Is it too late for this post? Hopefully not!
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
I read this book at the very beginning of the year. It was beautiful. Le Guin painted two very distinct worlds that both saddened, infuriated, and intrigued me. It also filled me with hope. I love pretty much everything Le Guin writes. Her imagination is boundless. She was able to concoct all of this with great precision. I think this one might be one of my favourites from her.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
This was my first Morrison book. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't heard of her until 2023. This was a haunting yet clever book. Morrison's prose was excellent. She really shines near the end of the book. Goosebumps.
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
I read this in high school and it devastated me because I saw myself in Laura. I read this again, over a decade later. It still devastated me and I still see myself in Laura. I am tearing up just thinking about it. This might warrant another blog post.
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Another devastating book. In my reading journal, I wrote "devastating but in an understated way." I love how effortlessly Woolf can write character studies like this. And I love her treatment of the passage of time.
On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
If you love sci-fi, you'll love this graphic novel. I didn't know what I was getting into when I first started reading it. I fell in love fast. The worldbuilding is so concise but not in your face. The characters jump out at you, fully formed, and feeling so real. Walden's art style is perfect for this story. Perfect.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Man, I do not remember The Picture of Dorian Gray being like this when I first read it in high school. I found Lord Henry to be such a prick but he was an interesting prick who said the most outlandish things. Dorian was an interesting character too but for entirely different reasons. I need to find the uncensored version and re-read it again!
To Know You're Alive by Dakota McFadzean
The title immediately jumped out at me with this one. The cover intrigued me further. I did a quick flip through and I liked the art style well enough. In the book bag it went.
Talk to My Back by Yamada Murasaki
This was a rather thick volume. I am not used to manga being this thick, so I was surprised. The back talked about how it was about a mother and her relationship with her own mother and her own children. Inter-generational trauma, maybe? That's right up my alley.
Satoko and Nada (Volume 2) by Yupechika
I read the first volume of this series on a whim. It's a such a feel good series, very easy to read. The premise is of two international students rooming together. It's like a three way cultural exchange: they both learn about American culture and each other's cultures.
The New York Four by Brian Wood
I've been obsessed with New York City recently (don't ask me why, I'll tell you one day, maybe). And this was a slim volume with interesting art so I picked it up.
Insomniacs After School (Volume 1) by Makoto Ojiro
I saw this book at my last library trip and because I already had a lot of books in hand, I didn't take it. But now I have it! I didn't really read the back or flip through it but I liked the title.
Incredible Doom (Volume 2) by Matthew Bogart
Matthew Bogart is on the Fediverse, which is how I found out about Incredible Doom. I saw him talk about it on the federated timeline. I liked the first volume and I'm excited to read the second! Admittedly, I totally forget what this series is about but I can't wait to reacquaint myself with the series.
In Limbo by Deb JJ Lee
I saw the title and was like, "Yup. Felt." I looked at the cover and instantly knew this would be an immigrant/first-gen immigrant story. "Felt."
I Want to Be a Wall (Volume 1) by Honami Shirono
I started reading this online literally a few days ago but the scanlator group stopped translating it because it got licensed. I feel very lucky to have found it at the library! It's about a gay man and an asexual woman who get married. It's... An interesting and potentially problematic premise but I am intrigued by it nevertheless. I think it has its heart in the right place.
I usually limit my library book runs to graphic novels, purely because I don't have a lot of bandwidth to read anything else. But these books really caught my eye and I just had to read them.
Overdue: Reckoning With the Public Library by Amanda Oliver
Currently I am writing about library burnout for a project in my English Composition course. This books seems to quite relevant! As a hopeful future librarian, this feels like a book I should read, as well.
I'd Rather by Reading by Anne Bogel
A part of me wants to say that I've read this book before. It's a small book so I am okay with reading this again!
