What I Read in March 2023

Happy Saturday, everyone!

March is gone! And good riddance, too, because apart from a hilarious crime dinner party I had with some of my friends in Munich and a ton of my highly anticipated TV shows being released in the last few weeks, the month really wasn’t all that great…

In anticipation of April, the weather decided to go crazy, switching from snow to sun to rain to snow every few days, and of course, that caused everybody’s immune systems to go haywire. I worked overtime like nobody’s business to stand in for sick colleagues, and then – Who would’ve thought? – I fell ill as well. And, since idiot-me decided to drag herself to school despite not being completely recovered in order to calm down her panicky sixth- and seventh-graders, who had tons of questions about their upcoming math exams, I’m still not exactly at peak health. Although I at least have a lifetime’s supply of soup and tissues now!

Some March highlights, featuring: A post-thaw dandelion, cold and gloomy Alpine weather, and the newest additions to my emergency soup stash… (Of course I needed the one with animal shaped pasta in it! You’re never too old for animal soup!)

Anyway, you have no idea how relieved I am that it’s finally Easter break, although as I have a paper due right after – this dissertation thing you need to write as part of your teaching degree – it’s probably not going to be all that relaxing. Since one of my closest childhood friends and her boyfriend are coming to visit me from the Netherlands on the 12th, I have about a week to write 60 pages, which means I need to churn out ten pages a day if I also want a day to edit everything, a day to grade my sixth-grade math exams, a day to take the train home to see my family, Easter Sunday off, a day to prepare lessons, and a day to take the train back down south… Yeah, let’s just not think about any of that too carefully… 😭

Instead, let’s talk about books! Readingwise, March wasn’t the worst, I suppose. Although I read less than in February, my average rating is up to 3.0 stars now, which is still terrible, but slightly less terrible than 2.92, at least! You’ve got to look on the bright side of things! I may have started the month with a book I despised, but things only got better from there! It’s progress!!

The Atlas Paradox (The Atlas #2) by Olivie Blake (1/5 Stars)

Why did I read this when I already hated The Atlas Six, you may ask? That’s a fair question. To say my expectations for The Atlas Paradox were low would already be a massive understatement… However, I can’t deny that I was also slightly curious! Even the 0.001% chance that Olivie Blake might explain all of the unanswered questions she introduced in the first book had me intrigued, and I just couldn’t leave my buddy reader hanging, now could I? Line and I had started this torturous journey together, so if she was reading on, so would I!

However, despite being marketed as “the long-awaited sequel to dark academic sensation The Atlas Six“, with lots of “yearning, backstabbing, betrayal, and chaos”, The Atlas Paradox somehow managed to be even worse than my already rock-bottom expectations. Everything I hated about the first book was a million times more pronounced in this one. There was no plot and no character development. The writing was just as pretentious and ultimately meaningless as in The Atlas Six, making me wonder whether Olivie Blake’s writing process might simply be to look up big words in the dictionary and sprinkle them into her stories, no matter whether they made sense or not. And, of course, to watch popular TV shows and randomly grab elements without understanding them, thinking, “Oh, cool, let’s use that in my book as well!” Like, a multiverse and time travel through a stone circle? You cannot convince me that Olivie Blake didn’t just blatantly steal those ideas from Marvel and Diana Gabaldon! πŸ™„

Add to that that the very few things that did happen in this book were downright illogical, happened off page, or took place in weird dream realms, and that the characters lost any sense of distinct personality and rivalry, and The Atlas Paradox was one of the most pointless, boring, and nonsensical books I have ever read. I really do not understand what anyone could possibly like about it!

Die Schulranzenfrau: Aus dem Tagebuch einer jungen Lehrerin by Susi Seidl (3.5/5 Stars)

[This book has not been translated into any other languages; the German title means The Backpack Woman: From the Diary of a Young Teacher]

One of my really close friends gave me this book as a belated birthday present – shoutout to us for managing to meet up three times before accomplishing a successful gift exchange 😎 – and, of course, I immediately started reading it on the train ride home from her place!

Semi-autobiographical, Die Schulranzenfrau provides a possibly slightly exaggerated and satirical look into the life of a teacher trainee at a Bavarian gymnasium, i.e. a German college-track secondary school that students from grades 5 to 13 attend. Detailing the narrator’s struggles with the Ministry of Education, the German school system, strange colleagues, unruly kids, and the pandemic, I found it to be highly relatable and hilarious, and also thoroughly enjoyed the author’s descriptions of my hometown, which is where the school part of her training took place at is located.

