Books I’m Most Excited About on My TBR 2020

Hey pals,

I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of books I own, the books I want to read that I don’t own, and all the other books in the world I don’t know about yet. This makes it hard to focus on actually reading, ridiculous really. So I wanted to talk through the books I currently own, both physical and digital, that I am most excited about reading in no particular order.

The Physical List

Practical Magic: I’ve never really read Adult Romance and I love this film so much, I want to see what wasn’t included in the film and see if I like Romance writing. Also I love magic and witches. I talked about this book in this post.

The Devil Wears Prada: Truly just another throwback book during the period I was a child who could not read. I’m using books to travel the world and relive a period of time where I had no idea this is where I would be in 2020. I talked about this book a bit in my recent video here.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief: After a bad spout of 2000s YA (you can see all about that here) I’m really excited to read Percy Jackson, to get out of the contemporary realm for a start, but also to enjoy a group of characters who are all Neuro-Diverse with Dyslexia and ADHD/ADD where most books that came out at that time were mostly just ableist. I am still missing book three but I will hold off picking it up until I actually get to give book 1 a read and see if I really like it or not (though I am very hopeful) I plan on filming a Percy Jackson Reading Vlog so let me know if you’d want to watch!

Gossip Girl Series: I read the first book not long ago because I picked it up in a second hand shop, I enjoyed it so much I picked up the next SEVEN books in the series. All second hand, but through Amazon because I had a birthday voucher to use up. I talk a bit more about book one in this recent video ! I definitely plan to film a Gossip Girl Reading Vlog so subscribe to my youtube channel if that’s something you want to check out.

The Digital List

Wishful Drinking: This was a random addition I bought for 99p on Amazon for kindle. This happens semi-regularly that a book I’ve had on my wishlist is discounted so much I find it hard to say no. I read Postcards From the Edge a few years ago, I picked up a copy in a charity shop obviously, and really enjoyed it. I’ve read that this is actually a memoir and even though I was never really a fan of Carrie’s until she died, but I know she is a very interesting lady and can’t wait to learn more about her.

Talking as Fast as I Can: The memoir of Lauren Graham, Loreli of Gilmore Girls. A book of personal essays through her life, supposed to be comedic, and also lots of behind the scenes of Gilmore Girls (which is one of my favourite shows as I discuss in this post!!) I haven’t seen Lauren in other roles and I’m not sure I could actually ever see her in one because I truly fell in love with Loreli.

Big Little Lies: “A murder…A tragic accident…Or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.” We know I have a weird thing about reading the book after I watch the show or film (very clear from this list ALONE) but Wanting to get into some mystery and thriller novels, it seems like a good idea to read the book with a plot I already know the basic premise of so I can understand the books better whilst I practice this new reading muscle! I talked about this book a little in this video!

Human Enough: A YA Fantasy about a young queer autistic vampire hunter who has a vampire boyfriend… I talked about this in a video too!

Crazy Rich Asians: Another recent purchase that was a one off 99p on Amazon! I watched the film once on a flight to America in January 2019 and A few Booktubers I watch said how amazing the books were, I put the first one on my wishlist and grabbed it when I saw it so cheap. I am weak willed. I have been finding books written by and about POC really refreshing, could I sound any more white? Probably not. But the last few years I have been noticing how stale Western media is and slowly been picking up work by POC that has a lot of strong influences of different cultures and find myself having a more immersive reading experience so I am hopeful I will feel the same about this book.

Want: This is a Sci-Fi book where the elite use their wealth to buy clean air and longer lives, “the rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths.” Zhou has had enough after his mother died because of this system and wants to dismantle it. Things get sticky basically, and it feels very relevant to right now. One of my friends has read this and says it’s amazing and was the reason I added it to my wishlist! I also picked this up for 99p.

Ugly Shy Girl: This is a poetry book I grabbed on Hive.co.uk pretty cheap because I wanted to have and read some more poetry. It’s a pretty short book which always benefits me, “This is twisted tale is about the struggle of growing up in a place where you don’t belong, surrounded by people you hate …and how delicious getting your own back can be.”

If you want to buy any of these books, check out this link, I’ll be adding lists as I go. This includes an affiliate link.

