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,

Why I Haven’t Self Isolated Yet.

Hey pals,

 

There has been a huge mix of information of who should and should not be isolating, and most countries have jumped to action a lot quicker than the U.K. though I know people are supposed to start isolation today and over the weekend, particularly the vulnerable and over 70’s. But here’s why I haven’t fully isolated myself yet.

 

This week and some of next, I’ve had some really important doctors appointments at hospital that I’ve already been waiting months for. One was a discussion about medication for Crohn’s that was overdue, the second was a chat with a colorectal surgeon to check how my surgery site was doing and this was also overdue, and Thursday I had an imaging appointment to finally get my right arm scanned with ultrasound to find the reason I’m always in pain. Then next week I might be seeing my IBD Consultant who I have never met, and then a dietician but this one I might be able to move to a phone appointment.

 

All of these have been in the works or postponed by bad communication within the department and all super important to my health. I’ll be starting a new medication soon at home for my Crohn’s now I’ve met with everyone and they’ve all agreed it’s the best next step. We have finally found out what’s happening with my arm, all I will discuss in due course as I am awaiting the official letter that explains everything, but what I can say is it is a genetic thing and rare… typical me. And hopefully the dietician can help me work with my dietary restrictions to start leading a healthier life with food.

 

My experience going to these appointments has been pretty different to the usual. Most of the elderly staff who do the carting around of medical files and weight and do your blood pressure were not there, the number of patients lingering had dropped drastically, everyone was on time, there is really a low risk of contamination. Luckily the antibac dispensers still had gel in them, whereas I’ve seen London hospital shave been ravaged. Even the hospital car parks are half empty when it’s normally so difficult to find a space.

 

Now I will say, before anyone gets to heated about me going outside, I have taken precautions. I’ve avoided people or contact for the most part, washed my hands or used hand sanitizer, I have avoided touching doors or buttons, and kept my timing outside to a minimum.

 

It’s near impossible for everyone to stay inside, but as long as you are doing what you can to avoid contamination or possibly spreading the virus, and staying isolated if you have a suspected case! We are doing what we can.

 

I hope you are all safe and well.

~ Artie

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