august seems conveniently far away but also disturbingly just two months ago 01
a lot of things happened in august. the kittens who haunt my front door turned two. 02 i went on vacation and spent the days alternating between reading until my eyes fell off and worrying about the cats outside my house not eating enough. i tried befriending ducks and it was an epic failure™. (but i’m fabulous and consoled myself by the flawless logic of how ducks were supposed to be my enemies anyway. because my beloved cats eat them for dinner and if i ended up loving them both then my life would just be Tragic) i learned to stand in pool water that comes up to my chin and not suffocate under the constant nagging fear that i’m going to FALL DOWN AND DROWN UNDER IT.
so apart from the fact that i still very much cannot swim and i haven’t yet won over the ducks, maybe august was a borderline nice month. sometimes. (i mean,,, it TRIED. points for effort. i’m nice)
august was weird and faraway and i read seven books 03 and dnfed one. i learnt how to read books on my kindle while brushing my teeth and filling my water bottle and drinking said water and eating icecream (without, you know, accidentally choking on something like the anoushka of july used to do). i taught myself to eat up words at 2 am when i know full well that i’m going to be sleep-deprived all of next week. i have now descended to the title of multitasker extraordinaire and feel immensely proud of all my recent accomplishments.
but eh. here’s all the books i read last august.
(smol sidenote because it’s so dang hard thinking up ways to very subtly link book reviews in words every time a month ends and i decided to be a lazy olive this friday and kind of just. linked the book covers to all the ginormously smol-numbered reviews i’ve ever ever ever written. to go to a book’s goodreads page, jump onto my reviews and there’ll be links on the page. SOMEWHERE. or you could do all the immense work that comes with typing book titles into goodreads search boxes and navigate the world yourself. you know, WHATEVER YOU WISH. but like,,, everything that doesn’t have a review is still linked to goodreads and nothing has reviews except one measly book SO I THINK I’LL JUST SUBTLY MOVE ON NOW bye)
ok so funny story. it was a saturday in august and i was sprawled out on the cold bedroom floor, contemplating the secrets of the universe. i told myself i should be studying, but i didn’t really want to. studying seemed like so much work and i was tired.
so we arrived at a compromise.
i’d read non-fiction and call it work.
after much consideration and endless brain-frying
(i find it infinitely unnerving how this seemed more interesting to me than the eight other fiction books i was reading alongside. WHO IS SHE AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH ME)
- it’s about computers and the algorithms that govern them. about the morality of the decisions that lines of code make. the way they have and will continue to change the world. the things humanity has accomplished with them and the mistakes it has made.
- it’s also insane amounts of weirdly entertaining. the i-can’t-pull-my-eyes-away kind of amazing. the shit-i-will-give-up-sleep-for-this-and-never-blame-it-for-the-consequences kind of masterpiece. I’D TOTALLY READ IT ALL OVER, AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN FOR THE REST OF MY MORTAL EXISTENCE.
- i think about it at random times and on random days and cackle over all the smol little scenarios that this book describes. IT’S NEW-FAVORITE-BOOK LEVELS OF INSANE.
- obviously cannot vouch for the accuracy of everything within the pages because i’m a measly little potato with no knowledge of the outside world, BUT PLS READ IT OK.
i have this thing with christmas books where no matter how many times i try, i always come out the other end disappointed and vowing NEVER to do that again.
but maybe reading books about christmas smack-dab in the middle of summer works magic. WELCOME TO THE FIRST EVER CHRISTMAS-BOOK I LIKED.
- meet caroline. she hates christmas to the moon and back because bad luck always seems to follow her into it. but then she runs into hannah, her ex-nemesis’ wife, while getting coffee one winter. who hires her as a divorce attorney because aforementioned ex-nemesis and hannah’s husband? YEAH HE’S A DICKWAD. would 893% beat him up with bare hands.
- but caroline accidentally falls in love with hannah (and abbie her smol sweet daughter i love you) and they both adopt each other into their families and it’s very fun. except caroline’s sure sure SURE hannah’s straight.
- HAHAHAH YEAH NO.
- it’s very slow burn and angsty and friends-to-lovers. and it’s fun.
- it also isn’t the best written though? there’s considerable amounts of typos and weird sentence structure and such but GOSH the characters stole my heart. AND I FORGIVE THE WORLD.
in all truthfulness, this was kind of enormously unnecessary.