I’ve also seen that it is possible to lend out kindle ebooks to other people, which I am pleased about! I want to see what I can do and maybe lend out some of my ebooks to people, like to my mum for example, who I think may enjoy some of the books I have purchased. I watched Big Little Lies with my mum, so she may enjoy that. I’ve been gifting books to friends as well for birthdays and christmas, a mixture of one I bought second hand or already had and didn’t think I would keep for myself. If you have any friends who enjoy reading, please consider checking out independent bookshops or using hive.co.uk (who support indie bookshops) instead of Amazon, as a lot of shops are hanging on by a thread and would really benefit from the support of Christmas shopping.

~ Artie

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My Favourite True Crime YouTubers

favourite true crime youtubers

Hey pals,

Struggling for something to watch? Love watching True Crime? Wondering where you should go to watch something new? I thought I would put together my current favourite True Crime YouTube content creators for anyone interested in getting into the topic, or people who love consuming True Crime but is running low on things to watch. I have listed 8 people/channels in no particular order that I enjoy. True Crime gets me through a work out on a regular basis and many of these people have hundreds of videos you can watch, you wont run out any time soon if you enjoy these people. All quite different from each other with a different vibes so hopefully everyone can find something to watch here.

photo of kelsey darragh a slim blonde white woman

Kelsey Darragh’s Confidently Insecure Podcast has a series called Hoes Throughout History often crime related and sometimes supernatural stuff. She has also done some episodes on BIPOC people who have been murdered and unjustly punished, particularly the case of Saraya Rees I believe she is still working with the family on this.

Stephanie Harlowe mainly conducts true crime videos with so much research done, often several, hour long episodes or more. Mostly modern day true crime, sometimes more historic crime. Takes it very seriously, has done some historic type videos for Halloween theme. Mostly seems to be working to push cases out there and help possibly reach people who could make connections and also asking hard questions about how some investigations are done.

My Friend Kenna, the creator of LVNDR zine, introduced me to Stephanie Harlowe’s videos and said, “I enjoy watching Stephanie Harlowe because I get the sense that she truly cares about the victims. None of her content feels rushed or just for the sake of having an upload. Her content is all fully researched with some individual crimes taking two or three videos to explore fully. The emphasis is always on the victim, which I think is really important.”

Bailey Sarian hosts Murder Mystery Make-up Mondays. Does make-up whilst talking about true crime cases, mostly modern but occasionally more historic cases. Presented with some humour, less serious compared to some other YouTubers but always being respectful.

photo of danelle hallan a slim white lady with brown hair smiling

Danelle Hallan was my first experience of true crime on YouTube (except Buzzfeed Unsolved, but she is a bit more serious and less for entertainment) I really enjoy her videos, she takes this very seriously, has a lot of in-depth research done on these cases, often roughly half-hour long but can be several hours in several episodes. Mainly works on current cases or cold cases, trying to bring attention to them in hopes they will reach the right people and eventually get solved. Often goes on other True Crime youtube channels and podcasts.

Cydnee Black has started to do some videos where she does her make-up and talks about true crime or goes more in-depth on some historic events that have been skewed. They kind of cross over in her videos but lean more on history. She has spoken about some topics I haven’t seen discussed by many other people.

Kendall Rae mainly true crime youtube videos that are a bit shorter than the other people listed, tends to vary from 15-40 minutes. She has a podcast with her partner for longer deep dives into cases, I’ve not watched or listened to it yet but you can find it here. Sometimes talks about supernatural things around October for Halloween. She also regularly sets up fundraisers on her channel.

Loey Lane mostly does conspiracy theories and supernatural but occasionally delves into more True Crime videos. She mainly does a lot of spooky tiktok analysis type videos, which I enjoy because I’m then not watching these freaky videos alone! Another Make-up/beauty YouTuber turned supernatural and true crime.

left to right, shane a very tall white man smiling at ryan an asian man of average height talking
buzzfeed unsolved

Buzzfeed Unsolved obviously, I mainly like watching Shane and Ryan, I don’t think they work with Buzzfeed as often. They are bringing out another true crime series on the channel for the spooky season though. They may be starting their own version on their new channel Watcher. Some of the Buzzfeed shorter videos with voiceover and images are interesting, but I prefer the more in-depth videos. Speaking of Watcher, they have a Puppet History series going if that’s of interest to you which can cross over with true crime.

