The No Disclaimer Book Tag

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+ Which bookish trope annoys you the most?

Do you want a list? I hate young, female narrators who have no personality and, yet, everyone around them magically falls in love with them (*cough*Bella Swan). I hate the phrase ‘I let out a breath I didn’t know I’d been holding in.’ I hate it when girls hate other girls just because they’re pretty or smart or dating a love interest. And most of all, I hate the white saviour trope. That one is just fucking offensive and infuriating and not needed.

+ Which writers do you feel are overhyped?

John Green. I’ve read four of his books and they all have the same exact story. A quirky manic pixie dream girl (another trope I hate) becomes the object of a nerdy boy’s affection. Wow. That’s never been done before.

+ What are the worst books you’ve read because of booktube/book blogs?

I couldn’t get through Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik. This book was raved about on booktube and it really didn’t gel with me. I ended up DNF-ing it. Twice.

I also blame booktube for throwing me down the YA route last year. There’s nothing wrong with YA; I just don’t get an emotional or deep response from any of it the way other people do. Last year I found that I was reading more YA than usual and, as a result, most of what I was reading was just ‘meh.’ From now on, I’ll stick to books written for adult with maybe an occasional YA thrown in if it grabs me.

+ A terrible ending that ruined an otherwise quality book?

It didn’t ruin the book but I was disappointed with the ending of Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It felt a little too obvious and cheesy.

Which character do you wish was not killed off?

***spoiler alert*** I will always love Henry DeTamble and I will always be heartbroken by what happened to him.

+ What is your bookish pet peeve?

I’m going to agree with books by leynes and say that books which have introductions that spoil the novel are the worst. Why is this a thing? I understand that classics have been analysed to death so there’ll always be an essay or two included in whichever edition you pick up these days. But why put them at the front and then go over every single plot point before the reader’s had a chance to get into anything?

+ What are some books you feel should have more recognition?

I’m always going to sing the praises of Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog. It’s not that I necessarily think it’s the best written book in the world but it covers incredibly important events in recent Native American history, including the protests and actions taken by the American Indian Movement. It also takes a closer look at the horrors indigenous woman face even to this day.

I don’t think that indigenous writers get nearly enough recognition in the book blogging community and, for me, Lakota Woman really opened my eyes to a history and culture I knew nothing about.

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Tagged by no-one. I just wanted to do this.

I tag you if you want to do it.

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Teaser Tuesday – 25/04/17

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by The Purple Booker, that wants you to add books to your TBR or just share what you are currently reading. How it works:

+ Grab your current read
+ Open to a random page
+ Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
+ Be careful not to include spoilers
+ Share the title & author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers

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“She took his money and went out with other men, and she lied to the student – who was certainly a fool. He limped about, looking soft and sad, and soon all John’s sympathy was given to this violent and unhappy woman.” – Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

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I Dare You – Book Tag

I got this tag from Kirsty over at Kirsty’s Book Reviews. She didn’t tag me but it looked fun and I’m trying to get back into the habit of blogging again so I thought I’d go ahead and do it.

Rules

+ You must be honest

+ You must answer all the questions

+ You must tag at least 4 people

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1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I’ve had War and Peace sitting in a box at my parents’ house for almost 10 years now and I’ve still not read it. I don’t tend to keep many books though because they take up too much space when you’re constantly moving around.

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Sunday Post: Black History from Maya & Sammy

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The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week, and showcase books (and, for me, music) every Sunday.

What’s new?

Not a whole lot to report this week from the Land of the Morning Calm. School was out again so I was back to desk-warming duty. While I didn’t actually have any work to get on with, my co-workers spent hours each day screaming and shouting across the office to each other, getting into arguments and storming out of the room.

As next week marks the start of the new school year, tensions are high. People are either trying to get their affairs in order as they prepare to transfer to another school or trying their best to get everything sorted before the new students arrive. Some were bound to butt heads.

Luckily for me, my deskwarming duty meant I had a lot of free time to read and get a few things ready for my upcoming move.

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Sunday Post: It’s All About Staying Calm

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It is with trembling hands (both literally and figuratively)* that I join the Sunday Post meme hosted by Kimba at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Blog. The Sunday Post is a chance to share news, recap the past week, and showcase books (and, for me, music) every Sunday and, as I’ve been a little off when it comes to blogging lately, I figured I’d give it a go.

What’s new?

I haven’t blogged at all so far this year. I’m not entirely sure what to talk about these days because I’m afraid that writing so publicly about my feelings will only mess things up.

So far, things are going okay. Everything’s smooth and steady. I spent 3 weeks travelling around India in January which was wonderful and horrible and incredible and frightening and good and bad all at the same time. I spent the last week relaxing in Rishikesh doing nothing but sitting in cafes along the Ganges river, reading, and making friends with the locals. That last week gave me a chance to be present and not have to worry about anything – Not my job, not my life in Korea, not my impending move, not an itinerary full of tourist sites to visit. Nothing. I just ate good Indian food, drank my weight in chai tea, and stuck my nose in a book.

