Let’s Talk Bookish: How Blogging Has Affected My Reading

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on February 2021 prompts & a list of past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

HOW HAS BLOGGING AFFECTED YOUR READING?

(SUGGESTED BY MINI @ BOOK AND CORNER)
Prompts: Has blogging affected your reading in a positive or negative way? If so, how? Do you think the pressures to produce content can result in a bad relationship with books? How do you balance blogging and reading? Do you think you would have started blogging if it weren’t for books or vice versa?

POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES

I think it’s safe to say that blogging has affected my reading in a mostly positive way. I started blogging because I wanted to get “serious” about sharing my thoughts about books I’ve read and because of that, I’ve started to become more critical of what I read. Before blogging I used to just “read to read” (nothing wrong with that true) but I never really thought about what I was taking in–and honestly, what I took in never really stuck for long either. This has changed in a big way since I became a part of the book community because of blogging and I think because of that I’ve really grown as a reader.

Related to that, I’ve also started to make conscious decisions about diversifying my reads and actively searching for diverse books to add to my TBR. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I mostly read books by white authors prior to blogging because they were the mainstream ones that I’d find in the English bookstores here, and sadly, the bookstores here are still full of those mainstream authors, but at least I’m starting to notice more diverse gems in store! Aside from diverse books, I’ve also started reading more from different genres and in different formats. I started reading more middle grade books and graphic novels, and it’s been AMAZING! I’ve discovered that there are audiobooks out there that I can and do enjoy especially full-cast audios which are *chefs kiss!*

A positive and negative aspect of book blogging is also that I’m much more aware of newer releases. Aside from stepping into a book store, I honestly can’t even remember how I used to find new books prior to joining the book community! It’s actually really mind-boggling knowing just how limited my options were 😂 That said, now that I’m aware of all the new releases, I also kinda want to buy all the new releases? *watching my money fly away faster than I can say no!* In my first year of blogging (and bookstagramming) I went really wild with buying books and I know how privileged I am to be able to do that! Thankfully, the “need” has toned down a lot in the past year but there are still so many new books that I keep hearing about and my TBR continues to weep and grow too quickly! Also linked to owning the latest releases is reading all the latest releasesThe FOMO is definitely real. 🙈

KEEPING THE PRESSURE OFF

I admit that sometimes the pressure to constantly write reviews for all the books I read can get overwhelming and also a little bit stale. I feel like my reviews sometimes come off as such non-sensical garbage because my brain is just so tired of trying to put thoughts down in a way that makes sense (LOL) and that triggers a reluctance to blog. This has mostly happened in the last year what with everything else going on in the world, and while I do feel guilty about not reviewing all the books, I also know that it’s okay to not put pressure myself. I’ve started to get better at being okay with not doing full-blown reviews or doing mini-reviews for certain books (ex. romance series), though of course this doesn’t apply to ARCs because I do full reviews for all ARCs that I get! 😉 That said, I know that I don’t want to burn out with blogging as I did with my bookstagram (cos ya girl can’t handle all of that + a full-time job) so I know the important thing is to allow myself guilt-free breaks whenever I need it, and if that means not reviewing the books I read for a certain period, then that’s OK.

this blog wouldn’t exist if not for books!

I used to have a personal blog that I ran for 10+ years before this but I stopped blogging in the last 2-3 years and I had absolutely no intention of creating a new blog until… Well, books! 😂 So I’m 99.9% sure that I wouldn’t be blogging if it hadn’t been for books and although starting this blog was quite the on-a-whim decision, I now can’t imagine not having one and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. ❤️

I just wanted to say that the book community is one of the best things in my life and I’m so thankful for all of the book loving friends I’ve made through it!

Do you think you’d be blogging if it weren’t for books? Or did you already have a different blog before you started a book blog? How has blogging changed your reading, if it has at all?

ARC Review: The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Thanks to NetGalley and Faber & Faber for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: The Death of Vivek Oji
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: 20 August 2020
Genre: Literary Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Panda Rating:


What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

TL;DR: This was an incredible and heartbreaking story about the complexities of love, sexual and gender identity, and self-acceptance in a society that doesn’t accept or acknowledge your existence. It’s about loss, grief, fear and secrets. It’s a stunningly written book that I would highly recommend, although I will say it might not be for everyone as it does involve taboo relationships (sexually explicit) that some readers might find uncomfortable or disturbing. There are still months left to go in 2021, but so far, this is hands down one of my favourite reads of the year!

