All I Learned About Audiobooks: A Guide

audiobooks a guide

In January 2018  I started listening to audiobooks. If someone had told me before that that I’d not only end up liking them, but that I would rely on them as much as I’ve done this past year, I wouldn’t have believed them.

One year later, I’ve read a total of about 40 audiobooks and I’ve collected a few general thoughts on them that I thought I’d share so everyone who’s still uncertain can decide whether this format might work for them too. Also let me point out that these are just some of the things I noticed that work for me, we’re all different and what works for me might not work for everybody.

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Why audiobooks?

  • You’re a slow reader: finish a book faster by finding a playing speed that works for you (and even work your way towards higher speeds).
  • You’re in a reading slump: try switching the format by listening to an audiobook, it might just be the thing to take you out of your slump.
  • You need glasses to read but you’re doing a face mask and you can’t wear your glasses: oddly specific AND YET I bet y’all have in been in this situation.

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  • You have a long commute: whether by car or by train/bus/tram, you can get a lot of reading done that way.
  • You’re “too tired to read”: sometimes that just means you have to rest your eyes and use your ears instead.

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  • You have problems focusing/ADD/ADHD: audiobooks seem scary for those of us who have problems concentrating (I don’t have a diagnosis yet but I’m probably ADHD myself), but once you find a way to keep yourself focused (I’ll talk about this in the next category), listening to audiobooks actually helps you not get distracted as much as you do while reading on a page.

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  • You need motivation to do chores: this works best if you stick to listening to audiobooks almost exclusively while you do chores instead of listening to them in your free time. You have no idea how much I hate washing the dishes, but sometimes while I’m in the middle of a good audiobook I find myself looking forward to it because I know I’ll be listening to it while doing it (pro tip: use headphones if you’re doing “loud” chores, with running water etc.)

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  • Sometimes the performance adds to enjoyment of the book: a good narrator can make a book a thousand times better. They can give a totally different vibe to a book and even make your rating go up one or two stars compared to your rating if you’d only read it.
  • If you’re not in love with a particular genre but you still want to read a specific book: okay hear me out, I tend to postpone reading books I know are going to be on the more action-y side or have elements that I personally don’t care much about. But if I know from other reviews that they also have great characters, great relationships, etc, I found that listening to them doesn’t make me dread the parts that I normally wouldn’t be too enthusiastic about. Example: The Disasters.

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How to read audiobooks?

  • Fast or slow: this totally depends on factors only you know, like your knowledge of the language you’re listening to, and how used you are to listening to books on faster speeds. All listening speeds are valid and it doesn’t matter if you listen on 0.75x or 2.5x speed as long as you’re enjoying it. Pro tip: you don’t have to listen to the whole book at the same speed! You can slow down on dialogues or parts you feel are more important and speed up in action scenes or descriptions.

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  • While playing a casual puzzle game: this is what I mostly use when I want to focus and I’m not doing a repetitive chore. I have trouble focusing unless I’m doing something with my hands that doesn’t require a lot of effort. I like playing some sort of Tetris game on my phone, sometimes I switch it up by playing different things like Dots or Bejeweled, but you could play Candy Crush or Bubbles…there’s a lot of choice out there.
  • With a coloring book: this serves the same purpose of the previous point. I haven’t done this since this summer but sometimes I’m just tired of phone games (or my phone/iPad needs charging lol). There’s lots of coloring books whether it’s for adults or for kids (I don’t judge) so just find something you like. I personally prefer sticking to abstract figures but you do you boo. I know my friends who are artists like to draw while listening so that might be something worth thinking about if you’re good at that.

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    • With headphones: this is obvious on train/bus/etc but I find it helps at home too, especially while doing chores with running water or if you have to go from one room to another. Bluetooth headphones work best for this so you’re free to move around (AirPods users now it’s your time to shine, if you can actually find them).

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Which types of books work best?

  • Action-packed: a good narrator will make the scene come alive and if you’re like me and like action scenes but can’t for the life of you picture what’s going on when you read on a page, audiobooks are a great help. Example: all the Rick Riordan books, Kingdom of Ash, Six of Crows.

