October reading wrap up

Can you believe it’s already November? What is happening? Where is this year going? Crisis moment aside, it’s time for me to talk about the books I managed to read in October! I read 5 books which isn’t bad, but not great either. I just feel like there’s so much to do and so many people to meet up with that I haven’t really had much time to read. Here are the books I managed to finish!

The Humans by Matt Haig – 5 stars
While I was in Jeju on my solo trip, I ended up getting stuck inside for 2 days because of a typhoon. The hostel I was staying at only had a few English books in their library, one of which was The Humans. I recognized it because I watch April from Aprilius Maximus’ videos, and she loves Matt Haig’s books. I ended up really loving it! It’s about an alien who has been sent to Earth to make sure a mathematician’s revelation never sees the light. He’s tasked with killing everyone who knows about the discovery, and getting rid of the evidence. It’s incredibly interesting to read about humanity through the eyes of a different species trying to blend in.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – 4 stars
My first ever Gillian Flynn book! I never read Gone Girl, because I had already seen the movie and thus knew what the twist at the end of the book was. I saw that Dark Places was on sale on Bookdepository when I was pre-ordering a book so I decided to add it to my order. I quite liked this book. It was really dark and quite unsettling. This is the story of Libby, whose entire family was murdered by her brother when she was only seven years old. Her mother, her sisters… Gone. Libby needs money, and comes across a group of people who are obsessed with killers and claim her brother is innocent. Is he?

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon – 3.5 stars
I was really looking forward to this book because I had seen it described as Sons of Anarchy with female leads, as well as “a book about female friendship”. To be honest, I was a tad disappointed after finishing it. It was an interesting read about two young women who find themselves in tough situations, and how they taught themselves (and each other) to get out of them. However, I didn’t find their friendship to be very healthy, or really a friendship at all.

Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians #3) by Kevin Kwan – 4 stars
I finished the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy! I really enjoyed this series. While it’s not without its problems, I find the books funny, captivating, and addictive. I can’t really say much about this book because I don’t want to spoil the previous two, but it’s safe to say that you learn more about Nick’s grandmother, Su Yi, in this book. I wish there was a book about her entire life because she’s so fascinating!

Black Butler Vol. 1 by Yana Toboso – 4 stars
This is one of the first times I’ve ever read manga. I think I read a volume of Death Note before, but that was quite a while ago. A few months ago, I really wanted to get into the world of manga and anime. So I decided to buy some volumes secondhand. I finally received them, and gave it a try. I start with Black Butler, one of the most popular manga series (the anime is very popular too). I ended up really enjoying it! I’ll definitely buy some of the next volumes so I can continue the series.


That’s everything I managed to read in October! Have you read any of these books? What did you read in October?

Characters I’d like to cosplay as | #T5W

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday is an interesting one! We’re talking about 5 characters we’d like to cosplay as. I’ve never really done a cosplay, so bear with me here…

Tonks – Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
I chose Tonks because a) she’s an incredible character and b) you have to support Hufflepuffs. You just have to.

Leah – Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
I adore Leah, and while this book wasn’t perfect, I still absolutely loved it. I think it would be so much fun to cosplay as Leah. Especially with the outfit she’s wearing on the cover of the book.

Nimona – Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
I really like this graphic novel, and I think Nimona looks absolutely fantastic in it. Obviously, I can’t shapeshift so I’d have to choose an outfit like the one she’s wearing on the cover of the graphic novel.

Sister Kettle – Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence 
Sister Kettle may be my favorite character in this series so far, so I’d love to cosplay as her!

Arwen – The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Childhood dream. I do not look anything like Liv Tyler, but a girl can dream, right?

Books that freak me out (but aren’t necessarily scary) | #TopTenTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today is a Halloween/creepy freebie! I don’t read a lot of thrillers, nor am I easily scared by books, so I decided to adapt the topic a bit. I’m going to talk about books that freak me out, for one reason or another. Let’s talk about them.

All the Rage by Courtney Summers
This book freaked me out because it’s so real. It tells the story of a girl who was raped by her town’s “golden boy”. It freaks me out because it unfortunately happens to so many people around the world, and the way we react to it and still blame the victims terrifies me. How we refuse to put blame on the rapists, and refuse to offer support to victims. How we act like it’s the victim’s fault. It all scares me to death.

This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1) by Emily Suvada
Once again, this isn’t really a traditionally scary book. However, when I stop and think about the events that happen in this book, I find myself freaked out. This is a dystopian story in which a virus breaks out. It’s airborne, and once you are infected you turn into a zombie-like creature until you explode. It’s scary because viruses are terrifying, especially with the resistance to antibiotics they’re building up.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
This is a creepy book because it truly showcases the worst of humanity. Some of the worst, at the very least. This is about a girl whose brother killed her entire family when she was nine/ten, and has spent the past  10+ years in prison. The violence and lack of human decency in this is just… scary.

