Read In February


This month has felt incredibly busy, yet I’ve still managed to read six whole books? I have to admit that I’m quite impressed with myself, and I hope that this good reading-vibe will continue through March too.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

The first book that I completed this month was none other than the classic Pride and Prejudice, which I was inspired to read after seeing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which I found extremely enjoyable).  I think this was the third time I’ve read this book completely and I still love it as much as ever. Elizabeth Bennet is such a great heroine with her wit and amusing observations, and I’ll always be in love with Darcy no matter how much he annoys me in the beginning of the book.

It’s so nice to go back and read some Austen every now and again as the writing is so exquisite, and in especially Pride and Prejudice there is so much humour that is used to criticise the society of the time, that makes it so fun to read. Next on my Austen TBR is Sense and Sensibility that I haven’t yet had the chance to read, but I’ve heard that it’s as great as basically everything from Austen so I’m thrilled to start reading.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Yes, I really missed the beautiful wizarding world and Hogwarts, so I had to begin my annual rereading of the series. Every time I pick up the first book, I cannot stop before I’ve finished the whole series, reading Harry Potter just feels like coming back home. I also love the fact that no matter how many times I’ve actually read the books, there’s always something new to pick on, or details that I’d forgotten. Every reading somehow strengthens my bond with the characters and the whole world, which makes the reading experience so comfortable and beautiful.

I often wonder what it is that makes me so smitten for this book series but I never seem to be able to come up with a clear answer. Maybe it’s just magic, maybe it’s the thousand sentimental reasons linked to growing up, maybe it’s the bond of the fandom. Whatever the reason is, I think I’ll never let this precious series out of my life.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

This novel was the first ‘new’ book that I read this month and it didn’t disappoint. I had heard a lot of praise for this book before picking it up, so I had a few expectations that were met quite well. The protagonist, Eliza, is a wonderful character and I could relate to her life so much. She is a talented webcomic-artist, hiding behind the anonymous safety of a username, who also suffers from anxiety which was beautifully represented in the story. I loved that I really could relate to her thoughts and see where her actions came from, it felt like I was kind of there with her on the journey which was great.

There’s also a little bit of romance between Eliza and a new student called Wallace, who coincidentally happens to be the most famous fan-fiction writer for Eliza’s webcomic. I enjoyed how their relationship develops slowly and they both have similar kinds of struggles in their lives. They both have some problems with their family relationships, but they find company from each other in sweet ways.

This whole book was such a great read, the writing is eloquent and fun, and the plot develops in a good pace. There is also a lot more to the story than just a romance, it’s about family, identity, secrets, loss and many other things that make the story so excellent.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab 

I read the first book (A Darker Shade of Magic) of this series a few months back, and only now got around to reading the sequel. I don’t know why I waited so long to read this because it is so incredibly good! I fell even more with love with the characters of Lila, a pickpocket-turned-pirate-turned-magician, who is just a badass woman that doesn’t let anyone control her doings and lives for herself, and Kell, the powerful antari who feels trapped in the royal family and longs for freedom and adventure.

Even though the plot evolves around this magical competition, where both Lila and Kell end up competing, there’s a constant tension that is embedded to the storyline, which starts to unravel simultaneously with the competition. The world of this series is so amazing, and I love reading the descriptions of it and learning new about it. I feel like this book continued the first one so beautifully, and left the story in such a cliffhanger that I actually had to order the final book the minute I shut this one.

My reading plans for March basically include more Harry Potter, more Austen and more V.E. Schwab, which I’m not complaining about as I have so much love for these books.


Read in January


This month reading-wise has been quite Outlander-heavy. I started reading the series during Christmas break, and finished the first book before the new year. I really wanted to continue the series and managed to read the next two books in January, and even start the fourth one. I also managed to squeeze two other books in between the Outlander books to add some variety. Overall I read four books in January, which I think was pretty great considering the length of the two Diana Gabaldon books.

Jane Austen: Persuasion 

In the beginning of the month, I had this feeling that I wanted to read some Jane Austen, so I picked up Persuasion. The reason why I picked this one was partly because it’s so short and partly because I’d only read it at school, and I wanted to freshen my memory of it a bit.

I found this book actually really enjoyable and I definitely liked it better now than a few years back. I love how Austen uses characters as the main driver of the story rather than an intense plot, this made it quite relaxing to read. The protagonist, Anne Elliot, I found amiable because she is such a sweetheart. Her strength is definitely in her kindness and intelligence, and I enjoyed exploring her thoughts and emotions. Compared to Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse, Anne is definitely more quiet and in a way a bit in the background, especially in her family dynamics.

The love story between Anne and Captain Wentworth brings a nice little tension to the plot as they both seem quite unsure with each other’s feelings. There’s also a lot of criticism on the social setting of the period, typical to Austen which is always a pleasure to read. I’m glad that I reread this book as it surprised me positively.

Angie Thomas: The Hate U Give

I had wanted to read this book a while and I finally got it as an audiobook, and I think I said it before but I’ll say it again; the narrator Bahni Turpin did such a wonderful job! This story deals with the aftermath of the protagonist Starr Carter witnessing her friend Khalil murdered by a police officer. The book does a marvellous job in presenting social injustice and the problems in American legal system.

The story also focuses heavily on Starr’s journey to finding her true identity. She is torn between two different communities and doesn’t know how to act with certain people in her life. I especially enjoyed her development in the book from this uncertainty to finding her voice whilst protesting to get justice for Khalil.

