Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Books: The Post That Everyone Does and I'm Going to Do Too, So There

So, it's that whole end-of-the-year thing, where people stand in ridiculous crowds in New York City to watch a spangly fire hazard go down a pole, or drink way too much champagne, or just plain not care that it's New Year's Anything.  In booklandia and libraryland, it also means that it is round up time.  This is as close as I'll ever get to being an actual cowgirl.

Without further ado, my top twelve books of 2015 in absolutely no order whatsoever, because that is, frankly, impossible:

I Crawl Though It by A.S. King.  So achingly brilliant that I wanted to cry.  It's easier to swallow the truth when it's wearing surrealist garments.  Or chocolate.  But a chocolate book would be a disaster.

The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch by Daniel Kraus.  An epic masterpiece, and I don't say that very often.  Ever?

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson.  I'M A SHAAARK!  I need Nimona merch stat, please and thank you.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy.  Not only a smart, funny, and exceedingly well-written book, but a book that we, as a society, desperately needed.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.  Mind=blown.  This is multimedia storytelling at its finest, and some of the best sci-fi I've ever read.  Yes, I'm saying straight up sci-fi, no "YA" qualifier in there at all.

MARTians by Blythe Woolston.  One jigger of post-apocalyptic decay, one jigger of satire at consumerism's expense, 3 dashes of despair, served neat in a scavenged red Solo cup.  Brilliant.

Believarexic by J.J. Johnson.  This one joins Wintergirls to make the two YA books I would recommend about eating disorders, because they are honest, real, and unflinchingly honest.

Rat Queens Vol 1 & 2 by Kurtis Wiebe.  All hail our heavy-drinking, smack-talking, sexytimes-having fantasy girl gang!

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow.  This should be the new standard in YA post-apocalyptic sci-fi.  Heck, the new standard for YA, period.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby.  Magical realism in the middle of nowhere, Illinois.  If this doesn't win an award, I don't know what I'll do with myself.

All the Rage by Courtney Summers.  #tothegirls: you are worth our respect, our time, and our love.  #tothegirls: you weren't "asking for it."  #tothegirls: this is your book.

Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn.  I don't know if I'd want to be in Ms. Kuehn's headspace, since it churns out consistently dark, twisted, and fearless YA, but it's also a national treasure.

That's it for 2015.  Thank goodness  Catch you on the flip side.



My Withered Heart


Wither is exactly the kind of book I would never imagine myself enjoying.  But Lauren DeStefano wove some sort of dark charm around my mind and my heart, and I swallowed this hook, line, and sinker.  This may also have something to do with her witty Tweets and adorable cats, but I doubt the cats had anything major to do with this book.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Holy bagumba, you guys!  This is the last #WIRW for 2015!  Maybe next year I'll get around to making it a pretty banner or moving to Wordpress or all those tech things I tell myself I'll do and then go ehhhhhhh, I'd rather read this book instead.  Goals, people.

One goal for 2016 is to finish Les Misérables.  I finally made it through the Battle of Waterloo, which I swear is 10% of the whole stinking book.  It's excessively detailed, and expects you to know/care about all of the French generals AND all the Allied generals and care about where they were on the map at what time of day, etc.  There will be a further rant about this in my full review of the book, but it really takes away from Hugo's excellent writing about his characters.  I'm reading the French version, which slows me down a bit.

Other things I'm reading:


Cress by Marissa Meyer.  I've been sort-of reading this for a week, in that I read the first page and was like, "COOL" and then I had other things I needed to do for work, TSU, etc.  I read more during a weird insomnia attack last night and feel right back into that world I love.  I feel like I should re-read the first two, though.


A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.  I'm only four chapters in, but this is brilliant.


The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness.  This is definitely going to be a a love-it-or-hate-it book for most people.  Personally, I think it's hilarious and I can't wait to see where he takes it.


Animal Man Vol. 3: Rotworld--The Red Kingdom


I enjoyed the first two volumes of Animal Man.  Much as in Dial M, DC is trying to revive a character who, by his very nature, is patently ridiculous.  Lemire is good at writing broody, family tension, and Animal Man plays on that a lot--being married to a superhero isn't easy.  Especially when your husband is Buddy Baker, Animal Man, who can summon the power of different animals to fight crime.  As you do.

Oh my gosh, this is so tacky.  It's like the Wonder Twins but there's only one of him and no ring and he can't become a waterfall (which, while not much use in a fight, would be an interesting existential experience).

However, the New 52 tries to inject some darkness into this character by making him a player in this age-old match between good and evil, only here it's the Red and the Green parts of life (red being animal, green being vegetation) versus the Rot, which is pretty much what you think it is.  Death, decay, destruction, despair--all those fun d-words rolled into one disgusting deposit.  Lemire starts telling a Chosen One story, but it's not about Buddy: the Avatar of the Red (I honestly still have no idea what this means but it does sound pretty cool) is Buddy's four-year-old daughter, Maxine.  The family goes on the run when the agents of the Rot come after them, but thankfully, they have their talking totem cat, Socks, to guide them with cryptic wisdom.



Okay, I can't lie: this is ridiculous and I have no idea why I read the first two unless I was taking cold medicine at the time, or in some other equally decision-imparing situation.

But I loved the Essex County trilogy!  I really liked The Underwater Welder, even though it was bleak as Saskatchewan in winter!  I have this ridiculous soft spot for Canadians.  I was really hoping that Lemire could pull this off.

Alas, poor Buddy Baker, your story is a heaving, rotting mess of decayed tropes, trippy bad guys, and art that relies on cramming as much as possible into each panel so (tee-hee!) the reader doesn't realize how sloppy the art actually is.  That may work when you're baking cookies, for example (peanut butter toffee coffee chocolate chip sounds pretty delicious to me!), but a comic book is not a cookie.  I know the art is bad when I see a panel and think to myself, "Wow, that looks like something I drew!"  To wit, a panel close-up of Buddy's face is ... smooshed, to use a very technical term.

Plus, we have to deal with Buddy making horrible decisions, Swamp Thing making horrible decisions, and the Baker family making horrible decisions.  Everyone in this comic is an idiot.  See, what happens is that Buddy and Swamp Thing jump into this mystical pool (I am not making this up) and climb down a ladder of bones into the heart of the Rot.  But just before they can destroy it, the evil Avatar of the Rot shows up and cackles about how they fell into his trap.