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Barry Lyga
I love this YA thriller trilogy, and I feel like not enough people have read it. It’s about a guy called Jasper who was raised by his dad, who is actually a serial killer. He subtly raised Jasper to be the perfect killer, just like he was. Can you imagine??

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
The reason this book freaked me out is because it made me put myself in the situation of the main characters just like The Secret History by Donna Tartt did. In both novels, you know that what they did is ‘wrong’. But would I really make a different choice? What would I do? It made me think about the darkness we all have inside of us, and that scares me.

Gravity by Tess Gerritsen
This is the second book about a virus on this list. That’s the stuff that freaks me out, guys. The realistic things like viruses, serial killers and humans. However, this book is also set in space on the ISS. Several crew mates have been sent to the ISS when an unknown and ‘alien’ virus breaks out. What do you do? You’re stuck in space with this deadly thing you can’t even see. How do you even get out of there??

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
This didn’t freak me out in the scared way, but the idea of it left me feeling gross and disgusted. If you haven’t heard of this book, it’s about a brother and sister who fall in love. Yeah. Ew. Forbidden is an incredible novel, even though the topic really creeps me out.

Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff Vandermeer
Another one that freaks me out because it’s a mix of science, fantasy, and the unknown. Listen, we’ve fucked up the Earth in so many ways already. Who knows what the hell we’ll end up doing to it next. Combine that fact with this weird thing that’s happening without any explanation whatsoever, and I’m left scared.

Mindhunter by John Douglas
Like I mentioned before, serial killers terrify me. I think they scare everyone, to be honest. I’ve always been interested in serial killers and profiling (I promise it’s not as weird or creepy as it sounds), which is why I picked this book up years ago. This was written by someone who helped set up the profiling unit of the FBI, and who dealt with American serial killers. These people are horrifying. The way their minds work is just… I can’t deal with it.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
Once again, serial killer book. Look, you have to agree that they are some of the scariest people on this planet! This book freaked me out because at the time it was written they still hadn’t caught the so-called Golden State Killer. Only after decades could they figure out who had broken in to all these homes, raped all these women, and killed all these people. The idea that for decades people have been walking past someone who has done these horrific things scares the life out of me.


That’s it, 10 books that freak me out! With all of these, it’s more the ideas behind them and the content that made me feel scared or uncomfortable, instead of the books actually being meant to be scary or creepy. Have you read any of these? What scares you?

September wrap up | what I read last month

I know this post is so incredibly late, but I still wanted to take my time and talk to you all about the books I read during the month of September. I did participate in the Contemporary-a-thon, for which I’ve done a separate wrap up. If you’re interested in what I read during that readathon, you can find my post on it here: contemporary-a-thon wrap up.

In this post, I’ll only talk about the books I read outside of the readathon in September. Let’s get started!

Easy Prey by Catherine Lo – 1 star
I did not start this month off well… I first read Easy Prey, an ARC I picked up at YALC in July. I wanted to read it before it came out in October so I could write a full review for you all. I absolutely hated this book, which you may have guessed from the 1-star rating I gave it. I barely ever give 1-star ratings… There’s so much wrong with this book, I can’t possibly state it all here. You can read my full review here if you want to find out why I wouldn’t recommend this book at all.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – 5 stars
Such a big difference between the first and second book of the month! I should have read this last year, but I didn’t. I’m so glad I finally listened to the audiobook because it was phenomenal. If you are one of the people who haven’t read this yet, listen to the audio version! The narration is on point.

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir – 3 stars
Honestly, I was kind of disappointed in this book. I was expecting an epic fantasy inspired by the Roman empire, focused on a girl who is a slave and helping the rebellion. The parts of this book that I liked were exactly that: the parts talking about the Empire, about slavery, the brutality of conquerors, the rebellion… I really enjoyed that, especially how the author didn’t shy back from the brutality and cruelty of the Roman Empire. However, this was a romance with fantasy elements, and not the other way around. There was a love square/rectangle in this book. REALLY? You’re constantly in danger, about to die, your loved ones are being killed off, and all you can think about is 2 guys you’ve met for like 10 minutes? The same goes for Elias, by the way. I’m not sure whether I’ll continue the series.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend – 5 stars
I picked this book up because Lauren from Lauren and the Books was raving about this in one of her videos, and it seemed like such a wonderful read. I’m so glad I bought it! I ended up falling in love with this middle grade fantasy about a cursed girl. I already pre-ordered the second book which will be released at the end of the month!

