I Like Big Books (And I’ll Tell You Why)

I Like Big Books (And I’ll Tell You Why)

Big books. Chonkers. Doorstoppers. They come in various names, but the one thing we all love about them is that there’s a lot of story.

And somehow, I do. I’ve read many big books and don’t really shy away from them. From character-driven literary fiction novels to epic fantasies filled with tons of world building and character development, each big book holds it’s own weight when it comes to story.

But for some reason, many of us are wary of them. We don’t stay away from them, but there’s most definitely a hesitancy to start them. I know exactly how that feels because I’ve felt it before. Even now when I start a new big book, I need a big cup of tea and a deep breath to get myself ready. What are your methods of coping with big books?

I think when I was younger, I worried that big books meant a lot of big ideas. There were going to be concepts covered that I won’t be smart enough to understand. I worried constantly that the language and writing style would be too much for me. There’s also that massive worry that a big book will take me forever to read.

Then I realized that I was picking books from the wrong genre. I think finding a genre that suits your taste will make reading a big book less daunting. I probably won’t read another big Donna Tartt story, but I’ll happily read 1000+ pages of Brandon Sanderson. If it’s a big fantasy book, then I know what to expect because I’ve read enough fantasy to know what most authors write about. Knowing your genre and choosing a book that matches your taste will most definitely put you in the mood to read it more than reading something outside your taste.

Also, knowing your authors. If there’s an author that you’ve read before and you love their work, then perhaps picking up their bigger novel won’t be too worrisome. You’ll already know the writing style and language. You’ll already know that the author’s great at what they do and you’ll expect that in a big book too.

I don’t think there’s any advice I can give on how to get into a big book. You just need to dive into it. You need to tell yourself “I’m reading this big book and I’m starting now.” I know it’s easy to say, but when you don’t worry about how many books you read a month or if you’re keeping up with whatever book trend is out there, picking up a big book becomes a less daunting task. I’m still trying to give myself grace and forgiveness when I don’t read enough, so this is something I continue to practice on my own.

I took a poll on my Bookstagram account to see what were the biggest hurdles for people who don’t read big books or for people who love big books, but find themselves putting it off. I got a lot of responses, but many of them cover the same issues. I’ve broken them down into three big main issues. I hope you enjoy it!

The biggest concern was time

Ah, that elusive clock that we all set our lives on. As a slow reader, I am always gauging how much time I’m spending with a book. Because I read so much and have a dedicated daily schedule for reading, I tend to feel more pressure to finish a book so I can start the next one. It’s actually a big issue for me and I’m not kind enough to myself for not reading others.

But I think that the biggest thing I learned about reading a big book is just savoring it. It’s about the journey, not the destination. Yeah, I can be putting off the other books I need to read or I feel that weird ache of knowing I’ve been spending too much time reading a book. But more times than not, I devour the big tomes. I absolutely stuff myself with story and I fall so deeply in love with them. Giving big books a chance allows you to deeply explore a world you didn’t anticipate before and I absolutely love when a book can pull me out of reality especially when reality is not looking so good.

For the most part, many readers are concerned that reading a big book will take away from the time spent on other books. Big books take dedication and hours to read and when you’re the type of reader who’s reads in the car waiting for the kids or on the commute to work, then it might not be advantageous to read a big book. Most readers would rather read smaller books (around 300 pages) and get them read quickly. I can totally understand that. There’s a certain psychology around accomplishing a task like reading a book and if the book is short, then it’s more manageable.

What also helps is audiobooks. With audiobooks, you don’t have to set dedicated time to reading the book. You can be reading them in the car. You can read them during your lunch breaks. All you need is your listening device and a pair of headphones. I even thought reading complicated fantasy or science fiction would be tough via audiobook, but you kind of get used to it. And if you’re like me who listens to books at 2x speed, then you’re actually finishing the book in half the time. This is a big hand especially when you’re on a reading schedule.

