April Books 2020

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April was a pretty good month for reading, largely because I’m inside all the time with the lockdown. I’ve been reading a lot of short stories and listening to audiobooks, which I’m really enjoying! Trying to blend genres, too.

Additionally, I’ve started teaching myself Korean, which I’m loving! I’m trying to do a bit of Korean everyday and so far so good. I’ve been looking into workbooks for beginners and English-Korean dictionaries. I got this one! If anyone has any recommendations, please do share! 🙂 

April’s covers:

How’s everyone getting on with their reading? Any recommendations from the last month? What’s everyone doing to stay busy during these crazy times?

Mini Review Roundup [30/04]

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Show Rec: Because This Is My First Life:  I totally recommend this! The main guy’s such an interesting character and the main lady is so wonderful. Let me just say, the otps otp hard. I was a very happy fangirl by the end, haha. And all three couples are just the CUTEST. Without question, the romance in this one is top notch. GO WATCH.

Audiobook Rec: The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl: Okay, this is super cute and I love Kate Winslet’s voice, so I definitely recommend the audiobook version of this. It’s super short, under half an hour, and totally worth it. A must read for kids, definitely, and for burgeoning vegetarians and those who hate hunting. Go Dahl!

Book Rec: Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah:  This was a truly strange, deeply melancholy novella. It’s very stream of consciousness style and the main character drifts from day to day, experiencing grim events at every turn. The writing was very good, though.

Book Rec: The Gown of Harmonies by Francesca Forrest: This was such a cool idea! A gown that makes music. LOVE IT.

Currently Reading

Currently Watching

 

What’s everyone else watching/reading in lockdown? Hope you’re all well! (✿◠‿◠)

Book Review: Unfollow (2019)

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Unfollow: A Journey from Hatred to Hope by Megan Phelps-Roper

… that open discourse and dialectic is the most effective enabler of the evolution of individuals and societies. That the answer to bad ideas is to publicly reason against them. To advocate for and propagate better ones. And that it is dangerous to vest any central authority with broad powers to limit the bounds of acceptable discussion. Because these powers lend themselves to authoritarian abuse, the creation of echo chambers, and the marginalisation of ideas that are true but unpopular. In short, the principles underlying the freedom of speech recognise that all of us are susceptible to cognitive deficiencies and groupthink.

I first heard about the Westboro Baptist Church when the documentary by Louis Theroux first aired: BBC’s The Most Hated Family in America. The group is probably most famous for picketing funerals of soldiers and their homophobic signs. Megan’s story follows her mounting disillusionment with the group, questions she had as a child that went unanswered, and her growing role in the church even as she wondered about the rights and wrongs of it all. Eventually she becomes the most well-known spokesperson for the group and runs the online social media platforms. It’s there that she starts to engage with others’ perspectives and eventually changes her own. She starts to see the damage hatred and unkindness can do.

It is disconcerting – shamefully, unimaginably so – to look back and accept that my fellow church members and I were collectively engaging in the most egregious display of logical blindness that I have ever witnessed.

I have great sympathy for those born into cults. It’s utterly heartbreaking. Her memories about the abuse she and her siblings suffered is gut-wrenching. More than once I cried listening to her story. Little moments really stand out: she admits that she didn’t know what her signs meant when she first held them; the letter she signed and sent to a newspaper as a child was actually written by her aunt.

That she broke free at all is commendable, but to see how far she’s come is just brilliant. Also, her Twitter pic now reads GOD LOVES GAYS. What a wonderful, wonderful turn around. :’)

Book Review: The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me (1985)

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The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl

This is one Roald Dahl book I’d actually never heard of! I’m surprised, because it was written in 1985, but somehow it slipped past me until today. I didn’t love it as much as MatildaThe Witches and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but it’s very cute in its own right! The audio book is narrated by Hugh Laurie, which I thoroughly recommend. He sings!

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Also, the list of sweets at the end is an absolute delight! You can tell Dahl loves sweets, haha. Apparently he published a cookbook as well? What rock have I been living under? I really want to try some of his recipes now. I mean, the man who gave us The Chocolate Factory can only create epic dessert, surely? 😀

Anyways, super cute book, definitely recommend.

Mini Book Reviews: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1964) & How to Train Your Dragon (2003)

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming

Okay, this was super cute. I saw the film as a kid (and somehow didn’t realise that the movie was co-written by Roald Dahl???) and I knew it was based on a book (and somehow didn’t know it was by James Bond‘s writer! I’m a loser, honestly) but I never got around to it. So glad I finally have. I think it’s lovely that this was written for Ian Fleming’s son. Reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ dedication to his goddaughter: But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.

SUPER. CUTE.

And the fact that David Tennant narrated the audiobook just solidifies its awesomeness. His voices are PERFECTION.

 

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell 

And that, my friends, that is the hard way to become a hero.

THIS WAS SO BLOODY CUTE. The names are adorable. It’s all adorable. TOTES ADORBS. Definitely recommend for anyone who wants a cute little book about a boy and his dragon.

Book Review: Matilda (1988)

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Matilda by Roald Dahl

The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.

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This is one of my forever-favs. This book gave me so much joy as a child and it still holds a special place in my heart. Little Matilda Wormwood with her wretched family, her wretched headmistresses, and so much cunning in her mind that she devises a way to help herself, her classmates and the wonderful Miss Honey.

Four for you, Matilda.

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Audiobook Review: Anne of Green Gables (1908)

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Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive — it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there? But am I talking too much? People are always telling me I do.

Good freaking rainbow toaster sticks, this book is just every shade of adorable. Anne has absolutely no chill and I. AM. HERE. FOR. IT. She reminds me of me, as a kid, actually. The hyper active but deeply insecure girl who just has no filter and yammers on and on. Hehehe. Embrace your lack of chill, guys. 😉

I’m not surprised by how much I liked it, though I’m surprised by things I probably wouldn’t have picked up on if I’d read it as a kid. Watching Anne with an E had me drawing hearts around Anne and Gilbert, but this book totally had me wondering if Anne/Diana was the true OTP. And I’m not the only one. I could definitely see Anne and Gilbert being rivals and friends forever, with Anne and Diana being meant to be. But heck, they’re all so cute. Anne probably has chemistry with the flowers in her garden, though. Whatever your interpretation or OTP, this book is just wholesome. Like, it’s such a happy story, set in such a lovely, dreamy place. And crikey does it make me miss Canada. Nova Scotia’s the only place I’ve really been (and Anne comes from Nova Scotia!), but now I’m desperate to see PEI.

And this → → I’d rather have you than a dozen boys, Anne. Just mind you that. Rather than a dozen boys. ← ← was just the *chef’s kiss* of the book. Bearing in mind this was written in 1908. WE STAN A BIT, MATTHEW.

Also, I am perfectly content having Rachel McAdams narrate absolutely everything.

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Gosh, she’s so lovely, isn’t she? (/◕ヮ◕)/

tr;dr read Anne of Green Gables, ya goobers. It’s a delight.