Hi, I’m Emma! I write scatterbrained book reviews, obsess over my pets and my various houseplants, and spend my time occupying myself with what most would call “grandma hobbies.” This blog is just here for a good time because I love to ramble about what I love. And hey, if you want to tag along I won’t mind!
I’m second oldest amongst my three siblings and my house is quite loud. For most of my life up until recently I had to share a room with my older sibling, which wasn’t always the best but that meant I had to master quiet activities that wouldn’t bother my sister and her unbearable sleep schedule. I’ve loved reading my whole life but really got into it in middle school when I realized I hated social gatherings with strangers and my sister needed quiet “study time” for all her IB classes. Now, I can’t imagine a life without reading. I am engrossed with any genre of fiction, because the simple act of writing something so amazing that another person can emote or connect with a fictive work is mesmerizing to me. I feel a connection to each and every novel I’ve read, because I am emotionally connected to the characters and I am also experiencing firsthand the thoughts and creations of another living individual whom I may never meet. I believe that through reading all of these books, I have grasped a greater understanding of how people think and act as well as how this crazy ridiculous world around us works! I encourage everyone I meet to pick up a book and do the same!
A question I get often is which book is my favorite. The answer to this question is forever changing, but here are some books off the top of my head that have made a lasting imprint in my mind:
- City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: What I consider to be my first entrance into the literary world. Totally changed my life path in 7th grade. I read before this and loved it, but this was my first YA urban fantasy with insane world building and faeries, demons, and magical steles that drew runes. Although I don’t enjoy Cassandra Clare’s books as much as I used to, her wit, allusions and comparisons to classic literary works, and her inclusivity made her books so welcoming and entertaining and single-handedly brought me through middle school.
- Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman: Another classic YA that made my emergence into young-adulthood a little less insane. Bowman’s characters were relatable and her prose was memorable.
- The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka: This one I can’t really explain. It’s always getting terrible reviews for being boring, random, and plotless, but I think that’s sort of why I enjoyed it. Gregor doesn’t deserve to struggle like this yet he does, and we are never given a reasoning as to why he has turned into a little critter. It’s giving Frankenstein but with a twist, since Gregor has experienced the pleasantries and joy of connection that Frankenstein’s creature longed for but never truly experienced.
- Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Obviously. I love Frankenstein. Yes, the dialogue can be dreary and long, yes dude has a weird thing for his cousin – but let’s throw that aside. This is a story of benevolence, humankind, and monstrosity. It is also a story about Mary Shelley herself, and the hardships she faced being a woman in the 19th century, in a similar way that Charlotte Lennox critiques her life and the life of women in The Female Quixote through Arabella’s character. Frankenstein’s creatures is a torrid recluse, defamed and poisoned due to the simple fact that he lacks connection and purpose. He is brought into the world involuntarily, he is not given the resources to understand his environment, and he is not provided the friendships to give his existence any meaning. Why is he treated so? A negligent and half-asses scientist who doesn’t think his plans through, and is incredibly rude to taller people with scars. Frankenstein is the story of human negligence, both to our own kind and others. It is the story of our own becoming. How we are the ones who create our own monsters. We are the ones we should fear. The creature states “I was benevolent and good” misery made me a fiend. Make me happy and I shall again be virtuous.” I know this quote by heart now because I love it so much. I know it sounds like the end of a kids movie, but if the creature was just accepted for who he is, so much violence (and Elizabeth’s death) would have been avoided. The real monster is the scientist Frankenstein who callously abandons his creation and unleashes an uncontrollable, desolate, and misunderstood creature into the world. I also love Frankenstein because this story is about being misunderstood and abandoned, and to this day we continue to misunderstand and abandon the true message of this story. Take a look at any Frankenstein movie adaptation and you’ll see what I mean. – Anyway, everyone should read this book. I love it. I love Mary Shelley. And also, if you want to get all academic English Major on it, Frankenstein’s monster checks all the boxes for Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s seven theses on monster culture. (1. The Monster’s Body is a Cultural Body, 2. The Monster Always Escapes, 3. The Monster is the Harbinger of Category Crisis, 4. The Monster Dwells at the Gates of Difference, 5. The Monster Polices the Borders of the Possible, 6. Fear of the Monster Is Really a Kind of Desire, 7. The Monster Stands at the Threshold of Becoming). So go do it. Read Frankenstein.
- The Female Quixote by Charlotte Lennox: The Female Quixote is both a critique of fiction and of the role of women. This is an awesome double whammy. I’ve written like three essays on this story for my Early 18th Century Literature class because of how much crazy was in this book. Arabella is silly and I love her.
- The Epic of Gilgamesh: I enjoyed for the vibes. It was very cool reading something so damn old and still connecting with it. RIP Enkidu.
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara: An absolutely miserable brick of a book, but it made me a “little” more compassionate when meeting intolerable or rude people. I have a tendency to read books that make me physically sick. Same goes for Tender is The Flesh by Augustina Bazterrica. So gross. I hate it here. But for some godforsaken reason, I am bewitched and entranced by these books and will read them cover to cover.
- I’m tired of typing, but check my Goodreads for my many other favourite books.
Reading is my first big thing, but I’m also interested in our environment. These topics are what drive me both in my free time, at school, and at work. But I also have a multitude of other interests. A hobby I’ve picked up through the pandemic has been growing houseplants. I go through some pretty serious SAD in the winter because of the lack of greenery and the fact that everything around me is cold and dead, but incorporating vibrant foliage in my everyday spaces has made a huge difference. I currently reside in a tropical library, and I don’t mind it in the least!
Some other things I do to fill time is jam out to music which I will also talk about on here, obsess over Taylor Swift easter eggs, go on bike rides, read up on eco-minimalism, pet my cats and disassociate in my backyard hammock. I also like to complain, much to my family’s dismay.
You can find me on Goodreads, Instagram, and Goodreads:
Goodreads: Emma Fackenthall