LGBTQIAP+ Books that Don’t Feature AlloCis M/M Relationships, Part 2

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find part 1 here🌈

 

Hey friends! Pride month is here!!! This post is a bit later than I would have liked but with real life keeping me busy I’m only now managing to post it. With pride month come a lot of really cool readathons that are a perfect opportunity to branch out and read more diversely, whether you already read a lot of queer books throughout the year or not.

So I remembered I wrote this post last year with the same title as this one, and I thought since I’ve read a lot more books in the meantime I would update this list so y’all don’t end up only reading the same allocis m/m romances that, frankly, don’t make your reading very diverse.

(PS: see also my F/F romance recs from last year)

So, what are “LGBTQIAP+ books that don’t feature allocis m/m relationships”?

Basically anything where the focus isn’t two allo and cis men in a m/m relationship. This varies from m/m where one of the main characters is trans or asexual or aromantic, to a m/f romance where one (or both!) are bi or pan or queer, to f/f, to f/nonbinary, etc etc. They can also be books with queer characters that don’t have any romance in it! I’m also only going to mention books where at least one queer character has a POV or is the love interest or is otherwise very prominent. And these are all books I’ve read and enjoyed or at least thought that the queer rep was good (although obviously I can’t speak for a whole community). So let’s get right into it!

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🏳️‍🌈 Not M/M:

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway – f/f romance; lesbian character; family/sibling focus | YA | my review

Toil & Truble (anthology) – various queer characters, among which many f/f romances and m/f | YA | my review

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon – fantasy, nonbinary/nonbinary romance (not a big focus); autistic intersex MC | Adult

Shootaround by Suspu – webcomic, different relationships including f/f, polyam f/f/f, m/f with a trans character, m/m in the past, and basically everyone is queer | YA

Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler – f/f romance, lesbian MC, bisexual LI | YA | my review

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston – contemporary f/f romance | YA | my review

On The Fly by P.J. Trebelhorn – contemporary f/f romance | Adult | my review

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole – contemporary f/f romance | NA

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant – sci-fi horror, f/f romance, autistic lesbian and bisexual characters | NA/Adult | my review

Graham’s Delicacies by Em Ali – f/nonbinary, m/m, m/nonbinary romances | NA | my review

The Afterward by E.K. Johnston – fantasy f/f romance | YA

Proud by Juno Dawson – anthology with different types of queer character and relationships (although a disappointing lack of ace/aro characters) | YA | my review

The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum – contemporary f/f romance | YA | my review

The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley – fantasy f/f romance, all lesbian cast | Adult | my review

Ms Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan – historical f/f romance | Adult

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – fantasy f/f romance; multiple queer characters | Adult

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins – contemporary f/f; multiple queer side characters | YA | my review

The Queen of Rhodia by Effie Calvin – fantasy, established f/f couple | NA

Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter – fantasy, f/f romance (I think they’re both bi) + pansexual character | YA | I haven’t written a review for this yet but please, please, please, don’t go into this book without knowing what you’re getting yourself into. Massive trigger warnings for emotional abuse, incest, neglect, sexual assault, death, body horror.

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🌈 M/M but not allocis:

Pisces Hooks Taurus by Anyta Sunday – contemporary m/m; demisexual character | NA | my review

Squared Away by Annabeth Albert – contemporary m/m; ace character| Adult | my review

Stake Sauce by RoAnna Sylver – urban fantasy, m/m (with a hint of polyamory) with trans and aro/ace character| NA

The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson – contemporary, m/m romance (not the focus of the book though) with a trans character| YA

The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore – fantasy, ace main character | NA

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🏳️‍🌈 M/F but at least one of them is queer:

Sweet on the Greek by Talia Hibbert – contemporary m/f romance; bisexual main character| NA

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee – contemporary m/f romance; ace character| YA

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – fantasy, (only hinted at) m/f romance; ace MC + trans character| YA

King Of Fools by Amanda Foody – m/f romance; bisexual main character; brief m/m and side f/f | YA | my review

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🌈 No romance/romance not the focus or not resolved:

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab – ace main character| Adult

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman – trans and gay main character| YA

The Disasters by M.K. England – sci-fi, no actual romance I guess but kind of somewhat of a m/f vs m/m love triangle (bisexual character), plus trans side character| YA | my review

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – fantasy, kind of a m/f vs m/m love triangle, bi or pan characters, but the romance is not resolved yet| YA | my review

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🏳️‍🌈 Not sure if they belong on this list so I’m going to write them in a tiny font:

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum – m/m/f romance with heavy focus on the m/m side | YA 

No End by Erly and Kromi – there’s prominent m/m romances but all main characters are queer (ace, bi, pan, trans and lesbian, and more to come because the comic is ongoing) | YA | my review

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And this is it for this post. I really hope this is helpful and it inspires some of you who want to diversify your queer reading, and tackle those pride month challenges and readathons.

