the best books I’ve read recently! Fantasy, Japanese literature, etc. ~

the best books I've read recently! Fantasy, Japanese literature, etc. ~

#books #Ive #read #Fantasy #Japanese #literature

Hello everyone and welcome to another video so it has been a hot minute and a half since i last did a wrap-up video and today i wanted to share with you my favorite books that i’ve read over the last little while so in total i have

Eight books that i wanted to speak to you guys about today we have heaps of fantasy books here but there’s also like some contemporary and japanese lit as well i will chop up this video into the different genres so if you want to go to one genre in particular because it

Interests you more you can do that and yeah it’s been a really wonderful last few months for me in terms of reading there are like quite a few books that like i’ve picked up and dnf’d and there’s books that i’m still like halfway through like i’m currently reading um

For all five books but anyway i have finished reading a lot of really brilliant fun wonderful stories that i wanted to speak to you guys about today here are the best books that i have read recently so kicking it off with the very first book this is the virago book of

Witches by sharok hussein i was in the bookstore i think during a reading vlog i think it was the magical dark academia reading vlog and i saw this book and just absolutely fell in love with it this is a compilation of witchy stories from all over the world i think it says

There’s like over 50 stories in this book about witches all surrounding like the folklore and traditional tales of witches as soon as something is about witches i kind of just flocked to it and when i saw this cover i was like i love this book i need this book and so i’m

Very glad that i enjoyed it sharok hussein is a folklorist and so she has compiled all of these witchy stories from all over the world so we have stories from india from ireland there is also a indigenous australian witch story in here which i thought was really cool

The book also has these really stunning little drawings in them so we have these little prints in the book like the whole way through and so that really added to the cool like witchy vibe of the book in terms of my enjoyment and engagement with the book i did really enjoy this i

Thought there was a really wide variety of stories in here like the tone of the writing changed quite a bit depending on the story it was very clearly well researched and so overall i think this was just a really good all-rounder for anyone who wants to see which stories

And which folklore and get like perspectives from all over the world and i would give this a four stars i wonder sometimes if people think this tea is like a prop tea mug to add to the aesthetic of the video genuinely i talk so loudly when i film these videos

People say that my voice is so calm and like soft except that when i film videos i speak like double the loudness that i normally talk in real life and it like hurts my throat just a little bit so i normally have tea here because it’s

Quite soothing so yeah whenever i film a video i feel like i’m shouting like i feel like i’m really loudly shouting and then i go to edit the video and i’m like why why do you sound so quiet jonathan strange and mr norrell this is a book

That i have spoken about to absolute death i have spoken about it in so many videos since i read it so i’m not gonna hop on about it for too long just for the sake of not boring you guys if you do want to see my really in-depth

Thoughts on this book i did film a reading vlog where i read this little guy but this is a story which is about two wizards who want to bring magic back to england set during regency england so picture the time of like pride and prejudice it’s very beautifully written

Susanna clarke did such an amazing job with the tone of this book with like really capturing the jane austen’s style or like dickensian style this story really centers on like the academia of magic and the studying of magic so it’s a really wonderful dark magical academia

Book i loved it so much i loved all of the references to fairies and folklore again we know that i really love folklore i’m really interested in it really really really loved it and it is a very strong five stars from me i think this is a brilliant book and i will

Probably continue to talk about it very much and so i’m sorry in advance for that book number three that i want to talk about is the subtle knife by philip pullman i’ve now read the book and i’m so glad that i did because i loved it

Very very very much this is the second book in the series and so i don’t want to describe the plot too much because obviously that will give you spoilers for the first book we have our main character whose name is lyra she’s this very loud and bold little girl she’s

Grown up in this world where people have demons which are an extension of their soul your demon will take the shape of like an animal and when you’re a child your demon will change into different animals as your personality is quite liquid and ever-changing there are witches in here there are armored polar

Bears there’s a lot of references to religion actually this is a very very mature children’s book like there’s a lot of dark stuff in here and what’s actually really funny is that i put northern lights on my list of like most comforting books to read because i think

That this is a really comforting book i find magic and whimsical worlds like this very comforting i think because these are the types of books that i used to read a lot when i was little and i’d totally forgotten that this really dark thing happens at like the end of the

First story until um people had started commenting and reminding me that this this thing happens and they were like maybe this isn’t such a comforting book and i was like ah right uh i forgot about that but anyway i really really love this book series so

Far i am now a third of the way through the final book i’m really excited to see how it ends i i just i find this world so unique and beautifully constructed and interesting i love the characters in here the dialogue in this story is really strong i love how different and

Intriguing all the characters are just i love this world i find it so magical i have no idea what’s going to happen and i think that it is just a stunning book series and i can’t wait until i have finished reading it definitely a good strong solid five stars for the subtle

