Filed under: 2017, book chats, T5W

It's never too late in the year to start up a new series. Top 5 Wednesdays is a series that was started in this Goodreads group , which you're always welcome to join with or scope out. This week's topic is the five best books of 2017, which I'm interpreting as books I read in 2017 and not so much books that were published in 2017.

For context, at this point I've read 53 books.

#1: Carol/The Price of Salt

Listen, I love this book. This book has my soul.

A little less than the movie does, because every time I rewatch Carol, my heart skips beats and I just want to cry and cry. It's known to pull me out of moments where I'm so numb I wouldn't recognise happiness even if it slapped me in the face.

First time I read this book was last year, 2016 and I didn't quite enjoy it that much. Maybe because I was younger and a lot more into YA books, rather than adult. Rereading it this year made me realise just how much went over my head the first time and how much passion and love there actually is.

Therese has found her way into my heart and every time, it surprises me just how much I relate to her.

There's a couple of scenes towards the end where the story just tugs at my heartstrings and knots them up and honestly, it's going to be a yearly reread book, I can tell. It's quite christmassy in a way, even if it doesn't have that happy go lucky mood that a lot of those books have.

In a way, I feel the melancholy, sad feeling works better for my types of winter months, so I'm glad to be adding it to my life.

☆ INFO ☆

Patricia Highsmith, Carol

average rating (gr): 3.9 // my rating: 5

published in 1954, 311 pages

Based on a true story plucked from Highsmith's own life, Carol tells the riveting drama of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department-store day job, whose routine is forever shattered by a gorgeous epiphany―the appearance of Carol Aird, a customer who comes in to buy her daughter a Christmas toy. Therese begins to gravitate toward the alluring suburban housewife, who is trapped in a marriage as stultifying as Therese's job. They fall in love and set out across the United States, ensnared by society's confines and the imminent disapproval of others, yet propelled by their infatuation.

#2 The Secret History

Full disclosure, I have a love-hate relationship with Donna Tartt. I like her writing and the way she writes, the stories she thinks off. I'm currently listening to the Goldfinch and have the Little Friend backed up and ready to listen to, maybe in 2018, who knows.

Thing is, her books are confusing in a way. I enjoy reading them and they suck me up into the story, but she always loses me along the way at some point. I continue on reading, and enjoy it, it's just that I'm not sure where the story is going or what the hell is happening.

She has this beauty in her writing though and it's that that made me like this chunk of a book a lot more. I didn't go for five stars on this book, because the chapters in the end were so long but needless to say, I enjoyed it enough to put it on this list.

It's a bit of a double sided feeling on this one, because it's not the best book out there. It's not the best book overall that I've read this year, but I enjoyed it, quite a lot in fact.

☆ INFO ☆

Donna Tartt, the secret history

average rating (gr): 4.08 // my rating: 4

published in 1992, 621 pages

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.

#3 Wintergirls

Which you might or might not see on the picture, this book has been through things. I've had it for seven years now and I think that i've read it at least as many times. This book is so tabbed up.

But, in the end, the content still counts and Laurie Halse Anderson's writing is so good. It's so easy for me to place myself into Lia and Cassie's shoes and, god. I love this book.

This book has my soul. My reading year has been very méh, so this one is def among the top books of the year for me.

☆ INFO ☆

Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls

average rating (gr): 3.98 // my rating: 5

published in 2009, 278 pages

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.

#4 We Are Okay

Okay, listen.

This year I mainly started reading this book because it'd been a while since I'd read a story with queer women. Shallow, maybe, but I was getting fed up with reading just novels about straight people and gay boys.

I maybe didn't expect to love it this much? I also read 'Everything Leads to You' by Nina Lacour earlier this year, and I don't specifically remember loving it that much. In fact, I had a bit of difficulty remembering what it was quite about.

This one though, it tugged at my heartstrings. I read this in the speak of summer and I kinda want to reread it now and fall in love with it all over again now it's winter and maybe

the season will fit the text better. There's still a couple of days to the year, maybe if I can find the time, I actually will! The characters are so lovely and their struggles so incredibly real. The story with the grandpa was really entertaining and I liked reading about it, even though for me it really took the backstage over the main characters and their relationship.

Also Marin's struggles felt so real and honest to me that. Yeah. I couldn't not love it. This just. This book has my heart.