Happy pride month y’all, and remember to celebrate all the colors and all the letters of the rainbow ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

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#T5W: Favorite Friends in Sci-Fi and Fantasy

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:

May 15th: SFF BFFs -BooktubeSFF Awards Crossover Topic-
— Discuss your favorite friends in Scifi and Fantasy, or characters you’d be BFFs with.

I could do a whole different post about characters I’d be BFF with (and maybe I will) and since the prompt doesn’t specify and I feel very strongly about groups of friends in fiction, for this post I’m only going to talk about my favorite friend squads (three or more friends) because that’s a trope that gives me life.

Fair disclaimer, this list is 100% queer but it’s also so white it pisses me off. That’s totally on me and I need to do better.

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In Other Lands

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This is the only trio out of this list and I’m not sure it even counts as a squad (maybe a squad is four+ people? idk) but I decided to give my own definition of squad because I couldn’t not talk about Elliot, Luke and Serene. One of the best things is that this book takes place over several years, and it’s basically a huge character study for Elliot. We see him grow up from when he’s 13 until he’s 17 and of course the way he interacts with everyone, including his best friends, changes over time. And they’re all so precious you can’t help but whip out those adoption papers as soon as you meet them (also, please read this book? You would make me very happy. And you’d also be happy because that’s what this book does. It’s a win-win, really).

 

Shades of Magic

I almost didn’t put this here because I feel like we get to know pairs dynamics first (Kell with Rhy, Kell with Lila, Lila with Rhy, Lila with Alucard, Alucard with Rhy, Alucard with Kell) and only later we see them (+ Holland) interact as an actual squad in different occasions. But the fact that the single relationships were developed/lay out before we even get to those good squad moments makes all the difference and gives so much more to think about while you’re away from the books and just thinking about these characters. I 100% love every single one of them and their dynamics.

 

The Raven Cycle

For many reasons I don’t love putting this series here, but when it comes to squad dynamics this automatically comes to mind. The Gangsey is just the best element of these books and I’m so mad that this is stealing the spot I could have given a less well-known series, but I wanted to be honest.

 

Six of Crows

I know this is going to be on everyone’s list, but it’s well deserved. One of the elements where Leigh Bardugo shines is writing squads. She already showed that in Ruin and Rising and it was only confirmed when she wrote the Dregs.

 

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

Last but definitely not least. It’s so hard to rank these but if I had to say which one is my actual favorite, this is definitely it. I think it’s a mix of it being genuinely one of the best squads dynamics there is and that feeling of nostalgia I’ve had since I read this trilogy (and that hasn’t left me even after rereading). Even though I only read this one and a half years ago for the first time and not as a child, this is probably to me what Percy Jackson is to most people, and I am at any given time this close to rereading it.

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Who are your favorite friends or squads in books? Do you live vicariously through book friendships like I do? 

 

#T5W: Bookish Things I’ve Changed My Mind About

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:

May 1st: Bookish Things I’ve Changed My Mind About
— This can cover any bookish topic you want: tropes, characters, TBRs, genres, anything!

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1. Audiobooks

This is probably the biggest change in my reading life. It’s not that I thought audiobooks weren’t valid or bad or anything, I just thought they wouldn’t be for me and I wouldn’t be able to focus on them. Now I always have one audiobook on my currently-reading shelf and I can’t do without them. (Psst, you should read my audiobook guide!)

2. Reading only one book at the time

I used to be someone who could only read one book and wouldn’t start another one until I was done with that one. That’s still somewhat true if we look at the genres of books (I won’t have two contemporaries on my CR shelf, or two high fantasy, etc), but I will generally have a few books that I’m reading at different paces and usually in different formats (audio/ebooks, rarely physical).

3. Writing 

I used to just read whatever sounded good and in a way I still do, but I’m much more aware of how much I like the writing style of the author I’m reading, and sometimes it can make or break my enjoyment of a book. I’m not even talking about the actual prose but more about how the writer seems to treat their readers, if that makes sense? It’ll obviously depend on the genre and age target of the book, but I hate feeling like the author doesn’t trust me to not pick up on clues (especially when it comes to what the characters are feeling, etc) and feeds me redundant information.