Still, the narrator’s general laissez-faire attitude and clichΓ©d, surface-level depictions also sometimes rubbed me the wrong way. Sure, of course dinosaur-colleagues who refuse to help you out and have no freaking clue how the internet works can be annoying. Of course it isn’t exactly thrilling that the Ministry of Education can randomly move you around to a new school every six months, with – if they’re being generous – a two-week advance warning that you can use to find and rent a new apartment. Of course it isn’t great that the majority of your degree depends on three lessons that are completely detached from any kind of reality. (Like, who the fuck normally takes two extra beamers with them in case the one in the classroom stops working??? )

BUT: In my opinion, Die Schulranzenfrau completely glosses over the part that really makes this job so exhausting – teaching itself. The part where you prepare lessons well past 10 p.m., where you spend entire weekends grading exams, where you lay awake for hours thinking about that student who told you they were scared their parents might punish them if they brought home a bad grade, where you question whether you are really suited for this if 80% of your students couldn’t even solve that one problem on your math test that was exactly like the problems you’ve been doing in class for weeks, or where your ninth-graders continuously blow their noses several lessons straight, in protest against you not allowing them to all use the restroom at the same time during your lesson. The part where you try really, really hard, but still keep being told your work sucks by the supervisors constantly scrutinizing you. The self-doubt is crippling, the work hours insane, but you still keep doing it because you care about the kids and want them to learn something.

Die Schulranzenfrau, however, doesn’t give you the impression that the protagonist cares about the kids at all. Instead, it features a teacher who shows great pride in turning up for class thoroughly unprepared and still hungover from the night before and in doing her best to make it from one break to the next with as little effort as possible. She seems to care more about her salary and putting on a show for her supervisors than actually teaching her students something, which I thought was a very sad and skewed portrayal of teaching.

Nevertheless, though: I loved the humorous tone of the novel and how scathingly this book criticizes parts of the Bavarian school system that I, too, think are thoroughly outdated and sometimes even dehumanizing. I saw many of my own experiences reflected in this, and haven’t cackled this much reading a book in ages. Would definitely recommend, even if you should probably take parts of the novel with a grain of salt!

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney (3.5/5 Stars)

[I listened to this as an audiobook; the narrator was Aoife McMahon.]

Everyone and their mother is reading and loving Sally Rooney at the moment, so of course, I wanted to be in on it! And since Normal People – the book of hers that sounds most up my alley – seems to be inexplicably unavailable for lending, I decided to start with Beautiful World, Where Are You instead.

Alternating between the stories of two college friends, Eileen and Alice, and their highly philosophical emails to each other, Beautiful World, Where Are You is a novel about figuring out adulthood, about self-doubt, about relationships, about friendship. While Alice, a famous novelist, has moved to the countryside after a major depressive episode, Eileen is back in Dublin, reeling from a breakup. While Alice meets Felix, a warehouse worker, on a not very successful Tinder date, Eileen slips back into flirting with Simon, a close friend she has known since childhood.

On the whole, there were lots of things I liked about Beautiful World, Where Are You. The writing style and a point-of-view that meanders somewhere between third-person omniscient, objective, and limited, drew me in immediately, and I loved how messy and real the characters felt. The book really captures the feeling of being in your late twenties, of being scared of the future, and wondering why your life ended up the way it did. I loved how Eileen, Alice, Simon, and Felix weren’t perfect people, and how they often stood in the way of their own happiness with the decisions they made. And I also really liked the portrayal of mental illness.

That being said, though: At some point, all of the sex scenes in this book seriously started making me roll my eyes. Like, good grief, how freaking long does it take for you do realize that you might have feelings for someone you’re constantly sleeping with?? After a while, it started to get old, and I felt like the sex scenes were only there because Sally Rooney thought they – and the consequent overly philosophical discussions about said sex scenes – would make readers more interested in picking her book up. Who doesn’t love a bit of controversial explicit smut in literary fiction, right? SERIOUSLY, THOUGH: WAS GETTING MORE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHARACTERS’ RELATIONSHIPS INSTEAD TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR??

Final verdict: Although this didn’t exactly knock me off my socks, I enjoyed it, and am definitely open to trying more of Sally Rooney’s books in the future.