I thought I would add a quick list of true crime documentaries you can watch on Netflix: Unsolved Mysteries, Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story, Abducted in Plain Sight, The Keepers, Captive, Long Shot, Remastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke, Making a Murderer, The Innocent Man, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, Athlete A, Dirty Money, Surviving R. Kelly, November 13: Attack on Paris, Strong Island. There are many more, but I’ve listed the ones I feel like I would like to watch and learn more about.

More can be found here and here.

I’d love to expand who I watch so please leave your favourites and recommendations in the comments! Tell me why you like them so much! I also enjoy Supernatural videos and Conspiracy theories so link some of those below too! Should I make a post about the channels doing conspiracy theories and supernatural videos? Let me know!

~ Artie

Check out my other Halloween Blog posts.

7 Halloween films for people who don’t like scary videos.

Spooky and Gay things to watch.

My favourite Spooky Video Games to play and watch.

Spooky TBR.

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Things to Watch That are a Little Spooky and a Little Gay

things to watch that are a little gay and a little spooky

Hey pals,

I’ve talked about a lot of these shows before so apologies to anyone who has seen these recommended and talked about in previous posts of mine, but I wanted to compile a list of shows with queer representation but also have a spooky theme, perfect to watch for Halloween.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Riverdale filming and aesthetic vibes but witchier. One of the main crew is trans (Theo) with a cool bit of lore/family history. There are also a lot of sexually fluid characters, the main one being Ambrose, Sabrina’s cousin, who dates a selection of genders and multiple people at once (we love consensual polyamory). There are a lot of orgies in this show and very normalised within the witch world. Also, our icon Zelda is queerer than we originally thought but it will have to wait until the final season to really see more.

American Horror Story: Most people have seen this show by now, at least the first few seasons so I’ll try to be brief on representation. Every season of this show is spooky and horror-esk to varying degrees.

Murder House: Gay white male couple previous owners of house. It has been a while since I’ve seen this series so if I’ve missed any rep, sorry but I don’t want to re-watch it to figure it out. 

Hotel: Bi-coded vampires, gay man buying the hotel, Elizabeth Johnson (Lady Gaga’s character) is in a poly relationship with married couple, a wlw relationship with Ramona Royale, and sexualised preying on humans is pretty bi. 

Roanoke: Slave-owner and his lover (a slave, yikes), the old gay man who was a medium. Both minimal. 

Cult: Married lesbian/wlw couple. I’ve not watched much of this but they seem like a main focus. 

Being Human a show about a Ghost, a Vampire and a Werewolf being friends and living together. There was one cis white male couple in one episode early on, one of them dies and the other has to flea. The rest of the show is constantly queerbaiting, but if you can get past that, it’s pretty funny. Also the werewolf actor is gay.

October Faction: A witchy show featuring a mixed race family. The son of the main family is Black and gay, has a few love interests dotted around including other POC. I honestly don’t remember watching this… only some bits. It’s very aesthetically pleasing to look at but the writing was a bit meh.

Elite: a fantastic drama based in a high school in Spain where all the rich kids go, bit of a murder mystery. One of the rich kids is gay, another is bi and a selection of polyamorous relationships shown. One of the non-rich is a gay Muslim boy. There’s also suggestion a female character has multi-gender attraction but hasn’t had the chance to be shown in the show, I have my fingers crossed for the next season.

3%: a dystopian show with similar vibes to the Hunger games, everyone has to compete at age 20 to get into the luxurious life of the 3% but it’s a lot creepier than that. One of the main characters has multi-gender attraction to some extent, ends up with a character of the same gender. There is a trans character but she’s not in focus much at all. Not a lot of queer or trans rep otherwise but I liked this addition.

Black Lightning: A superhero show focused around a Black family. The father is the superhero with the power to control electricity but it’s becoming clear his daughters all also have his powers. One of the main characters (one of the sisters) is queer, I’ve not watched very far yet.

Cheer: this was a weird one, kinda thriller-y. About cheerleaders who hate their new coach and try to ruin her life. The main character is a Black queer woman, it’s relatively clear she is sapphic but is keeping it a secret. Unsure if she is attracted to multiple genders or performing straightness. Same for the best friend and the Coach, not sure if it’s multi-gender attraction or performative straightness/queerness depending on the situation. Content warning: abuse of power. There’s a football coach (i think) but definitely some adult man who sleeps with the high school girls and also the female coach of the cheerleaders engages in some inappropriate behaviour with her students.

