i truly do not want to jinx anything, but i feel like i might be back in my reading era. right now i am reading, consuming, and loving a lot of books and stories – so i decided to push myself a little bit, but with a content creating overlapping twist.
so, i have done “read 12 books recommended by 12 friends” in the past and i have really loved doing it. but i saw this insta template go a little viral with my friends, and i thought it would be a perfect opportunity to push myself a little and join along in the fun!
but instead of asking my friends on booksta and goodreads, i polled my friends in the kpop community! lmaoooo listen, i was a little scared at first, but they gave such good and thoughtful recommendations by so many queer authors of color! i was thriving while picking these 12 books! and another little added challenge i did was that i only picked friends who ulted a certain kpop idol once – therefore only one book recommendation from one jimin biased friend! and truly, i got such good range with that too and it makes my heart full and warm!
okay let’s get into the books and the kpop friends who picked them… and who they bias in kpop!
12 recommendations | 12 friends + 12 months
(credit and shoutout to destiny for formatting her 2022 challenge post so cute!)
whew! a powerful little list, aye? i hope you all enjoyed this! i am truly so excited to start reading these! please let me know if you are doing this challenge too – and if you made a blog post please oh please link me it! i am sending you all so much love always, and happy reading! ♡
happy new year, friends! i can’t believe we are entering a brand new year, because time just keeps feeling more and more fake! but these are always my favorite posts to make, and i hope you enjoy reading it.
okay, let’s rip the metaphorical band-aid off right away – so i have read less books in 2021 than i ever have before. i remember a month or so ago, thinking about how i might be disappointed with myself when writing up this post, but today when i was updating my goodreads and saw that i “only” read 33 books, i actually was okay. maybe even better than okay, and i don’t really know the answer to why! maybe *gasp* good mental health right now? maybe because i read a lot of books that i absolutely loved, and have some memories attached to some that enhance everything about the story itself? maybe because at end of the day (or year), 33 still feels like an impressive number compared to what i felt like that i read with the lack of pressure and expectations i put on myself while leaving 2020.
2020 was a really hard year for everyone, but i think i left that year with just not wanting to put any extra pressure or expectations on myself in all regards, and that very much impacted my reading this year. i wanted to just throw myself creatively in other new places things that were bringing me happiness instead of reclaiming spaces and remembering my worth.
if i have one goal in 2022 it really is to stop being so hard on myself. i really am my own worst critic in every aspect of my life, and i just want to be braver in this new year, and trust in myself that everything will work out and be okay. because i honestly proved to myself in 2021 that everything was okay and that i was okay. (i mean, despite the very loud and obvious and still scary state of our world right now.) i still feel like i’m still struggling to find my place among book stuff again, but i know everything is a process, and i think pushing myself a little more in 2022 will be a really good thing for me and my reading! but i do find myself ✨ organically ✨ craving to read like before again, and i hope i am able to find that good balance and talk about it in 2022’s reading year in review. but first let’s look back at 2021, everything that i was able to read (and my favorites), and some cool reading graphs!
Thanks to the amazing Brock at Let’s Read, here are some 2021 reading statistics that I was able to gather from his amazing spreadsheet that I use every single year:
okay, friends! happy new year – i am sending you and your families love, luck, good health, and so much warmth in 2022 and always. i miss you all so much, and i hope that 2021 was gentle on you and that you were gentle on yourselves, too! i also absolutely cannot wait to read all of your end of year favorites posts and give my tbr a lot of love based on your book recommendations! i’m thankful for you all always, and i love you.
oh hello, friends! i know it has been a little while, much more than a little while honestly, but i hope you’ve all been well and having a happy holiday season and getting good rest while we finish up this year! 2021 has been hard on all of us, and learning to navigate the new normal of a pandemic is just exhausting. but im here to tell you some of the non bookish things that brought me joy and made the year feel a little lighter and happier! and i promise, a 2021 bookish wrap up soon too! 💗
i feel like this entire pandemic i have tested so many sheet masks! but truly for the price, these Sioris ones are the best of the best. they make my skin so dewy and plump, but also so moisturized and calm! if i was a rich person, i would use of of these every night, lmaoooo! these are truly so amazing, and i also really recommend the Time is Running Out Mist by Sioris too! (i know the name is funny, but putting this under my make up is my favorite thing!)
