A Book A Day Tag! Recent Reads.

Hey pals,

I came across this instagram/twitter challenge too late but I wanted to use the prompts to turn into a blog post and talk a little about some books I may not have thought to share.

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1) The book I turn to for Comfort: Georgia Nicolson Series, or Heartstopper.

2) The Book that makes me Cry: Hunger Games (book 1) Anything about district 11 makes me cry. Loveboat Taipei had some moments that made me blubber.

3) the book I’m finally planning on reading during Lockdown: I started The Hunger Games on a whim, but I guess I’ll say Alice Oseman’s novels coz I’d never read any of them before reading heartstopper. So far have read Radio Silence, started Solitaire and think I’ll pick up the ebook of I Was Born For This too coz they were all 99p. Generally, I’ve just been reading more.

4) The book that makes me laugh out loud: The Princess Diaries (book 1) was pretty hysterical and much more appreciated as a 25 year old vs. if I was a teen. (I mean, the line about her mum being depressed after finding out her boyfriend was a Republican wouldn’t have made sense to me as a teenager, but now I feel that in my soul), but also Loveboat Taipei was pretty hilarious.

5) My favourite book cover: Wranglestone or the second If Only.

6) My favourite audiobook to listen to: I don’t really listen to audiobooks, I struggle to actually listen if I end up doing stuff.

7) My favourite line from a book: “Maybe part of fighting unhappiness in this world is to seize happiness when we can.” – Loveboat, Taipei

8) The holiday read I never got to take: I mean, I’m still reading the books! But I feel like If Only has a holiday book feel.

9) My favourite indie bookshop: I’m gonna be unoriginal by saying Gays The Word. It’s standing history. I did mention a few others in this blog post that are worth checking out if you are ever in the area. 

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10) My favourite book from childhood: I didn’t read as a child, I was read to and i can’t remember many, just the faraway tree? and Harry Potter. I did revisit some YA I read in this video too if you want to check that out. 

11) The book character I most want to be: Apparently every male love interest I like.

12) My favourite meal from Literature: I don’t really care about food in books, I cannot lie.

13) My favourite recent book discovery: I’ve enjoyed a lot of my ebook reads recently which include, the Hunger Games, Alice Oseman’s Radio silence, Melanie Murphy’s If Only, and Loveboat Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen was a really great book I picked up as an ebook for 99p.

14) Number of books on my TBR: Many. It keeps growing now I use the kindle app… Roughly 20 physical books right now, but I have a lot of books I want to re-read and more books I’ve not read yet. I have a whole separate non-fiction TBR you can check out here

15) The book that reminds me of someone I love: Anne of Green Gables, even though I haven’t read it yet. My mum brought me up on the 80’s films.

I have been doing so much reading that I ended up updating my GoodReads goal for the year from 12 books (1 book a month on average was the goal) to 50 books and I am already on 29, if I keep going at this speed I might be updating it again and maybe again. Lockdown doesn’t look like it will end soon or if it does it’ll just come back down on us. Please stay home and wear a mask!

I hope you enjoyed a little book blog post, I thought it would be fun and a nice way to talk about a lot of the books i’ve read recently without actually reviewing them individually. I’m creating another ‘I watched the film then read the book’ for the Princess Diaries, and I’m going to be making a video about reading the Hunger Games for the first time, and all the 99p ebooks I’ve bought and tried to read (not all successfully) so if you like book content, keep an eye out! I do have loads of book videos going up too or already gone up so check out the playlist!

Tell me about a book you love and why you think I should read it!

~ Artie

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This is the original post I saw and the original creator, in case anyone wants to know or look for them.

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Check out this article from Book Riot on 12 LGBT+ Witchy books!

