book review · books · shanti

Non Fiction mini-reviews

Hi Virtually Readers! I’ve been suuuuuper absent from the blogging world because literally everything else in my life has taken priority. I’ve still been reading though and am kinda sticking to a library ban. But that’s okay, I’m not gonna apologise too much. But here are some of the non-fiction books I’ve read recently, which is al ot, because I’ve hardly been reading YA which is weird, but here we are. I also will have some separate posts on Dr. Huxley’s Bequest, which will *hopefully* be my next blogging week at the end of October. It never rains but it pours, so this post is super long haha.

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books · features · shanti

What I look for in genres

Hi Virtually Readers! I’ve been thinking about genre in books a lot lately because I’m taking an English course that is essentially about genre. We’ve talked about romance, gothic, romantic comedies, and we’re about to start detective stories. I’m really appreciating some of the things this is making me think about–especially the conclusion that there is no such thing as a ‘pure’ genre. All stories use elements from different genres. For instance, the book ‘Trouble is a Friend of Mine’ is ostensibly a mystery story, but it also has elements of comedy and horror. I thought that I’d talk a little bit about what I look for in different genres, and some of my favourite books from each of those.

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books · discussions · not books · Shar

On science, reading, and why I’ve been getting into more nonfiction of late

^^^ I hope this post lives up to its title hahaha I titled if before I started writing. As you may know, I’m a science student. Most of the book bloggers I know that have been/are at university are doing arts. This post is about why science people often disregard reading (fiction) and why I think this is silly.

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books · shanti · tags

Beautiful People: Favourites

hahaha I thought I was gonna revise Lighter Places in April. That has not happened, alas (though I guess April isn’t all over yet and I have holiday rn so we’ll see). However I do have a good idea of how to change the plot to make it way way less cliched and therefore much much better so, in honour of that I’m joining in with Beautiful People. And it’s the last Beautiful People, unfortunately.Beautiful is hosted by Cait, of Paper Fury and Sky, of Further Up and Further in.

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book review · books · shanti

Untidy Towns: SO IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK

H LOOK IT’S MY NEW FAVOURITE BOOK. And it’s the only contemporary on my favourite books list. You know how sometimes you read a book at exactly the right time? That was this book for me. Also, shoutout to the wonderful Sarah @WrittenWordWorlds, who convinced me to read this book in her review. Basically, this story nails the uncertainty inherent in a new stage of life, and just captures the rhythm of being a teenager perfectly.

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Circular ramblings for the end of the week

By Shar

The most recent books I finished this week were The Circle, which I mentioned in another post, and the Yiddish Policeman’s union, which was for school. (That was this week? What? It was sooooo long ago. Oh well). I also spent a lot of time reading my history textbook for catchup work, which was dense and boring, and also All the Bright Places by Jennnifer Niven, which I was listening to on audiobook while I did colouring in for my mother (let’s just say it’s a long story).

Random Fact about me: I have a very bad habit of reading a lot of books at once. I’ve been in the middle of 5 at one time… which was very bad. This is because I tend to randomly pick up books rather than make a TBR. That would be too stressful. If I joined Goodreads. I suspect this might change… one reason why I don’t join it. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD IS AMAZING!!!!! sorry, what was I saying? Oh yes.

Right now I’m in the middle of All The Bright Places and Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods.

SO now time for some mini reviews of the books I read/am reading this week

The cat wasn't as interested in literature as curling up by the fire
The cat wasn’t as interested in literature as curling up by the fire

The Circle: It’s about witch girls in a small insignificant Swedish town. I liked the swedish references, like the Santa Lucia festival, which I once did a bit before Christmas with my swedish friends. Anyway, they find out they’re subjects of a big prophecy and are super powerful and important, and someone’s trying to kill them, and they all have to work together. What’s good: Multiple perspectives are awesome. Also the way they really don’t want to cooperate and get through their differences, and I didn’t expect the bad guy to be who it was. The Bad: The deaths seemed sudden and didn’t have any foreshadowing, so I couldn’t believe that they had died, or whether it was made up or what. Also, (SPOILER) I didn’t like killing off the main characters. 3 stars

The Yiddish Policeman’s union by Michael Chabon: I read this for schoolwork but it’s about a homicide policeman with issues in a fictional Jewish State called Sitka. He’s investigating a murder seemingly in cold blood which leads him around the district in a interesting mystery that’s about a lot more than a dead man. The Good: Lovely characters, I learned some about Jewish culture,the language was kinda sarcastic like Eoin Colfer’s but also had some great metaphors I had no idea where the plot was going BUT The Bad: I didn’t get a lot of the Jewish/Yiddish references, which is probably why I didn’t follow the references or see where the plot was going, it was a bit adult for my tastes,  4 stars

Yeah, my animals aren't the literary types. More the.. I love sleeping by the fire types.
Yeah, my animals aren’t the literary types. More the.. I love sleeping by the fire types.

Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods by Rick Riordan (but who else would have written it, seriously?): I like learning greek myths, I like his voice, but some of this stuff is so weird. Also, like I said about The Battle of the Labyrinth, some of the comments are stupid and unnecessary. But Rick Riordan as good as ever. Some of those stories are sooooo weird too. 3.5 or 4 stars, withholding judgment until the ending

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: Theo Finch is a lot like Michael Holden. Cute contemporary, but also interesting, and messed up. Violet’s still reeling from her sister’s death, Theo just can’t fit in and nobody understands him. So far it’s really sweet, but also… interesting. The boy narrator’s voice annoys me. Oh well. No stars until ending.

Audiobook! And gloves because why not?
Audiobook! And gloves because why not?

Traditions and Encounters volume three: Who even reviews boring dense textbooks that I have to chug through for AP world history.

Other stuff I did this week:

Watched Sherlock season 2 (I’d already watched Hound of Baskervilles so we didn’t watch that.) Shanti saw us watching it and then told me the ending of the last episode, which also happened to be the only Sherlock episode she’d ever watched. I had to go to bed about 10 minutes before it ended, I’ll have to finish it another time. Sherlock is a grammar nerd like me… it’s so funny but occasionally scary.

Did a whole lot of stupid catch up maths work on fascist Khan academy. Arhghghghgh I hate it.

Every Breaking Wave by U2 is currently my favourite song. Oh wait… that’s not something I did

Sat outside in the sun and read

Went running every day except Saturday. Sometimes my dog came with me, but sometimes he was lazy and traitorous and decided not to.

Went on lots of walks- Living in a hill station in the Indian Himalaya’s, you can basically only go up or down. Wherever you go, there’s uphill, which I don’t like. I run along the basically flat countours of the hill and I don’t really get out of breath, but going uphill I do so I can’t be that fit.  Also we went on a firewood collecting hunt, where 8 of us all together carried 133 kg of firewood up and down a hill to out house. It was fun… NOT… but kinda?

Visited my mother’s mental health project which was interesting, and good for my Hindi skills

Played flute… not enough I really need to practice more. BAD SHAR! NO! YOU MUST PRACTICE!!

My flute case... because what else can you do with stickers
My flute case… because what else can you do with stickers

What was the highlight of your week? Have you had no school since 10 november??? ( I have 3 weeks left until doom. Or is it two?) Do you have pets? Go running? Read lots of books at once? I’m terribly curious…

Peace out (was that a weird ending? No? I didn’t even edit this post whoops. Oh look I have a new ending. Okay… I’m weird…)

Oh We’re going to Sri Lanka for two weeks on Tuesdays so we’ll have to schedule posts for then

THE OFFICIAL END

NO, I’M THE OFFICIAL END

NO I AM

stop arguing guys! I have to go and have a shower!

So now do you think I’m weird