Book reviews

Book review: Becoming by Michelle Obama

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I was never hugely into audiobooks, but I have finally found a kind that I like: autobiographies narrated by the person the book is about. ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama is exactly what I was looking for.

This story, told in chronological order, starts when Michelle is just a kid. Of course, I knew a little bit about the former first lady before I listened to this, but not a whole lot. I loved the portrayal of the south side of Chicago, and learning how Michelle dealt with a world that was – and is – divided in so many ways. I loved hearing about her father and how his disability was handled in the family.

I was hoping to also learn about how Michelle handled law school, as I’m currently in law school myself. Unfortunately, she kind of skipped over this part. It’s funny, because Michelle never wanted to be a lawyer. It was super interesting to hear how her career went as she steered away from law as someone with a law degree. In that way, I still got something out of that portion of the book. Continue reading “Book review: Becoming by Michelle Obama”

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personal

Celebrating three years on this blog & a thank you

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I made this blog somewhere in January 2016, after not loving the blog I was writing before. I have since learned that this is just something that I go through, loving and not loving my blog. It’s part of my creative process and just something I have to deal with.

I’d say my blog definitely grew a lot over the years . I started out writing little anecdotes about my life, about life lessons I learned or funny conversations I’ve had. I then started to write more about personal development as I was entering adulthood. Reading is something I’ve always loved, so I started to enjoy writing more about that. These days my blog is about books, but definitely also about my personal life. A healthy balance. Continue reading “Celebrating three years on this blog & a thank you”

Book reviews · Bookish posts

Should we stop writing negative book reviews?

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It seems that the bookish community has had a shifting opinion on the idea of book reviews and what they should be. It might just be my tiny Twitter bubble, but it seems to be that more and more people think that writing negative book reviews is rude. And that if you didn’t like a book, you shouldn’t write about it, or even rate the book at all.. Continue reading “Should we stop writing negative book reviews?”

Bookish posts · personal

My 2019 Reading Goals

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After updating you on how I did on my 2018 reading goals, I thought it would be only fitting to let you know what I’m planning on working on during 2019. I loved holding myself accountable through the blog posts I have written about my goals. Here’s to 2019. 🙂

Goal 1: read all the books I still have on my physical TBR
Right now, I have about ~23 books on my shelves that I haven’t read yet. In 2019, I finally want to read most, if not all of them. Of course, I will probably also buy a bunch of books this year. I’m not counting these as part of the physical TBR, however, I do want to end up with less books on my physical TBR at the end of the year than I started with.

Goal 2: diversify my reading even more
In 2018, I think I did a pretty good job diversifying my reading. But at the same time, I think I started to see some holes into the diversity I did read. So, in 2019, I want to focus specifically on the following:

  • Read more books by black authors and with black main characters
  • Read more books with disabled characters
  • Read more books set in Australia and Africa.

Goal 3: read more classic fantasy
Here’s a confession for ya: I have never read a Brandon Sanderson book in my life. I want to get more into fantasy in 2019. I always see those ”top 100 best fantasy books” lists online with the same books on them. So yeah, I think it’s time to read some of those. Continue reading “My 2019 Reading Goals”

Bookish posts · personal

2018 Reading Goals Wrap Up: how did I do?

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At the beginning of this year, I made a post with some of my (unconventional) reading goals for this year. And then, in the middle of the year, I wrote a mid year goal update. Since the end of the year is upon us, I thought it was time to wrap-up my goals and see how I’ve done.

Goal 1: stop worrying about how much I’ve read, or haven’t read
In 2018, I wanted to get rid of the feeling of competitive reading. As I said in my original post, I sometimes feel pressured to read ”x amount of books” and it can stress me out. In my mid-year check-up I said that I found it SO hard to let go of the pressure I put on myself to read a ton of books. But since I went back to school in September, it’s been easier because I’ve had less time to think about it. I ended up reading 42 books this year. I was silently hoping to get 52, but I’m okay with not reaching that number.

For 2019, I’m putting my Goodreads challenge at 1 book. This way, my Goodreads will still track all the books and pages I read, but I won’t pressure myself in reading a certain amount of books. I really want to focus on the quality of the books I read instead of the quantity.