I wanted to add a little question and answer section at the end here to let you get to know me at the end of a short book post.
  1. a film you’ll never get tired of: I have a weird soft spot for She’s The Man. I have a crush on Amanda both as herself and as a man. Princess Diaries as well, Anne Hathaway is beautiful. Mulan is an all time favourite.
  2. what’s your favourite album: I feel like we don’t really listen to albums anymore, but I would say probably a Halsey album. I’ve not listened to Manic a lot, but I do really like it.
  3. how do you feel about piercings: I have a few, and I think they’re cool. My Libra is too indecisive to get anymore. There are loads I would like but also now I have a lot of health issues, I’m always in an MRI machine and I have to take all my piercings out and I don’t think my sanity could take it. I also have some videos on how to take out different septum jewellery if you need help check out this playlist!
  4. favourite sweet: I love sweet things generally and I prefer chocolates (especially now I can’t eat most of them) but I’ve also been enjoying jelly sweets you get in pick and mix. Fizzy cola bottles or fizzy cherries.
  5. your idea of a perfect date night: None. Leave me alone.
  6. favourite game: Video game? I love Life is Strange, but also Detroit: Become Human is a beautiful game. Board games, I love Cluedo. I love solving crimes! I remember being good at this game as a kid, both figuring out who did it and hiding that it was me. I’ve been enjoying streaming on Twitch so come give me a follow and join me on a stream sometime.
  7. how do you feel about religion: You do you, just stop using it as an excuse to be an oppressive arse. I am personally spiritual and practice alone.
  8. do you have any nicknames: no.
  9. what’s something that keeps you going: myself. my mum. my dog.
  10. favourite animal: Dogs and Wolves. I love animals generally so so much but these are my favourites always. I am on the hunt for the perfect wolf t-shirt.
  11. favourite scent: I have this one scent from Lush I really like but I don’t remember what it is… I also like vanilla and lavender.
  12. are you introverted or extroverted: An Introvert for sure but I can be extroverted. I need a lot of alone time. even one on one time with people drains my energy. I’m chronically ill so I think that’s a huge part of it.
  13. favourite drink: I love iced coffee and fruit juices. Also peach tea.
  14. are there any tattoo’s you’d like to have: I want to try to find my birth year in my great grandparents’ handwriting to get tattooed. I also like the idea of a monstera leaf. Maybe something like ‘I tried’ or ‘i’m trying’. I’m also thinking of a woodpecker or Peter rabbit, a swallow on my hand one day or maybe inner wrist. I’m toying with a tattoo that says ‘pulseless’ for the limbs that barely have a pulse. Am not dead, just pulseless.
  15. something you like about yourself: I like a lot about myself. My creativity, the way I think, my compassion, my sense of fairness and justice.
  16. how do you feel about fast food: I love fast food and wish more of it was vegan or lacto free. I miss my pad Thai, it’s been a long time.
  17. what kind of person are you attracted to: red flags.
  18. who inspires you: myself. but also just lots of people. I’m a Libra don’t make me choose.
  19. how do you feel about marriage: You do you again, I’m not sure I’ll ever want to get married myself. I feel like it might have been something society told me I wanted. I’m not sure I’m built for a singular partner, I get bored easily or too attached and spending the time I have single, I also just really like being left alone. I’ve grown an independance I didn’t have coz I was always told my worth is linked to having romantic partners and being seen as attractive.

How I’ve Been Passing My Time

Hey pals,

If you’re a regular to my social media, then you know that I am chronically ill and disabled which has lead to many, many months spent inside my own home, sometimes bedbound. I have a lot of isolation practice, except now my family are all home too to shield me, because I come under High Risk.

I can’t lie, I have moments of getting bored and I definitely miss my Costa or Starbucks iced coffees and a good take away, but generally I’m pretty used to this. Seeing all the able-bodied people struggling with spending time inside/at home kind of gave me a boost of energy and motivation because ‘haha! I am the highly functioning one now!’ and kinda just wanted to shove it in people’s faces that I’m doing stuff and filling my time! I even started exercising… daily. Who am I? At this point, I couldn’t really tell you just like I couldn’t really guess what day it is.

