BookTube made me read it: 3 books I wouldn’t have read if not for BookTube

picture of the covers of three books booktube made me read, norse mythology by neil gaiman, grief is the thing with feathers by max porter and one hundred nights of hero by isabel greenberg

As an avid reader, I spend a considerable amount of my spare time on Instagram and YouTube, following a wide array of book-related accounts. I love book hauls and wrap-ups. I watch many more than I should and often the same books pop up on several channels. So, naturally, when in a bookshop or my local library the books that kept being mentioned stick out to me and more often than not I end up picking them up.

I have read many great books because of this and also many not so great. I sometimes miss the days when I knew nothing of the new books. I can definitely see how different the before BookTube days were in terms of what I read and how I bought books. Whether the consequences of consuming too much social media are good or bad for my reading is a discussion worth getting into, but today I want to mention three books in three different genres I would have never picked up on my own if not for BookTube.

1.

I will start with the most recent one, which is Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter. Since its publishing in 2015 this book got so much hype and praise. This book is about grief. A mother dies. The father and two children are mourning. Their grief takes the form of a large crow which appears suddenly and makes itself comfortable in their house.

The idea is great but I did not enjoy the execution. This book is written in verse but it reads almost like prose, so I liked that because I never read poetry. I thought this could be a nice and easy introduction to the genre.

The POV alternates between the boys, the father, and the crow. The alternating POVs made the book fragmented and somewhat not understandable. There were some brief flashes of real grief coming through but overall it felt disjointed and it did not affect me.

The crow’s POV was crazy and nonsensical. Here is an example:

‘Head down, tot-along, looking.

Head down, hop-down, totter.

Look up. ‘LOUD, HARD AND INDIGNANT

KRAAH NOTES’ (Collins Guide to Birds, p. 45).

Head down, bottle-top, potter.

Head down, mop-a-lot, hopper.

He could learn a lot from me.

That’s why I’m here.’

Or,

‘Gormin’ere, worrying horrid. Hello elair, krip krap

krip krap who’s that lazurusting beans of my cut-

out? Let me buck flap snutch clat tapa one tapa

two, motherless children in my trap, in my apse, in

separate stocks for boiling, Enunciate it, rolling and

turning it, sadget lips and burning it. Oohm pressure!

Must rehearse, must cuss less. The nobility of nature,

haha krah haha krap haha, better not.’

No, this is not for me. If you are a poetry fan then you might understand what the hype is about but for me this is jibberish. If you want to read a great novel about grief I would recommend The Museum of You by Carys Bray.

2.

I have to include Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman here as I would have definitely not picked up a collection of short stories if not for BookTube (or that gorgeous cover btw).  This book is exactly that, a collection of myths, told in a way myths and fairy tales are/were told. Short and to the point.

I enjoy the world they’re set in but I prefer these myths in a longer format where there’s more depth, character development, and plot. This was simply not the format for me.

This is for those who want to acquaint themselves with the Nordic myths. A glossary of the Nordic myths and not more than that.

3.

One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg is the first graphic novel I read.

I loved the story. Inspired by The Arabian Nights, this is a story about love, storytelling, and feminism. The illustrations are beautiful and the fairy tales are charming.

Even though the book itself is short, the stories contained in them contain so much meaning, the world building is amazing and the stories are inspiring.

Out of the three, I enjoyed this one best but I’m not sure the format is for me. I like to imagine the world I’m reading about and a graphic novel just doesn’t ignite my imagination.

I will read more graphic novels in the future, and I would prefer the ones similar to this one, rich in ideas and inspiring.

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