As it turns out, when Buddy and Swampy entered the pool, they doomed the entire world to destruction by rot, so when they emerge from ... wherever they are ... it's a year later and everyone has turned into zombies.  Okay, technically no one ever says zombies, but they're zombies.  Only superheroes with connections to the Red and the Green, like Beast Boy and Black Orchid, or those with no flesh at all, like Steel, survive.  Oh, and John Constantine, but I guess the rules don't apply to him.  No one has any idea how to write his dialogue, which is 90% him saying "mate" or whingeing about cigarettes.

So anyway, Buddy reappears and everyone's all, "Ooh, Animal Man has come back!" but he just wants to find his family, which means another full-on charge into the lair of the enemy.  Along the way, they meet up with Frankenstein's monster (I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP) with his army of reanimated corpses and rescue the world's dorkiest Green Lantern, Medphyll, who is a plant-based alien with wheat stalks for hair.


There are pages and pages and PAGES of superheroes fighting, which is more like figures being tossed around panels in a chaotic frenzy.  Batgirl is now literally a bat and Wonder Woman gets sliced 'n diced.  It's ridiculous and boring at the same time.  Then, because the DCU can't really keep operating when all of its heroes are Rot-Zombies, there is a lovely deus ex machina and everything is as it is before--kind of.  Time travel, you guys: not as helpful as you would think.

And then there's the actual writing and plotting of this ... thing.  With much respect and admiration to both Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder, it is not cool to pull dialogue directly from Star Wars in order to further your version of the Light Side of the Force versus the Dark Side. now with 500% more tentacles and vines!  And yes, I know that Star Wars draws on a long storytelling tradition of good versus evil, of the Chosen One and the rogue and the princess, of Shakespearean daddy troubles and wise old teachers.  However, some of this dialogue, in conjunction with the main concept of this world, is really obvious.

Observe:  Yoda Cat (AKA Socks, which is the silliest name for a super-powerful "totem" animal ever) tells Buddy Baker, Animal Man: "Dig deeper, Buddy Baker.  Let your consciousness touch the near infinite number of things that swarm this old swamp.  Become one with the Red."  "Stretch out with your feelings, Luke ... Let go, Luke."  Yoda Cat.

Abby, Swamp Thing's girlfriend and the niece of the Avatar of the Rot, solves the problem of impending world doom by intuitively possessing knowledge of where the "Parliament" of the Rot is.  Yoda Cat tells her that know one knows where it is, but she replies that she does.  "Somehow, I've always known."  Look, Abby, I like your haircut and the whole vine thing going on with your skin, but you are not Princess Leia.

Felix Faust to John Constantine: "Together we could rule the rotlands!"  That's nice, Darth.  I mean Felix.  Whatever.

I know it's not a particularly unique line, but Steel shouting, "There's too many of them!" just brings back Grey Two (Y-Wing)'s words at the Battle of Endor.

Also, a proofreader would be nice.  Earth's new Green Lantern, doesn't exactly have the best grasp of English grammar (although, I mean, really, I can't blame him since he's an alien.  Let's blame the writers!).  Buddy asks what imprisoned him and Medphyll returns, "Not what.  WHOM."  Look, if you're going to correct someone's grammar, please actually correct it instead of just making the problem worse.  There is a really easy way to test whether you've used the correct pronoun: put it back in the original sentence.  "Whom imprisoned me" simply doesn't work because we need a bloody subject pronoun!  "Who imprisoned me" works!  Hooray, English!  Boo, writers!

Every time I read something in the DCU I'm reminded of why I prefer the Marvelverse.  At least Marvel embraces the weird, the goofy, and the just plain off-the-wall WHAAAAT? and runs with it.  Like, "Yeah, this guy wears spandex and has ... spider ... powers, but we're totally cool with that!  That other guy works for chimichangas.  You got a problem with that?"

And then you've got Mr. Strength-of-a-Hippo over here trying to save the world and his precocious daughter, but how in the name of Cthulhu am I supposed to sympathize with him when he inflicted that haircut on his son?  I'm done, Buddy Baker.




Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Romance and Garlic

Inspired by my recent success with a few YA books that I normally wouldn't have ever picked up (read: romance), I decided to test the waters even further outside of my comfort zone (mixed metaphor?  Sorry, if so).  I grabbed two books from that library, ensuring that they had a) pretty covers and b) romance.  I can do this romance thing, right?

Well, you see ...

Perhaps romance is a bit like garlic.  Delicious when cooked properly and added in the correct proportion, but overpoweringly sickening when eaten in abundance.  Let me give you an example.

My grandfather, who was capable of many things, including building a house when not an actual carpenter, navigating through life with only one working eye, and eating literally anything and everything you can think of, once made an uncomfortable mistake with garlic.  My grandpa was the kind of person who listened to radio at night, and evidently on these radio shows, which are aimed at freaking out the elderly or scamming them, they dispense health advice.  One night, the radio advised persons with chronic heart problems (I've got it from both sides of the family--this isn't going to end well, I know) to eat a clove of garlic a day.

I have to give Grandpa props; he was trying to be proactive about his health.  So, when making soup the next day, he tossed in an entire bulb of garlic.  And then he ate it.  And then he called my mother, asking, in a pained voice, how big a clove was.  I remember this conversation as a little kid:

Mom: "Dad!  How much garlic did you eat?"

Grandpa: "Well, I thought a clove was the whole thing, so I tossed it in the soup."

Mom: "You ate an entire BULB of garlic?  A clove is just one piece!  Besides, why are you eating garlic?

Grandpa: "Well, they said on the radio that garlic was good for your heart, so I figured I'd take some."

Mom:  "I could get you some of those Garlique pills if you want to take that!"

Grandpa: "I didn't want to bother you."

The point is, besides that if you have Eastern European grandparents, they are simultaneously stubborn and skilled at using the guilt complex, that even my grandpa's iron-clad stomach could not handle a bulb of garlic, no matter how good for his heart it might have been.