I have always been a bit of a loner, I enjoy my own space and I enjoy being alone. I was an only child so that probably helped. But I’ve always been a creative whether it was playing imaginary games with toys, making art, writing stories, singing My Little Mermaid songs, or watching television. I couldn’t read for a long time so I missed out on a lot of books that were turned into shows or films, and actually I’m starting to make up for that. I’ve become quite the reader over time (Yeah I should be after getting my Bachelors in Creative Writing…) and I have a large collection of physical books. One big job I did was to go through all of my read books and decide if I still wanted to keep them or not and I think I halved my collection. I still have a lot of unread books I need to at least TRY to read so that will be keeping me busy as well. I’ve recently found a love of ebooks where I find really cheap ebook versions of books I sort-of-kind-of wanted to read but not enough to splash out on a hard copy and postage. So the ebooks don’t take up physical space and they can be so much cheaper than physical copies, this benefitted me when it came to books I wasn’t sure I would care about, so I buy the ebook, give it a read, and if I really liked it I can buy myself the physical copy at a later date. Plus, it’s easier to read in bed on your phone, and it’s less work for my disabled hands to hold a phone than try to keep open a book! Some of these books are going to be great video and blog content in the future too (I Read the book and Watched the Film: Princess Diaries edition anyone?).

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We’ve had to get creative by baking. I have a really specific diet that makes it hard to shop anyway, but it’s even harder now when the shelves are empty and you’re limited to what you can buy online. So, for fun and delicious treats (for my MASSIVE sweet tooth) we have been experimenting with baking different things. We became the banana loaf cliche (but it’s so delicious… I’ve made FIVE) brownies twice but they weren’t gooey enough so we need to have another go! Crumble, and shortbread. But I’ve got a little list of things to try making for fun and see if I like them and it’s nice cooking with my mum… coz I can’t do it alone. I love being disabled, I can’t even stir the batter.

I’ve been re-organising and decluttering many areas but am far from done. I’m due a clothes re-organise coz I need to swap my winter stuff out and summer stuff in. I put my millions of hospital and doctors’ letters away in my filing box, each under different sections. Also watching DVDs I’ve not touched in a while and completing old games I’ve had for… maybe a decade so I can get rid of those too! But I’ve also been making art! Blackout poetry with some of the books I didn’t like, finishing old works and painting the backgrounds, collaging in my notebooks… I’m tired, the list probably goes on but those are the main gals.

I even figured out my streaming issues on my computer and started dabbling with the Sims 4 again, but there’s a massive bug at the moment making the game impossible to play so… it’s either decorating or not playing at all.

I’ve filmed so many book videos… I’m not a booktuber, I’m a dabbling booktuber but now… my channel is full of books! I’m reading and editing things my friend has written (for her uni course and… her hobby of just writing to maintain sane.) I’ve gone back to my BSL (British Sign Language) course and actually progressing a little… I know how to say ‘sorry, I don’t understand’ and ‘I missed that’. I think there may have been a point where I actually wrote something for my WIP… but that must have been in the early days because I can’t remember a thing. (If you want to learn something, give Skillshare a try)

IMG_7506I keep a daily diary of things I do/things I have accomplished so that I don’t lose the plot and feel like a failure and haven’t done anything. It’s for all things, big and small and some days are shorter because I decided I was going to spend time relaxing either in the sun or watching mindless television/YouTube because we still need to let ourselves rest during this time. Actually, writing this post has ticked something off a massive list of things to do I have. TICK. I’ve made a very long list of things I can/should do for the days I feel restless but can’t THINK of what to do. It’s pretty useful. I’ve been writing in my journal under the writing prompts I found. Practicing mental health care is really important during this time I’m even seeing a counsellor right now but we chat over the phone or video chat. If you need some help, I recommend reaching out and seeing if it’s possible. I’m sure lots of therapists and counsellors still need money to pay for things too.

I’ve already watched almost everything worth watching for me on Netflix but I’m sure most of you lot haven’t so just binge watch a show or film series! I have so many recommendation posts for things to watch, support me by clicking them and give yourself something to do! Want something Spooky? Give this list a try. 

