Diary of a Bookworm: ‘On your bookmark, get set, go!’

Illustration by Mercy Sosa. Graphic created in Canva.

Mercy Sosa

Illustration by Mercy Sosa. Graphic created in Canva.

Julie Blunt

Dear diary, at the beginning of the year, I set a personal goal to read 50 books by the end of December. I have only read 33 so far. 

While I don’t think I’m going to reach my goal, I still plan on reading as much as I can over winter break. 

Here are five books I plan on reading before the end of the year.

Pride and Prejudice

As a way of exploring genres, I’ve been wanting to read more classic literature. One novel being “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. The 2005 movie adaptation is beautiful but, as I’ve said before, books are always better than their movies

Suspense and tension between two love interests is one of my favorite aspects of romance novels. This novel is said to have “characters [that] dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue,” which is something I’m always looking for when reading romance novels. 

The Picture of Dorian Grey

Following the theme of reading more classic novels, I’ve been interested in reading “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde. 

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a novel about selfishness, shallowness and narcissism while also displaying a message set to teach readers the consequences of eternal youth. 

Dorian Grey is given the gift of eternal beauty and youth, however, his portrait ages overtime which continuously reminds him that he will still grow old. 

The Secret History 

Taking a step away from classic literature, “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt is a dark academia murder mystery novel — a genre I typically don’t explore. 

Barnes and Noble describes the novel as a group of misfit college students who find themselves under the influence of a classics professor where “their search for the transcendent leads them down a dangerous path, beyond human constructs of morality.”

While the novel has tough subject matter and triggering content, it’s a modern greek tragedy written to display dionysiac ecstasy through obsession, corruption and betrayal. 

Iron Widow

Iron Widow” by Xiran Jay Zhao is a young adult fantasy novel based in Huaxia, China. This novel is a story of feminism, women impowerment and breaking the patriarchy. 

18-year-old Zetian becomes a concubine-pilot in order to get revenge on the pilot that killed her sister. She avenges her sister’s death by killing him through the psychic link between pilots, labeling her as an Iron Widow — “a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​” 

Not only does this novel follow women empowerment, but its is also a LGBTQ+ novel with queer main characters and and a polyamorous relationship. 

One goodreads user wrote: “I came for the polyamorous and stayed for the absolute mind blowingly crafted world that is the Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao.”


Circe” by Madeline Miller has been a novel on my “to be read” list for over a year. I have been interested in it since I read Miller’s “The Song of Achilles,” a beautiful retelling of the love between Achilles and Patroclus. 

In this novel, however, Miller retells the story of the Greek enchantress Circe and her struggle with identifying with her godly heritage and the mortals she grows to love. 

Miller’s writing is something I fell in love with quickly while reading “The Song of Achilles.” She is able to capture images through words with unique scene description and character detailing. 

As an avid romance reader, exploring new genres and authors is something that’s hard to do. To step out of my comfort zone and explore new interests, my goal for next year is to read as many genres as possible and break out of my usual reading routine. 

Next semester, I hope to bring new refreshing book content to my diary entries. See you then. 

Sincerely, a bookworm.