Books I’m Reading This Week | TBR January 2017 [CC]


The light’s already fading, so I don’t know if I’m going to be able to hang on to the light for this video. I wanted to talk about the books that I’m going to be reading this week. I don’t tend to make videos, TBR videos, very often because I read very quickly and I’d so much more rather often share an opinion, a strong one, or not so strong, that I have about a book or a theme that I’m thinking about. But, I just wanted to share these because I’m really struggling to read at the moment. I think with all of the chaos going on outside, or at least in the US, but really all round the world actually, the global chaos, it sort of infiltrated my brain a little bit and it’s stopped me being able to focus on reading in the way that I normally am able to. Reading for me is like oiling the wheels, it’s, it gets me through this wall of the way my brain works and it helps me to think and it helps me to make sense of things even if they’re not related to what I’m reading about. It helps me to make connections between things. Reading to me is so valuable, and so important, so when i can’t do it I feel really frustrated. The first book is “We Are Okay” by Nina LaCour, which is about grief, and loss, and someone who has left this terrible sadness, or tried to leave this terrible sadness behind and go back to university, but actually finding herself quite isolated as she grapples with this thing that she sort of tried to disconnect herself from, but hasn’t done so successfully. If that is a vague enough way to put it. I don’t think this is out yet actually. I think this comes out… Let’s use the old phone This is why I’m, you know, booktuber of the year. This comes out on the 14th of February, on Valentine’s day so by then I will hopefully have some thoughts for you on how I find it, but I think it’s gonna be great. I have full faith in this book! This is one that I’ve actually started “Mama Can’t Raise No Man”. I’m about halfway through. It’s by Robyn Travis, and it’s from a very small publisher in the UK, um, so I was really excited to read it and read his debut and support it. It’s written in letters but lots of different kinds of tones of letters. It documents the interactions between his mum and his siblings and other people who are in his life, his lawyer, and so on. And you slowly get a picture of him and also of how people see him. This is a book that I’m very excited to finish. I will let you know how I think about this one too. This is going to be a recurring theme, i’ll let you know what I think. This next book I’m really excited about is “Wing Jones” which is by Katherine Webber who I know from the, like, UK book scene and just from being out and about on twitter out and about online. Katherine is absolutely wonderful and I’m so excited for her, and proud of her that she’s written this book. From what I understand, I don’t actually know loads about it yet because I wanted to just sit and read it and give it my time and attention, um, it’s a book about running, someone who discovers a love of running when she’s a teenager, but it’s out of some really difficult circumstances. I think in the US it’s called “The Heartbeats of Wing Jones” if you’re looking for it. One of my tried and tested ways of getting me out of, like, this headspace where it’s hard to focus on reading, is to read poetry, and so I’ve been, um, I’ve actually dived into a little bit but I want to do more reading of Kate Tempest’s collection, her new collection, “Let Them Eat Chaos”. I love her. I think she’s wonderful. And I love her writing, and I just kind of love sitting there with it, and going back to it, and reading it in different orders, and reading it aloud to myself as well. It kind of becomes this personal poetry performance I have, um, as I discover it. Because to me poetry— I get so much more from it when I’m reading it aloud to myself. It’s kind of like when you’re reading plays and you suddenly get all of the wonderful dancing of words when you read it aloud to yourself and you understand more about the plot I think, or at least I do. Like sometimes, when i’m reading a play, because the lines are so short my eyes just scan over it and the same when I’m reading poetry, but when I read it aloud there’s something about sharing it, even with myself, that helps me understand more of it. I am fond of reading poetry to other people, whether they are romantic interests or not. The next poetry collection that I’m going to be reading is actually by one of you! It’s by Maria Elena, and it’s “Eternal Youth”. She very kindly sent me a copy. When you make things, and you share them and I… Whether it’s like a huge project or a small project I genuinely feel so much pride, and I don’t mean that in, um, like a paternalistic way or like, I, in anyway own it. It’s nothing to do with me. It’s just so exciting to me that this is such a creative, and vibrant community and I’m just very, very lucky to be a part of it. So yes, I’m really excited to read this and I also just think that this is a beautiful cover. And that’s through, Thought Catalog books which you can find at thoughtcatalog.com, spelt the american way, without the UE at the end. I’ve been wanting to read “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi for forever. I’m so excited to read this. I’m gutted that I haven’t had an opportunity to start yet, like a brain opportunity to start yet, but i’m really excited. And I know that this is one that will have popped up in many reviews you will have seen, in videos you will have seen, um, but I think that is in this case because it’s a truly brilliant book, um, from everything that I hear. So I’m trying to go in and have my own experience of it but I’m just excited. I don’t know if I’ve said excited maybe 10 million, or 12 million times on that sentence but we’ll see. This is one of the books that I got for Christmas. My mum got this for me after John actually recommended it. Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad”, which, um, he just raved about, and a few other thousand people raved about too, so I’m really excited for this. I think it won the National Book Award? Oh look, in fact it says, “National Book Award winner 2016” The final book I’m going to read this week is “The Animators” which is a novel about two girls working in the very male-dominated field of animation. I’m really excited to read this one, it’s been extremely well-reviewed as well. And this is also one of those books that comes in, um, those Quarterly boxes where they pick a different author to help curate one of those boxes and send along other books that are related to that book too, which you might have seen with “The Mothers”. That’s like another way you can do it. Or you can just buy the book, you know, it’s a… [catching a book sounds] a book. The End. Once I’ve read all of these, some of them might make their way into other videos and if not, in any case, I’m going to post on community with my thoughts about each book. Sometime in the next, hopefully in the next week, once I’ve read them all. I hope that gives you a good idea about what I’m reading. I would love to hear what you’re planning on reading this week, or this month, or whatever it is you’ve got on your plate right now. [exhale] I’m really excited about this year and books. I even just feel happier than I did the entire day talking about books right now. Grateful for books. Grateful to have a community to talk about them with in-depth, a lot. And, um, yeah so thank you. But yeah, more book videos coming very soon. And as a very final note, do let me know if there are any other larger themes that you’d like me to put together a little books video about. Some of my favourite books on that theme, or books that I’m planning to read on that theme too. Because I can do that too. It is a full request service here. I’m like a jukebox.

