Spin the dawn (The blood of stars, #1), by Elizabeth Lim

I’m in love. I preordered this book on my birthday, June 10th, without really knowing what I was getting into – I’d seen the cover a couple of times, and followed the author on Twitter, and it seemed like a nice and fun book for the summer. I wasn’t disappointed : it arrived at my local Chapters on Thursday (I skipped my lunch break to bike to the store in 40°C weather to go get that book before it closed for the day) and I just couldn’t put it down once I started reading.

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Synopsis

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

On Goodreads, this book is described as “Project runway meets Mulan“, but I’d like to offer a different comparaison – Mulan meets the tailor’s version of Donkeyskin. If you don’t know what Donkeyskin is, there’s some information in English on its Wikipedia page, but the most important part is this :

She  (the princess) went to her fairy godmother who advised her to make impossible demands as a condition of her consent: a dress as bright as the sun, a dress the colors of the moon, a dress all the colors of the sky, and finally, the hide of his marvelous donkey (which produced gold, and thus was the source of his kingdom’s wealth). Such was the king’s desire to marry her that he granted all of them.

In the classic french tale, the king’s tailors work day and night to satisfy the princess’s demands – even though she doesn’t actually want them to succeed. Maia, for the most part of the book, does her best to obey her emperor’s commands, and sew the three magic gowns (three, like in Donkeyskin ! … sorry, I just really love that fairytale) he has asked from her.

What I liked

The writing is really smooth, and once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down anymore. The romance felt natural, and was very well done – I’m a sucker for a good enemies-to-friends-to-lovers trope…and some fake dating on top of that !

I got attached really easily to Maia and her desire to protect and support her family, and Edan’s backstory was very original and really interesting. The pretending-to-be-a-boy part was quite stressful, but had some pretty funny moments too (like Maia being the only one able to walk easily in her glass slippers, while all her male competitors struggled to take a few steps…), and I’m excited to see what will happen next !

The world-building is very well done, and I especially appreciated learning about the rules of magic in A’landi, and the mythology behind the story of the three dresses of Amara.

What I didn’t like

Almost nothing. I wish we would have gotten to see more of the Lady Sarnai, who seems like a really complex and interesting character, but I’m guessing we’ll get all of that in the next book in the series, so it’s not a big negative point. Some plot points were left unresolved, but again – this isn’t a standalone, so I didn’t read it as one, and won’t judge it as one.

Conclusion

Definitely one of my top 3 books of the year so far, 10/10 would recommend. If you like fairytales, brave women who fight for what they believe in, and creative magic, you absolutely need to get your hands on a copy of this book.

At the time I’m writing this blog post, I’m still waiting for the preorder merch, but I’ve seen pictures of it on social media platforms and I CANNOT WAIT to have it in my own hands ! (I’ll add it to this post when I get it).

Family Trust, by Kathy Wang

I finally had the time to read Family Trust, by Kathy Wan, during the #AGameOfBooksathon readathon !

I’ve been seeing that book everywhere for such a log time now, and to be honest, now that I’ve read it, I’m a little disappointed. I almost didn’t want to write a review, because so many people had a good opinion of it and I felt like it just didn’t live up to the hype. Some reviewers recommended it to readers who liked Crazy rich Asians, (which I loved, and reviewed here) and most of the reviews I saw before getting it myself were really positive, so I had great expectations.38359019._uy2416_ss2416_.jpg

Synopsis

Meet Stanley Huang: father, husband, ex-husband, man of unpredictable tastes and temper, aficionado of all-inclusive vacations and bargain luxury goods, newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. For years, Stanley has claimed that he’s worth a small fortune. But the time is now coming when the details of his estate will finally be revealed, and Stanley’s family is nervous.

What I liked

Kathy Wang’s writing is really good, and easy to read, which is probably why this book didn’t end up in my DNF pile – I never had a moment when I didn’t understand what was going on, or who was who (which happens way too much in some books, to be honest). The pace of the story was also good, with enough action to keep the reader alert and interested, but not too much so they don’t have to .