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  • “Slow” books with lots of character development: sometimes it’s easy to get impatient with a slow book although we’re enjoying it. Audiobooks make the slower parts go by faster (just adjust the speed) and they give more depth to the internal monologues. Example: Nine Perfect Strangers.
  • Rereads: this is one of my favorite use of audiobooks. Rereading feels like I’m wasting my time sometimes (which is NOT true!!! but I feel like my TBR is judging me), but if I listen to it I know that I’m much faster and I don’t feel as guilty. It’s also incredibly enjoyable to go back to a world you loved and experience it in a different format.
  • Extremely long books: this ties back to the fact that you’re most likely reading faster if you’re on audio. It’s scary to look at how many hours the book will last, but if you’re on 2x speed the book will be half the length. Example: Kingdom of Ash.

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  • Honestly? Any book. I haven’t read all kinds of them and a lot will depend on the narrator or the subject of the book, but I see no reason to exclude any category or genre, you just have to find what works for you.

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Cons of audiobooks?

  • Can’t see words/names on page: this is especially frustrating when you’re reading fantasy or reading in a second language and hearing a lot of new names of people or places. It makes it awkward to write a review or chat about it with online friends, because sometimes you just don’t know how to spell things.
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idk I just really wanted to add a Runaan gif. isn’t he beautiful?
  • Beautiful prose gets lost, can’t highlight without a visual version: sure, you can bookmark the spot you’re on if you’re on Audible, but unless you also own an ebook or printed version it’ll be awkward to write down a quote whether it’s for your future reference for a review or just because you enjoyed that particular sentence.
  • They’re expensive: there’s little going around this, audiobooks are expensive. If you’re lucky you have a library near you that lets you borrow them and use apps like Libby, but that’s not the case for most of us internationals. I like my audible subscription because I feel that it lets me make the most out of my money, but it’s still very expensive and I know it’s not for everyone.
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with a little bit of poetic licence I’m using cabbages as a metaphor for money
  • No time to process emotional scenes: especially if you’re going fast, it might be hard to remember to pause while you’re in the middle of something Big going on in the book because you want to know what comes next. This can make it so that some of the dramatic moments get lost among the sea of information being thrown at you at 2x speed. I personally like to take a moment to cry or at least process that something dramatic has happened while I’m reading, but it can be hard to do with audios.

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  • You might not like narrator: a narrator can make or break a book. I haven’t found many bad narrators and the few I did find haven’t made it impossible to enjoy the book, but that’s because they were rereads of books I already knew and loved. Definitely always try to check out a sample of the book (Audible has 5-minutes samples for every book) and sort reviews in a way that shows you the ratings of the performance. If you feel like a particular narrator might turn you off an otherwise good book, maybe it might be worth giving the paper or digital version a try instead.

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Where to start?

  • Rereads: these are probably the easiest books to get into if you’re still uncertain whether audiobooks are for you or not. Think about that one book you’ve been postponing rereading for ages and just try it out! I would, however, suggest avoiding your favorite books, the ones you’ve reread 1000 times, where every line of dialogue already has a specific tone and feel to it, because it will inevitably be different when the narrator reads it.
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look at him being smarter than you and me
  • Tales: I don’t know how to categorize this but my first audiobook ever was Norse Mythology and it made me feel like when my mom read to me before bed when I was little. It just felt like something meant to be read out loud and it made me fall in love with audiobooks in general. It doesn’t have to be this book in particular but try to find something that gives you the feel of fairy tales or mythology and that you’re interested in and that you might think it’s meant to read out loud by a fire or something like that.

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A few quick recs of personal favorite audiobooks with great performances:

✨ Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant ✨

✨ Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty ✨

✨ Far from the Tree by Robin Benway ✨

✨ Sadie by Courtney Summers ✨

✨ The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas ✨

✨ Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman ✨

✨ The Disasters by M.K. England ✨

✨ The whole PJO series by Rick Riordan ✨

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So that’s it for this guide! I hope you enjoyed it and if it was useful to you please leave me a comment because I love feeling like I helped!

I’m also just casually dropping my Ko-Fi here and pretending to slowly walk away in a way that lets you know I don’t really care if you click on the button or not but it would also made my day.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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Books I DNF’d in 2018

I haven’t talked about my DNF’s for a while, so I thought it would be cool to take a look back at what I DNF’d this year.

Back in 2017 I DNF’d a total of 10 books (all ARCs). This year they were only 8, which is less than last year but I know it’s a lot for some people. They were also both ARCs and books that were free online for a time or books I managed to return, so I didn’t waste any money on them fortunately.

