Good morning, friends! Welcome to 2019’s first Blogsphere Highlights! I jam-packed this article with some amazing content from around the blogging community and I’m very excited to share them with you today!
With the dawn of a new year, plenty of us are setting ourselves up with goals and aspirations to pursue for the next 52 weeks. I just want to take a moment and say that while you’re pursuing your passions and interests, never forget to do what makes you feel happy and content within. Sometimes we get caught up in the chase of something that we don’t take a moment to stop and admire the scenery along the way. It’s cliché, I know, but still quite apt. Make sure to make the most of your journey, wherever it will take you, whether it involves blogging, school, relationships, work–anything at all!
Okay, that’s enough of the sappiness. This round of highlights showcases some new faces and content creators, so if you have a spare moment, please do take the time to visit these outstanding blogs, creators, and passions. As per usual, everything is appropriately categorised.
Books & Comics
💜 Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres and I love Vicky’s post where she offers recommendations based off the styles and stories of other books. Each one is a diverse title, which just adds to their charm for me! Readers go pay Vicky a visit!
💜 Nandini highlights her favourite books from 2018! The list consists of diverse titles from various genres and reading levels/audiences, so there’s a treat here for a variety of bookworms. She’s also got a brilliant book review for Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri, which is an #OwnVoices South Asian fantasy! WAIT! There’s more! Nandini also has a fabulous chat with Roshani Chokshi, who is an immensely talented fantasy author, about writing and her latest release.
💜 Kaleena also showcases her 2018 favourites, however this list is almost entirely science-fiction and/or fantasy, which makes my heart swell with excitement as those are some of my favourite genres of all time.
💜 Zaheerah is such a lovely person and her compilation of diverse books that she adored in 2018 is spectacular. There’s fantasy, contemporaries, science-fiction, fantasy and more, for young adults and adults alike.
💜 Sam celebrates the science-fiction genre for National Sci-Fi Day by looking at the history and characteristics of science-fiction! She even offers up some recommendations, which includes my favourite from the genre of all-time: Dune by Frank Herbert.
💜 Laura has shared her favourite middle-grade books from 2018! There are so many wonderful diverse titles to choose from here, so if MG is a genre you like, you’ll definitely want to visit Laura’s post!
💜 Sahi chats about her most-anticipated YA book releases for the first half of 2019! Young adult book lovers should definitely visit this neat list!
💜 Shanah has written up an awesome review for Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This was a book I never expected to like but ended up loving very dearly. This review talks about the good and some of the more intimidating aspects of the novel.
💜 Marie has a delightful chat about scheduling in reading time and her thoughts on it! This was a fun, original post that made me look at how I read, and that I do, in fact, schedule in reading time when I’m too busy to pick up a book randomly throughout my day.
💜 Wendy brings us into the new year by listing off five book recommendations with representation of mental health. There is variety here that covers quite a few illnesses and situations. Out of the list, I’m most interested in All the Things We Never Said by Yasmin Rahman as it covers a subject that’s close to my heart.
💜 Tiffany has written up a marvellous book review for To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo, which was a hyped book that I read last year, believing I would be sorely disappointed with it. However, it blew my expectations out of the water (pardon the pun). If you’ve been on the fence about this book, check out Tiffany’s review!
💜 For comic book fans, Jamie has compiled seven comic websites that every fan should visit! I’ve heard of a couple of these but didn’t realise there were so many awesome resources! Definitely one of my fave posts of January so far.
Anime, Manga, & Otaku Culture
💛 Chris offers up a retrospective look at the anime Kill La Kill from Studio TRIGGER. I loved his discussion on the themes and some of the deeper aspects of the narrative and visual complements. I remember enjoying the series for what it was way back when I originally watched it, and this retrospective puts into perspective why it’s worth a see.
💛 Ty-chama discusses the anime Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny-Girl Senpai and provides some insightful feedback on how the series uses supernatural elements to explore everyday situations, and life in general. Serials that can do that tend to be very near-and-dear to me as it illustrates the respective genre’s deeper potential. If you want to experience a series that is far more multi-faceted than you thought possible, this may be the one for you.
💛 Scott has crafted a list of anime from the 2018 simulcast seasons that worth investing your time into! I feel like there were tons of fabulous shows that released last year, and it was a bit overwhelming for me to focus on them due to the massive pile of them. Scott’s list really helps to narrow that down and find a serial that will be perfect for whatever you may be looking for.
💛 Shoujo Ramblings chats about the anime/manga series Hana Yori Dango and the romanticism of abusive relationships compared to genuine love. It’s very thought-provoking and brilliantly insightful in many ways.
💛 Ya Boy Jack talks about one of my favourite anime serials around, The Girl of Sakurasō and the facets that make it a compelling serial. If you haven’t seen this title, then I recommend you read this post and consider giving it a shot!
💛 Arthifis over at The Anime Shelter chats about his first impressions of Dororo, what worked and what was an unpleasant surprise. I’ve never seen this anime/franchise, but Arthifis’ post makes me wanna check it out, even though it’s not perfect by far.
💛 Merlin reviews the anime series GATE. They do a great break-down of things they enjoyed and didn’t care for, without giving away spoilers, so anyone interested in the series can read this review safely (if you care about spoilers that is). You can also feel Merlin’s excitement for the anime in the review, which is lovely.
