Tag Archives: Books

Spooky Reads: an October TBR

Hey everyone! In reality, I have a never-ending TBR but since we have officially entered spooky season, I have decided to pull my spookiest reads from it for my October TBR. Which let’s face it is not very spooky at all because I’m a scaredy-cat and already avoid most scary books… One of the spookiest YA books I *tried* to read was Mara Dyer. Yeah no, I got nightmares after that….These will cover a variety of genres including fantasy, horror, mystery and more since a lot of them overlap. 


Fantasy: 

Before The Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

This is the third book in the Diviners series which I have been dying to get back into. I honestly will need a refresher of what happened in the other books before I dive into this one, but I am scared from the title (and cover!) alone *shivers*. I’m not usually one to pause in the middle of a series, but it happened with this one even though I do remember enjoying it. It is a historical fantasy set in the 1920s following a girl named Evie who moves to New York and meets other “diviners” like her who possess supernatural powers. This book has great reviews from my Goodreads friends so that’s promising and makes me even more excited to get back to this series. 


Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

This book has been on my radar lately and I’ve only heard amazing things about it! The main character is trans and Latinx and it is written by a trans author. I am here for the representation and supporting #OwnVoices and trans authors because my shelf is severely lacking. The story follows a boy named Yadriel who, wanting to prove himself as a brujo, performs a ritual intending to set free the ghost of his murdered cousin when instead he summons the ghost of Julian Diaz  – the school bad boy. (Don’t go googling rituals at 1:30 am, why’d I do that?) To be honest, Cemetery Boys sounds exactly like the kind of spooky I read and know I can handle and love. Becoming friends (and maybe lovers?) with friendly ghosts? (Okay, I also currently have a Julie and The Phantoms obsession) Yes, count me in. 


Coraline by Neil Gaiman 

I feel like I’m the only one I know who hasn’t read or watched Coraline and I need to change that asap. I actually didn’t know behind the door there are lost souls of children but now I’m scared. I would love to watch the movie after reading this one too!


Horror:

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

So I don’t know too much about this book but it seems like it is one you don’t want to go in with too much information. All I know is it is about a girls school that gets put under quarantine due to a mysterious illness? (does not seem very far-fetched in these times..) I also know that it’s sapphic and has a really pretty cover. So I’m sold. I’ll admit it has been on my TBR for a little while as it being a horror has kind of put me off but I am tempted everytime I see its pretty cover in the bookstore. What better time to read it then now? 


Mystery: 

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Mystery mystery. I’ve always loved a good mystery (I tried reading one of the original Nancy Drew books “The Mystery of The 99 Steps” when I was younger and had nightmares about that one for days) but anyways when it comes to YA I feel like there’s a lack of murder mysteries. I came across this one on a Twitter recommendation for YA mysteries and probably because I had just watched Enola Holmes and Sherlock retellings were on my mind, I immediately added it to my TBR. Charlotte Holmes is the great-great-great granddaughter of Sherlock and is framed along with Jamie Watson for murder at their Connecticut prep school. I realized I love anticipating or being surprised by big twists in books so I hope this book can fill the mystery-shaped hole that’s been in my heart (along with rewatching episodes of Scooby-Doo of course).  


And I think that’s it! There are a lot more scary stories out there for me to read but I did want to make this semi-attainable and include books that have been on my TBR for a while along with newer ones I’m excited for. Okay well, I have a confession to make… recently I have also started reading the Twilight series for the first time after my friend read/watched it and loved it. As a faithful book lover friend and a self-proclaimed YA lover, I think it was bound to happen sometime, so I started it. I am currently on the second book New Moon and so far it seems to be more dramatic than at all scary (those 4 blanks months were the most dramatic moments in literature I think I have ever experienced). However, I did have a dream about Twilight the other night so maybe that says something. So New Moon is partly on my TBR for this month but as it is a big book, I’m thinking to put it on hold for now.

Vision Board: The Procrastireader

This is my vision/aesthetics board for my blog. I created it to represent the vision, feel, and ideas behind my blog. While these are not my own photographs I did pick them based on photos I may like to share within my posts later on. I included the text post which inspired the name of my blog. Also, when I enjoy a book I often look for quotes or text posts about it, long after I read it. I like visiting the library and bookstores a lot especially with friends. My favourite places to read are probably in my bed or somewhere in nature. I included an annotated book as though I don’t often write in my own books, I like to keep notes or place sticky tabs in the pages. With my vision board, I hope to convey my love for reading and hopefully it is something you as a reader can also identify with! 