Continue reading “ARC Review: The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi”

Mystery Blogger Award

Almost one year ago, or what more accurately feels like a lifetime now, Dedra @ A Book Wanderer tagged me for The Mystery Blogger Award! To say that I’m “behind” on tags/awards would be a slight understatement but better late than never, right? Thanks for the nomination, Dedra! ❤️ If you’re not already following her blog, please do go check it out! Dedra has some really great content and I especially love she always makes great playlists and great song connections to books! Super fun 😍

So, what’s the Mystery BlogGER award?

The Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; they do it with so much love and passion. The award was created by Okoto!

some rules…

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  2. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  3. List these rules!
  4. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  5. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  7. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice.
  10. Share a link to your best post(s).

3 things about me…

I USED TO BE QUITE THE SHOPAHOLIC…

So… I used to rely on retail therapy for a lot and that meant that I would frequently go on major shopping binges when I was younger. This only worsened when online retailers started popping up and made it that much easier to spend money without having to do more than lift a finger. It got pretty bad! Let’s just say that I’m now a totally different person and no longer shop much–although I have to admit that I still get carried away with book buying 😂

I HAVE A DECENT EAR FOR LANGAUGES & ACCENTS

Maybe it’s because I grew up internationally and from a very young age have had friends from all over the world. Whatever it is, I’ve become pretty good at detecting languages people speak and also differentiating accents. This is something I always thought everyone could do easily and I still get surprised when people can’t 😅 But it’s fun! I love being able to tell what tourist is from where, even when I’m a tourist myself!

I WENT TO BOARDING SCHOOL IN AUSTRALIA

I went to boarding school out in the middle-of-nowhere Victoria when I was in high school. It’s always funny when I see stories set in boarding schools because they’re always so full of wicked things and the reality, while exciting at times, was so very far from those sordid tales. 😂 I had some pretty great times in boarding school!

DEDRA’S questions:

WHAT’S THE BEST READING EXPERIENCE YOU’VE EVER HAD?

The first instance that comes to mind is when I picked up Persuasion in 2012. I’d just moved to the UK to start my Masters and I was going through a pretty rough time in my personal life. I honestly can’t even remember how I got the book or when or even why I decided to pick that one up specifically but… It was just the perfect timing. You know when you read something and everything just… CLICKS? And it feels like the book was written for you and that it’s speaking to that instant in your life? Just me? Well, that’s what happened when I read Persuasion. It made me feel hopeful when I needed it and that’s why it became one of my favourite books of all-time 😊


WHERE WOULD BE YOUR FAVOURITE DESTINATION-REAL OR IMAGINED?

Lake Marian, NZ

One real-life destination that I haven’t been to yet but I have a feeling I’ll fall madly in love with New Zealand. Just picturing the beauty of the surroundings–the wide open spaces, the lakes, the valleys, the mountains, the lush greenery… The CLEAN FRESH AIR. 😂 Yeah, I can definitely see it becoming a favourite destination! A favourite imagined world is Nevermoor–I keep coming back to that world because it’s so whimsical and magical! 😍


DO YOU FOLLOW A TBR OR ARE YOU A MOOD READER? AND WHY?

Most people who follow my blog know by now that I am 1000% a mood reader! I know nothing about that TBR life 🤣 I make “possibility piles” but even those very loose possibilities don’t have much of a chance to be read unless my mood calls for it. My moods can be quite fickle and when I read something that I’m not sure I’m in the right headspace for it simply ruins the book for me and that’s defo not fair on the book/author! 😂


WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TYPE OF BLOG POST TO CREATE?

I love me a good weekly meme and 90% of the content on my blog is basically that. Sometimes it can get tiring when I don’t feel inspired by a particular topic, but I usually have a lot of fun looking through my Goodreads TBR and rediscovering books that I forgot or revisiting my love for some of my all time faves! I think my favourite weekly meme would probably be Top Ten Tuesday (it was the first one I ever did)! But another weekly meme that I’m enjoying and that pushes me out of my comfort zone is the Let’s Talk Bookish discussion post meme!


WHAT’S A BOOK YOU DIDN’T LIKE THAT EVERYONE ELSE LOVED OR A BOOK THAT YOU LOVED AND EVERYONE ELSE HATED?

