Quote of the Week #10

This week has been great. There might’ve been a lot of tiny anxious moments mixed in, but I feel like I was productive and acomplished things, mostly to not be so unorganized. Things are starting to come together and I’m in that rare place of mind that I accept that my life will have ups and downs, but time will pass nonetheless. Not a lot of books were read though.

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We’re continuing the last week’s theme of nature, with a quote from a painter, Camille Pissarro. Obviously that was said by a painter, I thought when I first read it, since it does have a certain feel of feeling better than others. Still, it made me think and appreciate people like that in my life. Must we all take a breath and see beautiful things in humble places.

The Universe of Us by Lang Leav | Review

Pages: 240

Genre: poetry


My thoughts

Rating out of five: three


This is the first time I’m reading Lang Leav’s poetry and my first impression was that she seemed like a good writer, I really liked the way the first poems flowed. The subjects of her poems in this collection, love and heartbreak, are so universal and relatable to many. But so many of the love poems seemed like a writer going through drafts trying to find the best description of love and then just throwing them all in here. Many were so similiar, and nothing very new at that, it was the same with the heartbreak poems.

I don’t think it helped that I disagreed with some of the opinions of the poems, like how we only get max a handful of firsts. I wouldn’t want to live my life like that, never experiencing new things as I’m becoming and living as an adult. In this minimal-type poetry, it’s easy that some poems become too … dark without explanation? As if it’s not taken the time to explain the depth of the feeling, to keep it relatable to many perhaps, but I’ve found I more often like poems to be specific. Without some more personal connection these poems describe these big concepts in life superficially.


Back to School: Nonfiction Books | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl to bring bookish friends together. A new topic is posted each week.


Nonfiction I Like

10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades. A must-read if you’re a student, I’m serious.

Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman. If you’re into physics. I’m actually currently reading this, I’ve taken it on vacation, to the beach, everywhere. It has sand stuck to it, but it was worth it.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. To get a reminder of why you shouldn’t drop out of school and run live in the woods, at least without a lot of preparation (and then you might as well study). Just kidding, it’s a good story, here’s my full review.

We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe by Jorge Cham. Also if you’re into physics. It’s not meant to learn you as much as Six Easy Pieces, more to make you curious. A bit of humor and very nice illustrations, I’m currently reading this book as well.


Nonfiction on my TBR:


I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong. Biology, I guess. I’m very interested in microbes and our immune system because mine isn’t working properly (autoimmune disease).

The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World by Elaine Scarry. Pain is weird, describing pain is weird, I want to learn more about it.

A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science by Barbara Oakley. I like math, but my frustrations overpower that interest with every test (we had a weird teacher last year, you would never know what difficulty one test would be based on the last one, or if it was in the curriculum). Trying to get that interest back, it’s difficult.

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking. I’ve read a few physics books, but never any by Stephen Hawking (I’m cringing writing this). I had this book in my hands this summer, started to read it and then it disappeared on vacation.

Three Physics Youtube Channels I Recommend:

  • Simon Clark studies physics and had a series of vlogs from his PhD in atmospheric physics or something at Exeter Uni. Also his current profile picture makes him seem like an evil mastermind.
  • Alicedoesphysics is starting her third year in physics at Lancaster Uni and has a really good and informative channel.
  • Andrew Dotson just moved to New Mexico for to get his master in physics and has daily uploads which are great and very varied, from tips to vlogging to lectures.
  • I just realized I’m way more into physics than any other science. Huh.

Lots of Reading & Lemon Cake | Bi-Weekly Update #1

Did you know biweekly means both twice a week and once every two weeks? Semiweekly means twice a week as well, so I’m going with biweekly and hoping that people catch on.

I used to do www wednesday, which I might return to someday, but I didn’t want to be bound to that format. So I hope you’ll enjoy some updates on what I’m doing and reading, as reviews will be scheduled some time in advance as we get further into the school semester (and busier).

New book posts:

Other books I’ve been reading:

  • The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
  • Counting Descent by Clint Smith
  • Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman (currently)
  • Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  • The Universe of Us by Lang Leav

  • Whiskey Words & a Shovel II by r.h. Sin

  • South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami (currently)
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli (currently)


  • November 9 by Colleen Hoover
  • Chemically Coated Personalities by Justin Rawdon Lipscomb

Added to my TBR:

  • A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
  • The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee
  • Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

  • A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver

  • Some of Us Did Not Die: New and Selected Essays by June Jordan

Recent book buys:

  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  • La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
  • The Concept of Anxiety by Søren Kierkegaard
  • Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – I forgot and nearly bought two copies

Three things I want to say:

  • If it’s you are like me and it’s the first week back at school and information is just thrown at you, it will calm down, and it will get more structured and better.
  • Lemon cake is the best cake, with lots of lemon and sugar creating the perfect balance. This glutenfree one is the best (you’re welcome to present better recipes if you disagree).
  • I really dislike it when I stop reading one book because of the boring characters, only to pick up another and it’s equally boring. Looking at you Lies Beneath and The Price Guide to the Occult (it’s a fantastic title though).

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Pages: 440

Genre: history

audiobook review


100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens.

