Posted in Book Tags

Winter Wonderland Book Tag ☃️

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

I have a few winter-themed book tags saved in my sticky note, and I wanted to do one of them over break, so here we are! I was tagged by Riddhi @ Whispering Stories (thank you!). However, I’m not sure who originally created the tag, so if you know, please let me know/comment below so I can credit them!

Let’s begin, shall we?

Winter GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

☃️WINTER WONDERLAND BOOK TAG☃️

1. What book is so happy and so sweet that it just warms your heart?

Amazon.com: Tweet Cute: A Novel: 9781250237323: Lord, Emma: Books

I don’t usually gravitate towards rom-coms, but Tweet Cute was just so consistently heartwarming and adorable!

2. What’s your favourite book with a white cover?

Amazon.com: Sword in the Stars: A Once & Future Novel (Once & Future, 2):  9780316449298: Cory McCarthy, Capetta, A. R.: Books

Sword in the Stars has a pretty, white cover! I have it in hardcover, and the details on the metallic parts are very glossy and satisfying…

3. You’re sitting in a nice, comfortable chair with a cup of hot chocolate. What monster book are you reading?

Hellboy, Vol. 2: Wake the Devil: Mignola, Mike, Mignola, Mike:  9781593070953: Amazon.com: Books

I looked through a few other people’s interpretations of this prompt and there wasn’t a definitive consensus as to whether this prompt was about long books or books with monsters, so I just went with the monster book part. And Hellboy is the best paranormal/monster comic known to man, so I wanted to put it in here anyway.

4. It’s snowing outside and you decide you want to have a snowball fight. What fictional character do you want to have this snowball fight with?

Aurora's End (The Aurora Cycle, #3) by Amie Kaufman

I’d do anything to experience a six-way (five-way? four? nvm) snowball fight with Squad 312. I feel like Kal would turn it into a death match, but…y’know. Scarlett and Finian would be worthy snowball fight opponents.

(wait, isn’t there a meme about this?)

(oh, I guess there is…)

Aurora Rising | Book humor, Book fandoms, Incorrect quotes
credit to @miriosface on Tumblr

5. Sadly, your campfire is dying. What last few chapters of a book would you throw in the fire to revive it and keep yourself warm?

As a rule of thumb, I’m not really for burning books, but…okay, maybe I’d let An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Off Balance, or most of my previous DNFs get toasty.

6. What book do you love so much that you would buy another copy of it to give to someone as a Christmas gift (or any gift really) to inspire them to start reading?

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Six of Crows isn’t my favorite book (though I love it), but I feel like it hits the rare sweet spot where it’s accessible to both new readers and longtime bookworms. Plus, with all the people that are getting into Leigh Bardugo’s books through the Shadow and Bone show, I bet a lot of people have this on their lists!

7. Who do you tag?

I TAG:

Funny Gifs : charlie brown GIF - VSGIF.com

Today’s song:

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (12/28/21) – Squad

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

After finishing and loving The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea, Squad immediately came on my radar—with the details of the Mermaid sequel being hazy at best, I needed more of Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s writing in my life. I found it in Squad, a punchy and timely graphic novel with bright colors and inner darkness.

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: Squad: 9780062943149: Tokuda-Hall, Maggie, Sterle, Lisa: Books

Squad – Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle

In her junior year, Becca moves to a new high school, thinking that she’ll have to settle with not fitting in. To her surprise, she’s taken under the wings of the three most popular girls in school, and soon, she is swept up into a world of new clothes and rowdy parties. But these three girls have a secret—they’re werewolves, and their prey are the predatory boys they find at their parties. But as the police investigate their most recent killing, Becca must decide if she still wants to be a part of their werewolf Squad.

Squad : Tokuda-Hall, Maggie, Sterle, Lisa: Amazon.ca: Books
art by Lisa Sterle

TW/CW: attempted rape, misogyny, racism, graphic violence, gore/blood

With its juxtaposition of a bright color palette and the darkness of werewolves out for blood, Squad is the perfect graphic novel for this day and age, and presents a timely theme—when does justice become purely revenge?