93 Replies to “Books I’m Reading This Week | TBR January 2017 [CC]”

  1. Homegoing is soooo good. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it! Also, I'm really excited about We Are Okay, so I'm eager to hear your thoughts on that one as well! I'm reading The Handmaid's Tale right now and I'm absolutely loving it! Great video, Rosianna! Happy reading. 🙂

  2. Thanks for reminding me to pick up a book for pleasure reading again. Winter depression is hitting, university is gathering speed like a runaway train. I miss my words, and you always seem to push me back into to right headspace <3

  3. I'm excited to hear your thoughts and reactions to these books! They sound like some good ones. Do you have any strategies for reading faster?

  4. Sooooo jealous of how much you read!! I love it so much but during the school year (esp. now, at university) I just can't find the time to read for pleasure any more. Also, I completely agree with you about reading aloud. I always read poetry and plays aloud (though the latter might be more because I'm an actor and it just feels wrong NOT to speak the lines), but I've always enjoyed reading out loud in general. My mom read to me a lot when I was little and I actually listened to the first three Harry Potter books on tape (looooooove Jim Dale with my whole heart) and read the rest of the series (and then listened to the rest of the series on tape). I really enjoy reading aloud, even just to myself. I find that I only do that with books I really, really love (especially when the narrator is a character I love). The only books I've thoroughly read out loud to myself are To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman, and TFiOS. There's just something about reading aloud that lets me savor the words and the story and live inside of it more.

    As far as future book videos go, I'd be really interested in a poetry video! I'm pretty much stuck in a Mary Oliver and Billy Collins rut (not that they aren't AMAZING poets… I just can't seem to read anything else).

  5. I'm listening to Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda having just finished bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. I don't know which physical book to pick up next though…

  6. So good to be reminded of a great way to deal with the craziness in the world, and recommendations for the read as well!

  7. I want to read The Underground Railroad so, so much. I need to get my hands on it. I find that because of said chaos in the world I'm having a hard time reading the genres that I usually do–these dark in tone and relatively dense fantasies and sci-fis–so through happy accidents I've found myself reading almost the opposite of them to get out of the political climate caused reading slump. My favorite so far has been 'The Sun is Also A Star' by Nicola Yoon. I feel like rereading it honestly even though it hasn't been that long since I finished.

