Friday, May 16, 2014

The Importance of Diversity

Oh hey ... Hello there! What's that? Why, yes, this is a blog post! I'm writing a post that's not either a book review or a top ten tuesday? Is it weird? ... Yeah, it's kinda weird.

Hello friends! 

This is one of my (very, very many) few posts on this blog that isn't either a book review (or book talk, really) or a top ten tuesday post and I feel ashamed. Ashamed because I have the power to abuse this blog and post scholarly things, like how to save the world!! (but not really) and I get such anxiety because I never know what to post, that I always stay on the safe side and stick with only book reviews an ttt's.

So today, I'm changing that!

I might be a little late in the game here, but you know what? It's better to be late to a party than to never show up at all! And the party I'm partaking in this evening is *intense drum roll* Diversity! 

Recently, if you were not aware, there was a big uproar about BookCon having an all-white panel (a panel that only features white male authors - were there females in the panel? I'm not sure, I should have researched this before I started this). Fans were upset that there were no authors of color in the (or any) panel, and due to the massive explosion on almost every social media (blogspot, tumblr, twitter, etc - you name it), talking about the injustice towards diverse authors, BookCon has (finally) added some non-white authors and female authors with their own panels. (Yay for mass media!)

Diversity is a huge part of my life, I'm surrounded by it. I am Brazilian (born in new jersey, mind you), and I grew up in a house hold where I only spoke Portuguese and grew up with friends and neighbors who are all either Brazilian, Portuguese or Spanish. Seeing a Caucasian family (an all-white family that aren't from any European or South American family) (You probably already knew that) (Oh my god, Karla, can we just? Okay, okay) was something very foreign to me, which says a lot since I live in America? Yet I barely see all-white families? Okay, moving on.

To me, diversity never seemed like an issue because I am constantly surrounded by people from all parts of the world. It's something I grew up thinking was "the norm," but unfortunately, this concept isn't passed on to my world of reading, or even the shows I watch on tv. I've subconsciously accepted the fact that the people I see on my tv, the characters I read in my favorite books are white, and I didn't even realize it.

In no way do I want to demoralize my favorite characters, to diminish their importance or my respect for them, just because of the color of their skin - no way. But this influx of mass media about diversifying bookcon really opened my eyes to the thing that I've been consuming and the things that I've been doing. Whenever I start a book and the characters features aren't immediately described, off the bat I start to imagine a white person. Why do I do that? Because the majority of the book I read (nay, all of them) have white lead characters.

It's once in a blue moon I read a book where the characters are spanish (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe -- read it, y'all), and when I do it is glorious. I can relate to any character who is shy and quiet, but also sarcastic and wants more in life. But I would love to read more kick ass characters who are Black, Asian, Hispanic, Japanese, Chinese, Brasilian even, maybe?? (That last one would be super cool, just for me lol).

I hate that young girls hate the way they look because they're not white. That, because they have color on their skin and the models and actresses they see on tv do not, they they are the weird one's, the odd one's out, and they want to look more normal and beautiful, like them. While white women spend their money going to tanning salons and laying in the sun for hours just to get some color on their skin. It's pretty messed up, don't you think?

Diversity in books (and other source of entertainment like, I don't know, television shows and movies??!!) are super important because they show that situations happen to everyone. Everyone can find love. Everyone can kick ass. Everyone can overcome obstacles. That white girl with the long, flowy hair found love? So can you! Diversity is super important because it feels like you are connected with the character, in a way. It shows that you are seen and are are heard and, most importantly, that you do matter. Seeing characters like me, not only personality wise but also in my features, makes me really connect with the story and the character more. (I think this is one of the reasons why I super, super, super love Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell?)

White characters dominate our culture so much that it hurts to forget that there are other cultures that are not being represented, and they deserve to be! Every culture is beautiful and hypnotic in it's own way and it should be more popular! I hope, as the years progress, that diversity becomes less than a problem and more of a "norm" in literature and film, because we all deserve to be represent and be proud!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book Buying Addiction

So, I think I might have a bit of a problem. A book buying problem.

I've sort of created this pattern. One random day, in the beginning of a month, I declare to myself "I'm not buying any more books!" a declaration that is desperately needed, after looking at the 10+ book I've purchased in the small span of not even two weeks. And I do good; for the rest of the month, I don't buy any books. Do I have to force myself not to go through amazon's books? Yes, but my willpower holds out for a good chunk of time.

