f The Geeky Burrow

6.27.2016

Books I don't Want to Read but I Feel I Should

Few days ago I watched a video from one of my favorite Booktubers, Melissa, and I realized I feel the same way about books I don't actually want to read but I feel I should. Don't get me wrong, it's basically just a psychological thing, I can be easily influenced by the internet, nobody is actually forcing me to read them. But you know, joining the bookish community means also being exposed to all kind of book and new releases and, at some point, you may start feeling like you HAVE to read those books or series because everybody read them and said they're amazing even if it's not your genre.

For example, fairytale retellings aren't actually my jam, especially if they are in a sort of sci-fi/dystopian environment like The Lunar Chronicles. I don't read sci-fi and I don't actually go mad for fairytale retellings, BUT I found myself many times looking at Amazon for catching Cinder at a good price. I felt like I HAD to read this series to be a good bookworm, because it's what everybody does.

I know how stupid I sound.

I had the same issue with some british classics such as Wuthering Highs or Jane Eyre or Emma. I've read them in the past, because all the cool bloggers I admired (back in the days of my first blog in italian) loved these books and they even matched their Pinterest aesthetic. I finished them because I couldn't leave unfinished my readings at that time and also because I was so insecure that I wanted to prove myself I was like them. I basically forced myself liking those books. Emma was an exception, since it was the NovelTea Book Club pick of the month some time ago and, since everybody said great things about it, I decided to give it a try. Well, I ended up not finishing the book, because it wasn't for me at all and I'm happy about that, because, for the first time, I didn't finish a book that I didn't enjoy to prove something to myself.

Another example is Night Circus. Everybody loves it on Goodreads, they say it's such an amazing book and recommend it around, so I added it to my Amazon wishlist, hoping to catch it on sale. But, again, I realized I don't actually want to read it because I hate everything that has something to do with the circus since I was a child! (Despite I don't tolerate animals used to make a show, I don't like that kind of art even with human beings) So why the heck should I read a book about a subject I dislike so much??

The positive thing is that, recognizing my behavior, I can modify it, right?

I don't want to care about how my reading choices may look from the outside. Reading books about the adventures of Jessica Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote) is not cool? I don't care, I'm going to keep reading that series because it's amazing to me.

So, please please please, bookworms, do not read books you don't care about just to fit in! Fight your insecurity!


Do you have any books/series you don't want to read but you feel you should?

6.24.2016

Book Talk | The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Pages: 178
Published: June 18th 2013 by William Morrow Books

Goodreads

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

I've heard amazing things about Neil Gaiman and I really wanted to read something by him, so when the NovelTea Book Club chose The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Kristin reassured me it was the good book to be introduced to this author, I started reading it.

I knew the author writes creepy stories, but I wasn't prepared for, well, this. It's probably one of the weirdest books I've ever read and I can't explain to myself how I managed to finish it so soon. On one side, I really wanted to abandon it, because it was too surreal and too creepy for my tastes, while, on the other side, I desperately wanted to know how it would end. Despite all, it was a smooth reading, even if it wasn't in my mother tongue, and I really enjoyed Gaiman's writing style.

The story is told in first person by a man who was only 7 years old at the time of the events, but this is definitely a book for adults. One of the things that impressed me was the absence of a line mentioning the name of the main character, the narrator, and I realized it just at the end of the book! I really enjoyed how the author described the life in the countryside, the Hempstocks' house with that cozy kitchen and yummy country food, it reminded me of my childhood at the farm of my mom's aunt. I also loved the way Gaiman described the various cats in this story, you can easily tell that he knows and appreciate animals. The attachment of the narrator to his kittens (for the first one I still have tears in my eyes!!) is simply adorable!

I liked many things of this book, but some parts were so absurd and creepy that I didn't feel myself comfortable reading them. Half way through the book I was so disappointed by the story that I promised myself to not read something by Neil Gaiman again, but now I realize that I really enjoy his writing style and I might appreciate his other books, since I really liked the movie based on Stardust!


