Wrap-Up: Beware The Ides of March | Books, Blogging, and Questioning Life Decisions

Well, if I thought February was bad… March was just another level. I’ve been in this weird sort of limbo for the past couple of weeks, but in any case this led to me reading a lot. And I consider that an absolute win.

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Well, if I thought February was bad… March was just another level. I’ve been in this weird sort of limbo for the past couple of weeks, but in any case this led to me reading a lot. And I consider that an absolute win.

Reading:

I read a whole slew of extremely dark and depressing books this month. However, it was simultaneously a whole slew of extremely good books. Well, for the most part, at least.

I read a total of eleven “books” this month, but four of them were short stories or essays, so it’s really more like I read seven books.

1-2 stars

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (YA, contemporary, mystery/thriller)– long story short, this book read like something you’d get if you fed an AI 10,000 words of antiracism books, “deconstructing whiteness” seminars and the script of that Karen movie trailer and then told it to write a YA thriller. I’ll be posting my full blog review soon, but here’s my initial Goodreads rant

“The Dead” by James Joyce (classics, short stories)– good lord, this was the most painfully boring and pointless short story I have ever had to read for school. The writing was nice at the end, but it didn’t make up for the slog of the first 28 pages. I’m sorry James Joyce, but I don’t know why you had to draw out that story so much.

“Araby” by James Joyce (classics, short stories)- I also didn’t like this one very much, though it was more interesting than “The Dead.” Also read for school.

3.5-4 stars

“We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (essays, feminism)– I’d been seeing this feminist essay all over Goodreads for about a year, I finally got around to reading it, and it was great! Read my Goodreads review

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (historical fiction)– another school book. It was overall very well written, but there were a lot of plot coincidences that were explained too easily. However, I think this is a very important book to read. My Goodreads review

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang (fantasy, historical fantasy)– the ending of this book was five star material. The beginning and middle of it, though, I thought was a bit slow and tonally confused. I will definitely be continuing with the series though.

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell (memoir, historical, politics)– this memoir of Orwell’s time in Spain during the Spanish Civil War was really interesting to read, especially in looking at the parallels to Animal Farm and 1984. Goodreads review!

4.5-5 stars:

Pet Sematary by Stephen King (horror)– when you get home from school and read for three hours just to finish a book, well, you know it’s got to you. This was the first SK book I actually really liked and one part legitimately creeped me out a lot. I have a lot to say about this book as well as a half-written review in my blog drafts.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #2) by Douglas Adams (sci-fi, humor)– the fact that I didn’t read this series until this year is a travesty honestly (See my Goodreads quotes dump!)

“Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell (classics, essays, politics)- George Orwell would have an aneurysm if he went on Twitter. My review for this essay will be posted… some time… but I wrote a Goodreads review here.

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut (classics, historical fiction)– this book seriously messed with my head. It was extremely disturbing and left me with so much to think about that it was on my mind for a good couple days after finishing it. Goodreads review!

Movies, Podcasts, and Other Miscellanea That’s Not Reading:

In the podcasts category, I continued listening to Darknet Diaries, which continues to be my favorite podcast ever. It’s a cybersecurity/true crime podcast that does episodes on different computer viruses, hackers and the dark web. I’m going to be studying cybersecurity in college and this is one of the things that got me interested in it.

As for movies, I watched:

War Games (1983)– The lesson of this movie is: use a strong password with at least 12 characters including at least 3 numbers to protect your nuclear launch codes.

Ten Things I Hate About You (1999)– not going to lie, guys, I was kind of insulted by this movie considering the sister that was supposed to be “mean and antisocial” was literally just the extraverted version of me

Blogging:

Here’s everything I posted this month:

Why You Should Read I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (Book Review)

Yes, We Should Separate the Art from the Artist

Book Blogging is Dead, But That’s Okay

On Blogging, Hobbies and Books: A Spontaneous Blogiversary Q&A

That’s right, my blog also turned two years old this month. Time flies.