  8. First thing: this is such a cute look. Second Thing: I can completely empathise with the feeling of external chaos diminishing my capacity to read, and sit and process in the way I normally would, or in the way I found most affecting and fulfilling. The somantics of poetry and plays adds another dimension to the experience of interacting with a play. Third: how do I get my hands on new books when I can't buy them? My libraries are, sadly, slow to update

  9. I just finished Half of a Yellow Sun. SO INTENSE. SO GOOD … But I'm at a loss about what to read next. Will be hard to follow up that one.

  10. i dont read very much anymore since i started uni but im trying to get back into it on my commute etc. im reading Cats Cradle by Vonnegut and i think a good one to get back into reading with. its sentence-by-sentence interesting and the chapters r tiny

  11. Homegoing is also in my TBR stack at the moment. Others are Notes of a Native Son (James Baldwin), Freedom is a Constant Struggle (Angela Y. Davis), The Souls of Black Folk (W.E.B. Du Bois), White Trash (Nancy Isenberg), Strangers in Their Own Land (Arlie Russell Hochschild), Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz), The New Clean (Jon Sands), Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso (Kali Nicole Gross) and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (Helen Oyeyemi).

    Just added The Animators and a few of these others to my list, so thank you for that.

    Excited to hear your thoughts on these!

  12. i wish that i could read more these days but i'm so busy with school!! but hopefully i'll find some spare time & check some of these books out! they sound really interesting.

  13. I am currently reading Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger by Fiona Wright (for my feminist book club!) and The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy. I always love to see what you're reading, as you always pick such interesting things, and I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on these. After your video about Swing Time and the Mothers, I have been soooo keeen to read them, so looking forward to your next book thoughts video or reading your thoughts in community!

  14. This week I'm rereading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I feel like I need because of its familiarity and the lyrical way its written. I feel like coming back to this book is a bit like seeing an old friend again.
    Do you ever reread books? I've really been enjoying the videos you've been doing centred around films, and would love to hear you talk about poetry more!

  15. Total apologies if you've done this already, but would love a video on books about grief/dealing with grief/experiences of grief x massive fan gal <3

  16. This didn't show up in my sub box! Yesterday I noticed over half the videos that should have been there werent but that was clearly obvious where as today I thought I was all good until I saw this video in the recommended but not in my sub box. It's really frustrating because I feel like it should be easy to make it subscribers get their subscription but in fairness I know nothing about how to wrong a website. I'm not a huge fan of the bell system because I dont want notifications all day I just pick a specific time a day to watch them from my sub box.

    Great vid Rosianna, my To Read Book List is getting bigger and bigger haha

  17. They all sound so interesting! I just finished rereading Howl's Moving Castle and I'm in love with it all over again. I'm currently reading Hot Milk but sadly not finding it very interesting.

  18. That's a lot of books for one week! I'd love to see you do a video about how you make time to read and your reading routine, although I get that you're struggling with it lately so maybe in future instead. I also did an English degree and whilst I loved analysing and studying literature I wasn't good at keeping up with the speed that we had to read books. Since graduating I've found it hard to maintain focus to read (I find myself listening to podcasts instead), I think maybe I associate reading with work instead of pleasure, so would love to hear your thoughts and advice! Appreciate the recommendations, when I do read I'm not always finishing stuff so think I want to try something new.

  19. I just finished reading The One Hundred Nights of Hero and it was amazing!!
    I think you'll absolutely love this book Rosianna if you haven't already read it.

    As for book-themed videos, i'd be really interested to hear you do one on second generation immigrants, or the strength in girlhood/being a teen girl/female friendships.

  20. A book by one of us, so awesome!

    I've been working my way through "The Cinema of Christopher Nolan: Imaging the impossible" which is a book with a collection of essays on Nolan's films. There is a good variety of topics covered in the essays and a few on gender in his films so might be of interest to you.

  21. Yay for Rosianna's book videos!
    I'm reading Anna Karenina after I fell in love with the new Vintage covers.
    Next I want to try Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – think I'll have a lot to relate to in this!
    Happy reading guys 🙂 x

  22. could you do the theme of human rights activism or books with a strong theme of justice to restore my faith in humanity?

  23. So excited for you! And for all these books 🙂 I'm currently reading The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss – have you read it yet? V excited for book club at NC Nerdfighteria. Happy Tuesday, love. Love, Vix xxx

  24. Love love love this list! I just finished Mary Oliver's poetry collection, "Felicity" last night. I'm currently in the middle of "The Waves" by Virginia Woolf, "In the house upon the dirt between the lake and the woods" by Matthew Bell, and Dante's Divine Comedy (which is a reread for class). I'm in my final semester of my undergrad degree, and for one of my classes, we'll be reading a collection of poetry every week, which is so exciting to me!