The characters were all interesting in their own way, even though I didn’t always understand their motives for acting like they did. I loved how the author kept switching between each character’s point of view, so we could see how the others saw them, and themselves, and their opinions on the other’s stories. Each character had something new to bring to the story, and it all worked really well  as a whole.

What I didn’t like

The characters were interesting on their own, but I didn’t really feel that much engaged in their individual stories – the parts where they interacted together in me “main plot” was very interesting, but whenever those main characters were on their own, it wasn’t quite as captivating. It felt a bit underwhelming, and even though the idea of the story was really good – a dying man holding on to his secrets while his family members desperately try to secure their inheritance – I felt like it wasn’t executed as well as it could have been.

I also wish we had gotten to see more of Mary’s story (Stanley’s new wife, now caring for a rich old man while her own family tries to get a part of the inheritance too) – I felt like her character was a bit underdeveloped compared to the others, when her story seemed so interesting to read about !

Conclusion

I was expecting to be blown away by this story, but instead, I was left with a vague feeling of unfinished business – unsatisfying, even if the writing was very good. This book isn’t bad at all – it just didn’t work for me. It’s definitely worth reading, if you enjoy complex stories and realistic family dynamics 🙂

Overall, I think this is a 3/5 stars for me, but don’t let that stop you from trying it and make your own opinion ! (And if you do read and review it, feel free to link your review in the comments, I’d love to see what you thought about it !)

Breakfast talks : What is, actually, YA ?

Recently, I was talking to someone about the latest books I read, and I mentioned Descendant of the crane (which I finally found the time to review here !) by Joan He, which is categorized on Goodreads as “Fantasy”, “Fiction”, and “Young Adult”. When I mentioned that last category, the person I was talking to had a surprising reaction : they couldn’t believe that I was reading YA. “YA is for kids”, they told me, “it’s full of bad literature like Twilight and all those sappy romance novels !”.

I disagree. So I turned to the internet, to see what, exactly, is the YA category supposed to be, and what kind of books it includes. Turns out, I had to look at a lot of different blog posts and articles to try and figure this out, so I made a compilation of the answers I found here !

What are the principal categories ?

There’s YA, teen fiction, and new adult. YA is usually separated from teen fiction and new adult by the age ranges and the themes it covers – teen fiction targets mostly from ages 10-14, and New Adult aims to be read by people in the 18-30 age range.

What’s the target population for YA books, then ?

Well, that’s where it gets complicated. See, there’s a lot of disagreement over which age range YA books are intended for – and whether or not that’s the public that’s actually reading YA books. Most publishers and bloggers put the target age range at 13-18 years-old, but a 2012 study on the readers of YA novels stated that more than half of those readers were over 18, with 28% of the total of readers being between 30 and 44 years-old. Not really the intended target, then.

Some people argue that the age range isn’t about who the books are for, but rather who the books are about – that YA books feature mostly Young Adults, from 15 to 25, and talk about the specific issues they live through at this time in their lives. I’m honestly not sure who’s right in this one, so please don’t hesitate to give me your opinion !

What makes YA so different from the other categories ?

YA covers a lot of themes you don’t usually get to see in Teen fiction – including, but not limited to : first love, sex, adult friendships / relationships, the search for your identity…

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But the specificity of YA, for me, is the liberty it brings to the table – you can have absolutely anything you want in YA, have an audacity you can’t find as easily in “real” adult books or in teen fiction. You can have bisexual space pirates, historical fiction with magical realism, high fantasy… more and more diverse books are being published in the YA category, and I, for one, LOVE IT.

Conclusion

YA is a category, not a genre, and that’s what makes it so difficult to describe precisely – but the fact that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what its limits are is what makes it so full of creativity and interesting new ideas !

When I started reading about YA, I wanted to be extra sure of what I would say in this post. After doing all my research online, I went to my local library to talk to the librarian about Young Adult books, who they’re intended for, and who reads them. And so, in the words of my local librarian :

There’s no need to feel ashamed for reading YA, especially because of how good it’s been getting over the last decade or so. There’s no age limit on who’s allowed to read good books – whether it’s in the YA section or the adult fiction section, a good novel is a good novel, and you’ll enjoy it all the same.