How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?

Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power … and our future.

The Audiobook

You know the narrating of every history or discovery channel show ever? It’s that voice, at a very slow tempo. The moment I found the speed up feature (1.2 or 1.5) at the new app I was using, it became better. I switched from audiobook to reading a physical copy halfway through. The audiobook is good if you want to take your time, the physical copy if you want to just get through some of the parts you find less interesting.

My thoughts

Rating out of five: three


This book is aimed at compressing human’s history into one 440 page book, kind of like a historical summary and overview, with focus on the human evolution. It’s certainly not impossible, history textbooks have done in for years, but it means you have to pick and choose. For example this book doesn’t include a lot of individual stories. Even things like Ancient Egyptian history has to be strewn in here and there as examples, instead of getting its own chunck of description and explanation. The focus on this book is on events and decisions that changed the ways of humanity. But even focusing on revolutions, he’s barely able to fit enough theory to explain them.

It might be a better book if it was told in a hip or relatable way, aimed at younger people or like an introduction. Because the story isn’t quite told in a textbook – here’s the facts – kind of way. The weird in between made me question certain conclusions the author drew and what seemed like opinions given as facts. And that’s my biggest problem with this book, the author’s own thoughts on human characteristics and such given as if they were facts. There should be a more obvious divide between what’s facts (much agreed upon theories) and what’s more debatable, or even his own, theories. I liked to listen to a lot of them and they gave me questions of my own.

It was definitely not as eye-opening as I’ve heard other people describe it as. I’d heard a lot of positive things about this book, mostly that it gave people a new perspective on history and realize new connections between events. It made me ponder and research a few subjects more, so I’m still glad to have read it.

Feelings I had reading this book: bored, confused at the author’s angle at some subjects, interested by the general threads going through like revolutions and by placing certain things (like monotheism and polytheisms) in the bigger picture (uniting people).

Into The Wild? | Quote of the Week #9

It’s time of the quote of the week, the post with me rambling and trying to figure out my life. That wasn’t it… Where I present a quote?

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Sometimes quotes sounds inspirational, and then you hopefully realize how wrong or destructive they can be. This one was either said or highlighted in a book by a guy who went into the wild, survived for a long time, before dying of starvation. Well most likely, it’s debetable (it could be disease, it could be other theories- read the book). Even knowing that, this quote still hangs on to me. Christopher Johnson McCandless was a young person, seemingly with a lot of ideas and conflicts inside him. I don’t understand people who read this book and can’t imagine what would make a well-off recently graduated college guy try to escape materialism and the average workday and a life that so many people feel bound to their whole adult life. Hell, I consider running off into the wild regularly. Sometimes more seriously than others. Christopher took a too big of a risk in the end, but his determination and the dicipline he must’ve had to pull his journey off should be able to be admired. He seems like someone who was human, who had problems with something in the society he was a part of and decided to test himself, to go on an adventure.

Exciting Book Releases 2018 pt. 2

Sorted by date, here’s my anticipated book releases 2018 part two. Here’s part one.


The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden

Release date: 4. september

Why I want to read this: I already did and it was a great story about a seventh grade girl’s daily life and the struggles she goes through as she’s taking care of her siblings, trying to survive school and making tough choices for her family.


Impostors (Uglies #5) By Scott Westerfeld

Release date: 11. September

Why I want to read it: The uglies series is getting more books! I was so surprised when I found out, and excited to see where it’s going.


An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Release date: 25. September

Why I want to read it: It’s a Hank Green book! I’M SO EXCITED


The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

Release date: 2. October

Why I want to read it: I liked the first book, The gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue. And look at that cover, it’s strangely stunning!


Gmorning, Gnight! Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin Manuel-Miranda and Jonny Sun

Release date: 23. October

Why I want to read it: Hamilton’s Lin Manuel Miranda is gathering his daily twitter messages in a book, having the twitter sunshine that is Jomny Sun illustrate it and it seems like such a weird thing that I absolutely need to have.


Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Release date: 6. November

Why I want to read it: It’s Brandon Sanderson, he’s the best.


Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Release date: 6. November

Why I want to read it: I’ve read and liked the author’s other series The Naturals and The Fixer. From what I’ve gathered it’s about a auto mechanic who is pulled into another prettier world by her grandma who wants her to attent a debutant ball. It’s not what I normally would read, but I have faith in Lynn Barnes.

Review: 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades (While Studying Less) by Thomas Frank

Genre: 160

Pages: nonfiction, productivity

book review

My thoughts

Rating out of five: five


I’ve followed Thomas Frank and his youtube channel and podcast “college info geek” for a few years and picked this book up before the new schoolyear, my last year before university. You know that guilt you feel when you’re not prepared enough? I picked up this book wanting to get tips on a better school – life balance, but honestly I was not expecting a lot of new information. I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of productivity resources out there more than most my age. Even though I’ve seen a fair share of College Info Geek youtube videos, I think I’ve gotten A LOT out of this book! It’s obvious that there’s a lot of research behind it, this book is truly like a summary of ten main things you can improve, giving me valuable details. When the topic becomes too in-depth he refers to a couple videos of his or what you can further research or other books on the topic. I am definitely watching the videos on note taking in the next week, along with trying to figure out what’s the most effective way for spaced out repetition.