I’ve been a fan of Tokuda-Hall’s since The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea, but I hadn’t seen anything of Lisa Sterle’s before this. Now, I can definitively say that they make a fantastic graphic novel team! The combination of Tokuda-Hall’s dark and witty writing and Sterle’s bright colors and distinctive faces (both human and wolf) meshed so well together, making the storytelling all the more cohesive. Sterle’s art style is one that I really liked, and it’s the perfect style for this story. I’d like to see something else from this team—their respective writing and art styles were perfect for the aesthetic of Squad!

Right off the bat, I loved the concept of this novel and the implications it had. The idea of a clique of werewolves preying on rapists at parties already had my attention, and this part was executed so well! But beyond this, Squad asks us the question that’s become so prevalent with #MeToo and the growing movement to hold rapists accountable: when does getting back at the perpetrator become pure revenge and not accountability? Seeing all of this through the eyes of Becca—the newest in what we find out is a long line of werewolves—is a perfect way to show these themes from the perspective of a newcomer.

Becca’s perspective also serves as a wonderful way to show how dangerous trying to fit in can be. Over the course of Squad, a rift begins to form between these four girls, especially with Arianna, who has begun to break all the rules set by their previous “alpha,” and Amanda, who seems to be the only one willing to stick to their original plans. All of this threatens to tear Becca apart, even when her own mother pushes her to continue climbing the social ladder. It presents a great dilemma for Becca—is it worth it to go against what she feels is right for a chance at power?

However, there were a few things that I didn’t quite like about Squad. First off, the ending felt very abrupt and unresolved. It went from point A to point B with no real correlation, and it simply…ended. From reading two of her works now, I’d say that endings aren’t Tokuda-Hall’s strong suit; I didn’t mind the ending of The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea as much as I did this one (although my friends in book club would probably say otherwise lol), but it still felt rushed. Squad’s ending was still sweet, but it lacked a cohesive resolution.

In addition, while I loved the idea of a sapphic werewolf romance, the relationship between Becca and Marley was very rushed. Like the ending, I loved what little I saw of it (especially that last scene!), but it felt crammed into the last third of the story and bordered on insta-love. Plus, I have mixed feelings about Becca being paired with Marley; it made sense in concept, since they were both caught up in the conflict of the rest of the squad, but given some of the offhand comments that Marley makes about Becca in the beginning, it didn’t make sense that Becca would immediately tolerate all that and fall in love. Maybe if we’d seen if Marley had a change of heart or at least apologized about some of those comments, it might have made sense. But the romance ended up being sweet, but sloppily done. Almost an afterthought.

All in all, a biting (no pun intended) and important tale of the line between accountability and revenge. 4.25 stars!

Squad : Tokuda-Hall, Maggie, Sterle, Lisa: Amazon.ca: Books

Squad is a standalone, but Maggie Tokuda-Hall is also the author of The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea. Lisa Sterle is also the illustrator of Witchblood and the creator of the Modern Witch Tarot Deck.

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday, and the last Book Review Tuesday of 2021! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (12/27/21) – A Peculiar Peril

Happy Monday, bibliophiles! Last Goodreads Monday of 2021, whoa…

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme originally created by Lauren’s Page Turners, but has since moved to Budget Tales Book Blog. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I’ve been meaning to get into Jeff VanderMeer’s books ever since watching and loving the movie adaptation of Annihilation. This one’s apparently his first YA book—I’m not sure if I’ll read it before or after Annihilation or anything else of his, but either way, I’m interested.

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (12/27/21) – A PECULIAR PERIL by Jeff VanderMeer

Amazon.com: A Peculiar Peril (The Misadventures of Jonathan Lambshead, 1):  9780374308865: VanderMeer, Jeff: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

After Jonathan Lambshead’s elusive grandfather dies, the recently orphaned teenager inherits the family mansion—and its contents. Jonathan soon discovers that the mansion’s basement holds more than just oddities: three doors serve as portals, with one leading to an alt-Earth called Aurora, where magic abounds, history has been re-written, and an occult dictator called Aleister Crowley leads an army pillaging alt-Europe. Jonathan learns of his destiny as a member of The Order, a secret society devoted to keeping our world separate from Aurora, and embarks on an epic quest to protect Earth from Crowley’s dark magic.

