Friday, June 29, 2018

Books To Read When the World is a Dumpster Fire

Hey y'all.

It's hot as hell here in New York today. New York has this particularly humid quality during the summer that makes everything sticky.

I keep hearing rumors that in some regions of the country, there's this thing called a dry heat. What does that feel like? I've never experienced a summer with dry heat.

Anyway. The world feels like an increasingly dumpster fire-like place. When the world feels fairly doom-laden, I find it hard to be creative. Also, with limited time at the moment to be creative, the doom-laden parts of current events weigh a bit more because writing is not only a deep hobby and a continual puzzle and pursuit of mine, it's also my major mental, emotional, and creative outlet. So even if I want to unload issues in writing, sometimes I find that I can't because the world sucks or I'm just really tired or really, I only want to watch YouTube and not do anything else.

And that's when reading comes in.

I'm 5 books ahead of where I should be in my Goodreads reading goal.

For me, of course, my solace reading is usually something romance. I've read a lot of contemporary romance this year because a) I'm trying to write a contemporary romance and b) I've been wanting to read more diverse stories and many of the diverse authors and stories I want are contemporary set.

My other solace reading is fanfiction, which is truly when I want to read something but my brain is like, "I want words but I want to shut off."

But I always like to try to explore other genres as part of my annual reading challenge, too. This year, I've read a couple of books I missed reading as a kid because I was never a big fantasy reader as a child: A Wrinkle In Time and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. They were wonderful.

I've read a couple of travel memoirs. They were different in style and in where the authors traveled, but I loved reading about different cultures, languages, ambiences, and food.

My friend Krystal released a supernatural and fantasy novel earlier in this year--fantasy is a really good escape when the world feels like it's falling apart. I mean, think about The Lord of the Rings, which I was obsessed with in high school and college. Middle-Earth is in peril. Everyone fights to save it from certain destruction.

My favorite book this year is a steampunk novel set in China during the Opium Wars, called Gunpowder Alchemy.

I try to read enough nonfiction in the course of a year because I like learning things. You never know what'll prove useful or inspiring for fiction, for one thing. I tend to read history and generally, when someone takes the time and research to write about something historical, it's because that subject or time period was a true dumpster fire of a time.

So in a way, that's consoling?

What do you do when the world is tilted on the wrong axis? Do you read? What do you read?

4 comments:

  1. I'm not going to say dry heat is great, because it's not, but my shirt was sticking to my back after being outside for three minutes today. That doesn't happen after three minutes in dry heat. I like summer best when it's raining. ^_^

    Gunpowder Alchemy is in my book budget for next month. :) When things feel chaotic, I have a tendency to read books with pictures. They're consoling. I just finished a manga-ized version of Pride of Prejudice that was kind of weird, but fun. I'm picking up the manga version of Emma next month. I'm probably also getting Sense & Sensibility. I watched the BBC version a few months ago finally, and I loved it!

    Shout out! :D

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    1. I experienced a TN summer once and that was sooo sticky. NYC gets humid, sticky, hot--the subways are like ovens--and the city tends to stink during the summer.

      Gunpowder Alchemy was sooo good! It was so fun.

      I like the idea of reading graphic novels when things feel nuts. I haven't actually read any graphic novels, though.

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  2. Wow. That's quite the line up of reads. Fantasy is a wonderful escape. I'm thinking of grabbing up something which takes places on an iceberg...maybe the thoughts will cool.

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    1. I've been all over reading-wise lol! But I just DNF'd a book and the current book I'm reading is interesting, but it's about stuff I know already, so...

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