Some of the many steps that I found valuable to me: tips for organization, a more systematic way to resolving problems and asking for help, tips for actively reading text books, different ways to take notes, recipe on how to write essays. There were also some that were just comforting, like how to learn math and agreeing on how bad group projects are. I took notes while reading it, to have for later in the semester as well, and hope to implement some changes one after the other and see what works for me. I really how Thomas Frank gives different alternatives to do a thing and that it’s easy to focus on one or two steps and bettering your productivity and create habits in that area. Whether you’ve already been interested in productivity or just want to get better grades, reading this book is a good first step.

I paid one dollar on amazon, beut you can also get it for free here: https://collegeinfogeek.com/get-better-grades/

Quote of the Week #8

It’s time for the quote of the week, the post where I ramble and try to balance out the negative of the past week. This week is the last of summer vacation, it’s been both a very good summer and a very bad one (as I spent too much of it in the hospital). I am anxious for the new school year, so here’s trees.



I have not read the book this quote is from, but it’s still true for me. Nature is always a comforter for me, a way to unwind and breath. There’s psychology studies going around on how the ocean makes people feel calmer, with the open landscape it brings. I wouldn’t trust it, but I’ve found it true for myself. I mean – how can you really study things like that, especially narrowing down the reason? Guess we’ll find out as my politics class was cancelled this semester and seems like I’ll have to take psychology, shit. But this was about trees, I’ve never lived without them. (Or oceans for that matter.) If I look up right now I would see trees, which is a lucky and unfortunate side effect of living in a valley. A while back I listened to the episode Dendrology (TREES) of the podcast Ologies, which is the best science podcast you’ll find as every scientist interviewed are so passionate about their field, and learned so much.

Good luck to everyone returning to school!

The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden | Review

Pages: 260

Genre: realistic fiction, middle grade

Release date: 4. september 2018


“Some people can do their homework. Some people get to have crushes on boys. Some people have other things they’ve got to do.”

Seventh-grader Zoey has her hands full as she takes care of her much younger siblings after school every day while her mom works her shift at the pizza parlor. Not that her mom seems to appreciate it. At least there’s Lenny, her mom’s boyfriend—they all get to live in his nice, clean trailer.

At school, Zoey tries to stay under the radar. Her only friend Fuchsia has her own issues, and since they’re in an entirely different world than the rich kids, it’s best if no one notices them.

Zoey thinks how much easier everything would be if she were an octopus: eight arms to do eight things at once. Incredible camouflage ability and steady, unblinking vision. Powerful protective defenses.

Unfortunately, she’s not totally invisible, and one of her teachers forces her to join the debate club. Even though Zoey resists participating, debate ultimately leads her to see things in a new way: her mom’s relationship with Lenny, Fuchsia’s situation, and her own place in this town of people who think they’re better than her. Can Zoey find the courage to speak up, even if it means risking the most stable home she’s ever had?

This moving debut novel explores the cultural divides around class and the gun debate through the eyes of one girl, living on the edges of society, trying to find her way forward.

My thoughts

Rafting out of five: four stars

I did not realize this was a debut novel, that’s even more impressing. This book says it’s important, and it’s right. It’s about one girl, Zoey’s, experience and daily life, the struggles she goes through as she’s taking care of her siblings, trying to survive school and making tough choices.

This book talks about how some children are forced into adulthood earlier than others with the amount of resposibilities they have. There’s a gap between kids who have a different amount of support at home, like having healthy food prepared for them, help with homework, not having to worry about family’s financial situaiton, that shapes so much what their experiences are like and what amount of stresses and stability they have in other aspects of their life, like school. This book communicates that in a very direct, but appropriate way. It has a language that works both for adults and kids. It shows Zoey experience in hopes that more stories of kids like her will be told, increasing empathy and the discussion with them.

The octopuses (thank you for not forcing me to read octopi over and over it’s not as fun) are a really fun and heartbreaking way to convey Zoey’s emotions and thoughts going through things. I appreciated all the facts, being a nerd, and the method of process it brought her. Something that confused me was reading Zoey’s thoughts and trying to match them with the reflective opinions and conclusions she draws. She noticed things that the other classmates don’t, like Silas stopping talking and why, and has suddenly can debate gun reform from both views. And that’s not major things, but I got this feeling that I never saw the process behind developments like that.

Debates at school is tough when you’re more invested in it personally and sits on more “insider” details than others who are debating for the sake of it, because that’s basically the task. I thought it was relatable the way Zoey’s hands were shaking and she had to find her courage. It was pretty obvious that the author chose the gun reform subject because of own interest, it did not quite match with the rest of the book.

What I was feeling reading this book: sad, but mostly proud, for kids like Zoey and thinking back on other now nearly adults I know raising their siblings and having those invisible struggles

Thank you to the publisher for receiving this copy through NetGalley in exhange of an honest review.

Does this book sound interesting? Btw, what’s your view on guncontrol (i am honestly really curious)?