Happy Sunday, happy Juneteenth, and happy Father’s Day, bibliophiles! I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without my dad, so thank you for everything you’ve done to support me 💗
This week has mostly just been coming down from vacation, but it’s still been a bit busy, what with all the College Stuff™️ that I’ve been having to go through. Luckily, I’ve still had some time to read, write, and all that.
I’ve had a mixed bunch for reading this week; all of the comics I borrowed from my brother were great to amazing, and I had one good book then one highly frustrating one that I really should’ve DNF’d. I did get a bunch of (queer) books from the library while volunteering for my library’s summer reading program, so hopefully they’ll be a good bunch. As far as writing, I’m working on something new that I think I’ll start for Camp NaNoWriMo this July (just graduated from the young writer’s program 🥲), and I’m nearly finished with the outline…
Other than that, I’ve just been drawing, watching the first few episodes of Our Flag Means Death, playing guitar, and listening to entirely too much T. Rex, Spoon, and Horsegirl.
Once again, happy pride month! I hope all my fellow queer folks are taking care of themselves this month (and all the time) and finding tons of wonderful queer stuff to read. If nobody’s told you this lately, you are loved, you are valid, you are beautiful, and nobody has any say in your identity except for YOU.
For the past few years, I’ve been compiling YA recommendations of LGBTQ+ books for pride month; back in 2020, I was able to go by genre (click the links for sci-fi, contemporary, fantasy, and historical fiction), but last year, I just compiled my favorites I’d read since then in one post (click here for 2021’s recs). I was planning on doing the same thing as 2021, but my list got so long that I’ve decided to stagger it by genre again. So first off, here are my recs for queer YA sci-fi!
Let’s begin, shall we?
🏳️🌈THE BOOKISH MUTANT’S 2022 YA PRIDE MONTH RECS: SCI-FI 🏳️🌈
LGBTQ+ REP: queer MC, nonbinary LI, several wlw and mlm side relationships
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
This one technically could’ve gone in fantasy or sci-fi, but it leaned more to the latter for me, which is to say this is a fascinating mix of genres! Perfect for readers looking for a book like Six of Crows or The Gilded Wolves with a more futuristic twist.
We’re almost halfway through 2022 already (!), but I’d definitely say that this month was the most momentous one of this year.
Wow. So I really am done with high school.
I got distracted from all that with my AP tests at the beginning of the month (ecstatic that I’ll never have to take them again), but once the middle of the month hit, the realization started to sink in. Then I graduated—in freezing spring snow at an outdoor venue, no less. Certainly a day to remember. But it’s over now—strange to think that those four (very weird) years have come to a close. And now college is on the horizon…
With all that going on, I didn’t have as much time to read. It wasn’t quite as good of a bunch, either—I still had a few gems, but I had a lot more 2-3 star books and a DNF too. Haven’t had much writing time either—I did a little more outlining for the WIP sequel, but I’m turning my attention to something new—I figured that since my brother and friends are starting to suggest edits, it’s probably too soon to start the sequel.
Other than that, I’ve just been drawing, watching Heartstopper and sobbing at the coming-out scene, going to see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (mixed bag, but it was fun) and Everything Everywhere All at Once (TEARS), seeing Spoon live (AMAZING), and listening to the new Wilco, Smile, and Arcade Fire.
READING AND BLOGGING:
I read 17 books this month! Less than usual, but it was a lot like April in terms of reading—I was super busy with AP tests, graduation, and all that jazz this month, but I was still able to read some good books here and there.
My sense of time has been w a y off this week; I’m still recovering from all the chaos and festivities from graduation last week, so this week has all been coming down from all that. The weather’s warmed up after that big snowstorm we had on the day of graduation, and I’ve been trying to get some stuff done for college and get some more reading done.
I haven’t been able to read or write much this month, so I’ve been trying to remedy the reading part, at least. I’ve had more time to read this week, and it’s been a hit or miss batch this week, but I found some great ones (one of which was a graduation present from my parents—thank you! 💗) I have some Fantastic Four comics that I want to read next week (from my dad and my brother, after realizing that I hadn’t read any while we were discussing the new Doctor Strange), so that’ll be fun.
As far as writing goes, I haven’t written much lately—more outlining, but I’m not sure if I should go on editing the WIP, fine-tuning its sequel, or just starting something new. I’m leaning towards the latter, but I’m not sure what I’ll write…we’ll see.
Other than that, I’ve just been drawing when I can, playing guitar, seeing Spoon live (amazing, as they always are), listening to the new Wilco, and watching Everything Everywhere All At Once (tears were shed).
Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! Hope this week has treated you well.
