Book Tag: Books I WANT To Read, But Don’t Want to READ

This tag was created by Jamieson @ Jamishelves. Check out their post for the rules and answers to the question.

I was tagged by bad bitch Mahana , check out her post!

1: A book that you feel you need to read because everyone talks about it

 

 

                            220px-The_Hate_U_Give_(2017_cover)

 

                                                          Buy The Hate U give here!                                                         

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I admit it. I have not read this book nor do I have any plans to do so any time soon. I have never been a contemporary reader and I shy away from ones that tackle heavy topics even more. As a Muslim girl living in America, the reality of some of these topics are just too strong and when I read I am trying to forget that.

 

2: A book that’s really long

 

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                                                                   Buy The Name of the Wind here!                                   

 

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Okay, this book isn’t THAT long but it’s still so incredibly intimidating. High Fantasy books that are more than 400 pages all intimidate me to be honest. I mean I had so many to pick from like The Fifth Season by N.K Jemison or The Black Prism by Brent Weeks or the Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Only reason I didn’t put down WOK for this one is because I’m almost done with it. Hallelujah Audible!

 

3: A book you’ve owned / had on your TBR for too long

 

 

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                                                          Buy Poison Princess here!                                                         

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole 

This baby has been on my tbr since 2013. FIVE YEARS AGO. I have technically been trying to read some of the oldest books on my tbr but Poison Princess keeps missing my attention. Soon though.

4: A book that is ‘required’ reading
(eg, school text, really popular classic – something you feel obligated to read!)

 

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                                                  Buy the Catcher in the Rye here!                                                      

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

I have read most required reading books due to my 6 million English classes in college but this is one that managed to evade me somehow. I’m not exactly planning to read it but maybe in the future, I’ll want to.

 

5: A book that intimidates you

 

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                                                  Buy The Black Prism by Brent Weeks!                                           

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

This one intimidates me mainly because they are such thick books and a long series with a very intricate magic system. I feel like I need to be in the right mindset to actually start this series.

 

6: A book that you think might be slow

 

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                                                   Buy Strange the Dreamer here!                                                       

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I’m already 180 pages into this one but it’s pace is a little slow so I have been pushing it to the bottom of my currently reading pile because I’m too nervous about the slow pacing. I love the characters so much that I know I’m not going to quit it, though!

 

7: A book you need to be in the right mood for

 

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                                                          Buy The Hating Game here!                                                     

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne 

Look away, Mahana, just ignore me. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure which one to go with for this one since I tend to feel this way about contemporary in general. This one is just one I have been putting off since the beginning of time for no reason but the fact that I don’t feel like reading contemporary.

 

8: A book you’re unsure if you will like

 

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                                                                  Buy Enchantee here!                                                           

Enchantee by Gita Trelease

I’m so excited to read this book because France and love and magic but I’m not the biggest fan of books set during wars. I’ve also been hearing a lot of mixed reviews from people I trust but, nonetheless, I am still looking forward to diving into this world!

 

 

Until Next Time,

Ree

 

 

7 Days on Keto: A Millennial’s Take

Let me start with some background on myself and my eating habits. To summarize, they’re horrible. I eat fried foods about 90% of the time and I get Taco Bell almost every single night after work (never before 9 pm). Before that, I was studying abroad in Italy where you can probably imagine, I ate carbs on carbs on carbs. Needless to say, I gained 40 pounds in the past year.

I was riding this carb high until I went to the doctor recently and she told me some alarming health concerns and shared that my resting heart rate was 100+ and she measured it twice. That’s when I decided to start the Keto diet inspired by my friend Mahana, shoutout to her, and am now on day 8.

So to start just a simple explanation and a couple of warnings. The Keto diet depends on your body entering ketosis which means you’re going to start burning fat for fuel. To get into Ketosis, you have to eat little to no carbs and high fats – going against every diet you’ve ever done or read about. In order to stay under your daily allotted intake, you need to start tracking your macros which is way easier than it sounds.

I prefer using the Keto Diet App. You just input your weight and fat percentage and it’ll give you your macros and adjust it along the way as you lose weight.

The Pros

I love this diet. I have never felt like I’ve had more resources for a diet as I have for Keto. There are substitutes for everything you can possibly crave and easy recipes that allow you to indulge in your favorite foods (everything is smothered in cheese!).  I spent my weeks eating keto pizza, keto burgers, keto taco salads, buffalo wild wing traditional wings, keto cookies and keto cheesecakes.

The Cons

It’s unfortunately very easy to mess up some of the recipes and that sets off the whole taste of it. However, if you do get it right, it tastes almost as good as the real deal. If you’re new to Keto and still collecting your keto kitchen it can be very expensive but moving forward when you settle into a normal grocery cycle, it becomes more cost efficient. Lastly, I find it quite difficult to eat out with my friends sometimes since everything has some sort of carbs in it and whenever I do find something it’s not very filling.