But I think the most important thing about reading a big book is making the time. It won’t be an easy task, but if you dedicate at least one book a month to a bigger read and schedule out the rest of your other reads, then you’ll see how you can make time for both the big books and the little books. I think the biggest advice I can also give you is not to feel intimidated by how many books you’re reading. It’s always about the quality not quantity. It’s about the journey, not the destination. Reading 10 books a month may be a great feeling, but reading 3 big books in one month might introduce you to an epic world you didn’t know before. You can also always make up for lost time the month after.

There’s also the intimidation factor

Many bookstagrammers wrote that they don’t like reading big books because they are…big. I completely get that. How am I going to read this big tome when I’ve got a week to read it? I mark out the pages. For example, if I’m reading a big 500-page book and I want to dedicate 5 days to reading it, then I can mark out 100 pages a day to read. Of course, those are big numbers, but do whatever works for you. Read 50 pages a day for a couple of weeks. Read 10 pages a week for two months. Breaking out the book into more manageable chunks will not only resolve your time spent on a book, but also make the book a little bit less intimidating. Do whatever works for your reading life. Make sure you’re enjoying it. Because there’s nothing worse than reading a big book that you’re not into.

My other trick is to get bigger books on my e-reader. With readers like Kindle, I don’t see a giant book. I see a tiny reading device. I can easily remove the percentage and page numbers so my focus is more on the story than on the book. I always surprise myself when I read this way because I find that without the distracting page number or percentage, I immerse myself in the story and get deeper into the book. It’s also a blessing to your fingers who don’t have to hold a giant book while you read it.

The last thing people mentioned is whether the book has substance

Books with a ton of filler and very little substance are difficult to gauge from the synopsis. This is very difficult to discern from just the outer package. You have to actually read the stories to ensure it’s not full of fluff. All you see is the giant book and your patience wearing thin. And there have been some big books that bored me to tears. I remember reading Anna Karenina and skimming a lot of those harvesting scenes because listening to Tolstoy describe how grass grows is as painful as watching grass grow.

Adopt really good DNF rules. DNF (did not finish) is not a bad thing. In fact, I highly recommend folks to have rules around when they will DNF a book. For example, I always give a book 100 pages to impress me. If there’s something within those 100 pages to keep me reading, peak my interest, or intrigue me, then I’ll keep reading. There’s really no point in reading a big book if you’re not captured by the first 100 pages. That time can be better used reading something else.

However, I think the main thing you’ll also need to do is get comfortable with lulls in a story. While I haven’t come across an entire book that’s super slow, there’s definitely going to be fluff or filler in your story. Many contemporary authors understand that readers don’t want to know how grass grows. They’re more concise delivering a story that may have its lulls, but ultimately keep you reading. Don’t be worried about filler pages because sometimes they’re not necessarily filler. It could be a bit more character development or world building the author is adding. Hopefully the author has a good editor that helps to keep things tightly written than loosely slow and repetitive.

All of this to say, read the big books. There’s no magic about how to read them. You just need to motivate yourself to do it. I like to motivate myself by adding the big tome to my TBR and making sure it gets read before the end of the month. I try my hardest not to put them off because of its size or its substance because if I did, I probably wouldn’t read any big books.

The biggest component of the big book is that you’re getting more story. If you’re the type of person who loves getting lost in a book, escaping reality, or learning about something new, then big books are exactly for you. Just because a novel is twice the size of the average doesn’t mean that there’s some magical thing happening that other books don’t have. It’s just more story. Take your time. Drink your big glass of tea. Enjoy that big breath of air when you first begin. Because as much as I love an average size novel, there’s something way more romantic about being lost inside a big old book. Also, it does help that I get some arm exercises in (lol).

Four Years of Writing About Books // A Reflection

Four Years of Writing About Books // A Reflection

This August marks the fourth year I’ve been on bookstagram and blogging about books. It’s been such an incredible ride thus far and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this experience.

