Reading outside of my comfort zone (eg not YA)

I bet you never thought you would see a post like this from Flowers in the Brain. I am an avid young adult fiction reader, with the occasional contemporary fiction. I was always embarrassed about adoring these genres, until I realised just to appreciate what I love! Recently though, I have thought about expanding out. Not because I don’t love YA , but to broaden my knowledge.

The first book I read was called ‘The Elephant Tree’ by R.D Ronald. I am a wimp when it comes to anything even slightly scary, so this was a big jump for me. It was a little anxiety provoking, as the book follows a drug dealer, and violence plays a part in that. I read the book in 1 day, but I can’t say I enjoyed it, but am glad I read it. Anyone who has read ‘The Elephant Tree’? Did you notice there was lots of grammatical and spellings mistakes. Or maybe it was just my copy.

I also read ’84 Charing Cross Road’, which I think is non-fiction. I have had this book a while, I bought it for my boyfriend who likes visibly old/vintage looking books. This book was adorable! It was about the correspondence of letters between a bookstore owner in London, and a writer in America. I really enjoyed this book. I could feel and smell the bookstore at 84 Charing Cross Road. I would describe this book as warm!

I am currently reading the very popular ‘Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I remember beginning this book in my preteens (all those years ago haha) and found it difficult to read. It is probably a good sign I didn’t read this whilst young, and the story isn’t one for the innocent. I have only just started this book, so will comment no more. Although I may do a review depending .on my thoughts on completion.

Next on my ‘outside my comfort one’ book is ‘1984’, ‘To kill a mocking bird, and Go set a watchman’ and ‘Farenheit 451’. I’d love recommendations in the comment! Do stick to your favourite genre when choosing what to read next?

I thought I’d never use a kindle…

As most of us in the book community, we are dedicated to a beautiful physical copy of a book, being able to turn the pages, appreciate the covers, the smell ect. Well I sure was, and can still appreciate this! I was anti E reader for a long long time. (I even had badges on my ruck sake that were anti kindles haha) Until recently..

To start with, I have taken a much more minimalist approach in life. I decluttered nearly 200 books! I only kept my top 10 all time favorite or sentimental books! I thought I would ‘miss’ my books, but it’s been a while since I did this, and haven’t even thought about them. I had read them all anyway, so I have the books in my head! A kindle is equivalent to millions of books, but only 1 item, my current dream!

The main reason (apart from book clutter) I have switched from hard copy to kindle is finance! There is access to lots of free books, and buying a Ereader copy of a new book is normally cheaper than buying a physical copy! Especially if you order online and have to pay for shipping. Therefore, switching to a kindle is more affordable and cost effective!

I am moving apartments soon, and no longer have a library local to me. Even my current local library doesn’t have a very good YA section, so I don’t often visit. Thus I have found a kindle to give me much easier access to more books!

Lastly, I am currently always on the go. I go on long trains journeys and I travel, in addition to getting public transport to work; I have found a kindle to be more convenient for the travelling aspect of my life, which is quite big this year. It is much lighter than a book, and also takes up less space! It also means I don’t have to take multiple books when I travel/go on holiday.

I thought I would always be against kindles/E readers as I have always been such a physical book fan. But life changes, and suddenly I am a kindle user! It fits my current lifestyle better, and I am actually really enjoying it! Sorry book bloggers…

‘The man who mistook his wife for a hat’ by Oliver Sacks; Book review/microreview.

I was a little dissapointed by this book, but I think this is mainly because it was not what I expected it to be at all. This book is very overrated in my opinion.(would love to hear your opinions)

Considering this is a psychology book, it is easy to understand for the average non psychology degree student, which I liked. It took me a while to finish this book, which is not normal for me. I did want to finish it, I just wasn’t excited to keep picking it up, which never happens for me. So I guess this means I didn’t enjoy it?

It was my first psychology book written in this way, which may be why I didn’t find it a breezey read, compared to my usual genre of contemporary YA. I didn’t dislike this book, I found the content interesting. There was just something about it that didn’t grasp me. I don’t have much to say about this book, good or bad. Hence, the microreview.

Overall, I’d give it a 3/5.

My reading slump is finally over?/my current TBR

I’m so excited to write this post, purely because it means my reading slump is finally over! If you read my last post, you will know that the book ‘This is going to hurt’ by Adam Kay is the book that got me out of this slump. I was surprised by this, I thought it would take a YA or a firm favorite to shift the slump this time. I think the main reason this book was the one as I have a keen interest in medicine.