Until the next month starts.

In the beginning of the month, there is probably a new release coming out that I've already pre-ordered. I decide, since I did good on not buying any books for a couple of weeks (it's only two weeks, but it feels like a lifetime), I decide to reward myself and buy another book, besides the one that I have already pre-ordered.

Here's where things get messy. I put another book in my cart, and I think "Oh what the hell. What's one more book?" and before you know it, I have three books in my cart (one pre-ordered and two book I've decided to treat myself).

I know what you're thinking: Three books isn't bad. And it's not.

What's bad is when you buy three books one day, three books two days later, and two books a couple of days later. *hides under covers*

When I buy multiple books a week, I think of it as 2 books here, 2 books there, and 2 books there. You see? I think of it as 2,2,2. I don't add them all together. I don't go, 2 books, 4 books, 6 books, like a normal brain should. Does that make sense?

When you think of it as 2,2,2 - it doesn't seem like a lot, because 2 is a very small number, so I don't think it's that big of a deal. Clearly, my brain doesn't work right. And I would never count the amount of books I've bought in that month. I would just think I only bought a couple, because of the small amount of books I bought each time. 

Only recently did I start counting up the books I have bought within a month and realize how crazy by book buying is/has been! It's amazing how I've never realized this before! I was appalled at my ignorance and I knew I had no change my ways. But I'm starting to realize it's harder than it looks. People talk about "book buying bans" and as easy as it seems in theory, when you actually set out to do it - it's a task that's near impossible to achieve. 

In this month of may (it's the 14th of may, so we're already two weeks in), I've accumulated 11 books already! Holy crap, that's almost a book a day! I know. But I was doing the 2,2,2 method instead of the 2,4,6 (the adding of the books) method without realizing it and found myself with a plethora of books in so little time! And, once again, I'm implemented a declaration of "no more books!" for this month. 

Will it last? And will my book buying get better by each month?

I sure hope so. 

Am I the only person with this problem of not realizing how many books they buy? Do you have any suggestions as to how to help my book buying problem? Please leave me a comment down below and let me know!

Bout of Books 10.0 Read-A-Thon Progress

Hello friends! I've decided to make a post about my progress in this Bout of Books Read-a-Thon, just so I can keep track of my day-to-day progress and make sense of what I've done each day. My BoB wrap up will be in a separate post, so as not to confuse me or anyone else. Keeping things separate makes things more orderly, I think.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book Talk: The Archived by Victoria Schwab (No Spoilers!)

Title: The Archived
Series: The Archived #1
Author: Victoria Schwab
Release Date: January 28, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Age Group: Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Page Count: 328 pages
Rating: 3/5 stars
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. 
Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what she once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.
Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.
In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Bout of Books 10.0

“The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.” -The BoB team

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Top Ten Book Covers I'd Frame As Pieces of Art

The Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where each week you post your top ten best, worst, etc (and each week is probably more fun than the last). This week's topic is top ten book covers I'd frame as a piece of art!

Monday, May 5, 2014

BookTube Updates!

Hello, friends! I have some pretty great news.

I started my YouTube channel a good two weeks ago, and I've been keeping up with it! Granted, I only have six videos up, but it's still progress! I was super scared that I wasn't going to be able to keep this up, but I'm glad I'm proving myself wrong!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Book Talk: True Colors by Melissa Pearl

Title: True Colors
Series: The Mask #1
Author: Melissa Pearl
Release Date: February 16, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Page Count: 370 pages
Rating: 3/5 stars
Caitlyn Davis always cruised through life, not being the type to ruffle feathers or involve herself in high school drama. That is, until a chance encounter with a strange, homeless man changes everything.

Suddenly, Caitlyn has the ability to see behind people's masks. She discovers that her life isn’t as simple as she imagined and high school is filled with secrets...some very sinister ones. 
Unable to ignore her new gift, Caitlyn embarks on a mission to learn why one of her friends suddenly appears terrified, but masks her fear with a bright, smiling veneer. Will Caitlyn's new ability lead her into hot water? Or is her new found vision a blessing that will expose her friends' true colors?

Her quest will lead Caitlyn to lose friends, stand up for those in need, and even find love.

At Palisades High School every face tells a story.