QUEER BOOKS I WANT TO READ

Hello! Last year was actually the most successful I have ever been reading wise so I did actually take part in online reading challenges and, this year, I just can’t. I wouldn’t say I’m in a reading slump, there’s just other things I spend my time doing and I don’t leave much room for reading nowadays, but that’s okay! Reading should be enjoyable and not a challenge. Instead, I want to talk about my top ten (or the first ten that come to mind, lets be real) queer books that I want to read soon-ish.

Birthday
Meredith Russo

Literally no idea what this is about, it was an impulse buy because the Waterstones edition has rainbow edges and I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff but I have read another book by this author previously and I believe she is a trans woman? I’m not sure if this book is Ownvoices or not but either way I’m looking forward to getting around to it, eventually.

The Color Purple
Alice Walker

This wasn’t really an impulse purchase as I have wanted to read this for a while but I am still not clear on what this is about. I do think that the writer is black, though, and the book contains some f/f relationships which I am ALL here for. My school sucked and we never got to read books like this. We had to read books by John Steinbeck (sorry if you’re a fan of him but my god they’re so dull).

Wilder Girls
Rory Power

I think the reason I’ve been putting this off is because I’ve heard this is basically a female version of Lord of the Flies (I don’t know how considering that book was about toxic masculinity) and that book was intense and in some parts difficult to read and I guess I’m worried about what I’m getting myself into if I start reading this. Not to say I won’t, because I’m very much looking forward to this one, but…I’m so worried!!

The Priory of the Orange Tree
Samantha Shannon

I think the reasons why I have been putting this one off are pretty clear to everyone. This book is HUGE. Not only that, but I’m not a huge fan of fantasy anyway and I hear the f/f romance in this isn’t a huge part of the book and doesn’t even happen until you’re past the halfway point so if that’s the only reason I want to pick up the book, I’ll probably be disappointed, so I’m waiting to read it for when I’m in a fantasy mood.

Gender Rebels
Anneka Harry

I got this from the Amazon Prime free reads you get monthly and this is the one I’ve chosen. I can’t say I’m 100% certain that it’s queer but I’m pretty sure! I think it speaks about how gender is a construct so I’m hoping for a lot of information on being trans in a world that doesn’t accept that, as even during Pride Month, trans books are often pushed to the back in favor of, more often than not, m/m romances.

Caroline’s Heart
Austin Chant

I believe this book features a trans female love interest and it is written by a trans man, and I’ve heard amazing things about Austin Chant, but I think I’ve had this in my kindle library for a ridiculous amount of time! I prefer reading physical copies so I never reach for my Kindle much but most of the queer books I own are on my Kindle. This one looks so fascinating and different to the other books on my shelf so I’m really interested to finally getting around to it.

Chameleon Moon
RoAnna Sylver

This book has been spoken about ALL over Twitter for it’s great representation of queer people and how unique it is. Plus, it’s written by someone I’m mutual with over there AND she’s autistic so, you know, two birds with one stone. I think I’m worried it won’t live up to the hype and, again, not a huge fan of fantasy (or, I guess, science fiction in this case) and I really have to be in the mood for it so I end up reaching for physical copies over Kindle editions almost every time which is a habit I need to break.

Ida
Alison Evans

Another one that has been in my Kindle library for I don’t even know how long. I think the author is trans, but I’m not sure if the actual content of the book is queer at all. It sounds really interesting as, I believe, it’s about alternative selves in parallel universes which just sounds cool AF. My brain can’t handle science fiction on a regular basis, it’s so unfortunate.

Fortitude Smashed
Taylor Brooke

I think this one is a m/m romance that I wanted to read before her second book in this series, which is a f/f romance. I did start reading this maybe two years ago now and I just couldn’t get into it but the premise was really interesting and I look forward to getting into this in the future, I just wasn’t in the mood for romance back then and I’m more of a romance reader now than I used to be so I’ll deffo be getting around to this at some point within the near future!

