#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?

 

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#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? 

#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?

#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?

#T5W: Best Books I’ve Read So Far in 2018

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 is pretty self explanatory and it’s also a difficult one. I’ve read some really good books so far this year and it was a huge challenge to try and choose only five (I excluded the books I reread). I also tried to pick a little more objectively based on overall enjoyment + how objectively good I think the book is, and this is the result.

 

In no particular order:

The Nowhere Girls

Big Little Lies

Far From the Tree

The Hate U Give

I’ll Give You the Sun

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What are the best books you’ve read so far this year? What’s your current or next read?

#T5W: Books I Want to Read Before the End of the Year

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:

June 27th: Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year
–Halfway through the year, and it’s time to evaluate our reading goals and take a look at our TBRs for the second half of the year! 

For the sake of this post I’m only going to talk about books that are already out and that I haven’t mentioned in other similar posts already! There are many more that aren’t out yet but that’ll be its own post next week. I’m also not going to talk about my ARCs because I’m ashamed of how behind I am with reading them ghslkghs and I won’t talk about the books I plan to reread either because otherwise I’ll be here all week.

Moving on, these are some of the books I *hope* to get to before the end of the year, but who knows if that’ll happen.

 

Of Fire And Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Black Iris by Elliot Wake

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

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What are some books you keep postponing, but you hope to get to before the end of the year?

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