Bookshelf No.1

9 August 2017

Bookshelf No.1 - outline amy
Generally, I suck at reading books. I'm the kind of person who goes through phases of reading 10 books in a row to none for two years (not quite as dramatic, but you get the point). I'm making more of an effort this month to start reading again, as I have such a long list of books I want to get through.

Proof that I am terrible at picking up a book is the fact that I started to read Ctrl Alt Delete: How I Grew Up Online by Emma Gannon in January. Yes JANUARY, and I've only just finished it now. Not because it's not a good book, but because, as stated, I am inherently useless. As a millennial (just ew at that word, but we'll go with it) I could relate to so many of her stories about growing up with the World Wide Web at my fingertips.

From nostalgic and cringy MSN and MySpace tales to editing photos of herself with MS Paint, I was nodding and howling with laughing throughout the book. She does bring up some important points about what needs to change, particularly in regards to trolls and bullying, which seems to be so rife as I scroll through Twitter and Instagram at the moment. Don't even get me started on Facebook and 'fake news'.

For me, I think the most important thing she mentions is how curated blogs, Instagram photos and tweets can be. We're trying to show our best selves, the best bits, the 'perfect' moments. I think this can sometimes be both overwhelming and forgotten. Maybe we need to let go of that perfect flat lay, just little bit and enjoy the gift that the internet is.

Perhaps this resonates with me particularly because I stopped constantly blogging about beauty and took a step back from social media for a while. I stopped wanting to get thousands of more followers, I was so sucked in by it all that I stopped enjoying it. I forgot that I'd made a great bunch of 'internet friends' and realised maybe I needed to appreciate that and them more. That's why I started my blog all over again, changed domains, changed content, changed whatever direction I may or may not be headed in. Have I rambled on too much now and slightly lost the plot? Oh well.

Bookshelf No.1 - outline amy
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I also want to type quickly (ha!) about two books I'm part way through. The first being The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla which is a collection of essays "...bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today."

Never have I read a book and had so many words, lines and phrases move or infuriate me. The essays are full of passion, anger, frustration, humour, and honesty. I remember reading 'Airports and Auditions', the essay written by Riz Ahmed last year before I got this book. I think it was published in/on the Guardian. Whilst that essay, in particular, is actually quite funny, it is equal in its anger.

I'm sure we're all aware, but perhaps somewhat obtusely, that the world can be a nasty, xenophobic place. Sure I'm saying this a white, British woman who can encounter sexism daily, but nothing like what is expressed in some of the essays. It's like a bit of sediment floating around in the back of your eye - when you notice it you can't stop seeing it, but eventually, your brain stops seeing it for you. It's still there though.

Just because we, the world, have made progress in terms of being tolerant, accepting, and open doesn't mean we won't peddle back. Just take a look at the anti-immigration rhetoric splashed on the front of that newspaper you've been reading.

Truly, even though I am only a handful of essays in, this book is a must read.

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Lastly, I want to (hopefully briefly) talk about The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. The book is a collection of her works, both fiction and non-fiction, published posthumously. Her most popular work is probably the title essay, which is the favourite thing I've read so far in the book. 

The book starts with 'The Opposite of Loneliness' essay (you can read it here) and continues with her fiction work, and then further non-fiction. I really enjoyed the titular essay, perhaps because it's something I've experienced. The bubble of a university, of friendships, of flatmates, of that time you were so drunk in that club you can't remember a single detail of that it looks like. It conjured up a nostalgic feeling that for me was both wistful and joyful. 

The first two shorts stories I read I was left less convinced by. They're not bad, maybe just under developed and in need of some editing that she tragically will never get to do. 

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I hope you enjoyed this post, on what turns out to be #BookLoversDay. I'll be posting some art stuff at the weekend, as I've been too busy with having a cold and a hacking cough to sort that post out yet. In the meantime please badger me to keep reading and get back on track with my Goodreads challenge for the year. See ya next time!

2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Amy has read 3 books toward her goal of 10 books.
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