If you are among the people that read this blog semi-regularly, you’ll have noticed that the amount of posts have plummeted in the past two or three months. This dip in posts usually happens to me at least once a year, and I have come to the realization that it’s just how my cycle of inspiration and creativity works: rather than one continuous stretch, it comes in BURSTS. Churning out content in between isn’t impossible for me, but it comes less natural and I enjoy the writing process a lot less.
With less blog inspiration usually also comes a reading slump. And BOY was I in a reading slump the past few months. In June, I read ONE book. Kind of a big one, but still. The previous months I had read six to eight books. It’s fine, I don’t pressure myself to read because it is a hobby and it should be enjoyable. Instead, I picked up a drawing hobby! If you follow my Instagram, you’ve probably seen some of my artsy projects!
Luckily I’m getting out of my reading slump now. And that has everything to do with the fact that I have finished school for the year! I managed to get 60 credits this year, the maximum obtainable, which means I’m getting something called a propaedeutic diploma – and this is making it possible for me to fulfill a big dream of mine: I’m going to law school in September!
Something else that helped me get out of my reading slump is the fact that I have finally moved to the city of Rotterdam. I grew up in a small town south of the city, and had a two hour commute every day just to make it to my college. But hey, that’s finally over now! This also means I’ve moved out of my parent’s place, and I’m on my own for the first time ever. It feels weird, but I also know in my heart that it was time to get my own place. I needed the independence. I’m currently writing this on my balcony, and if I look to my left I see my new, beautiful bookcase you can also see at the top of this blog post. If that doesn’t make you excited to pick up a book, I don’t know what will. 🙂
Since so much has been changed in my life the past few months, I really felt the need to update you. It just doesn’t feel right to resume my usual blog post scheduling without letting you know what has been going on and why it has been a little more quiet on here. But now, I am reading again! Which also means I’m writing again.
I will be the first to say I’m not a fan of ecosmugness, but I am a fan of being ecoconscious and ecofriendly. But is it even possible to be ecofriendly as a (mostly physical) book lover? Shouldn’t we all just buy an ereader?
According to The Guardian, Using an Amazon Kindle to full storage capacity means you will offset the emissions caused by its manufacture in a year. Keep it longer and you save 168kg of CO2 per year (the amount produced by 22.5 real books, and we know us book lovers read much more than that). It’s said that those who swapped to an ereader between 2009 and 2012 cumulatively prevented release of 9.9bn kg CO2 emissions in total.
According to the same article, it’s estimated that the US book industry consumed approximately 30 million trees in a single year. This had a carbon footprint of approximately 12.4m metric tons of carbon dioxide. Shocking numbers? I thought so too.
Sooo.. I should probably buy an ereader now?
Hold on, not so quick. A study done by the New York Times found that one ereader requires the extraction of 33lb of minerals. This includes Coltan, a metallic ore that is in part derived from Congo, where the production has helped fuel the war. Add about 300 litres of water (79 gallons) and 100 kilowatts of Fossil Fuels to that, and you got an ereader. Books only need a fraction of those resources, and no Coltan at all. Continue reading “Collecting Books and Being Conscious of The Environment: is it Even Possible?”
Title: Mindhunter: Inside The FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit
Author: John Douglas & Mark Olshaker
Genre: True crime, memoir
Publication date: August 1995
“Behavior reflects personality. The best indicator of future violence is past violence. To understand the “artist”, you must study his “art”. The crime must be evaluated in its totality. There is no substitute for experience, and if you want to understand the criminal mind, you must go directly to the source and learn to decipher what he tells you. And, above all: Why + How = Who.”
True crime is my thing. I do not shy away from murder, rape, and the details that go along with it. To some people that might seem weird and twisted, but there is something about the mind of a criminal – especially serial killers – that is inherently fascinating to me.
Let this book be exactly about that. Special Agent John Douglas helped pioneer behavioural science and criminal profiling in the FBI. For 25 years, he researched killers and their modus operandi. An important part of his research was conducted speaking directly to killers about their own crimes and analysing their behaviour in the interrogation room. Continue reading “Book Review: Mindhunter by John Douglas”
We’ve all read them – books that we once read and liked (or disliked..) and now don’t remember ANYTHING about. I have books that I read over a decade ago that I still remember a lot about now, and some books I’ve read a month ago and I can’t even remember the main character’s name.
