What I’ve Been Reading | Week 9

Quick, everyone pretend it’s Monday!

Here’s what I read last week, it’s a mixed bag but overall I had a pretty good reading week. I may have even found a new favourite, ooh mysterious…

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Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers

I kicked off my month of Irish reading with a quick illustrated kids book, Imaginary Fred. I’m a recent Eoin Colfer convert having just fallen in love with Artemis Fowl (more on that in a min!) and have always had a deep, deep love for Oliver Jeffers.

Fun fact: Ci and I met him a few years ago and he doodled me a moose, it was an excellent moose.

Pretty much everything about this book had me hugging it to my chest and all but cooing over it. It’s beautiful, a wonderful story with a great message and just so much fun.

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Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

Artemis Fowl was super popular when I was a kid. People in my school read and raved about it, it was always waiting on the shelf on my weekly thursday trip to the library and I knew it was about fairies. So even now I’m still confused as to why the heck I never read the series.

It’s by Irish author (and Laureate na nOg!) extraordinaire Eoin Colfer and set largely in Ireland so it seemed like the perfect addition to my March TBR. I was hyped, confident I would love it and more than ready to jump into Artemis’ world when the deal got even sweeter: I found out that the books have been adapted into graphic novels. If you’ve been reading my blog or subbed to my youtube for a while you’ll probably know I love graphic novels. They’re my favourite things to read and collect and I could ramble about them forever. So of course I immediately dove into the first graphic novel and adored it. It’s fun but never patronising, balances the light-hearted and heart-shattering aspects perfectly and features some gorgeous art and colours. And fairies.

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One by Sarah Crossan

One is written in free verse which has a special place in my heart and on my shelves. I love reading and writing free verse and novels written in that style almost always have an emotional and creative impact on me. But One took it a whole new level.

Grace and Tippi are teenage conjoined twins who are starting public school for the first time and have some big decisions to make. The story is told from Grace’s perspective and her voice is so clear and distinctive that it reads like a conversation with a friend. The book deals with tough family life, terminal illnesses, eating disorders and addiction as well as the difficulty of navigating a crush,the importance of friendship and how people can often be more than they first seem. I laughed, cried (a lot) and felt completely changed by the last page.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The only non-Irish book I’ve read so far this month was Fangirl, I started it at the end of February and didn’t finish before March 1st.

I have mixed feelings about Fangirl. On one hand it is incredibly relatable, Cath is starting college and her anxiety is definitely getting in the way. All she really wants to do is write Simon Snow fanfic (and her thousands of fans agree) but life has lots to chuck at her.

The book handled mental health relatively well, although I much preferred and was much more invested in another character’s journey as Cath’s mostly faded away after a few chapters. The fanfic sprinkled between chapters was wonderful, so much fun to read that eventually I mostly looked forward to the end of chapters so I could check in on Simon and Baz.

I was sometimes uncomfortable with how much the book relied on a love of Harry Potter (and really bothered by the mention of Harry Potter…why??) and used the nostalgia and love we already have instead of creating it’s own emotional impact. Basically, I finished Fangirl and immediately watched Harry Potter and had a cry about how much of my heart is in Hogwarts. So while Fangirl did illicit an emotional response, it had very little do with the book itself and everything to do with the dredging up of old Potterhead tendencies. Not that I mind, Potterhead for life.

 

What have you been reading?

Meg

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What I’ve Been Reading | Week 6 & 7

 

Hi everyone!

It’s been a little while and for that I sincerely apologize. A nasty flu pretty much shut my whole house down for a little while and we were all forced to surrender ourselves to snotty tissues, lemsip and an intense amount of soup. So, since I have two weeks of reading to fill you in on I’m gonna get started!

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BETWEEN THE LINES BY JODI PICOULT AND SAMANTHA VAN LEER

Having finished Between the Lines I feel pretty much the same as I did the last time I mentioned it, it was a cute fluffy read but relied too heavily on tropes. The love interest Oliver had a whole bunch of borderline creepy moments that made me not only uncomfortable but anxious for what the acceptance and romanticism of his behavior would tell younger readers. The end was surprising and clever but a little rushed and definitely had the potential to have much more of an emotional impact. The cute little doodles dotted here and there were a pretty nice touch though.

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HOW HARD CAN LOVE BE BY HOLLY BOURNE

I was pretty desperate to read this once I finished Am I Normal Yet?, which I loved. This one is about Amber who is very tall, a bit more than a bit bitter, drunk a little too often and off to America to see the mother who abandoned her when she needed her the most. I adored this book. I love Amber, I love her friends, I love her perspective and her feminism. I love Holly Bourne’s writing and I love the wit, care and love with which she handles the very real struggles of her characters. My only real issue with Am I Normal Yet? was that the feminism wasn’t as inclusive as it could and should be but I was so happy to see that this installment rectifies that and teaches even more excellent feminist ideology. I really wish these books had been around when I was still in school, I would have learned so much!