China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians #2) by Kevin Kwan – 4 stars
I read the first book in the series, Crazy Rich Asians, during the contemporary-a-thon and really enjoyed it. I knew I wanted to continue the series as soon as possible, so I bought a copy of the sequel during a rainy day in Busan. I flew through this, and enjoyed it just as much as the first one. This has less of a focus on Nick and Rachel and focuses more on Chinese high society than on Singapore, but it was just as funny and interesting. I love the footnotes in this book. If you don’t like footnotes, you probably won’t enjoy these books as much, but I thought they were so interesting. I can’t wait to read the third book!


Those are the books I read in September outside of the contemporary-a-thon! Have you read any of these? What did you read in September?

My bookish habits

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Today I thought I’d talk to you all about the bookish habits I have. I’ve been reading for a long time, and have developed quite a few habits since that time. Some I am very well aware of, others have been pointed out to me by my family…

Following the line with my finger

I didn’t know how to word this in a better manner, but I hope you’ll be able to understand what I mean. When reading physical copies, I tend to follow the line I’m reading with my finger. I don’t mean the tip of my finger, like pointing. I tend to hold a bunch of pages in my hand, put my index finger flat on the page and follow along. (HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS? HELP ME!)

However, I am a fast reader which usually results in me moving my finger constantly and wriggling it down the page -that sounded really gross for some reason.

Fun fact: I was not aware of doing this until my family pointed it out and imitated me…

Obviously, I don’t do this with e-books because it would constantly switch pages when I touch it.

Whispering

Another one I wasn’t aware of doing until my family pointed it out to me. When I am very into a book, or need to truly pay attention, I tend to whisper the words under my breath. I have no idea why I do this. Even when you are sitting next to me, you can’t actually make out what I’m saying. And I don’t even realize I do it at all. But I think it helps me concentrate?

I’ve noticed that I do this far more frequently with physical copies, and only at home. My family has mentioned numerous times that it’s a highly annoying sound because they can’t actually make anything out and it just sounds like I’m hissing the entire time.

I do this less frequently now, but it still happens. I did it all the time a few years back, apparently.

Breaking the spine of a paperback

Relax, I only do this to my own books. And no, I don’t mind the way it looks at all! I actually quite like it because it shows which books I have read again and again and again and you can clearly pick out my favorites. I would never do this to someone else’s books though, nor with library books.

Reading under a blanket -on the couch or in my bed

The only times I am not reading while relaxing with a blanket is when I am reading in public. I don’t bring a blanket on the train or to a coffee shop… But when I am at home, I always read under a blanket. For some reason, I just feel really awkward relaxing on the couch or in my bed without a blanket? And the couch and my bed are by far the most comfortable places in my apartment, so that’s where I read.

Soundtracks during readathons

This is something I usually only do during readathons -or while studying. I picked this habit up in university while studying for my exams. When I truly need to concentrate on reading and/or retaining information, I listen to soundtracks. I have a playlist filled with soundtracks from Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, Harry Potter, and the Avengers. I stick to music without any lyrics because those tend to distract me into singing along.

I just feel really motivated and empowered when listening to this epic music, and it really puts me into a productive reading mood. That’s why I usually do it during readathons when I know I’ll want to read for a while in one sitting.

Arranging books by height

You won’t see a color-arrangement on my bookshelves, sorry. I know that it’s really pretty! I love seeing other people’s shelves arranged by color. But the thought of doing it to my own… No. My books are arranged by height -at least each shelf is. One of my biggest pet peeves is when books in a series don’t match in height.

For example, I have the three bind-ups in the Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan in paperback. For some reason, the second book is significantly shorter than the first and third books. WHY???

Buying a book while traveling

In the past few years, I’ve picked up a habit of buying a book while traveling. For example, I bought a copy of The Lost Girls of Rome while I was in Naples last year. I bought Snakewood while visiting Dublin the year before. I will probably get a book at some point during my trip to Korea and Thailand as well. I really like having these on my shelf because they remind me of the places I’ve been.

I usually stick to one book, unless the trip is bookish in nature like my visit to London in July. I went to London to attend YALC, so I let myself buy more then.

Tabbing and annotating

This is something I started last year, I believe. I try to tab most of the books I read nowadays. I have a color scheme for my tabs so I know which parts I tabbed for which reason. I could make a post about that, if you want to see it, but I don’t think my system is all that special… I use these tabs (the 5 colors micro ones) because they are quite long and thin, and allow me to mark the exact sentence I want to highlight. Let me know if you know of an alternative that’s slightly cheaper! I’ve been looking for other long and thin page markers but I don’t know where to get them.