When I first started making bookish content for the Internet, I was in a way different space than I am today. I was working way too much traveling for my job and spending a lot of time by myself. I lived in hotel rooms. I ate a lot of meals alone. I wanted to make some friends, but having trouble doing so because I couldn’t always go out for dinner or coffee with them. So after perusing bookstagram as a casual viewer, I decided to start my own account including this blog. For the blog, I knew that I would always spend time writing about things. I didn’t think anything would come from it, but I did it anyway to at least have the credentials to request books from Netgalley.

Now, I write and read and share full time. I love coming here everyday than going to the office. I love chatting with the lovely folks I’ve met through this community and engaging with people who understand me. It’s truly a blessing for me to be here and do this with you all. This hasn’t been an easy four years. I’ve been met with a lot of my own personal roadblocks. First off, I’ve never considered writing full time. It was something I imagined I would do for a publishing house or a company, but I never thought I would be writing for myself full time.

Secondly, getting myself off the ground was very difficult. It took a lot of energy to be engaging, writing content, and reading the books. I felt like my personality and my writing style were also roadblocks. I’m always worried I come off too weird or not personable. Race played a small role in it too with that nagging thought that maybe people don’t like me because I’m Asian.

But once I got the momentum, figured out how I want to present my work and thoughts, and basically created a system of making content and reading books that it started to get a little bit easier. I say a little bit with such a grain of salt because I still combat with my insecurities everyday. I still combat the feeling that people don’t understand me or I’m too weird. I find myself still backing out of blog posts or deleting stories because I don’t think it’s good enough. I still hate my photography. These are feelings I try and overcome on a daily basis and because of my overthinking brain, I think about this a lot. I think about this before bed. I think about this the moment I wake up. I think I might even dream about this.

But what I’ve learned in the time I’ve been here is that you can’t please everyone. Some folks will think you’re weird and think that the topics you bring up are a little out of their wheelhouse. Some folks won’t like your content because you post the same kind of things. Some folks won’t like your aesthetic or your opinions or you. The biggest learn I’ve learned in my four years is that I should be writing and working for myself. I make content that I would appreciate and I would love. What I’ve realized from being myself and working for myself is that there are more people who are similar to you than people who don’t like you. The people who don’t like you or are just plain trolls are loud, but they are minimal. You’ll find that there are more people who enjoy you for you. It’s still something I’m getting used to.

A lot has changed since I came on here with the intention of writing book reviews and bookish content. I feel my blog is an extension of what goes on in my head packaged to make sense, of course. LOL. I’ve used blogs since I was 14 years old writing about my daily life and terrible poetry on sites like Livejournal. Remember those days? Back in those days, I was writing for the 10 IRL friends that I had trying to figure out if my friends have had relations with certain crushes and the like through their words. I even found out I had a secret admirer through a blog post they wrote and I read. It’s kind of surprising when someone names you as their crush and would gladly move to America (they lived in Australia at the time) for me. Ahhh, the good old days.

Of course, things have changed and blogging here is much different than when I was 14. Now I write for a much bigger audience who values my input and has interesting conversations with me about books and reading. It’s still a place to find book reviews, but sharing what’s happening in my life and what’s going on is a different little tidbit I never considered for myself. And that part is something that I want to extend further in the future. I’m always thinking up of ideas for posts here and while I’ve been a little shy to share them immediately, I do plan on fully investing in that part soon.

And the wild part is that I’ve read more in these past four years than I think I’ve ever done in my life. I wasn’t a big reader when I was a kid. I only got into it when I became an adult and only after a year or so post-grad. My boss at the time was the lifesaver who shared with me some great books that she thought I would love. I’m thankful for her suggestions everyday because from the spark she set in my heart, I’ve molded and made my own. In a year, I would have read 2-3 books when I was a kid. Now I read over 100 books a year, which tiny Simone would have been so surprised by that little data point.