And so it goes with romance.  Perhaps I'll feel differently as I get older, but right now, my taste in books prefers something seasoned with love, not drowning in it.  Some authors have the romance perfectly balanced, others minimize it so that it goes down like a nice, no-feels-necessary capsule of love.  I can handle that.  Now I just need to find more books that suit my fussy romance palate.



The Meursault Investigation

The Meursault Investigation was a Kindle special a few months ago, and Twitter told me I should read it.  So I did.  Depending on your familiarity with Albert Camus' L'etranger (The Stranger), you'll fall within a range of opinions about this book.


Was it well-written?  Absolutely.  There were points were the prose was just achingly beautiful.  Did it tell me something I hadn't already considered?  Not really.  However, I had already read Camus' work at least three times for academic purposes, and I had professors who challenged us to think beyond the narrative.  In fact, I thought that was the whole point of the book.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Boy Meets Girl Massacre (Annotated)

Caution: if you are expecting a run-of-the-mill teen slasher, please turn around and go find another book.  This is not that book.  Yes, there is a serial killer.  Yes, there are things that go bump in the night.  And yes, there is my very favorite plot element in a horror novel: the evil hotel.  But The Boy Meets Girl Massacre (Annotated) probes dark and twisted elements of human nature as well.  And, cherry on top: it's got an unreliable narrator.  Is it really any wonder that I loved this?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Beyond the Red

At first, this book hooked me with its killer desert planet setting.  And then it killed me with awkward sexytimes descriptions, completely unrealistic situations, and an ending that deus ex machinas itself off a cliff.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Inn Between

I don't know if I've ever been as viscerally scared by a kids' book before as I was while reading The Inn Between, and I'm not sure if I ever wanted to be.  If I'm looking for horror, I generally don't say to myself, "Aha!  A children's book!  This will scare the pants off of me!"  Yet, here I am: utterly freaked out and metaphorically pantsless.

Monday, December 21, 2015

More Unpopular Opinions; or Books I DNFd

It is once again time for another installment of Books I DNFd, which really needs a catchier title.  Often, the titles that I end up disliking are ones that are popularly or critically praised, so many readers might be a bit miffed that I didn't finish Book XYZ that they looooooved and want to maaarryyyyyyyy.  Oh well!


The Fall of the House of West by Paul Pope and some other people too.  I enjoyed Battling Boy, was okay with The Rise of Aurora West but this was just like a gigantic snore.  Loud (as in lots of BRAKKA BRAKKA BRAKKA FWOOOM soundgraphs) snoring.  But, like a snore, there's no substance to it but the ruffling of nasal passages transferring air from here to there.  I don't care about Aurora or her mission or ... anything in this world.


The Aftermath by Jen Alexander.  A smashing, twisty, mind-bending beginning gives this gamer story loads of momentum, but it screeches to an abrupt halt about six chapters in because the main character has already figured out the plot of her own story.  The concept is pretty cool: a girl named Claudia Virtue figures out that fighting for her life against cannibals in post-apocalyptic Nashville isn't actually real.  She's somebody's avatar.  But she also has free will, so is she human?  What's up with this game, anyway?

Needless to say, I was disappointed, because The Aftermath was poised to discuss really deep topics, like personhood, and death, and the vaguely A Clockwork Orange-esque reason for the game's existence.  But no.  The main character figures out that she's being played--literally--and then spends the rest of the book running around doing missions with this guy she probably shouldn't trust but he is soooo hot you guys.  Excuse me while I have an eye-rolling session.  Alexander showed her hand way too early in this one to sustain any sort of plot tension.

Actually, I thought I quit a lot more books than this.  Star Wars has played a mind trick on me.  Now, off to review the ones I managed to finish!



Saturday, December 19, 2015

The possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field (or blogging)

is approximately 3,720 to one!

Never tell me the odds!

But oho!  It is Star Wars: The Force Awakens weekend and I am spending most of it either a) watching the movie at the theater or b) discussing the movie with my friends before c) going to watch the movie again.

I am not reading at all.  I am gloriously, deliriously happy.

Just pretend I've been frozen in carbonite.  I'll be quite well-protected.  If I survive.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Stay AWAY from the bandwagon. Yes, you, author I love.

My heart hurts to say this, but: Hunter by Mercedes Lackey was awful.  I never thought I'd say that about any of her books.  I adore the Valdemar books and am currently binge-reading the Elemental Masters series, so I know she is an excellent writer.  Which is why I keep asking myself, "How did this go so very wrong?"

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Okay, I got a little carried away with digital ARC requesting again.  I've found some amazing new titles, but at times I feel like I'm being smothered by furry, happy books.  Like sitting in a pile of kittens or puppies.

So, in addition to that famous French book that I've totally been ignoring, (Bénissez-moi mon père Hugo, parce que j'ai péché...) I'm reading these!


Cress by Marissa Meyer.  Am I behind in this series?  Yes!  I was so afraid to start Cress before Winter had a finalized release date, and now I've gotten myself all muddled up in the series.  But I think (fingers crossed) that I can dive back into the Lunar Chronicles.


The Aftermath by Jen Alexander.


Harley Quinn, Vol. 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti.  Love Harley!  Love, Harley!  Harley!


Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs.  This is a time-travel story that's rather light on the science, but I am really loving the main character.  And I want to know just how evil this Evil Corporation is!

Mini-Review: The Empire Striketh Back

I've had the boxed set of William Shakespeare's Star Wars for several months now, but have been moved to read books V and VI because of the movie opening this week.


These are quick reads--easier than "regular" Shakespeare if you know the movies, and if you know the movies really well (like "grew up watching them on repeat so you know all the lines" really well, or "saw them in theaters" really well) you might even hear the dialogue in the actors' voices.  Ian Doescher is really talented at fusing Shakespeare and Star Wars, and it's ridiculously fun for a book nerd like me to see famous Shakespearean soliloquies, lines, and ripostes delivered in a galaxy far, far away.

I particularly liked the self-reflective lines from Leia and Lando that flesh out their motivations and internal struggles.  And I didn't realize how many snowspeeder pilots actually died.  I guess having someone call out, "Ah, I die!" alerts you to that fact.

Doescher includes endnotes regarding the use of prose for Boba Fett's lines and trimming down the Chorus' involvement in things, and they're well worth reading.