Over the course of the duology, Jonathan uncovers more of the worlds outside of our own, the magic that permeates them, his own destiny, and the secrets buried in his family history.

So why do I want to read this?

SPINE-Aurora Parlegreco on Designing Jeff VanderMeer's A Peculiar Peril
art by Jeremy Zerfoss (illustrations from A Peculiar Peril)

From what I’ve seen, most of Jeff VanderMeer’s books don’t get the best reviews. From what I’ve read of them, most of the reviewers had problems with either the writing or the hazy worldbuilding. This one in particular has a lot of complaints about very sparse worldbuilding (regarding the alt-Earth, Aurora) and overly flowery prose. Both of those are usually turnoffs for me.

So why am I still on board?

Because this looks weird. The best kind of weird. Alternate Earths? Dark magic? Old mansions with portals and hidden oddities? I’M ALL IN. A lot of reviewers have likened it to a modern Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or compared it to Neil Gaiman, and both of those comparisons are just the kind that hook me in. I’m not expecting a new Neil Gaiman (and maybe comparing a book to him is a bit of a curse—The Absolute Book, anyone?), but given that this is the same mind who dreamt up Annihilation, I have faith.

SPINE-Aurora Parlegreco on Designing Jeff VanderMeer's A Peculiar Peril
art by Jeremy Zerfoss

Today’s song:

I cleaned up some of my room for a good hour or so this morning and I played this album all the way through

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: December 20-26, 2021

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.

And Merry Christmas (one day belated) for those of you who celebrate! I had a lovely Christmas—I got some cool shirts, lots of chocolate, a guitar pedal, a Ray Bradbury book, and lots of other goodies! It was so great to be able to spend time with family and just be together. We got a little snow on Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day was…weirdly warmish, but at least there was snow from the day before on the ground.

1964 rudolph the red nosed reindeer weihnachten GIF on GIFER - by Hellwalker

I had my last two days of school this week, and I’m glad to say that my finals are over! I’m relieved that I did well on them too. And now I’m on break, and I’m so glad to have a few weeks of rest.

My reading’s been slightly slowed down because of final, but now that finals are over, I have a lot more time. On a whim, I decided to re-read most of the Madman trades we own, and it was so fun to revisit one of my favorite comics! I also completed my Goodreads challenge of 250 books! I’m at 254 now!

Madman Adventures Collection by Mike Allred
art by Mike Allred

Other than that, I’ve just been sleeping in, drawing a bit, beginning to edit my main sci-fi WIP, enjoying my Christmas gifts, playing Minecraft, listening to Parklife, and baking with my mom. Oh, and I’m seeing Spiderman: No Way Home this afternoon—NO SPOILERS, PLEASE!

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) – Leigh Bardugo (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Ninth House (Alex Stern, 1): 9781250313072: Bardugo, Leigh:  Books

Squad – Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25)

Amazon.com: Squad: 9780062943149: Tokuda-Hall, Maggie, Sterle, Lisa: Books

The Secret History – Donna Tartt (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Secret History: Tartt, Donna: 9781400031702: Amazon.com: Books

Madman Two Trilogies: The Tundra Age – Mike Allred (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Book Cover

Madman Comics Yearbook ’95 – Mike Allred (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Madman Comics Yearbook '95 by Mike Allred

Complete Madman Comics vol. 2 – Mike Allred (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Complete Madman Comics Vol. 2 TPB :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics

POSTS AND SUCH:

LITERALLY JUST PARKLIFE SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity – Ray Bradbury

Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity: Bradbury, Ray:  9718777410946: Amazon.com: Books

Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2) – Chloe Gong

Amazon.com: Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights): 9781534457720: Gong,  Chloe: Books

The Night When No One Had Sex – Kalena Miller

The Night When No One Had Sex | Albert Whitman & Company

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books

My 5-star Reads of 2021

Image about love in ᵐᵒˢᵗˡʸ wholesome 🥺💗 by 𝐈 𝐧 𝐟 𝐢 𝐧 𝐢 𝐭 𝐲

Happy Friday, bibliophiles, and merry Christmas Eve for those who celebrate!