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36406908-2Curved Horizon (The Camellia Clock Cycle #2) by Taylor Brooke

My first DNF of the year was something I should’ve seen coming. After not loving the first book in this series I wanted to give the author another try but it seems their style is just not for me.| full review

 

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Concerto in Chroma Major by Naomi Tajedler

This is the only DNF rant review I’ve written this year because this book made me all kinds of angry. Who the fuck goes “I’m going to write a book for fat queer girls………..and I’m going to fill it with fatphobia and biphobia on every page!” I’m still so angry just thinking about it. | full review

 

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The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

This was my first audiobook DNF ever. I could have finished it, I was probably halfway through. I put it on hold for a bit and after a couple of months I realized I couldn’t care less about continuing the story, so I ended up returning it.

 

34927042Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

This was free on Riveted for a while. I started reading it and it was kind of predictable and I just didn’t really care about any of it. I didn’t spend any money on it so I gave up before I ended up wasting too much time on it.

 

41460723Found at Sea by Jaclyn Osborn

This sounded like my exact cup of tea. M/M romance between pirates? But nah it was kind of bad. First of all the age gap (29/19) made me uncomfortable, then the characters weren’t that well written and the writing style was just not great. I was still on time to return the ebook so I did before wasting more time on it.

 

40183920Love Like This (Seven Shores #4) by Melissa Brayden

This is a book I could’ve kept reading if I had more patience but I just don’t. Parts of it were really sweet and at first I really liked it, until I realized some things made me very uncomfortable, like the non-consensual kissing that was romanticized. After that it was all I could think about and it was annoying me so I decided to put it down forever.

 

23462649Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

My second audiobook DNF and I’m kind of sad about it. My previous experiences with Neil Gaiman were a five stars to Norse Mythology in audiobook format, where I discovered how sexy nice Gaiman’s voice is, and a three star to The Ocean at the End of the Lane (read in paperback). I thought that Neverwhere should’ve been at least a 4 stars read because Gaiman was reading it, but I had some issues getting into it because I couldn’t understand the names of the characters without seeing them written, and once I got a little more into the story I still couldn’t care less about the characters or the world. I’m not in the business of wasting time and money on books I’m not enjoying so I decided to stop reading and return it to audible with no regrets. Also Neil Gaiman seems like the kind of guy who wouldn’t mind if someone decides one of his books are not for them so I don’t feel bad. His voice is still sexy though.

 

39298105Fake Out by Eden Finley

Ughhhhhhh this book. When I start a book because of a specific trope (fake boyfriends) I kind of want that trope to drag until after the 50% mark. I also wish m/m writers stopped filling their books with a lot of casual transphobia. Get woke y’all. | full review

 

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Do you often DNF books? Why/why not? Have you read (or DNF’d) any of the ones I mentioned above? 

A look at my 2018 bookish resolutions – how well did I do?

2019 is almost upon us so I thought I’d do a typical end-of-the-year post. Back in January I wrote a post about my reading and blogging resolutions and now I wanted to take a look at my goals and see if I’ve kept my word or not.

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1. Start reading audiobooks ✔️

Did I do it? Yes!

How well did I do? ✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️/5

I not only started reading audiobooks early this year, it’s also become one of my favorite ways of reading books and I’ve become completely dependent on them to motivate myself to do my chores. I have a full post planned on audiobooks and what I’ve learned in the past year of listening to them so I hope that’s something you guys can look forward to.

2. Squeeze in some reading time whenever possible ✔️

Did I do it? Yes!

How well did I do? ✔️✔️✔️✔️/5

While sometimes I still waste time on twitter when I’m stuck on a tram or subway, I think I got much better at this, also thanks to the fact that I can sit most of the time instead of having to stand like I have to do when I’m on the bus in Italy.

3. Having more than one current read of different genres (but not too many) ✔️

Did I do it? Yes!

How well did I do? ✔️✔️✔️✔️.5/5

I’ve done much better at this than I thought possible for me. Sometimes I did have too many current reads going on but they were still all different genres and/or books for different occasions (like, books I can read while I’m on public transportation VS books I want to read when I’m home, anthologies VS novels….).