6.17.2016

Exploring My Bookshelves | Favorite Bookish Father

Exploring My Bookshelves is a weekly meme created by Addlepates and Book Nerds and For the Love of Words.


Favorite Bookish Father

Arthur Weasley is probably my favorite father in the whole literature! I love how he worries about his children, but also doesn't scold them when they break the rules, my favorite example is when he finds out that Ron used the flying car to save Harry from their relatives and reach the Burrow. Arthur is such a loyal and funny guy, and a wonderful father as well as a husband, I really enjoyed how Mark Williams portrayed him in the movies.

“Molly! I’ve got to ask you your question first!” “Arthur, really, this is just silly. . . .” “What do you like me to call you when we’re alone together?” Even by the dim light of the lantern Harry could tell that Mrs. Weasley had turned bright red; he himself felt suddenly warm around the ears and neck, and hastily gulped soup, clattering his spoon as loudly as he could against the bowl. “Mollywobbles,” whispered a mortified Mrs. Weasley into the crack at the edge of the door. “Correct,” said Mr. Weasley. “Now you can let me in.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


What's your favorite bookish father? :)

6.13.2016

Less | My June Action Step

One Little Word® is a year-long workshop by Ali Edwards that helps you choosing a word for the year and focusing, meditating, reflecting on it. My word for 2016 is less.
As I wrote in the private group of the One Little Word class, I felt very disconnected with my word lately, I didn't even do the previous two monthly prompts and I felt very bad about it, I even asked myself if it was worth continuing with the project. But now I decided to take June as a new beginning.

I started thinking what was keeping my mind too busy, crowded with thoughts, what I actually felt like a chore instead of a pleasure, and I ended up realizing it was blogging. Since last year, when I started watching webinars, reading about marketing and how to become an entrepreneur (only because I liked it), I followed all the rules scheduling my posts, using an editorial calendar, trying so badly to stick with 2/3 posts per week, because "consistency is the key". But I'm a university student and it's hard, very hard, especially during Summer when my exams last until the end of July.

So, in June (and probably most of the Summer), I'm going to break the rules, blogging only when I'll feel like it, instead of trying to stick with consistency. I'll still use my editorial calendar, but I'll mostly move things around to suit my mood, instead of force myself to write that post, because it HAS to be publish that day.

I miss the three-month Summer holidays I had when I went to school! :)

Do you have any specific plans for your blog during Summer?

6.10.2016

Book Talk | The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs

Title: The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks
Author: Sam Maggs
Pages: 208
Published: May 12th 2015 by Quirk Books

Goodreads

Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed with tips, playthroughs, and cheat codes for everything from starting an online fan community to planning a convention visit to supporting fellow female geeks in the wild.

I started this book few mornings ago, during my commute and I immediately liked it. I didn't know the author, but her writing style was appealing to me, because it looked like I was reading a blog.

I really enjoyed the way she describes all the various fandoms adding all the quirks and the characteristics of each "world", the Tolkien one wasn't very accurate, but I think it's just because it's my main fandom, so I'm a bit picky. :) What I really appreciated from the first pages of this books was the dictionary/encyclopedia chapter with all the geeky words used by fangirls. I wish I had something like that when I discovered the Tolkien fandom online four years ago! Being a not native english person, it was very hard to understand the meaning and the right context of many words!

The book is a very easy reading and it's packed with tons of resources, useful even if you aren't a newbie anymore. There are different levels of knowledge of the geekverse in my opinion and there is always something to learn, so I think this would be a great resource for everybody, not matter your status.

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy is an enjoyable book, but I have a personal criticism to do: it's for american readers. All the conventions, the events and so on, are all things you can find in US, the author doesn't mention all the other geeky gatherings around the world. The general setting of this book made me feel like she wrote it just for american people, because she never mentions other countries. I cound easily entitle the book The US Fangirl's Guide...

That said, I enjoyed reading it and would definitely recommend it to my fellow geek friends.


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