4. Contemporary genre

I’m not sure this counts because I’ve always read contemporary, but when I started reading in English I started with YA fantasy and for a while (like…two years??) that’s all I would read. It’s not that I hated contemporaries, I just only wanted to read fantasy! That obviously changed almost to a point where I could barely read any fantasy because it takes me more time and focus, but thankfully audiobooks are helping with that so now I would say I read a healthy amount of both genres.

5. Rating

I’m someone who gives out four and five stars very easily. Looking back at some of the five-star reads I’ve had over the years, I can’t say that they really all deserved such a high rating, especially since I can barely even remember what some of them were about. So I’m trying to always think before giving five stars, “Will this book still be relevant to me in a month? Will I remember it? Has it changed something in me?” Generally speaking I still have a hard time deciding whether to rate purely on enjoyment or on quality, because the two are sometimes very different and I can say that objectively a book is 5-stars-good but I didn’t enjoy it because of personal taste. I see people switching to 10-stars-ratings but I wouldn’t know what that would change for me. So this is not a topic I’ve exactly changed my mind about, but I’m somewhat always working on rating more critically than I did before.

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Have you changed your mind about something book-related? What would your past self say if they saw you now?

 

#T5W: Rainy Day Reads

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.

I haven’t done a T5W in a while but I checked out this week’s topic and it just so happens that it’s been raining constantly for two days (as it’s custom in the week after Easter, at least in my hometown), so I jumped at the opportunity.

What makes a book a rainy read for me?

I think, as boring as it sounds, what makes a book a rainy read is…the fact that it’s raining while I’m reading a book. Is this cheating? Perhaps, but I truly believe that rainy day books can be either dark and broody (to go with the mood) or cheerful and more sunshiny (to cheer you up). With that said, some books feel more rainy than others, so I’m just going to go ahead with my list.

🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️

🌧️ The Pursuit Of… by Courtney Milan

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This book is on this list because I’ve been feeling like rereading it for months now, basically every time my mood isn’t great I think, “I should reread The Pursuit of…” because it put me in such a good mood the first time. And when I read it I was at the beach this summer so I think if I were to read it while it rains it would channel some of that sunny feeling.

 

☔️ The Magnus Chase trilogy by Rick Riordan

This trilogy is not here because of its aesthetics (it has many different locations throughout the books, some are rainy, some are snowy, etc…) but because of how good it feels when I (re)read it. I think it would immediately cheer me up.

🌧️ Sadie by Courtney Summers

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Sadie is a dark, dark book and it definitely goes with a rainy mood, if you’re not in need for something to cheer you up. Because this won’t. This will make everything worse and you will love it (the book, but you will hate the world just a tiny bit more).

☔️ The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

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This book is like, psychologically dark. It’s a descent that gets darker and darker and I can only imagine how fitting this would be during a rainy day (I read it in summer when it was 37°C outside…)

🌧️ Elysium by Nora Sakavic

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It took me a while to get into this book and while I found it confusing a lot of the time, its aesthetic was always the same in my head: dark, black, grey, more dark. I don’t know if I’ve ever read another book where literally every scene in my head was completely gloomy and depressing, but Nora Sakavic managed it! (That is not to say every scene was set in a dark place, I just couldn’t imagine it any other way regardless of the description.)

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What are your rainy days reads? Have you read any of mine? 

February & March Book Haul // the free time I have is inversely proportional to the amount of books I buy, apparently

Today I’m sharing a book haul for February and March together because I didn’t have time in March to do a February one and at some point I couldn’t keep track of what I bought in March and what in February, so I decided to merge the two.

I got a little…carried away with how many physical books I bought, I suppose. True, most of them were used (and very cheap) and I was so lucky to find them, but I kind of hate that I had to shop books to feel better about not being able to read a lot because of university. That’s not a healthy coping mechanism, Silvia!!!! Also not how you stay on top of your TBR.

