life

The Need to Feel Connected

 

Image result for connectivitySince time immemorial humans have relied on connections to ensure survival and the progression of our species

But with social media in the mix ‘being connected’ has taken quite the new meaning

I took a little hiatus where I just went off and vacayed on an island for about four days. The cell service was super bad so I was only allowed emergency calls and of course no internet. What I found out was life changing

I realised that this need to be in the know with Facebook and Instagram and all that is generated by how readily available everything is in this day and age. The internet is a privilege and we’ve mistaken it to being a necessity

Humans were designed to adapt to their real environment and take in their surroundings but with our heads in our phones all the time we’re doing ourselves a disservice

I read this article a while ago about how our vertebrae is going to evolve because of how long we spend looking down at our phone rather than straight ahead. Doesn’t that freak you out?

On this trip it also happened to be my birthday but it felt like any other day because I wasn’t being bombarded with facebook messages and people trying to get my attention. It turned out to be the most mundane yet the best day ever

That’s just some food for thought about technology. I guess the moral of the story is to look up from our phones more often

Discussion

5 Reasons I Hate Reading Reviews

The irony ins’t lost on me considering this blog is primarily for reviewing books. but there is just something about book reviews and film reviews that repeals me and I’ve managed to condense this feeling into five justifiable reasons.

  1. Spoilers

This is my number one fear when it comes to reading reviews. Although many writers do specify if the post is going to have spoilers, my mind always remains skeptical.

what if there are spoilers?

what if the writer hasn’t been discreet enough?

Would I still want to read the book after it’s ruined for me?

I know some people would go ahead with reading a book regardless but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

         2. Influence

Now, reviews generally provide an opinion right? my overly absurd brain is always under the threat that if I read a review of a book that I’m eagerly awaiting to read then I won’t go into the book with a fresh mind, I’ll be influenced by the opinions of the person who wrote the review. Now this has sometimes worked in my favour as after reading a review I picked up things in the book I wouldn’t normally have.

Likewise, if i read a review after I’ve read a book and formed my own opinions it can give me another perspective but it also makes me doubt my understanding of the book.

          3. Boredom

Okay let’s be brutally honest here. If I typed in “Mockingjay Part 2 review” in Google how many infinite number of results will pop up?

And you know what? they’re all gonna be the same, Long paragraphs or overloaded with GIFs and there is nothing original about the formatting of a review. I usually skim over review posts. YOU don’t even fully read my reviews and I know it and I understand. It can get so boring sometimes.

           4. Repetition

This is following along with the boredom. Reviews are repetitive. Especially when it comes to a super famous book that has been hyped about forever. Unless you can bring a completely unique perspective and take on the book, I guarantee you 99% of the reviews will look the same. Just to clarify, with “unique perspective” I don’t mean slandering the book just to stand out. Honest opinions are still valued people.

            5. Reviews are rarely helpful

When I’m looking for a new book to read , which is rarely a case these days considering I have no time. but anyways, when looking for a new read or recommendations I head to Goodreads and check out their ratings or I ask around my friends. What I’m getting at is, I rarely make a judgement of whether to buy a book or not based on a review I’ve read. And I guess part of it is because I’m aware a review is just one slice of opinion which it’s up to me whether to take into consideration or not.

Of Course I do realise all the upsides to reviews which is why I continue to write them but I just believed this unpopular opinion had to be discussed. I’d love to hear your point of view on this matter so let’s keep the discussion going in the comments.

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Book news, life

Binge Reading | The Problem

As promised in my previous post recapping PTA Live, I’m here to discuss the problems with binge reading and why it’s important to slow down with our reading especially in this media focused world of “the next Hunger Games” or “the next Must-Read YA”

For bloggers and  readers it’s important to remember why you started reading in the first place. For me, it was a hobby, it was about discovering the next adventure, meeting new characters, learning life lessons.

For me, it was a hobby

However, as I entered the blogging-world and even prior to that what with Goodreads and Twitter and local bookstores beginning to promote “The next Hunger Games” I found myself getting caught up in this cycle of the next book and the next and the next….