I have a major crush on someone. Although, now I think I can downgrade it to just, "I have a crush on someone." For a couple of months, I was riding the high of liking someone new. I kinda hate myself when I like someone. I feel like I'm insufferable and my thoughts are just so preoccupied with that person. Now, I think I'm finally at normal levels of liking someone, whatever that means. In other words, I'm not as obsessed anymore. I think part of it is accepting that the likelihood of anything happening being non-existent and just reveling in the feeling of enjoying someone's company.
Basically. I ended up having a crush on a coworker. A remote coworker. Who lives in another country. Who I have little in common with. Who is way out of my league. Who is considerably younger than me. Who is a big extrovert. Who comes from a different cultural and religious background. Who just seems to be my opposite in many ways.
In a way, I am thankful for the power of the Internet for meeting this person. If I were to see this person on a dating app or something, I would swipe whichever way it is to reject someone. I never would have entertained the idea to befriend someone like this (AKA a way-hotter-than-me white guy who likes to watch sports and doesn't read and doesn't play video games or doesn't like anime).
And I'm trying my best to nudge my crush into purely platonic territory. I really do think if we were to have met normally AKA in real life, we would probably be friends. Maybe not good friends. But friends. If we were to meet right now, though, I think I would let my feelings get in the way. I am still really averse to meeting this person, even after my crush on them "mellowing out." I think I'll get there, eventually.
My February is jam packed. I may have overloaded my plate.
Things that are happening:
It's a lot.
I got cocky last week and took it pretty easy. I had finished a bunch of assignments ahead of time and just kinda relaxed. Leisurely worked on the side project. Went to bed early a couple of times. Read a lot of manga. I'm trying not to feel guilty about it. Instead, I'm looking at it as recharging myself. Maybe it was like a mid-semester break? It reminds me of Reading Week back in my university days. Reading week was a week long period of no classes. What students "should" do during Reading Week is studying and assignments. What I usually did was procrastinate and do nothing. A dead period, basically. Silver lining is that in this scenario, I technically did do something every day that worked towards my goals. But not enough to prevent the incoming tsunami of deadlines next week.
This calendar looks impossible. It is impossible. It's the best case scenario. I block everything out into 30 minute chunks because I like to follow the pomodoro method. Also, if I miss 30 minutes here or there, it feels less devastating than losing an entire hour. Basically, the 30 minute chunks gives me a lot of opportunities to "start over fresh."
I also don't look at the calendar. Looking at the calendar feels overwhelming. I only look at it when I set it up. I rely on the notifications and reminders that my calendar gives me on my phone, my watch, my e-mail, and my computer.
I'm trying something new this week. Every day for the next week, I scheduled an e-mail to myself with the top priorities for the day. I don't know if this will do anything at all but I'm desperate.
The two main forms of social media that I use are the Fediverse and Reddit. I'm blocking Reddit entirely. As for the fediverse, I'm more reluctant to let go of it so I'm limiting myself to 10 minute sessions every 6 hours. I'm also blocking YouTube. We'll see how it goes!
I like to listen to audiobooks when I'm at the gym or doing chores. I did buy an audiobook copy of To the Lighthouse on a whim. I'll listen to it during the day and then catch up by reading with my physical copy in the evening. This will prime myself for the reading session at night.
I also like to read on the commute to work. I bring a book with me always when I'm on the train. I like to bring my personal reading with me on the train.
Eating lunch rarely ever takes the whole hour for me. So I will try to write more blog posts after I eat. Or maybe I will use the first half hour of lunch to write and then cram eating into the rest of my lunch hour.
Pomodoro breaks are also the best time to do chores or laundry!
My next week is packed. It'll be hard. But I think I can do it. I have no choice but to do it. Although, there is some leeway here. My writing circle is notorious for giving out extensions. My personal reading can always take a backseat to other priorities. While the semester is still ongoing, maybe I can take it easy on the blogging but when it's over, then I can crank out blog posts every day.
Anyway. Wish me luck.