Cheerleaders from Planet X
Lyssa Chiauari

I know this is science fiction (of course) and I’m not entirely clear on the content but I believe it has f/f romances within it and I’m super excited about that. I don’t think this is a long one either so I don’t know what’s taking me so long to get around to it but, again, it’ll be on the top of my list when I’m in the mood for some science fiction.

 

So, that’s all the queer books I own that I’m most looking forward to reading (eventually!). I’m upset I haven’t been in much of a reading mood to join in with pride month this year but there’s always next year, isn’t there? It’s been a weird year.

May 2020 Reading Wrap Up

I don’t read much lately and my reading pick ups are sort of…all over the place but oh well! I did enjoy a majority of these. There’s no point in forcing myself to read more books and then not enjoying them! So, here is everything I read in May:

Your Dad Will Do: A Touch of Taboo
Katee Robert

I was in the mood for some smut so decided to read something someone on my Goodreads friends list really enjoyed as she reads smut a lot. It hit everything I ever wanted to read about – her ex-boyfriend cheated on her, so she fucked his dad and literally became his step-mother. Wish fulfillment, and very satisfying.

Theirs for the Night
Katee Robert

This didn’t really hit the spot for me. It was okay, but it was not what I was looking for, and the side plot was a bit…odd? Just not for me.

The (Other) F Word
Variety of Authors

This was a non-fiction book aimed at teenagers who are fat, and I loved it. It’s exactly what I wish I could have read when I was a teenager, as I’ve always been fat and maybe if I had something like this to tell me that was okay it could have prevented a lot of things that have happened. We live in a very fatphobic society and very few actually think of the impacts it has on young minds, especially.

Little Fires Everywhere
Celeste Ng

I don’t know why this took me so long to get to, but it was brilliant. It was so intelligently written. This is a link to the full review I wrote about this, but I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read more by this author. I have high hopes for anything she writes in the future.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Caitlin Doughty

I listened to this on audiobook and I think I would have preferred it had I physically read it, personally, and it took me a pretty long time to get through. It was enjoyable and I really loved reading more about what goes on when you work in a crematorium. I also really enjoyed how Caitlin herself read the audiobook, it gave it a personal touch and you got to hear how she meant to convey her words. There were parts of the book that made me wonder if it was fatphobic or if it just personally made me uncomfortable, but other than that I did enjoy it.

The Library of the Lost and Found
Phaedra Patrick

This was just…okay? It was clear there were supposed to be plot twists that just weren’t, because you could quite clearly see them coming. The domestic violence was also really uncomfortable, and at no point was it addressed that this was abusive. Actually, the opposite. They claimed it was just his way and even went as far as to blame it on her for her actions before she even met him. Super problematic, and not that interesting. I didn’t hate it but I was pretty far away from loving it.

Stim: An Autistic Anthology
Edited by Lizzie Huxley-Jones

This was a short collection of stories and true life stories of other autistic people, It contained poetry, tales and experiences that I really enjoyed. It’s rare that I ever get to pick something up and really relate to the people within it. It’s just a shame that it felt like it was written for neurological people so they can learn about us rather than as something we can relate to.

What to Do When Someone Dies 
Nicci French

That was really disappointing and I feel like I’ve wasted so much time to the end where we weren’t given any answers. She was digging into it for the whole book and the result was just…deflating.

Marvel Comics 1939

I just recently got Marvel Unlimited and I have no idea where to start so I decided to read the first ever comic Marvel published and I enjoyed it a lot. It was obvious it was written 80 years ago, of course, but it was amazing reading the first comic that would soon be one of the biggest franchises of the Western world and become a household name. It’s nice to watch history unfold like that. It kind of makes me emotional.

Good Me Bad Me
Ali Land

This has an awful lot of trigger warnings. Any of them you can think of, this will have it, but it’s probably one of my favourite thrillers of all time and honestly I’m surprised by the lack of hype it has. I’ve seen several brand new copies at my local secondhand book store (when they were open, of course) and it saddens me! If you want to read a really creepy, dark psychological thriller then this is for you! It’s also pretty original, as it’s told from the perspective of the daughter of a Peter Pan serial killer. I would have enjoyed to read more details from what it was like living in that house but I’m also glad there weren’t too much detail, as it was DARK.