One of my favourite things in this book is how well her family is constructed. It just seems like the most supportive and fun family, that I’ve ever read in a book. Sure the family has problems and arguments, but they are able to come together and always have each other’s back which I found incredibly sweet.

I also enjoyed the writing very much, it seemed to just flow effortlessly, creating absolutely hilarious moments but also heartbreaking scenes, and stayed captivating through the whole book. I want everyone to read this book, because it made me think about humanity a lot, and how we react to other people and situations.

Diana Gabaldon: Drangonfly in Amber 

This is the second book in the Outlander series and I basically loved it as much as the first one. I had actually seen the two first seasons of the TV-series before reading the books, so I knew the basic storyline which made reading a bit faster in a way. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book tremendously as I love the historic setting and the accuracy of the events and the details of the time period. I appreciate a lot of the amount of research that has gone into these books, it’s just incredible.

This book takes Claire (Randall) Fraser and Jamie Fraser to France where they try to stop prince Charles Stuart from reclaiming his father’s throne through the Jacobite rebellion. I adore these two main characters a lot and I especially enjoy their relationship, because it definitely is true love between them, but the relationship is very adult and real. This book also introduces my favourite character, Fergus, who is a young pickpocket that Jaimie hires to steal letters. He absolutely stole my heart and I’m always just rooting for him.  He actually also kind of reminds me of Gavroche form Les Mis somehow, which might be part of the reason why I’m so fond of him.

The writing is super hilarious and the amount of details that it provides is just crazy, which I absolutely love. I don’t really mind that all of the books are around a thousand pages because every little detail and subplot makes the storyline so rich and incredibly intriguing to read.

Diana Gabaldon: Voyager

This book I just somehow flew through because the previous one ended in such a cliffhanger and I couldn’t wait to read what was in store for the love story in this one. Basically Claire and Jaimie have spent twenty years apart and they reunite in this book, and the fact that it happens only somewhere on page 300 didn’t matter because it was so worth it. The story slowly goes through the events that have occurred during those twenty years, and shows glimpses of the famous battle of Culloden and how Jaimie managed to reluctantly fight through it. The story also explores how Claire dealt with settling back to her old life and raising their baby with her previous husband, whilst also becoming a successful surgeon in the 60’s.

Mainly this book is about reconnecting and learning to love one other again as their lives have changed, which I found beautiful. They are also naturally immediately thrown into an adventure to the West Indies and the voyage doesn’t go as smoothly as expected. This book definitely brings something new to the story with this change of setting and a lot of new characters are introduced.

As I mentioned in the beginning, I’ve read the three first books in this series almost back to back, and I’m currently reading the fourth one, but I think I’ll have a little break after that one and read something else for a change, and then maybe go back to this story because it definitely has me hooked.

I hope February will be as good reading month as January was, and I really want to add some variety to the books that I’m planning to read, and maybe explore genres that I haven’t read as much yet to expand my horizons.

Content Cleansing


Inspired by this video by John Green, I’ve been thinking a lot about to what/who I give my attention to in the internet. Even before the video was published, I had been pondering how to spend my time more effectively on the different social media platforms. A few days ago I took a good look at all of my accounts, and the people I follow as well as the content I subscribe to, and asked myself a few questions;

  • Does this person/content challenge my views and make me think?
  • Does this person/content affect my mood positively or negatively?
  • Do I really need watch someone else live their life, and then also follow them on every social media platform in order to keep up with their life?
  • Is it necessary for me to follow celebrities who mostly post pictures of themselves that are photoshopped or from the red carpet?
  • Can I truly relate to this content? etc.

After meditating on these questions a while, I unfollowed all the people/content that didn’t spark any activity in my mind when I came across the posts. I have to admit that it was actually kind of hard to unfollow some people whose videos I’ve watched for years, and on whose life I’ve been very invested in, but on the other hand when I did hit the unfollow button, I didn’t regret it and I’ve found that I don’t miss the content that used to fill my feeds at all. After all, these were people whom I do not personally know, and who probably wouldn’t want to be friends with me in real life, so what’s the point in following their life if there is nothing that I can get from them.

In retrospect it’s odd how quickly you can get addicted on watching other people’s lives. I know that there is a natural curiosity, that makes us want to see how others live their life, and I know that it can be comforting and give support to some extent, but for me the people I followed closely didn’t do that. There is a lot of content available that is educating, and deals with current issues going on in the world, and for me that kind of content feels more fulfilling. I want to put my critical thinking skills to use and grow as a consumer of content.

Personally I don’t want the internet to be a place that lures me in and traps me in it’s embrace. I would rather like it to be a place where I can inform myself, and connect with people by sharing thoughts on issues that I care about. When I open my feeds, I want to see what’s going on in the world, but also be inspired, laugh and feel a connection with people. I’ve often thought about completely deleting my social media accounts, but now that I’m more conscious about how I share my attention, I feel like I’m getting more back from it than previously.

I think the key to avoid being overwhelmed with all the information is to choose the content you consume carefully, and explore different sources of information, and seek a balance between different platforms. I’m loving this change in my social media habits as I’m able to enjoy the content I follow more and explore it thoroughly, rather than doing the mindless scrolling and double tapping something here and there.  In the end of the day, I don’t want to live my life through social media, it can be a tool to share moments and a source for information, but it cannot be what’s leading the course of my life.