Well, this is kind of easy. While I didn’t hate the book, one book that I didn’t enjoy half as much as everyone else seemed to love was The Night Circus (don’t come for me, please). In all honesty, I was a bit bored and though it was beautifully written I just never connected to the characters or story! 🙈 A book that I ended up really loving (and with a love that grew over time lol) is Normal People and though not everyone else hated it, I know a lot of people really really didn’t like that book! 😂

my five questions

  1. What’s one of your favourite songs of all time?
  2. What was the last book you read and if you’d recommend it, why should people read it?
  3. Who’s an author you recently discovered and feel like everyone should also read ASAP?
  4. What dish or cuisine could you eat for the rest of your life and never get sick of?
  5. What type of post is always a struggle to write?

I’M TAGGING:

If tags and awards are not your thing, please feel free to ignore this! Don’t forget to link back so I can see your answers too 😍

Mandy | Elnade | Nadine | Etta | Alexis

#WWWWednesday: 24 February

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Since last Wednesday I’ve finished three books. Two of the books were re-reads that I did following along with the audiobooks and I’m so glad that I did that!

Illuminae & Gemina (The Illuminae Files #1 and #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff ★★★★★
These were my two re-reads and I absolutely LOVED them. I rated them both 4-stars the first time I read them (although I’m not sure why) but after reading along with the audiobook, I’ve bumped up both ratings to 5-stars. This series is *chefs kiss*. Maybe Gemina isn’t all that different in plot compared to Illuminae but did I care? Absofreakinglutely NOT! They were such fun reads and I loved the couples and the side characters. Seriously, if you love full cast audios and want something fun to read, definitely check these out! 😍 10/10 would recommend!

The Locker Room (The Brentwood Boys #1) by Meghan Quinn ★★½
Legit sad that I didn’t love this one more especially when it started out strong for me. Knox was such a great hero and might be one of my new sports hero faves, and while Emory started off really fun and relatable, she became increasingly irritating as the story went on. And then that time-jump at the 80% mark happened and… NOPE. Nuppity nope. Just why? Super sad panda times. 🐼 Check out my review!

Continue reading “#WWWWednesday: 24 February”

Book Review: The Locker Room by Meghan Quinn

Goodreads: The Locker Room (The Brentwood Boys #1)
Published: 20 June 2019
Genre: Contemporary (New Adult) Romance, Sports Romance

Panda Rating:


Have you heard the rumor around campus about the locker room?
If you haven’t, let me enlighten you: Legend has it if you bring a girl into the sacred after-game domain of the baseball locker room, it will end with a walk down the aisle. One rowdy and naked encounter against the lockers with the girl of your dreams will make her your wife.


Translation: baseball players are stupidly superstitious and believe the locker room has magical powers.

But not all baseball players are superstitious, me included.
So when the girl I’ve fallen for brushes me off, I start to question if I need to switch my way of thinking. Maybe it’s time I finally hand out a coveted invitation to the locker room.
The only question is, will she accept? 

It pains me a little to rate this below 4-stars because I really enjoyed it for the most part and Knox was such a good hero. I didn’t expect to be quite so charmed by him when at the beginning he ran a little too jockular for my liking, but by the end, I absolutely adored his character and honestly felt his story deserved a bit better than what he got. Let me say, the first 75-80% of this story had me thinking this’d be a 4-4.5 star read but that last bit? …Mmm, that last bit. 😕 Final verdict: Not a terrible book if you just look at the first 80% because it served all the things I love in Quinn’s romances: fantastic chemistry, cheeky banter, great friendships, swoon-worthy and cheesy AF moments, and All. The. Steam! 

Continue reading “Book Review: The Locker Room by Meghan Quinn”

#TopTenTuesday: Books That Made Me LOL!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud (Claire @ Book Lovers Pizza)

Ooh, I quite like this topic and I don’t think I’ve ever made a list of books that made me LOL before (although maybe I have and my memory is just that bad)! To be honest, I’m an easily amused person and I tend to laugh out loud quite a lot especially if something’s cheeky or cheesy. If you ask my family and friends they’ll tell you that I love to laugh, and usually at things people don’t often laugh at–not in an inappropriate way though, it just really doesn’t take much to get a full-on laugh out of me! I don’t even know where to begin with this list because I’m not kidding when I say that books make me LOL quite often! 😂 I looked through my 20/21 reads and I already have a list that’s overwhelmingly large, so to make it easy on myself I chose some books at random from the big list. These books didn’t just have me giggling, some of them had me breathless with laughter for a while! I do so love to laugh 😉

Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: Books That Made Me LOL!”

#5OnMyTBR: Food, Glorious Food!

