Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie Review

I fully accept that nobody might care about this review but me, but the feminist in me had some things to say about it so I couldn’t help myself. Yes, this is a nonfiction biography BUT it is considered the definitive biography on Catherine the Great so if you care I guess this would be a book for you? I’m probably talking to dead air here. That’s cool. I’ll keep my nerd self over here.

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I Look “Ugly” on Booktube and That’s OK (FTN)

In which I talk about perceptions of female beauty and the struggles therein, especially when making YouTube videos. And also do a lot of ranting about the fact that everyone is just made to feel not confident in themselves all the damn time. A person’s cruelest judge can be themselves, and I am no exception to that. My viewers give me confidence, and I can’t thank you enough!

Thesis Thursdays: The Joy of Public Libraries + New Book Possibilities

Thesis Thursdays is a weekly(ish) feature where I rant, love and talk about young adult books I’m reading because I’m conning my college into thinking this is all for academia! Find out more here!

As you may know, I’ve been struggling to find good books to use for my thesis. I need YA books with female assassins but assassins are different from warriors (i.e., knights, etc) and finding females trained to kill human people is actually harder than it looks. I have a lot of feminist ranting thoughts about this (which will probably at some point be a post), but for now I’m going to stick to something more positive:

How much I love libraries.

When I was younger, I used my local library a lot more. I didn’t have all that much money for myself, and I devoured books too fast to buy too many anyways. How else would I have gotten through EVERY SINGLE NANCY DREW EVER PUBLISHED (at the time)? My library. How else could I afford to read every single Clive Cussler title? My library. Remember when Bibliomancy for Beginners did all thirteen Series of Unfortunate Events books? Thanks library! I volunteered there. I knew everyone by name. I lived there.

But I began to become frustrated with my library for several reasons. One, I lived a while outside of town and getting there was hard. Two, I wanted to own my own copies of things so I could read them again and again. Then, when I started blogging, I had such a cache of free eARCs that getting even more books from the library seemed overkill. So I stopped going.

I think my on campus library made me forget what real libraries look like. It’s all academic textbooks and sheet music and old newspapers. So when it came time to look for books for my thesis, I immediately discounted “library” as a term that could help me find what I needed. I turned to the internet and got lost in Google. Then my friend Taylor (might recognize him from Bibliomancy for Beginners) said, “Want to go to the public library for thesis research with me?”

GUYS LIBRARIES ARE AMAZING, NEVER FORGET ABOUT THEM.

I spent hours sitting on the floor of the YA section, going title by title through their selection, looking for thesis books. This might sound tedious, but actually that’s what I want my heaven to look like: shelves and shelves of books I want to read for me to go through. I only made it through a small section, but I managed to find four books with possibilities and that’s way more than I had before. (I’m going to list these below, in case anyone has read them yet, to see if anyone knows if they have what I’m looking for.)

How else would I be able to read these books, when I don’t know if I actually can use them? I don’t have enough money to just spend them on books willy-nilly. Don’t even mention illegal downloads, because I DO NOT do that. How else would I be able to browse book by book in a methodical manner? My local library has a FANTASTIC YA selection, by the way. It’s perfect. Just perfect.

So, guys, this is important: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY. LOVE IT. DON’T FORGET ABOUT IT.

(And thanks, Taylor, for dragging me along.)

New books for consideration:

Hit by Delilah S. Dawson

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman