The Anti-TBR Tag

Hello, it’s me, popping back for a quick tag before disappearing for another 6 weeks!

University started back in October and since I wanted to prioritize my study, I decided to take some time off blogging until I figure out how to fit it in my daily life. I still haven’t quite figured it out yet, but it’s coming together, I promise. Also, have I mentioned that I’m a humanities major yet? Yeah! It was rough changing major but I made it! That’s why I have to work extra hard, I need to prove to everyone that my decision isn’t a mistake and if I fail any class it’s going to be so embarrassing as hell 🥲

But anyway! I saw this tag on Kristin Kraves Books and Inside My Library Mind (make sure to visit their blogs to see their answers!!) and thought it would be fun to talk about books I don’t want to read 👀 This tag was created by Nicole & Her Books, so go check her out!

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15 Translated Horror / Thriller Books by Asian Authors You Can Read This Halloween

Can you believe it’s already mid-October? I’ve blinked, like, twice.

I hope y’all are enjoying the spooky season! I literally have not read any horror novels—aside from a few short stories here and there—but it’s the thought that counts ❤️

Last week, I talked about 15 spooky books by authors of color. Originally, I planned to include translated literature as well. However, the list got too overwhelming and I decided to split it into two posts. I’ve always wanted to give more spotlight to translated literature on my blog, so this is just perfect!

I did want to include books from outside of Asia, but in the end I decided to keep this post focus on the area I’m most familiar with because I’d know where and what to look for. Or so I thought. It took me longer than I’d expected to put together this list. It’s not like there aren’t many Asian horror/thriller in translation out there, but the majority of them are from East Asia, especially Japan. (There isn’t even a lot of Chinese literature being translated, which kind of annoys me.) I tried my best to have more of a variety in this post, but I still wish I’d done a better job than this. So, uh, there’s that.

But! I’m still pretty proud of this list! So let’s get right to it!

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adul horror / thriller by authors of color

15 Adult Horror / Thriller Books by Authors of Color to Devour This Spooky Season

What do you do when you’ve “accidentally” added too many books to your monthly to-read list to the point you know there’s no way you’re going to finish it and don’t want to embarrass yourself by posting the TBR for everyone to see—but still need a reason to talk about your list of books because you love it too much?

You make a listicle.

Anyway… It’s October! The Spooky Month!

I’m normally not the biggest fan of Halloween—we don’t even have Halloween in Vietnam. But for some reason—it may be because of the chill in the air, the fact that we have a blue moon on Halloween night, or the reality that 2020 has basically been a horror show—but I’m strangely excited for this October. So excited that my Halloween TBR has over 40 titles. Yeah.

However, the majority of the books from said TBR are written by authors of color. This mostly stems from the principle that unless it’s classics or really, really good, there’s no reason for me to read books written by white men. Especially horror, considering how thinly veiled racism has been prevalent, even a core, in this genre for ages. But I digress.

As the title suggests, I will only talk about adult fiction. The reason for this is that a) I haven’t been in the mood for Young Adult lately and b) there’s something about YA horror/thriller as a genre that makes me uneasy? Like, all these characters are literally teenagers, I don’t really want to read about them going through pain and the like. (But that’s just how I’m feeling at the moment, and there are still tons of spooky YA titles I want to check out in the future!) Also, in this particular post, I try to include backlists whenever possible—I’m sure you’ve seen Mexican Gothic recommended enough times already.

Okay! I’ll stop rambling! Let’s see which books we’ve got here!

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Monthly Wrap-up — August & September 2020 (In Which I Talk About My New Rating System, Historical Romance, Good Music & More)

[blows a kiss at the moon] For Chị Hằng ❤️

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to everyone who’s celebrating! I hope you all are having a great (and safe) time with your loved ones and eating a lot of mooncakes! 🥮

Anyway! We have a wrap-up to do!

If you traveled back to 2018 and told past-me that I would fall in love with historical romance and read (almost) nothing but historical romance for two months, I would probably think you were telling a very unfunny joke. Ngọc, willingly pick up a book with half-naked models on the cover, much less enjoy it?

Fast forward to October 2020, when I admit that I read (almost) nothing but historical romance for two months and enjoyed it very much.