Books have brought me comfort that music did as a kid. When I was younger, music was everything to me. I even have the tattoos and degrees to prove it. But as time moved on, books somehow took the place of music and what drives me are excellent stories written with a ton of heart. I love a good story that transports you to another world, makes you consider different perspectives and lives, and makes us all dreamers. Finding the genre that works for me was also super exciting because I finally have a place where I can adore almost every book I read. When you know what genre you like, it’s very difficult to find a book you don’t.

What’s been the most surprising part about this entire endeavor is that I’m still learning. I’m testing myself and experimenting with my own reading to see what works and what doesn’t work for me. I’ve also been changing the way I write my reviews and focusing on creating content that will not only entertain, but relatable. I’m always trying to make TBRs a thing for me and I’m always considering ideas for bookstagram and beyond.

The final thing I want to reflect on here is the community. While we have our disagreements on stories and opinions, they’ve never been met with vitriol or passive aggressive nonsense that I see all the time in other communities. Perhaps it’s because the book community knows that books can be interpreted differently and what someone gets out of a book might be different depending on the person. But the discourse is always exciting and I love hearing other people’s opinions and what they picked up from a book even if I didn’t like it or don’t fully agree. The community is one of the main reasons why I do what I do because engaging with you all and hearing your thoughts and creating content that you can relate to is important to me and I don’t plan on stopping that any time soon.

So, thank you for being with me for four years. Thank you for engaging with me and being open. I can’t wait to see what the next four years have to offer. Cheers!

Re-reading The Joy Luck Club 20 Years After Reading it the First Time

Re-reading The Joy Luck Club 20 Years After Reading it the First Time

This year for Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, I wanted to explore the books of my past. Well, it’s one book in particular that I read as a young person struggling with her identity. That book was The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.

I’m trying to recall my overall feelings of this book back when I was a teenager, but 20 years was a ridiculously long time ago. I think I remember liking the book, resonating deeply with one particular story, and having trouble reading it because I was a teenager and I thought adult books were for adults ONLY. I was a very naive person.

Back when I was a teenager, I internally struggled with my identity. I could tell I was the only person of color in my friend groups. I could tell that going to my Korean church was isolating because I couldn’t speak Korean well enough. Let me tell you how many times random Korean people have shamed me for not speaking Korean. I’m sorry! American English is what they teach in school and when you have a mom that spoke to you in English and a dad who spoke to you in Korean, some stuff gets lost in translation.

I would go to school and be the American everyone at school wanted me to be. I would come home and be the good Korean daughter my parents wanted me to be. Let me tell you, the pushing and pulling gets exhausting.

So I wanted to find a book or a voice or SOMETHING in the world that told me that I wasn’t alone. Back when I was growing up in the 90s, there wasn’t a lot of POC on TV. We had “All American Girl” which was a sitcom produced by Margaret Cho. But then that show got canceled soon after it aired.

So I went to the library and found The Joy Luck Club. To be truthful, I have no clue how this book landed in my lap. I just remember the feeling of isolation and then this story and how it helped me. Perhaps it was luck. Perhaps it was destiny. But I read the book and I felt like someone finally understood. Someone finally got it!

And it brought me a sense of comfort back then. I didn’t feel alone being pushed and pulled everyday. It lifted me up and told me that I’m fine. Everyone struggles with identity, but they manage to keep both sides of this identity coin. It helped me accept that I am both Korean and American.

Now that I’m an adult, rereading the book is a different experience. First off, I read way more than I did when I was a teenager (I was big into music back then). Because I read more, I’ve developed a certain skill set to think critically about what I read and understand what the author was saying. Finally, I’m comfortable with my identity. I wasn’t looking for a voice for this second read because I had already found it. And the subsequent books written by Asian American authors that filled my shelves inspires me everyday.