2021 was a tough year for me and for so many of us. But through every tough time, books are always there for us, and every once in a while, those special books come along and brighten our days or change our lives just that much more. Those are the only books that I bestow the 5-star rating upon—the ones that really, truly change something inside of me for the better.

So as this (sucky) year comes to a close, I decided to look back at the best of the best that I read this year. (Note: the books that I rated 4.75 stars and rounded up to 5 appear on here as well! However, I’m not including re-reads of books that I previously rated 5 stars.)

Let’s begin, shall we?

⭐️THE BOOKISH MUTANT’S 5-STAR READS OF 2021⭐️

Among the Beasts & Briars – Ashley Poston

Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston

Technically, I read this one on New Year’s Eve 2020, but I didn’t include it in my 5-star list from last year, so it gets the honor of making the list this year. Among the Beasts & Briars is solid proof that no matter the genre, Ashley Poston never misses.

Read my review here!

Zero Repeat Forever – Gabrielle S. Prendergast

Amazon.com: Zero Repeat Forever (1) (The Nahx Invasions): 9781481481854:  Prendergast, G. S.: Books

This one had been on my TBR for ages, and I’m so glad that I picked it up! A beautiful and tender story of love in the darkest of times.

Read my review here!

Before the Fall – Noah Hawley

Amazon.com: Before the Fall eBook : Hawley, Noah: Books

I got into Noah Hawley as an author this year after loving Fargo and Legion. I’m glad to say that this book is a masterpiece as well, and this is coming from somebody who reads hardly any crime thrillers!

Read my review here!

The Punch – Noah Hawley

Amazon.com: The Punch: 9781538746530: Hawley, Noah: Books

Very different from Before the Fall, but just as good. I think this book has my favorite opening scene in any book, period.

Read my review here!

The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country – Amanda Gorman

Amazon.com: The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country:  9780593465271: Gorman, Amanda, Winfrey, Oprah: Books

This one needs no explanation. Amanda Gorman is such an inspiring woman.

Internment – Samira Ahmed

Amazon.com: Internment: 9780316522694: Ahmed, Samira: Books

Samira Ahmed is another fantastic author that I discovered this year! I’m glad I read this one post-Trump, but it’s such a gut-wrenching call to action. This needs to be required reading.

(an aside—Samira Ahmed is writing the next run of Ms. Marvel soon, and I DIDN’T KNOW I NEEDED SOMETHING LIKE THIS IN MY LIFE. I can’t wait to see how she handles it!)

Sword in the Stars (Once & Future, #2) – A.R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy

Amazon.com: Sword in the Stars: A Once & Future Novel (Once & Future, 2):  9780316449298: Cory McCarthy, Capetta, A. R.: Books

I finally got to read this sequel after waiting a year to try and find it, and I was not disappointed! Just as off-the-walls and lovable as book 1.

Read my review here!

Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2) – Leigh Bardugo

Rule of Wolves - Leigh Bardugo | Author

The King of Scars duology is Leigh Bardugo at her very best. Feelings were had.

Mike Mignola: The Quarantine Sketchbook – Mike Mignola

Amazon.com: Mike Mignola: The Quarantine Sketchbook: 9781506724270: Mignola,  Mike, Mignola, Christine: Books

It’s a collection of quanrantine-era sketches from one of my favorite comic writers/artists, why wouldn’t I rate it 5 stars?

The Darkness Outside Us – Eliot Schrefer

Amazon.com: The Darkness Outside Us eBook : Schrefer, Eliot: Kindle Store

This one was an unexpected favorite! It started out like any other sci-fi thriller, but it soon morphed into a beautiful meditation on mortality and love. Highly recommended!