☆ INFO ☆

nina lacour, we are okay

average rating (gr): 4.01 // my rating: 5

published in 2017, 256 pages

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

#5 Lolita

Okay, Lolita and I have got history. A good friend recommended me this book a while ago and I wanted to go ahead and read it. I read about half of it in a couple of weeks and then put it aside for months. Literal months. I started this in May of 2016 and just finished this in Oktober 2017.

There were moments that I loved the book, that I just wanted to keep reading and keep reading and get into it. Other moments I didn't make it half a page before putting it down and picking up another one.

All in all, I liked it. The last hundred-ish pages I just flew through and in fact, I ended up finishing the last half within the week. It's just. It's good. I don't think that there's a lot more to say about this.

☆ INFO ☆

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

average rating (gr): 3.88 // my rating: 4

published in 1955, 361 pages

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Filed under: 2017, reading goals, book chats

2018 is approaching quickly, and with that, come changes, for some people. The goals are being made, people want to do resolutions for the new year. Usually being healthier and working out (stuff that, if anything, should be done by me as well, not gonna lie). But in the reading community, that's used just a little bit differently. The new year coming around is the perfect tie to decide what to read, how to change up your reading and what you want to accomplish with this psychological clean slate.

Maybe it's not so big a deal for most. As a book lover, I love being able to look back at what I accomplished the previous year and figure out what the previous year has done for me. It's a bit early to make a wrap up and talk about my favorite books and the books that disappointed me in 2017, but it is a good time to start thinking about the first 'goals' for the new year.

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

After seeing people chat on twitter, and then Ariel Bissett's video on the subject, it's been brought to the attention that reading has become more and more competitive. The numbers becoming more and more important, rather than the books you read and enjoying the books you're reading.

This is maybe the main reason why i didn't want to kick off my post with the 'x amount of books' by the end of the year, even though it will always be nice for me to have a number to aim for. If anything, it's a good thing to think about when trying to figure out what you want to do, goals wise.

The list down here is still a bit tentative. As the year wraps up and I'll look at all the books that I've read over 2017 things will be added to the list and maybe taken off of the list. That's almost unavoidable. However, this is my list for now!

Goals for 2018

[ ] Reading a book-to-movie adaptation

[ ] A book thats been on my to read list for longer than six months

[ ] Try and read more mysteries

[ ] Read more adult/literary fiction

[ ] Read more books on mental health

[ ] Get more recommendations from other people // read books that people you love, love

[ ] Read books in other languages than English and Dutch

[ ] read a book for every week of the year (52)

[ ] Finish the first season of the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge



Filed under: reading challenge, RG

I feel like lately, everyone and their mother has been doing this. There's been lists going around with lists of the books that Rory Gilmore (and possibly other Gilmore's) reads in the tv series. Some just have a large and bulky list with 300+ books, others break it up by episode and by season. It's really whatever people want to do. This is, if anything, not that list. Not that complete list at least. I feel like it's a bit of a waste of time to try and read every single book.

Reading is all about making time to read books you're truly interested in, rather than marking books as read because you're supposed to have read them. Like people who would much rather read fantasy pushing and pushing to read classics even though it really isn't their cup of tea.

Why struggle through a book you knew you wouldn't like and force yourself to finish it, when you don't have to do it for class or school or assignments. It's useless.

So, without further ado, these are the books that are referenced in the first season of the show, that I'd like to read. The official list for the first season can be found here, compiled by Black, White and Read Books.

Here comes the list, sorted by first to last episode of the first season. Books that are crossed through I've read over the past couple of months, or already read. If possible, a link to my goodreads rating/shelf/review will be added. Books with a [R] are books that I'll be rereading.

All in all, there's 22 books!

Pilot (1.1)

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

The Lorelai's First Day at Chilton (1.2)

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

The Shining by Stephen King

Cinnamon's Wake (1.5)

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

Kiss and Tell (1.7)

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Love and War and Snow (1.8)

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte [R]

Rory's Dance (1.9)

The Group by Mary McCarthy

Forgiveness and Stuff (1.10)

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Paris is Burning (1.11)

Swann's Way by Marcel Proust

Double Date (1.12)

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath

Concert Interruptus (1.13)

Carrie by Stephen King

Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers (1.16)

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Breakup, Pt. 2 (1.17)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Emily in Wonderland (1.19)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck [R]

P.S. I Lo... (1.20)

Ulysses by James Joyce