If you want to see what my isolation diary actually looks like, let me know and maybe one week I’ll post some of my diary (coz as I’m writing this I’m on day 30 but this will probably not be out for at least 2 weeks…).

~ Artie

Please check out my YouTube, I’ve been working really hard on content there!

And check out two recent blog collaborations I did! Disabled Writer Tips and Being Disabled during the Pandemic.

Massive Book Declutter and Unhaul!

Hey pals!

I hope you’re all still doing the right things, stay home where you can and washing your hands! With all the time on everyone’s hands, people who aren’t used to being at home are struggling for something to do (I mean, I have a whole blog of content you can read and a Youtube channel…) so I thought sharing what I get up to could be helpful.

I decided, seeing at it’s spring, I needed to do some decluttering starting with my massive book collection. I didn’t touch the unread books as I’d recently already been through them, but I did choose to tackle the selection of read books that I’ve accumulated over the last 10 years. This mainly consisted of manga, YA books and some spiritual/occult books. Many books I can’t even remember what they were about, which really lead to me deciding to donate them coz if I can’t remember what happened then it wasn’t that good.

check out my home declutter and re-organise videos here. 

Starting with my manga collection, these were my first purges. I used to watch a lot of anime and read a lot of manga as a teenager, so a lot of these are series that no lon

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ger interest me… manga and anime are also know for rather weird and perverted plots and off-kilter power dynamics and that was the main reason I got rid of a lot of these books (this is very specific to Rosario Vampire, I’m pretty sure that is made as a softcore porn for teenage boys…) My reading tastes have changed a lot since I was a teenager (they’re gayer for one) and I only really kept series that I really enjoyed and that had an impact on me. I kept: Chibi Vampire, OHSHC, Blue Exorcist, Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist and Fruits Basket. I plan on doing a Youtube series where I go back and re-read these so if I change my mind as I’m reading them, I may also get rid of some of those but I may also fall back in love with reading manga!

I also went through my very bizarre occult books collection. I didn’t realise how many

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books I had picked up of this type over the years (mostly from second hand sources but occasionally from a holistic fair or occult shop before they started dying out). I realised a lot of books I had in this section weren’t even particularly linked to spiritual topics and were more like cookbooks or aromatherapy, so those went quickly and easily. I got rid of a few magic/spell books that I either felt I’d gotten everything out of or never touched and didn’t think I would touch again! I did keep a few I hadn’t used before, because they look like a good reference for any future writing I did as I’d love to write a book involving magic. I had a few books about rock types and fossils that seemed more like educational books for children so thought they could find a better home, especially after I realised I had a copy of the crystal bible which is all you really need when you have crystals to identify. And then I found a few dream guides and feng shui books so I kept one of each and put the rest in the to go pile. You can also see two really big books at the bottom, the encyclopedia of the occult is a very cool looking book and would be great for referencing but it’s so huge it’s rather daunting to me and I don’t think I would ever actually use it, and the other book is a book of old quotes that I really have no need for. 

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This pile is YA books (mostly?) old book series I enjoyed but couldn’t remember the plot for the life of me. Some books I didn’t enjoy or felt like I had to keep, and books I read and knew I wouldn’t read again. Also the Stephen King ‘On Writing’ book has a toolkit I don’t feel like I need to keep the book to read anymore, and I only had the Tobias Wolff memoir for Uni and though I enjoyed it, I don’t think it’s something I want to read again it wasn’t very happy.

I ended up going through my shelves again and seeing which books I would really probably not read and put aside even more books. I finished reading How to Give Up Plastic and decided I didn’t need to keep it. There’s quite a few Fantasy/Sci-Fi books I’ve had for a long time that I haven’t even tried to read in the many years they’ve been on my shelf so decided to say goodbye to those. A couple of non-fic books like How to Read Like A Writer, Norwegian (I actually had two of this book?), The Happiness Trap (A book I don’t feel like I need to use anymore for mental health) and Women Run With Wolves, I realised this was a Psychology book so whatever it actually is it wasn’t what I was expecting and I wasn’t interested in reading it. I tried to read Dead Witch Walking but the writing just was no for me, I struggled to understand why this book series was so popular but I suppose it’s from a different time where a lot of these sexist and misogynist thoughts were normal. I did want to read Secret Societies but decided I wasn’t THAT deeply interested in it and chose to sell it.