If a book doesn’t stay with me, that is usually an indication of how much I enjoyed it, and how original the story was in my opinion.
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne
Yeah… so what is this book even about? I remember a few girls that were in a group or something, and there was a blog.. or is that Holly Bourne’s other book? The problem I have with her books is that the characters don’t feel very distinctive. They’re all kind of the same in my head.
Cress by Marissa Meyer
So, I love the Lunar Chronicles, but this one I barely remember! I remember that Cress lived on a spaceship.. I think? And she had long hair, which is obvious considering she is supposed to be Rapunzel. But I don’t remember anything about her character or the relationships she had. I am actually planning to reread the series as a whole, but I haven’t been in the mood for reading in general. (Great, I love reading slumps). Continue reading “The 5 Most Forgettable Books I Have Ever Read”
A while back I wrote a blogpost titled Why I Dislike Most Young Adult Books and it sparked a lot of interesting discussion in the comment section and on Twitter.
Young Adult fiction is very well loved in the book community and although I don’t hate all YA books – some of my all-time faves are YA books – I’ve become very picky with them. There are a few things I really love in YA fiction that almost instantly make me enjoy a book that much more. If you know of any YA books that utilize these tropes in a good way, don’t hesitate to recommend them to me in the comments!
Great family dynamics
The family dynamic in The Hate U Give was my favorite part of the book. I love a good family-oriented book in which the main character receives support from their family. Still too often do I find books that kill off a family member just to make the plot work, or the main character does not have a great relationship with their family, usually as an excuse as to why no one tells them they need to go to school instead of leading a revolution.
Books without romance
To piggyback off of my wish for more great family dynamics, I would like to see more books without romance. Instead, let me see platonic friendships! Let me see how a character goes through change all by themselves, without the romance taking credit for some (if not all) of it! Continue reading “7 Things I Want to See More of in Young Adult Fiction”
In my opinion, nothing can quite capture my love for books like a story that has books as one of its central themes. Even as a child, I loved books, but there was no one in my immediate surroundings who shared that love.
Luckily that has changed! But because of that, I started seeking out books that explored this love for books within the stories, and some of them ended up being my favorites!
The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. If you know one thing about me, it’s that The Shadow of the Wind is one of my all-time favorite books. It’s gorgeous, flowery writing, Barcelona setting and coming-of-age story will never be boring to me. This book, and the entire series, revolves around something called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. This library is tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Our main character Daniel gets a book from this cemetery, and completely falls in love with it – something we can all relate to.
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Oh boy, do I remember loving this series as a kid. Inkheart is the story of twelve-year-old Meggie. Her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can “read” fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service. Inkheart is a middle-grade (or Young Adult on the ‘young’ side of the spectrum) novel, but don’t let that stop you. The story is complex and the characters are well fleshed out! Continue reading “My Favorite Books About Books”
Title: The Fact of a Body
Author: Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
Genre: True crime, memoir
Publication date: May 16th 2017 by Flatiron Books
The Fact of a Body is one of those books that is hard to categorize: it’s part memoir, part true crime book. A disturbing story about the murder of a young boy – but also much more than that.
It’s hard to say where this story starts and where it ends. Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, and she thinks her decisions and opinions are clear. She is against the death penalty. She does not want anyone to die. As the daughter of a lawyer, this is an opinion she has lived by ever since she knew what it meant.
But then she dives into the case of Ricky Langley, a pedophile and child murderer convicted of the murder on six-year-old Jeremy Guillory. She hears his voice, sees his taped confession, reads his files. And the moment his faces flashes on the screen Alexandria knows: she wants Ricky Langley to die. She is shocked by her reaction, which only makes her dig into this case deeper.
We unravel the story of Ricky, which is written in a way that it feels like a novel. Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich used all the files and documents she could get her hands on to reconstruct his life. And although no facts have been altered, the author – as she says it – ‘layered her own imagination on the bare-bones record of the past to bring it to life.’
And as we unravel the story of Ricky Langley, we also unravel the painful story of Alexandria herself. We get an exceptionally intimate account of her childhood, about the sexual abuse and loss she dealt with at a young age, and about how her family dealt with these dark secrets.
Through her story, we learn how Alexandria’s past impacts her present. How the things she has been through affect her view of Ricky and the law in general. This impactful story rattled my insides, it made me feel sick and unsettled after I finished it. Yet it’s also one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. Continue reading “Book Review: The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich”