title: in the buddha's words: an anthology of discourses from the pali canon
author: bhikkhu bodhi
rating: 8/10
completed: ?

this book is all about the teachings of buddhism. the thing i liked most was the philosophical messages, for example uprooting cravings, living righteously, etc.
title: heavier than heaven: a biography of kurt cobain
author: charles r. cross
rating: 9/10
completed: feb. 2021

this was the first time i've ever read a biography of someone, i was very interested to learn all about my favorite rockstar kurt cobain! this book details all the extreme highs and lows of his short life. it was awesome to learn all about him, what his personality was like, what his childhood and adolescence were like, and how that affected and influenced his music. i very much enjoyed reading the inspirations behind so many songs i love. this book is very depressing too, and gives a lot of insight on the pain kurt was going through in his life.
title: the brothers karamazov
author: fyodor dostoevsky
rating: 9.999/10
completed: july 2022

i ... i ... where to even start. this book was so amazing. such an intricate story weaved, and all of it pays off brilliantly in the final arc. my favorite characters without a doubt are alyosha and dmitri. BEWARE OF SPOILERS, i can't really avoid reviewing without spoiling key story moments.

i love alyosha's personality so much, so good and kind and perfect, like an angel. i really wish i could be like him. my favorite description of him from the beginning of the book, how when he was a child he'd cover his ears any time something disparaging was said about women. alyosha is such a beloved character, i love his convictions and the angelic kindness he gives to all others in his life.

MITYAA my beloved..... i feel that dmitri is the true main character of this story. the most interesting parts of this book always had him in the center of it. from his very first arrival at the church meeting, throughout the entire book, he is hilarious, charming, bombastic, and a complete SCOUNDREL (as he calls himself). i love the dichotomy of his character. as the prosecutor later in the book says, its the karamazov dual nature to have such contradictions within their minds and hearts. i love the story of dmitri saving katya, protecting her and her family from shame. though his father's degenerate blood runs through him, he still always ends up doing good even when he nearly comes close to making bad decisions. he is such a flawed character which only makes him more likable to me. it's his guilt at his own misgivings that makes him so memorable.

i loved many other characters too, some of my other favorites are grushenka, katya, and kolya. ivan is ok, he's kind of a douchebag but i was happy when in the end he still tried to save dmitri. i love the fucked up love rectangle between dmitri, ivan, katya, and grushenka. i was grateful for the final scene between dmitri and katya finally reconciling despite both coming to love another, i felt dmitri's feeling of absolution with her. i did enjoy the side story of kolya, ilyusha, and alyosha with the schoolboys.

undoubtedly my favorite parts of the book were dmitri's wild night (tm) and of course dmitri's trial. when dmitri goes on his manic episode, this is really when i started to love this book. i liked it before, but this part was so entertaining and good. ahhh, and when the police show up to arrest him for the murder of his father! i really love that story so much. it is almost excruciating to read through the last 3rd of the book and especially the trial, because we as the reader know dmitri is innocent. it is painful to see all the obvious evidence stacking up against him (maybe im biased because i love mitya so much). i suppose we can see it as dmitri being punished for his other sins in a way, even though he did not kill fyodor.

i think smerdyakov was an interesting villain. i believe his intent through it all, as dmitri's lawyer pointed out, was to have vengeance on both his illegitimate father as well as his privileged half-brothers. living as their servant and resenting his low status, he despised all of them, and brought them all to ruin in true karamazov fashion. i think smerdyakov had admiration for ivan and sort of saw them as similar, having similar intelligence and ideologies. but ivan rejected him, which scorned smerdyakov into his revenge. and he did ruin them, killing the father, perfectly framing dmitri, and breaking the psyche of ivan throwing the guilt on his shoulders. alyosha is the only one who escaped unscathed, but even then obviously he was hurt by the downfall of his family whom he loved.

this is pretty much a perfect story in my opinion. it is sort of magical realism i think? (considering alyosha and ivan's visions lol). but i love that it is mostly grounded in reality yet makes such a fascinating story. i loved reading the final trial, all other parts of the story coming together in an epic pay off. reflecting back, one of my favorite moments from the beginning of the book is when father zosima bows down to his knees in reverent prayer for dmitri, predicting his tragic future. i feel this was the perfect foreshadowing of the despair that would come to him. i of course wished that dmitri would be acquitted, but it only makes sense that he was found guilty with all the evidence against him. i loved that alyosha and grushenka believed in his innocence no matter what. i find his circumstances so tragic because i believe (like those around him), that deep down he's an honorable man, and when it comes down to it he does the right thing. he didn't take advantage of katya, he didn't kill his father, etc.

i have to say this. there is no way i can give this book a perfect 10 for 2 reasons. reason number 1 is that the first half of the book is slow going and unnecessarily long. often times i feel like the book rambles too much (not that i am trying to criticize the great dostoevsky). it took me forever to finish this book because i was annoyed by the constant aside stories (zosima's backstory, inquisitor poem, etc) instead of staying on topic of the very intriguing story of dmitri vs fyodor. i get that these all contribute and do pay off in different ways, but i feel like a lot of times in this book they go on for wayy too long. reason number 2 is more egregious and i hate to say it. the story feels unfinished! so many unanswered questions. did dmitri escape to america? what will alyosha do now that he's left the church? does ivan recover from his illness? why did lise slam her hand in a door? AND SO ON! i found out that unfortunately dostoevsky died only a few months after completing this book. the story definitely seems like it was gearing up for a sequel, which is a great travesty that dostoevsky died before he could write it. i read a rumor online that apparently he did have a sequel planned, although i'm not sure i like what the suggestions the sequel plot would be about, if you're curious you can look it up but i won't repeat it here. i feel that a sequel following what happens to alyosha especially would only make sense, since the narrator describes him of the hero of the story. ahhhh, i'm so sad about this that it's overshadowing my enjoyment of this book. i so wish i could read the rest of the story... i feel like this is a great travesty.

but anyway, in conclusion, despite some things i disliked, this was such an amazing story! alyosha and dmitri are easily some of my favorite characters from anything. 'the brothers karamazov' is now one of my favorites of all time!
title: the ocean at the end of the lane
author: neil gaiman
rating: 10/10
completed: october 2022

ahhh this book is perfect, i can't give it anything less than a 10/10. it reminded me so much of a ghibli movie. my favorite parts were all the delicious food descriptions, and of course the cool hempstock ladies. it's a very bittersweet story,.. feels like i entered another world. i feel sad finishing it, but this is the kind of book i could read over and over again.

i really liked mr. gaiman's writing style, this is the first book i've read of his! i definitely want to check out his other work. he even narrated the audiobook, he has a great voice.
title: prince of thorns
author: mark lawrence
rating: 6/10
completed: ?

the best thing about this book is the gritty grim setting it takes place. i did enjoy reading it and i like the fact that the main character had questionable morals. my critique is that there is a lack of likeable characters, there are some that have some likable qualities but i felt there needed to be more development for them. granted this was the first book and there are more in the series, there might be more development in future books.
title: greenlights
author: matthew mcconaughey
rating: 8/10
completed: january 2023

this book is matthew mcconaughey's memoirs basically, i liked it! mcconaughey is a charismatic good ole southern boy from a working class family, it was interesting to hear about his life especially prior to his fame.

here were some interesting things i learned about him: his mother and father divorced twice and married thrice (to each other), he was voted most handsome when he was in high school, he spent a year as an exchange student in australia (living with a weird asf family), he originally studied to be a lawyer in college, and the very first line he ever said on camera while filming a movie was his famous "alright alright alright" line, and it was improvised!

my favorite part of this book were his prophetic wet dreams that told him what to do in life, it was kind of bizarre almost magical realism like, i thought it was pretty funny. i usually read fiction, so reading this was a nice change of pace, and it wasn't too long. also listening to the audiobook (narrated by mcconaughey himself) was 👍.
title: kafka on the shore
author: haruki murakami
rating: 6/10
completed: july 2022

i don't even know how to review this book. it was okay i guess. the wind up chronicle is way better. most other reviews i've read on this seem to think it is murakami's masterpiece, but i didn't feel moved by it. maybe i just didn't 'get' it.