Goal 2: read more classic novels
Let’s make a list of all the classic novels I read this year:

  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Although I’m quite happy with this list, I do realize this list is just as long as it was during my mid-year reading update. I haven’t read any more classics since making that post! I think part of that has to do with starting law school and wanting to only read ‘easy’ fiction. I do have a few more classics on my shelf, which I will list on in my upcoming 2019 goals post. Continue reading “2018 Reading Goals Wrap Up: how did I do?”

Book reviews · Bookish posts

The 6 most disappointing books I (attempted to) read in 2018

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As of right now, I have read 42 books this year. I was on track to break 50, but then law school happened and it all went downhill from there. But hey, 42 books is still great! And many of those books were wonderful. Others, not so much.. Today I want to share the books that disappointed me this year.

‘Disappointing’ doesn’t mean they were the worst books that I came across this year, it simply means I had just such high hopes for them and ended up not loving them nearly as much as I had hoped.

Schermafbeelding 2018-04-30 om 15.03.46The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
In 2018 I finally tried to get into Maggie Stiefvater and it did not go well. I always say that I need to understand the motive of the characters to care about the story and that’s where this book completely fell flat for me. Some rich spoiled private school kids search for a Welsh King and somehow it has to do with psychic energy but like, why? I made it halfway through and it’s still not clear. Which made me not excited to pick this back up again.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret AtwoodSchermafbeelding 2018-12-23 om 16.49.08
I wanted to be blown away by this book SO BAD. But I just wasn’t. A story set in a theonomic military dictatorship formed within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America. But I just felt so MEH about the execution. The first 100 pages or so are kind of slow, and we don’t really learn about much at all. I just felt like I was groping around in the dark, trying to figure out what was going on and how we got there. Continue reading “The 6 most disappointing books I (attempted to) read in 2018”

Life

I’m Instagram Tired: 5 ‘Pro Tips’ I Refuse to Follow

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I know, I know. It seems like every blogger or ‘social media person’ has been annoyed with Instagram lately. It all seemed to start when the algorithm changed. Instagram went from a chronological feed to a ‘show best posts first’ feed (I’m sure there’s a fancy word for that, but you get it.) This seems to be a trend among social media platforms. And from their standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. Personalize a feed so users see more posts that they actually like. The users will then spend more time on your platform, and (hopefully) generate more revenue.

That, combined with Instagram Stories and IGTV (does anyone even still use that?!?) really did change Instagram. But my beef with the platform is not so much the less likes I’m getting on a picture. Honestly, I couldn’t care less about that. It’s how it changes the content other people upload. The whole platform feels less genuine, and it seems that everyone is catering their content to what Instagram wants it to be now, instead of sharing what they actually want to share. I can’t blame them, but there are a few things I refuse to participate in..

Pro Tip #1: Follow people so they follow you
Follow-for-follow is huge on every platform (Twitter follow trains anyone?) but Instagram is especially bad. I already know that when I’m followed by someone who has a bigger amount of following and does not follow a lot of people themselves, they will unfollow me as soon as I follow them (and if I don’t, they will also unfollow me). I just don’t like this stuff. I follow someone if I like their content, regardless if they follow me back or not. And I would like for people to do the same with me.

Pro Tip #2: Comment on everyone’s posts
A while back it seemed like bots on Instagram became all the rage. For some reason whenever you’d use a hashtag (even one!) you’d get comments that were just ”Cute!” or a random emoji. I think most people know this by now, but these comments are completely botted. People see it as a way to get their account out there but it sucks, especially if someone posts a sad update. A while back one of my friends posted an Instagram post of their grandmother, who was recently admitted to the hospital. The first comment on the post was a heart-eyes emoji.

Pro Tip #3: Post every day around the same time
If I snap a pic I like I want to post it now. That’s just how my mind works. I guess if I have a ton of pics I like, I will keep some in my catalogue for later. But most of the time I’m too impulsive to wait with my pics. If I don’t do that, that just takes the ”insta” out of instagram for me. Continue reading “I’m Instagram Tired: 5 ‘Pro Tips’ I Refuse to Follow”