As a child, I was never an avid reader... well reader full stop. My parents would take me and my siblings to the library and I was always the one with the picture books, comics, and encyclopedias. Throughout my schooling years, I read the prescribed books but hardly anything else. It was only when I was older in my late teens, struggling with my sense of self and sexual identity did I look to books as an escape. Granted not all of the LGBTQ books had positive storylines, it was comforting to read stories whether they were fiction or not. From that, it grew to Harry Potter, biographies, Chick Lit, Fantasy and others but always on and off. It was only after getting sick years back, secluding myself to home and work did I once again turn to books as an escape. The wonders of a local library. I must sound like a nerd but the wonder that you can get a book in Paper, Audio or as an eBook, making the excuse not to read a lot harder. Now I see books as everyone did when I was younger, a hobby. Granted it is still an escape but now it is a way to detach. A mindful mediation elsewhere.
This year I set the goal for myself to read more, engaging my mind and creativity. It's not particularly about the type of book, but instead to encourage me to hear and read many stories. What best place to share (and keep me to this task) is here! Just light reviews and no spoilers, well at least I'll try to. I will mention the media in which I consumed the book and little tidbits whether I enjoyed it or not. But at the end of the day, this is simply my bookshelf for 2019.
Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli
The movie Love, Simon was one of the first mainstream teen gay romance films released in 2018. Based on the teen novel with a much longer name, it is cute and compelling. I wish I had this novel when I was growing up. It's famously known by many LGBTQ people that LGBTQ books, tv, and movies tend to be dark and depressing or tremendously camp. This novel manages to balance the line between the two, touching on teen sexuality, the pressures of being a teen and self-discovery.
Barracuda - Christos Tsiolkas
I have read a few books by Tsiolkas, but in this case, it was an audiobook. 12 hours, twice through to make sure I got every detail. I also followed it up with watching the limited series also with the same title. The book discusses various life themes of adolescence, purpose, racism, masculinity, sexuality, and belonging. The series does not depict half of the book so I highly recommend getting a copy.
Me Before You - Jojo Moyes
I like to compare the different interpretations of a story, from Books to Film. After watching the movie (with maybe a tissue or two) I finally got my hands on an ebook version. Luckily for those who don't like books, the movie will suffice in equal content. The book is a gem. A bit of a downer with its subject matter but it doesn't fail to be witty and charming nevertheless as a book of fiction.
After You - Jojo Moyes
I didn't realise that Me Before You was a series... but when I did I jumped on board. I wish I didn't. The book is a solid book on it's own, however without giving away any details it fails to capture any warmth or sparks which you get in the first book. The character development isn't anything worth talking about.
Big Magic: Creative Living beyond Fear - Elizabeth Gilbert
If anyone has read Eat, Pray, Love you will know Elizabeth Gilbert, but you may not necessarily know this book. It isn't a novel on her travels or love life, instead this book maps out her beliefs on direction and creativity. The book is very light and easy to read but manages to sneak in some through provoking ideas to ponder.
Still Me - Jojo Moyes
So I read the sequel and wasn't a fan, but if you're two thirds into a series you might as well go down with the last one. Still Me like After you is a solid book... if it were a standalone novel. The plot is rather mundane and the drama doesn't evoke much unlike the original. By the end of the novel I am happy to see where everything ends. With the hope that it will be exactly that... the End.
The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life - Alice Schroeder
This book is my Everest. I was gifted this book from my parents when I was 18... 10 years ago. Within that time the book was a trusty bookend, laptop stand and doorjam. The book chronicles in heavy detail Warren Buffet's life, including life anecdotes, business know-how and more. This book took around two years on an off to read. With dense subject matter you cannot afford to skim over pages. There are countless earmarked pages throughout the 1000 pages. A good read to get you thinking about business, investment and money.
Becoming - Michelle Obama
The biggest selling book in 2018, and arguably a book on everyone's list to read. I got the audiobook which was impressively read by Obama herself. The book is an easy read, a tale of well... becoming. From humble beginnings to career and life changes and lessons learned. Michelle Obama's book illustrates that though the majority don't know much about her before becoming the First Lady of the United States her upbringing and life before the White House was just as if not more interesting than the final chapters of the book.