4. Manage my time better ❌

Did I do it? ……………..not really

How well did I do? ✔️.5/5

That…didn’t happen. This was more of a general goal than a purely bookish/blog goal and I’ve failed in all areas. The good (?) news is that I have started questioning whether all this (plus other stuff) comes from maybepossiblyperhaps being ADHD, something I want to work on figuring out in 2019.

5. Learn how to read faster

Did I do it? Not unless it’s audiobooks

How well did I do? ✔️✔️/5

The only thing I’ve learned how to do is listening to audiobooks at 1.5x to 2x speed, which makes it incredibly faster than I would on my own. I still can’t read faster than I do when I read myself, the only thing I feel like I’ve learned a bit is how to skim more effectively when a book or scene doesn’t interest me, but that’s not something I’m willing to do with books I’m loving. I’ve also learned to be okay with the fact that in order to enjoy a book I need to go to my own pace so that’s okay.

6. Write one discussion post every month 

Did I do it? nah

How well did I do? ✔️/5

I only did this in the early months of 2018. Life happened in more ways than one so I haven’t been able to keep up with this but I don’t feel bad about it.

7. Post mini reviews ✔️

Did I do it? yes!

How well did I do? ✔️✔️✔️✔️/5

I still don’t cross-post all the mini reviews I write on GR here, but that’s just because I’m lazy and forgetful. I love reading others’ mini reviews and I want to keep posting my own here even if they’re written in more of a tumblr style (btw, RIP tumblr). I just don’t want to pretend to be a type of blogger I’m not when it’s too easy to find my goodreads/twitter personality if you click a few links on my blog’s side bar.

8. Read my ARCs diligently and only request ARCs if I’m 100% interested in them 

Did I do it? uhh,,

How well did I do? ✔️✔️/5

Ahahahahahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahahahaahahahahahah

9. Read one German book a month 

Did I do it? big sigh

How well did I do? ✔️/5

I read one German book……………………….a year………………………………………………………..

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I don’t want to make anyone feel good or bad about themselves in this post, least of all myself. I just thought this was the only way I could look back at 2018 in a productive way instead of just thinking about all the good and bad stuff that’s happened.

Whether you’ve set goals for this past year and achieved them or not, I’m proud of you and I know you’ve done your best, and you’re allowed to feel everything you’re feeling about your goals. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

#T5W: Favorite Magic Systems

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

October 3rd: Favorite Magic Systems
— This October, T5W is exploring not only the paranormal, but also magic and wizardry in general!

Just a very quick post today! Today is national holiday in Germany so I’m recovering from a few very wild and tiring days and I don’t feel like writing a long post, but I loved this topic too much not to write about it.

In no particular order:

Shades of Magic trilogy 

Everything about the magic in this world is so amazing, from the different Londons to the way Antari magic works and the way magic feels like a main character throughout the whole series.

 

Grishaverse (Grisha trilogy + Six of Crows duology)

In this world, those who have magic abilities are called Grisha and they’re divided into different Grisha orders depending on what their magic can do. There’s also the powers that Alina and the Darkling possess. In Six of Crows we find out there may be more to the way magic works and I hope we’ll see this explored in the upcoming Nikolai duology (King of Scars).

 

The Nevernight Chronicles

I feel like this world’s magic is much more complicated than we’ve even gotten to see within the books so far, and I’m confident we’ll be mindblown when the last book comes out. I hope we’ll get to learn about the Darkins’ magic, what they are, how their magic works, and why we have to suffer so much while reading the books lmao.

 

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I feel like I’m putting this here more because of the overall worldbuilding than the magic itself, but I do love that the trilogy is basically an incarnation of the good ol’ “magic has a price” concept.

 

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Avatar: The Last Airbender

I feel like I’m the last person to watch this and I’m only on season 1 but I already love it and its magic system! I’m sure there’ll be more to find out in the next seasons (please don’t spoil).

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What are your favorite magic systems?

Most Anticipated Releases (Oct-Dec 2018)

It’s already time for a new Anticipated Releases post! I feel like I just posted my July—September list but apparently it’s only three months until the end of the year – WOWOWOW this is absolutely fine ahahhahaah who’s panicking not me.

ANYWAY. I tried really hard to make this list as little disproportionate as possible but there’s just too many October releases that I’m excited about, only a few November ones and almost no December ones?? What is this sorcery, @ publishing industry explain this.

