A Bookish Update #3

Hey, everyone! So, I started doing these bookish updates a while ago, but I haven’t been reading very much lately so it’s been quite some time since I last posted one of these. (Since last fall, actually? Wow.)

I wanted to talk about what I’ve been reading lately for, among other things, my Gothic lit class, but didn’t know how I would manage to eke out an entire post about just one of those books. And then I remembered that bookish update posts are a THING. Oops. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading lately!

desolationFinished A Little While Ago

Desolation by Derek Landy, I guess. I finished it over a month ago so it’s not exactly a recent read for me, but… yeah, like I said, I haven’t read very much lately. I’ve been either too busy or, when not busy, too tired.

And now that I think about it, it’s fitting that I read this within a few weeks of the beginning of my Gothic lit class, because it’s a YA horror novel and horror is a genre that grew out of the Gothic canon. Very cool!

Just Finished

Yesterday, my class wrapped up our unit on The Monk by Matthew Lewis, which is… I don’t even know how to describe it. At times it pokes fun at the Gothic genre by purposely trying to be as ridiculous as can be, but at other times it takes itself fairly seriously.

One thing I really enjoyed about this novel was the story-within-a-story structure. By this, I mean that one of the characters will start telling a story and then one of the characters from that story tells yet another story, and so on and so forth. It was really fun to read, and at times I completely forgot what was going on in the main plot because I was so absorbed by the digressions.

Ultimately, though, I have mixed feelings about this book. I gave it two stars on Goodreads, although I may later change that rating to three stars because two feels, perhaps, a bit TOO low. I don’t know… the character development of the secondary characters was lacking, and the misogyny really bothered me.

I could write an entire post about that last bit, by the way – I’m always interested in exploring the ways different authors deal with horrible topics like that. I mean, there’s a huge difference between an author who is a straight-up misogynist and an author who includes misogyny in their stories for the express purpose of calling it out. In other words, one or more of their characters treats women horribly but it’s used to show why that’s not OK. I felt that The Monk waffled back and forth between the two, and that makes me stumped as to how to rate it.

the hidden oracleCurrently Reading

I’m currently reading a few different things, but there are two I want to focus on here. The first is Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, which is for that same lit class. I’ve been meaning to read it for FOREVER since I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice so much, so I’m glad that I have a course to motivate me to keep reading it and not become distracted by fifty-five hundred thousand other books. (As I am prone to do.) I love Austen’s sense of humor and the accessibility of her writing, so this has been a breeze to read.

Another book I’m reading is Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky, for my Internet and Journalism class. It’s a bit wordy at times but doesn’t get bogged down in too much theory, and it’s basically about how technology changed how people form groups. It’s easier to interact, to find others of like mind, and to put your opinions out there now that we have the Internet. This is another book I’ve been meaning to read – my journalism prof from the fall, who teaches this online course, recommended it.

Reading Next

I NEED A BREAK FROM SCHOOLISH BOOKS. I want to read Hildafolk by Luke Pearson next! Is it a picture book? Is it a graphic novel? I DON’T EVEN KNOW. I heard about it through Free Comic Book Day and it looked cute, so I picked it up from the library today.

Other than that, I will be reading Dracula by Bram Stoker after the unit on Northanger Abbey, but that doesn’t really count since I studied it in high school and so I’m actually just rereading it. I’m looking forward to it, though, because it is quite possibly my favorite classic EVER. (It’s basically a tie between that or The Great Gatsby. It all depends on what mood I’m in, really.)

our own private universeReading Soon

Hopefully? The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan! I’m so excited to start his latest series, and have heard so many good things about it. Like, Apollo is canonically bi, and Nico & Will’s relationship gets a lot of pagetime too. I’M SO READY FOR THIS. Rick Riordan makes my heart happy. It’s so cool to see the evolution of his writing over time because his earlier series weren’t all that diverse but he’s grown and changed so much in that regard over time.

Recently Added To TBR List

Some of the books I recently found and/or were recommended to me are:

  • SO EXCITED for Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill – the upcoming sequel to one of my favorite LGBTQ+ webcomics! I had no idea she was even writing another story!
  • My Travel Writing professor read excerpts from Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke to us on the last day of class, and the language was so beautiful that now I want to read the whole thing.
  • Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley looks like exactly the cute, lighthearted F/F story I need in my life.
  • Anxiously awaiting an email from the library telling me that I’m next in line to read Saga, Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan! Love  this series.
  • How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity edited by Michael Cart is a YA LGBTQ+ anthology that was published a few years ago, but I only just found out about it. I’ve had more luck reading short stories lately since they’re, well, shorter and easier to focus on, so I look forward to this.


Feel free to steal this idea for your own blog, or answer the questions in the comments! Actually, PLEASE answer the questions in the comments, because I would love to know more about your reading habits! (And what is the best book you’ve read lately? Do you have any recs for me?!)


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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