Hi Virtually Readers! The other day I was writing a review that I’d started two weeks after finishing the book, then left half finished. By the time I’d finished it, it had been more than a month and I had forgotten one of the main character’s names, as well as a lot of the minor plot points. To be honest I forget the details of most books I read—a year after I’ve finished it, only a few slightly random snippets of information will remain. So this got me wondering: is it still worth reading a book if you’re not going to remember it? Continue reading “Is it still worth reading if you don’t remember it?”
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about whether it is a book bloggers responsibility to promote reading, and if you want to know my thoughts on that, go read the post! but I also promised to write a post about book bloggers responsibilities in general, and this is that post. What are a book blogger’s responsibilities? After all, this is something we do by choice; not just reading, but reading and then making things out of it. Do we have any obligations? And what does that mean for me?
You are on a bus, and you see that someone a few seats ahead of you is reading a book. You peer around, looking for the cover. It’s a book you’ve read! Someone else is discovering words you love right now, and you’re witnessing it. What a glorious sight. But then the question comes: should you talk to them? what do you say?
So, I have a bit of a reputation for talking about light pollution. Like, a lot. Like, start a conversation with me about anything apart from university, and withing three minutes we’ll be onto a) books, b) light pollution, or c) GDPR (In other news, I’m a delight at parties and make everyon want to be my friend). And one of the things I talk about when I talk about light pollution is about how the places without light pollution are out in the wilds; the places I go tramping (or ‘hiking’ if you’re American) to. The sky is a place of perpetual wilderness, but too often we can’t see that because we are immersed in the small lights of our own creation. (that was deep). So, I loved that this book talked a lot about the value of wildeneress and stars. It also had excellent character development and lots of complexity. I’m participating in the blog tour for this book today, which I’m really excited about, thanks to Simon and Schuster Australia , who gave me a copy of the book.
Sometimes I wish I was magical and could lay curses on people. Not, like, deadly curses. But just enough ones so that it’s really annoying. (this was a feature in a book I read in the last five months but I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS BUT IF YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT PLEASE TELL ME THE TITLE). Anyway, if the person who you want to curse is a reader, here are some gentle suggestions. And if anything like this has happened to you recently, you might want to think about who would have a reason to curse you.
- The Book Slump Curse
This is a pretty basic one. Chant ‘you won’t finish any books/and no new ones will take your fancy/the book slump has its hooks in you’ five times while balancing a book on your head and sitting in a library.
- The Character Names Sound the Same and You Won’t Remember Who is Who Curse
Make a broth of ink and willow tree leaves, and pour a ladle of it out at all of the cardinal directions around where the reader lives, starting with East, then North, and so on. They won’t remember the character names and will be confused and it will seriously detract from their experience of the book. Mwahahaha.
- The Stress Induced by Getting Too Many Books From the Library and/or Publishers
Rip up a calendar and write YOU HAVE TO READ OR ELSE YOU WILL LET EVERYONE DOWN on the scraps of paper. Then find the readers TBR (or e-reader case) and slip the paper in between the pages. Guaranteed 100% success rate.
- The Wait Is This a Sequel Curse
Open goodreads on your device of choice, then shake your device gently, humming the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song and pausing every three minutes to mutter you can’t tell if it’s a sequel or not. After fifteen minutes, the information about whether the book in question is a sequel or not will disappear from Goodreads. Note: it will disappear for both you and the person you’re trying to curse, so make sure that you don’t get hurt by the curse. Note 2: You must be friends (on Goodreads) with the cursee for this to work.
- the There Are A Lot of Books in the World curse
This curse works by overwhelming the reader with how many books they’ll never be able to read. This is most effectively caused by leading them to a library, or a bookshop, but can also be achived by recommending them books in oblique ways. I recommend writing book titles in the sky with a plane, leaving slips of paper with authors written on them in the bookworms shoes, or writing a ‘found this awesome publisher/imprint with books you’d like’ text on the hour. This is a very kind curse, but remember that the agony of indecision will cause the cursed person to writhe in agony on the floor. The curse will only be effective if you run your finger along your bookshelves (or scroll the ebooks on your e-reading device) while humming their favourite song.
- the reading is not enough curse
do you really want to inflict some next level punishment on someone, what you need to do is find a book that has heavy fandom attached to it (six of crows, Simon vs., SJMaas, Illuminae, whatever you can think of), and get them to read it, then slowly–ever so slowly–lower them into the seething pot of fandom. Send screenshots of fan posts to them! mention the book in every conversation! Find fanart and buy it and give it to them. whatever you can think of (it is easiest to do this if you are also obsessed so that someone can share the intensity of your suffering) to pull them into the whirlpool of fandom. Chances are that they will stagger out three to five years later, emotionally bruised but forever your frenemy.
