Weekend Reads #119: Why Do I Procrastinate on Books I WANT to Read

Weekend Reads is a post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I’m currently reading.

For this week, I’ve decided to participate in the Let’s Talk Bookish meme hosted by Eternity Books and Literary Lion. A discussion topic is given each week for us to post about. This week’s topic is

Putting Off Books That I Want to Read

Do you ever put off the books you actually want to be reading? What do you end up reading instead? Why do you put off the books that you would rather read for other stories? Do you treat reading books you’re excited for as a reward?

I chuckled to myself when I saw this topic because it’s something I often do. There are several reasons why I might delay reading a book, but the main ones are that I’m just too eager to read it, I’m not sure I’d like it, and I feel “pressured” to read it. Let’s briefly explore them.

I’m just too eager…

It makes sense that I delay reading books I’m not sure I’ll like or ones I’m pressured to read, but I also procrastinate on reading books that I’m eager to read, ones I know I’ll probably love. I think that’s odd. I think I’m an oddball for not immediately grabbing and reading books I’m excited about. Why do I delay on reading them?

I can’t answer the question, but a possible reason is that I probably psyched myself out getting too excited about the book and subconsciously assume that my high excitement and expectations of the book will make it a disappointing reading experience.

The books I’m eager about are the ones I’m more likely to purchase and… then forget about as they lay on my shelves collecting dust; so that’s another reason. My shelves are double- (and in some causes triple-) stacked, so if these purchased eager-to-read books somehow end up on a row that I do not see on a daily basis, then I’ll forget they’re there to read.

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Weekend Reads #112: Cliches & Tropes

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I’m currently reading.

For this week, I’ve decided to participate in the Let’s Talk Bookish meme hosted by Eternity Books and Literary Lion. A discussion topic is given each week for us to post about. This week’s topic is

Cliches and Tropes

Can cliches and tropes be done well? When is something a trope and when is it a cliche? When do you enjoy cliches or tropes, and when do you not? How much do cliches/tropes affect your overall opinion of a book?

In my opinion, a cliché is an overused phrase or expression, and a trope is an overused theme or literary device. Off the top of my head (← cliché), here are a few examples:

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Weekend Reads #111: Recent Books I DNF

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I’m currently reading.

THIS WEEK’S TOPIC

Books I DNF

(FYI: DNF means did not finish.)

I DNF books sometimes. I don’t often talk about them, except to briefly mention them in my monthly wrap-up posts, unless I’ve already formed a strong opinion about what I read. In those cases, I’ll do the whole rate and review thing — even though I DNF’d it. I mention in the review that I didn’t finish the book so that people are aware of that fact.

I didn’t rate the books listed below. I didn’t form a strong opinion about any of them and mostly stopped reading them because the story bored me or the characters annoyed me or I just wasn’t in the mood for what was presented.


The books

The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata

Genre

Historical Fiction

Series

n/a

Pubbed

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Reflecting on 2020: Life

Despite the trials and difficulties of 2020, I was lucky and had many positive moments throughout the year. The coronavirus has made the year hard on everyone, and, although my family members were able to keep their jobs and managed not to contract the virus, it made aspects of the year difficult for us too.

The biggest difficulty was being unable to physically connect with family to support them during difficult times. We had a death in the family in 2020 (unrelated to corona) that deeply affected everyone; but because the person passed in March when air travel was at a standstill and countries’ borders were closed, we were unable to travel back to Jamaica to be with family there, to emotionally support them and to be emotionally supported. We had to do it from afar, often over Zoom and WhatsApp, which weren’t often the best substitute.

The downside here is that corona kept us apart when we wanted to be closer; but, in some ways, it made us closer. Due to the death in the family and restrictions to travelling, my family began to connect more. Instead of calling each other every now and then, we formed a WhatsApp group that allowed us to quickly share news, encourage each other, and even joke around. There was a lot more chatter between us.

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Weekend Reads #107: Anger

You ever feel so angry and frustrated that it’s as if the emotions are choking you? That’s how I feel. Angry, frustrated, exhausted, and powerless.

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve tried to stay on top of news and politics, but the more updates I consume, the more angry and frustrated I get. I mean… yo! Jacob Blake was shot 7 TIMES!! in his back. By the police. In front of his kids! While walking toward his SUV after trying to break up a fight. What??!!

And a White kid was going around the same area (Kenosha, Wis.) toting a big-ass gun and shooting protesters; he was able to walk by the police with his gun and go home WITHOUT getting shot by the police… or stopped by them. Apparently, he got a bottle of water from them.

This is fucking crazy world. A crazy country.

I won’t even mention what’s going on in politics regarding the antics and some of the shit said at the RNC. I just…

UGH!!!

Weekend Reads #106: On the Assumption That White Means Universal

There is an assumption in publishing (and in Hollywood, actually) that books by Black authors aren’t universal, that they won’t appeal to a wide (White) audience. I recently read two articles that touch on this topic (one on LitHub and another on Tor.com) and they reminded me of a blog post by notable sci-fi author N.K. Jemisin that I read a couple years ago on why she doesn’t want her books to be placed in the African American section of bookstores and libraries. I reread Jemisin’s blog post this morning and although it was published a decade ago, back in March 2010, it still applies today.