i always would hear my offline friends talk about olaplex, and i’m not sure if i was just misinformed or being stupid, but i always thought the brand was only for color treated hair! but basically i have very thick hair and a lot of it, and i was unable to get my hair cut for such a long time because of the pandemic! i was trying to cut it myself, but i was getting such bad tangles that i would actually cry while brushing my hair, and i would give myself such bad headaches and neckaches! but then i started researching detangling shampoo because i didnt know what to do, and i found the No.3 Hair Perfector, No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, and No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner system and it actually changed my hair completely. before i would spend just as much money on high end brand shampoos and conditioners and i have never in my life seen instant results like this with any of them! (also, i did get my first hair cut in over a year and a half in october, but these products truly just made that look better too! haha!)
truly these bralettes are everything and they are only $7! like, i truly can’t believe! i have bought so many of these thigs year and i’m truly obsessed! i wear these 100% of the time at home, and 50% of the time when i leave the home (100% when im wearing an oversized top) – like they are so comfortable! and i do have a bigger chest, too, and they support while not sacrificing any comfort! i know target is only in the united states now, but truly if you have access to these i really recommend trying them out!
i don’t exactly know how or why i fell in love with seltzer water in 2021, but… here we are. i randomly had a few in my house, and i tried them, and remembering enjoying them in the past, and then i completely spiraled into trying all the different brands of seltzer water! but my friend amy told me about waterloo, which i can sometimes find at target too, and it really is my favorite of them all! blueberry is easily my favorite, but i am very biased with blueberry flavored things in general, haha! i really have enjoyed all that i’ve tried, but strawberry is probably my second favorite!
i know i’m a decade behind on this one, but early this year i decided to redo my shelves and (it was a long long long journey while vegas ikea got their stock of things in) i got six new bookshelves! i still haven’t probably shown them, and if im being honest they still aren’t exactly how i like them, but maybe a kpop/bookshelf tour video coming sooner than you’d think! i am so so so thankful for these shelves, truly! and we will just pretend this isn’t a bookish item, shhhhhh!
this is truly the best body lotion i have ever used, but especially in the colder months, and especially in a pandemic where you should be washing your hands so many times a day! you will truly feel the moisturization of this lotion all day long, but it never feels heavy or greasy or like its just sitting on top of the skin and not absorbing. my skin has felt so much softer because of this lotion and i don’t want to picture an alternate reality of my not putting this on after every shower!
➽ 07.) Huntington Beach, California
huntington beach, california, has always been one of my favorite places in this whole world, and it’s also always been a constant source of healing and happiness for me. i love beaches, and huntington is my favorite, and in october 2021 i was able to walk along its shores again after almost two full years. i sat under the pier, listening to the waves and feeling their power, for so long and truly it is probably my most favorite memory of 2021. i really hope there is never a point in my life where the time between visits is ever so long again. (i was also able to go to disney this trip and it truly will forever be such a happy and grateful memory for me!)
➽ 08.) The Hobbit
i have also loved middle-earth, but i was not expecting the emotional hold that the hobbit trilogy (in particular an unexpected journey) had on me this year. every time i felt a panic attack, high anxiety levels, or if i just felt the world was too overwhelming, i would put on the hobbit and everything would feel so much better. again, i have no idea how this became an emotional support source in 2021, but i am very thankful and i do think a reread might be in order for 2022 too! (i got a really breathtaking easton press edition for my birthday this year, too!)
i truly entered this year with my heart so full of bts and txt that i didn’t think i had much more room for anyone else, but then the last half of 2021 and seventeen happened. and i truly know that everyone who fell in love with bts with me in the book community in 2019 would absolutely fall in love with seventeen, too! they are such good humans, and such phenomenal artists, and falling in love with them has reminded me so much of falling in love with bts. without question, becoming a carat has been one of the brightest spots of this year for me and i am so thankful.
okay, this is kind of going with the last one, and i know i put this on my 2020 list too, but it’s no secret that i have been spending a lot of my creative time making kpop videos. it has truly brought me so much joy and has been such a wonderful outlet for me. and i think my favorite thing is forever going to be mixing books with kpop, hehe! but i hit 6k subscribers this year, 1.1m views, and 4.4m watch time minutes and… i still can’t believe it. i am proud of myself and everything i have carved out and achieved in a new community and i really can’t wait to see all the new loves, and highs, and adventures in 2022! (and thank you all to everything who has supported me, watched this very different style of content, and just let me be unapologetically happy about bts and txt and everyone else – it really means the world to me!)
i am sending you guys so much love, always. i hope you know that, and can still feel that while i haven’t been as active in the community. and i’m so immensely proud of you for enduring another year in this pandemic. and i promise i am cheering for you always, with all your goals, in life and in reading and in everything in between! let me know some of the things that brought you happiness this year! and i’m truly wishing you so much happiness, good health, warmth, and comfort in 2022! 💗
Hello friends! I hope you are doing well! October was a bit of a wild month for me, mostly because I just… unapologetically indulged in happiness, that didn’t involve a lot of reading! 🧡
Basically, three of my favorite kpop groups had comebacks, therefore I had so much new music to love, so many new stages to see, and so many nights of questionable sleep to mess up my schedules, haha! I will say that BTS do have a comeback in November, so I am a little scared for my reading this month too, but I will save that for November posts!
Also, I am still in a five star read drought! I haven’t read a five star since August, can you believe? But I am currently reading The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore and it is most likely going to be a new favorite of all time, so hopefully we will start November off with a five star!
➽ The Project by Courtney Summers ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Publication: February 2, 2021 It is no secret that I have loved Courtney Summers’ stories, so I knew once I received an ARC of this one that I would not be able to let it sit on my ipad for long! This is a story all about cults, and brainwashing, and power dynamics and imbalances, and predatory behavior and actions, but it is also a book about siblings who are willing to do anything for each other and, just like all of Courtney’s books, I was a weeping mess at the main characters of this story. I think so many people will really enjoy this one when it releases, but I just didn’t love the ending as much as I thought I would.
➽ Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was the October pick for the Dragons and Tea Book Club! This is a spooky story all about a girl also willing to do whatever it takes for her family, but the setting is in a very haunted house in Mexico City. Yet, you quickly realize the scariest part of the story is the entitled white men who feel like the world should give them everything. Again, I really enjoyed this one, but I just didn’t love one part at the end!
➽ The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson ⭐⭐⭐ Okay, I loved the first half of this book and I still think it is such an impressive debut, but the end just got a little too messy. But it is a story about a cult that also is ruled by white entitled men (truly I was reading the spookiest theme all October)! But our main character is constantly ostracized because she is mixed race, but also because her mother might have had contact with the witches who dwell in the surrounding forest. I know I sound like such a broken record, but again, I just didn’t love the end of this, but I was so in love with the first half!
➽ House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1) by Sarah J. Maas ⭐⭐⭐ Me, feeling a reading slump coming on, but also feeling guilty I haven’t wrote a review I know a lot of people are waiting on, therefore I start a 1,000 page reread of a SJM book? Yeah, that for sure happened. So basically, I reread this with Maëlys via audiobook one week, and we had a good time, truly. I promise, an actual and real and long review SOON, but the TL;DR is always going to be that this book should have been sapphic.
➽ Queen of the Conquered (Islands of Blood and Storm, #1) by Kacen Callender ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I buddy read this with Shae & Maëlys and I couldn’t believe how amazing this book was, and I’m feeling so thankful that book two comes out this December! This also is a book starring a mixed race main character who has seen colonization happening to her islands her entire life, but her position makes me see she does not feel like she belongs to either half of herself, and she feels a bit helpless even with a magical ability. This book was so very dark at times, and so very unapologetic constantly, but I had goosebumps while reading every page. I wish I could put this book into way more peoples’ hands, because I truly was blown away by the power of these pages.