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff (3.5/5 Stars)

Lo and behold: After over two years of Naemi saying that she wanted to read Empire of the Vampire, she has finally done so! Let’s just say I saw an English copy at our local bookstore and decided I could no longer wait for my library or Scribd to come through an eternity later… πŸ™ƒ

The start to Jay Kristoff’s newest fantasy series, Empire of the Vampire takes place in a grim and dark world. Humans are struggling to survive after a cataclysmic event known as Daysdeath blocked out the sun several decades prior, giving vampires a chance to rise to power and slaughter the population indiscriminately. Gabriel de LeΓ³n, a silversaint dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night, has been fighting for a different world ever since he was a boy. Imprisoned by the very enemy he is sworn to destroy, Gabriel is now the last of his kind, forced to recount his life story to those who took everything from him.

Guys, it’s face it: I’m a sucker for fantasy books with the “character telling his origin story” trope. I loved it in The Realm of the Elderlings, I loved it in The King Killer Chronicles, and I loved it here. There’s just something so profoundly interesting about a person looking back on their life with more perspective than they had back then! I had so much fun piecing together Gabriel’s past and, although I wouldn’t necessarily say I liked him, I thought he was a fascinating character in an even more fascinating world. There was so much lore to unpack here, so many gritty and gruesome details, that I was probably more interested in the world-building than any other part of the book!

Which was, simultaneously, also my biggest issue. While I liked the world, the plot and characters didn’t manage to draw me in to a similar degree. Usually, I have nothing against 700-page fantasy tomes, but in this case, I really don’t think this needed to be as long as it was. I felt bored during considerable stretches. Not much happened, but everything that did was drawn out FOREVER. Rather than getting to explore the side characters in more depth, we got the same sort of attack scenes and conversations over and over again, and, quite frankly, probably about 20% of this book was dedicated to Jay Kristoff showing off his curse word vocabulary and vast repertoire of genitalia-involving insults. Like, I don’t mind cursing – Heck, I do it myself on this blog! – but in Empire of the Vampire, it felt like the cursing wasn’t so much a natural part of who the characters were as the author’s petty attempt to send his sincerest “FUCK YOU” to all of the people who had complained about the language in his previous books. Seriously, every third sentence was something like “‘Poets are wankers’, Gabriel sighed. ‘And minstrels are just poets who’re allowed to strum themselves in public.'” (p. 288). No matter what the topic of conversation was, Jay Kristoff had to find some way of including a dick reference just for the sake of it, and, after a while, it really started to get on my nerves!

My overall opinion? This is not a new favorite, but I’m interested enough in the world and all of the open questions that I’ll probably read the sequel.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (4.5/5 Stars)

[Original Swedish title: Folk med Γ₯ngest; I read the English translation by Neil Smith]

I don’t know why I didn’t read this sooner! It’s not like I didn’t already know I loved Fredrik Backman’s way of storytelling, having read and adored My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry years ago…

(Seriously, it was so long ago that I didn’t even have this blog yet. My Backman neglect has been going on for years now… πŸ˜…)

Anyway, Anxious People takes place in a small Swedish town, after a bank robber stormed an apartment viewing just before New Year’s Day and took the prospective buyers hostage. As two policeman, a father and son, try to solve the crime, we jump back and forth between their investigation, the hostage situation, and the hostage’s lives prior to the viewing, slowly piecing together a puzzle where nothing is quite like it seems at first.

All in all, I ADORED this. Although it might sound like crime fiction, Anxious People actually isn’t really about a mystery at all. Rather, it’s about people. It’s about people who are worried that they aren’t good enough, it’s about people who are scared of disappointing their loved ones, it’s about people struggling with demons from their past. It’s emotional, it’s sad, but it’s oh so cozy and hopeful at the same time. And it’s funny. I must’ve looked like a maniac while reading this because my facial expressions morphed from “almost sobbing” to “grinning idiotically” within matters of seconds, multiple times.

My only (very minor) complaint is that, sometimes, I felt like the ridiculousness of the plot was almost too over the top. I can’t explain it very well, but it was like the humor distracted from the validity of the rather serious emotions some of the characters were experiencing?

Still, I would highly recommend this one!