These days, the African American section of bookstores I visit contain sociology books and history books that pertain to Black experiences in America. No longer (it seems) is that section an amalgamation of books by Black authors no matter the genre or whether or not they are fiction or nonfiction; no longer (it seems) is it a place where all books written by Black authors are dumped. But despite this improvement, publishing still has a problem with how it promotes books by Black authors.

To me, it’s recently, within the past year or so, that publishing increased its promotion of books by Black authors somewhat. I may be wrong on the timeframe, but up until then, whenever I saw a recently published novel by a Black author, they were often pushed toward Black audiences only, unlike books by White authors that were promoted to everyone, regardless of race, because of their “wide” appeal.

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Weekend Reads #105: Black Lives Matter

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

I don’t have a discussion post this week. This is just a quick chit-chat because I can hardly think straight right now. There’s so much going on at the moment. So many people are upset and in uproar. I’ve been having conversations about the current political and social climate all week that by end of the day on Thursday, my mind was so wrung out that I couldn’t think straight much less contribute well during a virtual work meeting.

Despite the corona pandemic, as a Black person, I’m happy to be alive at this time. Yes, it is a traumatic time. Yes, I’ve been anxious, depressed, confused, and angry just about everyday, but I am happy to be alive at this time to witness the movements and pushes for change to better Black lives and to see the urge for this change and support for it spread around the world, to see other nations stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Break From the Books: Beenie Man & Bounty Killer #Verzuz battle

I’m taking a break from books and bookish things to talk about the epic event I witnessed this past weekend. An event that I sorely needed during this dull corona time since I’m staying home, as advised, and thus am unable to attend any summer parties or other events. And I’m SO happy this event happened on Memorial Day weekend (in the U.S.) as a replacement (to me) of the events that are cancelled due to corona.

But you must be wondering what event I’m talking about (if you didn’t read this title of this post). Well, it’s the latest episode of Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s Verzuz battle on Instagram. This time it was between two great Jamaican performers, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer. Yo!! I was BEYOND excited for this!! I grew up listening to their songs. I was a kid when the competition (the war) between them was fierce, but I still remember the hype around their clashes and I still love their songs.

It was great to see them on stage together again, performing together and entertaining people. OH MY GOSH!! This performance was SO needed and so good. Great songs, nuff jokes, and good vibes. Man, I LOVE IT!!

I had to share it on here. I had to take a break from all di book dem and share this bit of my culture.

There were SO many great moments too!! I loved that they began it by playing the Jamaican national anthem, I loved the back and forth between the artists (like a clash!!), I loved the dancing, I loved the shout-outs (especially when they shout out Rihanna, who was tuning in. That was hilarious!) The part with the police tho!! YO!! That’s how you know a party is good: Babylon come through trying to shut it down. (Lol!)

Oh man! It was great. If you love Jamaican dancehall music, check it out. If you love any music, check it. If you want something entertaining, something hype, check it out. If you love hip-hop, def check it out. Hip-hop was born out of Jamaican dancehall. Just check it out, man, and enjoy it. 🙂

If I had to choose one as the winner, I’d say Bounty Killer took this. He was so entertaining! Beenie Man is my dude. I LOVE his songs and he did great too (him and him belly 😀 ), but Bounty tek it fi mi!

Reflecting on 2019: Life

2019 was a good year. 😀

I saw and did many amazing things and reached goals I thought I wouldn’t. I am proud, glad, and grateful for all I did and accomplished in 2019 and am thankful for all the help I received.

My word for 2019 was Movements, a simple word but it drove everything I did. 2019 was about making significant progress in the things and areas I wanted improve. And I did exactly that. Unfortunately, at times my blog was neglected as other parts of my life became more busy, but I will be back on track in this new year.

I’m so happy with myself right now. 🙂 It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way, so I intend to relish every moment of this feeling. In fairly recent past years (lol I find that whole phrase funny), I’ve been through personally trying times: moments of deep sadness, anger, and worthlessness. Blogging and reading helped to distract me and prevent me from wallowing in such dark feelings. And sometimes I’d get lucky and stumble on books that were centered on exactly what I was feeling, experiencing, tackling. The book that stands out the most at this moment is Pema Chödrön’s Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better, which I’ve mentioned and recommended many times, especially to those going through a difficult period. That book was very helpful in making me change my internal dialogue and push on through such dark moments.

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#Giveaway Announcement for Wyrd & Wonder Celebration

Hey y’all!! 😀

It’s the first day of Wyrd & Wonder, a month-long celebration of all things fantasy!

I’d hoped to be better prepared for this event by clearing out my review queue, but April got super busy in the middle so that didn’t happen. I am, however, ready to read as many fantasy novels, novellas, and comics as I can get my hands on and publish as many fantasy-related posts as I can manage to do, starting with this post to announce my….

!!!GIVEAWAY!!!

(details below)

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