What was your favorite read of October? I cannot believe we only have two months left of 2020. Also, just a friendly reminder that I know today is going to be a lot for so many, but I’m sending you all extra love, and I hope you all are checking in with your mental health! Take breaks when needed, and check in on loved ones, and be safe, but also make sure that your voice is heard.
Lastly, for a bit more serotonin and maybe some escapism, here are the three kpop groups that I love a lot that had come backs in October (and if you want to see my reactions to their music videos):
Today is Jimin’s birthday here in my time zone and I couldn’t not make some sort of blog post celebrating it. I know a lot of people joke about their “emotional support kpop boy” but oh my word has Jimin made 2019 and 2020 so much brighter for me. His words, his presence, his voice has gotten me through so much, and I truly don’t even have the words to tell you all how much he means to me. He makes me so proud, and feel so seen, and so very inspired on so many levels, and I really so aspire to be as kind and loving and supportive as he is to his loved ones. But before I make a full on thesis statement about my love for him and everything he has done for me, let me just give you some book recommendations based on his solo songs. 💜
“Please bring back my smile”
Lie is Jimin’s very first solo! My interpretation of Lie is about all of the lies we tell ourselves. I personally think this is both ends of the spectrum where we lie about being happy when we aren’t, but also the lies about ourselves that encroach our thoughts when we are actually happy. For me, this song is very much about mental health, and I think Jimin is really brave to have this song, because you can see how much it impacts, and has impacted him. So were are three books about mental health that made me feel very seen, and that I think could be very healing about all those littles lies.
Serendipity if my favorite song probably ever, so this one is extra close to my heart. My interpretation of Serendipity is that it is all about growth, and healing, and finding happiness in so many different places. The word “serendipity” means to be happy due to chance, and what is more serendipitous than true love, for yourself and/or for others. To truly see another person completely, and to love them wholeheartedly flaws and all, and unconditionally choose them over and over. It is a very powerful thing, and a very vulnerable thing, and something that we are never quite ready for. But this song is so powerful, so vulnerable, and so… romantic with all the differently types of love we are able to have in this life! So here are three of my favorite books about love, both for ourselves and for others.
Filter is Jimin’s most recent solo that we just got to see finally performed last weekend (I am sorry for this video quality, lol). My interpretation of Filter is a little darker, so I am sorry for that. But Jimin is obviously a very successful human and I think this song is about how he can slip into many roles to please different people, and the expectations they place on him. I also obviously think Jimin is a very genuine person, and he loves his fans more than anything and he shows that unapologetically, but I also think he is aware of the different masks (and egos) that he is able to put on for BTS and just in general from being in the most successful kpop group ever which makes his life constantly scrutinize because he is always in the public eye. So here are three books where the main character changes a lot based on the circumstances life has placed on them.
Promise is Jimin’s only and first actual solo work, the other three have been on BTS albums where the other members also have solos, so Promise is a little different and very special. Oh, and the meaning actually makes me weep! But my interpretation of Promise is that sometimes loving yourself is a lot harder than loving others. Yet, seeing how far you’ve came, and knowing how far you have to go, can be comforting, especially if you make promises along the way. Again, this is very much a song about mental health, to me, and how you are worthy of being here, and worthy of love, and worthy of kindness, both from others and yourself. So here are three books all about growth and journeys and how we all deserve happy endings.
Oh, and all of these books are my favorites of all time! Jimin really does deserve the entire world. He is just the embodiment of love and healing and growth and I always feel so honored to call him my ult bias. Thank you all for being supportive of this other love of mine, and being able to pair it with books always makes my heart so very happy! Do you like kpop? Tell me your fave groups and biases, if so! And I hope you’re having happy listening and reading! 💜