Well. I have nothing to say in my defense. I’m a clown. We been known.

August and September also marked the first time in ages I was interested enough in any TV series to actually watch them. I started two, in fact. I haven’t completed either, but I’ve already pirated them—listen, streaming is expensive, and Netflix doesn’t need to make more money—so I will finish them sometime soon.

Alright, let’s get into the details, shall we?

(P.S. This is such a long post like what the hell 😭 The formatting is kinda scuffed too, and I’ve already spent a day working on it. [sighs] My sister told me I should just start a draft for my wrap-up at the beginning of the month and add more books as I finish them and… That’s a good idea? Because doing what I do every month is hell.)

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Book Review — Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall Book Cover

Title: Boyfriend Material
Author: Alexis HALL
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: July 7, 2020

One (fake) boyfriend
Practically perfect in every way

Luc O’Donnell is tangentially—and reluctantly—famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he’s never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad’s making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.

To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he’s never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.

But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go.

Rating: 1 out of 5.


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I’m Back?! (feat. New Blog Name & More)

Hello friends! How are y’all doing? I hope you all are doing well and staying safe. Don’t forget to wear a mask and take precautions when you go out!

It’s been seven months since my last post, and ten since I last had a semi-regular publishing schedule. I’ve been thinking about returning to blogging for a while now, mainly because I miss having a place to publish my ramblings and partly because it’s nice to have a community. I planned to announce this last month—I finished revamping my blog mid-August, actually—but I kept putting it off because I don’t know what to say. I can’t just say “I’m back!” and be done with it, can I?

I mean, I can talk about all the new changes with my blog. It just feels kind of awkward, for some reasons. This is my third attempt at writing this post and it doesn’t sound half-bad, so I guess I’m going with it. 😎

(how am i supposed to be “back at blogging” if i can’t write one simple announcement post, jesus christ.)

(also, i swear the rest of the post is better than this. please don’t leave yet.)

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Blog Tour Review — The Wolf of Oren-yaro by K.S. Villoso: An Exciting and Action-Packed Adult Fantasy Debut

Hi, hello, yes! I’m back after almost three months of hiatus! I’ve missed blogging so much. A lot has happened during those months, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it soon! However, I’m not here today to talk about my boring life.

As the title suggests, we are here because it’s my stop for the INTL #HailTheBitchQueen blog tour, hosted by the amazing Caffeine Book Tours. (Very fitting, since I’m also running on caffeine right now.) Make sure to check out their Twitter and this thread to follow along with the tour!

I apologize for the slight delay of my post. It’s been a while since I wrote a proper review and it took longer than I had expected 😭. I’m very excited to show you my full thoughts on The Wolf of Oren-yaro, though! I went into the book knowing very little, and I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed it. 2020 is shaping up to be a good year for fantasy!

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Anything But Books Tag

I came across this tag on Book Princess Reviews and thought it was the perfect tag to do. I’m in a reading slump right now and it kind of shows in the way I talk about it, so talking about something else entirely seems like the better idea. This is such an cool tag and I had a lot of fun doing it!

The tag was created by ReadorRiot! The first question of the tag has been altered at some point since its creation, so don’t be surprised if you see a different question in the original video!

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Monthly Wrap-up — October 2019

October is over. Finally.

I’m actually surprised that October is over. I’m so busy with schoolwork and personal projects that the concept of time kind of escapes me. Add terrible physical and mental health into the mix and you can see why I just wanted this month to end. I’ll have more free time in November, I think. (Also, it’s finally appropriate to blast Christmas music all day hehe.)

October wasn’t all bad, though. It was exhausting, but it was also pretty okay if I’m being honest. I started learning a new language—and it’s going very well! I finished my first ever audiobook! I found a new favorite anime! My favorite ongoing manga series is tearing my heart into shreds! See, very okay indeed.

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ARC Review — Spellbound by Allie Therin

This review is so long overdue.

It took me 3 months to get myself to sit down and write this review. I’d read this book back in July, but then camp happened and I went [no thoughts head empty] for a few months. But it’s here now!

One overdue review down… several more to go. I made The Rookie Mistake and requested too many ARCs. I feel so guilty not reading and reviewing them, though, so this is my first attempt to tackle it 😔

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