This last week has been a difficult one for me. I had to struggle with my cat getting hit by a car earlier in the week and it bothered me tremendously. The girl that did it was extremely apologetic and carried the cat to our house. She comforted Snowball while he died and wrote a nice note saying how sorry she was. There are good people out there still and this girl is one of them. Other than that I suffered with some serious insecurity issues. Sometimes I struggle with what society expects from me as a man and how I should act and feel. Insecurity is something that is taught to be unmanly in our culture but it is alright to feel that way. What is not alright is to treat others badly or different because of our own insecurities. It is better to recognize insecurity issues, work on them, than to blame everyone else. Definitely going to look for a book about getting over needing people to like me.
I realized that I need to start reading more non-fiction books. When things in life bother me, I need to turn to non-fiction books to find answers. I need to turn to non-fiction books to understand people and my world. I am very much the type of person that doesn’t want to say much without learning about it first. I love reading SFF but I need to work on becoming the best person I can be as well, not that SFF can’t do that, but certain topics are better left to non-fiction.
For my first non-fiction book in a few months I wanted to learn more about feminism. I follow and watch a lot of females on booktube and feminism is a big part of their lives. At first when I joined booktube I was a bit annoyed that there was so much talk about feminism but now I realize it is a safe place on the internet for them to discuss it. My knowledge of feminism, past equality, is pretty slim so I wanted to read a book about feminism. What I got with Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay is a great essay collection dealing with feminism but also racial issues, privilege, and socio-economic issues. Feminism isn’t just about equality but it is about all of women’s issues of every race and sexuality. What I took away from this essay collection is that by reading memoirs, biographies, and essays, I can build up much more empathy for issues I don’t normally talk about or am exposed to. When Roxane talked about her rape, it brought me to tears. I still have a bit of an issue with terminology used when talking about feminism, but I think that is because it makes me uncomfortable, and it probably should. Will review in full in a few days.
I finished Cinder by Marissa Meyer this week. I already have a review up. After a few days from reading it, it has been mostly forgettable. I haven’t really thought about the book much at all. I feel odd giving Cinder a 3 score along with other books I gave a 3 too that I still think about. It is funny that there are many 2 and 1 star books that I was much more critical of than Cinder. It made me wonder if I review things differently based on the audience the book is written for and my expectations. I can say without a doubt that I do that. I think we have to review and look at things through different lenses. A YA book that is marketed to teenage girls shouldn’t be as criticized as a SFF book marketed to be ingenious and a breakthrough. I do think that our expectations of young adult books should be higher though.
I finally finished the audiobook of The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin and I loved it. I initially gave the book a 5 star rating because of the world building and narration style but I’m thinking about lowering it to a 4. I think I was all ready to jump aboard the Fifth Season train with everyone else with a 5 star, but the more I think about it, the more I think it is a 4 star book. That still means I absolutely loved it but there were points that could have been better. I’m excited for this series though and I love that this was an entire book told from the perspective of women. I’ll put up a more detailed review soonish.
As far as what I have planned for this coming week is starting Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I’m hoping that this one really works for me as I’m excited to try the odd format. I also am starting a new audiobook, Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman. I loved The Lesser Dead last year and I’m excited to be back into the head of Buehlman with a horror like fantasy book. Other than that, I want to see what happens with the BookTubeSFF awards, and plan my reading with that. I also would love to read some more novellas this week, definitely Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter since I didn’t get to it this week.
Hoping this coming week is better. I need to exercise more and eat better. I’m still watching The Goldbergs on Hulu as my television entertainment. I’m going to be trying a webseries show called JourneyQuest that I got off of Steam. It is a funny satire DnD type thing. I hope it delivers. Hope everyone has a great week.