(And also the Netflix series, which I binge watched immediately after finishing the book πŸ˜‡ I might even like it more, honestly, except for the fact that they got rid of Nadia. I loved Nadia and her therapist/patient relationship with Zarah! 😭 Still, the series overall is excellent. I definitely intend to revisit it in the future, when I will hopefully be able to understand it without having to switch on the English subtitles. I thought maybe, seeing that I had already read the book, my Swedish would be good enough to at least get the gist, but not a chance, unfortunately… )

Love & Other Words by Christina Lauren (3/5 Stars)

Christina Lauren’s books are some of my favorites to turn to when I’m in the mood for something quick, relaxing, and cute. So, with just a handful of days left until Easter break, Love & Other Words sounded exactly like what I needed to keep my spirits up!

In this dual-timeline contemporary romance novel, we follow Macy Lea Sorenson, a young woman who unexpectedly runs into her childhood best friend after they haven’t spoken in over a decade. Apart from her dad, who single-handedly raised Macy after her mother died, Elliot used to be Macy’s entire world. Until one fateful night that both Macy and Elliot deeply regret…

Overall, I’m a bit torn on how I feel about this book. One the one hand, I flew through it. The beginning immediately had me engaged – I mean, a vacation home? Two nerdy preteens bonding over reading in a closet? Sign me up! – and the premise of two childhood friends reconnecting and falling in love delivered exactly the cuteness I’d wanted.

However, there were also parts of Love & Other Words that were extremely annoying, to say the least:

  1. A relationship that starts off promising quickly turns into the characters having no connection other than sex and constantly tearing their clothes off in the weirdest places. Like, do you really have to do the deed in your father’s living room when he’s due back from grocery shopping any minute? Or in the middle of a wedding ceremony?? The second-hand embarrassment was real!
  2. The entire plot is based on one of the dumbest and most predictable cases of miscommunication I have ever encountered, and, even more frustratingly, all it takes to resolve an issue that was so major it stopped two self-proclaimed soulmates from speaking for over ten years is one sobbed explanation. An explanation that is immediately brushed aside for more sex. I was not a fan.
  3. The attempt to make the main character less bland by giving her a mixed cultural heritage – Danish and Latin American – felt extremely mediocre. Apart from name-dropped foods, Christmas candles, and Macy’s dad constantly calling her “min lille blomst” – @Line: Do Danish parents really do this or is this as awkward as I think it is? – there really wasn’t much there!

Still, I did really like the mix of cuteness and seriousness and was rooting for Macy and Elliot throughout the story. So I guess Love & Other Words is enjoyable enough despite its flaws? πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Due to me getting very distracted by Daisy Jones & The Six, Carnival Row, Star Trek: Picard, Shadow & Bone, and Anxious People and spending a significant chunk of the month trying to stop everything around me from spinning and my throat from spewing up lots of slime and blood, I wasn’t all that present around the blogosphere this past month. I read more of your posts than I responded to – You try typing a comment when it looks like the letters are dancing around the page! πŸ₯΄ – but it still wasn’t all that many. However, out of the posts I did read, these were some of my favorites!

So yeah, that brings us to the end of this wrap-up! If you’ve read any of the books featured here, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and if you have any recommendations that might help me save my average rating, I’m all ears as well! Please, I desperately need help!!

(Also, just a heads up: Since I have a 60-page paper to write within the next two weeks, it is basically guaranteed highly probable that I won’t post again until mid-April… Nope, this is not an April Fool’s joke πŸ₯Ί Sorry!! )

26 thoughts on “What I Read in March 2023

  1. radiosarahc says:

    Looks like a fab march for you!

    I also adored Anxious people (must check out the series) and did a lot of eye rolling at beautiful world where are you – it felt like a slog towards the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      The Anxious People series is definitely worth checking out! They made a few changes, but overall, it’s still a very faithful adaptation and made me fall in love with these characters and the story all over again πŸ₯° I really hope you like it!

      And lol, I’m glad I’m not alone on The Beautiful World, Where Are You front πŸ˜‚ I did get invested again once everyone was at Alice’s place, but before then, it just seemed to meander around a bit pointlessly!


  2. Line @First Line Reader says:

    I got stressed just reading about all the stuff you have to do during Easter break 🀯 Sending so many positive vibes your way!

    LOVED reading your thoughts on The Atlas Paradox despite already knowing them πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ It’s still truly shocking to me how the book could be that bad!

    Seeing that German teacher book on your StoryGraph actually had me slightly amused just from the title because I figured you must be reading it for relatability πŸ˜‚ I’m glad it made you laugh even if it was slightly too satirical in some areas.