*Disclaimer*: None of these photos are mine, they were all found on Pinterest.

The 9 Books I’ve Read in Self-Isolation: March Reading Wrap Up

In the past couple weeks I’ve have been self-isolating, and in order to keep myself entertained I’ve been 100% keeping up to date with ALL of my school work! Oh wait, no, sorry. I have actually been keeping up to date with about 0% (maybe 1%?) of my school work. What I’ve actually been doing is reading a lot of books and watching some movies and binging some TV. However, today I’m going to be focusing on the books that I’ve read. Mainly because there are 9 (NINE!)

1.) I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi

This first book is actually one I read as part of a book club! It’s essentially a “soft sci-fi” which pretty much means it’s a contemporary book with some sci-fi elements mixed in. Following three teens on the journeys they each embark on after earth is contacted by aliens, telling everyone they have seven days until hey are put on trial. I enjoyed this book, but found myself disconnected from the characters due to the way that it was written. And the ending kind of feels like the author just stopped. That being said, I would actually recommend this to anyone looking for an “end of the world” type thing, especially seeing out current situation.

2,3,4.) Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy, Chain of Gold and Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare and others

The reason I have lumped these all together is because they are all part of a much larger series of books known to many as The Shadow Hunter Chronicles. Cassandra Clare has three (going on 4/5 now) complete series, as well as three short story compilations that follow characters known as Shadowhunters — humans with angel blood who fight demons. The problem with the three books I’ve read this past month is that I can’t really recommend them to anyone who hasn’t already read her books, because they do contain spoilers for her other series! That being said, I really enjoyed all three books and if you’ve read Clare’s other books and liked them, I would definitely suggest checking them out. And if you haven’t read any of her books, check out either The Infernal Devices or The Mortal Instruments first.

5.) A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

This is an extremely sweet as well as heart wrenching — but also warming — book. Following a young muslim girl who moves to a new town just one year after the 9/11 attacks. chronicling her year at a new school, the new people she meets, as well as the break dancing club she starts with. her brother. I really enjoyed this book, especially because I have never read anything with this subject matter. Being an own voices story, inspired by the author’s adolescence (break dancing and everything!)

6.) Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell

This book isn’t really a book, and is rather two (very) short stories compiled into two bindings. The first Midnights follows a girl who pines after her best friend and has to watch him kiss a different girl at midnight every single New Years Eve. And the second story, Kindred Spirits, follows a young girl who waits in line for the first movie in the new Star Wars sequel trilogy. And the trials and tribulations of sleeping outside a movie theatre for two days and with two people who don’t know — despite the fact that they share a love for Star Wars. Now I’m not a HUGE fan of extremely short stories like these, mainly because I’m an extremely character based reader. I love to get to know characters, and by the time I got to know these ones — the story was over. That being said I really enjoyed the second story, being a Star Wars fan myself. There were lots of cute little references mixed in that I was able to enjoy.

7.) In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterfreund

This next book I read was yet again for the book club i’m a part of! inspired by the board game Clue, this is a modernized murder mystery. Taking place in a fancy boarding school and following the few students who get trapped in one of the school buildings when there is a horrible storm. The only way I can describe this book is fun. It’s extremely easy to read and gets it’s point across easily. My only complaint is the different points of view that it’s told in throughout the story.

8.) All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban

This is an audio book that I ended up listening to as I cleaned my room one day. I signed up for the Scribd free one month promotion, and chose a book I saw a few people talking about online. Putting a modern twist on Agatha Christie novels mixed with The Breakfast Club. X teens are invited to a scholarship dinner with the mayor, but he never shows. With the door slamming shut and trapping them in the room, stuck with a bomb, a syringe, and a note saying: they have an our to kill someone, or everyone dies. Although, unfortunately I just don’t think it was for me. I had trouble believing the overall “reveal” and like many of the other books I read this month — I didn’t love the way that it was written.