- it added absolutely nothing to the story and i,,, liked the novel better anyway?
- ALTHOUGH THAT MIGHT JUST BE ME AND MY UNREPENTENT CONVICTION OF CAROLINE BEING INFINITELY BETTER THAN HANNAH (who happens to narrate this novella, by the way. in case, you know, anyone’s confused. SEEING HOW I HAVEN’T REALLY EXPLAINED. UM. ANYTHING)
- but at least there’s more abbie!!! (she’s hannah’s kid and this smol little nine-year-old who’s also the sweetest person in existence. OR MAYBE I’M JUST TRASH FOR KIDS IN BOOKS) so i’ll quit complaining now. (I LOVE YOU ABBIE, MY SMOL CINNAMON ROLL. HAVE THE BEST LIFE)
- i’m kind of conflicted like that.
- it shows some of the ‘when you least expect it’ scenes from inside hannah’s head WHICH IS VERY FUN and also goes a little more into the future.
- good stuff.
me and alkaf’s books don’t really have the best of histories.
- i read her debut novel, the weight of our sky, the one about the 1960s race riots in malaysia and a girl with ocd, four years ago in it’s webcomic version because a friend told me about it. it was nice but not the kind of thing i’d remember forever.
- three days later i discovered it was originally published in novel form so i said ‘i’m a literary person. i must read this’ and continued on to my library to hunt for a copy. i did find a copy and i read it too. some of it atleast. but turns out it was an exact duplicate of the webtoon and i’d just read that one and it wasn’t special. and i was bored. i never finished it.
- but last summer i decided to be brave again and read queen of the tiles, a murder mystery featuring best friends and scrabble.
- it was very addicting but insanely problematic and also disappointing.
- so jan’s review was probably the sole reason i ever even considered picking up hamra’s story. (well that and magic tigers. MAGIC TIGERS ARE VERY COOL)
- turns out i made a good decision for the first time in my entire life.
- because this was surprisingly fun.
- (I LOVE TALKING MAGIC TIGERS WITH SAD STORIES WHO CAN’T REMEMBER THEIR HUMAN NAMES BUT ACCIDENTALLY END UP LOVING THE CHILDREN THEY’VE SWORN AS THEIR MORTAL ENEMIES. also grandparents in books and characters who write clues on papers because they have mortal worries like forgetting everything important. i feel very seen)
this was literal unedited trash.
as in, i’m pretty sure the writers kind of just went all “oh wait let’s write a book based on our lectures, and then we’ll never read it again and just directly send it to the publishers and nevermind wasting money on editors they’re entirely useless anyway and we shall obviously already have written this book to perfection what are they even going to do, LET’S START.”
- which is how i dnf-ed it 15% through. but i’m a mean person and i want to rant.
- look you know a book is trash when it literally spells it’s own title wrong in the preface.
- because hahaha WHAT.
- no seriously. that was so dumb of it it’s actually borderline hilarious.
- i spent 3648% of this reading experience wondering whether my kindle was glitching (turns out it wasn’t. the writers are just severely in need of grammar lessons. SO YAY, i guess)
- but whatever THAT WAS TORTURE AND I SUGGEST YOU SAVE YOURSELVES BYE.
in august i read science fiction and i didn’t say goodbye to it while sobbing into my pillows about how terrible it was!!! maybe august was magic.
- this is the story of mark watney, the nasa astronaut who gets left behind on mars. which is honestly a pretty cool place to get left behind on if you think about all the choices you might have had.
- because even if you die, you leave behind a legacy.
- eh but i guess a legacy wouldn’t be much use if you did, you know, end up dying. and there’s an infinite more ways that you could end up dead than survive the night.
- this features potato farms in temporary mars shelters and potato farms in rovers and in spaceships. there’s also agatha christie and flashbacks to nasa and the rocket that’s taking the rest of watney’s crew members to earth alone.
- it’s also slight physics-y genius and i understood nothing but ONE DAY okay. ONE DAY.
- i still need to get my priorities in order and spend an entire afternoon watching the movie, though. WE’RE WORKING ON IT.
if i could go back in time, my first stop would be june. someone needs to tell anoushka-of-four-months-ago not to read this book because I WAS THE ONE TORTURED. this was such absolute trash i still think about it sometimes and cry from unshed fury.