Read my review here!

Aurora’s End (Aurora Cycle, #3) – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Amazon.com: Aurora's End (The Aurora Cycle): 9781524720889: Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Books

It’s poetically fitting that the last book in this post is my favorite of these favorites, as well as the closer to my favorite trilogy. This was such a transcendental and resonant ending to a series like no other. Squad 312 forever. 💫

Read my review here!

HONORABLE MENTIONS (4.5 stars):

Today’s song:

That’s it for my favorite reads of 2021! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags

2021 Book Tag

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles! Finally back here! Today’s my first day of winter break, and I’m SO relieved. I got through finals with straight A’s (first time!!), so I’m proud of myself! Exhausted, though. But now I have a few weeks of rest.

Anyway, here’s a book tag for you! It’s an original tag by Phoenix @ Books With Wings. I loved doing her 2020 Book Tag, so I though I’d participate in this year’s tag since this year was…trash.

RULES:

  • Link back to the original creator, Phoenix @Books With Wings
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Answer all the questions
  • Tag at least 3 people
  • While the events covered in this tag are mainly centered around the going-ons in the U.S.A., if you live in another country feel free to add another question or two to this tag that you think goes with an important event that happened elsewhere!
  • PLEASE NOTE: While this tag discusses events that happened in 2021, it does not at all need to be completed in 2021. This is NOT a time-restricted tag and you may do it whenever you want. (you also do not need to talk about books that you read in 2021! It can be books you read whenever!)
  • Some of these questions are rather vague; these are totally up for interpretation!

Let’s begin, shall we?

2021 BOOK TAG

  1. A sequel that didn’t live up to expectations
A Gathering of Shadows: A Novel (Shades of Magic, 2): Victoria Schwab:  9780765376473: Amazon.com: Books

A Gathering of Shadows was still entertaining for me, but not nearly as good as books 1 or 3. Lila gets on my nerves.

2. A book where everything immediately went badly

Amazon.com: Ace of Spades: 9781250800817: Àbíké-Íyímídé, Faridah: Books

Ace of Spades comes right out of the gate with everything immediately starting to crumble around Chiamaka and Devon. I went on an unexpected mystery/thriller kick this month (the results of which were hit-or-miss), but this one was a standout—so cleverly written and consistently suspenseful!

3. A book where things seemed to change for the better

Amazon.com: The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea eBook : Tokuda-Hall,  Maggie: Kindle Store

Most of The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea was rough for everyone involved, but Evelyn and Flora got their happy ending eventually, and I thought it was beautiful. I know I’ve blabbed a lot about this one, but it’s such a lush and tender story!

4. A book where some kind of science/sci fi plays a major role

Amazon.com: The Darkness Outside Us eBook : Schrefer, Eliot: Kindle Store

[scours my sci-fi shelf on Goodreads for a sci-fi book that I haven’t already talked about endlessly]

The Darkness Outside Us is such an intricate masterpiece of a book—sure, you’ve got the setup for a typical space mystery with a little romance sprinkled in, but it becomes such a resonant song for cherishing every moment of life and love.

5. A book where the characters get a reprieve

Tea And 'A Psalm for the Wild-Built' On The Moon - Book and Film Globe

I struggled to find a book that would fit this prompt, but I’d say that both Sibling Dex and Mosscap get a reprieve of sorts in A Psalm for the Wild-Built. A walk in the woods musing about the unknown facets of life tends to do that for a person. (Or a robot.)

6. A book about sports/centered around competition

Amazon.com: Crownchasers (Crownchasers, 1): 9780062845160: Coffindaffer,  Rebecca: Books

Crownchasers certainly has a lot of high-stakes competition—with deadly consequences. I really need to pick up book 2, I’m excited to see what happens next!

