Firefly Book Tag

Image result for firefly ship images

I thought I’d try my hand at a my own book tag, for the first time. Of course it has to be Firefly-related, to make my nerdy heart happy. So… take me out to the black, tell ’em I ain’t coming back!

Malcolm Reynolds- A Book with a Conflicted Character

“Mercy is the mark of a great man.” (stabs defeated opponent) 
“I guess I’m just a good  man” (stabs opponent again)
“Well…I’m alright.”
Related image
The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman: Tanis is a very conflicted character. He’s often at war with himself, just like Mal. He’s also in a leadership role and feels that weight immensely.

Image result for dragonlance chronicles

Zoe- A Book With a Hardcore Female Character:
Mal: “Well, look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?”
Zoe: “Big damn heroes, sir!”
Mal: “Ain’t we just.”

Related image
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake: Each of the three queens is strong in her own way, although at the moment Katharine (the poisoner queen) comes to mind.

Image result for three dark crowns

Wash- A Character or Book With a Good Sense of Humor:

“We’re all doomed! Who’s flying this thing?! Oh right, that would be me. Back to work.”

Image result for wash firefly images
Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

This book is so stinking funny, and its sequel is even better. I love clever humor and this book has it in spades.

Image result for kill the farm boy

Jayne: A Violent Book or Character
“You know what the chain of command is? It’s the chain I go get and beat you with ’til ya understand who’s in ruttin’ command here.”

Image result for jayne images firefly

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
One of the many things I love about this series is that no character is safe. The body count builds rather quickly. When revenge turns into revolution, things tend to get messy.

Related image

Kaylee- An Optimistic Book or Character:
Mal: “I don’t think there’s a power in the ‘verse that can stop Kaylee from being cheerful. Sometimes you just wanna duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month.” 
Kaylee:  “I love my captain.”

Related image
The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky:
Okay, hear me out on this one. This book deals with some incredibly heavy subjects. It makes me cry every time (and I reread this one a lot), but it ends on a feeling of hope. I can’t really explain it. If you read it, you’ll get what I mean.

Image result for perks of being a wallflower book

Inara: A Book or Character that’s mysterious:
Mal: “How’s business?”
Inara: “None of yours.”

Image result for firefly inara images

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: One of the many things I love about this book is the air of mystery and impossibility of the Cirque Des Reves, as well as the characters.

Image result for the night circus book

Shepard Book- A Book or Character involving faith
“You don’t fix faith. Faith fixes you.”

Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman: I don’t read a lot of faith-based books, just my Bible. But this book really resonated with me.

Image result for kyle idleman not a fan images

Simon Tam- A Book or Character that’s highly intelligent:
” I don’t care what you’ve done, I don’t know what you’re planning on doing, but I’m trusting you. I think you should do the same. ‘Cause I don’t see this working any other way.”
Image result for simon tam images

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford-English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

This book is fascinating, and I definitely learned some things while reading it. Who knew the dictionary had such an interesting beginning?

Related image

River Tam: A Book or Character that’s a bit creepy:
“Also, I can kill you with my brain.”

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chobsky:
I’m about two thirds of the way through this book, and I can honestly say it’s given me the wiggins. I am loving it so far.

Image result for imaginary friend by stephen chbosky

Well, that’s it for my first attempt at a book tag. If you want to try it with your choices, please be sure to tag me as the creator. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Advertisements

Mental Illness Awareness Week 2019: Bookish Opinions

**This post discusses mental illness and might include something upsetting. Please continue at your own discretion.**

Here’s the thing: I live with mental illness. Along with many, many others, I don’t often talk about it. Why? Stigma. It’s hard to talk about something that is often belittled or disbelieved. Over the years, I’ve gotten some seriously odd (and at times, harmful) comments regarding my bipolar. But I’ve realized something: there is absolutely no reason for me to feel ashamed or embarrassed by my mental illness. Yes, sometimes I am fighting a battle with myself. But I’m fighting, which I think I should be proud of.