for one thing, it is nonsensical. the wind up bird chronicle is nonsensical, but yet there are still pay offs, and it has a great story that is taking place in reality as well as in the weird spirit world. kafka on the shore is just.... idk? oedipus complex retelling? lonely horny teenager's wild summer?

i read some articles speculating the meaning, and from what i gather there are a lot of possible interpretations of this book. the one that is most plausible to me is that the theme is finding one's purpose in life, and what that means from different perspectives.

i enjoyed hoshino, nakata, and orshima. the other characters... were just okay. i liked hoshino meeting colonel sanders, i liked nakata talking to cats and making fish and leeches rain from the sky. tbh i wish this story was only about nakata and hoshino hanging out across japan.

i think my main problem with this book is that there are too many metaphors that it stopped being a story. idk, it just didn't flow that well in my opinion.
title: the wind-up bird chronicle
author: haruki murakami
rating: 9.5/10
completed: may 2022

ahem *yung lean voice* bitch i'm murakami! here is a good article that explains some of the mystical elements of this story.

wow... i really liked this book! i'll start with my favorite characters. my favorite has to be may kasahara, she was such a funny weird presence in the story and offered so much levity and an outside perspective on toru's situation. i love her so much, i especially love her last few scenes and when toru went to visit her at the end. my other favorite is mr. wind up bird himself! he is a great main character, he is unbelievably easy-going throughout the most fucked up of situations, which really made me like and root for him. his and may's friendship and interactions were so good to read and were my favorite parts of this book.

spoilers //

after reading that article i linked, i now see that lt. mamiya and creta kano were 'past versions' of toru and kumiko. similarily boris the manskinner was a 'past version' of noboru wataya. and malta kano is a version of what kumiko's sister would have been. and that while creta is the 'past' kumiko, the telephone woman is the 'future' kumiko. i also see that the cry of the wind up bird is a harbinger of evil. im not sure i understand the significance of nutmeg and cinnamon's presence or what their whole operation was supposed to represent 🤔.

i was satisfied with the ending, that noboru was defeated by both toru and kumiko. honestly i was sort of hoping toru would just give up on kumiko and move on with his life in the end, but i guess that would go against his pre-determined fate. (while i realize they are necessary for the narrative) the parts i disliked about this book were lt. mamiya's story, creta's story, and kumiko's first letter... just ewwwwww to all of that LOL it was very hard to read those. so unpleasant to read that it's keeping me from giving this story a perfect 10.

i'm really blown away by how well written this story is, it ebbs and flows just like toru himself ebbs and flows through different worlds and situations. it was amazing and so memorable. i definitely plan on reading more works by murakami and looking more into the magical realism genre.

*may kasahara voice* POOR MR. WIND-UP BIRD!!!!
title: the name of the wind (the kingkiller chronicle #1)
author: patrick rothfuss
rating: 10/10
completed: ?

the name of the wind and the wise mans fear are 2 of my favorite books and really what got me back into reading. the story is very interesting (albeit maybe a little slow going) but what is so good about this is the richness of the characters specifically kvothe. i feel like i have learned a lot from kvothe, i.e. how to be cool. i think hes a great example of like, a character who is over the top awesome in every way but still believable and likeable. all the little details about him are what makes me like him so much, he loves things with pockets, his cleverness, his music, etc. also following his story from the slums to being a badass student mage is very moving.

spoilers /


there are a lot of scenes that have really stuck with me even though i read these books a while ago. for example, when hes a kid and he gets beat to shit by a guard in the snow and all the people dressed like angels run past him uncaring, while the 2 dressed as demons were the only ones to try and help him. when he cries in auri's lap. when he gets whipped in front of the entire school and doesn't bleed. literally any scene with tempi in it. etc etc. there are a lot of really great characters besides kvothe (tempi, bast, devi, auri, simmon to name a few of my favs) and even tho the story is told from kvothe's perspective you still get a good read on them. it can feel like the story is slow going since you kno he's supposed to be a king killer or something but the plot moves so fluidly that you don't even realize a lot has happened. tldr these are really good books i hope i'm not dead by the time the third one comes out.
title: the wise man's fear (the kingkiller chronicle #2)
author: patrick rothfuss
rating: 8/10
completed: ?