- everyone says the writing’s heavenly gorgeousness but i?? did not see it?? it was so stiff and formal and boring and over-the-top descriptive for something that’s supposed to be narrated in first-person. i spent 375947% of my endless supply of time wondering why the main character would spend more time stringing pretty words together than doing fun stuff like archery and learning to sword fight the imperial beasts. IT’S SHEER HEADLESSNESS DON’T EVER READ THIS.
- also, as is common with 9783% of the books i read, everyone’s boring. WHAT’S UP WITH AUTHORS AND THEIR INABILITY TO CREATE CHARACTERS WHO FEEL LIKE REAL FRICKIN HUMANS THESE DAYS?? because i’m genuinely curious.
- i read this one review on goodreads that talks about how this book has ‘the good kind of love triangle’ and i honest to goodness laughed so hard the skies shook and fell. look,, if by ‘the good kind of love triangle’ you mean two stupid boys who need to sort out their priorities and grow up and develop more personality than ‘ohmygosh i love you and i want you but WOW i can’t have you life is so mean i will cry ahhhhh’, falling for the lone girl who hides beneath treasonous secrets and unforeseen stupidity and randomly assigned talents she’s had no part in developing, THEN YES. this book DOES have the good kind of love triangle.
- anyway. i’ll stop now.
welcome to stories. but part 2.
this was a little bit like if jesse q. sutanto wrote a tv show that went rogue halfway through. it’s hilarious and immensely entertaining. but unlike the jesse q. sutanto books, it isn’t the best thing in the world. which sucks. a little.
- i loved the first couple episodes SO MUCH but it kind of went all downhill after that and i gave up sometime in the third season.
- it’s hilarious and very asian and it’s about this one korean-canadian family that owns a convenience store. but the characters get very annoying after a while and like,, there’s SO MANY of them but i hated everyone at some point.
- SOME OF THE SIDE CHARACTERS ARE JUST PLAIN MEAN AND MAKE YOU WANT TO CHOKE THEM.
- which i don’t recommend doing though because they aren’t worth the jail sentence. SO MAYBE JUST DON’T MAKE MY MISTAKES. (by which i mean watching this. obviously)
- also why are everyone’s relationships doomed from the moment that we first hear about them?? (it’s FISHY) (and just plain dumb?) (idk man) they all stay together for like one episode and are never talked about again. I DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND THIS.
- but there’s lots of random dog appearances throught the episodes. which kind of saves the whole show. a little.
this one day in august i spent two hours trying to copy caramel popcorn recipes off youtube and the experience taught me to swear off trying to create edible food forever. but i still ate them. BECAUSE TWO HOURS DANGIT. and i watched this as a treat.
- disney movies are very fun and nice and beautiful in an incapable-of-disappointing kind of way. this wasn’t even the least bit original but i still adored it okay. i’m basic.
- it takes place in this world where elements live. fire and water and air and earth. it’s about belonging and obligations versus following your heart and tells the story of this one girl made of fire who doesn’t fit in in the city she lives in. because she’s fire. and fire devours everything.
- her name is ember and she has a fiery temper and she hates people sometimes and her rage makes her house burn. which honestly isn’t the best ever because she lives in a convenience store that her family runs.
- but one day she accidentally falls in love with a boy made of water. his name is wade.
- it’s a very LOVE SAVES ALL kind of story which should technically make me mad?? BUT WADE IS SUCH A KID I HONESTLY CAN’T EVEN SUMMON RAGE. he’s very smol and cries a lot and loves the world and is just so darn happy all the time.
- it’s a faux romeo and juliet retelling of sorts and pretty much the only thing to date that i’ve described that way but still wholeheartedly love. (i have a romeo and juliet vendetta)
- but like i’m also holding out hopes for these violent delights too so i desperately hope this isn’t the last time i say it either. BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE SAD AND THEN YOU’D ALL JUST HAVE LIED TO ME. #mean.
welcome to secrets and MY CATS. because i’m 27393% certain my get-cat-minions-so-they-can-help-conquer-the-world-someday plan flopped COMPLETELY AND EPICALLY seeing as how they could rule over me and i’d gladly be their slave and bow to every demand they make.
(THIS IS NOT GOING THE WAY I ASSUMED IT WOULD)
- august was long and short and blurred. i don’t really remember where it ended and september began. but august was fun too. i taught myself how to code harder things and i went on a two-day vacation during which i watched copious amounts of tv and read copious amounts of books. i also ate chocolates and smuggled cat food into parks because the cats there are underfed. august was nice like that.