It’s certainly been an eventful week on my end! It doesn’t quite feel like summer (especially since we got that Freezing Snow Even Though It’s The Middle of May™️) since it’s been so busy, but it’s been very momentous on my end—I officially graduated from high school! It was freezing cold and snowing the whole time (we were at an outdoor venue), but it was a great morning.
I haven’t had a whole lot of time to read because I’ve been so tired for the past few days, but I got through my library books, and I’m currently going through the books I bought last week. Haven’t written much at all either—maybe I’ll have to get on that next week after everything dies down…
Other than that, I’ve been getting into all kinds of festivities for graduation, listening to Bachelor and Soccer Mommy, reorganizing my bookshelf (it hit critical mass so I had to put a few books away in boxes lol), and looking forward to summer.
Welcome to another installment of “2022 is the year that the music gods have blessed us”…
Arcade Fire has been a fairly constant presence in my life for as long as I can remember; for years, I’ve been hearing and loving songs from Funeral and The Suburbs in my car, and I nearly got to see them live on their last tour (the concert was on the same day as a school trip I had 😭). So I was so excited to hear that they had another album on the way a few months ago—and now that I’ve listened to it, I love it!
Enjoy this album review!
(note: I will be excluding track 3, “Prelude,” from my review, as it’s only 30 seconds long of vague bonking noises and static.)
WE – ARCADE FIRE ALBUM REVIEW
Track 1: “Age of Anxiety I”– 8.5/10
Right off the bat, I was so impressed by this song! One of my favorite songs on the album, and the perfect opener too. With its steady beat and timely lyricism, it perfectly sets up the landscape of the rest of the album—love it!
Track 2: “Age of Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole)” – 7.5/10
Continuing the momentum from “Age of Anxiety I,” “Rabbit Hole” keeps its steady pace. As long as it is, it manages to keep itself afloat for the full seven minutes and still be consistently listenable throughout. Not as good as I, but still a wonderful continuation.
Track 4: “End of the Empire I-III” – 8/10
“End of the Empire I-III” takes a turn into slower, more introspective territory. Its lulling and waving melodies feel immersive and welcoming, and it demonstrates the extent of Win Butler’s lyricism, the intense introspection and reflection that makes Arcade Fire stand the test of time.
Track 5: “End of the Empire IV (Sagittarius A*)” – 8/10
Most of the songs on WE have at twin of some sort, and I’ve noticed a pattern—they’re never interchangeable, but they’re nevertheless inextricably connected. In the instance of “Sagittarius A*,” it’s a continuation of the slow, measured reflection of the strange mess of the world in the last two years. The lyrics are far more on the nose here (repetition of “I/we/she/etc. unsubscribe[s]), but they’re nevertheless timely. I love the little electronic strains at the end as well.
Track 6: “The Lightning I” – 8.5/10
The two “Lightning” songs were the first singles to come out of WE, and this one reminded me of why I love Arcade Fire so much. So many people, so many instruments, all in exuberant harmony—just the kind of energy that we need in these unpredictable times. Ties into the general theme of the album, from what I can discern—clinging onto hope and togetherness in a time bent on tearing us apart.
Track 7: “The Lightning II” – 8.5/10
It makes sense that the music video for the two “Lightning”s is all in one; unlike the other twin songs, this one is has the smoothest transition from one song to the other. And it continues its contagious, exuberant joy, bringing the album to a hopeful, explosive crescendo.
Track 8: “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)” – 7/10
This is my least favorite song on the album, but it’s nonetheless sweet, especially considering that Win Butler wrote it for his kid. The lyrics are more than a little on the nose, but they’re lyrics that everybody needs to hear growing up, which is what makes them so lasting. Sweet stuff.
Track 9: “Unconditional II (Race and Religion) (feat. Peter Gabriel)” – 10/10
MORE REGINE CHASSAGNE PLEASE AND THANK YOU
I’ve had this on repeat for a solid week—my favorite song on the album! Régine Chassagne’s vocals have an infectious joy and excitement to them, and combined with the harmonious music and message, it makes for the best song on the whole album. It’s already the highlight of the album, but having PETER GABRIEL, FOR GOD’S SAKES—that makes it even better!
Track 10: “WE” – 7.5/10
A gentle, slow ease out of a fantastic album. Even though Arcade Fire’s strength is in their numbers and varied instruments, sometimes their acoustic pieces are almost just as good. That’s the case of “WE”—not the best song on the album, but a perfect segway out of an adventurous album and a softer comedown from “Race and Religion.”
I averaged out all my ratings from each track, and it came out to a solid 8.2! I feel like that’s an accurate portrayal of my thoughts; WE is, without a doubt, high in the ranks of my favorite albums of 2022 so far—timely, but still rife with the infectious joy that makes me love Arcade Fire as much as I do.
Since this is an album review, consider the entire album to be today’s song.
That’s it for this album review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.