Dead to Me: had a lot of sapphic undertones but turns out one of our main characters is queer and gets into a bit of a pickle. Dead to Me is about a woman’s husband suddenly dying and his murderer feeling so guilty she befriends the wife without her knowing she murdered her husband. Things spiral and get a bit crazy but it’s a great show with two amazing leading actresses. One of her love interests is also actually played by a queer actress, her and her ex-girlfriend are both WOC as well.

Shadowhunters: Alec is gay, mlm relationship with Magnus Bane who is bi spectrum immortal who has had relations with men and women. POC, magnus is Asian and I think Alec is Latinx. Stopped watching after a while as it was very cringe, badly written and acted but really liked the queer couple. 

Russian Doll: One of those living the same day over and over again shows. The main female character has a couple of queer friends who have queer interactions. One of them has like… an orgy that you see her wake up from. One of the actresses is gay (Rebecca Henderson).

How To Get Away With Murder: a murder/crime show based in a Law school. One of the set main cast is a gay man who dates around a bit and then has a set main partner. I love the couple here and I’m a sucker for crime shows. The lead, Annalise Keating, is also shown as bi/on the bi spectrum as the series goes on. Season 5 features a case for a gay immigrant woman on trial at risk of being deported. Also HIV+ representation.

You: creepy thriller-esque show about a stalker. Spoiler alert, the best friend of the main girl is gay and kinda shows bad rep of having a closeted gay best friend but she is a WOC. She’s just as freaky and possessive as the MC. Season 2, Forty Quinn was thought to be gay and apparently was but it was never displayed on screen. Also some minor roles, Love Quinn’s friend Charlie Barnett is a queer Black man (played by the gay actor Gabe Miranda, I think he’s a fantastic actor and wish he had more star time in this show).

Once Upon a Time: A show about fairy tales trapped in the real world. Very lackluster with their first attempt at representation. Seems like someone said ‘hey we should put something gay in here’ so they put in a Dorothy and Red Riding Hood storyline. It was nice to have Red as a canon Bi woman and seeing a wlw relationship compared to most shows going straight for mlm. They did it better in their last series with Alice and Robin, more developed and actually relevant and weaved in with the rest of the plot compared to a one off episode where you never see them again. I did enjoy this show for the most part but felt very repetitive and very white which was a shame as it was a show about redoing classic fairy tales, I felt like they could and should have pushed it a bit more.

pretty little liars actresses hannah

Pretty Little Liars: I have conflicted opinions about the rep in this show. Emily tends to go for very domineering women (Alison and Paige) and though I loved her and Paige together, particularly when they sorted her closeted ass out, she seems to just forgive and forget a lot when it comes to Alison who I think is genuinely an awful person who did crazy horrible things to many people. Alison and Mia are some nice bi women representation, showing completely different characteristics outwardly and in personality and showing the fluidity of a bi person’s sexuality. Over all, hate the rep a lot and Emily ended up with the wrong person IN MY OPINION!!! And I feel like it was nice to see not just white actors playing these roles as well. (it has been confirmed that Haleb, the actors anyway, are both bi which is nice to know)

klaus number 4 the umbrella academy

The Umbrella Academy: I have many feelings about this show I love Klaus so much. I think the writers of the show heard us and in season 2 VANYA FINALLY gets to be the gay she was destined to be. Also has a disabled child in the second series. Series two can be quite upsetting as there are some very graphic moments of the civil rights movement in the ’60s so a content warning for that.

The Haunting of Hill House: A family with a history of being haunted and are followed by tragedy and spooky happenings. Something that even little wusses can watch (i.e. me) One of the main siblings is a Sapphic woman (Theo). The representation is pretty decent and the actress who plays Theo reminds me of a young Angelina Jolie. She also seems to have this power to read people by touching them, skin to skin, which is really interesting.

The Haunting of Bly Manor: The next part of the Haunting anthology series, the two are not connected. A young American woman is in England and hired to care for a couple of rich orphans in Bly Manor. She has her own ghost following her, but also starts seeing spooky things at Bly. Sapphic romance with the lead character, Dani, and the Gardener, Jamie.