(see review for the name of the wind ^^^)

spoilers /


this sequel was still very good, although there were things i didnt like as much about it. my biggest complaint, it seriously haunts me. when kvothe was having sex with the demon lady for months in the magic forrest. WTF!! i dont want to read about this teenager, who i have followed the story of since he was a child, having sex with an insane demon faerie, for like 300 pages, that has absolutely nothing to do with the plot. not to mention, this is supposed to be a trilogy, and time wasted on this could have been spent actually i dont know killing kings chronically??? (aaand thats why the next book will never come out, branderson will have to complete this one along with a song of ice and fire)
title: the final empire (mistborn #1)
author: brandon sanderson
rating: 10/10
completed: april 2022

ahhhhh omg. this was amazing, dare i say this was a perfect book. i have started several books over the last few months, but this is the only one ive been able to finish. having read the stormlight archive i knew brandon sanderson would not disappoint. i love the magic system of allomancy, it is very unique. i love the ashen world they live in. my favorite characters were kelsier, elend, and vin. i liked all the characters tho! and im glad to finally be reading more of the 'cosmere', i hope soon i can understand the full scope of it lol. i definitely plan on reading the next book immediately.

spoilers /





my biggest and only complaint was kelsier dying. grrrr i understand in retrospect why it had to happen for the plot, but i was beyond pissed at reading that. basically he got bitch slapped by the lord ruler and unceremoniously died. i hated that as kelsier is my husband. im hoping he comes back to life somehow in the next books because i find it pretty surprising for the main character to die in the very first book in the series. he is just such a good main character and i can't really imagine the rest of the books not having him in them...

one of my fav moments from the very end was finding out that vin's brother had never betrayed her at all, and had actually died protecting her. i absolutely loved vin and elend's romance. elend is so... perfect. the philosopher nobleman's son who reads anarchist books at balls, ahhh... he is an angel. i loved vin sm too, she is easy for me to project on to lol. i love that she is so strong. my favorite moment from the entire book prbly was when she saved elend from the near assassination attempt. she risked it all for him!!! ahhhh
title: the well of ascension (mistborn #2)
author: brandon sanderson
rating: 9/10
completed: october 2022

love love love this series so much. i might even like it more than stormlight (and i LOVE stormlight). this is an interesting continuation from the first book, everyone dealing with the ramifications of overthrowing the lord ruler... elend is a spotlight character in this one, which i am really happy about bc he's one of my favorites. i still love vin so much, she is an awesome main character that i can relate to a lot.

the only reason i gave this a 9 instead of a 10, the middle of the book was dragging slightlyyyy. but in the last couple chapters it got awesome again, especially the ending. i am not kidding when i say i was IRL sobbing because i thought elend was actually going to die, only for him to turn around and become a mistborn AHHHHHHHHHHHHH. oh and the realization that the lord ruler was actually protecting humanity all this time and they prbly never shouldve killed him, LMFAOOO that blew my mind, im dead. i am looking forward to reading the next book in the series soon!!!
title: the way of kings (the stormlight archive #1)
author: brandon sanderson
rating: 10/10
completed: ?

this was a really awesome book, i like the fact that it follows several different characters and they are pretty much all super interesting. my favorite characters were kaladin, dalinar, and adolin. i especially liked to follow kaladin's story because his life as slave was wild. he is literally jesus. his way of leading those around him was very impressive and cool. dalinar is awesome, i love how straight forward and honest he is it's almost ridiculous but he is so respectable and reliable. as for adolin, i love his playboy nature but still has some of the qualities of his straight arrow father. tbh i didnt care too much about shallans story but i didn't dislike it or anything, but following dalinar and kaladin's lives were more entertaining. i also liked following the random characters in the interludes a lot. the world they live in is super cool and unique. its fantasy-esque but a different take on it, and gives you that feeling that theres a lot more going on. even after completing the 1st book i can see that what i know about their world is like tip of the iceberg, which keeps me interested!this book has some really awesome and intense scenes as well. this was an extremely epic and exciting book.

