In a diverse, forward-thinking age, the wonderfully woke generation of so-called millennials are starting to look more closely at the entertainment of the past. Look at the backlash of Friends‘ arrival on Netflix earlier this year. We still love it, but we can no longer ignore the lack of multicultural characters, the ‘token’ lesbian couple or Joey’s constant creepiness. We notice things more, and we won’t stand for the things we’re noticing.
I think it’s great that we’re taking issue with shows like Friends. It shows how much more accepting we are just 20 years later. The world is a scary, discriminatory place, but I genuinely believe my generation is the most tolerant yet and I have high hopes for what it can achieve.
It’s OK to like problematic things. Friends still makes me laugh and cry. We just need to be aware of what’s wrong with it too. With that in mind, I turned my attention to the Harry Potter series.
J. K. Rowling has had some controversial opinions lately, but whatever I think of her keyboard-warrier habit, I do think that the Harry Potter books are not, as a rule, very problematic. However, there are some messed-up moments that I have picked up on as I grow more observant of these attitudes. Here are 7 problematic moments in the Harry Potter franchise.
Happy New Year!
I love this thing Goodreads do at the end of each year. If you’re not on Goodreads, it’s basically social media for book-lovers, and although it leaves a lot to be desired, it’s a great tool for blogging because you can easily log each book as you finish it. You can also use it to collate the books you want to read (although that doesn’t really work for me) and they do this awesome ‘Year in Books’ tool each year to show what your reading habits have been like for the past 365 days.
I didn’t do a reading challenge this year – I felt it affected my enjoyment of books in 2016. I read 100 books in 2016 but only 37 this year – however I felt a lot less stressed about it! I think this is a fairly accurate representation of my reading habits in general, as I seem to remember it being around that number in 2015 as well.
The shortest book I read in 2017 was Hunger by Susan Hill, a creepy story that wasn’t quite up to scratch for me, not when I’ve come to expect so much from Hill. The longest was Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, which was nothing special either.
However guilty we feel, however much we try to stick it out, we’ve all encountered books that we just can’t get through. Here’s a few of the books that I had high hopes for but eventually abandoned, and why.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.
Eurgh. I go into more detail in my most recent de-clutter post, but basically I friggin’ hate this book. It’s a bad Harry Potter knock-off masquerading as a homage, it’s a highly disappointing read if you loved Fangirl and it’s STOOPID.
(Ha. I just went to check the link to the de-clutter post and I also started off with ‘Eurgh’ then.)
When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman.
I’m always surprised when people say they didn’t always love reading. Like, a lot of book bloggers say that Twilight got them into reading in their teenage years. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I just find it baffling that they didn’t read before. I figured you’re born a reader rather than becoming one.
I have loved books for as long as I’ve been able to read. There have been times when I’ve not read as much, but books have always been a huge part of my life, so I thought it would be interesting to look back on the most important books throughout my life – the ones that moulded me, and stayed with me long after first discovering them.
This isn’t really a tag but I encourage any of you who want to do your own ‘life in books’ to go ahead and do so. I actually got quite emotional thinking about some of the books that have meant so much to me, especially as a child.
It’s International Women’s Day today and originally I wanted to mark the day with some kind of ‘top 10’. However as I was making notes for this post, I realised that the point of the day is to celebrate all women, and that to list them in order of preference or in order of how much their works have impacted the world would be somewhat restrictive for what I wanted to do.
I’ve therefore compiled a list of women writers, in no particular order, whom I think have had a massive effect on readers all over the world and/or whose works I especially love.
Hold it there! I’m not saying I don’t love reading, or that I stopped loving reading at any point. I’ve been a book-lover for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I heard the phrase ‘She’s always got her nose stuck in a book’ at least once a day, and that’s not even an exaggeration.
However, in 2016, I put too much pressure on reading. It became all about how many books I could finish each month, regardless of whether I was actually enjoying them. What’s worse, I became overly critical of those I did finish.
Partly responsible for this was the Goodreads reading challenge, which I don’t think I’ll ever do again. I’ve never counted the books I’ve read each year before – I just read them, and didn’t really think much about it. Reading was sort of like second nature to me; I just did it, because I wanted to.
Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and do it. I’ve had books cluttering up my shelves that I pretend I’ll read some day, but really I have no intention of getting around to. I also have books I bought and didn’t like, which need to be cleared out so I can make room for new ones I might love.
I’ve had a bit of a clear-out and thought I would mention the books I’m getting rid of and why.
(I would do a giveaway but honestly don’t know the logistics of it! And there’s also a lot to post so it would be a bit expensive this end. I’ll be taking them to my local Oxfam bookshop instead.)
I’m not sure if this is a tag, but I’ve seen several YouTube videos discussing books that people have on their ebook readers. I’m a massive ebook fan so I’ve wanted to do this post for a while.
I have a tablet and one of the original Kindles (the best kind!), but I never use the tablet for reading (or anything else, really) and I only use the Kindle if I know I’ll be reading in the sun a lot (i.e. when I go abroad, which is hardly ever). I still love my Kindle, but I’m just so used to reading on my phone now. (People always tell me they can’t do this because it hurts their eyes, but phone screens are massive now and you can change the font size etc really easily.)
This is a great method for me, because I’ve almost always got my phone on me, whereas I often forget to bring along the book I’m reading. You can read in awkward situations as well, like in a bus queue or crammed into a train with loads of people squashed against you.
But anyway, here’s the books I have on my Kindle app.
I was going to do a top 5, but had too many books battling for places so decided to just do a list of books that I’ve enjoyed that feature animals as the main characters. So, in no particular order…
Bimbo & Topsy by Enid Blyton.
Blyton wrote hundreds of books about talking animals, and I can’t even remember this one that well, but I get a warm feeling whenever I think about it. It was about Bimbo, a naughty Siamese kitten, and Topsy, a somewhat stupid terrier who gets caught up in Bimbo’s mischief.
Guys, guys. I know how you feel.
I’m lucky enough to have tickets for the show, but even though I’m a massive theatre geek, I wish JKR had written a novel instead.
A lot of people fell in love with reading through Potter. A lot of us already loved to read, but had never found a book as game- and life-changing as when we read Philosopher’s Stone for the first time. It seems like a bit of a slap in the face, therefore, that the 8th story has been reserved for such a select group of people.