Good Omens
Neil Gailman and Terry Pratchett

I really, really enjoyed this one. I’m not sure why it took me so long to get through but it was hilarious and inventive and gave me huge The Good Place vibes, which is one of my favourite TV shows ever (maybe this book is what inspired the show, who knows!). I will say though that in some parts it did ramble and a few things were just…like, if you took it out the book it wouldn’t make a difference? I can’t wait to watch the show, though, I’ll get to it…eventually.

 

That’s everything I read this month! Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them?

WWW Wednesday

I don’t usually do these types of posts but I haven’t posted anything in a while and I’m struggling to think of what to write about, especially since I’m reading books at an incredibly slow pace at the moment. It’s sad that I can’t continue my speed of book reading like I did last year, especially now that I have a lot more time, but there you go.

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words where, every Wednesday, we take the opportunity to answer the three W’s:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

A few things! I’m physically reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gailman. I’m enjoying it so much that I’ll be really sad when it’s over and I have a feeling I’ll re-read this a few more times in the future. It gives me strong The Good Place vibes, as well.

On audiobook, I’m listening to Confessions of a Funeral Director by Caleb Wilde. It’s really interesting so far, I’m enjoying hearing about what goes on behind being a funeral director. I’m really interested in that medical, death section of non-fiction at the moment.

I’ve also been stuck on Emma by Jane Austin for ages. I’m sure I’ve read this before in school and I enjoyed it back then but it’s taking me ages to get through it now, even on audio. I don’t find Emma, as a character, particularly annoying. The writing is just really dense and difficult to get into.

What did you finish reading?

I recently finished reading Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land. It’s the best psychological thriller I’ve read in a long time, honestly. It was really creepy and dark and actually really scared me in some parts which is partly why I went for Good Omens, I needed something light to pick me up from that.

What do you plan on reading next? 

I’m very much a mood reader, I just finish it and then go snooping on my shelves to see what I want to get to. I’m in the mood for a graphic novel/comic book so I might read something from Marvel Unlimited or maybe Monstress, or I might pick up another thriller. We shall see.

 

This was fun! I might do it again next week, we’ll see if this is a weekly occurrence. I just felt like writing so…here you go.

REVIEW // Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

This is not going to be a well written review. Firstly, I suck at writing reviews. Secondly, I haven’t written one in such a long time. Thirdly, this book was a masterpiece and written by someone who went to Harvard so…there’s no way anything I write will be good enough to review something like that. Granted, even if I was smart enough, I couldn’t afford to go there anyway but that’s besides the point. I’m getting very off track.

little fires everywhere

Synopsis 

So, synopsis! This is difficult to write because it was character driven and therefore didn’t really have much of a plot. The plots that were there seemed to be like…side plots to the character driven aspect, if you get what I mean? It starts off with how there is a perfect family and within that perfect family there is Izzy, who burnt the house down. An interesting start, this you can’t deny. It then goes on to set the scene in Shaker Heights in Ohio, which is super rich and neat and perfect. It felt like I was in a Dr Seuss book. Elena Richardson seems to embody everything Shaker Heights represents.

On the opposite side of the scale, there is Mia Warren, an artist and a single mother living on a low income and taking whatever job she can get just to make ends meet. Hence why, when Elena offers her the job to be a housekeeper for the Richardsons, she accepts. Money is money! Mia and Pearl, Mia’s daughter, soon become more than just tenants for the Richardsons. Pearl intertwines herself so much in the Richardsons’ children that she’s practically considered one of the family.

One day, another rich family (Elena’s best friend and her husband) decide to adopt a Chinese – American child. It completely divides up the whole town with it’s controversy. Mia and Elena, of course, end up on different sides of the argument. Elena is determined to win the custody battle, however, and ends up diving into Mia’s past to make sure that she wins.

My Thoughts

Hmm. This is such a complex thing to discuss because…well, I’m just not intelligent enough to, most importantly. It covers a whole wide range of topics from racism to abortion to classicism in such a rarely talented way.