9.) If We Were Villains by M.L Rio

The last book I read this month is one I have been DYING to read. Following the 7 teens that make up the fourth years of a very prestigious Shakespearean theatre program. It goes back and forth between their 4th year and ten years in the future when one of the students is being released from jail, for murder. I really really enjoyed this one. It is so pretentious, but that’s something I really enjoy — so if you get annoyed at 21 year olds who quote Shakespeare in everyday conversations it’s not for you. I will also say that I started to read this one day, tried to stop, but then ended up staying up until 3am so I could read the whole thing. But if you don’t like Shakespeare, this is probably not for you.


So there we have it! the 9 books I read in March! I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe and healthy. If anything this is the best time for us to be turning to things like literature and film, as they help us escape the world outside.

The post The 9 Books I’ve Read in Self-Isolation: March Reading Wrap Up appeared first on [NOT SO] ELOQUENT EMMA .

Process Post 7 – Feedback

Peer reviews are daunting. Completing a review for someone else is difficult, especially when you’re not necessarily an expert on the content (blogging), or when you, yourself have a blog that will receive a review in return… in exchange for a grade. They are also challenging to read when you’re under scrutiny; will they like what I have to say? What will they think about my photos? Will the content of my writing be clear, offensive, engaging or just plainly boring? I feel this is one of the issues we face as bloggers (I’m calling myself a blogger now, apparently); personalizing a space to reflect yourself and your interests, then publishing it for the universe to troll, critique and destroy. Blogging is simple, but it is not easy. What you post, share or reveal is vulnerable to what others think, and what others think can be as destructive, like Cyberhate, which you can read about here,  as it is liberating, enjoyable and of course, democratic (see a variety of #Posiel posts debating this). I argue for.

For the latest review I received, I was delighted to attain significant positive feedback from Jill’s Book Blog, which you can access here, but also some constructive feedback that will greatly benefit ReRouted. In being transparent, of course I take delight in reading her humbling feedback, but I truly value her primary suggestion that images/photos within the posts would better serve the overall layout and theme of the blog, as well as make the reading more approachable and intriguing. With this in mind, the process in which I encountered this week was incorporating photos directly into the blog and process posts, which involved consideration of suitability for the post and aesthetics.

Because much of the photography on my blog is of myself, I wanted to balance the images with ones that are less personalized, but still reflective of the content and overall theme of my experience of change. I feel that my blog is very personal, so in seeking greater balance, I am enhancing relatability and hopefully broadening the appeal of my content by doing this. I have done a lot of thinking about how my writing is interpreted by others, but have neglected the idea for how images can or haven’t been doing the same. Brown University has a fascinating presentation on why people perceive text differently, which made me think, perhaps my text isn’t what I think, and if so, or even if it is, how do photos support either conclusion?

In consideration of images, I wanted to be cognizant of colour, size and focusing on finding relatively simple images that support the writing as opposed to detracting from it. Likewise, I wanted the images to be a part of the writing itself, so as the image itself can offer some greater context or meaning of the conversation. I want the image to be an anchor in the post that organically reveals some of the content. I feel this is important because for many readers, busy ones especially, as well as keyboard warriors on the prowl, photos provide a quick glimpse into what’s new, relevant and a part of my thoughts and life. I also took some of Jill’s advice in having the layout of images reflect that of the landing page; like an advent calendar, which is what I was kind of going for from the conception of this blog. Notorious blogger, Neil Patel has some great insights on selecting images which you can read here. Additionally, Shout Me Loud outlines several reasons why including images on your blog is valuable, which you can also see here.

There is still some general tidying-up that needs to be done to enhance upload speeds, function and layout. I have been working on paper to come up with something a bit more user-friendly and hope to make these changes soon. I’m hoping to implement some more major edits soon, as I would like the blog to be a little more polished. That said, Jill’s comments regarding her appreciation for the content and the theme or feel of the blog is reassuring that I’m on the right track… for some people at least. For others, they can go here for entertainment value.

I want to extend a kind thanks to Jill for providing such a positive and helpful review; I only hope that I offered her even half the same in return. As many people as blogs reach, the act of blogging can actually be quite lonely. You are trying to build a community, but the vacuum in which you do so is a cyclone within yourself and your own interests. Your reach is far in terms of potential, but you’re in isolation, behind a screen, sharing what it is that you find shareable. This in and of itself is intimidating – here you are, in front of the world, one in which can judge you without repercussion, offering your thoughts, feelings and fears. The blogosphere is yuge, but like the universe, there are many constellations and systems to discover, view and get lost in.