7. A book with a terrifying plot twist

I'm Thinking of Ending Things: A Novel (Packing may vary ): Reid, Iain:  9781982155841: Amazon.com: Books

Honestly? I could’ve put Ace of Spades OR The Darkness Outside Us here too…

Even though I’d already seen the movie adaptation of I’m Thinking of Ending Things (shhh I didn’t know it was a book back then), the twist at the end still hit me like a freight train. Such a masterful, genre-bending, categorization-defying book!

8. A book with awesome behind-the-scenes characters (eg side characters) (THANK YOU ESSENTIAL WORKERS)

Amazon.com: The Outside eBook : Hoffmann, Ada: Kindle Store

There were so many background characters in The Outside that I found myself wanting to know more about, especially all the different angels and aliens! I hope we see more of them in book 2.

9. A book where there were HUGE consequences to an event/decision/etc.

Aurora's End eBook by Amie Kaufman - 9781524720902 | Rakuten Kobo United  States

Chekhov’s gun? Nope, this was straight-up Chekhov’s war cannon. (Chekhov’s Weapon, if you will…yeah, I’m the only one laughing at that one)

Everything building up to Aurora’s End had unimaginable consequences. It all amounted to the last 100 pages of the book, which were unbelievably stressful, but built to such a beautiful and fitting ending for Squad 312. I love this series with my whole heart.

I TAG:

Today’s song:

I know you’re probably all tired of the Blurposting BUT I finally listened to all of Parklife last night!! Such a fun album

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: December 6-12, 2021

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.

I got my AP Gov project done (FINALLY), but I got so caught up in thinking about it that I completely forgot that next week is my last full week of school…good news because of winter break coming soon, but bad news because, y’know, finals.

That project consumed my Monday, but other than that, it’s been an okay week. I read some decent books; Most of the ones I read were in the 3-3.5 star range, but Ace of Spades was the best of the bunch. I picked up two books that I’ve been meaning to read for ages at my school library, and I have two more from the public library that look good. Been on a bit of a mystery kick lately; I don’t read a whole lot of it, but all of my holds that have been coming in have been mystery, so…

Other than that, I’ve been beginning to study for finals, playing Minecraft, drawing, and almost watching the new episode of Hawkeye but having no will to. Chances are, I’ll be less active next week because of finals, so I’ll probably be posting less than usual.

Oh, and we finally got a good snow on Friday!! Better late than never, I suppose.

adorable GIFs - Primo GIF - Latest Animated GIFs

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

This Isn’t Happening: Radiohead’s “Kid A” and the Beginning of the 21st Century – Steven Hyden (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

This Isn't Happening: Radiohead's "Kid A" and the Beginning of the 21st  Century - Kindle edition by Hyden, Steven. Arts & Photography Kindle eBooks  @ Amazon.com.

The Outside (The Outside, #1) – Ada Hoffmann (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: The Outside eBook : Hoffmann, Ada: Kindle Store

The Dead and the Dark – Courtney Gould (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

Ace of Spades – Faridah Àbíké-Íyímíde (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Ace of Spades: 9781250800817: Àbíké-Íyímídé, Faridah: Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Chbosky, Stephen: 9781451696202:  Amazon.com: Books

Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo

Amazon.com: Ninth House (Alex Stern, 1): 9781250313072: Bardugo, Leigh:  Books

The Grimrose Girls – Laura Pohl

Amazon.com: The Grimrose Girls: Dark Academia Fairytale (The Grimrose  Girls, 1): 0760789303425: Pohl, Laura: Books

Teen Killers Club – Lily Sparks

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of Teen Killers  Club by Lily Sparks – The Hub

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (12/7/21) – This Isn’t Happening: Radiohead’s “Kid A” and the Beginning of the 21st Century

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

For the past two years, I’ve started to read more nonfiction (though still not much, admittedly), but it’s rare that I ever review any of them. But I figured I would review this book since a) I’m a major Radiohead fan, and b) I have Some Thoughts™️ on it, so here goes nothing…

Enjoy this week’s review!

This Isn't Happening: Radiohead's "Kid A" and the Beginning of the 21st  Century - Kindle edition by Hyden, Steven. Arts & Photography Kindle eBooks  @ Amazon.com.