  25. I'm currently partway through a couple of books: Always Happy Hour by Mary Miller, Am I Alone Here? by Peter Orner, and Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic. The last one's not out yet (I'm reading a digital galley) but I think you might like it!

  26. Can I ask how you fit in so much reading to a working week that also includes exercise and cooking and talking to friends and the west wing? I want to read more but struggle to find the time.

  27. fav books/blogs/writers for health and wellness? finding good content can be a bit dicey (esp on the internet. I don't want to read about how gluten is the enemy and how hot lemon water will "detox" me haha) and I'd love some recommendations for better content. side note: really enjoying JG 100 days and your backburner video!

  28. I have also been having a hard time reading, but I think a busy school semester (unlike last semester) is slowing me down more than political chaos. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Homegoing – thats one of the books I must get to this year. I'm currently reading Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, which is beautifully written and such a different setting and time period which I love.

  29. One thing I've been thinking about lately is reading more books by Native American authors. Do you have any suggestions for this?
    Also when you said "greasing the wheel" I immediately thought of the mulefa from His Dark Materials.

  30. I'll be reading something short to help me get back into reading – The turn of the Screw. Let's hope it works 🙂

  31. I'm currently reading Weapons of Math Destruction. Very enlightening, but not really in a good way! It's about the rise and dangers of Big Data, and has a lot of irl case studies – it's written by a woman who worked as a data scientist for a hedge fund just before the financial collapse. I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone!

  32. Totally with you on how books are so important because of the joy they give us. Excited to hear your thoughts on Homegoing and I'm going to read The Underground Railroad this week because of Diverseathon and I can't wait to discuss that as well. :]

  33. what the actual f though, really? just the thumbnail of this video had me side-eyeing cos howwwwwww on earth can someone read this many books. I am always reading A book, but even then reading an academic assignment alongside that for, yknow, the good of my academic career, is a tough one. some people are so #book goals that its nauseating

  34. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on all those books! I have decided to do the twenty book challenge this year to encourage myself to read more, and I intentionally made almost all of them by authors of color. So excited to get reading!

  35. Hi Rosianna, i really enjoy your thoughtful videos, thnx for the content. Don't know if you're familiar with the works of palestinian poet Darwish, thought i'd recommend him to you since you enjoy poetry and share one of his most famous poems O those who pass between fleeting words
    From you the sword — from us the blood
    From you steel and fire — from us our flesh
    From you yet another tank — from us stones
    From you tear gas — from us rain
    Above us, as above you, are sky and air
    So take your share of our blood — and be gone
    Go to a dancing party — and be gone
    As for us, we have to water the martyrs’ flowers
    As for us, we have to live as we see fit.So leave our country
    Our land, our sea
    Our wheat, our salt, our wounds
    Everything, and leave
    The memories of memory
    O those who pass between fleeting words!

  36. I'm reading basically everything Sarah Vowell has ever written because it's nice to have reminders that America has had moments of greatness but mostly it's just a bunch of people fighting for what they believe in and often doing a fairly shit job. She's so funny and I love how flawed and human and accessible she makes important historical figures. If ever I needed to believe that America bounces back it's right now. (It's also hilarious/heart breaking to hear her rage against Bush considering our current presidential situation.)

  37. i clicked on this video because i was feeling overwhelmed by things going on in my personal life as well as the constant flood of foreboding political news, and it calmed me down a lot. i wish i had more time to read my own choices of books at the moment, but my reading load for all of my classes this semester is 5x more than it has ever been and i haven't been able to find time. regardless, thank you for making such comforting and thoughtful videos and creating such a nice community

  38. Thank you so much for making this video! It has really cheered me up during this difficult week. I am really grateful for your thoughts on books and recommendations throughout the years. Oh, and I'm reading The Waves by Virginia Woolf for the first time, and also rereading Before You Sleep by Linn Ullmann.

  39. I am in awe of how read so much while full time work and also podcasts and social live and just STUFF. Before my A-Levels, I read so much more fore pleasure, it trickled down so abd when I started my A levels and the last 2 years I set myself a goal of 15 a year (1 each month + extra during holiday) and I got to like 13 each. Gosh I want to be able to do as much as you

  40. Have you read Why God Is A Woman? It's a prose poetry, which I have recently found myself getting into. I need to find more like it, because it is GORGEOUS!