- i may be entirely confused over what else actually happened in august though. because i just. LOOK I FORGOT OKAY. but can confirm with absolute certainty that it wasn’t the worst month of 2023 so that’s something. RIGHT?
- i mean,, i have cats now!!! sure, they live outside my door and aren’t officially allowed inside the house BUT OHMYGOSH I HAVE CATS AND THEY FOLLOW ME AROUND AND WILLINGLY SIT ON MY LAP AND FIGHT EACH OTHER TO EARN PETS. i’m that kid on the porch who gets to have all the neighborhood cats sleep on her front steps and crowd the door everytime she goes out so that at any given second i’m 236373% certain i’m going to either A) step on someone’s tail B) close the door on a paw or C) trip on someone and break the concrete.
- and like,, this is my childhood dream!!!! i’m living such a NICE life.
(because three whole paragraphs dedicated to them in a 3000 word post on a supposed “book” blog 05 obviously wasn’t enough okay)
- the kittens are two months old now AND THEY LOOK HUGE IT’S INSANE. only a couple weeks ago they used to walk really awkward and trot around because their legs were weak and kind of unruly but they’ve learnt to run now!!! MY SMOL KIDS.
- they also like to attack me by climbing on my back when i’m sitting on the stairs and facing the other side. BUT IT’S KIND OF CUTE AND I’M WEAK SO I FORGIVE THEM.
they climb walls sometimes and jump into our backyard and we play with bowls and fallen twigs. i tell them stories and they stare at the cardboard houses that acted like their homes two months ago. and they claw at the door and jump on window sills and meow meow meow when i go back inside.
(i’m starting to think they like all the attention even though they pretend so hard to be annoyed by me constantly looking over shoulders into their business)
img 1: oh also we finally finally named them!! they’re all winnie-the-pooh based because obviously. the one with the varying shades of white and black and brown fur is called winnie and he’s naughty. he likes running inside the house everytime someone opens the door and refuses to go out. he’s smol.
img 2: this one’s roo. like the baby kangaroo. because she reminds me of him. she’s shy but she meows a lot and likes sleeping in doorways. she also climbs on the window sill in the backyard and tries jumping inside the house through wire nets.
img 3: they’re currently both very unruly and wild and get beaten by my other cats sometimes because they try to steal everyone’s milk. they like crunching on cat food but refuse to eat the crumbs.
img 4: they spend all their free time biting each other’s feet and chasing everyone around the house and jumping on random pieces of plastic so that it makes crackling sounds. they also play with nijo’s tail sometimes. and also the tails of every other cat who comes to the door. NO ONE’S SAFE FROM MY SMOL LITTLE BEASTS.
img 5: this is winnie and he has big ears and looks like a baby volcra. but cuter.
img 6: lately nijo has taken to ruling over the house and she likes to sleep everywhere that’s cold and slow-blink at everyone, which annoys my mum. BUT NIJO IS THE MOST PERFECT HUMAN ALIVE AND INCAPABLE OF WRONGDOING. i love her so much, my best cat.
01 which it technically was. but SHH DON’T CONTRADICT ME BOB
02 months. not years. they’re smol.
03 one of which was the andy-weir-diary-of-an-asscan four-page novella, featuring the smol little backstory of watney’s astronaut training before he ever left for mars, so maybe calling them all novels is a bit of a fetch. but as far as prequels go, this was unexpectedly entertaining for something that’s a mere four pages. maybe weir’s just a genius and the world doesn’t know about it yet. BECAUSE WOW SHORT STORIES AND ME AREN’T USUALLY SUPPOSED TO GO ALONG LIKE THAT.
04 LOOK I’M CONFUSED TOO. searching up fun computer books took waaaay more brain-power than homework would have. which completely defeats my purpose. but i don’t have entire foot-long brain spaces dedicated to nonfiction i want to read someday like i do for fiction. so.
ALSO THIS WAS FUN DANGIT.
05 although at this point maybe we can all just live with the sad little certainty that this has never really been a book blog to begin with. because when it was born, it advertised olives. and then it was filled with screams. and currently the cats run it with their antics. MY SMOL BLOG IS DOOMED.
how was your august and what did it look like? do you have cats? (IF YES THEN WHERE ARE THE PHOTOS YOU MONSTER) DO THEY BOW TO YOU OR DO YOU BOW TO THEM?? have you ever considered taking over the world? or reading all the books in it?