Dealing with book stress?/TBR pressure

If you’re anything like me, your TBR (to be read) is incredibly long, and no matter how many books you read, the list never gets smaller. My TBR is a never ending list, which can really overwhelm me. I am always finding new books I want to read. Despite reading a hundred books a year, I’ll never run out of content to read. I don’t follow any reading challenges, or plan what I’m going to read next. I simply choose my books as and when I feel like it.

My TBR list is very long, despite never actively looking for books. I simply see books in book stores/library, see reviews on blogs or get recommended by others. I think I would be very overwhelmed if I looked for more, as my TBR would multiple! Do you actively search for books, or do you read as and when you see something that catches your eye? I’m interested to see,as I would love to be one of those people who follow new releases or book challenges.

The truth? I rarely look at my TBR, as I don’t want to overwhelm myself. The only time I look at my list is when I am adding a new book, or run out of unread books on my shelf/kindle. It is so satisfying when I return to my list and noticed I can cross of read books without even realizing they were on my TBR.

Thus, my trick to not become stressed with all the books I want to read? I don’t put the pressure on myself to read X,Y&Z. I simply pick up whatever book I desire. This is why I don’t do many #gifted book reviews, as the pressure to finish and enjoy the book takes part of the enjoyment out for me. (Unless it is a book I think I will be passionate about/really enjoy.)

I am a very organised person, and use to plan exactly what and when I would read. Switching genres and introducing intellectual challenging books. I would force myself to finish books I wasn’t particular enjoying, because I HAD to tick them off my list. (mental health even affected my reading). I would see what books were popular and felt the pressure to read them instantly. (Before I started posting on my blog).

Concluding that reading is so personal. Everyone has different reading tastes, thus will not enjoy the same books. THIS IS OKAY. Simply read and add books to your TBR that YOU will enjoy. It sounds so easy, and it may be for you. But for me, this was a difficult hurdle to overcome. Reading is a hobby, a way to relax. My escapism.

September TBR/ What I’m currently reading

This is what I am planning to read in September 2019:

  • Half blood prince; I am nearer the end of my finishing the entire Harry Potter collection, for the first time in my life. I am trying to stay quiet on my views, and shall do a whole collection view once I have completed the series. I have 3/4 of the way in this book, so will probably finish this evening
  • The deathly hallows; The final Harry Potter book that I need to read!
  • Tender by Eve Ainsworth; I am looking forward to reading a book that isn’t fantasy, and thought this would be a quick easy read to begin with. (If you’ve read my blog then you’ll know I am not a fantasy fan at all)
  • Goodbye Days by Jennifer Zentnez; I saw this when browsing my local libraries YA section, and had never heard of it.
  • Home girl by Alex Wheatle; This book is about a teenage girl in foster care. I’ve read a lot of fiction on this subject from the carers point of view, thus thought this book would be interesting.
  • To kill a mocking bird by Harper Lee; I have read this before, but cannot remember it at all. Although I am looking forward to going back to read my favourite genre. I too am looking forward to including more classics into my monthly reads.
  • Go set a watchman by Harper Lee; I have never read this book despite having it on my TBR for a long time. I shall read this directly after the above book.

I have set myself 7 books to read this month, this is a reachable target for me considering I have a busy September planned. What is one book you are planning to read this month?

What I read in July 2019;

The first week of July was a crazy one for me as I read 7 books in one week! I even surprised myself. I did a whole separate post on these books, so check that out below!

Then in July I started reading the Harry Potter series (See previous post), so the majority of my reads from the rest of this month have been from this. I finished the first 4 books in July, and am currently reading the 5th book so I’m sure it’ll be in my August monthly round up haha. I shall be doing a separate blog post on the whole HP books once I have completed the whole series! (My kindle states I have 25 hours left)

The last book I read before starting the HP series was ‘Joyland’ by Stephen king. This was one of the books from my previous month of reading outside of my comfort zone. I always assumed Stephen King books were scary, so I stayed away from this author, despite being greatly intrigued by how ingenious Stephen King seems to be. This had a underlying spookiness to it, but it wasn’t scary at all. (Coming from a complete wimp). It was based around a college aged boy who went to work in a theme park over summer break, where the whole story is based. No spoilers! I actually really enjoyed this book, and would definitely recommend! 4.5/5.