This week’s been surreal, to say the least. It was my last week of high school; there wasn’t much to do all week up until Friday, but it’s so strange that Friday was the last time I’ll ever have to wake up at 6 AM to go to school. (Not that I’m complaining about the “waking up at 6 AM” part.) We had a goodbye ceremony for us seniors, and tears were certainly shed. High school wasn’t perfect, but there are certainly things I’ll miss. (The fact that there was active construction going on at the school all year? Not one of them.) I actually graduate next week, so…
Reading-wise, I was able to read more than last week, but it was a hit-or-miss kind of batch. I picked up some more promising books at the library yesterday, and I stopped by the bookstore and picked up some books as well, so hopefully next week will be a little better!
Other than that, I’ve been drawing, petting Ringo, listening to the new Smile album (AAAAAAH), and trying to wrap my head around the fact that I finished high school. It’s weird. But I’m seeing the new Doctor Strange this evening—been looking forward to it all week long!! (No spoilers!!)
Happy Sunday, bibliophiles, and happy Mother’s Day for those celebrating! I don’t know where I’d be without my amazing mom—thank you for supporting me through thick and thin, always. 💗
This week’s been a bit exhausting; I had all three of my AP exams this week, two of which were on the same day. (@ the comparative gov multiple choice: WHAT) It was rough, but I feel alright about them in general. And this means that I’m all done with AP tests! Good riddance.
As a result, I haven’t had as productive of a week in most other departments. I got through most of my library books, but two of them ended up being duds. (Shoutout to The Final Revival of Opal & Nev for pulling me out of the momentary slump.) I picked up more at the library, and they all seem fairly promising.
Other than that, I’ve been drawing, watching Heartstopper all the way through (anybody else sobbing at the coming out scene 🙋♀️), watching The Power of the Dog (WHOA), going out to brunch for Mother’s Day, and trying (and failing) to get Ringo to stop biting my feet. Ringo’s a good boy, though.
Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.
This week’s been a bit of a slog; I have all three of my ap tests next week (insert infinite string of the 😐 emoji), so I’ve been studying for most of the week. Not ideal. But I’ve had a little time to read and blog, so it’s been nice.
I’ve had a string of good reads, though! Last week’s library haul was great, and although I couldn’t go to the library this week (studying 😐), I was able to pick up some books for this coming week, and they all seem promising! I went to the comic shop on Friday, so I got a big haul from there as well. I haven’t really done much writing this week, so there’s nothing much to say one that front.
Other than that, I’ve just been petting Ringo, getting everything done before the end of the school year, trying to keep track of all the new music coming out soon (WILCO DOUBLE ALBUM I REPEAT WILCO DOUBLE ALBUM), and going to senior prom!! The latter was a lot of fun—such a fantastic night!
I keep saying things along the lines of “this week has been low-key…” in my updates and in my journal, fully knowing that it’s the calm before the storm (read: AP tests), but it’s been good to enjoy the calm nonetheless. And if I could get through three AP tests last year, then I can do it this year too. At least they’re all in one week again this time.
Looking back, April was somewhat busy, but it never quite felt that way. Going to three concerts in a month was certainly a plus, however tired I got the day after the second two. I have less than a month left of high school (!!!!) and it certainly feels like things are slowing down…it’s all coming into perspective…
April’s been a great reading month as well! Aside from one DNF at the beginning of the month, I haven’t read anything below two stars. I found some great books in the bunch too, both from new-to-me authors and from tried-and-true authors! A good batch, I think.
Things have been slowing down as far as writing goes; since I shared my WIP, I’ve been in a sort of limbo where I’m not sure what to write next. For now, I’m outlining for said WIP’s sequel, but it’s been…rocky. I forgot how frustrating the beginning stages of outlining can be sometimes. Figuring out the playlist has been fun, though…Other than that, I’ve just been drawing, learning a few new songs on guitar, finishing Raised by Wolves (w h a t) and Severance (season 2 can’t come soon enough), watching Spirited Away, listening to an excess of Wet Leg, Spiritualized, and Jack White, and seeing Spiritualized, Snail Mail, and Ben Folds live. (All three were lots of fun, but Spiritualized was hands down my favorite!!)
READING AND BLOGGING:
I read 18 books this month! I can chalk that one up to several lengthy books that took me longer than usual to read, but that’s okay. Still on track for my goodreads goal of 200—78 books as of now!
Try not to spontaneously combust at the Spiritualized concert if/when they play “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space”: …well, no “Ladies And Gentlemen,” but nonetheless, I spontaneously combusted. Hands down, one of my favorite concerts I’ve ever been to. Thanks again, J Spaceman!
GOALS FOR MAY:
Get through the AP tests
Finish high school strong! (aAAA STILL CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GRADUATING—)
That’s it for this month in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!