What are some bookworm curses that you’ve had to face? and have you encountered these ones? tell me about it in the comments!
Here are some facts about me:
- I’m eighteen
- I am from two different countries
- I’m a fraternal twin with a sister
- I’m a violist
- I’m religious
- I’m fairly happy
- I was rejected by some prestigious American universities
All but one of these things (guess which one!) I have in common with one or the other of the sisters in You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone. And this book is so much. It’s not perfect, but it does what it does really well.
Hi Virtually Readers! Today I thought I’d talk about something which I’ve been thinking about lately (as opposed to talking about something which I haven’t been thinking about lately lolol), which is: what responsibility to we have as readers? and more specifically, as bloggers. Because here’s the thing: I love reading. I think reading is important, and I want more people to read. Should I be trying to get more books into people’s hands?
Hi Virtually Readers! I’m currently busy, stressed and distracted, so I thought I’d write a quick post about books I related to. I have no clue what is going on in my life, but I’m *trying* to make books a constant *nervous laughter*.
The Last Beginning was thoroughly disappointing. I read it mostly because, when I read The Next Together two years ago, there were a great deal of unanswered questions and I wanted answers. Everyone who has read it seemed to have enjoyed it, and judging by social media and her excellent third book, Lauren James is a cool person. How let down I was.
Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives. But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history? Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove’s investigation?
For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future. (blurb from goodreads)
I couldn’t help but compare The Last Beginning to another time travel book I’ve read this year: Invictus by Ryan Graudin. It’s tightly plotted, easily explained without infodumping, and clear. You understand how the time travel works, the nature of paradoxes, and how and why the characters do research to blend in. There is none of that in The Last Beginning. Clove is, to be frank, a complete idiot. She turns up in the past with a dress which is an romanticized approximation of historical dress, and then travels with no flipping clue if it’s going to work or not. Obviously, it does. Then she’s wandering around with no clue how to blend in or where to go TELLING PEOPLE THEIR FLIPPING FUTURE LIKE AN ABSOLUTE IDIOT. I have never time travelled or taken a physics class, but even I know that that is a BIG NO NO OH MY GOSH. Then it changes the future, and then she has to fix it. I didn’t mind that Clove was thoughtless or whingy; she’s sixteen, that’s forgiveable. But she’s supposed to be smart, and she absolutely does not behave like that. How could no one in the past—surely some of them aren’t time travelers have noticed how out of place she was? So that bothered me.
There were several things that made no sense in this, and James doesn’t even try to explain (I get that she has science degrees, yay, but the science seems thin imo. She is tangled in the practical sciency bits and the romantic possibilities, which contributes to the chaotic, all-over-the-place nature of the book; there is no attempt to bridge these dual possibilities, unlike what Graudin does so masterfully). The plot lacks coherency; it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and contorts strangely to involve documents and explanations for The Next Together. It works only because it is clamped to the events of that book, and not because it has any meaning on its own. It’s a shallow sort of book, and my lack of engagement with it reflects that.
I also found the writing exceptionally juvenile. It could be that I’m getting too old for YA, but there are such swathes of sophisticated YA with elegant writing that it’s hard to blame that. Lines like “she had never expected anything like this to ever happen to her”, or “she was never going to talk to Meg ever again” felt overwrought, excessively dramatic. Maybe it’s just Clove’s voice. And everything the parents (Jen and Tom) say is blatant and cheesy. I mean, the writing got the job done, but it certainly grated at me in places.
I didn’t mind the characters. That is, they were idiots, but they were lovable idiots. We have Clove, teen with a mission! and lots of moaning and melodrama, but that comes with the territory. There’s Spart, your average robot with a personality; Ella, mysterious for no reason; and the various Katherine and Matt’s, adorkable and straightforward. Because the documents make it clear that Ella and Clove are endgame, I never felt invested in their relationship. None of the characters were very dynamic, but they were probably too confused by the time travel.
I think I sound angry at this book, and I’m really not. It was not entirely without merit; the fact that I finished it says that alone. It just…oh, I don’t know. Rubbed me up the wrong way. All of these reviews are so positive, and I didn’t find that as I read. The Last Beginning is tangled in the beginnings and the legends; it doesn’t take a step back and see the bigger picture and that, to me, was the saddest thing about it.
Well that was quite ranty! whoops… I think it’s really hard to get time travel books right and maybe (just maybe) I have high standards. anyway have you read this? and what’s a book that was ruined in details for you?