Not yet out, but The Craft reboot is said to feature some transness and queerness which I am dying to see.

Check out my post from a couple years ago, films to watch this Halloween for people who don’t like scary films.

Have a read of my favourite Spooky Video Games post.

If you think I should add any others to this post, let me know in the comments!

~ Artie

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My Favourite Spooky Video Games

spooky halloween video games

Hey pals,

Are you looking for some games to play or let’s plays to watch? This is my list of video games I’ve either enjoyed playing or watching LP’s of and some links to gaming YouTuber Playlists to enjoy in the lead up to Halloween. I only watch a handful of gaming YouTubers so I’ll be recommending the same people, besides these guys I only watch sims YouTubers and that’s not really relevant here. This is a game rec blog! I’m a casual video game player, I don’t really play or watch games that would be too difficult to play, most of these will have the ability to change the setting to be suitable for novice players for those like me who just kinda wanna have a good time and disconnect from the world.

Phasmophobia

This is a new game that has come out, currently only accessible by PC on Steam as it is in the early release days. It’s basically virtual ghost hunting with a selection of maps to choose from, loads of equipment to use and a bunch of ghost types to identify. I think you play with friends, I’m sure you can play alone but i think it would make it very difficult to complete and I’m not sure if you can play with other people online. I’ve been watching a couple of LP’s of this game as I don’t have a PC but it looks like a game I’d really be into playing if I had any friends. This is also cool because it uses your voice as part of the game too, you can speak to the ghosts and they can hear you so when you’re being hunted, you need to keep quiet. It also works with VR.

Markiplier has a LP going on at the moment.

JackSepticEye also has an LP.

CallMeKevin has played this too but he’s more of a troll player so if you need some humour to break the tension, I recommend him!

Until Dawn

An interactive survival horror game based on the spoof concept of horror films with teenagers out in cabins in the woods/middle of nowhere. With a mixture of supernatural threats and human. A group of teen friends return to the cabin a year after two of their own disappeared and were never found.

Markiplier has one here. I enjoyed watching this at uni.

JackSepticEye

Kelly Kpopp is one of the few female YouTube gamers I’ve found and enjoyed, she doesn’t post so much now but here’s the Until Dawn LP.

Geek Remix are two queer women who make LPs and stream together. View their complete LP.

The Walking Dead Series

I’m sure you all know what this is about, even if you’ve only heard of the TV show, you know the gist. A story, choice based game in the zombie apocalypse. To begin we follow Lee as he tried to protect this little girl, Clem, he stumbles upon. Each of the games follow different people, two of the seasons follow Clementine and there is a Michonne spin off. Available on pretty much all platforms at this point, the game has now been completed. Available across numerous platforms.

JackSepticEye has a bunch I think he played all of them. I couldn’t find the playlist for season 1 but I’ve linked season 2.

Kelly Kpopp I’ve linked a massive playlist of her Walking Dead LP.

Hello Neighbour

Doesn’t look scary, but I swear to god I got jump scared so many times watching LP’s of this freaking game. When I was watching, it was under development, I’m not sure where it’s at now or what it looks like to play but it changed so many times through the LP’s I watched. It was creepy and seemed to have a lot of lore.

JackSepticEye

Markiplier

Finding Bigfoot

Basically a simulator for hunting a Bigfoot out in the woods. Fend off attacks and live through the night. Setting up traps and trying to find useful items for keeping alive. PlayStation and Steam.

Markiplier.

Oxenfree

This isn’t a horror game, it’s just kinda spooky and strange with really cool art. It’s a supernatural mystery graphic adventure game, another one heavily influenced by the tropes of teen coming-of-age films. A group of teenagers go to an island together after the death of the main character’s brother. Available on steam.

Kpopp

JackSepticEye

Geek Remix.

For some non-scary but still kind of Halloween related games, check out these:

CallMeKevin has played a lot of these games but as I said above, he is quite a trolly player so a great choice for getting to know the games without too much risk of horror.

GeekRemix have played a lot of supernatural queer dating sims like Monster Prom, Wicked Willow and PairANormal to name a few.

If you have any recommendations for other gaming YouTubers you think I might like, let me know! (Do not suggest pewdiepie pls…) I hope you enjoy watching or playing some of these games for Halloween season! Check out my Twitch here, I sometimes play video games!

~ Artie

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