Books I’ve Read – The 2017 Edition

This is a rarity, two posts in a row and I have another one queued that’s coming out much later in the week and I promise it’s worth it. After my yearly 3 posts I will most likely fade back into obscurity lmao. Or not, hopefully. Blogging is hard though. Just formatting posts takes ages. And then I need to start ~mingling in the ~blogging community. God, I remember when I could spend ages on Xanga, just making up a post about what I did that day, picking out the right icons and then going on a huge commenting spree to other blogs so they would hit mine back. No wonder I did so badly during high school I kept trying to up my Xanga clout lol.

Thanks to Twitter (which is one of my fave social medias, it is literally like sharing MSN statuses all day long.) I was able to discover some new bloggers that I am actually interested in so, who knows? 2018 is still brand new and I am feeling like I can do anything. A first for me this year (that actually got me thinking a little bit more about “seriously” blogging was when I responded to Nerd About Town‘s Twitter question about dating while fat lol. This was pretty novel for me because I have never talked to like anyone about it specifically. Mainly because while all dating is pretty horrendous (especially in this current climate) but dating while fat is a bit terrible all on it’s own. And like I feel that if I complain about that too much most people won’t be able to empathize because I am fat so they think I kind of deserve it, if that makes sense? Even though I don’t but you know how it is in society-being fat is worst than being pretty much anything else it seems like.

SO ANYWAYS. In the age of Buzzfeed journalism, Revelist compiled a bunch of tweets from the thread and added in some commentary and I was included! So that long ramble up there was just to say that my tweets were included in an article……………… Anyways, check it out while a lot of the stories were sad but it was fun just being with other people in the trenches. Also if you haven’t you should follow me on twitter! @ellocatty

Wow… no one came for all of that ^ and to be fair that should probably be a post all on it’s own because what everyone is really here for is my yearly WHAT I READ List. Maybe this is why I can’t be a proper blogger, I digress too much. Oh well.

So my “Books I’ve Read” posts are honestly some of my favourites to do. I truly love talking about books, how they made me feel, what I liked what I didn’t like etc. You can check out my previous installments here: 2013 2014 2015 2016. LOL you can actually see the amount I read has shrunk drastically over the years. I used to read primarily on my ereader because it was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received which unfortunately broke. (Airports hate them for some reason THEY ALWAYS BREAK THERE.) I also haven’t been reading as many comics or truly terrible novels. Which is half an improvement and half not. Sorry I’ve rambled on so much! Let’s get to the good stuff.

2017 Goal: 52
Grand Total: 36
2018 Goal: 52

Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon

Okay, so I think I must be some kind of chronic re-reader because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this. I think it was an ONTD post about shitty romance novels that got me reminiscing and I picked this up again. Or was it me telling Janet about it and then I just felt nostalgic and picked it up again? Who knows?

So this was my first ~scandalous book that I sneakily read after school from my mom’s hidden stash. I honestly have no idea why my mom loves reading Harlequin Romances and other books of that ilk. She always goes, “Oh it’s so sill and not real! But it’s so easy to read.” So IDK I guess?

However, I will say that I unashamedly love this book. It’s a sweeping generational saga that chronicles the tumultuous life of Kate Blackwell. Her parents and the diamond empire they built in South Africa, to Kate growing up and growing her family and company then to the second generation of her sensitive artist son Tony and his complete opposite twin daughters. It’s over the top and ridiculous and I love it.

 Mistress of the Game by Tilly Bagshawe

I have re-read this book two times.. or three. I want to say two but I’ll officially say three just in case lol. Okay so Sidney Sheldon’s novels… not all of them are great but the few that are I love. Now when he died Tilly Bagshawe got one of those plum ghost writing jobs like the dude that took over for VC Andrews. She absolutely ruined everything good about Master of the Game. It is white saviour nonsense with some nice racist remarks thrown in like the Mexican cab driver having “taco breath” and the rampant incest throughout and the destruction of one of my favourite characters Eve Blackwell.

Everything about this book was terribly written with a terrible story. So I guess I lied a few paragraphs up. I did read a terrible book this year.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

As you all know I love Sylvia Plath. I love the way she describes things and makes ordinary events seem magical. This book is really comforting to me, the way Esther gets everything that she’s been working towards but now that she has it it doesn’t make her feel the way she thought it would go.

That realisation is sometimes even worst than never meeting that goal I think. Like you do all the steps that you should to get your goal only when you get there it’s nothing like you expected it to be and it doesn’t fill you with that sense of happiness and accomplishment that you thought it would. I’m not sure what I’d prefer… never having “made it” or making it and realising that it’s not what I wanted after all.

Maybe I just have to try to change my thinking on things. Like attaining a goal doesn’t just mean that once I get there I can rest for a bit, not grind so much but it doesn’t, you have to keep going and I think that realisation is a deterrent for me. So much of life seems to be work, work, work… I guess that’s why they always tell you to love what you do so you forget that it is work.

Pain, Parties, Work by Elizabeth Winder

This felt more poignant because I read it right after finishing The Bell Jar. A lot of what happens in The Bell Jar is quite autobiographical and Elizabeth Winder’s book takes a deeper look into all of the events that inspired Plath to write her only novel. There are interviews with her other fellow interns and bosses, some background information on the major events that summer that could have shaped Plath’s perspectives on things.

At times it was a bit hard to get through because the sentences felt so blocky to me. It really jumped around with what it was trying to portray and reading a bit more about Winder’s other works she has published a collection of poetry and at times I think that blockiness comes from that.

The Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, J.K Rowling and John Tiffany

We all know this play was atrocious. Both as a continuation of the Harry Potter universe and story wise. Seeing it acted out with all of the amazing effects they did really disguises how weak and terrible the story really is. I know J.K says that this is “canon” but fuck what she says honestly, and I would have to say The Cursed Child is just a terrible Harry Potter fanficton that made shit ton of money.

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

I was really excited to get my hands on this book because this is the first book I’ve read on the Vietnam War by a Vietnamese person and it is also the first novel I’ve read by a Vietnamese person. I really enjoyed it, it was really funny and offered a good Vietnamese perspective on the war and how it is viewed by Americans.

This book was hard for me to get through. It just made me think about how the Vietnam that my mom knows is basically gone forever and even if she goes back now to visit people are going to view her as different and not “really Vietnamese”. Also for myself, my idea of and ~identity of Vietnam comes from my mom but I’ve lived all of my life in Canada so when I go back I too, won’t be “really” Vietnamese. IDK lol all of this made me sad while reading it.

It’s still a great book though, you should read it.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Okay… this must be like the fourth or fifth (or more?) time I have read this book. Still a fun quick read. If you’re looking for like deep, rich story this is not the book for you. But it has fun, over the top characters, outlandish descriptions of food an opulence this is the book for you. I am also super excited for the movie coming out this year!!!

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

Okay after also re-reading this multiple times I would have to say Kwan’s strongest suits are descriptions of food and setting because it draws from what he knows. His emotional stuff and dialogue can be quite weak.

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

The last installment of the series! I wasn’t really sure how this was going to because I felt like he was starting to cram in so many extra story lines that I wasn’t sure how it was all going to be resolved. Everyone ends up happy of course lol. One of the biggest strengths is that there was minimal Rachel throughout the story and Nick was less annoying without her as well. The strength of this comes from the side characters, I ended up caring more about them then their main protagonists. Eddie is by far my favourite character and I really liked his growth lol.

Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

A few years ago I really liked his and Lang Leav’s poetry. I do think that Lang Leav is a better poet and story teller than Michael, an opinion I had always had but further cemented when I finally got around to reading his anthology.

When it was first announced that he was going to be releasing a book I knew it was going to be called Dirty Pretty Things. The fact that I knew he was going to call it that should have headed me off from buying it but I never listen to myself. His whole thing is very schtick-y. I knew he was going to name his book that because that’s what he ALWAYS says when he is trying to advertise any of his social medias.

Everything about this anthology feels forced to fit into this image he has curated for himself which I suspect he ardently tries to live, like he truly wants to be Don Draper but  Don Draper who has left the ad world and now writes ~erotic poetry. All of his poems feature ~red head with ~emerald eyes and vodka on the rocks and some Lolita-esque girl who is all white panties and white knee high socks.

There were a couple poems that I thought were alright but overall I felt like this collection tries too hard.

A Series of Unfortunate Events 1-13 by Lemony Snicket

With the Netflix show coming out this year I decided the time was ripe for another re-reading of the series. It’s still great as always but I love how the show makes all of the hidden codes and stuff about VFD more clear.

Confessions of a Shopaholic 1-6 by Sophie Kinsella

I don’t really know what made me want to start reading this again. I think I just saw it on my shelf one day and was like, “Oh my God!! This was so good!!” I think there are two more books in the series but I’m kind of okay that I stopped where I did with the series because it was steadily getting more and more ridiculous. I mean the very last book is mainly about planning a party.

I will always have a soft spot for Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) all of the dumb reasons she uses to shop and the rationalisation of how and what she spends money on? I feel that in my soul.

Luke Brandon also remains one of my fave book husbands lol.

Cormoran Strike Series 1-3 by Robert Galbraith

The BBC released the first 5 episodes in their Strike series based off these books so I decided to read them again for a refresher. As for as the TV series goes, the leads have amazing chemistry (and making me lowkey Corm x Robin trash) but it is very fast paced. I’m not going to go too in depth about my thoughts on these novels because I’ve already done that many times lmao.

Harry Potter series 1-4 by J.K Rowling

I know I normally read the entire series every year around the summertime but the James Potter series that I am into has released it’s last installment and I kind of wanted to read the entire Harry Potter series and then the whole James Potter series and it is really slow moving.

Probably because J.K Rowling was literally one of the biggest disappointments for 2017 for me. Like, since she got Twitter I knew she was messy but her stupid support for Johnny Depp just really did it for me. I still think she is a great story teller and I will always love Harry Potter but I can’t outright or directly support her anymore. So what I’m going to end up doing is just buying all of her books second hand at this point.

Cat Person by Kristen Roupenian

So this short story took the internet by storm, so much so that Kristen Roupenian actually got a SEVEN FIGURE book deal. I am shook honestly. The short story really was good, I understand why it went viral, it was so brutally honest and the blunt simple way which she writes it made me relive instances like this vividly. I do have high expectations for her further work especially if she could secure SEVEN FIGURES for it. (Lol I am jealous, obvi.)

Alright, so once again I did not meet my goal. 😦 I have been on the worst reading slump these past few years but I at least did a lot better than last year. Who knows, maybe this is the year I can’t stop devouring books one after the other. Hopefully 2018 brings me new favourites and maybe I’ll re-read some different books lol.

Have a lovely story-filled 2018 everyone!

xoxo Cat

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