Knife okay the next book i read that i want to talk about is the hobbit by j.r.r tolkien so a bit of a fantasy classic here now the weird sort of thing with me with tolkien is that i have spent a lot of time studying tolkien analyzing tolkien i was

Going to write my master’s thesis on tolkien and yet and yet i’ve i’ve never until this point finished reading the hobbit or the lord of the rings the thing is that i know the stories very very well i’ve watched the movies to death i’ve read sections of the books i

Just have never sat down and read them from start to finish but i have made a commitment to changing that this year so i want to read the lord of the rings soon and i have now finally from start to finish read the hobbit and yes it

Very much does stack up like it is the thing is that right like i if i don’t know who you are i’m not picking up the phone there’s like three people in my life who i will pick up if they call um and if their name isn’t on my

Phone then i’m not picking up the phone where was i the hobbit we were talking about the hover it really does stack up it is such a brilliant brilliant book it’s very engaging i love the world building i love the story if you’re not familiar with the story of the hobbit

And now i’m assuming that most of you like are but for those of you who haven’t read it haven’t watched the movies the hobbit is about a hobbit which is a small humanoid creature we have this hobbit who is quite a homebody he likes having a good

Cup of tea and sitting next to his fireplace and so one day the wizard gandalf turns up at his home and asks him to go on this adventure with all these dwarfs to help take back the dwarf kingdom inside the mountain away from the dragon who has stolen it and bilbo

Will act as a thief who will aid them in their journey bilbo is a very unlikely hero he is the unlikely hero he is the archetype he is where it came from and so bilbo obviously doesn’t want to go on this adventure to begin with he wants to

Stay in his home and be comfy and cozy and drink his tea but obviously ends up going on the adventure anyway and having a fabulous time and having a whole bunch of character growth this story was inspired by a trip that tolkien took when he was a child with his aunt who

Was a botanist they went and they hiked a mountain and yet there are no speaking women in this whole story there’s not a single female hobbit human dwarf orc what other races are in this book um troll there’s no elf there’s no women anywhere like there’s references to them every now and then

But there’s no characters who are women in this story and so when i was in university i wanted to write my thesis on token and i wanted to look at the implications of this because tolkien is the most influential fantasy writer ever like that’s not an opinion that’s just

Like definitively he is like his influence if you look at the trajectory of the genre and what came before tolkien and what came after like tolkien was so so influential and we owe so much to tolkien in the fantasy genre however the fact that there aren’t any

Women in the hobbit like obviously would have in some way impacted the genre and so that was what i wanted to do my thesis on i didn’t end up going down that route for about 70 different reasons but i did all of the preliminary research and so i’ve read a whole bunch

About tolkien and his childhood and his influences and all of this stuff again i know it’s deeply ironic because i hadn’t technically finished reading the hobbit but anyway i knew the story i had planned to read it before i got any further in my research but if you want

To talk about gender and tolkien i have spent a lot of time on this topic i do genuinely love the hobbit i think it is such a well told story it is so fun it is so funny i think tolkien had a really good understanding for character and

Motivations tolkien is well known for being really really like into world building you know he was really into inventing languages and stuff like that such a beautifully told story it’s so interesting it’s so brilliant it is another very very strong five-star book from me the next book on this list is

The girl who drank the moon by kelly barnhill this is a book that we read together for our book club over on patreon and i have analyzed this book to death and spoken about this book to death over there i think i have like a 19 minute review and analysis of this

Book and so i’m going to try and summarize it quite briefly here so we have this witch who lives in the forest her name is zen and every year she finds a baby abandoned in this one specific spot of the forest zan wanting the baby to be okay takes the baby away and

Delivers it to one of the nice free cities across the forest one year when zen does this as she’s traveling across the forest with this baby she reaches up she accidentally gets the moonlight and feeds it to the baby and the baby becomes a magic imagic

And magic i think that’s the word and so zan decides to adopt this particular baby herself i should say also that this is a children’s story it’s a middle grade story and so it’s a really like quick easy read it’s a very comforting cozy read a good sweet little witchy

Story my only real criticism with this book while i really enjoyed it i thought it was really good overall i liked the tone i liked the whimsy i thought it was quite similar to the girl who circumnavigated fairyland in a ship of homemaking i wish that the overall

Meaning of the story had have been just a bit deeper and a bit more thoughtful like otherwise it was a really fun good story i liked the characters i thought it was enjoyable and engaging and i gave it four stars i’m now moving on to the japanese lit

Books that i read in the last little while and the first one i want to speak about is there’s no such thing as an easy job but this book is a story about a woman in her 30s who lives in japan it’s not clear what part of japan she lives in