    And you’re kinda making me worried about Sally Rooney and all the sex scenes 😬 I knew there were some in her books but what you describe sounds annoying. I’m still reading Normal People but now I’m prepared.

    I might skip that particular Christina Lauren book, though, despite the Danish references (even if I am curious about what they could possibly be) πŸ˜… As for parents calling their children “min lille blomst”, well, I can’t exactly say they’d never do that. I wouldn’t call it a popular pet name but it’s not completely crazy either. You usually only say it about small children though and I assume this character is an adult. Then again, my mom still calls me by the childish nickname I had as a kid so it kinda depends on the relationship I’d say πŸ€” I don’t know if this helped πŸ˜…

    And thanks for sharing my posts, even if you like strange book tropes πŸ™„πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thanks – I’ll certainly take all the positivity I can get! πŸ˜­πŸ™ˆ Although I’ve been trying to get the most frustrating part out of the way first grading the exams today, so hopefully, that means the other work will seem more motivating in comparison? πŸ˜…

      Anyway, you have no idea how much I’m looking forward to hopefully getting another The Altals Paradox review in your wrap-up – so I get the feeling! 🀣 Like, I still don’t understand! How did her editors and publisher not notice what they were putting out in the world???

      The teacher book definitely checked all of the relatability boxes 😁 Honestly, it’s so satisfying to see people complaining about the very things you’re struggling with!

      Also, I don’t know if all of Sally Rooney’s books have this much sex. Since reading Beautiful World, Where Are You, I have discovered that the sex is actually already advertised in the synopsis, so maybe I should have glanced at that before reading the book… πŸ™ˆ But I guess that means there’s still a chance that Normal People is better!

      And thanks for the Danish nickname insights! Yeah, the main reason it struck me as so odd is that the father still used it when his daughter was a teenager/young adult, which I think I would’ve found incredibly awkward at that age. But apparently it means so much to Macy that she even made her email address minlilleblomst@hotmail.com? πŸ˜… I guess I just don’t relate, but maybe that’s because my parents never used weird nicknames for us. Like, a ton of parents here call their kids “Schatz” even when they’re older, but the mere thought of my parents doing that seems incredibly cringey to me…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Janette says:

    I’m glad that March has improved your reading stats a bit even though none of these were still really stand out books for you. Thank you for making me laugh out loud. I loved your review of The Atlas Paradox even though I still think it’s your own fault for reading it after hating Atlas SixπŸ˜ƒI’m not going anywhere near it!
    The teacher book sounds fun and I guess that the author was going for humour rather than a true picture and there’s not a lot of fun to be got out of hours of planning. Your education system does sound slightly bonkers to me though. The thought of being sent anywhere in Bavaria to teach with so little notice sounds horrific. My schools have all been within a ten mile radius of where I live .
    Have a happy Easter holiday although it doesn’t sound as though you’ve got much time for relaxing. XX

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Yeah, you definitely showed far more wisdom than me by staying well away from The Atlas Paradox 🀣 It was so not worth it!

      The teacher book was wonderfully relatable and fun! I guess I just would’ve liked a bit more insight into WHY the narrator even wanted this job, since she didn’t particulary seen to care about the kids… I didn’t necessarily need to see more lesson planning, but I just wanted some effort on her part to show that this mattered to her! But yeah – parts of our education system are definitely strange. You have more of a say where you want to live once you’ve finished your training, but it can still take years for you to end up where you’d actually like to live…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jan says:

    I haven’t heard of Fredrik Backman but A Man Called Ove has been on my radar for a while now; I’m gonna add Anxious People into my TBR too. I have never read a Sally Rooney book before. I have only heard of Normal People and now this, I’ll probably get to them later.
    What did you think of s&b and daisy jones and the six?? I have many thoughts (mostly not positive lol) and I am trying to write them down in my wrap up🀣
    Loved reading your rant review on Atlas Paradox!
    I hope you are feeling better now!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I still really want to read A Man Called Ove, too! In fact, I really should do better at getting to Backman’s books and probably make it my mission to read all of them, since, clearly, I enjoy them! πŸ€—

      As for Shadow & Bone and Daisy Jones & The Six – I adored the latter and thought the former was a huge letdown πŸ˜… Like, everything about Shadow & Bone felt super rushed (What was up with them trying to squeeze all of these books into one season??), the Ravkan characters were barely explored at all, and the Crows were sent on this super non-sensical sword quest and started eating butterflies while everyone completely forgot about Matthias rotting away in jail πŸ™„ I mean, I guess it was still enjoyable enough to keep me watching, but overall, I was not a fan!