Being me, I have several books that I’ve read over the years that portray mental illness in a way that helps me. Here are a few of them. And please know this: if you struggle with mental illness, you are not alone. You are not lesser than. You are not a burden. Not ever.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini : inspired by Ned Vizinni’s own mental hospital stay. It discusses suicide, depression, and finding hope.

Image result for it's kind of a funny story book

“People are screwed up in this world. I’d rather be with someone screwed up and open about it than somebody perfect and ready to explode.”
Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story

If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For by Jamie Tworkoski : Written by the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, these emails and poems discuss depression, drug use, faith, and accepting help.

Image result for if you feel too much book

You are more than just your pain. You are more than wounds, more than drugs, more than death and silence.There is still some time to be surprised. There is still some time to ask for help. There is still some time to start again. There is still some time for love to find you. It’s not too late. You’re not alone. It’s okay –whatever you need and however long it takes- its okay. It’s okay. If you feel too much, there’s still a place for you here. If you feel too much, don’t go. There is still some time.”  -Jamie Tworkowski, If You Feel Too Much

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison : Jamison’s autobiography is incredibly uplifting because, not only did I completely relate, but she is a talented mental health professor despite (because of?) her illness.

Image result for an unquiet mind

I have seen the breadth and depth and width of my mind and heart and seen how frail they both are, and how ultimately unknowable they both are. – Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chobsky: This beautiful book discusses ptsd, depression, possible unspecified mood disorder, and drug use.

Image result for the perks of being a wallflower book

So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.- Stephen Chobsky, Perks of Being a Wallflower

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher: talks mainly about bipolar disorder.

Image result for wishful drinking book

“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of.
They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.” 
― Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking


Are there any books that you feel portray mental illness well? What are they? I’d love to get a list going!

 

Marvel Avengers Book Tag


I have yet to see Endgame (please no spoilers!), but this tag looked like fun. I saw it over at theorangutanlibrarian’s blog. Check it out! If you know who the original credit goes to, please let me know so that I can add that to this post. Here goes:

Iron Man – a book that made you laugh out loud: I am America and So Can You by Stephen ColbertImage result for iron man  imagesImage result for i am america and so can you

It’s been a while since I’ve read it, but this book made me full-on guffaw.

Captain America- A Book that Sends a Positive Message: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Related imageImage result for wishful drinking

“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.”

Having been diagnosed with Bipolar 1 several years ago, I find this book incredibly empowering. The fact that it’s also often hilarious is an added bonus.

Thor- A Book With a Character Whose Strength You Admire: Oddmire: Changeling by William RitterImage result for thor imagesImage result for oddmire changeling images

I love the twins’ mom in this book! She charges into the Wild Wood after her sons with no thought for herself or her safety, simply because they might be in danger. She’s a hardcore mom and I love seeing that kind of bravery represented in a book. Being a parent is definitely not for the weak.

Black Widow- A Book With a Hardcore Female Protagonist: Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Image result for infinity war black widow imagesImage result for crown of feathersVeronyka pretty much rocks. I mean, she is willing to disguise herself to join the phoenix riders, fight while on the back of a giant bird, as well as defy her very manipulative and controlling sister (which might be the scariest of all).

Hulk- A Book that Made You Incredibly Angry: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Image result for mark ruffalo hulk imagesImage result for queen of air and darkness

I went into the reasoning behind my absolute disgust with this book at length in its review (which I will link at the end of this post, if anyone is interested). Suffice it to say, it was so bad that it ruined the entire trilogy for me.

Hawkeye- An Underrated Book that You Think More People Should Pay Attention to: The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge

Image result for hawkeye imagesImage result for the twisted tree book

More people need to read this book. It’s a fast read, with a deliciously eerie feel to it. This is a great one to read on a stormy day.

Loki- A Book With a Twist or Surprise that Tricked You: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

lokiImage result for the seven and a half deaths of evelyn hardcastle

I’m not sure I’d believe anyone who told me that they’d called every twist in this book. It was absolutely wonderful.

