In Honor of 8 years, Here’s 8 Books I Have Been Reading

Ever since I was kid, I loved to read. As I got older, I was renowned in my family for being able to read more than one book at a time (It was called “pulling a Tara”). I would switch books on a night-to-night basis. Somehow always able to keep storylines and characters aligned to the corresponding book that they reside in.

Childhood book photo

This is a photo of a photo in a photo book (say that 3 times fast). And that black soot sprite is Sammy, the family cat. Maybe I should try re-creating this picture with Leo??

My love for reading extended all the way up until high school. When my father passed, I lost the joy I had for reading. This was simultaneously due to grief and depression. I found that I couldn’t read anymore. This was a problem for the last English class I had to take to graduate. I was required to read at least 3 books and write reports on them. The first book, was a book titled, Life is So Good. How ironic as it was that I failed to finish that book. The second book, The Shack, was better. It was dark, and talked about death and religion, and I was able to relate enough to it to finish. It was the first book I had finished since my dad died months ago. The longest time I probably had ever gone without finishing a book.

I’ve spent the last 8 years trying to read again. Trying to enjoy it like I once did. I’ve finally gotten to a point of discipline that I’ve finished a few more books. I’m currently reading more than one book again. The following list is of recent books I have read and am currently reading, feel free to check them out!

  1. Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded, By: Hannah Hart
    Hannah Hart has been a long-time hero of mine. I’ve been watching her My Drunk Kitchen videos for quite a few years now. If you have a chance, I highly recommend watching them (especially in the beginning because they are comedic gold!). This book is her second book that she has published, and it is wonderfully personal with flare. If you like my blog, you will like this book.
  2. This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, By: Dannielle Owens-Reid & Kristin Russo
    I actually won this book at Fall A-Camp last year. Kristin (A-Camp Director, and many other titles that I could go on about) had brought a few copies to give away. I had resolved to pay for it if I didn’t win the contest, and after finishing it, I would still have paid for it! I cannot stress enough how important this book is. Reading it as a “gay kid”, I found it validating, and helpful in providing perspectives and questions that I could be asked in the future. If you are a parent in any capacity, I highly recommend this resource. It allows you to skip around and read what you need at the time. I was in the midst of reading this book when I came out publicly!
  3. The Telling, By: Ursula K. Le Guin
    I was given this book by a good friend of mine, and I fell deeply for it. Ursula is an amazing writer, and is a role model of mine. This is a sci-fi novel that is wonderfully complex, but written in such a way that is clear and concise. I talked about this book before in this post about representation! Once I started reading it, it was difficult to put the book down. Even though it is not the first book in the series (*gasp* I know!), I found that it wasn’t necessary to read the prior books to enjoy this book. I cannot wait to read the others!
  4. The Undiscovered Self, By: C. G. Jung
    I was given this book by a professor in the Psychology department at UMD. I was told that if I wrote an essay on it, I would receive extra credit (which in his class is necessary credit). It is a short book, only 125 pages, but it is dry and tedious to read. Carl Jung was an accomplished psychologist and philosopher, and in proof, this book is thought-provoking and challenging. I might need to re-read it a few times to fully grasp at his intentions and conclusions. If you are looking for a challenge, definitely read the book!
  5. The Immortals, By: Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell
    The Edge Chronicles are a wonderful series, that I started reading when I was in 5th grade. After re-reading the first novels, I finally have gotten to the 10th book in the series, which is the largest book. After months, I am nearly finished with it. It is well-written and geared towards a younger audience, but it has complex character development and an engaging plot line. The entire series follows a genealogy of characters who, through adventures, learn about their family while simultaneously saving the world. With this last character, Nate, discovering that he is from a dynasty of greatness in the midst of a multi-faceted adventure. If you are into fantasy worlds with sky pirates, fun and dangerous creatures, beautiful illustrations, and adventure, this is the series for you! I still love it after all of these years!
  6. Plato, By: W. R. M. Lamb, M.A.
    This is an old book that is a collection of three of Plato’s works: Lysis, Symposium, and Gorgias. I’ve finished Lysis, and am nearing the end of the Symposium. It has the Greek text on one side and the translation on the other, which adds cool points in my book. If you’ve ever read Plato, these are more Socrates stories talking about love. Lysis is mainly about love between friends, and what draws people together. The Symposium is about love as a concept and how it originates, manifests, and its purpose. I have yet to get to Gorgias, but I am excited what new spin it will present. My favorite part so far is in the Symposium, one tells a tale of the Greek gods splitting people into two, and how they spend their lives trying to find each other again. This story talks of both heterosexuality and homosexuality as normalized, and has really given me insight as to how the Greeks thought about sexuality. I read this book in spurts as it isn’t divided into chapters, but I cannot wait to continue! If you are into philosophical debates about abstract ideas, Plato is a great place to start!
  7. The Wolf Ticket, By: Caro Clarke
    The good friend who gave me “The Telling”, also recommended this book! I’m 2 chapters away from finishing it, and it is really well done! It is a romance novel about two women during WWII. One is in the U.S. Women’s Army Corps as a translator, and the other is a Polish refugee disguising herself as a man. After meeting, they try to reunite with each other. The characters are some of the best women characters that I’ve seen written. It is also great to have such wonderfully done representation! I recommend this book if you are into that sort of thing, if you know what I mean.. 😉
  8. Entangled Minds, By: Dean Radin
    I discovered this book on Amazon and my sister gifted it to me! I just started it recently and I’m 5 chapters in, so all I can say is my first impression. I was interested in this book because I’m interested in the interaction of consciousness and quantum physics. That interest is basically a narrowed version of the mind-matter interaction that a lot of psychologists and philosophers discuss. This book talks about how quantum physics could compare to psychic phenomena and other extrasensory experiences. I’m reading it from a skeptical place, but it is proving to also come from such, but, in favor of there being evidence for that interaction. This is just first of many books that I intend to read about this interaction as it pertains to some research that I want to do for my own sci-fi, apocalyptic novel that I am writing.

It may have taken me 8 years to get to a point where I am reading again, but I’m finally starting to enjoy it. It’s been a long journey, and I’ve learned something crucial about myself in the process. I think it took me this long because I tried to force it through classes, or through expectations. Forcing yourself to be somewhere that you aren’t isn’t a good way to accomplish what you or what other people want. Patience is ultimately something that you need, and through that, it will come.

I hope you all enjoy the book reviews! Let me know if you have any book recommendations or want to gift me a book to read!

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