I realize that as comforting as this book was when I was a teenager, there’s not a lot of conversation about identity in this book. In fact, I’d argue this book is less about identity and more about the relationships we have with our family. There is definitely power in rereading a book because you notice things differently. I see this every time I reread Harry Potter. There’s always some small detail I missed or something I discover about a character. Like the fact that Ron is a lot smarter than he’s portrayed in the movies.

But getting back to The Joy Luck Club, I realized that the story I resonated so deeply with back when I was a teenager doesn’t do it for me anymore. In fact, Waverly (the character I resonated with) and I are completely different people. She was competitive and unafraid to share her opinions while I’m more bookish and pacifist. We might have shared some similarities when I was a kid, but we grew up differently. Is it weird that I’m comparing myself to an imaginary character?

Another big takeaway I got from this book the second time is relationships between mothers and daughters. Back then, I didn’t see this glaringly obvious point and I think it’s because I was searching for something specific. The story really makes you consider your relationship with your own mother. Yes, there’s tons of references to Chinese culture, history, and tradition, but deep down the basis of this story is the world we build for ourselves and the world we want to pass on to our children.

Because this book made me think, I thought of my mother. I understood that my mother did the best she could in the circumstances she was given. I remember her more prominently at holidays and recitals and soccer games making time for my sister and me when she had a full time job during the week. She taught me to be independent and creative. I inherited her dark humor, her intellect, and her ability to turn into a hermit. Reading this book made me appreciate who I was when I was a teenager, but made me appreciate my mother as an adult. It’s funny how a book can be two different experiences for the same person.

And while the book doesn’t resonate with me as it did when I was a teenager, I have to say it’s definitely on my list for most loved books. It doesn’t need to resonate anymore because I’ve grown out of it, so now I can appreciate it for being the voice that told me I would be okay. I hope in another 20 years I can read it again and feel completely different.

What’s a book that deeply resonating with you?

Knowing (and reading) your genre

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For a really long time, I just basically read whatever came my way. You give me a title, I’ll check it out. I never considered any genre to be my go-to genre and felt the bookish world to be my oyster. I wanted to read all the books.

However, you find out at one point or another that not all books are made for you. I think it’s at some point in every reader’s life they discover the genres that they enjoy the most. Sometimes it’s a gradual pull towards it. Other times, it just finds you. It’s always good to know what genres you like because then of course, you’ll never get bored.

But what if you don’t know what genre you’re interested in? How do you discover it for yourself? This I learned recently while trying to get into thrillers and mysteries.

I kind of shied away from mysteries and thrillers because I have some pretty bad anxiety when it comes to those reads. I think the last book I read was Gone Girl and that not only scared the crap out of me, but I think I remember throwing the book across the room. Thrillers have been a mystery to me, so I decided I wanted to take a deep dive into the genre.

I picked out a few books from my Book of the Month Club and I agreed to review a few mystery novels. I wanted to get a sense of the genre and see if perhaps this is for me. Sadly, it wasn’t. I didn’t find the thriller genre to be as fun and interesting as what I normally gravitate towards.

Now I know that thrillers and mysteries don’t really get me reading more, but I don’t know what I like to read.

I took a deep dive into my Goodreads account to see. I’ve been keeping a record of my books since 2011, so I knew I would find some good stuff there. There were a few patterns I can easily find and I think that this quickly decided what my favorite genres were.

It appeared that my favorite genres were Literary Fiction, YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and a little Romance. Of course I’ve also been reading a ton of diverse reads over the past few years as well.

It didn’t really shock me that I read these genres specifically. I guess I didn’t see this pattern before because I’m so used to reading whatever came my way. Perhaps there were more of these genres that came my way than others. It’s kind of funny when you dive into something like this and figure out that you’ve been running patterns you’re entire life.

Oddly, I felt empowered. I knew exactly what genres I loved reading, but the new challenge I came across was understanding what the basics are of these genres. No one wants to be the guy that announces their favorite genres and hasn’t read the “staple” novels. Would other genre-readers be able to identify with you or are you just a “poseur” pretending to like something you have no understanding about?