Reviews I’ve done:
Oddmire: Changeling by William Ritter
Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge
The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

If you decide to participate, please link back to me. I’d love to see what your answers are!

World Book Day: celebrating the reading highlights of the year so far

 

We all know there’s a “day” for everything: garlic, bread, talking like a pirate…the list goes on. It just so happens that today is World Book Day. Yeah, I was unaware this was a thing too. However, it gives me the perfect excuse to talk about my favorite reads of 2019 so far.

It’s been a stellar start to my reading year. I’ve managed to read a lot more than expected, considering how busy my life gets. I also have started getting ARCs to read and discuss, which my nerdy reader self is incredibly excited for. Some of the books below are ARCs, meaning they aren’t available to purchase yet. However, I highly recommend either pre-ordering them or grabbing them when you see them on shelves. Everything in this post is fantastic!

The Oddmire Book 1: Changeling by William Ritter

Image result for the oddmire book one

I can’t rave about this book enough. Intended for a slightly younger crowd, it is still highly enjoyable for adults. Read my post explaining what makes it so special here.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Image result for daisy jones and the six book
I’d heard about this book constantly for a while before deciding to pick it up. I didn’t think it could possibly live up to all the hype. Trust me, it does. Here’s what I had to say about that.

For the Love of Books: Stories of Literary Lives, Banned Books, Author Feuds, Extraordinary Characters, and More by Graham Tarrant

Image result for for the love of books by graham tarrant
The only thing I don’t like about the book is the ridiculously long title. The book itself is absolutely engrossing. If you’re a reader (and I assume you are if you take the time to read book blogs), this is one to read.

For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

Image result for for a muse of fire
I was already a fan of Heilig after reading The Girl From Everywhere, but this book is above and beyond. A hardcore main character in a fantasy book who has a mental illnes? Yes please!

No Country for Old Gnomes (The Tales of Pell #2) by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

Image result for no country for old gnomes
This book is hilarious. I laughed so hard at parts, it was dangerous (gothic sweaters!). Pick it up.

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Image result for crown of feathers
This was fantastic! The world is so well-realized, and the characters so interesting, adding phoenixes just served to elevate this author even further in my opinion. You can read my review of it here.

There you have it, the best books I’ve read so far this year. There are so many others that I’m looking forward to, as well as the unexpected gems I’m sure to come across. Help me find more to add to my very long tbr list: what are your favorites so far?

“I should have read that” Book Tag

I saw this tag on Mah’s blog. Check it out if you haven’t already! I truly love reading posts by so many bookish people! Without further ado, here are my answers:

  • Thank the person who tagged you, and link back to their post.
  • Link to the creator’s blog.
  • This was originally created by Beth from Books Nest.
  • Answer the questions below.
  • Tag 10 others to take part.

    A Book that a Certain Person is Always Telling You to Read-My husband is one of those ridiculously intelligent people. He loved E=MC2: A Biography of the World’s Most Famous Equation, but I was very intimidated by it. I’m planning on reading it eventually- it sounds fascinating- but I might have to ask him to explain it to me.

    A Book that has Been on Your To Be Read List Forever, that You Still haven’t Picked Up-I want to read The Radium Girls by Kate Moore. I know it’s one that I’ll only read once, so I’m waiting for my library to get it, instead of buying it.

    A Book in a Series that You’ve Started, But Haven’t Finished-A Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab. It’s the second in a series, the first being A Darker Shade of Magic. I loved that one, but have yet to read the second. I have no idea why I haven’t gotten to it yet.

    Image result for a gathering of shadows

    A Classic that You Always Liked the Sound of but I Haven’t Read-The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I quite enjoyed both This Side of Paradise and The Great Gatsby (this hipster reader says “I liked it before it was a movie!”, while pouting), but still need to read more of his.

    A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but you just haven’t read it yet-      Codename Villainelle by Luke Jennings. I absolutely love Killing Eve, the show that is inspired by the book series. I have to read the book because the show is so, so good!