I decided to also include ebooks and audiobooks in this post, as well as e-ARCs I got, because why not! Here’s a useful key for the post:

Key:

📚 currently reading
✅ read
🇩🇪 in German

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Physical – used:

📕 Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – ✅ – it was cheap and I wanted a physical copy since I reread it this summer so I got it
📕 A Darker Shade of Magic – Collector’s Edition by V.E. Schwab –  – this is probably my best and luckiest purchase in this post. The book is new, it doesn’t even look like it was ever opened (some of the pages were still a little bit stuck together at the edges? like not really stuck but I think you all know what I mean) but because it was technically “used” I got it for cheaper. And thus I am one book closer to getting all my favorite books/series in physical copy…
📕 The complete Shatter Me series (minus Defy Me) by Tahereh Mafi – ✅ – I don’t know what happened? I saw them all there for around 3€ each and the next thing I knew they were in my cart
📕 Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – it was cheap like all of these used books, I don’t know much about it but it’s supposedly gay
📕 Tschick by Wolfgang Herrndorf – 🇩🇪 – it got recommended to me as having queer rep but I’m not sure if that’s true or if the queer rep is the MC or someone else, but I wanted to give it a go anyway since it’s so hard for me to find German recs and I need to read more in German
📕 Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant – ✅ – “I need to spend a couple more € to reach free shipping and this is one of my favorite books ever and it’s currently available”
📕 Die Mitte der Welt by Andreas Steinhöfel – 🇩🇪 – this is supposedly one of the best known queer books in German, I don’t know anything about it but I’m scared because it’s a big book and I’m slow (slower than when I read in English at least)
📕 Lesbisch für Anfängerinnen: Willkommen in der WG! by Celia Martin – 🇩🇪 – this sounds like a silly lesbian romcom and was recommended to me by a twitter mutual who also speaks German so I’m curious to read it

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Physical – new:

📗 Der Mann meines Bruders #1 by Gengoroh Tagame ✅🇩🇪 – I had heard about it on GR and when I saw it in a German bookstore it was an instant purchase. I’ve already read it, it’s very good and I look forward to the next issue
📗 Graham’s Delicacies by Em Ali – – I actually got a digital ARC of this but I also ordered it when it came out because it was so cute! ↪ Read my review here
📗 Dein perfektes Jahr by Charlotte Lucas – 🇩🇪 – I don’t know? I put it in the “new” category but it was on sale at my discount where they sell new but “damaged” (which often just means they got a tiny scratch on the cover or something) books for very cheap. And the cover is so pretty and it has PINK SPRAYED EDGES

Ebooks:

📘 Can’t Escape Love (Reluctant Royals #3.5) by Alyssa Cole – I think I’m going to buy every single book in this series (and so far I have) although I’m barely in the middle of book #2 while I’m writing this post
📘 Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan ✅ – this is only my second CM book and both of them were novellas. It was so lovely although I didn’t fall in love completely with it like I did with The Pursuit of… (if you haven’t, please please please do yourself a favor and read it!)

Audiobooks:

📙🎧 Chainbreaker by Tara Sim – 
📙🎧 Firestarter by Tara Sim – ✅ – I read the whole series in February and it was incredible
📙🎧 Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay – I….love audible deals. I’m planning to listen to this on my commute maybe, although it’s not very long
📙🎧 Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – also an audible deal, I heard it’s cool and feminist
📙🎧 The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – also an audible deal, I don’t know anything about, heard it’s aesthetic or something
📙🎧 The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – 📚 – this is THE big book everyone’s talking about and I can’t blame them. I only have a few hours left to finish and it’s been such an incredible journey, but I think I will need to find a used physical copy once it’s been out for a while because I just want to know how everything is spelled
📙🎧 The Afterward by E.K. Johnston – ✅ – this became one of my all-time favorite f/f romances, no doubt
📙🎧 The Stars are Legion
 by Kameron Hurley – ✅ – definitely a book to be approached with caution, but I highly recommend it if you can handle the themes (CWs in my review) and you’re looking for cool, morally grey lesbians. ↪ Read my review here

eARCs I got:

📓 The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum – I don’t have words left for this. Just. Such a beautiful book inside and out. ↪ Read my review here
📓 The Time Traveler’s Guide to Modern Romance by Madeline J. Reynolds –   Cool concept and cute execution, could have been done better  Read my review here
📓 Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – ✅ – absolutely incredible. One of the best romances, no, one of the best BOOKS I’ve ever read. Keep your eyes on the author, folks. She’s going places. (RTC)
📓 King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody – I’m so keen to read this, sadly I still haven’t had time, but Ace of Shades was one of my favorite fantasies last year and I can’t wait to read this!
📓 Starworld by Audrey Coulthurst and Paula Garner – I barely know anything about but I’m so ready to read this soon
📓 Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Comic Book I’m not sure how to judge this, it’s just kind of what I expected after playing the game but it was almost not centered on dating at all ↪ Read my review here
📓 Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé – I must have known something about it at some point when I requested it but I just don’t anymore? I’m sure it sounded interesting though and I’m looking forward to it
📓 Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter 📚 – no comment so far because of Reasons
📓 Masquerade by Cyrus Parker – I’ve read the author’s debut and I found it so raw and honest, I can’t wait to see what they came up with now

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That’s it for this long and probably boring haul.