GHOST WORLD BY DANIEL CLOWES

During my indiemoviegirl faze I was a big fan of the film adaption of Ghost World. The graphic novel has been sitting on my shelf for a year now so I thought I’d finally give it a go and…it didn’t go well. Actually, that’s an understatement, I hated it. I hated the characterization, the inauthentic teen-girl voice, the writing and the cruelty. The art is nice but it’s the only positive I could find.

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS VOL 2: WHOLE AGAIN BY KATE LETH AND DREW RAUSCH

This one is a whole other story! I loved volume 1, I adore Kate Leth and I full-on swooned over this volume. The writing is on point, the characters are diverse and genuinely interesting, sexuality and gender-expression are casually and perfectly incorporated. I really can’t recommend this run enough.

THE YEAR I MET YOU BY CECELIA AHERN

The Year I Met You is about a woman named Jasmine who has just lost her job, found herself unable to work for a year and about to lose the plot. She’s hurt, frustrated and a little bitter. This is one of Cecelia Ahern’s more reality-based books and while it’s definitely a little slow it’s a captivating and insightful character study full of layered, flawed, diverse and fully realized characters.

TAKE IT AS A COMPLIMENT BY MARIA STOIAN

Take It As A Compliment is one of the best things I’ve read in quite a while. It’s a graphic novel that tells different people’s experiences of sexual harassment and assault. We see people of different gender-identity and sexuality tell their stories and all are given weight and importance, from cat-calling to rape. It’s devastating, harrowing and incredibly powerful. Obviously it comes with trigger warnings galore but if this is something you can read, you should.

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FURIOUSLY HAPPY BY JENNY LAWSON

I started listening to Furiously Happy because lately I’ve feeling a whole lot of furious and not so much happy and I needed something to cheer me up without acting like everything is cheery and peppy and ok. I picked the perfect book. It’s a genuinely funny book about sad things. It’s ruthlessly honest about how difficult and exhausting living with mental illness is but it’s one of the funniest books I’ve ever come across and I’m incredibly glad I found it when I did, it’s been brightening my days so much.

Let me know what you’ve been reading!

Meg

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What I’ve Been Reading | Week Two

This week was a pretty good one for reading. It was the last week before life goes back to strict routine and actual productivity. So we read, we were slobs, we ordered too much pizza, we rarely changed out of our pj’s and it was perfect.

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week!

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The Marble Collector

I wrote about how much I adore Cecelia Ahern’s books recently and since then I’ve been happily surfing an avalanche of her books. The pile keeps growing and I’m happy to report that they still bring me the same comfort as when I was a teen. The Marble Collector is about a woman named Sabrina who comes across a box of marbles, fancy marbles. Her father, who is suffering from memory loss, had lived a life full of them but had kept it secret. As she goes on a mission to track down missing marbles and memories we learn all about her dad’s forgotten childhood and secret life.

It’s a beautiful book, told from the perspectives of both Sabrina and her dad, that takes you one hell of a journey through the past, present and a whole lot of Irish countryside. The writing is beautiful, the distinctive voices are engaging and the story is captivating. I may have cried a little but I definitely snorted, chuckled and gasped a fair amount too.

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Outlander

Everyone, their mothers, fathers, neighbours and pets are obsessed with Outlander. It’s a beast of a book about time-travel, action and romance and is raved about non-stop. I’ve been battling my way through the pages but so far I just can’t connect. I’m not sure why but I’m hoping that as the time-travel and historical factors really take hold I’ll be able to enjoy the story more. As of right now I haven’t really formed any substantial opinions about any of the characters. Except Frank, screw that guy.

The writing is strong and beautifully descriptive but personally my mind just keeps wandering. I’m only a shamefully tiny portion into this one so hopefully we’ll be friends soon, I’ll keep you posted!

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Royal Wedding

While in one of my cranky “Outlander is being mean to me” moments I decided to hide that monster of a book under my pillow and curl up with the nice safe, never-mean Princess Diaries. Royal Wedding is the first installment in which Mia is an adult and it’s super weird. It takes a while to get used to a 25 year old Mia, 29 year old Michael and an ancient Fat Louie who no longer eats socks. But Meg Cabot knows her characters so well and it’s so obvious, she’s a little older and little wiser but she still sounds like Mia. I grew up with Mia so reading her now as a 24 year old is surprisingly comforting and so, so much fun. I haven’t finished yet so I’ll write a review once I do but right now I’m really, truly loving Royal Wedding, it’s like being reunited with an old friend.