This Isn’t Happening: Radiohead’s “Kid A” and the Beginning of the 21st Century – Steven Hyden

From its tumultuous inception to its profound impact on release, Radiohead’s 2000 album “Kid A” is seen as a landmark of modern music. Though critics and fans alike were divided on it when it first hit stores, its impact stretches far beyond the world of music—for many, it was an unintentionally prophetic vision of the future. 20 years later, music critic Steven Hyden dives deeper into the mythology around this iconic album, from its creation in the studio to the cultural impact it had in the years after its release.

TW/CW: this is nonfiction and it’s mostly just music history, but be aware that there are some (mostly brief) mentions of mental breakdowns, suicide, 9/11, and substance abuse.

This Isn’t Happening reads like a 244 page Pitchfork review, but I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily a bad thing. What’s clear, though, is that it’s by Radiohead fans and for Radiohead fans, which is exactly what it should be.

It’s clear from every page of This Isn’t Happening that, like many Radiohead fans, that listening to “Kid A” was a life-changing experience for Steven Hyden. Hyden’s love for the album bleeds for the page, and every bit of analysis was so clearly crafted out of love and admiration. This isn’t simply bare analysis: it’s imbued with a well-deserved appreciation for a band that may well have changed the fabric of modern rock music forever. Every track—even “Untitled“—gets some degree of attention (although I’m stunned that more praise wasn’t given to “Motion Picture Soundtrack”—come on, now), and the most minute details are reported on with simultaneous tact and love, from Thom Yorke’s inner conflict while creating the album to the many bands whose influences shine through on the album.

However, the price of This Isn’t Happening clearly being from the heart of a Radiohead fan is that it tends to ramble. Smaller, more unimportant points during the course of the book were often extended to a near-ridiculous degree, digressing from the subject matter of that particular section. This resulted in passages like “yeah, I just mentioned post-rock here. You know what my favorite post-rock band is? It’s this obscure band that you’ve never heard of, beat that!” or “Many wonder what ‘Kid A’ would have been like had it been a double album with ‘Amnesiac.’ You know what? Screw it, here’s how I would organize it if it was a double album. Ooooh, look at me, I’m putting in all the singles that got cut from the album…”, etc., etc., etc. With how short This Isn’t Happening is (only around 244 pages on the hardcover edition), a lot it felt like nothing more than stream-of-consciousness digressions that only served to plump up the page count.

What was also fascinating to me was some of the more cultural aspects of This Isn’t Happening and the aftermath of “Kid A.” All of this happened just before I was born, and from a younger perspective, it was so interesting to see Hyden’s picture of the cultural landscape. It’s not from the perspective of a historian—it’s from the perspective of a music critic, and something about this view, from somebody who knows everything just from living through it, made it all the more engrossing to read.

Through it all, there’s a profound appreciation—not worship, but still immense admiration—for music as a whole. Hyden’s writing is full of dry humor and clever references, and it makes for a read that wholly appeals to the music nerd in all of us. Hyden treats listening to “Kid A” as an almost cinematic experience, encouraging the reader to sit back, relax, and start playing “Everything In Its Right Place” as he dives into the creation of the album. This is the kind of book that only a music critic could write—otherwise, it would sound disingenuous.

All in all, a loving but flawed exploration into the most groundbreaking albums of the 21st century. But before I go:

That’s all.

3 stars!

submitted by invisible-rainbow) | Radiohead kid a, Album art, Radiohead  albums

(since this is a book dealing with an album, click here if you’d like to listen to “Kid A” for yourself. I highly recommend it!)

Stephen Hyden is an author and music critic; besides This Isn’t Happening, he is also the author of the nonfiction books Your Favorite Band is Killing Me and Twilight of the Gods.

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (12/6/21) – Clownfish

Happy Monday, bibliophiles! Wow, I’m SO relieved to be finally done with that AP Gov project…

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme originally created by Lauren’s Page Turners, but has since moved to Budget Tales Book Blog. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

This one’s been sitting on my TBR for about a year, and it sounds like a strange and wonderfully poignant story of grief.