I’ve put the ones I’m most-most-most anticipating in bold (the ones I expect or hope I will get to read as soon as they come out and/or the ones I’ve pre-ordered).

 

October

 

 

2nd:

9 from the Nine Worlds by Rick Riordan – The Magnus Chase trilogy means so much to me, and this is the first time since I’ve started reading Riordan’s books that one of these extra books releases, so I can’t help but being extremely excited about reading more about these characters.
Will I read/pre-order it? Yes. I will try to pre-order the physical copy (and y’all know I’m an absolute e-book person) because I’m not sure if the ebook will even exist and because the cover is too pretty. I just need to figure out where it’s best to do it because when I tried to do it on amazon it said it would be delivered two weeks after the release date :/ But I’m confident that I will devour it as soon as I get my copy.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee – I loved book one so I’m fairly excited about this spin-off/sequel which will focus on Felicity (Monty’s sister). She’s a truly badass aroace lady and I can’t wait to see what adventures she’ll find herself in.
Will I read/pre-order it? I don’t think I will pre-order it and I will read it when the time is right. As much as I’m excited for it, I’m just not in a mood for historical fiction and I also feel like having seeing ARCs of this everywhere in the online book community for months has made me less excited about it.

4th:

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty – I was apparently wrong to put it in my previous post but back then the release date seemed to be in September. Anyway, reading the synopsis and having read Moriarty’s Big Little Lies a few months ago I really feel like this is going to absolutely become a favorite of mine in its genre.
Will I read/pre-order it? Depending on the price (I still haven’t checked) I will probably not pre-order it, just because I won’t have time to read it as soon as it comes out. I will buy it as soon as I’m in the mood and/or I have some time to enjoy it, because I feel like it’s one of those books you have to binge. But I’m still super super excited for it.

9th:

Odd One Out by Nic Stone – I don’t know much about this except what the synopsis promises, plus I’m absolutely here for what seems to be a sort of love triangle among queer POC teens.
Will I read/pre-order it? I need to check the price! I might pre-order it.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera – I still haven’t read any Silvera novel, which… yeah,  you can yell at me. But I love Becky and I know this will be good.
Will I read/pre-order it? I actually have an ARC of this that I started to read months ago and then put on hold. The reason for that is that one of the two MCs’ POV was initially very focused on an event he recently went through, the same event I had also recently gone through back when I tried to read it. It was just making me feel even sadder so I had to put it down for my sanity. It shouldn’t be a problem to read it now but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore – confession: I can’t seem to get into magical realism, and yet I keep trying. I’ve enjoyed McLemore’s short stories in two anthologies I’ve read so I’m hoping I will like this too.
Will I read/pre-order it? Probably won’t pre-order it but I’ll wait for more people to read and review it and then either read it or keep it in my TBR forever.

 

 

10th:

The Steel Prince #1 by V.E. Schwab – I’m so excited for this!!! If you don’t know, it’s a prequel to the Shades of Magic trilogy in comic format, and it’s about Maxim’s (Rhy’s dad) life before he became King. The art looks absolutely stunning and I can’t wait to see what Schwab can do in comic format.
Will I read/pre-order it? Yes and yes.

16th:

Pisces Hooks Taurus by Anyta Sunday – I love this series so much, it’s so much fun and it always makes smile.
Will I read/pre-order it? I’ve got an ARC and I’ve already read it and loved it! I gave it five stars, I just couldn’t stop smiling while reading it.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi – I’m almost more excited about what this book represents than about the book itself if that makes sense?? This is an ownvoices story about a Muslim girl only one year after 9/11 and I’m so proud of Mafi for writing this.
Will I read/pre-order it? Depending on the price I might pre-order it but read it when it feels right.

23th:

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas – I’m pissed at Maas for a lot of reasons and I think I won’t read any more of her books after this (except for my ironic buddy read of Catwoman with my friend Rin because we want to make fun of how many times she uses the word purr). BUT this series means so much for me and it’s sort of what got me really into reading full time again and got me into YA fantasy (so much that for almost two years all I could read was YA fantasy). I care so much about some of these characters (not you, Aelin) *cough* Manon Blackbeak *cough* and I just can’t not read the final installment, I just can’t.
Will I read/pre-order it? Ngggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I want to read it the day it comes out but I don’t want to give Maas any money, do you feel me?