Peer Review – 2

I had the pleasure of peer reviewing Jill’s Book Blog, which you can find here. From the onset, this is an engaging site, as it explores accessible reading, an aspect of publishing that the majority of the population is somewhat unfamiliar. Jill’s Book Blog is completely transparent; the creator offers insights and perspectives on the development and design of a blog through an access aide. As Jill articulates here, there are certain challenges one faces when visually impaired, with design in particular being an understandable barrier. As I am not overly committed to reading books, especially during undergraduate where we do have a high quota of readings, I was, at first thought, somewhat uninterested in the content of this blog; however, in exploring the pages and being introduced to the works under review, an appreciation was established and is hopefully reflected in this review.  Here, I have divided my review by examining the content, design and overall impression.

I find book reviews challenging. To take a relatively long piece of writing and condense it into a concise and engaging review is difficult, so I feel that Jill’s Book Blog tackles an ambitious topic, especially for a weekly update. Likewise, in attempting to reach her goal of 96 books in 365 days, time is of the essence, and here, she does this well. I find the writing to be clear, effective and brief, and despite this, she negates jeopardizing the offering of a polished summary and well-written opinion about the book. There are some minor grammatical errors that are revealed through missing commas and dashes, as well as some repetition, but overall the posts are strong and any wordiness can be reflective of the vernacular a blog can sometimes evoke. I appreciate Jill’s sentiment that “I feel like I have become stuck in the formal, uninventive, dry essay/assignment writing and organizing we have to do in University, that I perhaps lost my creativity and imagination,” and understand how the concept of blogging for a course is refreshing. One post that I found highly entertaining was this interview with Batman.  Using a strong sense of humor, playful language and clear objective of interpreting a novel through Bruce Wayne’s understanding of crime, Jill effectively entices the reader to explore the content afforded throughout her blog. I would like to see this extended with more links to other reviews or related-sites.

I like the design of this blog; it is simple, clear, focused and easy to navigate. I can’t really relate to the challenges in creating and maintaining the design via an access aide, but I can certainly appreciate the effort that was made to vocalize the desired outcomes. I like the black border, which in most cases I do not, but here it reflects the pages of a book. I am also fond of the number of tags for each post, as for me, when creators attribute too many tags, the page starts to look cluttered. There are two things I would like to see considered for alteration. First, I think that Jill has two important tag-lines for her blog; “Adventures of Accessible Reading” and “96 Books in 365 Days;” however, the latter is difficult to locate, and for me, is one of the interesting aspects of the blog. I would prefer to see it alongside “Adventures of Accessible Reading.” Also, I am not entirely fond of the main image of the lagoon and book waterfall. I appreciate the creativity of the books being employed as an abundant fall, but the image is somewhat unclear and too low of quality. I am also less enthusiastic about the type of image; I feel that the natural wonder-like photo does not really reflect the types of books being reviewed. This is of course, personal preference, but for me, I would like to see something different.

Overall, I like this blog. I found it incredibly approachable and accessible (pardon the pun), and unlike some opinion-based blogs, I feel that I truly learned something, or became interested in learning more about accessible reading. In fact, I would value further links to other resources outside of just the book, not just about the book itself, but how accessible reading is made available. I don’t need to read more about accessibility on this blog, but resources that are vetted by someone with a visual impairment would be interesting. Likewise, more links in general would be intriguing; I would like to know who Jill agrees with, disagrees with or what other books the focal one could be related to. One could also link to where to find the book, which I like about this book blog found here.

Jill’s Book Blog is a well-developed and organized site that provides visitors with approachable and strong synopses of various books. With some minor edits and slight alterations to some design aspects, this blog is very appealing and worth revisiting – for 96 days.

The Wolf Road, by Beth Lewis: A Review

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis Published by Crown Publishers, Penguin Random House Elka hasn’t had much luck in her life. Between the nightmare of the thunderheads that keep her awake at night, and the raging memories behind the locked doors in her memory, she can count the people she’s cared for on a single…