^^^i wrote all of that years ago but just to reiterate, this is one of my favorites of all time. and also kaladin is one of my fav characters of all time<33
title: words of radiance (the stormlight archive #2)
author: brandon sanderson
rating: 10/10
completed: ?

this book picks up right where the first one left off, and is just as amazing. more character development, more world development, more interactions etc etc. kaladin is still my favorite but i like all the characters. this book focuses more on shallan, which is cool because she became more likeable and had some cool moments. i sense a love triangle forming which im not too sure about but we'll see. anyways this is one of my favorite series, i love it~
title: oathbringer (the stormlight archive #3)
author: brandon sanderson
rating: 9/10
completed: may 2020

as of writing this, i just finished reading this book like 20 minutes ago. this is the longest book i have ever read. so much happened, idk where to start- btw spoilers. my favorite part of this book was hearing dalinar's backstory. i love dalinar! knowing what lead him to the decisions he makes now, and what happened to his wife, was insane and awesome. i also really liked when the squad went to shadesmar, it was super trippy and epic. this book also contained one of the saddest character deaths ive ever seen...
i will be honest some parts with shallan were annoying to me. i don't exactly hate her, im on the fence about her (and she is in this book a lot). i understand the love triangle but didnt exactly like it. i'm also sad because i don't want kaladin to be heartbroken. i mean of course his unrequited love adds to his broody epicness but still... anyway...
something thing i loved was seeing more of szeth, and his path to righteousness. also the lore and worldbuilding was amazing as usual. and like i've said a million times i love kaladin so much<3 he is one of my favorite characters from anything ever. he is as awesome as always, always coming in like the hero he is. i have no idea what the next book will be about but i am looking forward to it.
title: rhythm of war (the stormlight archive #4)
author: brandon sanderson
rating: 9/10
completed: january 2022

i have finally finished reading this after... over a year of it coming out lol. overall, it was really good and i liked it. i especially liked the main plot at urithiru, and that it was very kaladin focused (my fav<3333). my spoiler free review was that it was epic, and i can't wait for the next book.

spoilers /

the reason it took so long for me to read this, is because the first quarter of this book drags. specifically shallan's parts irritated me so much i stopped reading for a full year before i picked it back up again. she is so f*cking annoying in this book it is almost unbearable. luckily she isn't the main focus, and once you get to the urithiru invasion it gets good again. i absolutely love the 'die hard' plot of kaladin being the lone loose man once the fused took over the tower, it was SO awesome. navani became a much more interesting character in this, especially when she invented nuclear warfare LMAO. i was hoping szeth would be in this more (he's my 2nd favorite charatcer behind kaladin), but it seems like (hopefully) he will be a focus in the next one. i was terrified that kaladin was going to die or turn evil, but im so glad he was able to turn it out once again. and omfg the ending when he got shard plate.... SO GOOD, i died. (i'm still hoping for a kaladin + syl romance but apparently spren/human relationships still has not been addressed LOL). it seems like the next book will be hype with the final showdown between dalinar and 'odium'.
title: the hobbit
author: j. r. r. tolkien
rating: 9/10
completed: ?

i love the lord of the rings movies, and i had never read any of the books until recently (as of writing this). i thought the hobbit was awesome, exciting, magical, adventurous, fun, etc. it's a very classic fantasy adventure story and inspired several generations of fantasy writers, and this series will continue to be one of the most beloved and renowned of all time. (warning: spoilers) my favorite parts were when the eagles saved them from from the wolves and goblins, and when bard the bowman shot down smaug. i did not like when the dwarves wouldn't give bard (or the other people) any treasure. but the story still had a good ending and i liked it.
title: the fellowship of the ring (the lord of the rings #1)
author: j. r. r. tolkien
rating: 9/10
completed: ?

the fellowship of the ring is great! it introduces a lot of new and amazing characters, (my favorite is strider aka aragorn). i like the tone of this book a little more than the hobbit, since it feels like the stakes are very high, and it can be very intense. i was surprised to find some of the book to movie differences (like tom bombadil, glorfindel rescuing frodo instead of arwen, etc). i also thought it was interesting that in the book legolas and gimli quickly become friends, when they are still rivals at this point in the movies. my favorite part was when they were trapped in the snowstorm, and aragorn and boromir had to dig everyone through the snow, while legolas just walked on top of it.
title: the two towers (the lord of the rings #2)
author: j. r. r. tolkien
rating: 9/10
completed: ?