Also, both the wampa AND the space worm have their own soliloquies.  So helloooo, why aren't you reading this yet???

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Impostor Queen

Lately, I've been taking my fantasy nice and bleak, preferably with little to no romance.  But to my surprise, I fell head over heels for The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine.  Much like another fantasy romance that stole my heart earlier this year, The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, The Impostor Queen has incredible world-building, an intricate magic system, and a realistic yet swoon-worthy romance.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Hidden Gallery

Lammeroo and the Incorrigibles go off to London in this crackingly good second installment in the series.  Wolves out of water?  Well, yes, mixed metaphor.  But indeed they are!  In this book you will find: deuced adorable playwrights, fancy restaurants, ferns, velocipedes, West End premieres, and singing pirates.  And those are just the big ones!

Friday, December 11, 2015

My Top Ten Favorite Posts of 2015

This is utterly shameless self-promotion, people.  And I am owning it.  I love writing here, but because my memory is like "Wheeee ... wait ... what was I talking about?" I often forget some of the things I've ranted and raved about.  So here are my favorite posts from the past year (don't worry; I'm doing a top ten books as well, but it's going to be REALLY DANG HARD and maybe 20 books).  I'm including the posts that I had the most fun writing and the ones where I just laid myself bare.

10. I Need A Silkwood Shower.  Improbably alien sexytimes and really abusive relationships in a book that lots of people saw as "romantic" and "adventurous."  Eugh.

9.  Sweets for My Sweet.  Think of this book as the teen version of A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, but with a much higher body count.

8.  "I Feel Stupid ..."  I made my very own infographic for this one, which is the major reason you should read this post if you haven't already.  

7.  Why Can't A Girl Just BE?  One of my favorite rants.  I'll tell you now which book inspired it: Walk on Earth A Stranger.

6.  Spoil Me Baby One More Time!  Did I listen to old-school Brit Brit on repeat after this?  Yes, yes I did.

5.  Gaslighting, Moral Complexity, and the Past Few Days.  In which I muse on some incredibly uninformed comments about YA literature and the intersectionality with the industry's treatment of women and how it's de rigeur to bash YA lit.

4.  Saturn Run: The Review.  Costarring Jesus and Derek Zoolander.  I had so much fun writing this that it was probably criminal.

3.  The Intensely Personal, Private Act of Reading.  More bookish musings on the quantum qualities of the act of reading.

2.  When My Heart Was Wicked Fails in a Tangle of Cultural Appropriation and General Strangeness.  The exceedingly knowledgeable Debbie Reese linked to my review (!!!) from her blog, and I was proud that I had come so far in critical reading and recognizing harmful stereotypes.

1.  I Crawl Through It.  I put so much into this review, but I could only do so because A.S. King's brilliant novel tugged at all of these feelings that I didn't even know I had pushed down inside of myself.




Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I'm trying to read the beginnings of books that have been sitting patiently on my TBR and figure out if I want to go through with the whole thing or not.  It's like first dates, but with books.  Apart from Les Mis, which I've completely neglected since moving on to Tome II.  Sorry!


First up is Beyond the Red by Ava Jae.  I was happily surprised to find this on Netgalley ... or was it Edelweiss?  In any case, this is promising to be a solid YA sci-fi for 2016!


The Aftermath by Jen Alexander.  I've had this on my list for a long time--so long that I didn't even remember what is was about.  It's a GAMING book!  I love gaming books!  W00t!


Hunter by Mercedes Lackey.  To be completely honest, I almost put this one down several times.  It's not going to get a high rating from me, but I hit a point where the action picked up, and I think I can finish it.  The quality of the writing here is so ... pedantic.  I cannot imagine that Lackey actually wrote this.  It makes me want to cry.

TSU Talks Orbiting Jupiter

I didn't do a full-on blog post for Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt, because a fellow Teen Services Underground blogger and I had a rumble about it!

Actually, we both agreed!  Not so much of a rumble, but I don't think our opinions fall on the popular end of the spectrum.

Check it out here: Reader Vs. Reader: Orbiting Jupiter

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Detour

In case the innumerable horror books and movies haven't gotten through to you yet, remember: when traveling, never, ever, ever take the detour or the short way around.  Turn around, go home, and binge watch some TV.  This is much preferable to being stalked by a serial killer, eaten by Bigfoot, or kidnapped and tortured by cannibals.

Monday, December 7, 2015

MARTians

MARTians is one of the most relentlessly depressing, incisive, and thought-provoking novels I've read this year.  And I'm afraid that books with more marketing hype and smoldering love interests with Dark and Painful Backstories will overshadow this small red gem of a book, which would be a tragedy.    Almost as bad as not making your sales quota for the day.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Revival

When I finished Revival, I wondered what, exactly, the King family has against the name "Charles."  It's the name of the villain in this book, as well as in Joe Hill's NOS4A2.  Unfortunately, King's evil Charles isn't nearly as menacing as Hill's, and while Revival was a fine book, it wasn't a great book.

Friday, December 4, 2015

A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy

Retellings of cultural icons are tricky.

Wow, that was the most colossal understatement I've made in a long time.  Here, let me be frank: the majority of retellings or companion novels are festering gobbets of sewage in comparison to their inspiration.  On their own, they might be perfectly decent works, but many writers feel the need to stamp themselves all over the canon.  Because they're more focused on their own ego and reputation, the believability of the book in relation to the original work goes completely down the toilet.


But Alexandra Bracken gets it.  Her dad, whose hand I'd like to shake, instilled in her a love of all things Star Wars.  She fleshes out the characters in a very believable way, and sticks to the original dialogue.  And she passed the ultimate test.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Do you hear the people sing?  It is the song of Pamela, who finished the first of five books comprising Hugo's Les Misérables.  Ha-HA!

In addition to that, here's what I'm reading:


All Saints' Eve by Amelia B. Edwards.  I'm a sucker for Victorian mysteries and supernatural tales.  This is like comfort food.  Not particularly mind-blowing, but cozy in a creepy sort of way.


MARTians by Blythe Woolston.  I loved Woolston's last novel, Black Helicopters, and I feel like she really doesn't get the recognition she deserve.  This is about our consumerist society, and I plan to consume it with gusto.