    Image result for codename villanelle

     

    A book you see all over Instagram, but haven’t picked up yet-     I don’t do the Instagram thing, but I keep seeing A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer all over Twitter. To be honest, I’m really not all that interested. I leave it to you, readers, to convince me to give it a go.

    Image result for a curse so dark and lonely

    What about you? What are your answers to these questions? Weigh in!

The 80’s Movie Tag

I saw this tag on paperroyalty’s blog , which you should definitely check out, if you haven’t already. I just finished listening to the theme from The Breakfast Club, so it seems appropriate to write this post now. Here goes:

 Nightmare on Elm Street: A Book that Kept You Up All Night-

Image result for daisy jones and the six book
I had the hardest time putting this one down, it’s so incredibly well-written! Read my review here.

The Princess Bride: A Wonderfully Quotable Book-

Image result for the perks of being a wallflower book
If you haven’t read this book, you are missing out. It’s beautiful, heart-wrenching, and inspirational. My next tattoo will feature a quote from this book: “So this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad, and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
It’s going to be a very large tattoo. Ha ha!

Ferris Beuller’s Day Off: A Character Who Loves Breaking the Rules-

Image result for the three musketeers book

The musketeers (plus D’Artagnan) have a rather contemptuous attitude towards the rules. They do meet during an illegal duel, after all.

4. When Harry Met Sally: A Book Couple that Took Forever to Get Together-

Image result for harry potter book 7
Ron and Hermione took their sweet time, didn’t they?

Back to the Future: A Book Involving Time Travel- 

Image result for a map of days

I don’t read too books that involve time travel, because they have a tendency to feature some glaring plot holes, but I did read  A Map of Days not too long ago.

Pretty in Pink: A Character With a Unique Style-

Image result for crocodile on the sandbank book
I have to go with the incorrigible Amelia Peabody. Sharply-pointed parasols aside, she also ends up wearing a belt with all kinds of “useful” items hanging from it, constantly clanking. By the way, this series is a blast to read.

The Karate Kid: A Book Involving the Mentor/Student Trope: 

Image result for tempests and slaughter
This is the most recent book I’ve read with a focus on the mentor trope. It’s a slower-moving fantasy, which I actually really enjoyed. I guess that’s a rather unpopular opinion, though.

Die Hard: A Book With a Trip that Doesn’t Go According to Plan- 

Image result for the red scrolls of magic
I just started reading this yesterday. I can say with confidence, though, that Magnus was not planning on chasing down a murderous cult (that he may have started as a joke) while on a romantic getaway.

Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark: A Book With the Main Character’s Name in the Title- 

Image result for lenny's book of everything
This book belongs on your shelf, filed under “emotionally devastating books”. It’s available to purchase on the 16th. The books is told from Lenny’s point of view. 

Dirty Dancing: A Female Character Who Came Out of Her Shell-

Image result for me before you book
I read this to see what all the hubbub was about. Meh. It’s not my thing, but if you enjoy it, more power to ya.

E.T: An Ending that Left You Both Happy and Sad-

Image result for the night circus
The ending is perfect, as is the rest of the book, but why did it have to come so soon? I wasn’t ready to re-enter the real world! I wish I could read this incredible book for the first time all over again.

What books would be on your 80’s list?

O.W.Ls Readathon 2019

I admit: like a large part of the population, I’m a Harry Potter fan. Actually, at this point, I’m afraid I’m moving toward being a Harry Potter hipster (“I liked Harry Potter before JK Rowling started in on the constant retconning”). Either way, I’m participating in the O.W.Ls readathon for the first time this year. For those who don’t know what that is, here’s a link to the official video: video.

