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Reading, Read and To Read #4

Hello everyone!

It’s time for me to write my favourite blogpost of the month, I absolutely love writing these!! To set the scene, I’m sat on my bed watching the Kardashians as I type this. The Kardashians has become my ultimate guilty pleasure, and watching them in Thailand is making me want to travel so bad.

If you haven’t read one of these posts before, I talk about the books I have recently read, or that I am currently reading, or books to read, that list never seems to change, as I buy new books and read them first!

Here’s last month’s!

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The 2016 reading plan

Hello!

It’s 2016, and it has been for a good while, I’m just late to this writing this post. A friend and I have set each other the challenge of reading 20 books this year, and if we don’t make the full 20, we must buy the other a book.

I’m extremely competitive, so by today, the 13th of February I have read: 0 books.

Oops.

I used to read every night before bed but then my obsession with Star Wars: The Clone Wars began, and I don’t think I need to explain further.

So I thought I’d share a few of the books I intend to get through in the next few months! There are a ton of others, but I’ve featured them in book hauls on my YouTube channel before!

This is the first book I’ve been reading is this! It’s interesting, and is written in the style of a non-fiction book. I like Star Wars. I like the Jedi. It’s a good read.

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Binge by Tyler Oakley Review

I finally finished Binge by Tyler Oakley, and now it’s time for a review!

Binge is a memoir written by YouTuber , and now podcaster, Tyler Oakley, who has amassed nearly 8 million subscribers! He’s a mid-twenties guy from the midwest, living in Los Angeles and he’s most famous for being unapologetically himself, as well as his ever changing hair colour.

I’ve been watching Tyler for years now, and I met him at his book tour, as you can see, my copy of the book is black, as it’s the ‘Exclusive Tour Edition’ – how cool!

I had previously tried (and failed) to meet Tyler at Summer in the City 2014, and at his Slumber Party tour in mid-2015, during a random draw for VIP backstage passes, the girls next to us won! Whilst we were a little sad, we were trying to be the big adults as these preteens cried out of sheer excitement.

I love memoirs, especially ones with a comedic flair (this sentence sounds kinda profesh, I think it’s the word ‘flair’). Tyler’s look back at his life is hilarious, his humour crosses mediums so easily, from his YouTube videos, to his Podcast (Psychobabble with Korey Kuhl), to page. It’s so easy to read the book in Oakley’s voice, and when you laugh, you can hear his signature laugh along with your own.

However, this book does touch on some real issues, it isn’t all a barrel of laughs, Tyler discusses coming out as gay, going through an abusive relationship, going through an extremely tough breakup, rocky family relations and more. In some shape or form, we can all relate in some way.

This book is a lighthearted look back at life, a discussion of true to life issues, with advice and real life experiences included.

This book is so nice to look at as well, I know the content is the main thing and to never judge a book by it’s cover (whoever said that had never heard of a thing called ‘coffee table books’, but I digress). The sweet/candy theme is something I can get on board with, and the formatting/layout of the actual text is very easy on the eyes! It makes the read somehow much more enjoyable!

This is a book everyone can see themselves in, Tyler’s story of embarrassment in a restaurant reminded me of the time my Dad asked the waiter if we could order some drinks, directly after the waiter asked us if we would like any drinks. The Earth could have opened up and swallowed me whole then and there, and I wouldn’t have cared.

While this story is very different to Tyler’s anger over a beetless burger, it brought this memory back into my head, and I’m grateful to Binge for reminding me of so many things I’ve experienced!

Also, Tyler’s Cheesecake Factory description is alarmingly like a West Coast version of our very own ‘cheeky nandos’. Also Tyler, if you’re reading this by any chance, Nandos is pronounced ‘nan-dohs’ not ‘naan-dohs’, if you wish we can discuss this over some Nandos chicken next time you’re in the UK.

You shall laugh, cry and fully enjoy Binge, unless you’re an emotionless robot. But hey, you do you. This shall sit along some of my other favourite YouTube books, including Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-up by Grace Helbig and You Deserve a Drink by Mamrie Hart.

If you like Binge, you will definitely enjoy these books.

So as you can see, I fully recommend Binge, here are some links to buy it:

Amazon

The Book Depository (free shipping here!)

Waterstones

WHSmith

This isn’t one of my greatest pictures, but it was so great to finally meet Tyler, even if it was only briefly! I hope one day we can hang out for a bit longer over some sort of cocktail. That’s my only prerequisite!

Thanks for reading!

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The Help | Spoiler Free Book Review

I recently finished reading The Help, and that book has CHANGED me! Seriously, I frigging loved it. Much more than I expected. So I thought I’d write a little review for it.

Here’s a bit about it, if somehow, like me, you haven’t read or seen this book even though it’s almost 2016:

The chapters are in 3 different narratives, Aibileen, a maid who lost her son a few years back, who is still hurting from her loss whilst raising her seventeenth white child, her best friend Minny, a maid who is constantly at risk of losing her job for sassing her boss, and Skeeter, a white girl who moved back from college to find the maid who raised her gone, with no one to give her an explanation.

These three women, over the course of the book, end up becoming more valuable to each other than anyone could have ever predicted.

This book to me was the flip side of Mad Men, even though most describe it as the flip side of Gone with the Wind (I haven’t seen that however). The Draper family have a maid, who is a minor recurring character, and honestly, as minor character, I never gave her much thought. You only ever seemed to see her pick up the phone for another character, or saying hello as Don walked through the door. However, this is a new perspective. I imagine Upstate New York in the 60’s was much more progressive than Jackson, Mississippi but who knows, I don’t live in the USA in the 60’s.

All of these characters feel so incredible real. Kathryn Stockett really painted a picture, I felt as if I was transported to Jackson in the 60’s, everything was so vivid and believable. I have no idea how she managed to craft such an elegant story that resonated so well with me, and obviously thousands of other’s considering what a hit the book is.

Reading this most felt like a lesson in history. My history knowledge is pretty damn poor, I opted to stop studying history when I was 14, but now I find it so fascinating. Through this, I was given a different perspective on marginalisation and racism. I try to educate myself on discrimination as much as I can, as I, a white cis male born into a first world country, am not the target of this. The thing I have been abused on the most is my hair colour.

I felt so hurt when the characters did, and when they feared for themselves. For so many people this was real, and it still in 2015 is a reality for so many.

The relevance of this book in all times cannot be understated.

I am yet to watch the film adaptation, though I promised my mum the next time I’m home for a few days, we’ll watch it, since it’s on Netflix now! The casting seems amazing, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain all fit the bill for their characters. Plus have you watched How to Get Away with Murder?! Viola Davis is freaking amazing. HTGAWM season 1 is on Netflix, go watch it now and don’t look back.

This quote really resonated with me, it turns out it’s also one of the author’s favourite quotes:

We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.’

We are all quick to see the differences between ourselves and others, distancing ourselves. When maybe that isn’t the best course of action.

This book is one everyone should read. I don’t cry much, but I cried twice reading this. I closed this book, and I didn’t have my usual ‘satisfied’ book finishing feeling. I felt so fulfilled, I felt enlightened, and felt like some sort of weight was lifted. I have no clue why, but it seems this book enriched me and gave me something I can’t put into words. I think that’s the most you can ask for out of a book.

Buy it here:

Amazon

The Book Depository

Waterstones

WHSmith

It’s cheapest on Amazon, but unless you spend over £20 or have Prime shipping will cost you, so opt for the slightly more expensive Book Depository instead. Plus you get a free bookmark, if they still do that.

Thanks for reading!