-binge, though, because I can’t handle more than one Sorkin-show at the time. Either way, Christmas is the time for romance and so it is for Jordan and Danny. Damn, I need to watch this again.  Continue reading

LGBTQIA Challenge

The LGBTQIA Reading Challenge

Books I read this year with LGBTQIA main characters:

  1. Crush – Richard Siken
  2. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
  3. Maurice – E.M Forster
  4. Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
  5. The Thing Around Your Neck – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  6. I read 11 essays in August on the topic of Gender for the Summer School I’m taking at the Radboud University in Nijmegen.
  7. Swing Time – Zadie Smith
  8. Edit: before the end of the year but after this post was published I also read Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

I was aiming for level Yellow, which means I wanted to read between 13 and 20 LGBTQIA books. As you can see, I never got that far. I read eight, which means I made it to level orange. Furthermore, part of the challenge was to write a review for each book, so I’m doing that now and making it into a game. There is only one rule: each review must be exactly ten words long. Here goes nothing. Continue reading

Kevin Khatchadourian’s Bookshelf

Welcome to the Character’s Bookshelf. This is where I speculate, entirely outside of the space-time continuum and the barriers of language, what books would be a fictional character’s favorites. As you can see here, all of the Character’s Bookshelf posts so far have been about my favorite characters. That’s going to change today: welcome to Kevin Khatchadourian’s bookshelf.

For those of you who don’t know Kevin yet, I’ll give you a quick, spoiler-free bio: Kevin has had a book named after him. It was Lionel Shriver’s We Need To Talk About Kevin and it’s one of the most chilling books I have ever read. Why? Because Kevin is a psycho. I’d imagine, in spite of his lack of empathy, he’d enjoy the books I’ve listed here.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

What’s not to love about Dexter Morgan? Family man, blood spatter analyst and part-time vigilante killer.

giphy

Continue reading

An Evening With Hanya Yanagihara

Last Wednesday, the 5th of October, I had the extraordinary pleasure of attending an evening with Hanya Yanagihara organized by the John Adams Institute. Some of you might remember that Yanagihara released her second novel, A Little Life, in 2015. Fewer of you know how much that novel means to me, but that’s what this blog post will explain.

I should probably have included A Little Life in my post on Books That Helped Me Through Depression, because it definitely did. The reason I didn’t is somewhat complicated. While it is true that A Little Life gives an uncompromising view of mental illness that our society needs more of. I have seen too many teenagers on Tumblr romanticizing mental illness.  But A Little Life is also a book that toes the line of melodrama and edges towards too much.

That’s not a bad thing, at least for me. Depression is too much. Depression is melodramatic. The problem with A Little Life is that some of its content is explicit enough to trigger people. Now, I really don’t think we should be putting trigger warnings on novels and neither does Yanagihara. I think we should be putting trigger warnings on pretty much everything else, but in a novel the reader agrees to let the writer pull them into their world. This can and should involve challenging the reader’s world view. If you’re easily triggered by the topic of self-harm, you should probably stay away from this book. That doesn’t mean the author has to.

 

But I’ve gotten ahead of myself. What, you ask, is this book about? Why is it so incredibly great that you can’t shut up about it, Julia? A Little Life starts out as the coming-of-age of four close college friends in New York attempting to make something of themselves. But all is not as it seems. Although the book initially has a rich ensemble of characters, focus gradually shifts towards Jude, who, it turns out, has had an incredibly traumatic childhood. His three closest friends try to help him battle his demons. We, as readers, try to uncover the mysteries of his past, even as we shudder to think what they might be. Continue reading