TOP 10 THINGS BOOKS HAVE MADE US WANT TO RESEARCH

Late? Always. While the entire bookish blogosphere tackled this topic (or similar) last week, here at The Honest Bookclub, we come to the party at midnight.

Because we're cool (and terribly, terribly disorganized) like that.

But this is also in part due to our decision to share two sorts of bookish inspirations in the imminent future: one, which pertains to all the things that books have inspired us to do, and the other - shared below - of all the things that books have made us research on pain of death or ignorance.

After all, one of the factors that sets the good novels apart from the great novels is how immersed in their world we become - and how much said world inspires us to investigate further. 



1. History, culture, anthropology

Inspired by: historical fiction, fantasy, Salt To The Sea and the like
Picked by: Lexie

At one point or another in our reading lives, we all come to accept that no matter how big of history nerds we may be, no matter how many historical fiction and encyclopedias we amass, and no matter how many hours of History Channel we clock, there will always be far more to learn than what we know. To Ravenclaws and the Ravenclaw-adjacent, that's a scary, scary thought. So whenever I dive into a historical book of any sort, you can bet that assorted other history books, Google, and at least one weary history buff are keeping me company and explaining everything and anything I come across that leaves me puzzled. Historia magistra vitae est!





2. Greek mythology

Inspired by: Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Picked by: Natalie

Reading this book series really blossomed my interest in Greek mythology, and I do like to think I have some knowledge of it. Regardless of whether Rick is 100% accurate in portraying the mythological creatures and Gods, it certainly got me reading about it online and in books. I went to Athens a few years a go and was able to show off some of the stuff I knew to the tour guide while visiting the Acropolis and I have to say, I was darn proud of myself.

Greek Mythology is so weirdly fascinating, and although some of it is downright mental, it's so entertaining. I had to know more.







3. Forensic psychology

Inspired by: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes & assorted thrillers
Picked by: Lexie

Okay, so, the pick of criminology and psychology constitutes as cheating - chiefly because I'm majoring in psychology and because I was attempting to squeeze myself into criminal profiling textbooks long before I was old enough to go to Uni. (Uncomfortable, but doable. Make sure to occasionally surface for sustenance and forced socialization.) So Jennifer Lynn Barnes's hella exciting series about gifted teenage profilers didn't, perhaps, Narnia my way into a brand new world I never knew existed - but it certainly reignited my love of psychology that Uni seems to have been doing its utmost to quash. (Nothing saps passion quite like boiling it down to mathematical formulas, and nothing reignites it quite like seeing it work in action... or fiction, either way.)




4. Ley lines/paranormal

Inspired by: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Picked by: Natalie

When reading this, I found myself really interested in how the ley lines worked, and I ended up googling and reading through websites. This book series really did intrigue me, and I found the paranormal aspect had me researching and learning more. It's funny as I wasn't 100% sure what ley lines were and after looking them up, it was explained a few pages later. Me and my impatience.









5.  Slang

Inspired by: more books than I like to admit
Picked by: Lexie

In the absence of a magic wand, words are the only magic we have at our disposal. And outside of a "think about how we all stare at carved pieces of wood and have a shared hallucination", words are also magic because they become whatever we want them to be. And to all the magicians-wouldn't-divvy-up-into-castes naysayers, words are plenty evidence to the contrary. Because they form very, very exclusive clubs with their own very, very exclusive lingo that I often very, very much don't understand. At all. (I'm looking at you, Australia.) Local slang is in equal parts scary, weird and fascinating, y'all! And occasionally, it makes characters downright impossible to understand without research.



6. Geography

Inspired by: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Picked by: Natalie

Yeah, I can't say I'm familiar with where a lot of states in the U.S. are. Not just that, but which are near each other and where some of the cities are. So, when I was reading this, I was at that point when I left google and a map of the U.S. up and I just took to them when I got lost.
I have learnt a lot about where places are in America thanks to this book - and other road trip books! - but I still wouldn't trust myself in driving. If I do go on a trip to the U.S., I'll be in the passenger seat, picking all the cheesy music.





7. Ballet

Inspired by: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma and assorted YA ballet books
Picked by: Lexie

Like, as it seems, most girls my age - I was once a competitive dancer and then proceeded to abandon it for utterly stupid and ridiculous reasons. (It's a rite of passage. Don't judge us.) Unlike most girls, however, I was in spheres of dance that didn't even cross with ballet. So not only do I know appallingly little about it, I also get to constantly field questions from people who just assume that I do. (Because dance = dance. Apparently.) And while each type of dance and performance art has its beauties and its pitfalls, nowhere are they portrayed as more inextricably linked as in ballet. (In YA, ballerinas undergo some sort of evaluation prior to entering a ballet studio, and only the stabby, murderous kinds and the eventual-victim kinds are allowed in.) As a fan of both fluid grace and passionate, ambitious, tiny closeted psychopaths - I can never resist a good ballet book. But never does it come without its own fair share of research to be done.


8. Recipes

Inspired by: To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Picked by: Natalie

I know this is kind of random, but when I read this book, I couldn't help but go on Pinterest and look up recipes for things like cookies (or shall I say Snickerdoodles). I'm not a big cook or into baking in my spare time, but reading this series inspired me and I had myself looking up things I could bake...but for baking noobs like me. Just the carefree and fun way Han writes Lara and her family's cooking habits, as well as the exotic food they have, I wanted to know more. I need this food in my life because food is the absolute best! Was it just me who was googling recipes due to this book?
Side note: I didn't end up baking or cooking anything.




9. Self-defense


Inspired by: Easy by Tammara Webber
Picked by: Lexie

I don't give New Adult a whole lot of credit. It's a mutually-scornful relationship, though, because New Adult rarely treats me well in return. So it evens out. Precious few NA books have withstood the test of time with me, so when I go back to them now, I still see the value and relevancy that I used to see. Easy, however, is a massive exception to the rule. And quite apart from tackling the sensitive subject of rape on college campuses (which, to the non-US folk, has become more of a prominent issue since), Easy has also done an amazing job at writing self-defense. Which sounds either impossible or boring, but in reality is neither. In fact, just making my way through Easy left me with a pretty solid understanding of a few self-defense maneuvers that every person should honestly be taught. And then I went out and found a whole lot more.



10. American customs/equivalents



Inspired by: Any YA/NA book set in America
Picked by: Natalie

Let me just say, when I read YA or NA books set in America, I have to use Google a lot. A lot. So many different slang words, different meanings, companies and celebrities I've never heard of. (This makes me sound like an old woman but let me just reassure you that I'm just a very old 27 year old who isn't very observant.) I end up putting the book down thinking:

"What the hell does that mean?" "How old will that make them?" "Who is this famous person they're talking about?" "What the bloody hell is this slang word?"
But the main thing that confused me was the schooling. Reading about American universities when I first started reading NA and YA was so puzzling to me. I don't Google as much anymore, considering I've read so many books set in America - now I'm used to it. But blimey - please give us internationals a little help sometimes!  Maybe that means I'm a noob but... yeah, I'm just a noob.






When you really think about it, books inform more research and more thought than we are even consciously aware of. But whenever we think that the research we do while reading is too abundant, we remember the research we do while writing...


... and chuckle merrily.

So talk to us, pumpkins! What subjects do books prompt you to look into further, and what do you feel you've learned the most about? Leave us a comment below and let us know - so that we may proceed to add it to our research list in turn. (It's never enough!)



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