Descendant of the crane, by Joan He

I haven’t been able to do an actual book review since forever, so : Descendant of the crane is Joan He’s debut novel, released in April 2019 – and, for once, I actually did buy a book on the day it came out !

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Synopsis

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

What I liked

  • The characters are complex, and feel alive – they have their own character arcs, and I really liked the way they intervened in each other’s story. There’s also some excellent world-building, and the book isn’t too fast-paced (I know there’s a lot of pressure on authors to write books tat are fast-paces all the time, but giving your reader some time to breathe between all your action scenes isn’t a bad thing at all !)

 

  • I like that it’s very different than what I’m used to see in that kind of story – usually, it’s a girl with no power, a secret princess who needs to get to the throne, or marry the prince, or a secret magician persecuted… but Hesina is the queen-to-be and she doesn’t need to go looking for a position of power – she already has it, and needs to focus on other things (like who killed her father, or how broken her country really is).

 

  • There is magic, but magic alone isn’t the be all end all of the story, and even if that might be a drawback for some, it isn’t one for me : I’m honestly a little bit tired of books where the only motivation of the characters is magic, and where the only explanation for someone’s betrayal – or grey morality – is…corruption by magic.

 

  • Courtroom drama ! I loved the courtroom drama. I want more of the courtroom drama. The courtroom drama is delightful and the ex-convict-now-lawyer was a really nice addition tho the mix. There are a lot of twists and turns that you don’t expect, but you never have a moment in the book when you have to stop and say « wait, what’s going on. I don’t understand. » You see what the characters do, and even if their vision of what’s going on isn’t always the truth, it doesn’t confuse the reader.

 

What I didn’t like

I’m going to put the ending in this section – not because it’s bad (on the contrary, it’s unexpected and really good), but because the book ends on a sort of cliffhanger, with Hesina’s arc not being fully finished. I was expecting a standalone book, and that’s (officially) what it is, but I’ve grown used to endings that fell satisfying in a way this one wasn’t. The author has addressed this multiple times, explaining how, in the publishing industry, you don’t really get to choose if you’ll be able to publish 3 books in a series or only one, and that she made Descendant of the crane to be a standalone book, eventually followed by companion books with different characters, in the same universe.

Another point is the character of Akira, which I feel like we didn’t see much of in the book. At some point, I was reading a scene, and then all of a sudden he speaks up – and I realized that I had completely forgotten that he was present in that scene. There was a romance element between him and Hesina, but it wasn’t very present.

Conclusion

I really wish I had preordered this book, because the merch that came with the preorders and the book boxes looks amazing ! Sadly, I didn’t have the money at the time – but I’ll definitely remember to try to preorder more when I see a book that I’d really like to buy !

A very nice bonus, though, is that there’s also a delightful “meet the characters” page on the author’s website ! You can see Hesina’s picture, for example, here !

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a refreshing summer read !

Breakfast talks : My days are too short

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Do you have these days when you feel like there’s just not enough hours in your day to do all the things you want to do ?

Yesterday morning, I woke up at 7, feeling tired and drowsy from lack of sleep. I went to bed at 10pm the night before, thinking a solid 8 hours of sleep would help me get back on my feet the next day and perform better at work… but my flatmates had decided otherwise, and invited their friends for a dinner party in our apartment, that rendered me unable to sleep until 1:30am. Instead of the good 8 hours of sleep I had wished for, I barely managed to get 5:30.

I couldn’t stay in bed any longer, so I took a couple more minutes of rest and then went to take a shower, get dressed and start my day – make my lunch, take a shower, go to work, work for 7 hours with a 30 min lunch break, get out of work, go to a meeting for my volunteering activities, go to the community garden to water my crops, realize that I need to go to the grocery store get some gardening supplies, move my schedule around so I can take an hour for that and leave immediately for the store, go home covered in dirt and mud, take another shower, answer my professional and personal email, wash the dishes and make dinner, check my social media and play a small video game for 20 min to relax a bit. And then it was 11pm and I fell asleep.

My day went by extremely quickly, and I didn’t do half the things I wanted to – or was supposed to.