I’m taking the O.W.Ls required to work toward a career as a librarian. Seriously, it sounds wonderful. Here are the books I’m planning on reading to fulfill each subject requirement. I’m a huge mood reader, though, so these are all subject to change:

Ancient Runes- A Retelling: Blanca and Roja by Anna-Marie Mclemore-

Image result for blanca and roja book

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.
But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts. (taken from Amazon)

I’m in the middle of reading this one right now. It seems to be a mash-up of Snow White and Rose Red and Swan Lake. Despite loving the tale of Swan Lake, I’m really not enjoying this book so far. It’s told from multiple points of view, but the chapters are so short that there’s really no time to get to know these characters and I’m struggling to connect with the story. Here’s hoping it improves.

Arithmancy- Work Written by Multiple Authors: The Big Book of Classic Fantasy edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer

The Big Book of Classic Fantasy ebook by

From the fairy tales we first heard as children, fantasy stories have always been with us. They illuminate the odd and the uncanny, the wondrous and the fantastic: all the things we know are lurking just out of sight–on the other side of the looking-glass, beyond the music of the impossibly haunting violin, through the dark trees of the forest. Other worlds, talking animals, fairies, goblins, demons, tricksters, and mystics: these are the elements that populate a rich literary tradition that spans the globe.
In this collection, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer explore the stories that shaped our modern idea of “fantasy.” There are the expected pillars of the genre: the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Mary Shelley, Christina Rossetti, Nikolai Gogol, Franz Kafka, L. Frank Baum, Robert E. Howard, and J. R. R. Tolkien. But it’s the unexpected treasures from Asian, Eastern European, Scandinavian, and Native American traditions–including fourteen stories never before available in English–that show that the urge to imagine surreal circumstances, bizarre creatures, and strange new worlds is truly a universal phenomenon. A work composed both of careful scholarship and fantastic fun, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy is essential reading for anyone who’s never forgotten the stories that first inspired feelings of astonishment and wonder. (taken from Amazon)

I’m also currently reading this book, since I tend to read two or three books at the same time. I’m odd that way. My fantasy and fairy tale- loving self is fascinated by this book so far.

Defense Against the Dark Arts- Reducto! A book starting with “R”: The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare

Image result for the red scrolls of magic cassandra clare

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping. (taken from Amazon)

The Shadowhunter books are guilty pleasures for me. I think we can all agree that the writing isn’t necessarily the most incredible ever, but the world is a lot of fun. This book releases on the ninth and I’m really hoping to be able to read it a.s.ap.

History of Magic- Published at Least Ten Years Ago: The Beat Book: Writings from the Beat Generation

Image result for the beat book
The Beat Book: Writings from the Beat Generation:  This will be a reread for me, and it won’t be the first time I’ve reread this amazing book. It’s National Poetry Month, though, so I figure that gives me the perfect excuse to dive right back into the fearless, creative writing that defined the Beat Generation.

Transfiguration: Sprayed Edges or Red Cover- Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

Image result for lenny's book of everything

You can’t get much redder than this gorgeous cover. I recently posted a review on this book, which you can check out here. This book was beautiful but very, very sad.

There you have it! Are any of you participating in this year’s O.W.Ls readathon? What career have you chosen? Oh, in case you were wondering: I’m a Ravenclaw.

Harry Potter Spells Tag

I saw this great tag on Becky’s Book Blog and I just had to do my own. If you don’t follow her blog, you’re missing out.

Expecto Patronum- A Childhood Book Connected to Good MemoriesImage result for trixie belden booksI remember my mom reading the old Trixie Belden books to me, a chapter a night. I loved those things! Of course, they’re completely dated, but that’s part of the charm.

.Expelliarmus- A Book that Took You By Surprise:

Image result for daisy jones and the six book

Daisy Jones & the Six completely blew me away. I read it simply because several bloggers whose taste I trust had raved about it and I am so, so glad I did! (Read my review: here).

Prior Incantato- The Last Book You Read:

Image result for shadow frost coco ma

Shadow Frost by Coco Ma. I don’t want to mention to much about it because I’m going to post a review in the next day or so, as soon as I gather my thoughts, but if you’re interested, this book will be available to buy on October first.