30th:

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta 30th – so this is set in Italy and it seems to have a romance with a genderfluid person (I’m not exactly sure but they might actually be both genderfluid??) and I’m here for this. Am I a little worried about the mafia element in this? Absolutely. I’m still really excited.
Will I read/pre-order it? Depends on the price and how busy I am when it comes out.

This is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender – this is marketed as rom-com and it’s hella queer, plus it features 1) a bi protagonist; 2) what seems to be a childhood-friends-to-enemies/estranged-to-lovers which is like, one of my favorite romantic tropes ever.
Will I read/pre-order it? I might! I’ll think about it closer to the release date, but it sounds like something cheerful that I’ll want to read to cheer me up (I don’t know about what but I’m always in need for something to cheer me up)

 

November

 

 

6th:

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan – this is another one of those books that I almost feel like it’s already been out for months because basically everyone and their mother has read an ARC of this already. Anyway all I know about this is that it’s Asian-inspired fantasy and it has a f/f romance? Or just queer girls? Probably romance but YEAH it just sounds amazing.
Will I read/pre-order it? I will definitely read it when I can but I might not preorder it if I’m not in a fantasy mood when it comes out. I…hate being such a mood reader but if I’m not feeling in a fantasy mood then it makes much more sense for me to postpone reading it. I also have no idea how my life will look like by the time this comes out so who knows!

Toxic by Lydia Kang – this sounds like it could be a really cool YA sci-fi (which is a genre I’m trying to read more).
Will I read/pre-order it? I have an ARC! I hope to read it before the release date but [see comment above about not knowing what my life will be like]

This is What it Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow – this is like, queer girls in a band and I’m here for it. I don’t know if there’s romance but I don’t care. Also look at the cover, doesn’t it make you want to smile and run through a sunflower field?
Will I read/pre-order it? I might preorder it, I will decide closer to the release date.

 

December

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18th:

The Disasters by M.K. England – this sounds so?? freaking amazing?? Heist in space and stuff. Also it’s marked as lgbt on goodreads and please I need it.
Will I read/pre-order it? I actually just requested an ARC while researching for this post ghsdkgh. Fingers crossed that I get it. If I don’t, I’m pretty sure I’ll pre-order it because by then I’ll probably have time to read it during the holidays.

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I hope this post was useful! I’m enjoying writing these posts because I feel like it’s the only way I can keep track of what’s coming out and when, and even if I miss something I can always go back and see all the releases I was excited about.

Are you excited about any of these? What’s your most anticipated book before the end of the year?

#T5W: Books For My Younger Self

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

September 12th: Books For My Younger Self
— This was recommended as a topic on twitter and I love it! Books that you wish your younger self would have read to learn a life lesson, get more self confidence, open your eyes to a new perspective, etc.

 

PJO (and everything in the Riordan-verse)

I will eternally be angry about the fact that I’ve never even heard of Riordan’s books when I was in elementary/middle school. In fact I didn’t know about them until in my twenties when I joined the book community (don’t @ me they weren’t very well known in Italy okay!) Anyway the books are so fun and I know for a fact that little me would have been a huge fan.

The Nowhere Girls

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This book is so, so important. I wish I had read this years ago and I like to think that maybe it would have helped me recognize my own internalized misogyny and stop needlessly hating on girls and stuff.

Six of Crows

I feel like younger me was a little bit more into action than I am now (I am now character-driven-stories trash) and this duology would have been the perfect bridge from action to character driven, like I would have realized sooner that a lot of what makes a book a good book are well-written characters.

In Other Lands

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Well this is a masterpiece so of course I would have loved it, plus the humor in it is so much me (and past me) that I think I would have enjoyed this in any period of my life. But mainly I feel like this would’ve been one of the best books to introduce me to the concept of bisexuality? Like if y’all think I ever thought one could be anything except gay or straight you’d be 100% wrong. To this day I’ve only heard the Italian word for bisexual like, 3 or 4 times, and I definitely hadn’t heard it back when I was a teen, so… But this book would’ve opened my eyes.

Always Human

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I wasn’t that much into comics when I was younger so I’m choosing this webcomic (which you can and should read here) both because it would introduce my younger self to the concept of free comics on the internet AND because it has one of the cutest sapphic relationships ever.

