Snowathon Wrap Up – Celebrating Winter! [CC]

Hello and welcome to channel, my name is
Annalisa and today I am wrapping up the Snowathon. The Snowathon ran from the
1st to the 15th of December and was hosted by Pages and Ink, Reading with the
Baus, Books and Other Nerd Things, and The Bookish Coffee Blog, all of whom will be linked below. It was designed to be relaxed and to be an enjoyable way to
get into the winter and Christmas season. Now I had a plan to do all of the
prompts and film little bits for each prompt to go in extra which you will be
seeing some of, but I only got it done for one of the set of prompts because
there are two – one is about it being winter and one’s about getting ready for
Christmas. So I am going to be doing the second set of prompts after the
official read-a-thon ends and I will be doing it for the next two weeks in the
lead-up to Christmas. So there will be another video similar to this but a
little different in a couple of weeks. The first prompt was: It’s snowing! Read a book with snow or wintery themes
on the cover. And for that I picked The Golden Compass. It was in a recent book
haul of mine and it has a polar bear on the cover, which is pretty wintery. I’ve
only gotten half way through it but I’m enjoying it very much. And we have
definitely got into the wintery bits because a big part of this story is
about going north because there are some bad guys kidnapping children and taking
them off to fairly close to the North Pole. The northern lights are
particularly magical in this world because it is a fantasy and polar bears
wear armor and go around fighting and can talk and are generally awesome. This
little mouse is the companion of the main character, whose name is Lyra, and
every person in this world has one. They are called daemons – it’s spelled with the
that AE together thing – and they are basically a piece of the person’s soul
that’s like separated off into a separate thing. And when they die their
demons die and vice versa. There’s just a lot of magic going on,
and the author does not fully explain it all at once, you kind of get it you get
it fed to you by bits and pieces that make sense for how the main character is
learning about what’s going on in the world. I really enjoy that, it makes
it feel really immersive. I’ll tell you more about it when I finish it but I
really like it I really like the characters, I really like the magic system and all that. The next prompt is: Bundle up before going outside. Read a book that will keep you warm. And for that I picked Surviving and Thriving
with an Invisible Chronic Illness, because reading this has kind of helped
me feel a little bit less alone and given me a few ideas for what it
says on the cover – surviving and thriving. It’s not quite as informative as I was
hoping it’s a lot of very obvious stuff and some of it is just life advice that
isn’t actually specifically more attuned to people with chronic illnesses. But
there was a big section at the beginning about accepting that you have a chronic
illness and how to interact with other people when you’re still on that phase
where you haven’t really accepted it yet. I’m kind of in that phase
because I only found out that I have fibromyalgia etc. about nine months ago
and the whole ‘it never going away’ thing is still still kind of something I’m
processing. So I did enjoy that. I’m only halfway through it so there may be
more pertinent details later on, but for now I’m a little underwhelmed. The next
prompt was: Build snowman with your friends. And for that you’re supposed to
participate in a buddy read, but I don’t have any buddies to read. Although you
could consider that The Golden Compass is a bit of a buddy read because a bunch
of other booktubers are reading in it now for their own buddy read, and you
could just kind of pretend that I’m, like, tacking on to theirs, because I didn’t actually talk to them before I found out they were reading it. They just happened to be reading it during the second week of December for some reason. The fourth prompt is: Have a snowball fight. Read a book with a hate to love trope.
About five days into this read-a-thon I started mood reading because I was
really stuck on the book that I’m gonna talk about next. I started rereading some old romances One of those that I read was – that one –
A Court of Mist and Fury – and that one is pretty much the hate to love trope. It’s a retelling of the Persephone in Hades myth, very loosely. I think the first scene with the main lady and her love interest involves her
throwing a shoe at his head. The fifth prompt is: Go Sledding. And this is to read a
book with an adventure or quest. For this I picked Aru Shah and the End of
Time, and the reason I did is because it was one of the many books that I had
checked out from the library at the time. I got a bunch of recs for own voices Indians, basically, maybe South Asia, southern Asia in general, but there were a lot of Indian authors, I will link that video below. This is the one that got me into a reading slump because of very personal reasons. I think it’s actually a pretty good book, and I think it’ll
really go good places. I was kind of surprised to find out that this is this
author’s third book because the prose makes me think it’s more like a debut.
The prose is about on level with my writing, which is not a compliment – I mean
it makes me feel better that maybe my prose is good enough to be published but
most most books have better prose than what I can write at the moment. So it’s
kind of surprising that this is not a debut. But she will probably continue to
improve as she goes forward, a third book is still pretty early on in most authors
careers. But this is a gorgeous cover, isn’t it? And everything going on on this cover
is like actual stuff from the book that actually happens and you get to see
these creatures and the little golden ball she’s holding is a real thing.
I really appreciate the cover artist and the publishers who picked who would
do the cover and how they would do it. I appreciate that. And I really
appreciate the whole Rick Riordan Presents thing that he’s doing, so that’s great. I also really enjoyed learning more about Indian,
particularly Hindu, mythology. It’s really interesting and
different and that part was great. It’s not really my style and my usual
preference, but it was really interesting how the author really integrated that
mythology with a modern take. This is kind of urban fantasy – it’s very
