Book Blurb Wishlist

Do you ever just look at stuff that you wrote years ago and think, “Wow, what on earth was I talking about?”

I have that experience pretty often. I’ve had this blog for almost five years, you know. But this post isn’t about how cringeworthy I might have been when I first started this blog – in fact, it’s actually about one of my favorite posts I wrote in the early days of Maggie’s Musings.

Even as a high school student, I had a bone to pick with story tropes. Not much has changed in that regard, at least. I wrote a post about my “Book Blurb Blacklist,” 15 things that would immediately turn me off from reading a book. It was a delightfully snarky post, and looking back now, I still agree with pretty much all of it.

However, there’s a question that has gone unanswered for far too long: What are the things – tropes, phrases, whatever – that make me actually want to read a book?

I aim to answer that today.

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July & August 2020 | Month(s) In Review

I did many, many things these past two months. And no, I wasn’t just playing Animal Crossing all the time. It was things like service trips, dogsitting, moving, starting new jobs…

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

July and August were sort of scattered months for blogging (I mean, I did miss my July Month in Review post…), but here’s what I wrote about:

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10 Books I Want to Read Before I Collapse from Exhaustion at the End of 2020

In 2020, I set a goal to read 65 books. I set it a bit higher than my previous reading challenges, which were usually in the 45-50 range, but I knew I would be able to meet it.

The thing is… I wasn’t really expecting to meet it so soon.

Since I no longer have my big reading goal looming over me, I want to be more intentional about what books I read throughout the rest of the year. This is for two main reasons:

  • I still have some smaller reading goals to complete, like reading #OwnVoices diverse books and nonfiction books.
  • I may or may not have gone on a book shopping spree the last few months, and now I have several books on my shelves that I should read before I buy any new ones.

Charmaine did a list like this at the beginning of July (which makes a lot more sense, since she still had half a year to work with), so I stole it felt inspired by it and decided to make my own reading commitment for what’s left of the year.

So without further ado, here are 10 books I want to read before the end of 2020!

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June 2020 – Month In Review

I am decidedly at the point in my life where I’m just like “you know what, I’m too tired to do anything other than rearrange the furniture in my Animal Crossing house right now.” And that’s okay. I’m pacing myself.

Anyways, I know everyone else has been saying it already, but I cannot believe that it’s July already. It took me three days to remember to change my wall calendar to the next month. But hey, look at us! We’ve made it so far already! That’s definitely something to be proud of and thankful for.

When I wasn’t losing track of time this month, I was blogging about:

Once you’ve checked out those blog posts, read on to hear about the rest of my month!

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Making My Own Bookish Figurines

It seems like everyone and their weird uncle has started a new hobby lately. Some people are baking bread, making soap or candles, or learning a new language.

Me?

Well, I’ve also started a new “quarantine hobby.” It was a terrible idea, not because I hate it, but because I’ve become practically obsessed with it over the past few weeks and I can’t make myself stop.

I started making custom figurines.

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May The Odds Be (N)ever In Your Favor

Here’s your hot take for the week: We don’t understand The Hunger Games.

“But Maggie,” I hear you say, “How could we not understand The Hunger Games? It was the biggest teen movie franchise since Twilight! Don’t you remember reading about how well the movies performed commercially? Didn’t you give a presentation on the cultural impact of dystopian fiction on young adults?”

I did indeed give such a presentation, but that doesn’t debunk my claim right off the bat. There are plenty of readers and viewers of The Hunger Games who looked beyond the hype and saw the message of the story – we wouldn’t still be talking about it otherwise. But in general, our society has missed the point.

Let’s get one other thing out of the way: The Hunger Games is not my favorite book or film series, not by a long shot. If you asked me to name my top ten books of all time, I doubt it would make the list. That’s not to say it’s a bad book though! I think it’s an excellent read and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to better understand young adult literature. Personally though, I’m more interested in how The Hunger Games is (or maybe was) a cultural phenomenon.

For those reading this who missed out on The Hunger Games or just did not care, here’s the premise: a futuristic and dystopian nation known as Panem holds an annual “Hunger Games” in which 24 “tributes” between the ages of 12-18 are selected to participate in a televised fight to the death. The heroine, Katniss, volunteers for the Games to take the place of her younger sister Prim. Fair warning, there will be plenty of spoilers as we keep going!

18.1
Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her sister’s place in the Hunger Games.

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May 2020 – Month In Review

I wrote this entire blog post and then realized I needed to go back and write an introduction and… I can’t think of anything. I guess I’d start by saying, congrats to everyone for making it this far in the year! 2020 hasn’t been kind to most of us, but I’m proud of you for pushing on. That’s no small accomplishment!

Speaking of accomplishments, I finally got back into my blogging routine this month. I wrote about:

Want to know what else I’ve been up to lately? Keep reading!

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Staying Afloat & Finishing Well | A Summary of the Last Two Months

You may be asking yourself, what happened to Maggie? She wrote one (1) thing about the apocalypse and then dropped off the face of the earth, what gives?

Life. Life is what gives.

It should come as no surprise that the last few months have been full of… happenings that required me to make some temporary adjustments to my life. One of those adjustments was going on an “unplanned indefinite hiatus,” as a band I liked once put it. The quick explanation is that combining work, school, senioritis, and a magnified lack of motivation due to the happenings made things pretty challenging!

But things are different now! I’m graduated (!) and unemployed (?!) which means two obstacles are out of the way for the time being. One of the first things I wanted to do was fall back into my blogging routine, and fall into it I shall.

And what better way to do so than to give a major life update? I promise it won’t all be boring stuff, because I read a lot of books these past few months, played some new video games, and even wrote some words if you can believe it. So onward!

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February 2020 – Month in Review

Boy it has been a minute, hasn’t it?

My life, like those of many others, has been rather chaotic this March, so blogging has taken a backseat to things like passing my classes and staying mentally coherent.

But hey, I’m back, at least for right now! And while it’s not on schedule by any means, I still want to share my February in review (thank goodness I took notes for it earlier this month). In some ways, it might be rather nice to look back on when things were sort of normal.

But first, blog posts! In February, I wrote about:

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January 2020 – Month in Review

Another year, another January, another month in review. I’ve always thought January is kind of a strange month. On one hand, it feels like thirty-one Mondays in a row, but on the other hand, everything feels so fresh and exciting! That’s the approach I try to have, but when it’s dark by 5:30 p.m. and the temperatures are freezing most of the time, it’s hard.

On the bright side, there was a lot of new and exciting stuff to keep my spirits up this month! I’ll talk about all of that in just a second, but first, here’s what I blogged about this month:

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