💛 Lina has an important discussion on how men can also be victims of rape and rape culture, as well as how abuse also comes in the form of false accusations and how they can ruin a person’s entire life. She uses the new anime The Rising of the Shield Hero as a platform for this discussion. This is such an important discussion that all folks should read!
💛 Karandi shares her first impressions for one of the most-discussed anime of the new season: The Promised Neverland. She takes the time to chat about the hype, the good stuff in the pilot, and whether or not the show will ultimately be able to deliver as it moves forward through the season. I also LOVED her first impressions of My Roommate is a Cat and her discussion on Netflix’s new trend of creating live-action adaptations.
💛 Irina has written up five anime serials that she has grown to appreciate. I loved this post because it doesn’t name of a ton of super-duper hyped anime, and the way she talks about the things she appreciates is wonderful to read. She’s also done her annual search terms round-up, which is always a ton of fun and perfect for folks needing a laugh or five.
💛 OOCentral shares their initial thoughts on an anime series I adored last year, Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii (Love is Hard for an Otaku). I like that the good qualities and the average traits are discussed here, and the article truly feels like a chat you’d have with your mate. Don’t miss this one!
TV, Films, & Video Games
💙 Bernadetta chats about five fictional bands from films the she wishes were real-life bands! I found this to be such a unique post, and the bands she shares have some amazing music!
💙 Thero chats about their five most anticipated games of 2019! They named a couple that are on my own anticipated radar that made me excited for their upcoming release. The commentary accompanying each title is also rather neat. Recommended for gamers everywhere.
💙 Decadent Beaver reviews the video game Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, which is fantasy platformer! The visuals are so stunning and, I feel, makes the game worth playing just for that alone. Of course, there are more amazing facets to the game, and y’all should read this article to learn more.
💙 Terraphi over at GeekOut South-West chats about art progression in video games! It’s wonderfully insightful and does a great job of exploring how art can play to a game’s story and narrative style. They also chat about their top ten AIs, which I couldn’t help but love so much as AIs are some of my favourite things in narratives across all mediums.
💙 Jiraiyan chats about the videos games they are anticipating most in 2019 and I’m so happy that Resident Evil 2 is on the list (it’s my biggest anticipated game release so far). Go show them some love.
💙 Reggie shares a fabulous review for the video game New Super Mario Bros. Wii U Deluxe! It’s wonderfully detailed and will make you nostalgic if you’re a fan of the franchise.
Mental Health & Blogging
💚 Fred chats about what Asperger’s Syndrome is and what life is like living with this diagnosis. It’s such an honest post that is also very insightful. I confess I don’t know much about Asperger’s, but learning about it, particularly from someone who has it, makes me understand it better. I hate making assumptions about health conditions, so whenever I get a chance to enlighten myself, I take it! Y’all should definitely take time to read this.
💚 Faiza talks about what meditation is like using Headspace, which a meditation app that you can get for your phone. I love meditating and I have been considering trying out the app. Faiza talks about her experiences and maybe it can help you decide if it’s right for you!
💚 In celebrating his 3rd Blogiversary, Scott chats about building your blog, and how it makes sense to view it as building your own personal brand. I love the advice and tips shared in this post, and I know that bloggers of all sizes and ages can get some insight from it.
💚 Christina’s positive and inspiring post on the five ways that blogging makes you better made me smile and feel more excited and optimistic about the new year, especially with my blogging. Definitely check out this awesome article.
💚 As someone who recently began their adventure with food blogging (with beloved Sir Betrothed), I loved this article by Eggyolk on how to perfect food photography! It’s so informative and offered me some perspective that I never thought of before.
Culture, Travel, & Food
🧡 The Flying Tofu takes us on a journey to the breath-taking location of Shirogane Blue Pond in Hokkaido. I am utterly mesmerised by all the different shades of green and teal. It’s so calming to see her photographs! If visuals help you relax, and if you’re going to be visiting Hokkaido, then make sure to visit this article!
🧡 Sheryl takes time to talk to us about some of the best places to go for viewing of Mt. Fuji. There are lovely photos and titbits of info that will satisfy just about anyone interested in visiting Fuji-san.
🧡 Jennifer visits the Sumoto Castle Ruins in Japan, which is the oldest reconstruction of a Tenshu! I loved her pictures, information, and insight into this extraordinary piece of Japanese history!
🧡 Amelia visits the small country of Belize in Central America! She chats about the people and the local culture that is beautiful and shows a different side to travelling that my heart fell in love with! If you’re looking for a new travel blog, definitely visit this one!
🧡 Shyla has concocted a divine recipe for dark chocolate coffee that y’all should check out if you’re a fan of coffee and chocolate! It’s super simple and quite tasty (I’ve tried it out and it made me very happy).
🧡 Since I began my vegetarian lifestyle for my heart and physical health, I’ve constantly on the look-out for vegetarian bloggers, IG’ers, recipes, and more! I found Lizzie’s recipe for vegetarian spaghetti squash ramen and my mouth just watered. It’s so vibrant and it sounds like it’s going to be very flavourful. I can’t wait to try it out.
🧡 Jenn’s creamy mushroom soup recipe looks so incredibly delicious, that I’m looking forward to cooking it up within the week! I love soups like this because they can be so filling and perfect for the cold weather seasons.
That does it for the first half of January’s highlights. If you are a content creator and would like to see your work shared, or if you follow someone you want to show love to, please drop them in the comments or hit me up via Inquiries.
Thank you so much for visiting me today. I appreciate the support! Until next time, keep reading and keep otakuing. 🌸