a row of failed book posts. and seeing a psychologist. | Bi-Weekly Update

Ok, I hope I don’t have to specify how those two things were unrelated.

The lack of uploads are because of *drumroll* – me not reading anything! YEAH. NO. I hate it, but you know – starting university. My first meeting ever in a book club was a while ago and it went great, I talked mostly not about books with other people, but also lent out my copy of my favourite of Mary Oliver’s poetry collections; “A thousand mornings” (review linked) so I see that as a success. Anyway, we’re supposed to start with discussing “1984” by George Orwell and I haven’t even gotten to opening that book, let alone one I actually want to read.

New book posts:

Failed book posts:

So, I started a lot of book posts this summer and then I either didn’t finish them and let too much time pass or I just realized they existed, and they might be published soon-ish.

  • Shatter Me reread!!! It really held up, I loved it so much the first time and nearly equally much this time. I don’t know how many times I’ve read it now. I’m still amazed by how nuanced and morally gray all the characters are, and how amazingly Tahereh Mafi describes Juliette’s feelings of isolation and her transformation and personal change through the series.
  • Also I read Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi, the 4th book of the series. I never wrote that review either, mostly because I read the books so quickly that I mixed them all together in my head.
  • “Why I love the ocean” is a post I’ve had in the works for so long and never really got the final edit down on. I’m just going to force myself away from it and publish it as unfinished as it feels. There’s some things that just always could be made better.
  • Two other books I loved, but apparantly never reviewed??? (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn and Running with Lions by Julian Winters.
  • Lab Girl by Hope Jahren was my all year favourite book, and probably a review will be posted towards the end of the year – but I’ll have to reread it because I was so immersed in thinking about that story I forgot to write any of those thoughts down! I can’t recommend it enough, especially for people who want to look into one scientist’s life and made me so excited for university, even though I’m studying physics.
  • Posts about ways I try to declutter my way-too-long TBR
  • I started a series of posts called “reading my lowest rated books (on goodreads)” to find out the reasons behind it, but then I just stopped reading in general soo… some other time it will be a good idea?

Other books I’ve been reading:

  • Six Not-So-Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman (about physics, it’s the only thing I can allow myself to read right now hahhha). Six Easy Pieces (the first book in some ways) was a really good intro to physics for anyone.

Added to TBR:

IT’S THREE MEMOIRS! I love listening to memoirs on audiobook (it’s basically the only type of audiobook I really love), so I’m looking forward to this.

  • Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness
  • Permanent Record by Edward Snowden
  • Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski

Three things on my mind:

  • This last week sucked so badly, because of migraines. I’m really going to have to pull myself out of studying and doing fun things and put more effort into taking care of myself and getting myself to the doctor(s) to change some medicines.
  • About taking care of yourself; after moving by myself one thing I’ve really realized is that no one around me yet recognize how difficult certain things are for me. It should be a given, but it wasn’t. Mainly the small things. I made myself do the work necessary for paperwork connected with illness and hospital this week. I made myself agree to getting my first every appointment with a psychologist be moved up, even though I was freaking out for two days thinking about nothing else. I made myself go there, to be honest. And then it took a few more steps, with the guidance of that psychologist, to get me into the right place for more evaluation and eventually treatment. I’ve felt horrible all week, physically and mentally. But I did that. And I’m proud of myself for it.
  • Also I realized after that I really needed that first psychologist to believe me, to say that something was wrong with the way that I felt. Even though I knew she needed to refer me to someplace else, as her field is more general student problems and depression/anxiety, I needed that first person to agree with me that I was experiencing dissociation and to say what I was afraid of and call it (a most likely, and trying to be vague) disorder stemming from traumatic experiences. I don’t think what I brought to her table was what she expected that thursday morning, but I don’t feel too bad because of how intrigued she looked towards the end, trying to figure out which symptoms I was experiencing.

a little bit about mental crises

i had a person tell me he wanted to die, last week. that might be an abrupt beginning to this, but he told me very abruptly as well. i was cooking dinner. he was looking to tell someone. and he’d just gotten back for signing up for treatment. he wasn’t the first one who has told me so since i moved here for university, but he was the first one where i had no clue something was wrong. i told him as much, during our hours of conversations since.