The Detour by S.A. Bodeen.  This is Bodeen's fast-paced take on Misery, but with a teen writer who's so full of herself that she probably can't eat.

The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine.  The worldbuilding in this is top-notch.  I mean, I kiss my fingers and say "Brava!"  I may be dragging this out because I don't want to wait so long for the next one!






The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1

Words cannot properly express how mind-blowingly awesome this comic is.


"Wait a second.  Isn't this about a 'superhero' who's half-squirrel, half-girl?  This sounds like the corniest idea ever."

Tell me that again after you've been swarmed and immobilized by hundreds of angry squirrels.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Paper Wishes

If wishes on papers thrown to the wind were real, I'd wish that stories be told by those whose heritage they are, and that publishers promote and lift up the voices of the marginalized.


While Sepahban handled the difficult material rather well, I really wish it had been written by an author of Japanese-American descent.  Maybe the publishing house hit their diversity quota for the year.  I don't know.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Mini-Review: Wayward, Vol. 1

I originally learned of this author and this series from a brouhaha surrounding a diversity panel.  What Jim Zub had to say was very articulate and thoughtful, so I confess to having built this comic up in my mind.  It's not bad per se, but it's certainly not a must-read.  Or even a maybe-read.  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Mini-Review: Velvet Vol. 2

I am tempted to just forgo reviewing this and just scream, "READ VELVET!"


Can I do that?

Oh, fine.  I'll give you some reasons.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Dark Monk (Hangman's Daughter #2)

It's been a few years since I read the first book in this series* (also while on vacation--there seems to be a pattern, here), but it was quite easy to slip right back into the universe of Jakob Kuisl, hangman in a small Bavarian village.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gaslighting, Moral Complexity, and Reality: Musings on the Past Few Days

On Tuesday night, the Twittersphere (at least the bookish end of it) fairly exploded with indignation over a Publisher's Weekly announcement of a six-figure book and movie deal (unsure if it comes with dog and pony show; will report back) for a debut author.  It wasn't out of jealousy or pettiness.

The author of the book displayed an astonishing lack of regard, respect, and awareness for young adult literature when he explained, "The morality of the book is more complicated than a lot of YA so I wanted to try doing it on my own."

I beg your pardon?  The implication is that YA literature, which has scads of awesome, kick-butt female authors, is unable to produce a "morally complex" narrative.  By extension, the author wasn't just criticizing an age group (YA is not a genre), but those who write and consume it.  The unspoken, but crystal-clear implication, was that women are unable to generate, appreciate, or desire morally complex novels.

The ignorance and hurtfulness of that statement is really astounding.  I wanted to think that maybe he'd been taken out of context, or that it was a slip-up.  I mean, if I were talking about the overnight success of my debut, I'd be completely incoherent.  Possibly comatose.  I don't deal with surprises very well.

But a link to another interview given by the author, this one more than a year ago, clearly show that he finds current YA literature to be lacking and intends to ride in on a white horse, after having descended from the clouds, beatifically, and save YA by making it morally complex.  He also thinks that the Ukraine uprising was like Les Misérables and that pink things are a "satire of femininity."  Make way for the mansplain train.

To which, the majority of writers, readers, teachers, librarians, and bloggers responded with a resounding, "Nope."

Because by devaluing the amazing works of YA lit out there-the majority of them written by female authors-this new Man Author implies that they've never been able to write anything good.  he's gaslighting them, pure and simple.  And he's gaslighting readers of YA as well.

I read YA for many reasons, but one thing I have noticed consistently is that I am moved to tears by YA books because they've touched something deep inside of me.  I don't ever remember crying because of an "adult" novel.  YA writers are adept at manipulating prose, style, and format to create unforgettable books.

Remember, too, that shorter books often pack even more of an emotional punch than their doorstop counterparts (caveat: I have my share of favorite YA jumbo-sized books, like Illuminae, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, The Diviners, and Seraphina, to name just a few).  I'm thinking specifically of the Hunger Games trilogy, not only because of the film that just came out, but because I read a review of Mockingjay (the book) this morning that angered me, because the reader had completely missed the point of the whole story.

*Warning: mild tangent approaching*

For better or for worse, I am a very empathetic person.  When bad things happen, I feel as though they have happened to me, and I wish that I could carry the pain of the sufferer instead.  I also have depression and severe anxiety issues.  All of these combine to create a very odd effect: I don't go see movies any more, because I am hypersensitive to every emotion expressed by the characters.  I generally leave the movie theater in tears because a movie in a theater is so in your face and seemingly inescapable.  There's no way to take a break from emotion, unless you get up and leave.  And it doesn't matter what the subject of the movie is: I left Jurassic World this summer and sobbed (the big, body-racking kind) for the forty-five minute drive home.  I have no idea why, exactly.

I had made plans with my best friend to go see Mockingjay Part 2.  As the date approached, I started to panic.  We were supposed to go on Thanksgiving night.  I've spent the greater part of today (the day before the holiday) in a maelstrom of anxiety.  I couldn't eat.  I shook.  I was terrified to tell her that movies, for some reason, terrify me.  But because she is an awesome person, she totally understood.  But I knew that in my current mental state, I could not handle the death and destruction that I would see there on the screen.  I could not do it.

*tangent leads back to actual narrative*

So sure, go ahead and tell me that Mockingjay isn't a "morally complex" book.  Moan about how "we don't see any of the action because Katniss is injured or grieving."  Excoriate her for not leading the revolution proudly--a revolution that takes innocent lives and one that she never wanted.  Katniss became the figurehead of the revolution, but never its leader.

After reading that review this morning, I reread Mockingjay for myself, to confirm my feelings.  My confidence that this was exactly the right ending only grew stronger as I read.  Because while yes, the first two books have page-turning action, particularly in the arena, and yes, Katniss kicks butt, that is not the point.

Collins condemns our media and our society for making death into entertainment*, for involving children in politics, and for humanity's inability to learn lessons from past mistakes.  All of the tributes are children.  They must kill each other for the entertainment of adults.  How can you think that this series will end with everyone riding off on rainbow unicorns?