I mean, the first start of the novel was really slow and boring. I suspect this was done on purpose, as it was describing Shaker Heights. It felt like the author designed it on purpose so that we would feel bored and uninspired by this whole town of complete perfection. It really starts to get interesting when Mia is brought in and cracks are popping up here, there and everywhere.

I love the contrast between Mia and Elena. For example, Mia is low income. Elena has so much money, she just throws it around like confetti. Mia is a single mother. Elena has a loving, devoted husband. Elena concentrates on skills using the more academic scale of things, whereas Mia uses creative skills. Etc, etc. This contrast was really important throughout the novel, especially when it came to the custody battle, and how your background can really influence your opinions on things like that.

There was a consistent theme of class throughout the novel. Specifically, how having money seems to mean you have less empathy. Elena was once an outspoken, opinionated women always speaking for others and what she believed was right. The more money she earned and the more her life began to fall into place, the less she spent doing that and the more she spent on doing goodwill so people would think she was a nice person rather than actually being a nice person.

The author also has an absolutely amazing understanding of humanity. Even for people you felt like you should have hated, you ended up feeling sorry for because she made them so human and real. You understood why they did certain things, even when you strongly disagreed with them. You even had sympathy and compassion for characters that, just a chapter before, you wanted to murder.

Mia and Izzy were, clearly, the superior and best characters in the entire thing. I was on their side the whole way through. If I ever had a child, those two are exactly who I hope they turn out to be.

Everything was pretty dark and twisted but, I think, it was handled extremely well and there was lots of room for discussion and allowing us as readers to think about things we may not have considered before. Super, super good and honestly worth the hype!

Real Neat Blog Award

Hello!! I was actually tagged to do this one, so I’m excited because I’m never tagged to do tags. I just see them in my feed and they look interesting and then I do them. I was tagged by Astrid at A Multitude of Musings (astridetal.com). Again, thank you so much and sorry I didn’t see you tagging me!

Onto the questions:

1. What song best describes your personality? 

Probably Quiet from Matilda the Musical. I’m sure you should know by now that I’m autistic. This song perfectly describes what being overloaded is like. It was like being in an autistic mind. I always knew Matilda was autistic, that song really just confirmed it for me.

2. Have you ever studied personality typology? If so, what is your type (MBTI, enneagram, etc)?

I have, but I’ve forgotten. I enjoy taking that test so let me just do it again quickly and come back to write down my answer.

My personality type is a mediator (INFP – T). 100% introverted. 63% intuitive. 79% feeling. 54% prospecting. 99% turbulent.

3. What is the farthest place from home you’ve ever travelled to? 

When I was a young teenager, my grandparents took me and my sister to the Canary Islands. I was a brat the entire time and it was my last holiday, too, so it’s not something I enjoy thinking about.

4. What is/are your favourite colours? 

Pink! I know, shocking.

5. How would you describe your taste in books? 

I like thrillers/horror more than anything. I enjoy first person the most. I also enjoy OwnVoices and especially if that means I can have f/f relationships in there, as well. A lot of representation mixed with horror!

6. Has the global crisis given you more or less trust in your countries government? 

Well, I voted Labour and the Tories are in power. I’m incredibly anti-Tory so it’s not like I had a huge amount of trust in them in the first place, to be completely honest. It’s certainly less, though. I expected nothing from him and he still disappointed me.

7. Do you have any pets? 

I have a cat called Tess! She’s from a rescue, I got her ten years ago and I think she’s about thirteen, I’m not really sure. She’s my little princess. I also have two rats, Quill and Loki, named after characters from The Guardians of the Galaxy. I love them to bits! They’re about a year old now. Loki is chronically ill, but I’m trying to make the rest of his life as enjoyable as I can for him.

8. What is your favourite wildlife animal? 

Oof, I really don’t know! I did animal management in college, and I’ve loved animals since I was a kid really. I couldn’t choose, I love all of them. My favourite animal changes every second.

