Hello! If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen the thread I made about some old blog posts that I loved and wanted to reshare. As I was compiling the thread, I came across a few posts that I wanted to revisit, one of which being Books That Have Been on My TBR for Too Long. I thought it would be fun to go back over the books on this list and see if I have managed to get to any of these books yet. I have a lot to say about these books, so let’s get into it.
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
I think I got to about book 3 or 4 by the time that J.K. Rowling made it very clear how she feels about the transgender community. I did not see it fit that I continue with the series. I was quite frankly appalled and disgusted by her views and opinions and could not justify finishing the books. I sold my copies of the books immediately and haven’t looked back since. I understand a lot of people have emotional connections with these novels, so have had a hard time letting them go. In a weird way, I’m very thankful that I didn’t have this, and I could easily remove myself from anything Harry Potter.
This post is actually coming during a week that this has been heavily discussed on social media. The book box subscription company Owlcrate recently resumed the distribution of their once popular Harry Potter themed mugs. When J.K Rowling initially came out with her statements, they temporarily stopped producing them, but they are now releasing them again. The company released a statement, just before the shipment of the boxes, that to me was awful. They basically said that they had a deeply personal connection with the books and the fandom itself, and regardless of how the community feels, they will be continuing with the distribution of the mug collection.
I find it very difficult to justify the company’s choice.
I understand that people will have connections and memories attached to this book series. But I do think there comes a responsibility where the book needs to stop being promoted. I saw in the comment section of the post, that someone said it is okay to keep your personal connection to Harry Potter – that is yours and yours alone, however selling and profiting off of Harry Potter products is different. You are promoting J.K. Rowling, giving her more money and more influence, and thus more reach to devalue the lives of transgender people.
It is dangerous and irresponsible at this point to continue selling products inspired by the author’s work. Owlcrate is a huge company, with great influence over the book community. I know that I have even read books because I have seen Owlcrate books, despite never having bought one of the boxes.
I do want to note that they have released the promotion for the mug collection and have announced that they will be donating some of the profits to a few charities. But I do think it is also important to include that whilst one is an LGBTQ+ charity, none of them are specifically transgender.
What also saddens me is that – and I am not sure if this is confirmed or not, but it has definitely been speculated – is that the book that’s going to be included in the box is A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee who is the first openly trans author they have ever included within their boxes. So I suppose I will leave this with support A Lesson in Vengeance and Victoria Lee outside of Owlcrate.
I’ve been incredibly frustrated with seeing this play out on social media, I’ve struggled to put my thoughts into words without letting the anger take over. I am going to continue with the rest of the post, but before I do I just wanted to add some support links for the transgender community:
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
They Both Die at the End is one that I have gotten off of my TBR! I’m not sure when I read it, I think it was a couple of years ago now. I don’t actually remember much about the book, but I do remember enjoying it when I was reading it. I do want to eventually get to Adam Silvera’s other contemporary novels too!
The Inkheart Series by Cornelia Funke
I have not yet got to this one. This series might be the three books that I’ve had on my TBR the longest. I love the film when I was younger, and I have been wanting to read the books ever since. I think I am a little scared to dive into these books now – what if they’re not as good as I am expect?
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I read Six of Crows in December of last year! I did enjoy them, not quite as much as everyone else seems to, I don’t think. I actually read the first book of the Shadow and Bone series a couple of months ago, and I am in the minority because so far I’m enjoying that series more than Six of Crows.
The Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Series by Ransom Riggs
I appear to be going through a pattern at the minute or not read/read/not read/read, and that brings us back to not read. This series is still sitting on my shelves unread. I’m not sure why – maybe because I’m a mood reader and I am waiting for Halloween time to read them? I don’t know. I am ready for spooky season, so might pick the series up soon.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
When Dimple Met Rishi I have read! But the other books in the series, I have not read. I think before I get to the other books in the series I will need to reread this one, but I have no idea when I will get to this one to be honest. I haven’t really been in the mood for Young Adult contemporary fiction lately, which is a shame because I have quite a few unread on my shelves.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
I’ve also read this one! I read The Sun is Also a Star and Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon very close together. I loved them both, maybe The Sun is Also a Star a little bit more, but it is a close call. If I ever get back into a Young Adult contemporary mood, I will definitely be picking up Nicola Yoon’s newest release.
The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series & The Heroes of Olympic Series by Rick Riordan
I have not read any of these books. I think I started the first Percy Jackson one, but I think I was reading it when I was too old for it. I probably would have loved it as a kid, but it wasn’t for me. I no longer have my copies of either series.
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom
I have read A Tragic Kind of Wonderful! I also read Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom too, which I actually liked a lot more! I really enjoyed the mental health issues explored within the text, but other than remembering that there was representation, I can’t remember anything else about the book.
The Flame in the Mist series by Renee Ahdieh
This one is also still unread. I did start it a couple of months ago, but I struggled with it. I have been struggling for a long time with reading physical books – I cannot seem to keep my attention to the page, so I have been relying on audiobooks. I cannot find an audiobook for this one anywhere which sucks because I really do want to read it. I am hoping that I can power through eventually and make it through this book.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
I have read Turtles All the Way Down and this book came to mean more to me than I ever expected it to. It’s the first fiction book that I’ve read that has representation for skin picking. I pick at my skin constantly, it is something I have always done and cannot control, so to see it represented in a novel was amazing for me.
The Chronicles of Alice by Christina Henry
I still not have read this book. Similarly to The Flame in the Mist, I can’t get an audiobook for the first book, which is really deterring me from the series at the minute. It is still one I have and do want to get to eventually.
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
I loved Hunted! I couldn’t believe I let it sit on my shelf for so long unread. I read it in December and absolutely loved it. If you haven’t read this one yet and want to – read it! I’ll link my review: here if you’re interested in reading more of my thoughts.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Finally, we have Heartless. Another one that I read a while back and absolutely adored. I still think about the characters now, despite only ever reading it that once. It was a retelling unlike anything I had read before. I really, really want to get her series of retellings and I am so excited for her Rumpelstiltskin retelling Gilded that comes out in November 2021.
If you have made it this far in the post, thank-you so much! I know this post has been a lot. I needed to express my thoughts on the whole Owlcrate/Harry Potter situation, and I hope I did so in a respectful way. Aside from that, I really enjoyed going back through an old post and seeing how that compares to now. I think I might try it with a few more posts.
Let me know in the comments if there are any books that have been on your TBR for far too long.