Hello Mondays, welcome back to #5OnMyTBR, a meme created by the wonderful E @ The Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. This bookish meme gets us to dig even further into our TBRs by simply posting about five books on our TBR! You can learn more about it here. You can find the full list of prompts (past and future) at the end of this post!

This week’s prompt is: Food.

Continue reading “#5OnMyTBR: Food, Glorious Food!”

Goodreads Monday – Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malindo Lo

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.*

*Sorry if a book has been featured twice. I need to make better note of which ones I’ve done already!

This week’s featured book is Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. This is a YA LGBTQ+ historical fiction that was released just last month (January 2021) and it has some a pretty high rating!

Continue reading “Goodreads Monday – Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malindo Lo”

Top 5 Saturday: Books with Daughter in the Title

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: Books with Family Relationship in the Title (Mother, Father, Daughter, Brother, etc.)

I was hoping this week’s list would be a good mix of family relationship titles but apparently the mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters are incredibly popular while there was a surprising dearth of titles with husband, father, and brother on both my TBR and read list! It’s funny, now that I think about it, it’s always about the woman and mostly in relation to the man? I actually never noticed this before and now I’m wondering why 🤔 In any case, I decided to focus my list on books with ‘daughter’ in the title since this relationship is the one that had the most hits on my TBR (which is usually the focus of my Top 5 lists)~! So on that note, here are five books that I’m looking forward to reading:

Continue reading “Top 5 Saturday: Books with Daughter in the Title”

Let’s Talk Bookish: Are big TBRs a sign of ‘abibliophobia’?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on February 2021 prompts & a list of past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

ARE BIG TBRS A RESULT OF ABIBLIOPHOBIA?

(SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY)
Prompts: Do you have abibliophobia? Do you add books to your TBR to keep it big, or is it a place where you keep books that seem interesting? Do you have multiple TBRs? If you don’t have a TBR, how do you find your next read?

WHAT IS ABIBLIOPHOBIA AND DO I HAVE IT?

If you’re sitting there scratching your head and wondering what ‘abibliophobia‘ is and thinking that it sounds kinda scary, you’re definitely not alone!

‘Abibliophobia’ is the fear of running out of reading material.

This isn’t something I’ve ever thought about it but right off the bat, I’d say no, I don’t have a fear of running out of reading material. Aside from having a large bookshelf that’s comprised mostly of unread books, I’m also very lucky to be able to buy new (physical and digital) books when the mood strikes, thanks to having a well-paying job and also thanks not having any financial responsibilities outside of paying monthly rent and bills. I know I’m definitely lucky in this respect, especially since I come from a country that doesn’t have libraries or other public resources, and where imported books generally cost 2-3 times more than local books.

DO I ADD BOOKS TO MY TBR TO KEEP IT BIG OR IS IT A PLACE WHERE I KEEP BOOKS THAT SEEM INTERESTING?

Since joining the book community 2 years ago, my Goodreads TBR has grown at a frightening pace and I’m actually a bit embarrassed at times to admit that my list is 1,000+ books long. Yeah, you read that right. That said, my GR TBR is mostly full of books that I find interesting and that I want to keep my eye on, and they’re not necessarily books that I will ever end up reading or buying. I feel like I always have to make that distinction because I certainly don’t own even close to 1,000 books even after adding up my digital and physical bookshelves!

I also have a terrible memory so adding to books to my list really helps me when I’m looking to buy books and I can check back to see if I’ve already marked something or not. Short answer: I definitely don’t add to my TBR to keep it big, and in fact I really struggle to keep it small and need to get better at periodically culling the list! As I’ve said in previous posts, I have a semi-problematic relationship with that ‘want-to-read’ button–it’s just too easy to click! 😂

Do I HAVE MULTIPLE TBRs?

I have two TBRs: my Goodreads TBR, with all the books under the sun whether they’re owned or not, and my Owned TBR books that consist of the physical and digital books that I have in my personal library. That said, unlike my Goodreads TBR, I don’t actually *have* a catalogued list of all the books I own and one of my goals this year is to actually start the list (I haven’t yet)! Meep… 🙈 Surprisingly (or maybe not) I don’t always look to my TBR to see what I want to read next. I have a irritatingly bad habit of buying new books instead of reading the ones that I already own, and I know being able to do that is definitely a privilege, and this year I’m working hard to slow down the spending roll and tackling the many (many 😫) books on my shelves!

Do you have abibliophobia? Do you have multiple TBRs and how do you use them? If you don’t have a TBR, how do you find your next read?