I’ve finally come to terms with the genres that I love, so now I’m on the quest to find the books that make up these genres. I’m pretty sure I’d get the proverbial shit kicked out of me for not reading the definitive works that defined the genre. I mean, I might have tried to read Lord of the Rings, but those movies came out and were so conveniently easier to watch than read.

I’m looking to expand my own universe by reading books in genres I actually like. I’m going to start with some staples and then work my way through other books. It’s so great to find something that you’re interested in. It’s like pulling from an endless library where every book is something your heart would desire. 

I’ll be updating you on the progress I’m making and creating some definitive guides to the genres in the future. For now, I’m happy knowing my genre and now I get to read from it.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

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My grandparents were married during the Japanese occupation of Korea. There’s only two remaining photos of my grandparents from that time both taken on their wedding day. The whole family was out in front of their house standing to take the picture while a massive Japanese flag waved in the background.

My family background is Korean and I’ve always been fascinated with this photo and what it means to my grandparents. They never really talk about this time, but you know that they’ve been affected from it when my grandmothers keep telling me to eat more and don’t waste. When you have next to nothing, you waste nothing.

I’ve only heard a few stories from that time period like how my grandmothers sold whatever they can find to make ends meet and my grandfather’s family, being from the North, escaped to China and sold his blood to help out my grandmother. My grandmothers still speak in Japanese and you can even catch them calling back “hai!” when you address them. Thinking of these stories now brings tears to my eyes.

And then Pachinko appeared and I wanted to know more.

Min Jin Lee is an incredible author with her own voice and style of writing. While she is eloquent and simple, I found myself a little disappointed with the story. Don’t take that statement to be the end-all of this review. While this book didn’t work for me, I do still believe it is a beautiful portrayal of Korean people and how they survived during some of the worst times in our history. Bear with me because I’m going to be a little scatterbrained writing up this review.

I approached this book as a Korean reading about Korea wanting to know more about my family and their heritage. I wanted to hear about the persecution and the injustice and most importantly, the racism. I wanted to hear about the soldiers who died during the Korean War and the families who subsisted by selling their blood like my grandfather.

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These themes were definitely in Pachinko, but not in the sense I imagined. Perhaps this standard was too high because what I found was a story about a Korean family met with many challenges in their life, but managing to stay together as a unit for as long as they could through a country completely foreign to them and yet they couldn’t see themselves anywhere else.

I met someone the other day and I described to them the book I was reading. “Oh, I never heard that about Korean people in Japan. How crazy?”

I was surprised by this comment and now looking at the reviews written on Goodreads, I’m surprised by what people are saying (really, Roxanne Gay?! Really?!) because I had already known this and I guess this isn’t a fact they teach in History class when you’re in high school. Instead, you read about how Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and how all the Japanese Americans were placed in internments camps somewhere in the middle of the country. But all the way on the other side of the world, Koreans were struggling to fight off the Japanese and then themselves.

So if you’re a person who hasn’t read about Korean history in the early 20th century, this book may be an education for you. You get to read why my dad, to this day, still hates Japanese people. You get to read how Korea hasn’t seen a day’s rest since WWII and how communism broke us apart and we still haven’t figured out how to piece that together.

You get to read about how Koreans tried to make ends meet in Japan by working with the yakuza or making money through gambling rings. You get to read about how Koreans were without a country. No longer accepted by Koreans and would never be accepted by the Japanese.

But I think this truly resonated with me the most out of the entire book and was perhaps one of the biggest themes of the novel. As an Asian American born in America, my home is not Korea. You can say that my home is America, but I still get asked “where I’m really from” and the few people that know some Korean try to speak it with me like I’ll react and be surprised at how good they are at it. I can barely speak Korean and I can’t read or write it. I went to Korea for the first time in my entire life THIS YEAR.