Alohamora- A Book that Introduced You to a Genre You Had Not Considered Before:

Image result for the clockmakers' daughter
I will read pretty much anything, except for romance and erotica, but I guess I’d have to say that The Clockmaker’s Daughter is the first that comes to mind. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but this book makes me willing to read outside my usual genres more often.

Riddikulus- A Book that Made You Laugh:

Image result for janet evanovich book 1
I haven’t read all of Janet Evanovich’s books (I think I stopped around nineteen or so), but the first few cracked me up. They’re zany fun

.Sonorous- A Book You Think Everyone Should Know About:

Image result for dragonlance chronicles
At the risk of sounding like a broken record (yes, I’m aware that phrase dates me), I have to go with the Dragonlance Chronicles. Again. I will never stop suggesting that everyone read these.

Obliviate- A Book or Spoiler You’d Love to Forget Having Read:

Image result for hunting party book
Honestly, I wish I’d never read The Hunting Party. I am not going to say why, because it’s a major spoiler, but I ended up being very, very disappointed. I’m taking a break from that crime/thriller genre for a bit specifically because of this book

Imperio- A Book I had to Read for School:

Related image
Narrowing it down to one book is difficult, but I remember loving the Beowulf unit we did in eleventh grade. I’ve reread that one several times and I still think it’s fantastic.

Crucio- A Book that was Painful to Read:

Image result for a child called it book

This book is a gut-punch. I could not believe what this poor child went through. I cried through most of the book, only finishing because I had to know that things got better.

Avada Kedavra- A Book that Could Kill (interpret as you will):

Image result for i am america and so can you
I was in danger of choking from laughing too hard. It’s so ridiculous!

Feel free to participate if you want! I would love to read other answers!

Genre disappointment

I was going to review a mystery/thriller that I finished not too long ago, but I’ve decided not to review this particular book. It wasn’t poorly written, full of typos, or incoherent. So, why am I not going to review this book, you ask? Three words: mental illness stigma.

Now that you’re probably rolling your eyes and preparing to unfollow my blog, let me give you a bit of my background. Around twenty odd years ago, I was diagnosed as having bipolar type 1, as well as an anxiety disorder. Actually, let me back up: I was diagnosed with grand mal epilepsy, an unspecified sleep disorder, major depressive disorder, and the lovely generalized anxiety disorder. Eventually, bipolar 1 replaced the mdd diagnosis. Then came the pills; lots and lots of them. I was a minor when all this started, so I had very little say in my own treatment (remember, this was twenty years ago). Chances are, if you can name it, I’ve been on it at some point. Mental illness treatment is seldom linear, and in my case, I was also being put on different medications for epilepsy (oddly enough, I’m currently on a mood stabilizer that also acts as an anti-convulsant. Go figure). There were upsets, bad side effects (one antidepressant actually made me suicidal), and several hospitalizations.

I don’t write any of this in an attempt to receive anything remotely resembling pity: I’m here, I’m currently doing well, and my mental illness is simply one part of the person I am- and not even the most defining part. However, it does play into why I’m so bummed about the book I finished recently.

This book, which I will not name, had an interesting premise, unique characters, and a fantastic setting. It moved at a good pace, and had several twists and turns that kept me reading. But, once again, as has happened quite often recently, the murderer’s sole reason for committing the crime was simply “mental illness.” And with that, this book lost me. I feel that, not only is it lazy writing for a character’s complete motivation to be thrown on ye random mental illness (in the case of this book, it was undefined, but I’ve seen a lot of schizophrenia and borderline personality disorders filling in that blank lately), it can be harmful to those who are just beginning the very long road to getting help with mental illness.

I read because I love to visit different places, see through different eyes, and experience new things. If I’d read multiple books describing violent, irredeemable monsters as having a mental illness back when I was still struggling horribly to just continue, it would have broken me.

Now, of course authors are free to write anything they want. And of course, people reading my ramblings might think I’m overreacting (maybe I am), but I want to try something: I want any of you who are still with me at this point to comment with a mystery/thriller or fantasy that portrays mental illness in a healthy light. I’d love to read those books. And, maybe- just maybe- I’m not the only one.

