“Why blog?” and other musings from the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” trap.

I haven’t written in ages for a lot of reasons. Here are some:

  1. I’ve been prioritising activities that contribute more to my overall wellbeing. This includes reading, bullet journalling, and spending quality time with close friends. I am in a different phase of life where I no longer view blogging as a necessary to achieving my personal and professional goals.
  2. I often feel guilty for not being more productive. But I also dislike the “half-arsed” feeling of giving my blog time when I have it, but then not pushing myself to give it time even when I don’t have time to spare. A Catch-22.
  3. I can’t identify who I’m blogging for. Am I blogging for readers? Am I blogging for myself? I feel like I should blog but I’m never in the mood to blog for enjoyment. When I want to create something for my own enjoyment, I use my bullet journal.
  4. I also feel that I should blog to spread awareness of books with good representation and important topics – an activist blogger. But doing so can be extremely draining and results in me choosing books I feel like I should read instead of want to read.

Considering those factors, blogging has become something I feel I should do if I want to make be a positive influencer.  It often gets in the way of my enjoyment of books and opportunities to recharge and create for pleasure.

If I post in the future, I hope I’ll approach it differently, maybe share more quotes that resonate with me. Currently, I care more about sharing emotions than a perfect review.

If you are a blogger, what does blogging mean to you? Who are you blogging for? If you are a reader, what makes you follow a blog?

Reading Highlights 2018

Reading Highlights 2018

Young Adult Fiction Highlights

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins | While this is one of many rereads, the story will never get old!

Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley | I love the character development and all the quirky interactions that make up this world.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | I found this story addictive, perfect for a binge-read if you’re craving something fast, funny, and epic.

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour | This sweet and fresh romance sparked my love affair with Nina LaCour as my new favourite queer author.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan | While the ending was a tad too corny and predictable for me, overall I found this book heartwarming and hilarious.

Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) manga series by Kohei Horikoshi | This series has some of the most impressive character development and pacing ever, stringing me along for a wild ride.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour | The beautiful atmosphere of reflection and melancholy always leaves me feeling emotional and inspired.

Everless by Sara Holland | The worldbuilding was smoothly paced, luring me into the twists and turns of the story.

Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simone Howell & Fiona Wood | Told through three perspectives, this team of authors did a lovely job of portraying the struggles of choosing life paths as a teen.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell | It may have taken a few chapters for me to get into the story, but once I was in, I gave my heart and soul to this book.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson | This is just such a fun and creative take on the old goodies vs. baddies trope.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell | Goodness gracious me, could this book get any more charming?

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | My first reread of Fangirl had me falling even deeper in love with it!

Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars) manga series by Yuto Tsukuda | This series kept me hooked and laughing my head off for a long time.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green | While this is a slow-paced, modest book, it has so many quotable lines that inspire me to reflect on the process of constructing identity.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini | It’s kind of a sad story too, but I enjoyed being taken on this journey.

Heartstopper Vol. 1 by Alice Oseman | Too cute, can’t handle it, gimme volume 2 already!

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Junior Fiction Highlights

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend | Over the course of her enchanting adventure, Morrigan has become so important to me.

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend | The continuation of Morrigan’s story is much darker, but at its heart is the integrity and beauty that made me so emotionally invested in the first place.

Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet | I accidentally learnt a lot while losing myself in Noah’s unique way of seeing the world.

The Sinclair’s Mysteries series by Katherine Woodfine | While Book Two, The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth, was my favourite, the entire series is delightfully detailed and adventure-filled.

The School for Good and Evil trilogy (The School Years) by Soman Chainani | The character development in this crazy series blew my mind, leaving me ravenous to read the follow-on trilogy.

The Secret of the Night Train by Sylvia Bishop |Filled with humour and sweetness, this mystery was a fun nod to Murder on the Orient Express.

The Orchard Underground by Mat Larkin | I laughed out loud so many times throughout this mysterious and charming story.

The Hotel Between by Sean EasleyI was knocked out by how special and intricate this incredible magical world is.

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Nonfiction Highlights

My New Gender Workbook by Kate Bornstein | I’m not sure how useful I found the activities in the workbook for my own life, but I enjoyed the insight and perspective it provided.

Brazen by Penelope Bagieu | Reading about amazing women in history in this graphic format was vibrant and charming.

Shout Out to the Girls by Penguin Random House Australia | As an Australian, I got a big kick out of learning more about women from Aussie history and was surprised how little I actually knew beforehand!

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson | By far the most confronting and funny book I’ve ever read, and I will definitely be revisiting it many times.

Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin | I appreciated how accessibly written and relatable this memoir about Nevo’s nonbinary gender identity is.

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Delve into the Past!

Reading Highlights 2017 | Young Adult & Junior Fiction

Reading Highlights 2017 | Adult Fiction & Nonfiction

 Reading Highlights 2016

cup-on-books

 

Double Review | Withering-By-Sea & Wormwood Mire by Judith Rossell

Withering-y-Sea Paige's PagesAUTHOR: Judith Rossell
SERIES: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue
PUBLISHER: ABC Books
RELEASE DATE
: November, 2014 & October, 2016
GENRE
: Middle-Grade Historical Fiction; Victorian Mystery; Fantasy
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Orphan and adventurer-at-heart, Stella is tragically misunderstood by her three horrible aunts. When a mysterious villain brings death and destruction to the Hotel Majestic, Stella is flung headfirst into a perilous adventure that makes her question everything she thought she knew about magic and her past. Continue reading

My 2018 Top Winter Reads

When I think of winter reading, I picture snuggling up with a cup of tea and a cosy book. But this is not a cosy book reading list! Some of my favourite winter reads are books that are best enjoyed with the weather outside is grizzly and inhospitable. Sure, some of them are snuggly books, but others aren’t so friendly. What are your favourite books to read in winter?

My 2018 Top Winter Reads

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Book Review | Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Hold Still Book Review Paige's PaigesAUTHOR: Nina LaCour
PUBLISHER: Dutton Books for Young Readers
RELEASE DATE
: October 20, 2009
GENRE
: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
PAGE COUNT
: 230
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Nina LaCour has become one of my favourite authors because I feel like I can count on her to deliver great character development and themes. I love her way of unravelling themes cyclically, returning again and again to whimsical and nostalgic images that grow to carry strong meaning for the characters. 

At the heart of Hold Still is loss and loneliness.  When the story begins, Caitlin is feeling  lost at sea after her best friend, Ingrid, commits suicide. The first half of the book is heavy with Caitlin’s grief and her seemingly futile search for meaning and belonging. Continue reading