i forgot to mention this in my previous reviews for lotr, but something interesting in the books (that's not in the movies) are all of the songs. my favorite one so far was at the beginning of this book "lament for boromir". another book to movie difference was that the book was two halves - aragorn and co. and then frodo and sam (as opposed to being split up throughout). i really liked the first half the most, following the remaining fellowship members joining up with rohan and fighting at helms deep and saruman's house. the frodo, sam, gollum story was good too, mostly because gollum is so entertaining.
title: the return of the king (the lord of the rings #3)
author: j. r. r. tolkien
rating: 8/10
completed: oct. 2021

i finished lord of the rings! return of the king was awesome. it was a nice conclusion to the trilogy. i thought the ending dragged on a bit, when they go back to the shire. i liked it more in the movie where the story ends shortly after the ring is destroyed, i thought thematically that made more sense. but anyway, overall i really liked this book, the best parts were the beginning at the battle of gondor. i like the story of faramir, denethor trying to burn him alive, and pippin saving him. i also liked when eowyn and merry killed the nazgul. and of course aragorn being elfstone and healing everyone and becoming the king was epic style.
title: the picture of dorian gray
author: oscar wilde
rating: 7/10
completed: nov. 2021

here's my thoughts...this book highlights the value + overvalue of beauty, the consequences of never growing up, and never admitting and facing your own mistakes. dorian is forever beautiful in the spring of life as he rots beneath the surface. i liked this book, i thought it was funny. i liked the homoerotic undertones of the 3 main characters. i liked lord henry and basil the most, dorian can be annoying.

spoilers /


one thing i didnt like was the ending, where he abruptly dies as an old man with a knife in his chest. i thought it would have been better if he had to feel the full emotional affect of the guilt and wrongdoings he had done in his life. (i guess you could argue that he did, and stabbed himself bc he couldnt bear it)
title: howl's moving castle
author: diana wynne jones
rating: 8.5/10
completed: nov. 2022

i read this because i've loved howl's moving castle (the movie) for a long time, it's definitely my favorite ghibli movie. the book is very similar to the movie, though i feel like the movie had a more melancholic tone. the setup is the same, though markl's name is michael and he's a bit older. sophie has 2 younger sisters, who are actually both being romantically pursued by howl and michael. the witch of the waste curses sophie because she mistakes her for her sister. in the movie, wizard sulliman is several characters from the book combined into one. and the witch of the waste is the main villain, the war isn't actively yet going on but is about to start. also howl has a sister, and niece and nephew. i really enjoyed in the book that there's a lot of banter between howl and sophie. compared to the movie, howl and sophie are amplified versions of themselves, bad mannered in their own ways lol.

howl.... oh beloved howl..... literally there's never been a better character. he's perfect. not to mention he's voiced by christian bale in the movie. he is so gemini-coded. my favorite scene from the movie is also my favorite scene from the book, when sophie messes with howl's hair dye potions and he ends up accidentally dying it a color he hates. i just LOVE how he has a complete meltdown calling upon demons and oozing green slime out of his despair. in the book, the demons he summoned flow into the town too. actually in the book, howl has even more hair colors. in addition to blonde, orange and black, it also turns pink and white.

i really enjoyed reading this, i feel like i got a better understanding of all the characters. one thing i kinda liked better in the movie was i felt they showed the romance between howl and sophie growing more, in the book they fight the entire book until like the last 2 chapters. the ending of the book also felt a little rushed, a lot of converging plotlines coming together at once. it was still enjoyable and a good ending, i really liked that sophie was jealous over her wrong perception of howl and miss angorian, and really she finds howl has been trying to break the curse on her.

it isn't a very long book, and it's very fast-paced and fun. the story is so imaginative, every character is like a unique puzzle piece that fit together perfectly. love this story soo much!! always going to cry when re-watching or re-reading, it's just so dreamy t_t ....