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…

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Dumbledore’s Army Readathon

From now until January 15th, I’ll be participating in the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon, and I will track my progress in this post.

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.

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A marginalized group I don’t often read about: prisoners. Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kerman.

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Own voices book: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.

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A book that empowers women: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys: race, gender and mental illness? How marginalized can you get?

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An issue of personal significance. For me, that’s would be feminism, disability or mental illness. I’m going with Girl, Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen.

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A book from my To Be Read: Paaz by Myrthe van der Meer, an account of bipolar disorder.dareadathon-stupefy

An internet hype: Everyone seems to be talking about I Love Dick by Chris Kraus.

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A book recommended by a fellow blogger: I don’t know! Perhaps A Room Of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf? Not recommended by a blogger, but recommended by a friend.

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  • Each 10 pages you read will earn you 1 House Point.
  • Each book you complete will earn you 5 House Points.
  • Each book you review specifically for the #DAReadAThon will earn you 5 House Points.
  • Crosspost your review to Amazon for 1 House Point.
  • Post an image of your #DAReadAThon ID on Twitter for 1 House Point, and it allows other members of your House to find you!
  • Tweeting on the #DAReadAThon hashtag (with meaningful tweets about your current reads, recommendations of #OwnVoices) will earn you 1 House Point each. You can have a maximum of 20 House Points from Social Media interactions.
  • Photos of your #DAReadAThon books or TBR pile will earn you 1 House Point each. This contributes towards the maximum of 20 House Points from Social Media interactions mentioned above.
  • We will catalogue the points at the end via a masterpost, and find out who the Hogwarts House Champion for Diversity is!

My Score:

The Hogwarts House I’m in is obviously Gryffindor.

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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:

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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

Feminism Reading Challenge

This year I participated in the Feminism Reading Challenge, organized by Femividual, who has since taken her blog offline. The idea was to read as many books as possible from her list of feminist titles, as well as any other books that deal with feminist themes or topics.

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My favorite feminist book of the year, perhaps my favorite book of the year full stop, was Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I know few novels that are simultaneously as rich and as light as this one.

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Mental Health Reading Challenge 2017

Hey there everyone,

As you probably know by now, I am completely obsessed with reading challenges, especially ones that encourage you to read books centered around a theme. So, this year, I’ve decided to host my own. Welcome to the Mental Health Reading Challenge, which will kick-off on January the 1st.

The aim of the challenge is to raise awareness for the complexity and difficulty of mental illness, to erase stigma and to promote understanding and support. Reading, for me, is a transformative experience. It takes me out of myself and into the experience of other people. If all of us could bring ourselves to that level of empathy, the world would be a better place. I’ve written on this topic before here.

You can sign up for the challenge by commenting on this post. Please include your name or username, the number of books you want to read, and a Goodreads profile or blog where you’ll keep track of your progress.

There are going to be different levels of reader-awesomness.

  • Read 5 books and you get one gold star
  • 6-12 books gets you two stars
  • 13-20 books gets you three stars
  • 21- 30 books = four stars
  • More than 30 books gets you five stars

To make it easier to find books you like, I’ve compiled a list of some of my personal favorites that deal with mental illness, as well as ones I haven’t read but that are widely popular. Of course, books that aren’t on this list are still admissible, as long as they feature at least one character with a mental health problem. 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.

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