I’m from America lost in a world where the color of my skin and the way I was raised doesn’t match that of most people with deep American roots. Where I’ve assimilated myself to be a part of this country and blend in as much as possible and yet I still stand out. I may not be in Japan, but I know how it feels and Min Jin Lee hit that nail right on the fucking head.

If you’re thinking about reading this and wanting to know more about Korean history, do it. This book will make you see the kind of racism that lives outside of America; the kind they don’t teach you to march about because the best thing you could do is brush it off and continue to survive. Approach this book with an open mind and an open heart and understand that while my grandparents stood under a Japanese flag on their wedding day, they always stayed true to their country.

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Worst Blogger Ever: Life Updates

I know what you’re thinking, “what happened to Simone? I thought she was writing about books or whatever.”

Well, the past month (if not the year so far) has been pretty crazy. Instead of trying to explain everything, I thought I could just give you the highlights reel.

I got married


Yeah, this one was a doozy and for the most part of 2017, I’ve been spending it getting ready to get married. But now I am and things seem to be on the up and up.

As you can see, no books at the wedding because that’d be weird for me to be reading while I’m pacing around waiting for our turn to get married. It wasn’t the most extravagant wedding in the world, but it made me happy to share my life with my new hubby. 🙂 ❤

I’m going to Seoul

While there isn’t much to prepare (and honestly, I feel like I’m throwing this one in here to make the list longer), I’m super excited and nervous about going to Seoul. I’ll keep you all informed on what happens here, but to give you an idea of my anxiety I’m going to the Motherland and I barely speak the language and there’s this veiled threat of a war with North Korea and I don’t want to end up a refugee yelling “I’M AN AMERICAN CITIZEN” as I run to the American Embassy a la the classic 1997 film “The Saint.”

Obviously I’m being melodramatic right now. I’m really excited about visiting the land of my people. I can’t wait!

I’m moving

My new husband and I are planning to move to New Jersey in a couple of weeks and I’ve just been preparing myself for that. But because my husband is in Florida right now and I’m planning on going to Korea in a couple of weeks, it doesn’t leave a lot of time to review properties and decide what part of New Jersey we want to live. So I’ve just been looking at places, asking a lot of questions, and packing everything up because I think my husband is gonna need to move us without me there :/

I am in the worst reading slump of my life

This is probably the top #1 reason why I’ve been a sucky blogger lately– I am in the worst book slump of my life. There was a time when I was not reading books and that was back in college and the reason why I wasn’t reading books because the books I was reading books required for my classes but didn’t really interest me outside of that.


Now I’m in a slump again and I’m trying to defunk-ify myself. To give you an idea of how bad it is, I’ve been reading the same YA novel for the past month. The book is amazing and I have a lot I want to talk about it. However, it doesn’t take me a month to read YA! Usually, they take me a couple of days and it’s mostly because how captivated I am by the story. Here, I’m captivated by the story, but for some reason my brain wants to think about other stuff like marriage and moving and career changes (yes, that’s another one to add to the list of stuff happening to me). Also, I’m on a deadline because the library needs my book back by tomorrow and I don’t want to have to pay fees for borrowing books!

So there you have it. A list of excuses on why I can’t blog on a normal schedule. But today is May 1st and that means a new month for me to try and be better about everything I do. Better dieting. Better exercise. Better adulting. I guess I’ll just add better reading on that as well.


Where do you go when you’ve got no place to go? – Life update

I know I haven’t done this before, but I figure I’ll give this a try. I’m about to write about my life. Deal with it or don’t, but that’s the point of blogs. You write out what you’re thinking and perhaps in some small corner of the Internet, there’s someone that shares the same feelings as you.

But I will keep this brief. There’s been a lot of stuff going on with me lately.