Therefore, I read a total of 12 books this month, which is a decent amount, and puts me further on track to completing 100 books a year. July reads have all been books that are very outside of my usual reading. I do miss my typical YA contemporary book, but aim to finish the Harry Potter series before I started anything new. I flew through the first 4 books, but to my understanding,they get a lot longer from this one? What was your favourite book you read this month?

An adult who has never read Harry Potter?? ;Book review

Not only have I not read a single Harry Potter book, I have never seen any of the movies… Unlike the rest of the world population, I have never been interested in Harry Potter. This is mostly due to my dislike of anything fantasy/dystopian ect. I made it through childhood, high school and even college without delving into anything Harry Potter related. As an adult now, I am going to attempt to see if it’s amazing as the world perceives it to be. You can walk into any mall, and see merch everywhere, every book store is sure to stock every copy.

After my friends forced me to watch the first movie, I knew if I were to watch the rest I would have to read all the books first. (of course!) Therefore, a few days ago I read the first book, and really enjoyed it, despite seeing the movie the day before. The book was better! That’s what book worms say, and it is very true in this case. As a very opposed to Harry Potter person, even I was screaming at the movie for missing details from the book. (not literally). I enjoyed it, it was an easy read, which I flew through.

I am just about to start reading the 2nd book! I am not going to do a blog post after I have read each one, but I’ll definitely do one after I have read them all. I don’t even know how many there is… Haha! I’m really not a fantasy fan, so I might take breaks between the books. Or I may have it all finished next week, no pressure! Have you read/seen all the Harry Potter books? If so, which is best?

‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov; Book Review

I first began to read this book as a young teen, and found the literature too difficult, and therefore put the book down. It wasn’t until this week, nearly a decade later that I decided to pick it up again. This time the language was not difficult to read, like I had expected.

I went into this book with an open mind, briefly knowing what the novel is about, but nothing more. I enjoyed the eloquent language. I was intrigued how the reader knew what horrible crime was occurring, yet the main character didn’t write in a wicked way. He knew of the severity of his actions, and stated many times the wrong of what he was doing.

Lolita herself I found difficult to imagine, as the description of her did not match the image I has composed in my mind. I also didn’t expect her age to be of preteen. The story was saddening, yet I enjoyed the way it was written. I suggest being of mature age before attempting to read this novel, not because of the more advance language but due to the nature of paedophilia.

I now understand why everyone adores this book, and I too agree everyone needs to read this book. Have you read this well known book? I’d definitely recommend to all adults! It is an average length book, but I read in just one day as I didn’t want to stop reading. I’d give ‘Lolita’ 5/5.

‘The Light Between Oceans’; book review

I’m never sure how to start a book review, so I am going to begin with the first thing that comes to mind; Surprise! I was incredibly surprised by this book, not particularly due to the story, but how connected to the location and the characters I felt.

*spoiler free mini description* ‘The light between oceans is a Australian historical fiction based after the first World War. The main character; Tom, after the war becomes a lighthouse keeper on a very remote island. After marrying, and bringing his wife to the isolated island, a baby and dead man wash up upon the shore in a boat. The wife; Isabel cannot bare to part with the baby, and both decide to keep the baby as their own. I won’t spoil what comes next, you’ll have to read’

I have a habit of reading contemporary books, so was surprised at how much I loved how the book was based in the 1920’s. I thoroughly enjoyed the location, and scene setting at Janus Rock, and the lighthouse. I felt like Isabel with the love she had for the baby. Tom was a distant character emotionally, but I still very likeable. For some reason, I very much like the two men who delivered the supplies by boat, and friends of Tom.

This book is emotional, and put my mind in two different opinions on the situation of the baby, which definitely pulled my heart! I read this book quickly, because I was gripped! By the cover and description, I usually wouldn’t have picked this book up, other than that this month I am delving into new genres/books I wouldn’t read. I am glad that this change bought me to read this book.

I would definitely recommend this book, giving it 4.5/5.

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?