      Daisy Jones & The Six, though? Despite the songs not being exactly what I’d pictured (heard in my head?), I absolutely loved it! Everything felt so true to the books and just made me fall in love with this band, Camilla, and their messy lives all over again! πŸ₯°

      Anyway, I’m super excited to read more of your thoughts in that wrap-up! Happy April!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lesserleaf says:

    Wow, you have a lot on your plate — hope it all works out as planned and that you do get some rest and fun. Reading about all the things you have to do in your Referendariat is exhausting and makes me doubly glad that I changed my Lehramtstudium (I had English and History for Gymnasium) to a master’s degree all those years ago.

    My cousins are doing teacher’s training for primary school and school for kids with special needs, but while they are also busy and stressed out, their’s doesn’t sound quite as stressful as yours. But then they are doing it in Hessen, maybe their system is less rigorous πŸ˜‰

    I almost read Empire of the Vampire not too long ago, but I thought it was too depressing and so didn’t.

    And thanks for mentioning my post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Well, so far, I’m only about two pages behind schedule, so having a bit of relaxation next week seems like it might be possible! πŸ€” Although it still sounds like you avoided a ton of stress through your career choice – if you disregard all of the technology troubles you always seem to be having… πŸ˜‰ I definitely don’t envy you there, either!

      I have no idea whether the Referendariat is less rigorous in other states, though. Maybe it’s also related to school type? I have an acquaintance who’s doing teacher training at a primary school in Bavaria and that also sounds a bit less exhausting than what I have to do. But maybe that’s just because one’s own workload always seems worse than others’! πŸ˜‚


  6. Nefeli @BiblioNebula says:

    I hope you are much better now and you find some time to relax in that packed Easter break of yours. I can’t wait for mine to start next week, I feel exhausted on multiple levels.

    That German teacher book sounds so interesting despite the teacher sounding like a caricature. It’s good to know that the Ministry of Education isn’t exactly perfect either in countries we consider better functioning than our own mess of a state. Though, ours still stands higher in incompetence, no one in Europe can beat us methinks. Anyway, you are SO REAL about the struggles of teaching. Everyone (at least here) constantly talks about all the holidays we get as teachers, but the truth is that’s it’s a very very exhausting profession. The hours of preparation we put in for a simple lesson alone are enough to drain a person’s energy tank. But, as you said, even though “the self-doubt is crippling and the work hours insane, we still keep doing it because we care about the kids”.

    Anxious People will definitely be the next Backman I read (at some point, soon I hope). From its description it sounds like it’s made for me. I am “anxious people” afterall πŸ˜‚. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Should I wait until I read the book first (which might take months at best) or watch the TV show? Hmm, decisions, decisions…πŸ€”

    Thank you for including my comeback and my posts in this πŸ₯° Honestly, seeing your excitement for my being back makes me all the more excited to be back and blogging again!

    You will survive the 60-page paper, hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Well, let’s just ignore the relaxation bit and focus on the fact that I am completely cough and sniffle free! πŸ₯³ And I’m not too badly behind schedule on that paper, either, so hopefully, we’ll both be able to tank up on a bit of energy next week!

      And, lol, I have a feeling our Ministry of Education might appear way more competent to outsiders than it actually is and that it’s the combined effort of schools and teachers that salvages quite a bit of the stuff they manage to botch up. Politicians thoroughly loosing sight of reality and trying to enforce “new” and “innovative” ideas seems to be a universal thing in education πŸ™„ I’m sure Greece isn’t as alone there as you think!

      But gosh, yes, I get the “teachers have afternoons and weekends off and a ton of holidays” talk all the time 😀 IT’S INFURIATING!!! I kind of wish I could force them to take over for a week and see how they do managing five classes, preparing lessons, grading tests, dealing with worried parents, and doing all of the extra documentation work the Ministry of Education requires with afternoons and weekends off…

      Anxious People is excellent! πŸ₯° I can definitely see you liking it! The book and the show are a bit different in tone – I’d say the book is a tad more humorous and the show a tad more serious – so maybe you can choose based on that? 😁

      And of course I had to include your comeback! πŸ₯° I’m thrilled to see you back and hope your blogging excitement won’t get too much competition from exhausting work and the likes any time soon! πŸ’™