much set in the real world and what goes on in the magic world with all this
mythology heavily interacts with the real world and modern stuff which is the
thing that a lot of middle grade fantasy doesn’t do. It’s, like, fully magical and
doesn’t attach the real world, at least the stuff that I read. Which is also
partially why I didn’t enjoy it as much, it’s not the kind that I like, but it
is good to read something different. That is not what put me off the book
totally, it was just one little tiny factor that kind of heaped on all the
others. So the biggest reason I didn’t enjoy this book was that I really didn’t
like the main character. She was extremely irritating – specifically she
complains a lot and she complains a lot about problems that she has caused herself. Her biggest flaw that the author deigned to give her, because you know all your characters have to have flaws, is that she lies a lot –
one could say compulsively – and for me personally that’s a big deal because
I’ve been close to people who are compulsive liars / who just lie a lot
even though they get caught doing it. They still do it which Aru does, she gets
caught when she lies, she’s not very good at it – but she continues to do it anyway for some reason. So because that’s been a personal thing in my life, I find
characters who unrepentantly lie – and one big issue in the book is that she never
actually says she’s sorry for lying or says that it was bad at all, she just
says, “Yeah, I used to do that, now I think I’m gonna change my ways, but I’m not
gonna admit that what I did was wrong.” Irritates me so much. And the second thing
that was also kind of specific to my experience and my taste is that this
character is more like a movie or TV show main character than a book
main character compared with her counterpart, her sidekick, who is named Mini.
Mini is a geek/nerd character, she has severe allergies going off all
the time, she quotes off random facts (so do I), she
is a germaphobe (also me), she is scared of a lot of things and is physically weak.
Whereas the main character is more of a regular person – she watches movies
and TV shows she doesn’t really read that much, she doesn’t care about facts,
she doesn’t retain them, she’s not a germaphobe, and she’s pretty
brave. More standard for a movie main character. You know in lot of movies and TV shows
nerdy characters like Mini get relegated to the sidekick role, whereas
in a lot of books they’re kind of considered more important. And the
jocks and the strong people tend to be more put in this sidekick area or in the
co-partner area whereas smart characters who read books a lot, you know who are
like authors and who are like people who read books, get to be the star of a show,
okay, I will admit I am extremely biased in this area. But just being a sidekick
isn’t a big deal. The biggest deal is how Aru treats Mini, because she
really looks down on her for being smart and caring about facts and being a
germaphobe and she’s always complaining about how her nose is dripping and about
how annoying she is because she’s so smart. One of the things that Aru
complains about a lot, about her backstory, is that she doesn’t have any
friends at the school she goes to because everybody at her school is rich
and white, mainly, and Aru is Indian-American. So Aru is comparatively poor and she is indian-american and she thinks that’s why she doesn’t have any
friends, and it’s definitely not because she’s a compulsive liar and is mean to
nerds. ‘Cause you know the people who are willing to be friends with outcasts tend
to be other outcasts, like nerds. It really bugs me when Aru complains
about not having friends because of all these other factors and it’s
definitely not her fault for being a jerk. For personal reasons I did not like
this book. If you like Hindu mythology or would like to try something
new and experience some Hindu mythology in a very interesting way in a very
modern way and have some cute side characters and interesting concepts and a
very much kind of sort of disjointed adventure, kind of like the Fairyland
stories and Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where you go from mini problem to mini
problem on this long quest, I would recommend you check it out. But if you have a problem with lying and people being mean to nerds, this might not be
for you. The next prompt is: Get warm by the fireplace. Read a book by some
candlelight. And for this one I read The Golden Compass by some candle light, two
candles, because one candle is very little light. By the way, I’m sorry, I hope this candle
isn’t stressing you out over here being near this garland. I am being very
careful and very aware of it, also it’s not as close to my books as it looks,
it’s like a good 5 inches away from those books, it’s not gonna hurt them. And
the next prompt is: Have some hot cocoa. Read a book that features love. And for
that I read some more books from the Kamisama Kiss series. It goes
through 25, this is number 23. These two are in love but there is also a lot of
platonic love in this series, and a lot of found family. And it does that thing
that a lot of manga and animes do where they look at a deep topic about
friendship or love or missing people, or letting the people you love be free and
such, from a comedic angle and also from a deep angle, and they come at it in a
really interesting way and it makes you think about it differently and makes me
really emotional and I really love them for that. So that’s what I read for the
Snow-athon, thank you so much for watching, and I’ll see you in the next video – bye!

About the author


  1. I enjoy your videos even though I'm not that into fiction (maybe i should be.) I am into being a reader with a lot of non fiction and esoteric type stuff I'm interested in lined up to read. Cute Christmasy outfit!

  2. I've got a question for you – if you like to read, what is your favorite Christmasy book, and if you don't or don't have a festive book, what is your favorite Christmas movie?

  3. ahh I love the clips you took!
    Really appreciate your thoughtful review of Aru Shah! I haven't gotten to that yet but I think you described the characters so well–that movie comparison really makes sense to me. I wonder how I'll feel if I pick it up!
    love your Christmas outfit! one of my favorite Christmasy books is The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork!

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