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Which books would you want your younger self to read? Do you think you’d be different now if you had? Do you believe there is such a thing as a “perfect” time to read a book?

#T5W: Favorite Friend Groups

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

September 5th: Favorite Friend Groups
— We’ve discussed bromances before but let’s discuss our favorite ensemble friend groups!

I haven’t done T5W in a while but I couldn’t pass the opportunity to do this topic. I absolutely LOVE friendship groups and they can improve a just-average book immensely for me.

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Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard – Hotel Valhalla / Floor 19 & Friends

I’ve already talked about many aspects of this trilogy but I don’t know if I talked enough about the friendship element in it. It starts as friendship and it becomes more like found family by the end of the series. I love that we spend enough time with all the main characters (Magnus, Sam, Alex, Hearth, Blitz, and by book three also the other members of floor 19) to see them interact with one another under different circumstances and with different combinations of pairing/subgroups for the different adventures.

I only wanted to mention one friends group from the Riordanverse so I chose this but I also love Percy’s group(s) both in PJO and in HOO, I would actually die for them all.

Six of Crows – The Dregs

I’ve recently reread this duology and I loved being able to focus on the relationships more than on the plot this time, and I love the Dregs even more than I did before (I didn’t think that was possible). I know Kaz wouldn’t like that I’m calling them friends but Kaz is Kaz, and Colm Fahey agrees with me so I know I’m right. It actually made me tear up when he saw them fight and he was like “you all are friends, stop fighting” (something along those lines), it really gave me some perspective on the fact that they’re still teenagers and yeah, they are friends regardless of what Kaz thinks.

 

Air Awakens – Vhalla’s/Aldrik’s circles

It’s been a while since I’ve read this series but just thinking about its characters makes me want to reread it so badly (and I probably will soon). I might not remember every single detail but basically we initially have two groups, Vhalla’s with Larel and Fritz (and Aldrik, sort of), and Aldrik’s/Baldair’s with Raylynn, Jax, Erion, Craig and Daniel, and then later Elecia. And of course as the story develops Vhalla gets to know Baldair’s guard and she spends time with Aldrik and by the end they’re kind of all a big group (well at least those who survive ahahahaahahahah I love pain). Anyway, the Original™ group is Vhalla/Fritz/Larel and it makes me cry because I want friendship like that.

All for the Game – The Foxes

Who doesn’t love a found family trope!!!! I feel like with the Foxes we kind of skip the “friendship” stage (at least when it comes to the MC, Neil) and we land directly into family territory. The fandom focuses a lot on Andreil as a ship but I think it should give more attention to the group as a whole because there’s just So Much to analyze and love. Unlike some of the other groups I mentioned in this post I definitely would NOT like to be part of the Foxes because they all scare the shit out of me, but I still love them so much as fictional characters you know?? I think they’re one of the best examples of characters that are so interesting to see in fiction but you’d definitely not feel the same way about them if they were real people. But as characters you can project some of your own qualities onto them and see them play out in a much more accented way and there’s something that’s always made me feel vulnerable but also safe about this. Anyway I just UGH I really can’t explain my feelings when it comes to these books and these characters. By the way, while we’re at it you should all go read Jamieson’s post about how she imagines an adaptation of this series would be because it’s fucking amazing.

The Raven Cycle – The Gangsey 

Listen, I might have grown to dislike the author and most of her social media presence, but I love this friendship group so much. I’ve been trying not to think about them too much because if I do then I’ll feel like rereading and before I do that I need to get to a place where I get better at separating the art from the artist, but I just couldn’t not include them here. The love they have for each other makes me so soft and also not to be a sap but I think it’s really nice to see boys loving each other so much without it being romantic (I mean besides the One M/M Ship that is in fact romantic)?? Do I make sense??? Ugh why was I given emotions. I didn’t ask for this.


I feel like I had so many more groups to talk about so here’s a honorable mentions of books that have great friendship groups (or trios, which I felt the need to write separately because trios are very different from 4+ groups when it comes to friendships):

Trios: The Nowhere Girls, In Other Lands, The Raging Ones

Groups: Twisted Wishes, Heretic Anonymous, Banana Fish, The Magic Misfits

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What are your favorite friend groups? Would you actually want to be part of them?