but this isn’t about him, it’s some thoughts i’ve had afterwards. on a very personal level i’m glad i feel like a safe person to tell for more than one. on the other hand i’m the absolute worst person to tell because i have no distance or objectivity, having lived with pain and death and pain and death hanging over my head for so long. i tell everyone of them that, scared that i might make things worse by my understanding too much. not that i think i’ve ever really felt the deepest pits of depression.

a big problem with conveying mental health issues is that you need to be a damn good story teller to be able to portray it correctly. this guy’s descriptions and metaphors were vivid and won’t leave my head. whatever i’m feeling i can’t describe as eloquently.

i’m doing great since the move, really. since beginning university. that doesn’t mean i don’t live in a cycle of constant chronic pain because of illness and is tired down to my bones, sometimes. and sometimes lonely. today it’s because i really need someone who understands me and feels safe to hold around me and i haven’t yet found that here. i will, eventually.

Short Reviews: Fencing & Geeks

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

DNF at 25%. I went into this book wanting to love it, but while I’m a huge nerd I don’t immediately relate to this type of geek culture, especially if it’s (this I’ve just realized is a huge pet peeve) based on a made-up fandom. The protagonist seem great and the anxiety so well portrayed, I just didn’t like the writing, which would’ve continued to be a problem. Would still recommend others to give it a try and make up their own mind.

The main character is bisexual, also has character who have asperger’s & dealing with anxiety, and queer love. Ownvoices for anxiety and Asperger’s.

Fence vol. 1-3 by C. S. Pacat

I was very intrigued by the characters, the sport aspect and the conflict. I wanted to love it so much. But then the graphic novels just delivered a row of fencing matches, in beautiful art style, but with little other excitement. There were mentions of stakes and motivation, but in the end, for someone who isn’t into fencing, they’re just two people lunging until one lose. And it’s not like it was given extensive back stories on each of the players, so you’re really rooting for them. In that way it felt like a «final tournament» to something we’ve not been there for the beginning of? What am I missing? Why is everyone liking this? The gay vibes are great, of course. I just wanted to know more about the characters, so I could follow this with some more interest.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green | Review

Pages: 290

Genre: young adult, contemporary, mental health

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

My thoughts

Rating out of five:

fem

“The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.”

Ahh I loved this book, I read it in a day about a week after the release. And I haven’t been able to write a review since because of the feelings (and physics).*

I cried so much for the first time in a while because this story is so moving and the characters felt so real, and they all had their problems. Of course, I want to side with Aza, because that’s the perspective you follow through the book. But the book doesn’t let me, it points out the people who feel hurt by Aza. It was good to represent how people doesn’t automatically understand each other, it demands a lot of willingness, effort and communications from all parts. Especially when it comes to anything like illness. I don’t know much about OCD, but from all I’ve heard this book is a good representation of it. Obviously, OCD doesn’t manifest in only one form, but I still felt like I learned a lot about thought spirals and how obsessiveness can manifest itself.

If I would give any negative criticism of this book, it would be that it’s difficult at the beginning to distinguish John Green’s voice as the author and Aza’s narrative. The problem vanished for me after a while, which I can’t really explain, might be getting used to it, might be getting to know her better. I do not agree with the characters being too mature, we need that as well in young adult novels. I feel like it’s needed to say this is not a mystery novel, a disappearance is a element of the plot, but it doesn’t drive it. If you want that I would recommend “Truly Devious” by Maureen Johnson.

It’s one thing to know of how serious mental illness can be, it’s something completely different to get it (literally) spelled out and in your face. I especially liked the part at the end, in the darkness, where Aza tries to explain her thoughts and fears. I’ve followed vlogbrothers for years, and you can kind-of notice when John is worse than normal, but not to what degree. It was a really positive surprise to realize how open, informing and serious he was about displaying OCD after not having gone into depth about it for so long.

“Turtles all the way down” also has humour and a good balance between darker and lighter aspects, but from the beginning it shows how it’s all intertwined. It’s simply a brilliant book, the writing, characters, mystery and depth is all there. Would completely recommend, it’s worth all the hype it’s getting.

*this was originally written some time ago, a few weeks after the release

SPOILERS: have you checked the inside of the book jacket?

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