But she lives in japan and she has quit her full-time job because she developed burnout syndrome that was one of the reasons actually why i really wanted to read it because i thought ah this is an interesting thing lots of us are feeling burnt out at the moment i know a lot of

People who are experiencing burnout so i’d like to read a book about it overall really enjoyed this book this was another book we read for our patreon book club this story is chopped up structurally into all of the different jobs that she ends up working after she

Quits her like full-time job and so she ends up working these like little weird eclectic short-term jobs but at these jobs weird and slightly wacky things start happening so she ends up writing these adverts for shops that start to disappear she is putting these little factoids on the back of like cracker

Packets which suddenly get like all of these followers and everyone like really really loves these little factoids that she’s writing and so there are elements to this story that are just like a little bit weird and a little bit uncanny however that being said i wouldn’t put this book in like the

Magical realism category i don’t think the magical elements were strong enough to say this book is definitively magical realism like i really wish those parts of the story had been fleshed out quite a bit more because i thought they were really intriguing it just kind of means

That this book has kind of a mildly whimsical tone to it rather than being like a fully fledged magical realism book i quite enjoyed it i had a few little criticisms with it but i thought it was a pretty good book overall and i would give this book 3.5 stars the

Second japanese lit book i want to talk about is nakano thrift shop by hiromi kawakami this is a book which i thought would be set in nakano which is a suburb of tokyo i had a school there where i used to teach at and so i was like yes

Nakano let’s read about the suburb that i like or at least the suburb where i spent some time this book is not set in nakano this book is about a thrift shop which is owned by a man whose last name is nakano and so this story follows a

Young woman who is in her late 20s i believe who works in a thrift shop she doesn’t really know what she’s doing with her life she’s not really sure about many things and it just kind of follows her journey and her experiences of working at this thrift shop i really

Like that this story quite focused on the like objects of the thrift shop and paired the objects to like the characters and their experiences and the stories behind it i thought there were a number of interesting side characters here particularly mr nakano himself and his sister i thought the main character

Was reasonably fleshed out and i thought she had reasonable character development i thought her love interest had a reasonable character development i’m not sure whether it was the like audiobook narrator whether i just didn’t really gel with their voice or not but i kind of struggled to like properly get

Engaged with the story on this one the narrator kept putting on this like really thick accent for mr nakano specifically and he like with the way he spoke he repeated himself a lot and so it became kind of grating sometimes like yeah i wish i had felt more engaged with

The story i wish i had been sucked in by the story more although i did enjoy it i felt like there was a lot of like really nice quiet moments here and it’s a good book if you want to like slow down and read it slowly it’s a pretty calm book

And so yeah i enjoyed the book i thought it was good but i wished i had been hooked on the story a bit more and so for that reason i gave this book 3.5 stars okay and the very final book i want to talk about is they both die at

The end by adam silvera i bawled my eyes out listening to this book like i loved it so much i had a friend who recommended me this book months ago and it took me ages to get around to reading it but i’m so glad i did because it was beautiful and

Brilliant and heartbreaking and just such a good book generally when i was listening to this book i started off listening to it while i was jogging and i i had to actually stop listening to it because i kept like tearing up i didn’t want someone to get on like a treadmill

Next to me and be like why are you crying god you must really hate running this book is about two teenage boys who are named rufus and matteo they don’t know each other at the start of the story and each of them in the early

Hours of the morning get a call from a company called death cast which is a new company it’s like a tech startup type situation they know when people are going to die and so they will give people a heads up on the day that they’re going to die that this is what’s

Going to be happening to them and so mateo and rufus they’re just teenagers and they you know have so many things going on but they both individually get their calls from death cast saying that they’re going to die and so this whole book is set over the course of one day

It’s a really quick book a really good contemporary ya story like i thought it was so good i really loved their characters i loved both rufus and mateo i loved their backstories i felt so like engaged by their stories and i felt like i really really cared about what

Happened to them and so i really liked the characterization in the book i thought the characters were very believable i loved how this book was very centered on like the character journeys of all the people you know like we focus on the main stories of mateo and rufus but there are other people

Here who are affected by death cast and the fact that people are finding out their death dates such a good book and i cried i cried a lot i knew i would cry i got told i would cry from my friends like i knew it would be a sad

Tear-jerking book but i didn’t anticipate how much i was going to love it it’s a very strong five stars if you didn’t get that vibe i really really really enjoyed it and that was the very last book i wanted to speak about today so i hope you guys enjoyed this video i

Hope there were some books here that you found interesting and intriguing and that you can add to your tbr thank you so much everyone for watching this video thank you to everyone over on patreon for supporting this channel if you’re interested in bonus videos behind the scenes content our writing updates our

Monthly book club stuff like that please feel free to check out patreon there’s a link in the description down below take care everyone and i will see you next time bye You

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