I loved it.

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Happy Days to Curb the Sad Ones

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So here’s the thing, peeps: I’ve not been completely honest about everything when it comes to my recent relocation.

I’ve been trying to capture both the highs and the lows of moving to Korea over the last 2 months so that I can look back one day and really understand what it was all like. I made a decision to write about things that others might have kept quiet about as well as the things I’ve really enjoyed.

But the truth of the matter is that my first few months here have been tainted by sadness.

It’s a sadness that lurks in the back of my mind even when I’m smiling, laughing and generally having a good time. I haven’t felt that deep connection to Korea that most people seem to experience when they get here. There’s been no spark of excitement that’s let me lose myself in the moment and, no matter how much I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and no matter how much I’m trying to get from this experience, there’s something missing.

And, lately, that something missing has been getting to me more than it should.

It feels like a tick in the back of my brain that refuses to feel everything 100%.

That lingering sadness has been showing up in bursts of crying fits, agitation (not a great thing to have when you teach high school), overwhelming tiredness, and emptiness. I’ve been having difficulty concentrating and have found that I’m skipping most meals again. Worst of all, I’ve been a pretty shitty friend to those overseas. I know the obligatory ‘How’s Korea?’ question will eventually pop up during conversation and, not wanting to lie to them, I end up just not talking to them at all.

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new-girl-snap-out-of-itThis behaviour and attitude needs to come to a stop right now.

Korea’s not exactly known for its sympathies when it comes to feeling sorry for yourself and, from what I can see, the expats I’ve met seem to be having the times of their lives.

So, as I’m essentially holding myself responsible to ensure I don’t turn into a complete depressive, I’ve decided to try and take some action and join the #100HappyDays meme. Yup. The one that features a bunch of ridiculously happy people clogging up your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds with pictures of sunsets and food.

I gave up doing memes a long time ago but, right now, I feel like a piece of positivity in each day couldn’t hurt.

I mean, I think even signing up to the challenge was a big red flag that I needed to go ahead with it. One of the things you have to fill in is the “Challenge Start Date” and I genuinely had to have a good think about it because I was convinced nothing was going to make me happy today.

79013-what-the-fuck-is-that-gif-WTF-E47KAlso, check out my happiness scale:

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Oh yeah, I’m a real upper.

So, there it is, guys. As of today, I’ll be doing the 100 Happy Days challenge and if you’d like to follow my little collection of photos, you can do so over on Instagram. (Oh yeah, I have an Instagram now. I’m mega cool and down with the kids. (Is cool still a cool thing to say?))

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If you follow me on Twitter or have me as a friend on Facebook, I might link up a Happy Days picture (Sunday, Monday, Happy Days … Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days … ) now and again but, for the most part, it’s pretty much going to be kept on my Instagram.

And, to kick it off, here’s the picture from Day 1:

These are two of my favourite students who decided to hang around after class today to chat. I love these girls so much. At the start of our after-school course, they barely spoke a word, sat by themselves in their little shy bubbles, and let the others do all the talking.

But now? It’s amazing to see how much their confidence has increased. In every class I have them in, they’re not afraid to participate and give answers. Not only that but, unlike a lot of their peers, they aren’t afraid to practice their English with me outside of class and try to hold a conversation.

Fabulous girls who are going to be pretty amazing women.

Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

I’m not a big fan of memes but after seeing Bianca post her list of things last night, I couldn’t help but feel inspired by the sense of catharsis it must have given her to just let it all out in the open.

I’m a very open person in real life, always honest and forthright about everything. But I do believe in keeping a good deal of privacy when it comes to the internet. Especially now that things have changed. I’m a teacher and am well aware that my students only have to do a google search for my name to find hundreds of reviews from my past life as a book and film critic. If I begin revealing all my dirty little secrets online, how would they possibly take me seriously in class?

Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure my blog isn’t something they’re likely to stumble upon any time soon so here we go …

My list of things I’m (usually) afraid to tell you:

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+ I have a horrible temper. Like my Baby Brother, I inherited my dad’s quick and fiery temper. Dad learned to control his when he had kids. I let mine fly as a teenager. It’s only in the recent years that I’ve learned how to stay calm in most situations. My rationality is that whatever’s wrong can’t be the worst thing in the world and that it’s important to put it into perspective in the grand scheme of things. In spite of this, my temper brews very quickly a lot – I can often feel it ready to snap at the smallest things. Luckily, I’m just that good at hiding it. So good that a few friends have described me as “so laid-back I’m nearly horizontal.”

I’m extremely sensitive. I have a wonderful British sense of humour, full of sarcasm, irony and self-deprecation. I can take the mick out of people as a sign of friendship but, unfortunately, if they do it back to me, I feel hurt straight away. I’m extremely sensitive – another trait I keep hidden away – and get upset about the smallest things imaginable. This sensitivity means I cry a lot too.

I’ve been in love. I don’t like talking about love because it’s something I’ve experienced and have never really gotten over.

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