When your society is that corrupt, vile, and callous, do you think that a revolution will fix things overnight?  Casting Katniss in the role of savior mislabels her completely.  She isn't a savior; she's a survivor.  She's no Career Tribute.  She takes no pleasure in killing, and neither does Peeta.  So after going through two of the Games, what do you think the mental state of this sixteen-year-old is like?  The horrors and atrocities she's seen and even committed tear her apart.  Retreating into the hidey-holes of District 13 isn't Collins "being lazy" and not describing the action--the author is showing us how the violence and manipulation breaks Katniss.  Blaming Katniss for having PTSD is the worst thing that a reader can do.  The spareness of Mockingjay reflects the distance Katniss must keep from reality in order to not completely lose her tenuous grasp on sanity.

I have a very good friend who was in the Vietnam War.  He rarely says anything about what happened, but I know it haunts him.  He just becomes very quiet and says it was terrible, that it still keeps him up at night.  So do you think Katniss, at the end, with her silence and detachment, is unrealistic?

So look at that, Man Author, and tell me that it's not morally complex.  Tell me to my face, without batting an eye, clearing your throat, or backpedaling.

He's not the only one at fault--his agent and publisher, in not correcting these statements, but instead, praising the novel for needing practically "no editing" and for being so edgy and ground-breaking, completely bury the accomplishments of all the female YA authors who have built an enduring, multifaceted area of literature.

The novel's main character (who, remember, is a heroine "who was the opposite of all that—a young, strong female who discovers real heroism within herself.") per PW, goes like this: "Gwendolyn Bloom, a Jewish, slightly overweight 17-year-old, who is transformed into a “lean warrior with hair dyed fire-engine red,” during her mission to rescue her father, a kidnapped diplomat,"  Okay.  So although pink is not good for girls, nor is Barbie, please remember that all heroines must conform to modern (unattainable) ideals of beauty, but also the male gaze.  Also, how can someone be "slightly overweight"?  Why does that even matter???

SPOILER: Your weight has no bearing on your character.  It is a number.  You do not need to lose weight in order to be awesome.  I've written extensively about the negative impact of numbers and body-shaming in stories before, so I'll just say to this: NOPE.  In fact, it merits the nopetopus:


Remember that gaslighting of authors (and especially WOC or non-cis writers)?  It's only gotten worse, because the media coverage has zoomed in on the male voices expressing their ire, and not Kelly Jensen (@catagator), who has retweeted so much pertinent information and has a fantastic article over here at SLJ about gender inequality in the YA publishing world.  Not Justina Ireland (@tehawesomersace), who consistently calls out privilege and who also retweeted loads of pertinent, thought-provoking information.  Not Kayla Whaley (@PunkinOnWheels) who created the hashtag to begin with!  Are you beginning to see the pervasive erasure of female voices here?

I hope that this author learns from this.  I know that people are already tsking about the social media reaction.  "Look at those hysterical females, piling on yet another innocent author!"  It's not a pile-on.  It's the frustrated reaction of people fighting for change, and yet who are painted as dangerous and villainous for having ambitions.

Panem Publishing wants to keep power and validation away from women.  Just remember: "If we burn, you burn with us."

*Yes, I realize by making films, that's totally hypocritical.  And part of why I couldn't go through with seeing the last part.




Mini-Review: Velvet, Vol. 1

In Youth Librarylandia, we all know that to get what we want, we don't call the school principal, we call the school's secretary.  For it is she who rules the school.  She is the gatekeeper, the Heimdall of the Bifröst of Education.

Somehow, the world's smartest spies didn't figure out that Velvet Templeton, secretary in an ultra-secret spy organization running alongside the CIA and MI-5, isn't just a pair of legs to ogle.  And oooh, they're gonna pay for that oversight.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Finding Hope

If you want to read a well-written, hard-hitting portrait of meth addiction in teenagers, please read Beneath A Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson.  Or, if you're feeling like a bit of poetry and you don't mind an author mining her daughter's life for fiction material (ahem), Crank by Ellen Hopkins is a perennial favorite with teens.  We definitely need more books about the repercussions of drug abuse in teen lit, but just because they're needed doesn't mean that what we get is necessarily good.

It's a bit like the question that authors, bloggers, editors, librarians, and other bookish folk have been asking about diversity: if you diversify your book, but execute it poorly, isn't that worse than having no diversity at all?

So, should one write a book about meth addiction if the book itself isn't particularly good?

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling

Why doesn't this series get more press?  It's a wonderful readalike for A Series of Unfortunate Events, but in some ways, it's even better for kids.  ASOUE had a lot of wink-wink-nudge-nudge references that only adults would get, like the whole Beatrice and Dante thing.  I don't know of any eight-year-old that's read The Divine Comedy, although I'm not saying no child has.  The latter books in the series got very dark, and depressed me, although as an adult with depression I am ... easily depressed.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Kokomo

I don't know if I can ever take my vacations slow as the Beach Boys instruct, but I shall try this time. No new posts until I get back, unless it strikes me to write at the beach.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Believarexic

I am very, very skeptical about any book about eating disorders.  The subject is a minefield of possible missteps, triggering concepts, or just downright oblivious offense.  Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls has so far been my one exception.  It had a big hand in helping me realize that I was really sick.  That saved my life.  I'm not being melodramatic.  People think that other people "get" eating disorders for attention and then are "cured" by the therapy du jour.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Alas, a DNF: Fight Like A Girl

Fight Like a Girl Volume 1: Learning CurveFight Like a Girl Volume 1: Learning Curve by David Pinckney


I really, really, really want to support indie comics AND diverse comics (and Fight Like A Girl fits into both categories)! It's published by Action Lab, who also do Jeremy Whitley's super-amazing-fantastico Princeless. Needless to say, I had high hopes.

You know how some people have deal-breakers when it comes to romance? I have literary deal-breakers. And one of the biggest of those deal-breakers is: the writer did not use spell check or request the services of a copy editor. And if the writer did those things, then their copy editor sucked. Come on, people. I would have liked to think that a grown-up who says they write as a profession knows which version of who's/whose to use in a sentence. But no. There are random commas everywhere and sentences that don't really make any sense at all. How am I supposed to figure out what's going on when neither the writer nor the letterer noticed that "excitment" needs an extra "e"???

