Hello Fiction Dwellers!
November went by as fast as the seasons changing. One day it was snowing, the next the snow has melted, and we’re back to windy rainy days. It is a month of celebration for me as I am finally a permanent resident of Canada, which means I can go home to Indonesia with ease and do things here in Canada. All my anxiety has slowly dissipated this month bringing me reasons to smile and celebrate.
Reading wise it is a month of rediscovering reading and writing after months of drowning in sadness. I am writing book reviews again which is a blessing for me because I am falling in love with writing again. My confidence has grown this month and I can’t be more thankful.
Anyway, I don’t want to hold you here for long. Let’s talk updates shall we? <3
- Total books read: 5 books
- Total books DNF’d: 0 book(s)
- Total pages read: 1,927 pages
🍂 The City We Became (Great Cities #1) by N. K. Jemisin
Release Date : March 24th 2020
🏳️🌈 queer main characters
The City We Became is a love letter to New York and to cities all over the world, to the culture that has progressed and grown with time, to the people that have lived and survived in it, and the greatest urban fantasy I’ve ever read.
🍂 The Pachinko Parlour by Elisa Shua Dusapin, translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
Release Date : August 18th 2022
The Pachinko Parlour is a short quiet book that showcases Dusapin’s strength precise and delicate writing, conveying emotion and complex themes through mundanity.
🍂 A Bit Much by Sarah Jackson
Release Date : June 7th 2022
A Bit Much is a stunning articulate story about adulthood, grief, and friendship; A well crafted debut by up and coming Canadian author Sarah Jackson.
🍂 Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
Release Date : May 22nd 2000
I remember my childhood just watching Anthony Bourdain shows on the travel channel. He was one of the realest people I’ve seen on TV. He went to the most local places and actually interacted with the local people. The Indonesian episodes are some of my favourites especially when he highlighted Bu Oka in Bali.
Kitchen Confidential is Anthony Bourdain’s break out debut novel about his life as a chef and the restaurant industry. Young Tony is much more snarky and edgy, it is definitely reflected in his writing style. For readers that have watched his shows the older he gets the less snarky and edgy he is. It is still fun listening to Tony just rambling about the challenges he went through as a young chef. Even when he was snarky he acknowledges his privileges coming from a mid to upperclass background. My favourite chapters was when Tony talked about the first time he fell in love with food and the first time he decided to not be a picky eater at the age of 7 years old in France.
This review is clearly biased since Tony was a huge part of my childhood and his shows became a huge part for adolescent me to become the person I am today. Easy five stars for Tony. May he rest in peace.
🍂 Chain of Gold (The Last Hours #1) by Cassandra Clare
Release Date : March 3rd 2020
🏳️🌈 queer side characters, m/m romance, f/f & sapphic romance, bi main character
Slightly underwhelming compared to the first time I read this. Though I remember my exact feelings reading it the first time, for this reread I see the flaws and the many let downs throughout the story. I have developed a reading taste now so even though I enjoyed it, I wouldn’t say it’s worth 5 stars. I am changing it to 3 stars instead.
Movies / TV Shows
❄️ First Love ( 初恋 ) – 2022 ❄️
I am losing my mind.
This drama series brought me so much emotion. The angst, the cinematography, the yearning, the beautiful uses of blues referencing the Blue Period, and overall 10/10 casting.
First Love is a drama series inspired by Utada Hikaru’s 1999 hit song “First Love”. The drama spans over 20 years of once fated relationship between Yae Noguchi and Namiki Harumichi. It is a story of the many hurdles and heart breaking missed chances the couple went through since one tragic day that changed their relationship. The story is told in a non linear structure as the scenes revert back and forth from the past to present day, giving past context referring to a memory tied to the current happenings that parallel each other. It’s clear that a lot of thought went into showing the details from scene to scene. The story is full of predictable plot twists but First Love delivers the story in an engaging, remarkably fresh, and beautifully shot drama. It carries layers of meaning of what fated love is, discussions on relationships and memories, and the shining message of hope.