Generally, I felt like these books could find a better home. Where will these books be going? Currently they will sit on the shelves a bit longer as I am stuck inside, but after that I plan on selling a few either on depop or even with music magpie just to get some quick cash. I’ll be donating a lot of books too, mainly to my local hospital as the money raised by second hand book sales goes to buying new equipment and I spend my life in that place so I like to try and give back where I can. Otherwise, there’s a local bookshop I like that sells secondhand books called The Book Den and they have really amazing prices on books and a great collection so anything I felt wouldn’t fit with the hospital donation I would take there instead.

If you’re interested in supporting me and indie bookshops, check out my affiliate link to buy some books! 

edit: I sold quite a few books on depop and musicmagpie (do not recommend musicmagpie), and then donated remaining books to the local donation bin and to the first village fete to sell at a stall. They took up so much room I just couldn’t hang on to them long enough to donate to hospital because they still do not have any bookshelf sales available due to covid. The donation bin has been a saviour for my family as most donation locations have been closed and we didn’t want to take anything to the dump… So we have dropped in a lot of things like clothes, CDs, DVDs, books, shoes… the list goes on really. We have been spending a lot of LockDown clearing out and re-organising to the high heavens! I got new drawers and bookshelves which is exciting for me!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, I’ve also documented it on my YouTube channel so if you’d like to see me actually mentally going through the process of what I wanted to keep or not, go check that out. The first video is here, where I went through all the occult books I owned, and video two was going through the YA and Manga books.

I hope you’re staying safe!

~ Artie

Check out my recent blog post of my LockDown Book Haul!

If you like Video book videos, check out my Manga Marathon, My Lockdown TBR, The Stay at Home Book Tag, 14 LGBT+ Book Recs, and the GoodReads ‘Currently Reading’ Take Down.

Check out my other book related posts! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,

My Favourite Books Shelf!

Hey pals,

I’ve been going on an organising and purging spree recently now that we are all FORCED to be inside. I’ve cleansed my bookshelves and given my favourite books their own shelf, I just wanted to talk through it with you and give you a peek into who I am as a human. Check out my organising videos here.

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This is the shelf! It is one of the minimal shelves designated to books in my bedroom, most of my book reside in the spare room where I have enough shelf space to call it a small library. This shelf also has my Uni Society Award (middle), a graduation plaque present (right) and a cool thrifted glass/crystal holder where I keep some pens I really like. On the far left of the books are my own work! X Marks The Spot is the first anthology I was published in that I was paid for. A personal essay and a poem live in there written by moi! Then the little blue leaflet sized ones were the third year uni open mic booklet with a small snippet of my Grenfell Tower Fire piece that I performed at my last uni open mic before I graduated.

Moving onto the books, We have a selection of mental health focused books that I fell in love with. First, Carrie Fisher’s Postcards From The Edge, I had no idea how iconic Carrie Fisher was until after her death unfortunately but this book was a very interesting dual POV book that also changed in how it was written with each section. It was mildly challenging just because of the experimental the writing style, but it is heavily derived from her real life experience of drug abuse and rehab and working in the industry. Then is the iconic The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, basically autobiographical. An interesting look into mental health care during a different period of time, similar to Girl, Interrupted, I love the film a lot so it was only a stretch that lead me to actually reading the memoir, this one was particularly interesting for me as I have the same diagnosis as Susanna Kaysen, who seemed to recover and even though the memoir is quite dark it did give me hope when I was in the midst of suffering from BPD. Then a book I have never heard anyone talk about online, Lovesick by Coburn. This is about a man who is hired to keep tabs on a rich man’s daughter at college who has an eating disorder. He was meant to get a full scholarship but had a car crash and injured himself before he started and was lost, so this man offered to pay his tuition etc. to go to uni with his daughter and make sure she wasn’t going to hurt herself, etc. He falls in love with her but I think it ends quite sadly and she finds out he was hired by her father. This is based off a real event, I think this was put together by a reporter. Last in this list is Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. About two friends who have eating disorders and live pretty recklessly, it’s been a while since I’ve read it so I can’t remember everything exactly but one of them dies, and the protagonist has some kind if psychosis where she keeps seeing and hearing her and keeps getting sicker. This is a very triggering book with lots of explicit details to do with self harm and eating disorder behaviour so I do not recommend this to anyone easily triggered.