Plus, we're dropped into the story without any sort of background whatsoever. How does Amarosa, the heroine, know that she has to approach this Pantheon of Gods (which is, BTW, super Euro-centric) to get permission to enter this "Wishing Well" which is like Scott Pilgrim meets the Twelve Labors of Herakles? Is it just common knowledge in her world? And when she does enter the Wishing Well, everything goes all Hunger Games, as it turns out her attempt at survival is being filmed for the pleasure of gods all over the meta-verse. Somebody send me a basket of (gluten free) rolls so I can stuff my face instead of thinking about this.

I stopped after the first issue. No "excitment" generated.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Only two new books today (in addition to the lurking titles giving me the stink-eye from my bedside shelf).  I will finish Two Graves ... soon.  Argh.


First up is The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Hidden Gallery.  Again, I'm listening to this on audiobook, and it is marvelous.  Penelope Lumley and the Incorrigibles go to London and things take a rather dark turn.  Narration is absolutely top-notch.


Next is Halt's Peril by John Flanagan.  This is the ninth book in the Ranger's Apprentice series, and I admit to dragging it out as I don't want it to end.  But I do have The Brotherband Chronicles to look forward to.  Flanagan really has a knack for moving a story along.


Finally, The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore.  This is an ARC from Netgalley, and so far I'm intrigued, but I feel like this could fall to pieces very quickly if the author doesn't ratchet up the tension a notch.  It's certainly not as scary as the blurbs proclaim, unless something gets spicy in the second half.

I honestly have nothing else to say.  I am tired and my back hurts and it's pouring buckets outside.  Hooray.

Mini-Review: Rolling in the Deep

Boooook ... gooooooood.

This was one of those tootling-around-on-Goodreads-what-have-we-here books that I reserved at the library.  It's a novella, and a dang good one too.  I'm not sure if I like this one or We Are All Completely Fine (reviewed here!) by Daryl Gregory more, so I'll just love them both.

I can't write too much about this because, as it is already a short book, I'd probably give away the whole thing.  But here are the salient points:

TLC-esque shady TV channel wants to make a "documentary" about mermaids.
Most of it will be faked.
They've hired a mermaid troupe.

Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire does a fantabulous job of capturing each character's essence in just a few brief sentences.  The cast is large, but I wanted to know more about all of them.  But, this is a horror novella, so things are going to get messy.

Bottom line: I loved it so much I forgave Grant for giving me an earworm for weeks.  I am not joking about the time period.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

That moment when you realize your childhood books were fat-shaming...

... and you're at work and you're on a public service desk and it's very possible that you might cry.  It's not a good moment to feel, but it is an important one to note.

Despite a lot of the poopy stuff that goes down there, Twitter is a place that I enjoy being, if a social network existing on some servers in the middle of New Jersey (or wherever) can be a place.  Although I see a lot of ignorant, offensive, and downright vile comments on there, I've learned so much.  In combination with blogging, talking to fellow librarians, writers, and bloggers has honed my reading skills in meaningful ways.  A few years ago, for example, I didn't even notice the cultural appropriation of Native peoples in Weetzie Bat.  I knew that wearing a headdress/war bonnet wasn't cool to do in real life, but I rationalized that Weetzie Bat was just being dumb and exploring her identity.  No.  She had no right to take another person's heritage and wear it as a fashion statement.  I get that now.  I see it.  If anything, Twitter has taught me to listen to various points of view and then see how I can improve the way I talk about the world and the way I read about it.

Today, I was following a fascinating conversation about female characters and size in books, and my fellow librarian R. brought up Bess in the Nancy Drew series.  So I started thinking.

It's a profoundly bizarre feeling to realize that something you thought you loved also caused a lot of internalized pain as a child.

Here's the thing.  If you haven't read any of the Nancy Drew books, there are three main female protagonists (which, admittedly, is pretty cool): the titular Nancy and her BFFs George and Bess.  George and Bess are cousins.  As we all know, the easiest laziest way to characterize someone is by focusing on one of their characteristics and then repeating it a million times in the book(s) so we know who you're talking about.  For George, it's that her parents wanted a boy, but she was born, but they still named her George.  She is slim and athletic and boyish.  Bess is the opposite: she is pretty but "plump," forever just five pounds overweight.  George often shames her cousin for enjoying food that evidently the other two girls can eat with impunity, because they are "slim."

So here I am, like eight years old.  I read the Nancy Drew books all the way into fifth and sixth grade--they were like a comfort toy or blankie, book-style.  I started having to wear a bra at nine (fourth grade was mortifying), and I gained weight.  I didn't eat very healthily, although my parents always cooked really nutritious meals, and I always had to eat my veggies!  I liked snacking.  Specifically on sour, sugary things.  I didn't drink pop (and still don't), so my sugar intake was from things like Sour Patch Kids.  Plus, I was never a team sports kind of kid.  I would ride my bike endlessly, pretending it was a horse, but no soccer or swim team for me, thanks.  But as homework got more intense, and as the neighborhood where I grew up deteriorated, I spent less time outside.  I always felt "thick" next to my classmates and friends, although I probably had just gained the usual puberty weight, plus some extra due to love of snack cakes.

But I was eight or nine years old.  I shouldn't have cared about my weight!  I was a kid!  Even as I got older, yeah, I was heavy.  I had pudge around the middle.  But I looked at pictures of myself and you know what?  This was also a primo time for supremely unflattering clothing.  At the time, I told myself I didn't care what I looked like.  But inside, I completely, utterly, and totally couldn't stop hating my body.  Everyone else was thin!  They ate whatever they wanted and got away with being thin!  (This is, obviously, a ridiculous assumption on my part, but again: I was super immature)

When I read the Nancy Drew books, I wanted to be Nancy.  She was the glamorous, smart, pretty, gracious girl who drove a roadster!  But I knew that I was Bess.  Actually, I was less than Bess.  Bess' redeeming quality was that she was "pretty."  I didn't think of myself as pretty, nor do I still.  I think I look interesting and singular, but not conventionally "pretty."  So, as a pre-teen, I seemed to have precisely zero options for success.  I was "plump" like Bess.  I had pudge around the middle and cellulite on my thighs.  But could I redeem myself by having gorgeous blonde hair and sparkly blue eyes like Bess?  No way!  I thus reasoned that the only way to be acceptably fat was to be conventionally pretty, and since I couldn't be pretty, I was a loser.  As I got older, this kind of reversed itself in a really scary, potentially deadly way.  I reasoned that if I couldn't be pretty, then I could at least be thin.  Hi, eating disorder!