First off, I’m getting married. YES! Big old whoop to committing to one person for the rest of my life. However, people fail to tell you that planning for a low-key wedding is just as stressful as planning a high-key wedding. I find myself stressing out about the money it’ll cost, the venue, keeping up with what people want with me. It’s difficult and I can understand it. While the day is yours specifically to enjoy with your S/O, I can’t help but to feel a sense of responsibility and duty to be a “good daughter.” I don’t want to be the center of attention (yes, even on my own wedding day), but my dad wants to show me off or my mom doesn’t want to spare a single extravagance and all I want to do is crawl into a tiny space somewhere and eat expensive wedding cake. ALONE.

Secondly, I’m not happy at work. I don’t like to talk about work stuff online because there’s again the small possibility that someone from somewhere in that tiny corner of the Internet that will read this and it’ll somehow come back to me. But let me tell you a little something about my disinterest with work; it has nothing to do with the people I work with or the place I work. I just feel like it’s a point in my life to try and pursue something else. What that is, I don’t know, but I really hope it has something to do with books. I’ll be speaking with a career coach to figure this stuff out, but people walking outside is more interesting than doing my job.

Thirdly, I might be moving. This puts a damper on the job stuff. I’m usually the type of person that doesn’t wait around to find something a little more suited when I know I’m not happy at my job. If I’m not happy, I’ll find somewhere else to be happy. However, because I might be moving (out of state, mind you) that means I can’t apply to any local jobs. What’s the point of starting a new job only to quit after six months and move somewhere else? That just sounds like a recipe for disaster. Also, I don’t know if I’m moving at all and since that’s up in the air, I can’t find jobs at my new location. I just sit and stay at my job that I’m basically gritting my teeth and bearing.

So what do you do? I feel like I was on this life train that made a full stop in the middle of the track. Living in limbo is not ideal for someone who lives in the moment. I don’t have a plan, but the one thing I know I can rely on are books. I can’t read about how to wait patiently for my life to start up again but I can take my mind off things while day after day goes by hoping something will finally shift.


The Kardashians and the imagination


Ok, I know that’s not a bookish topic but just hear me out.

Over Thanksgiving, my family and I got into a conversation about reality TV. As we were rattling off the shows that we loved, I told them my guilty truth. I love Keeping up with The Kardashians.

My cousin who isn’t a big fan of most popular things asked me why I loved it. “I’m really curious! A lot of people like that show and I don’t get why.”

I’ve gotten this question pretty often, but it wasn’t until Thanksgiving that I really thought about it. If you haven’t seen KUWTK, it’s a reality TV show based on the sordid Kardashians and their life. I mean, hopefully you haven’t been living under a rock for the last 10-11 years as the show’s been airing.

It’s kind of funny when I think about the people I know that love the show. Every single person I know that loves the show is a strong, independent, and extremely intelligent woman. Women you wouldn’t expect to see watching the show are sitting alone on a Sunday night watching whether or not Rob will delete all the photos from his Instagram account. How is it that all these women, all these strong women, are so in love with the Kardashians? It’s actually a good question and I honestly don’t know.

But I got to thinking about it. What is it about the show that makes me enjoy it? I can’t speak for everyone, but I think as a woman who reads a lot and spends her time mulling over my existence and struggling with depression and anxiety and possibly OCD it’s kind of fun to watch the show knowing that there are people and reality. I spend so much time in my own head that when I watch TV, I’d rather watch a bunch of overprivileged girls talk about how to raise their daughters to be strong women. It’s like taking a break from the crazy going up in there and seeing how the other side lives.

There’s a strange attraction to celebrity. While the Kardashians aren’t well known artists or musicians, they’re somehow rich and famous. And creating a show where we can see what rich and famous looks like is genius. You’ve basically put the most average and mundane of human beings into the living room of the 1% and seeing that kind of life will either make you completely distraught by their extravagance or infuriated.

However the honest-to-God truth of it is that I don’t care what you all think. I love watching the sordid lives of the Kardashians play out on television. It makes me laugh.