The next section are my queer books! Starting with Wranglestone by Darren Charlton, this is a zombie apocalypse adventure story with some mystery elements and our main character is gay. This is the first book I’ve read that isn’t about being gay, it has plot outside of that and it was a great read, you should check out my more detailed review here. Next is Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, this may have been my first queer book read. Multi-POV book showing us a selection of different queer boys and narrated by the gay men of previous generations who had died and did not get to live their full life because of AIDs and the laws we had in place in the Western World. It’s a lovely book with a sad overtone because of the narration but something I really enjoyed and have re-read a few times. I’ll roll these next two into one point, Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda and Leah on the Off Beat. Love Simon was quite an iconic turning point for gay film media production, it felt like one of the first fluffy rom-coms we got to have that didn’t end or involve any tragedy or death. The book is very similar but has quite a different plot so I do recommend reading it if you enjoyed the film. Then Leah on the off Beat is the wlw, bisexual icon version of Love, Simon. Leah felt she couldn’t come out to friends about her bisexuality and then falls in love with a girl who is also bisexual, the representation in this book is impeccable and made my younger self feel seen (even though I read this at age 24). Watch my video talking about Love Simon the book vs. the Film. Next, Beautiful Music For Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills is the first book I’ve read with a trans main character. His name is Gabe and he wants to be a radio DJ and works on a community radio in the dead of night. I do feel like it’s sad and unfortunate that we know Gabe’s dead name in this (because we all know this leads to people dead naming the character rather than forcing them to use the correct name) and there is transphobic related violence later in the book, besides that I enjoyed the book a lot. The last stop on the train is the first female lead queer book I read (but also one of the first queer books I ever read) Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz. Our Bi icon Etta is a badass ballet dancer whose whole friendship group are lesbian women who constantly invalidate Etta’s sexuality, a side of the coin that isn’t often talked about. She also has an eating disorder and is in recovery and trying to find herself and what she wants, she makes new friends who love her for her and not what they think she is. She has a romance with a boy through the book but has visibly had relationships and sex with a mixture of genders and the book does not end with a happily ever after which I appreciated a lot.

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We are in the last section now which is mostly to do with book height! We have the Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman, a beautiful graphic novel about Charlie and Nick falling in love and having that fluffy rom-com episodic story. See my other posts about these books here and here and my two videos here and here. Then Melanie Murphy’s first book, Fully Functioning Human (Almost), I relate to a lot of the struggles Melanie has gone through and been open about online: bisexuality, eating disorders, health, anxiety and depression, toxic relationships, etc. This book gave me the strength to break it off with my last relationship I was in and I have to put that book on this shelf for that alone. And finally, Hungry by Crystal Renn is another memoir about having an eating disorder as a model and throwing it round and becoming a plus size model instead. Check out my Non-fic recs video where I talk about some of these. 

A lot of these books entered my life during a time I needed them. They helped me feel like I wasn’t doing this or going through this alone, and that it’s possible to come out the other end (minus a few that ended quite terribly) and generally I have come out the other end. Now I’m just looking for a book about a young person going through a chronic illness and battling all these other things too.

I hope you enjoyed this post and having a little look into who I am and why these books matter to me. Let me know some of your favourite books!

~ Artie

Watch my recent book unhaul on youtube and keep an eye on my depop as I may sell some books there.