collabs · features · shanti · Shar

Tis the season of rereading–plot summaries or plot forgeteries?

Hi Virtually Readers! Have you been following our wildly popular (lol) blog series ‘tis the Season of Rereading? It is Christmas eve here and the air is slightly smoky from the fire and my cheeks are warm from mulled wine. Shar and I have created a fun feature where we summarise the books that the other person has reread to see what we remember. (Ingo technically was not part of the series but Shar had read it and not the Madeliene L’Engle books). Just know that there are spoilers for Ingo, the Wouldbegoods, Strange the Dreamer, and City of the Beasts; if you don’t want to know what happens or hear possibly incorrect versions of such, then click through to the normal posts! (For more thoughts, see Is it worth reading something if we won’t remember it? or Books Shanti Remembers) Continue reading “Tis the season of rereading–plot summaries or plot forgeteries?”

books · lists · Shar

‘Tis the season of rereading: Books I want to reread

Hello Virtually Readers! December seems to have totally snuck up on me. The festive season is upon us and of course I have low key lost track of time and can’t say I was *that* prepared for this blog series we do every year. As always, feel free to participate (we’ve always said that, but nobody ever has haha. That’s okay though because we don’t mind doing it by ourselves). There’s something about rereading that is comforting, like a warm hug. Kind of like what Christmas can be. So we write reviews and thoughts we have about books we’ve reread each December. Continue reading “‘Tis the season of rereading: Books I want to reread”

book review · books · discussions · shanti

‘Tis The Season of Rereading: The Austin Chronicles

Hi Virtually Readers! It is December which is half YAY ADVENT JESUS FAMILY FOOD SUMMER and half OH NO THE YEAR IS ALMOST DONE. But whether feelings of coziness drive you towards books or feelings of panic drive you towards books, our annual feature ‘Tis the Season of Rereading is back for its fifth (!) year. Way back in 2014, Shar and I decided that we really like rereading books in our holidays and wintertime, and ever since then we’ve had this recurring seasonal feature on Virtually Read. It is fun! As always, there is an open invitation to join in if you would also like to reread a book, write about it and link back to us, but no pressure. Anyway I have some gooood stuff lined up for this but the first one is rereading the Austin Chronicles. Continue reading “‘Tis The Season of Rereading: The Austin Chronicles”

book review · books · shanti

Returning to Ingo

Hi Virtually Readers! I really enjoyed writing a post about Emily St. John Mandel’s books the week before last and it made me think that I should do a bit of a series or group reviews, which are more fun and interesting to write in some ways than single reviews. So it’ll be Ingo this week and Naomi Novik next time and maybe Madeliene L’Engle and Zadie Smith after that—a blend of new-to-me authors and rereads. Anyway, the Ingo books are ones which I treasure deeply, so much that I hauled them back to New Zealand from India. I appreciate their whimsy and wisdom just as much now as when I was 8 and 11.

Continue reading “Returning to Ingo”

discussions · features · Shar

’tis the season of rereading Alice Oseman

It’s getting to be the Christmas time of year, Virtually Readers, and that means one thing: ‘Tis the season of rereading! (Also, like trees and food and sometimes snow and presents and the birth or Jesus but mostly, rereading). It’s the first of December, so it’s time for our yearly super fun feature! Continue reading “’tis the season of rereading Alice Oseman”

books · discussions · shanti · Uncategorized

Reflections on Non-Fiction

Hi Virtually Readers! I hope you’re having a wonderful Easter Sunday. If you don’t know, this is the day Lent ends, which is great, because now I can read fiction. I spent the last month and a half ONLY reading nonfiction books, which was an interesting experiment. Here are some things I learnt from it.


One: I learnt a lot about my interests. I read several books about psychology, several memoirs about grief, one book about economics, several books about language, one book about human history, one book about smart girls, one book of poetry, and a book about sewing (which I didn’t really read so much as use for a project which is still in the works. I did include the caveat that I could read classics, but this didn’t really happen; my only fiction was school related stuff and audiobooks (like 1 audiobook totally) From this list, I glean that I’m just really interested in people and how they work. My standout books were Lingo, When Breath Becomes Air, and Smart Girls. I was not a big fan of Drunk Tank Pink or Fun Science, mostly because the writing style didn’t work for me (at some point when I’m less busy there will be reviews.

Two. I read less. This might have happened anyway, because I had a very busy six weeks (seriously, this week I had exams + 10,000 words of essays because I’m an overachiever who thinks that wordcount limits are AGENTS OF THE OPPRESSION and I still felt very stressed and unsuccessful and like I didn’t have enough time…) but still, it was harder to pick up a book, and most books took me a week + (but I had several on the go at once).

Three. I learnt many interesting things. This sort of goes without saying, but I really think that this challenge forced me to learn a lot about the world, which was exciting, and it may have made me think a bit differently about certain issues, or even just become aware of things I didn’t know about before. For example, there used to be a town called Embarrass in Wisconsin, and Scottish Gaelic doesn’t use letters in a very logical way, and all sorts of other trivia that will undoubtedly make me look weird in conversations for years to come.

Four. I want to read more non-fiction. I want to read more stuff that isn’t YA, full stop. YA will still be my main genre for the foreseeable future—there are so many wonderful things about it that make it a genre I love SO MUCH. But there’s a lot about the world that I don’t know, and I don’t think YA has all the answers. I don’t think any one genre has all the answers, so I really want to read as diversely as I can, while still making reading something I love.

So all in all, it was a worthy experience. I have a month a a half left of high school, so hopefully in the second half of the year I’ll be reading A LOT (also my new kobo is coming soon YAS). I thought I’d just talk about some of the books I want to read soonish.

In the next two weeks

-Literally by Lucy Keating

-The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne (reread)

-The Host by Stephenie Meyer (reread)

-Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (and maybe Illuminae, we’ll see)

Before I Graduate

-reread The Lunar Chronicles

-reread Protector of the Small

-reread Harry Potter

-The Star Touched Queen

-Strange the Dreamer

-reread Chaos Walking

-reread The Montmaray Journals

And the non-fiction I didn’t get to (for *sometime* in 2017)

– I know Why the Caged Bird Sings

-the Elements of Style

You may notice a lot of rereads on this list. I don’t know. I guess I’m just in the mood for some nostalgia, because some of these books have really informed my high school experience and matter a lot to me, so I want to read them one last time.

How’s your Easter weekend? What’s a nonfiction book you love? do you try to read in different genres? tell me in the comments!