Week 24 Reading Update!

Since it is an ungodly hour on my side of the world this Saturday morning, I thought I might as well make myself useful and post a weekly reading update! As far as my reading goals that I outlined in my BuJo go, I did accomplish (or will shortly accomplish) them!

Yay! I actually set a goal and finished one of them! *pats self on the back*

They weren’t lofty. I merely wanted to finish my current read: Small Country & to start a new book, which I will here shortly with The Death of Mrs. Westaway.

I also discovered this week that I think I need to take a hiatus from my Throwback Thursday: Classic Reads Edition. I got about 66% through my current read for this (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes), and then I decided WHAT AM I DOING?

I really just don’t think I have the mind for classic reads. I struggle with focusing, retaining information, and not allowing my mind to wonder a lot with reading as it is. The classics just seem to amplify these deficiencies, and as a result I am continuously frustrated and disappointed. I might try again later in the year, but I am relieving myself of that pressure to do one classic read a month.

And also, as I discussed with my bookish bestie, classic novels are a bit outdated for our modern minds. We’re used to short snippets, or direct communication. The circumspect style of writing doesn’t really suit the modern reader, unless one is on point with focus and lives and breathes for this sort of writing.

So I am up to 7 on my list of abandoned books. But this is only the second book I abandoned in 2018, and it was also, my second classic read.

Anyway, onto the book I DID finish this week. Small Country: A Novel by Gaël Faye is actually originally in French, but the translation in English read beautifully to me.

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A coming of age story set against the backdrop of a country on the verge of civil war. Our protagonist is ten year old Gaby, a quiet, thoughtful as well as mischievous boy. His childhood is full of pranks he pulls with his friends on their neighbors as well as secret meetings where they smoke cigarettes and drink beer in their fort built out of an abandoned van.

Except the small privileges of childhood that he enjoys are on the verge of ending as the first democratic election has dire consequences in his mother’s homeland of Rwanda, and eventually, in his rather picturesque cul-de-sac.

Told through the eyes of a child, Gaël Faye’s story is full of innocence and humor. His writing style uses rich, descriptive language that makes you feel transported to the suburbs of Burundi.

Each section is short, and employs meaningful anecdotes that drive the action of the plot forward. The story was heartwarming, horrifying, and beautifully written all in one.

It is rare for me to give a story five stars, but this one felt entirely deserving. It’s one of those stories that stays with you and touches your heart deeply after you finish it.

What are some of your 5 star reads for 2018? I am always looking for recommendations! Well if you stumbled upon my blog post, thanks for reading! 

Catch you later, bookworms!

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The Votes Are In!

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So it’s that time of the week again! This time, I thought I would make this announcement a little bit more fun and interactive. I asked you all to vote either through my Twitter or Instagram on what my next classic read should be, and I must say I am surprised and feel very grateful that so many (more) of you voted in this last poll.

A huge thank you to all of you for supporting the content of this post! For without your votes, this wouldn’t  be possible. You are all amazing humans who support this (probably selfish) endeavor of mine to be the best reader & writer I can be. And for that, I want to thank all of you for being so awesome! 🙂

Anyway, the news you are all waiting for. This race was a close one. I didn’t expect certain people to vote the way they did, but I still think its cool to see where everyone else’s interests in books lie also. So that was also kind of fun. Between Twitter & Instagram there were 13 votes!

And the winner is…

The votes were 8-6 in favor of Mr. Holmes here. But for those of you who voted for 1984, fear not. It’s the next on my list for my TBT Classic Edition. 🙂

As for those of you on Team Holmes, you’ll get to read my review for this one in the next couple of weeks!

So what is everyone reading out there? Any of you other bookworms have classics on your TBR? Let me know (if you want, of course)!

Until next time!

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Back with Rambles & Classic Reads

Wow. It has been over a month since I posted anything! A whole month!

I cannot believe how incredibly lax I have become with this blog, especially after all of my goals and reorganization habits that I began only a month or so ago. Anyway, I’m able to rationalize “the why” behind my lack of reading and inactivity, so that in turn tones down my anxiety and depression a bit. Feel free to skip ahead below the cut if you are not interested in hearing my ramblings, but writing through this and getting it off of my chest helps me. If you read it, you’re a special kind of person who deserves all the coffee and cookies.

I determined three major reasons behind my lack of reading and updating this blog over the last month and a half.

  1. I am reading a monster of a book with my best friend as part of our best friend’s book club. And with all of the work/school/extra things we’ve had going on, it’s taking us longer than usual to finish it. It’s a lovely experience, especially since we live on opposite sides of the planet, and really allows us to bond and have those special experiences that “real life friends,” share.
  2. That and the fact that a lot of my reading time has been replaced with marathon training. Yes, me, who has never run competitively in all of my life, is running a relay marathon. I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to sign up for the 6.3 mile leg of the race, but here we are. 52 days til the big race, so I’m trying to set myself up to not have a heart attack in downtown Pittsburgh.
  3. And finally, the third book I was convinced I could finish pretty quickly was lost up until a few days ago. It was a special gift too from the above mentioned friend, so anytime I would sit down to read, I would think about it and feel my anxiety levels increase. So now that I have found it again, I am starting to feel my anxiety levels decrease a bit, and will hopefully finish this book in March.

But hey, in perusing other blogs, I see that I am not alone with mental blocks and struggles when it comes to reading. And so I take some comfort in knowing that this isn’t a deficiency in my character, nor does it make my love of books or reading any less than someone who can finish 20 books each month. If anyone else out there is struggling and reading this, I hope you see that you aren’t alone either. Remember little or some progress, is still progress. 🙂

Now onto the book related content of this post. My next Throwback Thursday: Classic Edition read! See below the cut for what is next on my list.

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Throwback Thursday: Classic Edition

Before I hit the restart button on this blog, I started this thing that I aimed to do every other week called Throwback Thursday: Classic Edition. In an effort to broaden my knowledge on “classic novels,” I thought this would be a fun way for me to track my progress with books from that genre.

After perusing a couple of other blogs the last several weeks, I discovered that this isn’t an entirely original title. I have seen a couple of other people use it, but they use books with a publication date older than the current year for these posts. Which is where I think my participation may differ (or I may still be too new & unaware that it may not) in the sense that I will be featuring a classic novel on this blog every other Thursday.

On the old blog, I started this with a Jane Austen book. Emma was a great read to test this little project out on, and it was also fun because my best friend (the Belgian one) read this, so I could vent all my frustrations and feelings onto her. Thanks, Emma. *waves*

With that being said, I thought, why not continue on with another Austen novel? I have them all (with the exception of Sense & Sensibility) on my Kindle, so even better that I don’t have to pay anything for them! I decided with some help from my friend that I would go with Northanger Abbey.Northanger Abbey Cover Title

So expect to see this pop up on my “Currently Reading,” shelf, and also expect to see some hilarious (in my opinion) comments as I read on. It is satirical, and I think I’m more witty than I probably am, so this should be entertaining if nothing else.

Anyone else read/reading any Austen out there? Was Northanger Abbey ever on your list? Did you like it? Can’t wait to hear if anyone else enjoyed it!

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