  7. Sophie @ Me & Ink says:

    I loved reading your wrap up! I am sorry to hear you fell ill in March though, I was hoping to say have a restful easter break but having read further I don’t think those are the best words for you. I think I am going with good luck and enjoy those lovely plans with your friends & family!
    I have never read a Jay Kristoff book and from what I’ve heard about how he writes about sex/genitalia etc. has always made me wary of his books. I am glad the world was fascinating though, I love a good world!
    I am so happy you enjoyed Anxious People (and it has a decent adaptation). I really want to read this book and hearing your thoughts has just made me more sure.
    Have a lovely April πŸ’›πŸ£ and thank you soo much for sharing my post and your kind words πŸ₯°

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Good luck is definitely something I can use! Although as of now, I’m only about two pages behind schedule, so hopefully I’ll manage to get most of the paper done by Saturday and get at least a bit of relaxation afterwards πŸ€—

      Jay Kristoff’s genitalia obsession does take some getting used to πŸ˜‚ He has very poetic writing otherwise and such intriguing worlds, though! So I guess I’m willing to turn a blind eye to all the crude imagery…

      Anyway, I really hope you enjoy Anxious People if you end up trying it! And a wonderful April to you as well! πŸ’™πŸ°

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Abby @ Beyond the Read says:

    ahh thank you so much for the shoutout naemi!! i’m so happy to hear you enjoyed anxious people and beartown too, based on your goodreads! i finished beartown a few days ago as well and i can’t get it out of my headβ€”fredrik backman is such a talented writer πŸ₯Ή i’ll have to keep your thoughts about love & other words in mind; i’ve been wanting to read it but it’s good to know the hype might not be entirely justified πŸ˜…

    i hope the paper writing is going well and that you’re able to catch a bit of a break during your vacation!! πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      You’re very welcome! πŸ’™

      And yes – both Anxious People and Beartown were amazing! 😭 It’s a good thing I have no time to read anything at all in the next few days because I already know my Beartown-book-hangover is going to take some time getting over. And Benji!! πŸ₯°πŸ˜­πŸ₯° I haven’t grown as attached to a character in quite some time and just want to give him a hug!

      But anyway – I really hope you end up liking Love & Other Words! Despite my issues with it, I devoured that book, and think it’s great if you’re looking for a romance with lots of yearning!

      As for the paper – let’s not talk about that πŸ˜… I’m actually at 80 pages now, but it’s STILL not completely done πŸ™ˆ I think it’s gonna need about ten additional pages, so I’m going to try my best to get those written before my friend arrives later today 😫

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Nehal Jain says:

    Helooo helooo. Why did you overwork yourself, Naemi? *facepalm*
    Also hey you mentioned your friend’s boyfriend, which makes me wonder, you never mention any of your love interests… 😜
    The anxious people book gets me curious, though I’m not sure I like reading stuff that mixes up happy and sad, I prefer one at a time I guess lolll.
    And hey all those thoughts on teaching, all the hard work… I didn’t know you were THAT dedicated. I mean yeah I knew u worked so hard, but to read it like that… I feel awed truly.
    Awesome wrap, so many bookssss!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      The overworking thing wasn’t voluntary! I definitely would’ve avoided that monster paper if I could have! 😫

      And lol, I guess some things are just too private to publicly share on the internet – or there’s nothing to tell… You’ll have to take your pick! 😜

      Happy and sad is the perfect mixture, though! How can you NOT like that in books? 😱 That must be your evilness showing, Neigh-hal! 😁


  10. Nehal Jain says:

    Also I’ve been meaning to read all your posts for some time now, I’ll be doing that pretty soon πŸ˜‚. I miss your posts 😭. And everybody elses too but people are barely active either right?
    Just got this stupid test thing coz why not πŸ™‚.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Yes, I’ve been missing everyone, too! πŸ˜₯ I suppose the only advantage of so many people having gone radio silent is that I technically don’t have a whole lot of time to read everyone’s posts, either, but that’s not exactly comforting… I still hope your stupid test thing will have been successfully conquered soon! πŸ’ͺ🏽 I MISS YOUR POSTS SO MUCH!! πŸ˜­πŸ’™


    • abookowlscorner says:

      Yeah, I was really surprised, too! I had always thought Sally Rooney’s books were serious and depressing literary fiction or something and was not expecting all the smut πŸ˜‚ But I’m still intrigued to see what else she has to offer!

      Liked by 1 person

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