Have you read any of these or bought them recently? Do you buy more physical books or more ebooks/audiobooks? 

Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Acqua for tagging me! If you’re not already, please go follow her, she’s one of my favorite bloggers.

Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging site. 
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  4. Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  5. List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your post.

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Acqua’s questions:

  1. What was the last book you rated three stars, and why?
    The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. I know!!! I was anticipating not giving it less than four stars , but something just didn’t click with the audiobook and the book itself. Read my full review to find out more I guess!
  2. Do you read short fiction?
    I do! Not always, and it’s not something I usually reach for unless I’ve heard great things from other bloggers and reviewers.
  3. A book you’re anticipating that isn’t getting much hype?
    A Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics and Going Off Script.
  4. Have you ever felt like a book/its writing was manipulative?
    I don’t know if I understand/interpret the question correctly, but to me a book is manipulative when it doesn’t leave much room for the reader to make up their own mind about what’s going on. When it feels like the writer doesn’t trust the reader to use their brain to put together two and two. They should have faith that readers will be able to pick up subtle things even if they don’t just dump everything on the page *coughs*SJM*cough*. 
  5. A trope you don’t like?
    In romances, a big age gap.
  6. Is there anything (like a trope, a setting, or a specific subgenre) that recurs often in your favorite books?
    I read across different tropes/genres/settings and my favorite books tend to reflect that but one thing that’s definitely always there the character that seems unfeeling and cold but is only like that because of trauma and once they open up they’re actually very soft but only in specific situations/with specific people.
  7. Two random non-bookish facts about you?
    – I can cook pretty well but I’m not a good baker and I don’t enjoy doing it
    – I never attended religion hour in school (it’s optional in Italy)
  8. A book whose premise was better than the actual content?
    I had to look through all my shelves for this so here are two: Odd One Out, Flame in the Mist. There are more but the authors turned out to be trash so I don’t even want to mention them.
  9. What’s the weirdest book you’ve ever read?
    I’ve read some pretty weird ones in my life before becoming a reviewer but I can’t remember them because my memory is pretty shit, but of the ones I read recently off the top of my head I’d say In Other Lands. It’s the exact type or weird that clicks so much with my tastes and sense of humor that I don’t even find it weird (but I know it is).
  10. Supposing that plot and characters are both well-written, which do you value more in fantasy: atmosphere or a well-defined magic system?
    I know this is a total cop-out of an answer, but I feel like it really depends on the book! Sometimes books are very atmospheric but you just don’t care about that particular atmosphere. On the other hand a well-defined magic system can make things interesting while you read but it’s probably not the first thing you think about when you remember the book after months or years of reading it, whereas the atmosphere might stay with you longer.
  11. Is there anything you wish was talked about more in the book community?
    Looots of things! One topic that I’ve encountered a lot lately is the author/reviewer relationship and how both authors and readers don’t seem to understand their boundaries: authors comment on reviews they’re not tagged in and reviewers tag authors in negative reviews. I feel like this is going to be something we’ll talk about for the whole year, but I haven’t seen much of this topic outside of book twitter.

 

My questions:

1. What’s one book you don’t often talk about, but it was important to you at one point of your life?

2. If given the chance to live only one day in the setting of one of your favorite books, where would you go?

3. What’s one thing you’d change about your favorite book?

4. Is there any kind of adaptation for your favorite book, like a movie or a series? If not, what kind of adaptation would you want it to have, if any?

5. Is there one book you read even though it was definitely outside of your comfort zone and became one of your favorite books?

6. Do you listen to audiobooks? If not, why?

7. Who is your favorite villain?

8. You can only keep one genre: fantasy or contemporary?

9. Describe one random book exclusively in emojis/gifs/memes without naming it.

10. Do you listen to music while you read?

11. Think of your most favorite character from a book: in what relationship would you want to be with them? Are they your love interest, your best friend, your best friend, your child?

I tag (but feel free to ignore!):

Laura | Sakhile | Marie | Steffy | Dorka | Ash | Nick | Chaima | Kate | May | Julianna

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.

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