9. Which of the four seasons accurately describes you? 

Autumn is my favourite season but probably winter because people don’t tend to like me aside from a select few, I’m a rare enjoyment. I can also be quite cold, and miserable.

10. How long have you been blogging? 

I think it’s been nearly three years now! I’ve been blogging a lot longer than that, since I was in my late teens, but I’ve only been active on this blog for about three years.

 

I don’t really know how this tag works and if I’m meant to pick the questions to ask you, so if you want to do this tag then you can answer the same questions I did! I have nobody to tag so, if you want to do this, then go ahead! It was certainly interesting and something different to what I usually write about on my blog.

 

 

 

The Stuck at Home Book Tag /

Hello! Sometimes, I scroll down my readers section just for inspiration on what to post and I came along this! I haven’t done a tag in a while or, really, anything so here we are!!

The Rules

  • Thank the person that nominated you (I don’t have friends, so nobody nominated me! I just wanted to do it)
  • Answer all the questions down below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn @Allonsythornraxx
  • Nominate five other book bloggers to do this tag (if you want to do it, then just do it! I don’t have anyone to tag, haha!)

1. What Are You Currently Reading? 

I am reading The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick which follows a young girl who volunteers at a library. Her grandmother passed a few years earlier but, one day, a book of fairy tales turns up with a mysterious message hinting that her grandmother is actually still alive.

I’m also listening to Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty on audiobook. This is a non-fiction book following Caitlin who works in a funeral home. I’m really enjoying it so far! (Even though it did call someone “pleasantly plump”

2. What’s Your Favourite Can’t Leave The House Activity?

I’m enjoying Animal Crossing: New Horizons, along with literally everyone else! I like reading, as well, obviously. I’ve been watching movies and building Lego. I have a few boxes of puzzles I’ve been meaning to get around to, as well, but I haven’t yet. This is mostly because I don’t have much room in my house to build a puzzle. I’m starting to get bored!

3. A Book You’ve Been Meaning to Read Forever? 

A majority of books on my bookshelves, I’ll be honest.

4. An Intimidating Book on Your TBR?

the priory of the orange tree

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon! It’s a beautiful book and I originally bought it because of the f/f relationship which you pretty much never see in fantasy, but the problem is that the book is massive and even with all the time I have on my hands I’ll probably never get around to reading it.

5. Top Three Books on Your TBR

chimera

Hmm! I want to read the third and final book in the Parasite trilogy by Mara Grant, and I also want to get around reading the available books in the Wayward Children series (those available on Scribd, that is!). I also want to read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath! I think I’ll really enjoy it.

6. Recommend a Short Book

your dad will do

Your Dad Will Do by Katee Roberts! I wouldn’t read it if you don’t want to read something that is basically porn but it has a lot of emphasis on consent and, well, she has sex with her ex boyfriends dad to get back at him for cheating on her and if that won’t make you happy than I don’t know what will.

7. Recommend a Long Book

I don’t really read long books! The longest book I’ve read recently that I also happened to really enjoy was Parasite by Mara Grant!

8. Something You’d Love to Do While Stuck at Home? 

Write a list of all the stuff I want to do when lockdown is over!

9. What Book Do You Plan on Reading Next?

I’m not the type of person who plans what to read next. I’m very much a mood reader so I just look around and see what is appealing to me and then I just pick that one up! I wish I could plan a TBR as then I would just get through a lot more of my older books on my shelf.

I have nobody to tag but, again, if you want to do it without being tagged consider this your sign!

April 2020 Movie/TV Show Mini Reviews!

I watched eleven movies this month that I’ve never seen before and no new TV shows! This may change soon as Disney + is now installed on my downstairs TV as well as my bedroom TV. I have watched a lot of movies that I have seen before but I didn’t want to include them, as well as TV shows. I’m only including movies and TV shows that I’ve never seen before. So, the month of April, here are the movies I got around to watching and what i thought of them (in my very unprofessional view):

Star Wars: Episode Four, A New Hope

I hate how much I love this after I spent so much time saying I would never be a fan of Star Wars. After this, I am now a fan of Star Wars. I’m writing this the day after I saw it, so I haven’t seen any of the others yet (aside from the one with Rae in, I have seen that one before). I’m pretty sure my opinion won’t change, though, because now I have a little crush on Carrie Fisher. It was incredible and I understand why it has so much hype now. Also, I love the robots. They’re hilarious.