I am now so excited to get back in to reading, and re-spark the excitement of starting a new book. I have even downloaded by first audio book! I have lot’s of my TBR that I want to read in the near future, and these are some of them;

  • Trust me, I’m a (junior) doctor by Paul Kelan
  • An absolutely remarkable thing by Hank Green (I’ve been obsessed with ‘Dear Hank and John’ podcast.
  • Winger by Andrew Smith (a fellow blogger recommended)
  • All the lonely people by David Owen
  • How it feels to float by Helena Fox
  • The memory of birds by Robin Brown
  • I’d appreciate any recommendations in the comments!

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay; book review

As I’ve recently been deciding whether I want to go into medicine once I have finished my current degree, my interest in medicine based books have also increased. ‘This is going to hurt’ was a book I have seen often, so thought it would be a good place to start. It is a book about a Doctor in the UK working for the NHS.

If you have been following me recently you’ll know that I have been in my worst reading slump to date, months long! I don’t think I have finished a book since the end of February… ‘This is going to hurt’ got me out of that slump! I don’t often do book reviews, unless a book has a large impression on me. Oh boy, did this one! I started it in bed one evening, and stayed awake until 2am to finish it. (I don’t ever sleep late) I just couldn’t put it down. I read it in one sitting!

There are many reasons why I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Firstly, I learnt lots. At the end of every chapter he explains the medical terms he used, and makes it easy for a non medic to understand, which I think was great! Secondly, it was hilarious! The sarcastic humor that doesn’t get old, heightened by the fact of how serious the topic of medicine is. I smiled a good few times whilst reading!

I’m going to try not to put any spoilers in, and if there is, it will be in this paragraph. The ending… I hadn’t read anything about this book before picking it up. I was not expecting it to end the way it did. It quite saddened me. I put the book down with a huge sigh. I haven’t seen if this author has any other books, but I hope so, and shall be adding to my TBR if he does.

I’d rate this book 5/5. Definitely my favorite read of 2019 so far. Next on my reading list is ‘Trust me, I’m a junior doctor’. I’d recommend, even if you don’t have an interest in medicine. Have you read this this? I’d love to hear your opinions.

Never too old for YA

It is without a doubt that Young Adult is my favorite genre of book to read. That is to say that I do not read any fantasy/dystopian or horror books. I mostly focus on contemporary. I only really enjoy books that have a realistic aspect to them, hence why I dislike other genres such as fantasy ect. I am aware that the most enjoyed YA books include this genre. Books such a ‘Red Queen’ are ones I want to enjoy due to their popularity, but I know it’s not for me. Sometimes I wish I was more ordinary, then my library would be much broader!

This particularity reduces the amount of books for me out there to read, and I feel like I have read most from this genre already. I read on average 100 books a year, and only this year I have struggled to find new books of my favorite genre to enjoy. This will be the first year in the past 5 that I will not reach my 100 book goal. I simply can’t find any more YA. My local library has a YA section, but is filled with mostly fantasy. Where is the contemporary??

I am not a teenager, I should be looking into more ‘adult’ books to enjoy, seeing as I have exhausted the young adult. But… I enjoy young adult so much that I’m not ready to move on. YA is just a target so a company can get an audience. There is no age on books. Read whatever you wish! It isn’t immature to read a genre not targeted towards you.

I love reading, adore it! I’ve lost my passion this year, I want it back. My usual slump tips aren’t helping, any suggestions? I’m thinking of rereading my favorite YA books in an attempt to re-spark my passion.

Books I recommend everyone should read

This list of suggestions is just my opinion, and are the books I would recommend if people were to ask me what they should read. I feel any age/gender ect would enjoy these books. I would love to hear your book ideas in the comments, and shall add them to my TBR if I haven’t read them myself.

  • Catcher in the rye: A class coming of age book! Reason why its read it most English classes at school.(although I didn’t haha). A short read, but one I thoroughly enjoyed and feel most age groups can enjoy.
  • Anne franks diary: An important part of history that brings you a personal view on the holocaust. I went to Amsterdam a few months ago, and made me appreciate this diary even more. Written by a teenage girl in during the holocaust, includes everyday teenage thoughts as well as the tragedy of their situation. Targeted at young adults, but every age should read this!
  • It’s kind of a funny story: A light hearted book on depression and mental illness. A good read for those who are not knowledgeable on mental health conditions. A YA book, that I feel adolescents should read.
  • The book thief: A really unique book in the aspect that it is written by death. This is one of my favorite books, and always suggest to someone who asks me whats a good book.
  • Flowers for Algernon: A very short read, much different to what I usually read, but was so different and interesting that I suggest everyone adds to their TBR. I think it is classed as a Science Fiction.
  • Flowers in the Attic: I only added this one as it is my favorite book, so tell everyone to read!