  41. Yessss Homegoing and Underground Railroad. Some of my favorites from last year. I am definitely interested to see your thoughts on The Animators. And it might be interesting to explore other books of women breaking into male dominated fields (Hidden Figures obviously comes to mind)

  42. I'm currently reading The Lost World, the sequel to Jurassic Park. I also just ordered A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn and am really looking forward to starting it. I've been at a loss all week regarding the the political climate and figured a constructive way to deal with that would be to become more educated on American history in a more complete way than I ever got in school.

  43. I am reading Sapians by Yuval Noah Harari, which is excellent and I am learning so much. It's really reminding me of the power of books. When I finish it, I am planning to read Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa, which I am looking forward to. 🙂

  44. Rosianna! Would you ever do a little series for book recommendations based on "popular" stuff? For example: You enjoyed Plath but you never got into Poetry after, here are 3 similar Authors!

    I am forever looking for something that will make me feel the way Jonathan Franzen does but NOTHING CAN LIVE UP UGH

  45. Wow, I'm so impressed by how many books you are able to read in a week! I used to be able to do that way back in like middle school. But now that I'm in university it takes me forever to just get through one book. So right now I'm slowly making my way through Obama's The Audacity of Hope. Because finding hope right now in this world is very audacious considering all that's going on. But we have to try so things get better.

  46. Oh, I am so excited for We Are Okay. <3 I can't wait to hear more of your thoughts on it! I'm starting The Underground Railroad tomorrow for the #DiverseAThon! I'm hoping to get to Homegoing soon, too.

  47. I haven't really read in a long while, I think due to a variety of "oh man do I have to adult now?!" feelings, but I'm currently peddling through Where Am I Now by Mara Wilson, as well as The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami!

  48. I'm an extremely slow reader despite the amount of time I spend reading so I'm incredibly impressed by the amount of books you plan to read in just one week😮🙊

  49. This inspires me to make more time for reading! I put most of the books you mentioned on hold at the library just now and was amazed to see that The Underground Railroad has 96 holds on it, and 22 holds on the large print edition. And that's with 23 copies of the regular edition and 4 of the large print. Just. Wow.

  50. I haven't been able to finish a book since September and thank you for finding the words for what I felt within just the first minute. Mama Can't Raise No Man is currently on a wish list.

    Happy reading.

  51. Did you read The Power? I had a little scroll back through your videos but couldn't see it. Would love to know your thoughts if you did!

  52. Suggestion for theme: resistance/fighting oppressive governments. I think a reading list would help a lot of us feel more focused and ready to fight <3

  53. Working simultaneously on college books (Alan Moore's the watchmen and George Gissing's New Grub Street) and my own (Adrienne Rich's later poems and Lady Chatterly's Lover) 🙂

  54. Yay books! My next read will be Your Heart Is A Muscle the Size of a Fist so I can do the Nerdcon book club, but after that I might give some of these a try. Eager to hear your thoughts on them.

  55. Do you really read a book a day? Wow, that's a lot. I once read two books a week across a whole year, but I usually manage about two a month. I'm having a fantastic run of amazing books at the moment, after using the Bibliotherapy service at The School of Life in London. The start of the journey can be found here, if you're interested: http://alobear.livejournal.com/266680.html

  56. I love your book videos! 🙂

    An interesting topic for me to find recommendations about would be mental health, I guess. Mainly the ones that deal with social anxiety related topics, like Fangirl and A Quiet Kind of Thunder.

    (sorry about my english, btw.)

  57. Thanks for the beautiful riddles over at Vlogbrothers – as I understand you were involved as well 🙂 That feels like community again!

  58. ooh i've never heard of The Animators, but as a female animator i'm definitely going to check it out! this seems like a great list, happy reading 😀

  59. I'm going to go through and read the series of unfortunate events (as soon as my friend returns my copy of the first book)

  60. I'm half way through The Animators and I absolutely love it! I also work in animation, so I'm a bit biased. It's definitely taken a number of unexpected turns, but I'm so blown away by it thus far. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it. I can see it being a bit polarizing for some readers.

  61. I'm always curious to know how someone can read that much and not get the stories mixed up, it seems crazy to me… would love to do it though!

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