  • Cleaning my apartment ? Taking out the trash ? That was put aside in the morning, in exchange for those few extra minutes of rest.
  • Going out to meet a friend, maybe get some bubble tea ? I went to buy gardening supplies instead, and told the friend we’d catch up another day.
  • Calling the tennis club to ask if they had any adult beginner’s classes that I could attend ? Sadly, the club was already closed by the time I got home and started sorting through my professional and personal communications.

And then there’s the things I would like to give a little more of my time – taking photos with my camera, for example, would be a nice addition to any day, really, but I can’t carry the camera to work, and would have to go home and then get out again to take pictures. It would take an extra amount of time that I just can’t figure out where to take.

“But Maude”, you’ll tell me, “why don’t you just get rid of superfluous activities in your day ?” That would give you more time ! And yeah, sure, I could cut on those 20 min of video games (or reading, depending on the day) – but would it really do me any good ? Cutting back on your leisure activities often means cutting back on the things that help your mental health and well-being, and I have a feeling that that’s not the right way to go for this.

I don’t have a miracle solution – but I do have some tips that I use to try to make it work :

  • I plan my day in advance, the day before, and go over what I have to do in the morning, to make sure I don’t have to make more than two different trips during the day. I know myself and my strength, and I also know that past 6pm, if I get home, I’m not going out again if I can avoid it in any way.
  • I consider my weekends to be vacation days – and by this, I mean : no work, at all. No thinking about work either. I’m lucky enough to have a job that I can be completely disconnected of during my days off, and I use that fully.

If you don’t have to answer emails this coming Friday, don’t do it. Give your brain the time to power down. Vacation is seen as a luxury, instead of a right, and it’s made it so that few full time working Americans are taking time-off. In 2014 42% of working Americans didn’t take a single vacation day.

(from the blog create and cultivate)

  • I always take the time to do at least 1 leisure activity in my day, usually after dinner – whether it’s video games, reading, editing photos or browsing the web for cool blog articles to read, I know that these briefs moments help me maintain my mental health, and that’s a thing I do NOT want to neglect in any way.
  • I eat good food. And by good food, I don’t mean “healthy” food, just food that makes me happy when I eat it. If ramen makes me happy, I’ll eat ramen. If breakfast food makes me happy, I’ll eat breakfast food, whatever the time may be.

Even though I try my best to stay positive and not let myself be influenced too much by that feeling of not being fast enough, not doing things the way I should, I still have those days when I feel like I’m running out of time and don’t have enough hours to finish everything I have to do. Like I’m not productive enough, and am a bad person because of it. And that’s okay – as long as I know what those emotions are, where they come from, and how I can manage them for the time being, until I feel better about what I do and remember that extreme productivity at the detriment of my mental health isn’t the path I want to follow.

Do you have any tips on how to deal with that ? Any blog posts on that topic that I should read ? Feel free to link them in the comments !

Top ten tuesday – books that I refuse to let anyone touch

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

What are the top ten books that I refuse to let anyone touch ? Oh. Um.

All of them.

I don’t really let other people touch my books – so, instead of the 10 books I don’t let anyone touch, here’s a list of 10 things that make me wary of ever letting anyone other than me touch my precious books :

  • That time I borrowed a book from the library from a friend, who ended up keeping it for months, getting library fees, and letting me bring it back on my own (and pay the fees!) without even reading it.
  • That time I gave a book I borrowed from the library to a friend, who read it, then instagrammed it with a comment about how nice it was to have a moment for herself, and how much she recommended this book… but never tagged me or even sent me the post. (Yeah, I know it’s petty and lame, but I’m extra petty and I felt genuinely hurt.)
  • What if I let someone borrow one of my books, and they don’t even read it ? (They’d break my heart, that’s what would happen)
  • What if someone touches one of my books, and damages the cover ?

There’s also the things that I did (and am ashamed of) :

  • That time I borrowed a book from someone, then moved to another school and never saw them again. I felt terribly guilty and got rid of the book after 10 years by donating it to a charity. What if I lend a book to someone and this happens ??
  • That time I was eating chocolate while reading a romance novel and it made stains on multiple pages. What if someone puts coffee stains on my Harry Potter books ? Grease stains between the pages of my favorite adventure novels ? The horror.
  • That time I didn’t have any bookmarks on hand, so I folded the corner of the page I was on. This book will never be the same again.