I never used to write in my books, but it’s something I’m slowing starting back up. I’m only using books I know for a fact I will never get rid of, like my Harry Potter copies. I don’t actually write in them yet, but I have started underlining sentences in it. I did this with my copy of the first HP book when I re-read it in August, and I can’t wait to do it to the others in the series too.

I underlined sentences (with pencil, baby steps!) in Harry Potter when it’s something I wanted to remember or emphasize, but something I either didn’t love enough to tab or when it doesn’t fit with my color system.


Those were some of my bookish habits! Do you have any habits while reading?

5-star predictions

I’ve seen some 5-star prediction posts and videos go up in the past few months, and they always look like so much fun to me. So I wanted to write one too. I’ve taken a look at the books I have on my shelf and my to-read list on Goodreads, and picked some out that I believe will become 5-star reads for me.

The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson // I know I will love this book. There’s no doubt in my mind that I will love this book. Brandon Sanderson creates such fascinating worlds and characters, and so far I have loved every single book of his I’ve read. The only reason I haven’t picked this one up is because it’s so intimidating. It’s been sitting on my shelf, staring at me, for quite a while now.

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) by N.K. Jemisin // Another one I’ve been meaning to read for ages. I don’t have a copy of this yet, so that makes me feel a bit more justified in not having read the book. I really enjoyed the first two books in her Inheritance trilogy, and The Broken Earth seems even more universally loved than that one.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid // I have not seen a single person give this book a bad review or rating. Everyone has put it on their favorite books of the year -or favorite books of the year so far- lists, and I keep seeing it everywhere. It sounds epic, and I hope I will be the next person to fall in love with this book and give it 5/5 stars.

Age of Myth (Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan // I should’ve read this book when it was released -in 2016. I was even anticipating its release, saying it was one of the books I was most looking forward to reading. Here we are, 2 years later, and I still haven’t read it. He’s one of my favorite authors. WHY IS THIS STILL ON MY UNREAD SHELF? Yeah, one of my favorite authors so I expect this to be a 5-star read.

The City of Brass (Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty // Another one I was super excited about reading, but never picked up. Can you see a trend here? I’ve heard people rave about this novel, and I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. From what I’ve heard people say, and the synopsis of the book, I’m fairly certain this will be a 5-star read for me.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera // I have high hopes for this book. In fact, I’m hoping to read it and be able to give it 5 stars. I haven’t read any of Adam Silvera’s works, but I have read and love all of Becky Albertalli’s. Plus, the synopsis of this sounds so adorable and wonderful!


I think I’ll end up loving all 6 of these books. I’m hoping to love them all.
Have you read any of these books?

Which books do you think you’ll give 5 stars once you’ve read them? 

5 non-fiction books I really want to read

Today, I’m talking about non-fiction which doesn’t happen very often on my blog. The vast majority of the books I read is fiction, so obviously they are more represented on my blog. Once in a while though, I get really intrigued by the massive amount of non-fiction books that exist. There’s so much knowledge out there for me to gather! Since I’m in one of those moods currently, I thought I’d talk about 5 non-fiction books I really want to buy and read.

Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, & Criminal in 19th-century New York by Stacy Horn // This is about Roosevelt Island, known as Blackwell Island in the 19th century, where the city would send its ‘insane, indigent, sick and criminal’. I’m curious…

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang // This sounds both like an incredibly funny and sad read. I think I’ll find it funny what people thought constituted a cure for an illness, but I think I will also feel sad that people were subjected to these worst ways to cure everything.

The Cabaret of Plants: Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human Imagination by Richard Mabey // The description of this book states that it is a globe-trotting exploration of the relationship between humans and the kingdom of plants. I’m not sure why I’m so interested in this book, but recently I’ve cultivated a desire to learn more about plants, their history, uses, etc. I’m excited to see what this book will teach me!

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair // I am fascinated by colors, their meaning, and their history. This book encompasses the story of 75 unique shades, dyes and hues across fashion and politics, art and war. Doesn’t that sound incredible? I need to get a copy of this as soon as possible.

A Burglar’s Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh // This book studies architecture from the point of view of someone trying to break in. It states, “Full of real-life heists-both spectacular and absurd-A Burglar’s Guide to the City ensures readers will never enter a bank again without imagining how to loot the vault or walk down the street without planning the perfect getaway.” I feel like I already do that now, after watching Leverage and Now You See Me, so this book sounds fun!


There you have it, 5 non-fiction books I really want to read.
Have you read any of these?

Do you pick up non-fiction every once in a while?