So, weigh in please: let’s get a good list going. And I promise, the next blog post will be back to my semi-regularly scheduled broadcast.

The Fairy Tale Book Tag

This one is fun! It’s also a lot more thought provoking than I thought it would be. I originally saw this here on this great blog: bookishwisps.

Here are the rules:

  1. Answer as many questions as you can!
  2. Tag five fairy tale lovers.
  3. Creator of the Tag Adele of Dellybird

Have fun!

The Questions

1. Beauty and the Beast

“He’s no monster…” A character that makes mistakes but redeems themselves in the end.

Image result for echo north characters
Wow, there are some seriously terrible mistakes made! Hal, in particular, comes to mind when I think of a character who redeems himself.

2 – Sleeping Beauty

“One upon a dream…” A book that put you to sleep

Image result for mariah mundi and the midas box book

I tried so hard to get into this book, but it just…never…started. I ended up not finishing it. Look at the fantastic cover, though!

3 – The Little Mermaid

“Nothing gave her greater pleasure than to hear about the world of human beings up above” – A book that excites you or is full of adventure.

Image result for crown of feathers

Anyone who loves fantasy needs to read this book! The setup is fantastic, the story is interesting, and the battle scenes are epic! I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I could go on at length about this book, but I already did in a previous post, so I’ll refrain.

4 – Cinderella

“Perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever take is to be seen as we really are” – A book where a character is mistreated.

Image result for miss peregrine's home for peculiar children book

I was first drawn to this book by the somewhat eerie photographs; writing a book around them was a very unique idea. I’d really love to ask Ransom Riggs how he was able to come up with the story he did, based on just a few odd photos. Kudos to him for creativity! I must say, though, that poor Miss Peregrine, among others, wasn’t treated all that well by the villains in this series.

5 – Peter Pan

“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away, and away means forgetting” – A book that you will never forget!

Image result for an unquiet mind

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 1 about twenty years ago. Reading Kay Redfield Jamison’s account of her life with bipolar was an incredible experience for me, partially because she’s incredibly successful in her field, despite having mental health setbacks along the way. There were a few times where I had to just stop reading and sit for a minute because I had that “Finally, someone understands what it’s like!” moment. I’ll never forget that.

6 – The Ugly Duckling

“It is only with the heart that one can see clearly, for the most essential things are invisible to the eye” – A book or character that you love but others don’t see the same way.

Image result for the hazel wood

For some reason, this one seemed to slip under the radar. It’s very well written, with a bit of a spooky feel to it, which I really liked. I would absolutely love to read a book of short stories based around the Hinterland (read the book; you’ll know what that means)!

7 – The Princess and the Pea

“She had felt one pea all the way through twenty mattresses and twenty more feather beds” – A book or character that made you uncomfortable.

Image result for vicious by ve schwab

Neither Victor nor Eli are what you’d call nice people. Their moral compass seems to be skewed. Unfortunately, even though the writing was superb, I was unable to finish this book because there was a lot of self-mutilation which really bothered me. If that sort of thing is something you can handle, please read this book and tell me how it ends. I’m dying to know!

8 – Little Red Riding Hood

“Oh Granny, what big teeth you have!” – A book or character that wasn’t what they seemed.

Image result for the seven and a half deaths of evelyn hardcastle

I refuse to give anything away, but I will say this: I guarantee you’ll be surprised. Read this book!

9 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

“I’ll take a chance for her” – A book with great friends.

Image result for perks of being a wallflower book

If you have a friend as loyal and considerate as Charlie, you’re a very fortunate person.

10 – Alice in Wonderland

“Who in the world am I? – A book about identity or a character who questions themselves.

Image result for for a muse of fire

I’m about three quarters of the way through this book and the main character, Jetta, definitely has some questions about who (what?) she is. Some of the tidbits that I’ve read about her throughout the book are very intriguing. So far, this has been an excellent read.

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Feel free to write your own post – I’d love to see more answers!