I don't think many readers think about Bess' weight and the books' treatment of it as part of her character when they think about Nancy Drew.  For most people, it probably went by unnoticed.  And to be sure, Nancy was a really groundbreaking character for her time.  She was the one who solved the mystery, not her lawyer daddy or her bland-as-gruel boyfriend Ned.  She took risks.  She showed a lot of girls that you could grow up to be someone other than "Tom's wife" or "the homemaker."  You could solve mysteries!  Barring that, you could write them!  But does that absolve Nancy and George from teasing Bess about eating cookies or not fitting into her dress?  Absolutely not.

I'd like to think that Nancy, if she were born today, wouldn't care a fig about whether Bess needed to lose five pounds or not.  They'd just roll off in her hybrid car and solve mysteries together and eat a metric crapton of chocolate cake when they were done.  And then they'd binge-watch Sherlock and be awesome feminists.

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Storified Follow-Up to UnSlut

UnSlut: A Diary and Memoir

UnSlut should be required reading for everyone.  Or strongly suggested reading.  I know there are people who wouldn't touch this with a ten-foot-pole because it has the word "slut" in it a lot.  And those are the people who need this information the most.


Emily Lindin's thorough takedown of rape culture, slut shaming, and victim blaming takes an interesting form: it's her middle school diary with footnotes from Now-Emily.  Since a lot of readers weren't even alive in the late 90s (*insert existential crisis here*), she also explains all of the social and pop culture references.  And as I read, I came to a rather shocking realization.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Intensely Personal, Private Act of Reading

As a librarian and book blogger-type-person, I share my thoughts about the books that I've read very openly.  Yet, there are many aspects of my life that I don't talk about at work or on this blog, because they are mine.  It's important to note that my upbringing, beliefs, and experiences shape how I read and why I feel the way I do about books.  That is the private part of reading: how your past informs what you read in the present.

Today, I had an illuminating discussion with a peer about a book that I unreservedly and unabashedly adore.  She didn't like it so much, and she had really valid reasons for what she didn't like.  I was reading a lot of the plot and character development as metaphorical, while she saw it more realistically.  I love sci-fi books about the nature of humanity, sentient AI, the fate of humans 10,000 years in the future, and all those kind of woo-wah big picture concepts.  She was reading on a more practical level: how does the presentation of these characters affect diversity in literature today.

Unless you've been completely out of commission for the past two years, diversity in kidlit and teen literature is a huge issue.  Huge.  And I am so happy that the book community has begun this massive pushback against the erasure of PoC, non-hetero, or characters with disabilities.  I have certain topics that I'm always looking for in a book, and when they're not treated properly, that is to say, with respect and accuracy, the alarm bells go off and I go Wolverine.  The ones I notice right away have to do with body image, eating disorders, girl-on-girl hate, and mental illness.

But I can do better; I know I can do better.  I've been exposed to so many amazing resources for noting racist depictions of characters in literature, or gaslighting of women, or treating Native people as if they no longer exist, that I am slowly but surely becoming more adroit at spotting those issues in literature.  Certainly, I am not perfect.  None of us are.  I don't have the experience, but I'm working on gaining it.  Soon, I hope that any alarm bells related to any diversity issue will go off just as naturally as the ones I have now.

So, did I gloss over a potentially problematic treatment of bisexuality?  It's absolutely possible.  When I go back and reread the story and its treatment of love, relationships, and sexuality, it makes total sense to me.  But I am not bi.  I have not been violently insulted and harassed because of who I love.  I can't speak for them.  Basically, what I'm saying is, I'm not your go-to girl on that.  My (admittedly sheltered) life experiences shape how I read a book and if I enjoy it or not.

One reason I loved the book we were discussing is that the relationships weren't the sole focus of the plot, although they played a large role in character development.  This was a Big Idea book.  A Big Choices book.  I found that and I ran with it and fell desperately in love with it.  My personal experience meant that I was drawn to this book.  The pleasure of reading it was mine; I couldn't even express my feelings coherently in the review I wrote.

There's that quote by Garrison Keillor that adorns the thank-you cards sent to pretty much every English teacher ever: "A book is a present you can open again and again."  I would go further.  Every time you open that book, there is an exchange.  Parts of the book enter your soul and minutely shape who you are and how you see life.  In turn, you project your personality into the book, imbuing it with a unique reading experience.

I will never see a book in exactly the same way as someone else does, and that's part of what's so wonderful about books.  They're practically quantum in their inability to be concretely pinned down and autopsied.

Here, I should also note that I am a very stubborn person.  I'm not sure how much of that comes out on social media, but anyone who knows me in real life would agree.  Discussing this book that I loved today made me extremely uncomfortable.  To be clear: I was uncomfortable with myself.  And disappointed with myself, just a bit.  Had I missed something that was hurtful or poorly written?  Why was I so out of practice talking about books?

But I am aware enough to step back and say: "This is your opinion.  The opinions of others are equally valid.  Listen to them."  A criticism of a book I love can feel like a personal critique, especially when I've bonded with that narrative, but it's not an attack on me.  Not at all.  I am not the book.  My reading of the book is my personal, private experience to keep and from which to draw, but I am not responsible for the success of any work.  I believe that you can love something while criticizing it, that you can adore something while acknowledging its faults.  Nothing is perfect.  But I'd like to think that some books can come close.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I'm going to just briefly mention my plods of shame: Les Mis and Two Graves, but I keep finding other things to read and it's getting pretty crowded here inside my head.  What's percolating up there?


Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant.  If this lives up to the hype, I will forgive Seanan McGuire for my incessant Adele earworm.


The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand.  Title says it all: teen boys set out to make the Greatest Zombie Movie ever with like twenty bucks and less than three weeks.


UnSlut: A Diary and A Memoir by Emily Lindin.  If you don't follow the Unslut Project, do it now.  This diary is completely fascinating and really scary.