My Favourite Queer Books of 2019 So Far

How’s everyone going on their 2019 Goodreads Challenge? Good, I hope? Even if you’re not – don’t stress! I’m currently sitting at around 70 books out of my goal of 150, which is a little behind schedule, but I’m enjoying all of the books I’m reading. That’s the main thing!

But because I’m not interested in reading straight white book after straight white book, most of the novels I decide to pick up are queer! I’m a sucker for a good queer romance, what can I say. And even books with queer protagonists without a romance! And books with full casts of queer characters! JUST GIVE ME ALL THE ADORABLE QUEER MUNCHKINS, ‘KAY?

I’ve read more queer books this year than I can name off the top of my head, but I’ve decided to pick my ULTIMATE FAVES to recommend to you today! All of these are 2019 releases, so if you’re in need of more queer books in your life (OF COURSE YOU ARE), I definitely recommend adding these ones to your TBR! Enjoy!

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Harry Potter Places to Visit in Porto

Hello from Barcelona! I’ve been lucky enough to escape the cold winter of Melbourne and travel across to sunny Spain and Portugal for a little vacation. But what would a trip be without doing some bookish things abroad? I always love checking out bookstores in different countries, but when I decided to visit Portugal, I knew going to Porto was a must. Not only is it a gorgeous little city with a wide river, steep, winding streets, and it’s famous for its port, but there are some Harry Potter attractions to see there too.

Now I know it’s no London with its Harry Potter Studios or Osaka with its Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but it’s pretty damn cool to say the least. J.K. Rowling lived in Porto in the early 1990s, and she frequented many places that undoubtedly inspired her in the creation of the series we all know and love today. In my two days in Porto, I was lucky enough to check out some of these places. So here’s my list of must-see Harry Potter places in Porto!

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10 Weird Bookish Things Non-Readers Don’t Understand

There’s a lot of bookish things that non-readers just DON’T UNDERSTAND. Whether it’s your family giving you weird looks when you scream with excitement about the arrival of a preorder, or if it’s dropping bookish drama into conversation with friends and getting blank looks in response, it can be both frustrating and hilarious. So I’ve decided to list my top ten things non-readers are completely oblivious to!

1. Book-Themed Candles

I absolutely love book-themed candles. I love searching for candles that are inspired by my favourite books and characters, or ones that just include some of my favourite scents. But you know what? My family just DOES NOT GET IT. “Why would you want a book candle?” they say. “You can just take a book off your shelf and smell it. Why do you need to buy a candle?” BUT IT DOESN’T SMELL LIKE BOOKS, OKAY?! Or even the ones that have a hint of that “old book smell”, it’s always coupled with other things. Like pine. Or coffee. Or roses. And my family just… doesn’t get that.Read More »

How Queer YA Changed My Life

It’s a well-known saying that books have the power to change us, and I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. Some of the most important things I’ve learned, not only about myself, but also about the world around me, has come from books.

Book have taught me that I’m not alone in whatever I’m going through or whatever I’m feeling. Books have taught me to be brave. Books have taught me how to stand up for myself, and believe in myself, and learn to love myself—flaws and all.

And most importantly, books have helped me realise that I am indeed hella queer, and they’ve helped me not only come to terms with my sexuality, but EMBRACE it. Be PROUD about it. And I think that’s a really important thing. I have YA to thank for that.

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How To Pack Enough Books For Your Vacation

Packing books for my vacation is honestly SO DIFFICULT. How am I meant to know what I want to read for the next month? I can’t even stick to a weekly TBR. *sigh* Life is just too hard sometimes. (I’m totally kidding.) But it’s a real problem that a lot of people face when packing for trips, whether that be a short getaway or months abroad!

I’m an over-packer at the best of times, and that definitely extends to my books. When I went to New Zealand for two weeks, I took 12 physical books. When I was coming home from China, I literally shoved two books in the waistband of my trackies and two under my shirt so I wasn’t over the luggage limit. SO YEAH. I miiiiight have a little bit of a packing problem when it comes to books.

Although, over the years I have discovered some methods to make sure I don’t run out of books to read while I’m abroad. It definitely helps that ebooks and audiobooks are a lot easier to get hold of than even five years ago. But I’ll be talking a bit about that later! So without further ado, here are five different methods I use to make sure I pack enough books for my vacation.

Ebooks

Ebooks are the obvious choice, right? It’s so handy being able to store a library of books on your phone. I don’t have a Kindle though, so I don’t like to read on my phone for long periods of time. That being said, I do love reading when I’m waiting for public transport or eating meals on holiday. I don’t always have enough room in my backpack to take a book out with me, so having a few ebooks loaded onto my phone is always comforting! I always stock up on ebooks when they go on sale so I’ll never run out. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.Read More »

Books to Read Based on Your Favourite Game of Thrones Character

So you just finished the finale of Game of Thrones—now what? How do you move on from a show that’s been the backbone of pop culture for basically the past decade? It’s hard, especially when the finale probably didn’t give you everything you wanted, and is definitely leaving you with an unexpected and unshifting feeling of loss. Like this big part of all of us has just… ended. Endings are weird, right?

But what can you do to try and fill that void in your life now, you ask? Well, I have some book recommendations based on your favourite character in Game of Thrones! Whether you’re a lover of assassins, morally grey characters can’t help but root for, or just girls wielding weapons in stunning dresses, then I have some great picks you should add to your TBR!

