Top 5 Books I Want To Read

Top 5 Books I Want To Read

After months of gather dust on the shelf, these are my top five books that I will read this year.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to tackle the massive To-Read stack of books on my shelf. What better way to complete my goal by making myself a list to start out?

1. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom is the second book in a duology following Six Of Crows. This duology has been on my radar for a while, and I finally got around to finishing Six Of Crows at the beginning of January. I'm more than excited to figure out what happens to this cast of characters! I won't go into much detail so I don't spoil the first book, but this book is basically about what happens to this band of criminals after their heist.

2. Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Oddly enough, this is another second book in a duology on my list! I finished Magonia sometime last year and picked up Aerie pretty much as soon as it came out. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten around to tackling it. Once again, I won't spoil, but it follows the main character Aza Ray as she travels back to Magonia.

3. Timekeeper by Tara Sim

This book on my list is my most recent book purchase, and therefore I'm requiring myself to justify the purchase by reading it this year. Timekeeper is a romance set in an alternate Victorian world (which is my favorite setting) controlled by clock towers. These clock towers have the power to halt and break time. This book is the first book in a triology, so I'm hoping to finish this and keep up with the series as the books come out!

4. Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin

Spare and Found Parts was a total impulse buy for me. I took one look at the cover and bought it, almost without even reading the synopsis. This book follows a girl who is the daughter of an inventor famous for saving people (including the main character) from a virus with biomechanical limbs. She discovers a fake hand on the beach and gets an idea to build a person.

5. A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

A Shadow Bright and Burning is an interesting twist on the chose one story. Henrietta lives in a society where only males are sorcerers. At least, until she comes around. She tries to hid her abilities in fear that she will be executed, until one day she's forced to use her powers to save her friend. Instead, she's taken into Victorian London, and is declared the prophesied one. I've been excited about this book for a while, and I'm honestly ashamed of myself for not reading it sooner.

What's on your to-read list for 2017?

Cover Image Credit: Ian Richards on Flickr

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Why I Listen to Depressing Music Even Though I'm Depressed

Music that's powerful, music that speaks to me, music that means something.

It took me a long time to find my preferred genre of music. In middle school, I remember listening to pop songs that I often heard on the radio. I could (and still can) rap the entirety of Super Bass by Nicki Minaj and I dreamt about my crush professing his love to me by serenading me with Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes. 

By my freshman year of high school, those songs were no longer cool, so I went along with the crowd and started listening to the next most popular type of music: trap music. In my experience, these artists talked solely about fucking bitches and smoking ganja, even though, at that point in my life, I had no intent of having intercourse or "doing" the marijuana (boy was I naive). Though I listened to these genres to appease everyone else, I never felt completed like so many people claimed to feel when they listened to music. I did not have a passion for any bands or artists and I did not feel any sort of deep connection while I was listening.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I decided to explore certain genres that I hadn’t yet explored. The first bands I really grew to love were the Arctic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant, and The Kooks. Their music not only sounded great, but the lyrics actually meant something. They spoke about relationships, internal struggles, mental issues, and societal problems. Their lyrics resonated with me, and, surprisingly, the most depressing of their material resonated the most.

I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember, though I was not diagnosed until a little over a year ago. I’ve been on meds and have learned coping techniques, but the most counterintuitive of those techniques is listening to these depressing songs.

One of the hardest struggles I have with depression is not being able to tell people how I am feeling, not because I don’t want to, but because I don’t have the words. I find that listening to others put into words the exact emotions that I have not been able to convey myself is quite reassuring.  These songs help me better understand my own emotions and give me an idea of how to turn those emotions into spoken language. 

When Alex Turner says “you can shriek until you’re hollow or whisper it the other way” or when AJJ says "everything is real, but it's also just as fake” I feel as if someone has entered my thoughts and put into lyrics the fears and feelings I struggle with on a daily basis. These songs make me feel as if there is a whole community of people out there who experience the same, seemingly-lonely experiences that I do. I feel more connected to the world when I listen to this type of music. I feel understood.

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Two Inspiring Movies Everyone Should See

Movies that take you on an emotional roller coaster.

I have always loved watching movies, especially ones with inspiring and emotional storylines. I get very invested and intrigued (maybe a little too much), but I love having that whirlwind of emotions throughout the entire movie.

Recently, I got the opportunity to see two amazing movies that I think are very important and had a huge effect on me. The films were “Lady Bird” and “Call Me by Your Name”. Both of these films came out in 2017 so they are fairly new. They are making a huge impact and receiving a lot of deserved recognition.

“Lady Bird” has such a special storyline. It follows the relationship between a mother and daughter in such a realistic way. As many girls know, a relationship with a mother is not always an easy one and the film really captures that frustration.

It follows the life of a young girl that is about to leave to go to college. So many things change for girls during this time and there are so many emotional challenges and obstacles. I absolutely love how this film displays this situation and many relationships in a very graphic and honest way. I think it is so important for young girls to watch this film and channel all those feelings. It is incredibly relatable and it reminds girls to be courageous.

“Call Me by Your Name” is seriously one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It is a love story, which we have seen is countless movies, but this film displays a relationship in such a unique and beautiful way.

The best thing about this movie is that it is awkward at some points and maybe even a little uncomfortable. I admire this because love and relationships aren’t always magical and perfect. It expresses a type of love that is so unapologetic and pure. I could watch it over and over and still have the same inspiring feeling at the end. If you are a fan of emotional love stories or small independent films watch this movie. You will not regret it.

Cover Image Credit: Connor Limbocker

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