But ultimately,

I LOST FIVE POUNDS!!!!!

And I feel better than ever so Keto is definitely going to be something I stick with for a long time.

Until Next Time,

ReeWoman measuring her waist

Middle Eastern Rep in Books? Tragic

It was a cold, dismal day in January – a day so cold that schools gave their students a day off, in other words, the perfect day to cuddle up with a book under the covers with some hot chocolate or tea. A young girl decided she wanted to read a book with a main character that she could relate to; she wanted to see a girl who looked like her go on amazing, fantastical adventures. A girl with dark hair and dark skin, maybe even a girl that wore a hijab just like her older sister. After hours of looking through the books at her local library, she realized something: there aren’t a lot of people that look like her in Young Adult books. She also realized that even if there were some girls that looked like her in these books, they either were forced into a marriage or were a part of a controlling family. She couldn’t find a girl who went on magical adventures with an awesome band of sidekicks. She picked up a random book about a brown haired girl living in a dystopian society and headed home. As she sat down to read it her mind wandered, and rather than read, she thought about why she couldn’t seem to find a book with a girl that looks like her.

 

Orientalism. Orientalism is a term penned by Edward Said, a literature professor at Columbia University, that referred to the idea that the West portrays the East as everything the West is not. If the West is developed and wealthy, then the East is developing and poor. Orientalism is most notably used to explain the stereotypes surrounding the Middle East in film. However, the same argument could be made for the Young Adult book industry. Often times, the Middle East will be portrayed as the ‘other’ or in other words, the enemy lands or lands filled with danger lurking in every corner. This sense of ‘otherness’ is what inspires filmmakers and authors to use the Middle East as a war setting, despite the fact that many Middle Eastern countries have not been in war for decades. Orientalism is also the tool that allows the West to maintain the world hierarchy within media therefore protecting Western privilege. Orientalism places the West in the superior position over the Middle East which gives the West the power to socially rule the entertainment and media worlds.

 

The fact that the West rules the entertainment and media worlds ensures that the faces we see and read about are that of fit, beautiful white characters with very little inclusion of other images that are not the Hollywood ideal. In the book industry, these characters are written out in detail which creates an even stronger otherworldliness to the characters. The same concept of Orientalism that applies to film, also applies to books. Both forms of entertainment serve as tools to ensure and protect Western privilege. Unfortunately, as a result, authors are often taking a risk if they write about someone who does not fit the Western ideal. They run the risk of losing out on a huge market. Whitney Atkinson, a sophomore at Midwestern State University and Youtuber under the name of ‘whittynovels,’ started shifting her Youtube channel into one that takes a more progressive stance regarding social identity issues in 2014 and as a result, has been receiving comments from people saying they are going to stop watching her channel. These people are part of a market that is essentially wary of ‘other’ types of people being normalized in mainstream entertainment. When asked what normalizing means to them and what normalized characters and people stand to gain Atkinson stated, “[w]hen whiteness is normalized in America, it is utterly unquestioned because our people in power (both in the publishing industry, the world of bestselling authors, and otherwise) are typically white cishet men and women.”

 

The stereotypes that are associated with Middle Eastern girls in Young Adult books also serve as a tool to enforce the otherness of the East. In other words, the East condones oppressive practices like forced marriages whereas the West would never. Of course, these stereotypes and the lack of other storylines depicting Middle Eastern girls illustrate that forced marriages are the norm. The most prevalent kind of forced marriage is child marriage. According to UNICEF, 3% of girls under the age of 15 and 18% of girls under the age of 18 are married in the Middle Eastern and North African region. However, these percentages are not indicative of the entire region. For example, Egypt and Lebanon both have developed national strategies and programs to combat the practice of child marriage. However, other countries in the region like Afghanistan and Syria have higher percentages of child marriage. It is important to note that these countries are currently war-torn, which suggests that this practice may be related to tragedy more than it is related to Middle Eastern culture.

 

The existence of these stereotypes not only enforces the current social hierarchy but it affects how Middle Eastern girls view themselves. According to a study conducted by the academic journal Communication Research entitled, “Racial and Gender Differences in the Relationship between Children’s Television use and Self Esteem: a Longitudinal Panel Study,” white girls and black boys and girls have experienced a decrease in self esteem while white boys have experienced an increase in self esteem. Michael Brody, the chair of the media committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, stated that this is due to the fact that white men are often the protagonists in film and TV and are portrayed as strong, rational and powerful whereas girls are often utilized as submissive and sexualized characters. Black boys are also often times portrayed as antagonists or as the sidekick – implying that they are not as good as the white protagonist. Combining the effects of racial and gender stereotyping Middle Eastern girls receive the message that there is nothing in their future but simple roles and average futures, often causing them to disassociate from the milestones these girls could be making in reality.

 

The girl rose with a new found determinism. She placed the book she had been skimming in an already forgotten area of the room and picked up her laptop. She stared at the blank document with a mission to show the world who she really is.