You get so caught up in focusing on the future, the next book you’re going to read or the next series you HAVE to get onto because the whole universe is raving about.

You forget to appreciate the book you’re currently reading because I guarantee you it’s as a piece of art as the book you’re planning to read next

Take a moment to focus on your current read. Forget social media or mass advertisements. Read at your own pace. Block out the distractions.

And here’s the deal, books are eternal, they’re in print forever, it’s not like the next 5 million copies of Mockingjay are going to vanish into nothingness just because the last movie is out and it’s all over. It’s going to be here forever. You have all the time in the world to read all these books so don’t rush

I’m currently stuck in the cycle of “the next book” too and you’ll find that reading seems like a chore in this cycle so this post is as much for me as it is for you!

Jeann @ Happy Indulgence did a much ore articulated post on a similar topic which you should definitely check out!

Thank you to Penguin Teen Aus for this much needed reminder!

Let me know in the comments, Why did you start reading in the first place?

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Discussion, life

Discussion | Could YA Have A Negative Influence?

Recently. I’ve noticed that the best friend has started saying this particular line to me quite often:

“It’s not like that. You read too many books. Gosh”

This is usually in reply to my random perspectives on life.

Which got me thinking. What if the books I read have started influencing me? I mean what if they’ve warped my perspective about something?

Now of course, considering I read so many books it’s a given that they’d influence me in some way or another. But what  if they’ve started affecting my take on life, like majorly?

Let’s take love for example, literally every fictional novel I have ever read has some kind of romance in it. And I’ve noticed that, particularly in YA, love is this huge philosophical thing, it’s exaggerated really but being a teenager and being easily impressionable, I see it as this huge powerful event that’s gonna knock the wind out of me and the universe will collapse unto itself or something.

So has my reading resulted in me forming unrealistic expectations of love? Have I formed an idea that true love looks like Augustus and Hazel or Anna and Etienne?

That’s the other thing about YA, it sets this unrealistic bar for what boys should be like. I mean, let’s be honest, we’re all looking for an Augutus Waters or Chaol Westfall to stride in and sweep us off our feet.

I’m not trying to single out YA as the culprit of unrealistic expectations,  I mean everything from TV to Disney Movies to Instagram has us forming unrealistic expectations about everything, not just love.

I guess at the end of the day, we have to remember that, that particular representation of love in the novel is the author’s idea and experience.

And the best way is to just not be so gullible,get out there and discover your own idea of love or anything really through experience.

Apologies if this post was a bit vague or sounded too much like an “inner ramblings of a teenager” rather than a bookish discussion. But yeah it’s been plaguing me

Do you think books set unrealistic expectation?

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Discussion

Discussion | Reading In A Different Language

As many of you may or may not know, I learn French in school and English isn’t my first language which means I have the pleasure of reading books in different languages.

We’ve recently been studying The Little Prince in French. Basically what we do is, we read the French version then we switch to the English translated version and I’m really enjoying it.

What is it that makes me enjoy a book in a language I can barely understand? Why does the translated version seem so faithful?

What elements of a story need to stay consistent from language to language to make it so faithful?

Well I’m about to tell you that:

1) The overall message/motto of the story

2) The author’s writing style

3) Accurate representation of the character

This post is going to be split into two parts to avoid mumble-jumble

Part One: I discuss how each of those elements in The Little Prince make it such a good translation

Part Two: I discuss what if my blog were translated into another language?


 

Reading The Little Prince in Two Different Languages

What makes it so good? let’s discuss

1) The message remains consistent

The Little Prince is basically an exploration into human morals and character. It’s about what we think is important in life and what is actually important in life.

I believe every story has a meaning and you take the meaning away and what do you get? nothing, it’s just a bunch of words on a page isn’t it? The meaning is like the skeleton, it holds everything together, it brings everything together which is why it NEEDS to be there.

2) The author’s writing style

Of course you can’t exactly replicate someone else’s writing style, translation’s complicated like that. But what you can do is try to get the gist of the writing in as much as possible. I mean if something is supposed to be serious and important in the story then you have to try and get that across.