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Deep Dark Fears

Deep Dark Fears started as a webcomic about those odd little monsters our minds make of the most mundane and random things. Artist Fran Krause took inspiration from his and his followers weirdest, most irrational fears and turned them into beautifully illustrated giggle-worthy comics. They now make up one almost annoyingly beautiful book, it’s gorgeous, funny and shockingly relatable. Dealing with agoraphobia means that I have a pretty ridiculous amount of laughably irrational fears but reading what other people are scared of made me feel oddly validated! I could turn the page and see that some of what I would consider to be my least rational and most bonkers fears are shared and maybe I’m not so alone in my fear after all! Plus, it’s just so damn funny.

As for comics, this week was teeny tiny! I only had two books on my new pull – Surviving Megalopolis and Red Sonja. This new limited pull list is definitely going to take some getting used to, this week would have had at least 8 titles before! Both of these issues will be getting their own full reviews so keep an eye out for them next week.

What have you been reading?

Meg

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Who I Am Right Now | Blogger Fact File

Somewhere in my mom’s house, in a dusty corner in a room no one visits anymore is a tower of notebooks full of my secrets. I always had a journal and was always spilling my thoughts onto paper. All of my diaries start the same way, the first page is always a fact-file-ish page, a quick synopsis of who I was at that moment. How I felt, what I liked, what I thought. Those pages are my favourite to read back, seeing how much changed between each one.

So I decided to do the same here on my blog. A bookish snapshot of the person/reader/blogger I am right now, at the start of 2016.

Its pretty fun and I definitely recommend it, if you decide to do it too let me know!

Name: Meg

Age: 24 

Location: Ireland

What I Read: Mostly comics and graphic novels. I used to be all about books, especially YA lit, then we fell out for a little while but we’re working on it! 

Favourite Book(s): Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

Favourite Graphic Novel: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Favourite Comic: Lumberjanes and Morning Glories

Favourite Place to Read: If I’m feeling up to it I adore reading in coffee shops, the atmosphere is just so lovely. At home I love to read tucked up in bed with my girlfriend and puppy and lots of blankets, especially if it’s raining! 

Favourite Thing to Listen To When Reading? Ambiance sounds! I like to mix rain sounds with page turning, writing, a roaring fire and a little wind. It’s so relaxing.

Favourite Thing to Drink When Reading: Mocha latte if I’m out, apple cinnamon tea if I’m at home.

Bookmarks or dog ears? Bookmarks! 

Do you annotate or highlight? No but I think I might start. 

Any reading habits? I take notes, I go through notebooks way too fast and a lot of the time my notes don’t make sense after but I really enjoy it and it helps me focus completely on what I’m reading.

What is your number one, top priority bookish resolution for 2016? To fall back in love with reading.

What is one non-bookish resolution for 2016 that you hope to accomplish? I really want to get better at playing ukulele, I really love it but I kind of suck!

Feel free to take these questions and make your post with them, if you do I’d love to read it!

Meg

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Bookish (& Comic-y) Resolutions

Saturday will usually be an update on what I’ve been reading, but since I’ve been posting extra this week you already know which books I’ve had my nose buried in! So instead I thought I would share some of my book and comic related resolutions for this year.

Bookish Resolutions

My main goal for this year is to read whatever the heck I want! I want to get back to really truly loving books, this time without the self-imposed pressure to read everything out there (whether I like them or not).

I also want to incorporate the books I read into my blog and youtube a little more by writing and filming more reviews and discussions. I always take notes when I read so I may as well start sharing them a little more!

Comic Resolutions

Cut that pull list WAY down.
My pull is so big that sometimes its overwhelming and a little too easy to fall behind. I have a ridiculous and infuriating need to know everything happening in comics and to seem like an expert. To be honest, all that does is zap the fun right out of comics. I love them so much, they make me feel so happy and comforted and I’d hate to destroy that for myself. So this year I’m going to practice the ancient art of… the trade-wait dun dun DUN.

As of right now my pull consists of only ten titles (I’m considering making a video about the chosen ones, let me know if you think I should) with an extra 5 spaces for first issues or the comics I just need to read in singles. If during any month my pull exceeds 15 titles I have to chop it back down again! I’m hoping this will help me relax a bit and really enjoy the comics I love, whether they’re singles or trades.

Also, more graphic novels. Good lord I love graphic novels.

What are some of your bookish(or comic-y) resolutions for 2016? Let me know!

Meg

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December | What I’ve Been Reading

At the end of November I decided to start filming everything I read throughout the month of December and it was one of my best decisions in a while. I filmed books I read as well as some little moments of my life and when I sat down to edit looking back on the month made me so happy. So I’m making this a series on my blog and youtube!

Each week will get it’s own blog post about what I’ve been reading and at the end of each month I’ll upload my reading journal.

This was only the first attempt so I’m excited to improve each month and have cute videos to look back on. I forgot to film a book or two over xmas but don’t worry, I’ll fill you in!

Some of the books in this video were included in this post and the rest will be reviewed throughout the week because I have a lot of thoughts!

I hope you like the video!

Meg

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