Star Wars: Episode Five, The Empire Strikes Back 

This one I expected not to like as much as the first one but I liked it just as much, maybe even more! It was a whole rollarcoaster from the start till the end. Plus, we got to meet Yoda! The romance between Leia and Han happens, and a lot of famously quoted scenes in pop culture happened and now I know the references. It’s a shame I couldn’t have watched these long ago because I could have had many more years to enjoy them and I wouldn’t have been spoiled for so much. I think we all know what happens in Star Wars even if we have never seen them.

National Treasure 

I only watched this because I didn’t want to watch the last original series movie yet, I was too nervous, and this has been on my radar for a little bit. I didn’t enjoy the first half but, by the second half, I did really start to get into it. The first half was more of a comedic bank robbery type of movie, which really isn’t my thing at all. The next half was more of what I sign up for. Action and intensity and a little bit of history and “magic”, as well. I’ll be watching the second movie, even though this wasn’t my favourite.

Star Wars, Episode Six: Return of the Jedi

I really, really enjoyed this, although it absolutely wasn’t my favourite of the trilogy. There were parts that were a little boring and it overall wasn’t as hooking as the first two were. Also, the part where Princess Leia was a slave made me pretty uncomfortable (but she did look super good in that outfit, I can’t deny that). It was a pretty good end to a really good series. Now it’s time to watch the other Star Wars movies! Lets see how they compare

Star Wars, Episode One: Phantom Menace

I enjoyed the original trilogy much better than this one. I didn’t hate it or even dislike it, it just wasn’t as hooking or engaging so it put me off seeing the rest of the first episodes. I’m not even entirely sure what happened because I had difficulty paying attention, which is a huge disappointment.

Child’s Play (2019 remake)

I was nervous to watch this because the original Child’s Play is one of my favourite horror movies. It was actually really good, though, and I liked how the storyline is a little different from the original as well. It was like watching a different movie rather than watching the same movie with different actors which is what a lot of remakes are, and I don’t see the point in that. It was a bit gory, though, and gore isn’t my favourite but what did I expect from a movie about a killer doll?!

Three Identical Strangers 

This wasn’t a movie, this was a documentary, but I’m going to add this here anyway. It’s about three identical twins who were separated when they were six months old and sent to live with different families where they weren’t told about each other. They didn’t find each other until they were twenty and when they looked into why, and it was actually pretty horrifying. Trigger warnings for suicide, Nazi-type ideas and mental illnesses.

Thriller

I loved the diversity in this as it was an all-black cast as opposed to an all-white cast so I don’t really want to critque it as it wasn’t a movie made for me. It was pretty good though although I didn’t enjoy it that much, it’s not my favourite.

Welcome to Mercy

I still don’t really know what happened here. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but watching horror movies just to end up feeling confused aren’t my favourite. I think the movies that do the “I want to make you think” are just being lazy and can’t come up with an ending by themselves. Despite this, I did quite enjoy this. I’ll probably watch it again in the future, maybe I’ll understand it better the second time round.

Star Wars, Episode Two: Attack of the Clones 

I don’t remember what happened in this movie which probably tells you everything. I can remember some bits and pieces, though, and those I did enjoy. Overall, it was probably a 7/10 for me, but I may be tainted purely because I loved the three originals so much. I like watching how Darth Vader went to the dark side. Also, more Yoda! Jar Jar Binks doesn’t annoy me, either, and I really thought he would.

The Willoughbys 

What a fun little movie! This is available on Netflix and it’s just fun and cute, and feel good. I liked it a lot, and I’ll be watching this again in the future, especially when I need a pick me up! I love animated kids movies like this and there aren’t enough good ones.

 

So, that’s everything I watched this month! What do you think of my choices? Have you seen them?