There’s also the fact that, sometimes, I write in my books. Which brings me to the following two problems :

  • What if someone writes in one of my books, with something other than pencil, so it can’t ever be erased and the book is defaced forever ?
  • What if someone reads what I wrote ?? (And even worse : tries to talk to me about it ??)

But more importantly, there’s the worst thing I ever did to a book, ever. I was 7 or 8, and it still haunts me. I had obtained a brand new book from A series of unfortunate events, and I was reading it outside our house when my parents called for dinner. I got distracted, and left the book outside.

When I came back, the morning after, the night rain had soaked through all the pages, and half of them had gone flying through our garden – I had to run around all day trying to catch all the missing pages, then dry them all and put them in my toy paper press to make them flat again, and try to bind them in the book again. It was a disaster (and I cried a lot. I mean I was 8, so, an event like that was a really good reason to cry.).

What if someone borrowed one of my books, and let it suffer the same fate by accident ?


That’s it for me ! Hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it !

What are your reasons for not letting friends borrow your books ? And what’s the worst thing you ever did to a book ?

Top ten Tuesday – page to screen

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I’m back with a top Ten Tuesday ! This week, the theme is “page to screen books”, and boy do I have many of those in mind !

Some that I’ve read and watched :

  • The Chronicles of Narnia series – I love the books, and I remember that when the movies came out it was such a huge thing for me ! (It also made me want to actually try Turkish delight. And I hated it. Totally not worth betraying your family over. 0/10 would not recommend).

 

  • The martian : I watched the movie first, absolutely loved it, and then thought “the book is probably even better, let’s give it a chance !” and I was not disappointed.

 

  • Crazy Rich Asians – I actually started reading the books because all the hype about the movie made me discover this series. Then I cried reading the books. And then I cried again watching the movie.

 

  • A series of unfortunate events : read it. Listen to it. Watch it. Devour it. Get a tattoo of it. This is the book of my entire childhood and I will never stop loving it with all my heart – so when Netflix gave me a 3 seasons-long, perfectly adapted TV version of it ? Of course I watched it, multiple times, and learned the dialogues by heart.

 

Books I really need to read :

  • A song of ice and fire – I can’t believe I’ve lived this long without ever trying to read this series. I’ve watched the TV show, of course, like every other person on earth at this point, but I keep hearing about so and so’s amazing character development in the books, and about how “this scene is so different !” or “but what about…” and I need to know.

 

  • American gods : I’ve been watching the TV show for this, and I know it’s good, I can feel it, it’s just that… I don’t get half of what’s going on in this, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I haven’t read the book first !

 

  • Good Omens : I have absolutely no excuse for this one. A friend let me borrow her copy of the book once. I had it in my room for three months. Never read it. I really need to do that before the show comes out though…

 

  • The Expanse – the show is SO GOOD, and when I started watching it I didn’t know it was based on a series of books first, but now that I’ve seen how good the story is, and how well written the characters are, I really need to get my hands on a library copy of those !

 

Books that someone, somewhere, with a lot of money, really needs to adapt :

  • Any of terry pratchett’s books about Sam Vimes. I’d like to see an entire movie about Sam Vimes, in HD, with good cinematography and amazing actors, and the incredible writing of the books, please and thank you very much. With some Angua and Carrot too, if possible. Carrot is played by Chris Evans and Angua by Brie Larson. (What ? You can see that I’ve thought about this way too much ?)

 

  • Ewilan’s Quest : now that we’ve got “realistic” CGI dragons, and special effects for cool magic in every other TV show, a movie (or series, I’m not picky) about a girl who can create things by drawing them in detail in her thoughts – and has to free her people from their monstrous oppressors – shouldn’t be too hard to do, right ? (I insist on monstrous. They’re supposed to look like a ten foot tall mix between a lizard and a mantis, standing upright. And they can talk.

 


And you, what’s the worst book-to-screen adaptation you’ve ever seen ? The best ?

