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      April Supporter Giveaway   04/01/2019

        "If you look the right way you can see that the whole world is a garden."   In honour of spring, the April giveaway is a print of this wonderful quote from The Secret Garden (thanks, once again to www.thestorygift.co.uk) along with a Secret Garden tea (Victoria Sponge flavoured!) from the  Literary Tea Company! (You can find them both at their own website theliteraryteacompany.co.uk and at their etsy store www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LiteraryTeaCompany ).   As always, patreon supporters will be entered automatically and if you don't support but want to be included in this month's giveaway you can join the patreon here: www.patreon.com/bookclubforum A winner will be chosen at random on the last day of the month!
Athena

Athena's Reading List 2019

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18 hours ago, Hayley said:

Yay! :lol: I agree, 2018 does seem to have gone quickly. I hope you have a fantastic reading year! 

 

Thanks Hayley :)! You too!

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17 hours ago, bobblybear said:

Have a great reading year in 2019, Athena! :)

 

Thanks BB :)! I hope you have a great reading year in 2019 too :).

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I finished my first book of the year! I read Autism in Heels by Jennifer Cook O'Toole. This is part autism memoir and part guide/help-book written by a woman with autism (in the older classification, Asperger's). I found it an interesting read. There were some parts I didn't quite identify with, but for the most part I really recognised a lot of things. I couldn't quite relate to some aspects of Jennifer's life, as she is an extrovert and I'm very much an introvert. I really liked the check-list in the book and the executive functioning chapter. Trigger warnings are given in the beginning of two chapters, one chapter is about abuse and the other is about self-harm and eating disorders. The chapter about abuse was a bit harder to read and I felt for Jennifer and just wanted to slap the abuser in his face (not that I ever would).

 

Overall I quite enjoyed reading this book :). I think it's a book I'll be re-reading at some point.

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I'm glad you enjoyed your first book of the year! It sounds like quite an emotional read.

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Whoops, I've not been keeping my reading log up to date. Below are books read and some quick thoughts.

 

2. Yoskitoki Oima - A Silent Voice 1: Volume 1 (nice start to the series, most of this volume takes place in elementary school, the later volumes take place in high school I believe)
3. Disney - Donald Duck Pocket 217: Terug in de Tijd (nice nostalgic read)
4. Gigi D. G. - Cucumber Quest 1: The Doughnut Kingdom (I loved this, quite funny and great art style)
5. Paul van Loon (ill. Hugo van Look) - Lees!: Pak me dan! (this was okay, good for children who are just learning to read, but not that interesting to me, an adult who learnt to read many years ago)
6. Paul van Loon (ill. Saskia Halfmouw) - Foeksia de miniheks: Avonturen in het Heksenbos (had read half of these short stories before, the other, unread, half were more interesting. Maybe the series doesn't lent itself so well to re-reads).
7. Max Velthuijs - Dierenfabels: De Eend en de Vos; De Beer en het Varkentje; De Olifant en de Krokodil (this were nice animal fables)
8. Ellen Forney - Marbles (really liked this graphic memoir about a woman with bipolar disorder. Made me think back of the times in my life when I was really depressed.)
9. Aaron Reynolds and Phil McAndrew - Caveboy Dave 1: More Scrawny Than Brawny (re-read) (nice re-read, I liked the art style and it's funny)
10. Bryan Lee O'Malley (Jason Fisher, Dustin Harbin, col. Nathan Fairbairn) - Seconds (I liked the art style, nice magical realism / paranormal story about a girl who works in a restaurant and wants to redo a mistake)
11. Ben Hatke (col. Alex Cambell and Hilary Sycamore) - Mighty Jack 1: Mighty Jack (nice fantasy story, nice art style, bit disappointed that the autism of the sister was not explored more, or even mentioned that it was autism, as the synopsis stated)
12. Ben Hatke (col. Alex Cambell and Hilary Sycamore) - Mighty Jack 2: Mighty Jack and the Goblin King (nice conclusion to the story)
13. Ben Hatke - Nobody Likes a Goblin (this was an okay picture book)
14. Ben Hatke - Little Robot (this was okay)
15. Sara Varon - Bake Sale (I liked the art style but wish the story had gone on beyond the ending.)
16. Aron Nels Steinke - Mr. Wolf's Class 1: Mr. Wolf's Class (I quite liked this graphic novel. The art style was nice and I liked the characters)
17. Kristen Gudsnuk - Making Friends (nice story about a girl in middle school with a magic notepad. She draws an imaginary friend and the friend becomes real)
18. E. J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen - An Asperger's Mystery 4: The Question of the Absentee Father (nice mystery! It was great to learn more about Samuel and his family)
19. Do van Ranst (ill. Maarten Albrechts) - Samuel 2: Laat je niet hangen, Samuel (nice book, couldn't remember much of book 1 unfortunately)
20. Colette de Bruin - Geef me de 5 2: Auti-communicatie (learnt some things about myself, more targeted towards parents with children with autism or unequal relationship. Term 'black-and-white thinking' was an issue to me).
21. Do van Ranst (ill. Maarten Albrechts) - Samuel 3: Weer helemaal Samuel! (nice conclusion to the trilogy)
22. Colette de Bruin and dr. Fabiënne Naber - Geef me de 5 3: Dit is autisme (I really liked the nice illustrations and learnt a bit more about the brain. Some repetition with the previous book I read by the author)

23. Christian O'Donnell (ill. Rob Biddulph) - Radio Boy 1: Radio Boy (this was a nice story. Currently reading book 2).

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Below my most recent book review, it's on 'Dit is autisme' by Colette de Bruin and dr. Fabiënne Naber.