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Arya Stark | A Darker Shade of Magic

HELL. YES. Arya is easily my favourite character in Game of Thrones—I mean, she’s an assassin, she can wield a sword like a badass, and she’s basically a pirate. If only she were MY WIFE as well. Ahh, a girl can dream. But Arya definitely reminded me of Lila Bard in the Shades of Magic series. If you haven’t read these yet, I URGE YOU TO DO SO. Seriously. Lila is mine though. Back off.Read More »

A Book Lover’s Guide to Celebrating Pride Month

It’s almost that time of the year again! The time where gorgeous pictures of rainbow book stacks take over the bookstagram community, booktubers recommend all their favourite queer novels, and bloggers participate in epic reading challenges. That’s right! It’s almost Pride Month! And gosh, I could not be more excited.

But to celebrate Pride Month, there are a few bookish things in particular that I always love doing! Hold onto your Pride capes and get ready to throw some glitter, folks, because things are about to get real queer over here!

Read some queer new releases!

There are always too many books to read and too little time, right?! These are just a few of the new and upcoming queer releases I’m looking forward to reading this Pride Month! They all sound spectacular, and I hope my little list helps you add some more LGBTQIAP+ to your to-read shelf.Read More »

Podcasts for Book Lovers

I am a MASSIVE FAN of podcasts. Seriously, I can’t get enough of them. I’m that weird person who doesn’t mind walking to the train station and commuting to uni because that’s my quality podcast time. Our lives are always so busy that it’s nice to just sit down for twenty minutes, listen to a great pod, and watch the world fly past.

I know some people are really into thriller podcasts, or history podcasts, but I just love all of them. A fictional sci-fi / horror podcast about a whacky town in the middle of nowhere? YES PLEASE. A true crime podcast about two women’s favourite murders? SIGN ME THE HECK UP. Seriously, I’m not fussy. I just love podcasts.

So today I’m going to be recommending EIGHT INCREDIBLE PODCASTS YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO. And they’re perfect for book lovers as well! Whether you’re looking for a podcast with a gripping story, or one that will help you hone your own craft, I gotcha, babe.

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Welcome to Night Vale

THIS IS THE FIRST PODCAST I EVER LISTENED TO! Holy crap, it’s been a ride! I started listening to Welcome to Night Vale back when I was in 9th grade, and I can still remember my friend recommending it to me (I say still remember like it was 20 years ago instead of six). It’s a fictional sci-fi / horror podcast about this strange town called Night Vale, narrated by a radio host named Cecil. And seriously, it’s weird. There’s a sentient glowing cloud with the ability to control minds, a faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home, a forbidden dog park, and hooded figures that must not be approached under any circumstances. Oh, and there’s a gay romance subplot, which I always love! Welcome to Night Vale is such an iconic podcast in pop culture, and you should definitely check it out if you haven’t already.Read More »

New Aussie Releases That Should Be On Your TBR

Answer me this: when am I not screaming about Aussie YA?! Let’s be real… when am I not screaming about books in general? Or just screaming into the void. Ya know. Waiting for the void to start screaming back at me. BUT ANYWAY. I’m here to talk about books, not my impending existential crisis. SO LET’S DO THAT.

Today, I wanted to speak about some new Aussie releases that I’m excited for! One of them I’ve already read, but the others are on my TBR: three fantastic upcoming #LoveOzYA novels, and one middle grade one! There’s just something so comforting and warm to me about Aussie YA. About falling into a story in a landscape you know and love. It really feels like home, with all that Aussie slang and mentions of snags on the barbie and sangas.

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Promise Me Happy

We’re going to start off this recommendation post with a book I actually have read! Yes, I’m as shook as you are! After reading—and adoring—Mr Romanov’s Garden in the Sky, I was so excited to receive a copy of his latest novel, Promise Me Happy. Heartbreaking #LoveOzYA?! SIGN ME THE HECK UP. And wow, this book took my heart and slowly crushed it… but like, in the best way possible. I HAD FEEEEELINGS. I should have expected the pain this book would inflict upon my soul—it’s about a boy who’s just out of juvie and left with an uncle who doesn’t know or want him—but I was just all naive being like WELL IT SAYS “HAPPY” RIGHT THERE IN THE TITLE. I am but a smol mistaken child.Read More »

Mental Health YA Releases to Look Out For

I absolutely love YA books that deal with themes of mental health and grief. In fact, some of my favourite books of all time, like We Are the Ants and History is All You Left Me, are about loss and mental illness. There’s something about these books that just feels so raw. So powerful. And I always love picking one up and just escaping the word for an afternoon to get to know these characters that I laugh with, cry over, and who end up leaving a permanent mark on my heart.

So today I thought I’d share my top three mental health YA releases of 2019 so far, as well as some that are on my TBR that you should look out for as well! I hope you like my selections!

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How it Feels to Float

I seriously can’t even begin to describe how much I adored this novel. I’m always a fan of YA contemporaries with characters who are living with mental illnesses, characters who are queer, and of course I love a bit of romance—and this book had it all… AND THEN SOME. I had such high expectations for this new #LoveOzYA novel, and I just… sobbed a little bit because it was so perfect?! BRB SCREAMING FROM THE ROOFTOPS ABOUT HOW INCREDIBLE THIS NOVEL IS. 

It’s about a girl who’s still grieving the loss of her father, struggling with friendship dramas at school, and questioning her sexuality. Helena Fox’s writing style is just spectacular, and I fell in love with Biz from the very first page. Her grief is written in such a raw, realistic way, and her experiences really resonated with me. It was just BEAUTIFUL. So many people are going to fall in love with this novel just like I did. I’m already looking forward to picking it up again for a reread!Read More »