 

April Wrap-Up and May TBR

I’m writing this post from the comfort of a Starbucks chair in the corner of the shop, inside my city’s Chapters bookstore, with a coffee frappuccino and a brand new writing journal (that I may dare to use in the next few months… if the results are any good, I might post them !). I’m the stereotype of the millennial young woman, and I like it.

The month of April has been eventful, with 6 exams at the end of it, 2 big semester-long projects to complete, a whole lot of stress and not enough time to read any more books, let alone write reviews of them. I’ve been feeling extremely guilty for abandoning my work here for two whole weeks (and then wrote a post about self-care, that you can find here !) , but today is my first actual day off since the semester ended, so here I am !

Even though I didn’t completely meet my reading goals this months, I still managed to finish :

– the Uglies trilogy, by Scott Westerfeld, reviewed here.

Art Matters, by Neil Gaiman : you can find my review of it here (made when I had the time, at the beginning of the month…)

Hand to mouth, living in bootstrap America, by Linda Tirado : as I expected, this was a bit too hard for me to review, because of the heavy topic of this book, but it is definitely a must-read for any American out here, and anyone who ever read the sentence “Well if they’re really poor, why don’t they quit smoking ? They’ll save money !” somewhere on the internet, and actually stopped to think about it and try to understand.

Sadly, I did not finish The light between worlds, by Laura Weymouth – I’ve been desperately trying to finish it for two weeks now, and I can’t seem to be able to read more than two pages at a time, so I’ll put this one on my nonexistent March TBR and see if I can finally get to the end of it !

I’m not actually planning a TBR this month, for a couple of reasons – I’m in between two full-time jobs, and just moved into a new apartment, so I’ll need some time to settle into my summer rhythm before I can plan things properly again. For now, I’ll just try to read whenever I can, and stick to my post schedule for some time !

 

Self-care, holidays, and being good with yourself.

This isn’t a review post or a book blogging post, just a quick update on what’s going on with me so far !


This week, I haven’t completely followed my schedule as it was – I was hoping to be able to finish a book I’ve been reading for a few days now, and review it on Thursday, but instead, I’ve been spending my time eating, watching TV shows and having fun with my partner on holiday. It’s not a “real” holiday – we booked a hotel for a week, with breakfast included and a pool we have yet to try (I’m hoping we’ll be able to swim a bit tonight when we get back to the hotel after dinner), but in my city, because it’s the exam session and I can’t really afford to leave, come back for one exam in the middle of the holiday, and go back to having fun after the exam.

But just because I haven’t been reviewing books, doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything ! (Well, except studying – I’m pretty much always studying these days, whether it’s social psychology, learning and memory or working on my paper on the sociology of mental health, there’s always some academic work to do !).

I’ve been following something called the 6 types of self-care, and it’s been working pretty well for me (you can find the page I got it from here).

Self-care is something relatively new in my life : when I left my parent’s house, I didn’t have the money, the time, the energy or the mental capacity to think about taking care of myself beyond eating one proper meal a day and trying to study so I could get a job later. Now that I have a part-time job, and university classes that I actually like in a field I see myself working in for the rest of my life, I’ve been trying to do better, to get better, and that means trying to do that self-care thing a little bit.

So, what are the 6 types of self-care ?

1 . Emotional self-care

Activities that help you connect, process, and reflect on a full range of emotions.


For me, emotional self-care often takes the form of writing – writing articles for this blog, for example, or writing poems. (I had a poetry reading on Monday, and it was really nice !)

2 . Practical self-care

Tasks you complete that fulfill core aspects of your life in order to prevent future stressful situations.
That’s usually, for me, in the form of cleaning my room and my apartment : I find that living in a clean and well organised space makes me feel better about myself, and makes me more efficient in my work – which helps a lot when I’m faced with a stressful situation, like an exam session or an unfinished project due in two days…


That’s usually, for me, in the form of cleaning my room and my apartment : I find that living in a clean and well organised space makes me feel better about myself, and makes me more efficient in my work – which helps a lot when I’m faced with a stressful situation, like an exam session or an unfinished project due in two days…


3 . Physical self-care

Activities you do that improve the well-being of your physical health.


There’s a pool in the hotel we’re staying in right now, so I’m using that as much as I can, but physical self-care doesn’t have to be a specific sport : whatever works for you and helps you feel better in your own body – it can be running, walking to work, using a bike to get your groceries or just dancing in your house while you’re cleaning !

4 . Mental self-care

Any activity that stimulates your mind or your intellect.


That can be, for example, reading ! It’s not what I did this week, but any kind of reading counts, right ? 🙂

5 . Social self-care

Activities that nurture and deepen the relationships with people in your life.


It can be a coffee with colleagues, brunch on sunday morning, or a nice night playing Dungeons and Dragons with a group of friends ! (I did all three and I loved all three !)

6 . Spiritual self-care

Activities that nurture your spirit and allows you to think bigger than yourself. Spiritual self care does not have to be religious, although for some it is.
I’m not a religious person at all, so the spiritual part is, for me, more about reflecting on myself and my goals in life – and taking this holiday is my way of doing this too : I don’t want to push myself too much, and I’ve gotten way too close to a burnout in the first semester of this year, so I’m doing everything I can to avoid doing this again.


I’m not a religious person at all, so the spiritual part is, for me, more about reflecting on myself and my goals in life – and taking this holiday is my way of doing this too : I don’t want to push myself too much, and I’ve gotten way too close to a burnout in the first semester of this year, so I’m doing everything I can to avoid doing this again.


I hope these are a little bit useful – I know it’s not what I usually post, so feel free to comment below and tell me what you thought of this post !

What are your own self-care activities ?

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Rainy day reads

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I don’t have a lot of ideas for this top ten, but I’ll do my best. (It’s actually been raining for a few days in my city now, so, technically, all the books I read since Wednesday are rainy day reads !)

841191 . The magician’s nephew, by C.S. Lewis

2 . The horse and his boy, by C.S. Lewis – Okay, I know that’s kind of cheating, two books of the same series, but hear me out : I’m not putting the entire chronicles of Narnia here, because some of those books bring me more comfort than others, and, for me, the definition of a “rainy day book” is a book that is guaranteed to lift your spirits on a rainy day, when you’re staying in bed to avoid the cold outside of your apartment (or house, for those of you who live in a house !) and hear the sound of the water falling on your window.

3, 4 and 5. Uglies, Pretties, Specials, by Scott Westerfield – I wrote a review of the series here, and I’m putting the first, second and third book on this list (yeah, I’m cheating twice, why not ?), because the books I read in my teenage years seem to give me some sort of nostalgia – the good kind, where you look fondly on your memories and are glad that this book was there, at this moment, and that you read it.

6 . Ellana, la prophétie, by Pierre Bottero – this one is in french, and it’s amazing. It’s definitely one of my favorite books of all time, and it has never failed to bring me joy whenever I read it. Rainy days in bed with this book are always transformed into good days.

(Also, the protagonist has claws like Wolverine. She’s SO COOL.)

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « d'un monde à l'autre »

D’un monde à l’autre, by Pierre Bottero

7 . D’un monde à l’autre, by Pierre Bottero – Another one by the same french author, this is the first book in an amazing series of 13.

It tells the story of Camille, a young french girl, who discovers that she can jump from our world to a parallel universe by using an incredible power, called Imagination. The writing is splendid, the characters come alive before your very eyes, and the way Bottero describes his protagonist’s powers is incredibly poetic.

There’s been multiple editions of these books, and the latest one is the comic book pictured here. (I love it. The art represents perfectly what I pictured in my mind when I read the original text).

8 . The witch who came in from the cold : season one – this is a Serial Box Publishing book, and the first one like this that I ever read (my review is here, but it’s in french !). I got it a while ago, but the atmosphere of this story would be perfect for a rainy day without too much work to do.

9 . Breaking up is hard to do… but you could’ve done better, by Hilary Campbell – I wrote a review of this book here, and it’s on this list just because it’s funny, and I laughed a lot when I read it the first time. And, you know, sometimes on a rainy day, you just need to read something fun to remind you that there’s good things to come, even if you can’t always see them.

10 . I don’t really have a 10th book to add, so I’m leaving this spot empty, and I’ll look at everyone else’s posts for recommendations !