The Little Prince is highly metaphorical and they’ve done a good job of acknowledging that.

You have to remain faithful

3) Consistent Characterization

Characters for me are one of the three most important elements of a story.  Again, the translation has to meaningfully represent the character. Whether it be Little Prince’s cuteness or Lizzie Bennett’s witty banter it has to remain the same for the story to be a successful, faithful translation.


I recently discovered Smartling, a translation software company. that basically translates web content into different languages for effective communication.

So hypothetically, if my blog were to be translated into another language what’s to remain consistent?

1) The Theme of my blog

I feel like this is really obvious but , it’s about books and my love for literature so that’s got to be there. Particularly with book reviews, the translation has to be able to accurately represent whether I liked a book or not.

2) My Style

I’m quite a chatty person on this blog so I’d want that to stay consistent but sometimes I write serious stuff too so that’s got to come across. Basically my voice has to stay consistent is what I’m saying


Translation is really amazing when you think about it. I mean I’d never be able to read The Little Prince properly if it wasn’t translated into English and what if I’m denying people access by having my blog in just one language?

So I now pose the question to you

If you were to read a book in another language what aspects would you want to stay consistent?

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Discussion

Discussion | Losing Creative Freedom

The Free English Dictionary defines freedom as

The condition of being free of restraints, especially the ability to act without control or interference by another or by circumstance

Now when it comes to creative freedom, be it writing or art or music I guess everyone’s definition varies.

I would define creative freedom as total self expression without being restrained to fit social norms or to serve a purpose other than being true to oneself.

I recently read Afterworlds which I reviewed here and as you may or may not know the protagonist is writing a novel and towards the end of the editing process, she is asked to change the ending of her story because a “happily ever after sells better” (correct me if I’m wrong)

Isn’t that just commercializing the story though?

If I wrote a justifiable ending to my novel and someone told me to change it for sales purposes I would feel torn.

So I finished reading Afterworlds and the next book I pick up, Little Women has a rather long introduction which spoils the book but that’s besides the point. What this intro also discusses are the changes and alterations the author had to go through to please the audience.

Louisa May Alcott had to “tone down” her writing and replace slang words with finer prose to make it more “ladylike”. Not even that, she had to write a sequel to Little Women where she had to marry them off

BECAUSE THE AUDIENCE DEMANDED IT.

She even said herself she didn’t want to write a sequel and why couldn’t people let the Little Women be just Little Women and not things that had to be married off.

So what do you get at the end of all that?

A literary classic which lacks the author’s originality cuz creative freedom ain’t got nothing on money making.

The other side of the argument is, books are a means of business after all and musicians and artists probably have restrictions too, I just feel like books go through so much editing and there’s so much pressure on the author to “impress the audience” instead of staying true to themselves.

No one probably agrees with me on this but that’s just what I’ve been thinking lately about creativity and freedom and yeah.

So tell me your opinion on this. What’s your take on creative freedom?

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Discussion

Reading is Contagious

Ello Everybody!

Firstly, how do we like the change in colour scheme? with the southern hemisphere well and truly into Autumn I decided things were getting a bit stale on this blog so time to spice it up with some Autumnal colours cuz Autumn

I mean getting all cozy with a book and a spiced latte? heck yea

Speaking of books.  (As if I don’t talk enough about books already)

I’ve always wondered how one gets someone into books. You know those people who just can’t sit still for 30 seconds with their nose in a book? how do you get them to even remotely realize how amazing books are?

One of my best friends recently just finished reading what is quiet possibly her first series ever. Now. I’d like to believe that I played a certain role in that. I mean I was the one who recommended the series to her. Maybe it’s because me and her are like Siamese twins and seeing me read all the time motivated her. Or maybe it was just such an amazing series?

Another one of my other friends recently came up to me and said:

“Your compulsive reading has gotten me reading too..”

So tell me, is it the fact that recommending a good book (a nudge in the right direction) gets people into reading?

Or is it that seeing someone read all the time just triggers something in us, a curiosity as to what could be more compelling than the real world that has people pick up a book?

Do you think reading is contagious?

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