I watched this drama in two sittings with my partner and I kid you not we both bawled our eyes out for these two. The are many parallels in the story that literally melted my brain to a puddle of tears. AND THE BLUES IN EACH SCENE. I grew up listening to First Love because it is one of the most famous hit songs that exploded every where in Asia. Now I have a movie that is attached to that song. I am sure my brain will rot for months since finishing the drama.
If you haven’t heard of this drama please just watch it. For any romance or shoujo fans out there this drama is close to being a masterpiece and a classic for years to come.
Songs on Repeat
In November, I was quite productive and posted three book reviews of the books I read. I am finally writing reviews again after so long. The feeling of writing the review and posting it within a day is just like no other. If you haven’t checked them out please do click the links below.
Bookish Content Creator Shout Out
💭Dana from Dana’s Book Garden posted an ARC Review of The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas. After the success of The Cemetery Boys, Aiden Thomas releases a new YA Fantasy featuring multiple queer characters. Dana reviews the book gushing about queer representation and Mexican mythology that inspires the book. Do check out her review!
💭 Gabriele from QueerBookdom shares a list of 2022 December Queer Releases. Are you curious about what the queer books releasing during the last month of 2022? Look no further because Gabriele got you covered as they compiled a neat list for y’all to check out!
💭 Saima from Stories With Saima shares a list of Top 10/100 Reads Of 2022. The year is wrapping up which means it is time to for besties to gush about their reads and Saima’s list is just immaculate. Reading her thoughts of her Top 10 Books in 2022 got me excited! Wanna know what books made it into the list? Click click!
💭 Jordyn from Birdie’s Book Nook did the Life in Books Book Tag. Do you love book tags? I sure do. Jordyn picks books to fit prompts for the Life in Books Book Tag. Some of the prompts are really interesting and reading Jordyn gush about each book is heart warming.
💭 Mesal from Earthly Abode posted a review of The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake. Bestie Mesal finally read and reviewed The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake. I do agree with the points Mesal presents as The Atlas Six is one of those books that are a hit or a miss. Wanna know what Mesal thought of the book? Click click!
💭 EJ from EJ Stories posted a review of The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake. EJ goes deep into the seqeul of The Atlas Six providing detailed analysis about the story. Curious about the sequel before reading it? Click on this review!
💭 Fazila from Fazila Reads posted an ARC review of Beckoning Of The Gate by Benjamin J Ryan. Fazila shares her thoughts on YouTube about a YA atmospheric adventure filled with eldritch creatures and magic by Aussie debut author Benjamin J Ryan. Listening to Fazila’s thoughts on this book got me interested in the story. Wanna know more? Click on the link~
💭 Preye from Literary Darlings! posted a list of 25 Interesting Korean Dramas Available on Netflix. In the midst of completing that reading challenge do take a break and watch a few Korean dramas available on Netflix. Preye has recommended twenty five dramas ranging from romance to fantasy to wholesome slice of life for you to check out. There is something for anybody, so please do check out the post!
💭 Chiara from Heavenly Bookish posted a list of Five Sapphic Christmas Books. Mariah Carey has melted and it is Christmas season. The decorations are up, the Christmas tree is lit, and the holiday goodies are fully stocked. What is missing is a good seasonal read! If you are looking for some wholesome sapphic romances have no fear because Chiara has five recommendations just for you! Just click on the link and check out which books fits your fancy!
💭 Semi Magical Libraries shares a list of Cozy Fantasy Books for Cozy Gamers. I am a lover of anything cozy, heck all the games I play are all cozy games. So when I saw this post I got really excited to check out a list of cozy fantasy books I can add to my never ending TBR. Besties click on the link check out the post and start adding books to your Goodreads!
Since the year is wrapping up the only chance I have to catch up with my goal of 75 books in 2022 is this month. Right now I have read 67 books in total, which means I have to read at least 8 books before the new year. I am perfectly fine if I don’t achieve this because 2022 is the year I don’t want to be too hard on myself.
I am currently reading In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado and enjoying it. It is a memoir that is written with horror tropes in mind that tells Carmen’s past experience being in an abusive relationship.
Anyway, the hopefuls for December are :