Around The Blogosphere:

Here are some of the great posts I read this month:

Amanda @ Bookish Brews wrote about why literature is so important

Krysta @ Pages Unbound posted a flow chart guide to which Tolkien book you should read

Maria @ The Character Study shared some ways to legally read books online for free

Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books listed 21st-century books she thinks will become classics

That’s all for my March wrap-up. How was your month? Did you read any particularly good books? Let me know in the comments!

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9 comments on “Wrap-Up: Beware The Ides of March | Books, Blogging, and Questioning Life Decisions”

  1. I hope things get better for you, but glad you were able to read so much! I watched War Games back in 1983, and haven’t watched it since. It was actually kind of scary back then because we didn’t know much about computers and what they could do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha, I actually really enjoyed Ace of Spades (although I did think the ending happened a bit too quickly and that the some of the characters were unbelievably unskeptical about certain things) and loved the beginning of The Poppy War way more than the second half 🤣 But I guess tastes differ, and I’m glad you found so many great books this month!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Book ratings is always so unbelievable subjective I sometimes wonder why I bother to rate them lol.

      Ace of Spades I thought it was pretty good in the beginning, but I just did not find it realistic and that kind of ruined it for me– there’s really no way a racist conspiracy of that magnitude could have happened in the US and gotten away with it. I also don’t believe that every single white person and all the institutions in this country are racist which is what the main message of the book seemed to be. Obviously there is racism though, and I think the book could have been really important social commentary that’s important for people to read but I personally didn’t think that it was executed well. I thought the commentary on homophobia was much better in that book though and people have been saying that representation was good, so those were the good things about the book.

      As for the Poppy War I liked the beginning and I liked the ending but I was kind of bored in the middle. I guess I’m not that interested in military strategy. There was also a HUGE shift in tone between the beginning and the end. Have you read the rest of the series? I need to get the second book

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      1. Well, I always think it’s super interesting to see everyone’s different reactions to one and the same book, so I wouldn’t worry about subjective ratings too much – they’re part of the fun! 😄

        And I don’t know… I do feel like conspiracies like that could exist – at least if they were a bit less obvious about how they presented themselves publicly. I was also extremely skeptical about a school being called Niveus Academy and nobody ever questioning the name or researching anything about it 🤔 Like, especially if you got offered a scholarship there, wouldn’t you do some research? And I also thought it was a bit far-fetched that there continued to be so many such cases years after the original conspiracy had been uncovered. I never felt like the book was implying all institutions in the US were racist, though… But I suppose how you interpret that is all very subjective, too! Either way, I’m sorry you didn’t like it more and hope your next read is better!

        And regarding The Poppy War – I have also read the sequel, but found that one rather mediocre in comparison 😅 I did really like some aspects of it, but it was very plot-focused with a ton of battle strategy and military combat, and I personally also don’t like that much. I do absolutely adore fantasy with lots of politics, but to grab my attention, a book needs to be very character-driven, too! So I need to see how the politics are affecting the characters emotionally and how they are influencing relationships, not just listen to lots of strategy and epic battle scenes 😅 Still, I really want to read the final book eventually! I’m just too curious as to how everything ends!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. the reason I interpreted Ace of Spades that way is because it’s a pretty common political narrative here and there were a few quotes and plot points that specifically made me think so, such as when they were talking about how institutions all over the US have a Niveus academy plot, even the news organizations, etc. I just thought the book was too heavy handed at times to be effective in the way that I think it was intending to be
        Oh yeah I’m excited to read the next Poppy War book, I like plot driven things so I’ll see how I like it. I really liked how the first book was based on real history

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah, I definitely see why it’s possible to have that perspective, even if I personally didn’t interpret the book that way!

        And The Dragon Republic is super history based as well – that was one of my favorite aspects 😊 – so hopefully, you’ll end up liking it!

        Liked by 1 person

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