Posted in June Books 16

June 13th Book Blogging


Wanderlust… Ah, there are so many places I want to go! The first book that really captivated me was Che Guvyerara’s ‘The Motorcycle Diaries.’ It was my aim to spend a year travelling South America with someone amazing that I would meet, on the back of their back, following his path. It was a serious dream: it was for gap year.

I guess so many things that I’ve planned and dreamed of in my life have not come off. I did have a ‘gap year’ before ‘university.’ I spent a year in and out of hospital, before managing two weeks at university, and afterward followed five and a half years straight in various different hospitals under section and, toward the end, as a voluntary (ish) patient, before discharge as they didn’t know what to do with me.


So, ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ was what really inspired me for so many years as a young adult, but now… I can’t read it. It’s too painful. Knowing that the likelihood of my ever going (with the bones of a ninety year old, under 24 hour paid surveillance, lacking capacity, not being able to intake anything but liquids, a tube up my nose, not allowed out) makes it too hard, even though it was a favourite book. Incidentally, the film is amazing as well. I would recommend it to everyone. To everybody. Anyone.

The politics of Ernesto and Che are fascinating, but it was the places I yearned for. Wanderlust indeed.

dbsgirl x

Posted in Challenges, June Books 16

12th June Summer Reading!



Favourite villain? Ooh, that’s a fiendish one. (See what I did there? Ha.)

My immediate thought was Voldemort from HP series, but that’s too obvious. But actually? That remains my choice.

Voldemort isn’t just an evil villain who’s out to get the world, a Hitler, a general fascist. I mean he is those things, but we get to learn so much more about him. In HP6 all those memories that Harry gets to see in the pensive… Tom Marvolo Riddle is a real person. Maybe he has become the simple epitome of evil, and nothing more, but you can see how he got there. He was a child. Horrible and awful things happened to him, and he didn’t respond in a healthy way. Him and Harry are so alike in many ways; Harry could have been Voldemort if he hadn’t had the support and guidance that was generously offered him.

And actually, that’s how I think of everyone in the world. People who we may call ‘evil’ (e.g. Hitler) – they are actually a sum of their own experiences. No one is born evil. I don’t believe in evil. I feel sorry for bullies, and people who commit atrocities because there is something within them – a mistake, genetics, experience, misguidance – that means they believe they are doing the right thing.

To make it topical: the mass shooting recently in LA. That man truly believed that he was doing the right thing. Obviously, it was not: he was wrong, misguided, twisted. But he thought he was right. I’m not advocating terrorism or trying to defend him, but trying to understand the world he lives in. Of course, I feel for the victims and their families, that goes without saying. Their lives have been torn apart. But so has his.

I guess I like villains that feel real. Not just ‘evil.’ Because there is no such thing. Every single person has the propensity to be good, but some people are led the wrong way. They deserve our pity too.

(I hope no one slams me for saying this. To make it clear: I’m not condoning murder, or any act of violence or aggression. It’s just a belief I have of the world. There are no ‘bad’ people. And I’m not saying that in a naive sense.)

Well, there we are: a rather philosophical entry today!

What does anyone else think? How can we help people who feel the need to act in such horrific ways, before it comes to pulling a trigger?

dbsgirl x

Posted in June Books 16

11th June Summer Reading 16


Now, I’ve realised that it doesn’t HAVE to be books read in the last month, this makes the challenge so much easier! I probably only read about 15 or so books last month, so I was panicking a bit.


Now, I’ve read a lot of really good graphic novels: manga, Marvel etc. But one has really stood out to me through all the years. It sounds a bit geeky, sorry :S


But, hey: I am a geek, so I might as well celebrate it! I LOVE Shakespeare, and this rendition is fantastic. It’s unabridged, which is quite unusual for graphic Shakespeares, and the images are truly haunting. If anyone has to study it at some point and is struggling: read this book. You will fall in love. King Lear is my favourite Shakespeare (well, favourite of the tragedies anyway, I have different for comedies and histories) and this probably contributed to that.

It’s a horrific story (for those that don’t already know it), heart-breaking, sad, frightening, cruel, brutal but fantastic.

So, graphic novels can be really serious. (My second choice would have been Maus).

dbsgirl x