 

 

 

Note: you might understand this video a little bit better, if you watch my review of Auti-communicatie, the book the author wrote before she wrote DIt is autisme, first:

 

 

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Great reviews Gaia! The second book is definitely better visually, even the front cover looks a lot more appealing. I'm glad you enjoyed them :) 

 

Regarding your 'black and white thinking' question, I've never heard it used in terms of the mind before, but it's a common expression in the UK to say 'it's not black and white' when talking about a problem. Like you said, it's about extremes, so it's meant to mean essentially the same thing as 'it's not one extreme or the other.' I don't think this is in any way a comment on race as it's not referring to skin colour, but to the literal extremes of the colour spectrum, neither of which could be skin colours. I do understand why the phrase made you feel uncomfortable though, and I think maybe it's because it was being applied to people, or at least to people's thoughts, and when we think of black and white in terms of people we do associate it with skin colour, even if that's not what the author meant. And if we think of the term 'black and white thinking' in terms of race, it would become awful and definitely racist.

 

On a non-book related note, your dog is gorgeous and I love your 'chemistry is awesome' top :)

 

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21 hours ago, Hayley said:

Great reviews Gaia! The second book is definitely better visually, even the front cover looks a lot more appealing. I'm glad you enjoyed them :) 

 

Thanks, Hayley :)!

 

Quote

Regarding your 'black and white thinking' question, I've never heard it used in terms of the mind before, but it's a common expression in the UK to say 'it's not black and white' when talking about a problem. Like you said, it's about extremes, so it's meant to mean essentially the same thing as 'it's not one extreme or the other.' I don't think this is in any way a comment on race as it's not referring to skin colour, but to the literal extremes of the colour spectrum, neither of which could be skin colours. I do understand why the phrase made you feel uncomfortable though, and I think maybe it's because it was being applied to people, or at least to people's thoughts, and when we think of black and white in terms of people we do associate it with skin colour, even if that's not what the author meant. And if we think of the term 'black and white thinking' in terms of race, it would become awful and definitely racist.

 

Thanks for writing down your thoughts on this :)!

 

Quote

On a non-book related note, your dog is gorgeous and I love your 'chemistry is awesome' top :)

 

Thank you so much! My dog is named Pamuk :). My T-shirt was a birthday gift from my boyfriend :).

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I've done a review on Radio Boy (1) and Radio Boy and the Revenge of Granddad by Christian O'Connell (ill. Rob Biddulph).

 

 

 

 

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I attempted to film a reading vlog during our February read-a-thon:

 

 

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I love the read-a-thon vlog idea! There were some great illustrations in your read-a-thon books and it's nice to get to see that. It's a shame you felt so rubbish on the Sunday, I'm glad you're feeling better now!  

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23 hours ago, Hayley said:

I love the read-a-thon vlog idea! There were some great illustrations in your read-a-thon books and it's nice to get to see that. It's a shame you felt so rubbish on the Sunday, I'm glad you're feeling better now!  

 

Thank you Hayley :)!

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My review of the 3 Lotte Wirwar library loans I read earlier in February:

 

 

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My review of another two library loans, two books about Luna by Nanda Roep. I didn't like them so much!

 

 

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It's a shame the books weren't great. It's really hard to get into a book when you know you're meant to like the main character but you just don't isn't it? I also agree that it was an odd choice to make the only person of colour in the books the villain!

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15 hours ago, Hayley said:

It's a shame the books weren't great. It's really hard to get into a book when you know you're meant to like the main character but you just don't isn't it? I also agree that it was an odd choice to make the only person of colour in the books the villain!

 

I agree, I find it hard to get into a book when I'm not liking the main character(s). Thanks Hayley, I'm glad it's not just me thinking that was an odd choice :).

 

New book review of Kepler62 books 1 & 2 is up:

 

 

 

 

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My book review for Alleen met mijn wereld by Wessel Broekhuis is up. This is a Dutch autism memoir written by the at the time 16-year-old Wessel and published in 2010. It was a nice memoir that I found at my local library. I think it is an impressive debut for a 16-year-old, and I enjoyed reading about the author's love for metal music. I didn't quite relate to the chapter about love though. For more details, see the video below:

 

 

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Next up was the last of my library loans, Songs of a Gorilla Nation by Dawn Prince-Hughes (I read the Dutch translation, titled 'De spiegel van mijn ziel'), an autism memoir. I didn't quite get on with the writing but I liked reading about the author's connection to the gorillas.

 

 

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A few book reviews.

 

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro:

 

 

I really liked this book when I had just finished it, but someone I interact with on YouTube didn't like the book and pointed out some reasons why, and that made me revise my opinion and liked it less too. It's a book about a black gay teenager in California, who has anxiety. It's also about racism, though the word is never mentioned. A lot of things are going on at his black school vs. the white police.

 

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo:

 

 

This is a book about a teenager in Harlem who likes slam poetry. Her mother is quite religious and has strict ideas of how girls should be. The book is written in verse (in poetry format). I didn't quite get on with this format, but I did like the characters and the story of the book.

 

Aya: Life in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie:

 

 

 

This is a graphic novel (well, omnibus) and it is based on Marguerite Abouet's youth of growing up in Ivory Coast in the 1970s. The book is about Aya and her two friends and their families. It's a graphic novel series and originally has 6 volumes, the first 3 are collected in this omnibus I read, the latter 3 are collected in a second omnibus.

 

EDIT: I feel I should probably say that I have several more videos recorded but not posted - I've been reading a lot and I've been making some tag videos. So I have actually already read omnibus 2 in the beginning of March, but I'm still catching up with my videos as I don't want to post too many in too short a time-span. I'll post about the books as I put the videos up.

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