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (12/6/21) – CLOWNFISH by Alan Durant

Amazon.com: Clownfish: 9781406374629: ALAN DURANT: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

Dak’s dad has been dead for seven days when suddenly he reappears. He’s the same in almost every way, with one startling exception: Dad has turned into a clownfish, and now lives in a tank at their local aquarium. Dak is delighted by the news – he has Dad back, even if he isn’t quite as he was before. 

Deciding to keep Dad’s transformation a secret, Dak visits him at the aquarium as often as he can, and ends up spending so much time there that they offer him a job. This is how he comes to meet Violet, the owner’s prickly but kindhearted niece; when the aquarium is threatened with closure, the pair must work together to save it. 

For Dak, the stakes couldn’t be higher … after all, if the aquarium shuts down, what will happen to the fish? In parts wry, moving and undoubtedly strange, this beautifully crafted story will stay with you long after the final page.

So why do I want to read this?

Coral Reef Aquarium gif 02 on Make a GIF

This one’s classified as YA on Goodreads, but it looks like it’s more middle grade—Dak, the protagonist, is 12, according to the reviews. I know I sound like a broken record by now, but I really need to read more middle grade. And this one sounds delightfully strange and sweet.

There’s a challenge in depicting grief in the eyes of a kid, especially with how they process it. The case of Clownfish is particularly interesting; with a little bit of magical realism, Dak’s dead dad is now a clownfish. It sounds like the kind of book that would be great as an animated movie—stop-motion or 2D is the feeling I’m getting. Either way, this one looks like I’d love it, but I’m sensing a 50-50 chance that I’ll cry.

clownfish fish selection | REEF2REEF Saltwater and Reef Aquarium Forum

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: November 29-December 5, 2021

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.

This week has been…tiring, to say the least. The week after Thanksgiving Break is always a slog, but I got through to the weekend, at least. On the upside, we got our Christmas tree on Friday and I went to the Nutcracker ballet with my mom on Saturday!

Tired Of Studying GIFs | Tenor

As far as reading, my Thanksgiving break reading slump stretched out a little into this week, but reading some good old Star Wars books made things better. I wasn’t able to go to the library this week, but I picked up all my books early, and they look promising too!

AND I FINISHED NANOWRIMO!! I beat my 45,000 word count goal with 45,176!! After Tuesday night, I took a break from writing, and I’ll probably keep it that way until I have finals over with. But I want to edit draft 2 of my main sci-fi WIP that’s been gathering a little dust since…August? September? I don’t remember, but I need to dig it out and polish it up.

Other than that, I’ve just been getting through my homework, watching the new episode of Hawkeye (still just decent for me, but THE HANZEE CAMEO??? that was fun), listening to Abbey Road, and putting up Christmas decorations.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Sweet & Bitter Magic – Adrienne Tooley (⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Sweet & Bitter Magic: 9781534453852: Tooley, Adrienne: Books

Rise to the Sun – Leah Johnson (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Rise to the Sun: 9781338662238: Johnson, Leah: Books - Amazon.com

Lost Stars (Star Wars) – Claudia Gray (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Star Wars Lost Stars: 9781368013789: Gray, Claudia: Books

Slay – Brittney Morris (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: SLAY: 9781534445420: Morris, Brittney: Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

This Isn’t Happening: Radiohead’s “Kid A” and the Beginning of the 21st Century – Stephen Hyden

This Isn't Happening: Radiohead's "Kid A" and the Beginning of the 21st  Century - Kindle edition by Hyden, Steven. Arts & Photography Kindle eBooks  @ Amazon.com.

Ace of Spaces – Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Ace of Spades : Àbíké-Íyímídé, Faridah: Amazon.ca: Books

The Outside (The Outside, #1) – Ada Hoffmann

Amazon.com: The Outside eBook : Hoffmann, Ada: Kindle Store

The Dead and the Dark – Courtney Gould

Amazon.com: The Dead and the Dark: 9781250762016: Gould, Courtney: Books

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!